Richard's Photographer Spotlight: Ashley Woodson Bailey

Richard is shining the photog spotlight on our friend Ashley Woodson Bailey! Ashley has some serious flower power--she worked as a floral designer for over 20 years, and now creates floral arrangements that will last forever through her photography. She's also built a successful commercial business around her images, offering consumers everything from fine art prints to a line of handbags! So, join Richard and take a moment to get to know Ashley.

Richard: What first sparked your passion for photography?

Ashley Woodson Bailey: I have always been a very visual person. Sometimes, in order for me to really understand what is in front of me, I have to take a photo. I think it is the years I have spent holding fashion magazines in my hands... flipping through all of the beautiful, moody images taken by Irving Penn, Mario Testino, Steven Meisel, Annie Leibovitz, to name of few.

R: Making the leap from photography as a personal passion to a paying gig is a big one... how did you decide to pursue it as a career?

AWB: I went from doing flowers for large scale weddings to photographing all in a blink of an eye. My family and I were in a terrible car accident that left me with many injuries and pretty mentally broken, so I turned to my iPhone to capture flowers in all their states. When people began to ask to purchase my images, I launched my business!

R: When you aren’t shooting flowers, what do you LOVE to photograph?

AWB: I love to photograph moody little girls (like my daughter and her friends) holding or wearing flowers.

R: How do you find a balance between being creatively fulfilled and being able to pay the bills?

AWB: Gosh, this is really hard! The images that I love the most usually aren't the best sellers. I am constantly buying more flowers, doing more arrangements, trying to come up with new and better ideas that my collectors will want in their homes. I find that if I start to spread myself too thin, my work suffers as well as my ability to pay the bills. So, I just try to stay focused and work on one thing at a time.

R: What is your favorite camera?

AWB: iPhone. Always.

R: Have you ever shot film before?

AWB: I grew up shooting film because there wasn’t anything else!

R: Why is it important to have continuous communication with your lab(s)?

AWB: It is so important to me to have a relationship with the people that are bringing my work to life on paper. The fact that I have such a great relationship with Albany and everyone else at Richard assures me that my product will be printed and handled with care.

R: Do you have any pre-shoot rituals? We wanna know the quirky, weird stuff.

AWB: I have full on conversations with my flowers while I am photographing them, arranging them, and styling them.

R: Let’s play a game of “Either/Or”! Savory or sweet?

AWB: Sweet.

R: Dogs or cats?

AWB: Dogs.

R: Warm weather or cold weather?

AWB: Warm weather.

R: Biggie or Tupac?

AWB: Biggie.

R: Early bird or night owl?

AWB: Early bird.

R: Crossword or Sudoku?

AWB: Crossword.

R: Chocolate or vanilla?

AWB: Vanilla.

R: Urban or rural?

AWB: Urban.

R: Breakfast or dinner?

AWB: Dinner.

R: Batman or Superman?

AWB: Batman.

R: Historical Non-fiction or SciFi/Fantasy?

AWB: Historical Non-Fiction.

R: Comedy or drama?

AWB: Both!

R: Truth or dare?

AWB: Truth.

R: What song/music do you listen to get pumped up?

AWB: Terrible '80s music.

R: If you weren't a photographer, what would you be when you grow up?

AWB: Fashion designer.

R: If you were a super hero, what would your super power be?

AWB: To stop pain.

R: What is your favorite word, and why?

AWB: "Byrdie", because she is my six year old daughter that rules the roost right now.