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?
R: Dogs or cats?
R: Warm weather or cold weather?
AWB: Warm weather.
R: Biggie or Tupac?
R: Early bird or night owl?
AWB: Early bird.
R: Crossword or Sudoku?
R: Chocolate or vanilla?
R: Urban or rural?
R: Breakfast or dinner?
R: Batman or Superman?
R: Historical Non-fiction or SciFi/Fantasy?
AWB: Historical Non-Fiction.
R: Comedy or drama?
R: Truth or dare?
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.