We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley McBroom and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashley, how do you think about risk?
I think risk taking is intrinsic to success – opening up a business is obviously a financial risk. And in the arts, it can feel risky on a whole other level because of the vulnerability that comes along – it’s almost like saying, “Hey, I think I’m good at this, what do you think?” to every potential client when you’re first starting. I said yes to every job that came my way early on, and if I didn’t feel like I knew how to do it, I prepped and studied like mad to go out there and shoot it as best I could anyways. Was I nervous stepping out to those first jobs without having the budget for back-up gear and hoping that I wouldn’t freeze up and blow it? 100%. But is was exhilarating at the same time.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art is lifestyle and fine art photography, both on land and underwater. I’m most proud of being named NAPCP’s 2019 Photographer of the Year – they showcased one of my underwater images in Times Square this past February and I’ve never felt more honored. My journey hasn’t been easy but it’s still been wonderful. I threw myself into learning photography both on my own and through some really amazing teachers and mentors. I spent countless hours – mainly on the weekends and in the evenings – away from my family to build a client base and take on new opportunities. And like most new photographers, I practically worked for nothing – or even at a loss in those early days. I’m still learning and growing and I hope that doesn’t change. In my opinion, if we can’t look back at our work from a year or two ago and not occasionally cringe or wish we’d shot or edited something differently, then we aren’t really growing as much as we could. My goal is to capture not just the way it looks, but the way it feels for a mom to hold her baby. Or for a parent to be able to look at a photo I took of their children laughing together and to be able to hear those belly laughs all over again. For a swimmer to be able to remember the freedom they felt underneath the surface of the water. If I’m not evoking any emotion when you see your photographs, I’m doing it all wrong.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m in the burbs and we love to take friends and family to downtown Roswell to show them some of the famous southern charm. We’d definitely go to Fellows for brunch, hike the ruins at Sope Creek, and get a burger at Moxie Burger on the back deck. In the city you can’t beat walking the Beltline, grabbing a bite at Ponce City Market and playing some carnival games on the roof deck.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to shoutout to NAPCP (National Association of Professional Child Photographers) for their encouragement and support of myself and all the other photographers in our industry. It’s truly a group that offers community over competition.