We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashli Ceraolo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashli, what inspires you?
Love. I have, and always will be a sucker for a good love story. I’m one thousand percent a hopeless romantic, and being able to have witnessed one of the greatest love stories of my time, my parents, inspires me every time I step behind the camera with one of my couples. Capturing the genuine love, and the real moments of anyone’s story, whether it be a wedding, proposal, engagement, or just a couple’s portrait session adds just the right amount of fuel to my fire.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My photography style focuses on documenting and capturing the raw and real moments of a family, couples’, or individuals’ life. I don’t necessarily conform to one specific style, or editing process, but instead, I let the photos and the subjects in them, along with the environment/nature tell me what to do – not just in the post-process phase, but during the session, too. When I first picked up photography, I was often asked “what is it that you want to accomplish most?” and my answer was always “I want my photographs to be in a place where people will walk by and see them everyday.” Four years ago, two of my photographs were placed in our local hospital, Erlanger East, for a permanent residency; that is by far my proudest moment. It wasn’t easy, no business ever is, and overcoming challenges, to me, is part of the process; without fail there is no room for the appreciation of success. Communication played a huge role in overcoming challenges, and having the support of friends and family to lean on helps in knowing that I’m making a good decision for myself and the business. I strive in creating a personal, diverse, and fun experience for every client that books a session, or event with me – not one session is the same, and I love that.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am located in Chattanooga, but I make it to Atlanta at least 5-8 times a year, maybe more. My favorite place to visit in the area is the botanical gardens. There is just something about drinking a glass of wine through a floral park, and I know any one of my friends would agree on that. The first stop to dine at is Fado Irish Pub located in Midtown. One of the best Rueben sandwiches, and the tastiest whiskey sour. Another must for a burger, or some American bar food, The Vortex Bar & Grill is the spot! No trip to Atlanta is complete without checking out some of the local history. I have photographed at the Swan House and it would definitely be on top of my list of tour spots along with a stroll through the Historic Fourth Ward Park.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people who have supported and helped me since I started this journey in 2010, but obviously, without a doubt, my parents. Their endless support means more than what any words could say, and their continued guidance truly never fails; whenever I need help, they’re the first to step in regardless of if I need assistance with a session, or business advice. My sisters have been my personal Barbie dolls, have trusted me with their life moments, and have cheered me on since I unwrapped my first camera. My best friend, Kristi, has encouraged me to constantly ‘go for it’, and one of my biggest confidant’s. Lastly, Darren, a friend, but also my biggest mentor. He has taught me so much in the two years I have known him, and have thoroughly enjoyed getting to work and learn from him.