We had the good fortune of connecting with Asia Asberry and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Asia, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The two most important factors behind my success are definitely my intense drive/initiative but also my patience with myself. When talking to others about my photography and business journey, I find myself repeating, “I always get what I want”. At face value, it sounds insanely pretentious but what I mean when I say that is if I want to learn a new skill, purchase a new piece of gear, or bring a certain concept to life, I go all in. I will not stop doing research, practicing, reaching out to others, and learning until I am able to bring what I see in my head to life. On the same token, even though I am tenacious about making what I want to happen happen, I have also learned to be patient with myself and to progress at my own pace. It can be extremely intimidating and discouraging to see so many other photographers doing super out-of-the-box things with their gear, shooting with important people, gaining followers, and making a ton of money, but comparison truly is the thief of joy. Allowing myself to be inspired by them and get to their level when I’m comfortable has allowed me to grow organically and make the learning process that much more enjoyable. To look back every year and see how much I’ve progressed by letting myself accomplish my photography and business goals how I want, truly feels so rewarding.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Storytelling is always in the forefront of my mind when I think of a new shoot concept or when I head out to meet a client for a session. I place heavy emphasis on being intentional with light, color, facial expression, and posing to turn the session into a story of its own instead of simply capturing a moment in time. The most important goal is to evoke emotion upon looking at my photos. I am most proud of the fact that my craft and business have been so successful by allowing myself to progress organically like I mentioned previously. I find that when I try too hard to create content for attention from others, it feels inauthentic and just isn’t as good.
When I allow myself to create from the heart and block out what Instagram wants to see or deems as popular, I am able to produce high-quality, original, meaningful photos that genuinely make me happy. I think any business owner or creative will say that they got to where they are by A LOT of trial and error. Shot by Asia LLC was officially made a legal business in January 2019, but I was building the business up way before then. With the help of amazing friends who sacrificed their time to model for me to help build my portfolio, I was able to grow until I felt confident enough in my ability to open a business. I still made lots of mistakes in Shot by Asia’s early days but each experience allowed me tweak aspects of my business until those mistakes were no longer able to be made. This is not to say I don’t make mistakes now, but after a number of negative experiences with clients, I started to understand what I wanted from my business and how I could ensure less time was wasted on mistakes and more time was spent expanding. Business formation and operation is never easy but I have been able to develop a beautiful workflow that reduces frustration on mine and my clients parts. The only way I was able to figure this workflow out was to make a mistake and tell myself, “Okay, next time, we’ll do it differently” and make changes. A great lesson I’ve learned as a business owner and creative is to keep going. You’ll never progress if you can’t move past a challenge. Challenges are necessary for growth. Remain graceful and remind yourself that there is always a next time to do better. The message I want to portray to the world about my brand is that though I may not be among the big name photographers in Atlanta, the work I produce speaks for itself and is authentically me.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Of course during the pandemic we are remaining socially-distant and doing our parts to help bring case counts down, but AFTER the pandemic, we’re hitting up bottomless mimosa brunch at Edgewood Tavern, going to Topgolf to do horribly but eat good food or maybe spend way too much money at Skyline Park. We’d definitely close our nights at the Buckhead Bars (Dive Bar is my fav).
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to show my HUGE appreciation for all of my friends-turned-models who have helped me build my portfolio over the years. Knowing that so many of them could’ve simply said no to their friend who approached them with a random shoot concept but instead said yes and chose to help me not only learn and grow as a photographer but promote and expand my business means so much to me. It is hard for me to put into words the amount of gratitude I have for them. I will FOREVER be thankful for each and every person who has donated their time and effort to not only me, but Shot by Asia LLC as a whole. I truly would be nowhere near as successful and accomplished as I am today without my great friends.