We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Howland and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashley, how do you define success?
I believe success is defined differently by everyone. For some photographers, success is being able to support their families with their photography, or to be published in different ways. However for me, success is defined by the difference my work has made. I always wanted to make a difference. That was what I told everyone I wanted to do when I grew up. And if my work makes a difference in peoples lives then I have succeeded. Whether that is capturing a single moment in time that can never be visited again, or whether that is providing a family with beautiful memories of their children.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
This is the question that always makes me clam up a little. It makes me really think. I think what sets apart my work from others is that I really creatively thrive off of the relationships I build with each client. I can tell how great a session is going by the laughter happening. My art is very emotive, and heart felt. I am proud that I have not given up after all these years. Honestly it hasn’t always been easy. I haven’t always had supportive clients. I had to work 10,000 hours to master the smallest bit of success in this industry. And the number one lesson I had to learn was that comparison is the thief of joy. I had to stop comparing myself to anyone else in the industry. Because I am my own voice, I have my own way of making art and that being like anyone else is never going to do anything for me creatively. My brand will always be inclusive, it will always be for anyone who wants a moment captured.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
If I had friends visiting, I can almost guarantee that they would ask me to take them to Deep Ellum. I have friends who come into town and want a fun day of great food and cute shops, they will say please take us to Deep Ellum and show us all those amazing places. I’ve been going to Deep Ellum for more years than I can count. If they wanted a full day here is how it would go. We’d start early, grab some french toast at Cafe Brazil, and our first cup of coffee for the day. The service is always fantastic! Then we would check out the murals, snap some photos for their instagram. Deep Ellum hosts some of the best Art Walks, Car Shows, Concerts, etc. So I am sure there would be plenty to see while we walked around. We would venture into Rocket Fizz, and grab candy and bottled soda. We would savor the smells coming from Pecan Lodge and wave at the line to get in. We would shop at Jade & Clover, Archer Paper Goods, and then grab another cup of coffee from Merit. Our stomachs would be grumbling, so we would head back to Serious Pizza. We’d order and XL pizza and I’d watch as their eyes got big when the massive pizza arrived at our table. I’d then tell them to save a little room and we would finish our day at Emporium Pies. We would take our slice of pie to go and then call it a day.
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 truly have the most supportive family. From a young age my family began to push and support my love of photography. Over the years they have referred friends and complete strangers to book with me. And for that I will forever be thankful. Aside from my family, I think the biggest push of support I have ever received is repeat clients. I have so many repeat clients who have stayed with me during my creative growth, and they book regularly and send me business as much as they can. And lastly I have to give a huge shout out to fellow local photographers. We have really embraced a “community over competition” vibe and if we get an inquiry for something that is not our specialty we happily refer to our community!