We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley McDonald and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ashley, why did you pursue a creative career?
The truth is, it’s in my blood. My mom was an artist and a great one at that… She could draw. I remember being so amazed at how realistic her drawings were. I always wanted to be an artist like her. Although, I never could quite master drawing. Not only did my mom love to draw, but she loved to scrapbook. She would always have a camera in her hand and a huge box of photos ready to be put in a scrapbook. Like mother like daughter, we would sit on the floor and scrapbook. My grandfather on the other hand, he was a photographer. He recently passed away in April of this year, and I know he would be really proud. Flash forward and here I am today building my small photography business. Ever since I was little, I always knew I had a passion for art. I want to create. I want to leave my mark and be the reason behind someone’s smile, laugh, and happiness even if it comes from a photo. Moments don’t last forever, but photos do.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I set myself apart from others because I am Ashley. No photographer has the same eye. We are all unique and we all have something special to bring to the table. I have a desire to learn and to become a much stronger photographer than I was yesterday or the day before. The feeling I get in my bones and the rush through my spine when I’m just doing my thing is literally pure happiness. I’m doing what makes me happy every day. I am a people person. Coming from the service industry, I love meeting new people and building connections. This is nothing new to me. This is a forever friendship and I can’t wait to document your life and watch you and your family grow. Starting a business is never easy but it’s worth the risk. I am most excited about investing more of my time into my clients and my work. I want to be able to offer my clients the best that I have to give. Since I’m not a full time photographer I battle with my time. For now, photography has been only on the weekends. I hope to soon lay my apron to rest. Like I said, sometimes you have to take a risk to get what you want.

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?
Dallas is such an exciting city and I get to call it home. One of my favorite spots in Dallas is Deep Ellum. I love the artistic carefree vibe Deep Ellum portrays. Whether you are having brunch with your girls or having a Friday night Date Night, Deep Ellum is great. Also one of my favorite places to shoot! (haha photographer here) I love the city at night, driving with the windows down singing to whatever song is playing and enjoying myself. We would definitely go for margaritas at some Taco spot because Dallas has the best taco spots! Oh, I love tacos.

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 would not be where I am today if it weren’t for the support from my best friends, my boyfriend, and my family. I can literally say that my best friends were my very first “models”. Diana, Lizbeth, Letty, Monica, and Jasmine. It feels like just yesterday, me being a photographer was only an idea. I appreciate them so much as they were there from the start. My boyfriend, Joey is a huge factor in my support system. He believes in me when I don’t even believe in myself sometimes. He’s a huge reason for my growth and for that I am thankful. I would also like to give credit to all of the amazing creatives and DFW photographers I’ve had the honor to work with and learn from. Our community has turned into such a huge support system and I couldn’t be happier to be apart of that.

Website: www.ashmariephotos.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ashmarieportraits/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ashley.mcdonald.9212?ref=bookmarks

Nominate someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.