We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Flug and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashley, do you think college made a positive impact on your life and career? Do you think it was worth the price tag?
Ever since I can remember I always wanted to be a photographer. I went through high school photographing friends for fun and knew I wanted to go to college for photography. I went to a community college in Minnesota (that is where I am from) for 3 years. I did learn a lot in terms of shooting manual, how to use Lightroom and Photoshop and shooting and developing film (which was so much fun). We also did some basic studio photo sessions. The main thing I was able to take away from college and use in my photography career was shooting manual and using Lightroom and Photoshop. I really wish I would have done some research in photography before jumping into college. There are so many workshops, mentorships and other learning tools for photographers out there that I could have saved A LOT of money. I have been out of college for 10 years and I am still paying off my student loan debt. On top of that I have paid a lot of money for workshops and mentorships to be where I am today in my photography. I think college did help me start my photography career but it was definitely NOT worth the price tag. If I had known before going to college of all the resources out there, I would have skipped it and focused on workshops and mentoring since that is really what helped get me to where I am as a photographer as well as getting my business started.
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.
I am a light and airy photographer located in Buckeye, AZ. I offer both color and black and white images to my clients. I have also been doing a lot more film photography alongside my digital photography and I love it so much. It really makes me stop and pay attention to my shots instead of just snapping away like I would with my digital camera. I love the way film photography has brought me to see photography in a whole different way. It has taken me a long time to get where I am today. I have done a lot of workshops and mentorships to figure out what type of sessions I wanted to focus on and how to achieve the light and airy look that I love so much. Like every photographer you have to start somewhere. It was not easy getting to where I am today, there was a lot of trial and error. When I started to pay more attention to the way I photographed each session, such as the backdrop or the clients outfit color choices, to make sure that I get the same look every session, that is when things changed for me. There is so much to learn in photography and each year I find a new way to push myself to be better.
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 love Sedona! There are so many gorgeous hiking trails and activities to do there. I love all the cute little shops and restaurants. My families favorite place to hang out in Sedona is slide rock. Gorgeous scenery and so much fun to keep the kiddos entertained.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The photography community in Arizona is SO amazingly helpful. Everyone is so kind and stand behind community over completion. There are so many Facebook groups for photographers out there but to the few main people who have helped me become the photographer I am today, Shoutout to Amanda Cromer, Matthew Wheeler, Lynette Benham and Ace Fanning.