We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Sophia and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashley, what habits do you feel play an important role in your life?
My biggest habit is finding way to turn all my hobbies into profiting businesses. In my main job, I am a Sr. Biomedical Engineer, but have a strong penchant for all things artistic. I started off with drawing and jewelry making, which I have been doing since I was 10 years old. I started my business, HOLTIV, in 2018, initially to pay off my hobby as I was still paying off my student loans. In turn, I had to learn marketing, website building, SEO, and other key elements to business. I still loved drawing, but was also doing some graphic designing at work, so I decided to get a camera to take photos and learn how to Photoshop creative edits. This was how Adenis Photography was born, in which I further learned the art of building a business and gaining customers. I ended up making $2000 the first month of going live, which I then invested into learning Real Estate Wholesaling, giving birth to my LLC. After I took a hiatus from photography due to depression, I coped with depression by doing TFP photoshoots as a model. This soon turned into runway modeling, then professional modeling with various agencies. Someone from The Young Agency told me “since you’re a model, you might as well act,” so I soon tried it out for fun. This turned into me doing it professionally, and collected 5 IMDb credits to date. In turn, I now have various avenues for self-employment, and am closer to achieving financial freedom – all doing things I love. Also in turn, I sharpened my skills in all careers, since the work ethic, mindset, and technical skills all intermix in ways I never realized. Every day is exciting, because I am constantly improving at various aspects of my life.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I specialize in portraying parts of your personality into photography work, through graphic/photo manipulation. I consider myself more of a graphic artist and place heavy focus on mood & symbolism. There are so much of photography that focuses purely on aesthetics, but I want to present photography in a way where you connect on a personal level. I believe art is subjective, so the most important person is the customer who will have the piece of art forever. It was definitely not easy. Photography, or any business built from the ground up, is thousands of dollars on equipment, thousands on advertising, thousands of hours building skill, and thousands of hours of editing. I personally don’t struggle with technical skill or marketing, so my challenges were customer related. Like any customer service jobs, you will encounter difficult people. I’ve had people who would not stand still, yell at me at events when drunk, request photos an hour after the shoot, request all unedited photos, show up hours late, demand more photos than they paid for, blackmail, etc. I learned that contracts are extremely important, so I put all my terms and conditions very clearly. I also send customers informational links on my website to help them understand what to expect, like tips on what to wear, how to do makeup if they choose to use it, how long it takes to deliver photos and why, and allow them to send me Pinterest ideas so that I can deliver what they have in mind. I want the world to know that my work is more than looks. It’s about capturing the person – aspects of their personality and life.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I absolutely love the Riparian Preserve in Mesa! It has such diverse ecosystems in one place. For hiking, I suggest the Superstition Mountains. It is very beautiful, and has lakes as well. I also love Casino Arizona’s buffet for food, which is very inexpensive for quality, delicious food. We also have so many great, small local restaurants. I love Steve’s Espresso, Lustre Rooftop Bar, and many other small gems.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I learned a lot about photo manipulation from Youtube, specifically the channel “Photoshop Tutorials.” I also need to thank my best friend, Tyler, for getting me photoshop & formal education. I also learned so much from modeling. Photographers like Joe Gutierrez helped me so much with directing posing. Wulfenbear Media taught me a lot about lighting, color filtering, positioning, angles, & attention to details. Larry Hayes of Prairie Town Productions helped me a lot on moods, personality, and backdrops.