15 Mar INSPIRING YOUNG PHOTOGRAPHERS: Ashleigh Scully
I am very excited to introduce you to Ashleigh Scully. I ran across Ashleigh’s work on the internet a few weeks ago. What caught my attention most was not only her show-stopping images but the inspiration behind her work. Ashleigh uses her beautiful photos to raise awareness about wildlife and also to tell stories about wildlife conservation. How’s that for inspiration?
Here’s our interview with Ashleigh…
KPA: KPA kids all have different ways they got interested in photography. Tell us about how you started your journey with photography.
AS: I became interested in photography when I got a small Olympus camera for my 8th birthday. I went around my yard photographing the snakes, turtles, frogs, toads, and any insects I could find.
KPA: We talk a lot about photography being one more way to express yourself, tell a story or share a message to others. What story or message do you want to share with people who are looking at your photographs?
AS: The message I want to send to other people is that animals are not harmful..specific ones like foxes, coyotes, wolves, bobcats, owls etc. I want to show people the emotion and love the animals have in my photos to hopefully change their perspective in a positive way.
KPA: What piece of advice would you give a young photographer?
AS: A piece of advice I would give to younger photographers is to pick up your camera and walk around your yard. It doesn’t matter how long of a lens you have, or what your subject is. Just keep practicing wherever and whenever you can.
KPA: What piece of advice would you give to the parents of kids interested in photography?
AS: A piece of advice I would give to the parents is to drive your child around to any local wildlife refuge, captor rehabilitation center, or any nearby spot that has a variety of wildlife.
KPA: Can you share a memorable photo experience with our KPA kids?
AS: One memorable experience I had photographing was when I was in Idaho photographing. I was photographing Great horned, and Longeared owls. The long-eared owls nest in Magpie nests, which are common black and white birds that feast on roadkill, and are similar to ravens, but smaller. It was extremely windy out, and all of the high grass but blowing into my eyes and giving me slight allergies, so I couldn’t stop rubbing them. I was walking down a narrow path filled with branches of the long tree and bush line, searching for any fledglings from a recently active Long-eared owl nest. I saw this one particularly large magpie nest, so I decided to get closer. It was tucked into this one willow bush, but as soon as I came close enough, the huge porcupine stared me down and I felt my heart drop into my stomach. That was the first, and hopefully biggest porcupine I had ever seen. Now, I ran form life back to my dad afraid that it was chasing me. But, that was when I had thought porcupines could shoot quills at you. That is a lesson learned, because they can’t. Anyway, after some convincing, I eventually went back and photographed the big porcupine, who hadn’t moved an inch since he/she saw me.
KPA: What thought process do you go through as you prepare for a photo shoot? Do you have a routine that you follow?
AS: The process I go through before a shoot is imagining my composition, imagining the landscape, what my settings will be according to the weather, and I try to imagine what the subject will be doing, so I always have my camera turned on and ready.
KPA: Having a personal project is a great way to grow in photography. Do you have a personl project you’d like to share with us?
AS: One personal project I am working on now is shooting animal scapes. This means that it is not all about getting close and getting a head shot, but its about keeping your distance farther than usual, and capturing the animal in its environment. It has been successful so far, but it has taught me the lesson that its not all about how close you get, or how long your lens is in order to capture the profile, but you can also back away, and watch the animal in its environment, instead of getting major detail on the nose.
Thanks for sharing your images and thoughts with us Ashleigh! We look forward to seeing more of your work over the years to come.