Ashley Sophia Clark
words Zarah Cheng
All images are from Ashley's portfolio.
How would you describe your photography style?
Lo-fi visual post-it notes. Tiny meditations on multiple realities. Heart centered.
Who are your favourite subjects to photograph?
I like to photograph feelings. There are lots of themes I seem to revisit and have a fondness for. Hair, flash, party favours, household items not used for their intended purpose, light in dark places, shadows in bright places, magic, moods, flowers, energy, tension, things that are already full of their own vocabulary.....
A lot of your images seem to prompt this moment of, “What’s going on here…” What is usually going on in some of the more bizarre situations?
I think I love the idea of unsolved mysteries. It’s just so fun to collaborate and play around with my rad, multidimensional friends and see what strange messages the universe sends for us to channel. I like to leave lots of space for that to happen. Oftentimes I won't know exactly how or why we got from one point to another and I find that kind of liberating. I definitely prefer question marks to periods.
Describe a typical shoot.
Ha! I don't think I know how to have a typical shoot. Each one seems to turn into its own thing completely. This can be totally exhilarating and/or give me anxiety – it’s usually some hybrid of both. I like to think of shoots as little happenings/tiny parties, because they usually feel very collaborative and connecting. Every person I take a picture of is helping to create and channel ideas through their bodies – plus they also help me string tennis balls to the ceiling with fishing wire, blow up hundreds of balloons, and drive all over town to help me find fake hair.
I love the bonds that form from these strange situations. I am also not very concerned with technical proficiency. I like things kind of messy and a little out of focus. Most of the time I forget to turn the flash on or off, something malfunctions, and/or we are running out of time. My favourite images usually come from supposed mishaps. It reminds me that nothing can ever really be a mistake.
Is there a particular photographer that inspired you to start taking photos?
I really love this series by Alessandra Sanguinetti called The Life That Came; Rineke Dijkstra's beach portraits; and my dad's snapshots from the 70’s and 80’s. I am inspired by so many types of communication though – Ana Mendiata's Silueta series; Lucrecia Martel's film, La Cienega; Lorrie Moore's short stories; Sophie Calle's Exsquisite Pain; Jenny Holzer's Trusims....anyone and/or anything that is able to provoke multidimensional, unexpected feelings.
How do you hope viewers react to your work?
I hope that they feel their feelings!
What is the weirdest experience you’ve ever had? Ever.
Well, I saw a UFO on a road trip in Baja once, but that doesn't even seem all that weird anymore. I'm a Gemini and I love all things unusual, so I hope the weirdest is still en route!
What’s your favourite breakfast cereal?
Ironically, I don't eat cereal, but I do think Froot Loops are the most photogenic!
If you had to pick one song to play in the background while someone looked at your photos, what song would it be?
Probably something by Elliott Smith, his songs will always make me feel my feelings.
What creeps you out the most?
Strange noises in the night and emotional coldness. I wish sunrays upon everyone!
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