I’ve always been enamored with floral artwork in general, but sometimes it seems the same sort of content is repeated and often seems expected. Our next featured artist, photographer Ashley Woodson Bailey, produces stunning photographs that are anything but ordinary. Ashley’s images have a dark and delicate appeal, depicting dramatic, moody floral still lifes. Even better than her beautiful artwork, is the story behind her passion and success. Check out our Q&A below for more details.
S: First of all, I’d like to say I’m a big fan of your artwork; you’re photographs are absolutely beautiful! Thanks for agreeing to answer a handful of questions. Let’s get to it!
S: Why flowers? Of all subjects and content-matter, has your work always been floral-related? I know you obtained your BFA from the University of Texas; did you begin exploring buds and blooms during your time there?
A: I have a serious love affair going on with flowers and have for many years. My images are always floral related yes-at least for now! When I was at UT I was a debutante. My parents hosted a party for me with the theme of A Midsummer’s Night Dream. I was very involved in transforming the space into an overgrown forest and this ultimately lead to my flower path.
S: I know you’ve probably answered this question a million times, but I love the story behind your success! Give us the gist of how your accident led to your career in floral photography.
A: My husband, baby and I were in a car accident 3 years ago. I broke my back, tore my aorta, duodenum, spleen, and broke many ribs. I was unable to do much of anything for a good while and wore a back brace for 7 months. During that time I began taking pictures of flowers with my iPhone. I started editing them with different apps for sheer entertainment and posting them on Instagram. And people began to ask if they could purchase my images-it was an accidental career that I am absolutely in love with.
S: l admire the way you portray floral arrangements in a dramatic, unexpected way. Other than high contrast, how would you describe your aesthetic?
A: Romantic, moody, dark, overgrown, bohemian.
S: Is it true that you shoot everything with your iPhone and edit in Afterlight? Contrary to what some people would say, it seems to me, this would be much more difficult.
A: All of the images that are currently for sale on my site are indeed shot with my iPhone and edited with Afterlight. I spend quite a bit of time editing and perfecting each print so they will print the way I want. I have started shooting with an Olympus camera that I love.
S: Your work has been gaining popularity and publicity- as it should! Was there a break-through moment?
A: When Jessica Alba selected one of my prints-that was pretty huge. And when Megan Morton from Sydney, Australia reached out to me and started bringing me over-that has been life changing.
S: What is your favorite flower to style and shoot?
S: Last one (the best for last)! Who are a few of your favorite artists?
A: Sally Mann, John Singer Sargent, Cy Twombly, Frida Kahlo, Katherine Sandoz, and Landon Nordeman.
Be sure to follow Ashley on Instagram and check out her shop. If you’re in the market for photography or new artwork, she’s doing amazing things! I’m nearly ready to pull the trigger and purchase this print for my master bedroom:
You can even find her artwork featured on Domaine, hanging in Jessica Alba’s home:
If you want to know even more about Ashley’s work, check out her recent interview with One Kings Lane, here. Enjoying our new series, Artist Spotlight? Be sure to support our featured artists and leave comments below on your favorite pieces. If you missed our first feature on painter, Lauren Stern, you can find her post here. Much love to Ashley for being so friendly and answering our questions!