Floral photographer Ashley Woodson Bailey
I discovered Ashley Woodson Bailey's work where I find many creatives, Instagram.
Ashley is a Texan floral photographer. Her inaugural collection 'Dark' captures the transition of the flower from lovely blossom to dying stem. It's overwhelmingly beautiful.
I got in touch with Ashley to find out more about her photography and she revealed the inspiring story behind her art. The road wasn't an easy one, but it lead her to where she is today.
Your love of flowers began at an early age, how did it start?
I remember coming across honeysuckle vine when we lived in Galveston, Texas when I was about 4. I loved the scent and the taste- I wished I could eat all flowers.
The journey into floral photography wasn't a direct route, how did you find yourself there?
My husband, baby, dogs and I were in a horrible car accident in 2012. I broke my back, tore my aorta, my duodenum, my spleen, and broke most of my ribs. At the time I was a florist, producing big events and weddings. Being a florist is extremely labor intensive so I had to stop doing flowers the way I knew how. I knew I couldn’t live without flowers in my life so I started photographing my arrangements while I was healing. That is where the business came from!
Your collection, 'Dark', is inspired by all of the stages of life of a flower, from life through to death. What is it about the transition that captures you?
I think through my accident I realized how precious life really is and how we only have one life to live. Every day we all grow a little bit older and I feel like we should embrace the fact that we are lucky to be alive on this amazing planet. Flowers to me show that aging can be quite graceful.
You shoot a lot of your photographs on an iPhone. What is it about shooting on an iPhone that you like?
I love my iPhone. When I started this journey I did not own a camera so I just shot with what I knew. And the images that came from this incredible little bitty thing you hold in your hand were just astonishing. I am still shooting with my iPhone but have grown into my Olympus OMD that I love.
What creatives inspire you? Do they influence your work?
Oh goodness- Dries Van Noten is my dream. Alessandro Michele, who designs for Gucci, is also such a genius. Obviously I am very drawn to fashion. [Australian stylist] Megan Morton inspires me in a way I never knew possible. Maybe it is because she has become such an amazing friend but when we get together I can’t stop dreaming up new ideas. And art, so much art. Spending the day in galleries and museums, really any of them, directly influences my work.
You didn't always know you were going to be a photographer but now in your forties, you have found what you should be doing. What advice do you give to others who are searching for their meaning in life?
Embrace everything, the bad and the good. You just don’t know what is around the corner.
Find out more about Ashley in the video below:
Thank you Ashley for your time. Meeting people such as yourself is one of the reasons why I love blogging.