Featured Photographer - Ashtin Paige

Ashtin Paige

Ashtin Paige

What photographers have been the biggest influence on you?

Oh gosh, I have so many... I look up these photographers' work almost every day. Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Cecil Beaton, Helmut Newton, Erwin Blumenfeld, Bill Cunningham, Vivian Maier, Alex Sainsbury, Alessio Bolzoni, Peter Lindbergh, Annie Leibovitz, Arthur Elgort and more recently, Juergen Teller.

What magazines and websites do you look at for inspiration?

I'm always looking for inspiration anywhere I can but these magazines and websites have been good to me and my creative process: Nylon, The Gentlewoman, The Great Discontent, WWD, Union, The Travel Almanac, Dazed, Violet...and Pinterest! Duh.

Photograph by Ashtin Paige for Emlee Designs

Photograph by Ashtin Paige for Emlee Designs

How have you handled the collaboration process when working with a fashion designer?

I've been a fan of Acorn + Archer for some time now and worked with Carolyn once before a year ago. I love that we were paired up because she is a FUN hang. Carolyn challenged me to be more playful and less zeroed in on the "process" of making art and to use my imagination to make art. It sounds odd, but for me, I can get so hung up on a particular idea and take it way too literally. This collaboration process has taught me that it's okay to let go and get weird.

What three words would you use to describe your work?

Work in progress.

How did you become a photographer?

My mother dabbled in modeling and photography at a young age. I remember finding some photos she took and developed in high school and admiring those moments in time - the light, the clothes, the expressions. All of it. I was gifted a polaroid camera when I was about 11 years old and would make my friends model for me; using fashion magazines as a reference. I'd read the articles after studying all of the photos first. When I was 18, I was asked to take engagement photos for a friend's cousin. After that, the bookings kept coming in and I knew photography was what I wanted to pursue full-time.

What advice would you give young people who want to be a photographer?

Be gracious with yourself. It's easy to feel as if you have to have your aesthetic figured out right away and the truth is, you don't. Let yourself discover what you're drawn to and inspired by. Ask questions. Step outside of your comfort zone once in awhile - you'll surprise yourself.

Kelsey Waters by Ashtin Paige

Kelsey Waters by Ashtin Paige

What was the most fun you’ve had on a shoot?

I use playlists that represent the tone of the shoot I'm working on to get in the right frame of mind and during this one particular shoot that was more of an ambient vibe, Beyonce randomly came on. I have no idea how or why. I nervously looked at the client, whom I had just met, and suddenly a mini-dance party broke out. Everyone was so relaxed after that moment! Naturally, because... Beyonce. Definitely didn't hate that.

What are the limitations/advantages of being a photographer in Nashville?

The advantage I've found is the community and I know I'm not the first to say that. The community is truly unmatched --there is room for everyone. The people here are equally invested in their relationships as they are in their work. We take care of each other. I look up to so many photographers in town and admire what they are accomplishing. I admire them even more for being kind humans. Nashville is becoming more and more aware of the creative community and recognizing the value our contributions add to this city. Can you tell I love it here? Nashville also has its limitations for certain photo work at times whether it's finding the right client or the right budget to support their vision.

What is your favorite subject?


See Ashtin's photographs and her collaboration with Acorn + Archer at the next Fashion Happening on October 15. Get your ticket here.