Ashley Turner is an LA based photographer who has focused much of her work towards socially conscious brands who partner with global artisans around the world to promote long term job sustainability within developing countries. She has spent a lot of her adulthood splitting time between East Africa, and many other remote areas of the world where a lot of her inspiration derives from. When combined with her small town Americana roots, her work has the ability evoke honest spirit and emotion.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever gotten?
A mentor of mine once told me “trust the process.” It’s one that I’ve kept with me over the years. It can be so easy to get caught up in the what-if’s or over analyze certain chapters in our lives. But there is such beauty waiting to be discovered when we are able to let go of control and allow things to unfold the way they need to, even when uncomfortable or painful.
Where does your passion lie?
Equality. Doing what I am able to help others. Taking photos. African landscape, music art, and culture. Tapping into my imagination to bring editorial stories to life. All of our unique stories. Wildlife. Nature. Food as medicine. Dancing. Creating with my hands. Film.
What’s something weird that you recommend everyone trying at least once?
Although not that weird- I highly recommend everyone go explore a new place or travel another country solo, at least once. It’s a real chance to get to know yourself on a deeper level, follow that curiosity within, and there is something really special about enjoying your own company. Also, it truly opens you up to meeting strangers along the way, who often times can become lifelong friends.
What always lets you down and what never lets you down?
Hm, what lets me down? I’d have to say expectations. One thing I’ve had to learn multiple times is at the bottom of most disappointment lies false or unclear expectations, which can hold so much power if we allow it.
What never lets me down? Nature.
Is there anything you are putting off?
Oh goodness, yes. I have an array of personal projects stirring, but the past several years I have been on the road 75% of the time. I am now finally making the transition in being home more often so I can create the time, space, and daily routine (which has never felt so good) I need in order to start bringing these long held visions to life.
What do you wish you had more time for?
Can’t a girl just have 48 hours in a day? Ha j/k. I believe we can always make more time for anything if we really want to. One area I’ve really been desiring more of is time with my family and friends who are scattered all over the states, and the world for that matter. In my adult life I’ve always been very creative and career driven, and although that will always be important to me, life feels like it’s flying by lately so scheduling intentional trips to spend time with the people I love has become much higher on the priority list of what I am aiming making more time for.
What random stranger has had the biggest impact on your life?
I met a stranger in passing and he spoke profoundly about harmony, what it means to strive for it within ourselves, and the power it has to shift our interaction with others. The conversation wasn’t new to me, but more so his humble insight and honest approach. The wordharmony has stuck with me, and I can’t help but think if that outlook could overflow into the root of our society it could slowly have a positive effect on so many issues we are facing within our country.
What’s the weirdest tradition your family has?
Ha, well I come from a very untraditional family, but I’d have to say it’s playing Spoons at most big family gatherings, and we get pretty into it.
What always sounds like a good idea at the time but rarely is?
Mixing alcohol. Always stick with one. ;)
Whats your spirit animal?
What does sustainable living mean to you?
So many layers to this question but I’ll try to keep it simple. Sustainable living to me, is aiming to live in harmony with the environment as much as possible, staying aware of how/where the products I purchase are made, and planting as many long term seeds of change I am capable of, knowing I may never see them flourish.
One of my favorite quotes says it best, “let us plant dates even through those who plant them will never eat them. We must live by the love of what we will never see.” -Rubem Alves
What brings you joy?
The simple things in life. Camping, feeling that inner wild in the outdoors, sleeping under the stars, laughing with family and friends, animals, hanging out in my backyard and getting my hands dirty.