We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Bohm and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ashley, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I’ve been interested in art and all things creative for as long as I can remember, and I think that paired with my entrepreneurial spirit (my favorite games to play as a kid were ones where my friends and I pretended to run a business) were what ultimately led me to pursue a career in photography. I discovered photography when I was in high school and fell in love with the medium instantly. My summers during high school were spent interning for my aunt, who had a photography business in upstate New York at the time, which was kind of a crash course in learning a little about the business side of photography. I shadowed her on shoots, held reflectors, put together photo books for clients, filed old invoices, and even weeded the backyard of her studio. Most of all, though, my time with my aunt planted the seed of someday starting a photography business of my own in my mind, and it was just this past year that (with the encouragement of my wonderful fiance) I decided to finally take the leap! I’ve been freelancing for a few months now and have worked with a variety of diverse clients and small businesses in need of professional photos for their product, brand, event, or even just some nice headshots or family photos. In just a few months, I’ve learned so much about working with clients, managing a small business, and I’ve grown a lot as a photographer and artist as well! I’m planning on going into 2022 armed with the lessons I’ve learned in 2021 and ready to take on even more unique and challenging projects!

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My background is in art and film photography, so it’s been an interesting challenge switching back and forth between that sort of work and the sort of work I do for clients, which has a much different “feel” from the work I make for my personal projects. I do manage to slip a little bit of my personal style into my freelance work, though; for example, I’ve always loved photographing environments, and when shooting portraits or group photos for clients, I like to feature a lot of the environment we’re shooting in, especially if we’re shooting in a location that’s important to the person being photographed. I think it helps create a bigger picture, and tie the person to the location, which is often a very important part of who they are! It’s been fun to find different ways of being creative while making work for others; I think it keeps the work engaging and fun for everyone involved!

As far as the business stuff goes, I went into this with a bit of prior knowledge as to how a small business is operated, having earned an AA in Entrepreneurship. Still, getting started as quickly as I did with my photography business, there were a lot of things I could have planned better for to make everything run more smoothly in the beginning. Going into the new year, I definitely want to put more effort into keeping my finances straight, upping my website and social media game, and come up with a pricing and package model for the work that I offer. I also want to try to do more of the work I love most, which is portraits, family, and couples photography!

I’ve definitely met with some challenges starting a new business, both professionally and personally, but in the end, I wouldn’t trade it for anything, and I know I made the right move. Photography is my biggest passion in life, and nothing makes me happier than knowing I’ve played a part in helping out other small businesses with their product photography or in providing a couple or family with fun photos that they can look back on for years to come.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I actually moved to Long Beach from San Diego this past summer, so I’m no expert — but I would definitely suggest they start with coffee and breakfast at Steel Cup, which honestly has some of the most unexpectedly AMAZING food in Long Beach, check out all the cool vintage shops and art spots on 4th Street, have dinner on 2nd Street in Belmont Shore (Saint & Second and Open Sesame are both great!), then walk off all that delicious food around the Shore, which is especially beautiful at night! Pine Street downtown also has some cool restaurants… and if you like film photography, definitely check out Relics on 4th! They have a huge selection of cameras, show local work, and they can even process all the rolls of film you’ll take during your trip to Long Beach 😉

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d definitely like to dedicate this shoutout first and foremost to my fiance, Jake, who is always so relentlessly encouraging of my growth as an artist and businessperson. His belief in me helps me to believe in myself! I’d also like to thank my photography teachers and mentors through the years for teaching me everything I know about the medium and encouraging me to always taking my work a step further.

Website: www.ashleybohm.com

Instagram: ashleyabohm

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ashleybohmphoto

Other: www.upwork.com/freelancers/~01e17c31aeb1ad97e6

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.