Hi, my name is Ashton Garner, and I am an Atlanta-based photographer and digital artist. Photography, illustration, and graphic design are my main passions, and I even do videography from time to time. I love just about anything creative, and I'm constantly working to learn new things. I love to knit (seriously, I have about three projects in progress at any given time). I have an odd affinity for donuts to the point that I made a mug with a donut as a handle in my high school ceramics class. Come to think of it, donuts are probably why I love The Simpsons so much. However, the things I'm known for most (my Brand™, if you will) are avocados and the color purple. I've honestly lost track of how many avocado memes I've been tagged in. I have a quirky sense of humor, and I'll laugh the hardest at my own jokes. Enough about me, though. Let's get down to business.
What's your backstory?I got my start in photography in high school, where I took a class that - ironically - I didn't do so well in. I learned the fundamentals and rules of photography with a simple point-and-shoot camera, and since then, I've continued to work with photography as a medium and learned that those rules are made to be broken.
After high school, I got my first DSLR camera and started to do my own thing with photography rather than following guidelines from class assignments, and ended up in concert photography. The lights [, camera,] and action made me fall in love with the creative side of editing and really let me experiment with colors and develop my style. I knew what style I wanted, so I taught myself the basics all over again to help myself achieve the look I was going for, and the result is an amalgamation of the photos I've shown on my website.
As I learned about concert photography, I was able to join publications that allowed me to express myself through my photos and even expand my horizons into creative portrait and lifestyle photography. I'm so grateful to have friends who have been willing to go out and adventure with me whenever I've had a new idea for a shoot.
After a while of building up my portfolio, I began to book shoots. That opened so many doors for me, and I've been able to photograph events, festivals, portraits, and so much more.
You've talked about finding your style. What is it?There are two styles to my photography:
First is the warm, inviting style. When I imagine this style, I think of coffee shops and sunsets - inspiring places and sights. I love sunny colors with neutral browns and vibrant greens and blues. This style reflects the true colors of the subject and surrounding environment with just a touch of extra sunlight. It's a natural and ageless style that looks great with just about anything.
Second is the cool, wild style. I call this my "fairy tale" style, since the colors are more punchy and outlandish. I love using cotton candy colors in this style. I'm more likely to use various highlight colors such as blue, green, or pink, with deep orange or yellow shadows. This style is used to convey strong moods or visual aesthetics that push an almost tropical vibe. Think of all the patterns and colors of a Hawaiian shirt: this style is those shirts.
What are your beliefs?I believe that everyone has the right to feel confident. I love working with people and making sure they think they look their best, and being able to provide images that reflect their best, natural self.
I believe that it's important to be able to give clients photos that are purely them. I love being able to tweak my edits to fit the vibe of each session while maintaining my overall style. That way, each set is individually tailored toward the client while they still get the types of photos they're looking for.
I believe in the details. Of course posing is great and even necessary in photography, but the candid is where the true self comes out. The laughter, the interaction, the environment; every detail - even the minuscule - is important to tell each client's story.
I believe in versatility. It's okay to specialize, but it's also okay to be diverse. I love being able to provide photos for a client that are off the beaten path, if that's what they're looking for. I love natural and candid shots, but I also love the super-styled shoots where each pose is inspired and specific (read: awkward 80s portraits).
I believe that these photos are about you. I want you to feel your best, be confident, and trust that you're in good hands. I want to be there to support you from behind the camera. I want to build you up to be the best you can be, but most of all, the most candid and natural you can be. I want to tell your story.
What's your backstory?
I was always an art kid in school. I drew and doodled a lot, so in my second year of college, I switched my major from creative writing to graphic design. The classes were all online, and although I did well in them, they kind of put me off of continuing to learn about graphic design in a school setting. Although I ended up switching my major from graphic design to film in the end, I continued to learn how to use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop on my own and became (almost) completely self-taught.
Throughout college, I continued to work on designing and illustrating while maintaining my film school workload, and started posting my work online (the first comic I ever posted online went viral, which was mind-blowing to say the least). I joined some Facebook groups about design to help myself learn more about the different types of design and their uses. Around this same time, I began designing for friends and made my way to other clients.
Since then, I've had some really cool opportunities. I have been given the opportunity to work in both print and digital media, which both come with their unique challenges. I've been able to constantly test and expand my skills along the way, creating logos, album covers, tour and movie posters, gift bags, greeting cards, and even wrapping paper.