Photos by Ashley Smoot

Ashley Smoot is a young photographer, living and working in Coral Gables whose work has a tinge of another era. Through her Instagram account she blends fantasy and reality, through analog images, collages and captured moments, that tell a unique story of a life well lived.  

How did get into photography?  
My first film camera was a Canon AE-1 given to me by my Grandfather when I was 16 years old. It is still my favorite camera to this day. I have been involved with film and photography since high school, but it wasn’t until after college that I really became devoted to the craft. Shortly after graduating, I went through a quarter-life crisis. No one ever really prepares you for it, but I think a lot of young adult’s experience it. I didn’t know where I was going and I was very hung up on decisions I had made in the past that I felt were holding me back in the present. I searched for an outlet. I remembered my camera. Creating photographs gave me the freedom to be expressive without the constriction of words. Images are powerful.

What’s the process to posting to Instagram? Is there one?  
I like to post when the image is captivating, when I have something to say, or when I just want to translate a mood. Although I worship aesthetic, I love the imperfectness of being human, so I try to share different ideas and moments I am presented with throughout my days. Most importantly, I want to post images that are inspiring, relatable, humorous, and euphoric.

What cameras do you shoot with? Analog or digital?
For analog, I have the Canon AE-1, a Pentax K1000, and an old Russian Zenit.  For digital, I use an Olympus Om-D. Oh and can’t forget my trusty iPhone 6s.

How would you explain your aesthetic?
Soft, vibrant, earthy, minimal, analog daydreams, and night ones too.

How did it develop?
My aesthetic is born from my love of romantic and surrealist art/cinema. My aesthetic inspirations: Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keeffe, Mark Rothko, David Lynch, French New Wave Cinema.

What influences you?
My environment influences me; I feel like I have a lifetime of content here in Miami. This city isn’t as populated as LA or NY. So much of it still exists to be discovered in new ways. Other influences include culture, fashion, texture, as well as the photography of my fellow peers. I feel constantly inspired by the content I’m seeing online!

If you did something else – what would it be?
If I did something else I would hope to be working in the film industry. I would love to be a part of a production/design crew. If not film, then I would love to be working with Nasty Gal just because I love Sophia Amoruso so much.
View Ashley Smoot's work.