Ashley Durham is a wedding, family and senior photographer in southeastern Wisconsin and the owner of Ashley Durham Photography. “I’ve been in business since 2010, photographing couples and families all over the country.” Learn about Ashley Durham…
Hometown: Palm Springs, CA
First job: Hollywood Video back when VHS tapes were still a thing.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in WI: I love driving through the countryside and exploring new locations. Wisconsin has so much beauty to offer, from the cliffs of Devil’s Lake to the picturesque town of Lake Geneva, big cities like Milwaukee and Madison, a football game at Lambeau Field…Wisconsin has so much beauty and fun to offer!
Your biggest accomplishment and why: My biggest accomplishment is my family; I’ve been married to my just-out-of-high-school sweetheart since 2003, and together we have four kids. We have survived so much together – military deployments, multiple cross-country moves, cancer and so much more. I would not be successful without the people in my life, and I’m most proud of the family and life we have built together.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: Moving my business cross-country five times in 10 years. The photography industry can be very regionally specific for marketing, and being able to seamlessly relocate to entirely different markets while maintaining a certain level of success is no small feat.
Someone who inspires you and why: Without a doubt, my mom. She raised me to believe that I could do or be anything, if I worked hard enough and wanted it badly enough. She also taught me the importance of finding joy in what you do; she would tell me, “Discover what you love to do, and make a career out of it.” She always had to work just to pay the bills because she was a single mom for a very long time and had to start over later in life. She didn’t want me to work just to work – she wanted me to be able to pursue my passion because she wasn’t able to do that. She inspires me every day to be the best wife and mom I can be.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: What works for one person and their business does not necessarily mean it will work for you and yours. The beauty of photography and being a professional artist is that you can do whatever it is you want to do – and if you do it right, your target clients will find you. You don’t have to change who you are and what’s most important to you in order to be successful – you just have to be you.
Favorite quote: “The obstacle is the path.” I have no idea where I first heard it but, throughout the journeys of my life, this quote has come to be quite significant. It’s been the thought that has gotten me over the biggest mountains of doubt, through the valleys of fear, and all the other unknowns. Whatever is standing in my way is part of my journey.
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I wanted to work for National Geographic when I was younger. I always thought it would be incredible to travel around the world, telling stories through my camera and sharing things I learn.
What makes someone fabulous: Staying true to yourself and what you believe in.