One to Watch: Behind the Lens with Photographer Ashley Barrett

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With major fashion campaigns like True Religion, Arden B., Dior, 7 For All Mankind, and Delia’s, and editorials in Elle, Allure, FOAM, and Seventeen under his belt, it’s safe to say that Ashley Barrett has a good eye—as well as a moderate camera obsession.

We caught up with the LA-based photographer to talk Nikon, improv, and David Fincher. Check out his POV and recent fashion editorial below.


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Hey Ashley! Let’s get right to it. What genre do you prefer—fashion or lifestyle photography?
Totally mood dependent, but I love when I can toe the line between both.

Which lens/camera is your favorite?
Shooting with different cameras keeps everything fresh for me. I’ve recently gone back to my roots, working more with film cameras… Contax T2, Nikon F100, Pentax 67. Lately the Contax G2 with 45mm lens gets the most play.

What’s your moodboarding process like? How do you conceptualize each editorial?
I like for us to have a loose concep—-a rough idea of the vibe we’re going for–but I typically don’t map out each shot too much. For me, spontaneity is huge. It’s nice to leave a little space for improv. That’s where I find the gems.

Can you tell us a bit about the locations you shot for this editorial?
Jim Trzaska, the art director on this, had a vision of the model being on the streets of New York, but we didn’t want a specific neighborhood feel. So, we kept it pretty general… subway stops, pizza joints, etc. We wanted New York to be identifiable, but not a “character” if that makes sense. We shot it all within a 4 block radius in SOHO.


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Whose style is inspiring you right now?

I get most of my inspiration from movies. I’ll watch a David Fincher film and be on a mission to shoot something ominous or in the shadows. Then, I’ll watch a film from the 70’s and want to shoot something really grainy and bright. Even the emotion of a movie can inspire a concept.

Fincher is everything. What’s your editing process like?
Really minimal. If I shoot film, there’s really not much retouching to do at all except some levels.. When I’m shooting digital I’ll play with contrast and color a bit, but I’m not into the really perfect/fake look.

You travel a lot for shoots—any great trips recently?
Honestly, I’ve been to New York a million times and it’s still my favorite. I’m so inspired there. I’m forever happy to come home to LA, though.


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Speaking of, what’s your favorite place for a late-night bite in LA?
I don’t know how “late night” it is, but my latest addiction is a Korean BBQ place called Quarters.

I’ve never had a bad night in Koreatown. What neighborhood do you live in?
Playa Del Rey. I’ve lived here for over a decade now. It’s changed a lot in that time, but it’s still one of the most mellow neighborhoods in LA.

It’s super peaceful down there. What’s your favorite spot in LA to shoot at?
Downtown. You can make Downtown LA look like anywhere. That’s the beauty of the place.


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Photographer: Ashley Barrett | @ashleybarrettphotography

Art Director: Jim Trzaska | @jimstagram511

Model: Steph Cam at Supreme Management  | @steph_cam

Stylist: Naheed Hadjisoffi at Next Artists | @naheedstyles

Hair & Makeup: Roberto Morelli at Link Management  | @robertomorelli1

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