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Meet Ashlee Larson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashlee Larson.

Hi Ashlee, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I grew up loving taking pictures with my dad. He always helped push me creatively with photography (he still does) and helped me grow a love for it. I was at Salt Lake Community College for two years, one of those years focusing on photography. Focusing on just photography helped ignite my love for being behind the camera but I didn’t want to ruin my love for photography so I changed courses for schooling. I have done photography on the side for over five years, mostly doing nature shots and starting building some cliental. The professor at SLCC was by far the best at teaching photography, where I learned a lot about my camera and editing knowledge. Now, I have been focused on learning by myself with the help of my parents, supporting me through every step.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It by far has not been a smooth road. When I first got into photography, I wanted to end up in National Geographic. While I was taking some of my photography classes, I found out that the best way to do so is to practice as much as possible, and build clientele to do so. I started to lose some of my passion for photography toward the end of my year with my focus on it completely. When I took the step back to focus on some other passions, I reignited that love for photography. For four years, I transferred from SLCC to Utah Valley University, I focused on psychology and I had the chance to bring my creative side back into my school work. I was doing photoshoots on the weekends, as well as my day-to-day job during the week. I now am back to focusing on what I loved about photography and taking a lot more pictures.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I have multiple things that I have been passionate about for years and have now been able to put them all together. During the school year, I work with students experiencing homelessness. This job has brought me so much patience, understanding, and love into my life. During the summer months, I work with students with disabilities. These students are incredible and have taught me so much about perseverance. Lastly, I do photography on the side of all of this. This is something that helps me bring to light the creative side of me. I am definitely most proud of making it through school. I changed my major three times before I decided to get a degree in Psychology. I finished my Bachelor’s degree this May. I am now checking into graduate schools to end up getting my master’s or doctorate’s degree in School Psychology. This is something that I have worked extremely hard on and am extremely passionate about.
All of this sets me apart from others because I am able to use both sides of me to relate with others. I don’t just have one thing that I do in life, instead, I have been working hard on multiple things. I have different backgrounds that all correlate with each other in some sort of way. I have been working so hard the last few years to get where I am at and I still have a ways to go in where I want to be. My clients from all of my jobs have inspired me and made me better.

Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
My biggest piece of advice is to not give up. There were multiple times when I didn’t feel like I was good enough so I wanted to give up on my passions. Those times made it hard to want to push through but reaching my goals was always a priority. The thing that I really wish I knew before starting out was to get advice from as many different professionals as you can. I would not be anywhere in my career if it were not for others. My bosses at my day-to-day job have always been willing to give advice and have helped me immensely. Other photographers that I have built rapport with have also given me some of the best advice. The last thing I would suggest is to take advantage of any classes that you can get into. These classes help teach you tips and tricks that you cannot get anywhere else.

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