There’s nothing like having an opportunity to build upon a craft of your own and make it into a miniature business. It’s definitely worth it for a college student during this economy to find ways to earn some extra bucks while slaving working at a minimum wage job. For me, this was the issue I came across and I decided to take a hobby of mine and turn it into a business of my own, while also perfecting on my craft.
Photography was a completely different turn for me because about a year ago I was more interested in modeling and I did a few photo shoots and fashion shows with local up-and-coming photographers and designers back in my city in Maryland. Even though I had been modeling since I was young, I didn’t see it going that far. I thought it would be just something I could do on the side, while really working towards my dream of becoming a fashion journalist.
So I decided to try something behind the scenes and something I could see myself being just as passionate about.
My passion for photography started during an unusual period of my life. While everyone was slaving over their books and trying to get their last minute papers completed, I was fortunately taking pictures for a journalism course at Seton Hill University (SHU) called Media and Culture, where I would be creating a Tumblr blog filled with my photography and descriptions of each shoot.
During Easter break in April I decided to pick up my dad’s Nikon D5000 camera and play around with it and to see if I was actually good at this craft I wanted to build. I love fashion and everything surrounding it, including its photography. I decided to base my photography around fashion for this project I would be completing. I decided to get two of my friends who loved to model and were into fashion culture and have them be my models.
We decided to visit a local lake around our city in Maryland where the scenery is nice and there are different locations to shoot at. This shoot consisted of a vintage type approach with some 90s grunge mixed into it. I was pleasantly surprised with the end results and the positive feedback I received. Over the remaining course of the spring semester I took photos of a bunch of my friends and fellow SHU students, including Nina Gladysiewshki, Craig Richards, Chantel Lima and Charles Moorehead to name a few.
I was building upon this new craft and I loved every minute of it. My favorite shoot happened to be with junior Nina Gladysiewshki, where we centered this shoot on modern-day hippy fashion. I felt so inspired because we were able to have a connection both with our love of fashion and modeling. It was easy for us to create poses and ideas.
However, I didn’t just want to center my photography on fashion, so I decided to branch out and do some action shots as well as headshots. I took SHU basketball player, Charles Moorehead, and decided this would be the perfect way to create an action shot using his love of basketball as the theme of the shoot. We were able to get one shot where he threw the ball into the air. It was extremely difficult but after a bunch of takes we finally were able to get it.
I continued taking photos and becoming more skilled. I decided as a side “job” during the summer I would start taking photos of people for an extremely reasonable price. With this struggling economy many people don’t have extra cash. I decided to continue my photography and charge individuals only $20 for 15 photos. I believe it’s a great way for anyone to have professional pictures done for an affordable price.
I hope to also continue this hobby in my career as a fashion journalist and even take some photos for a fashion magazine. During the summer, I plan on building my photography blog, ashleytolaniphotos.tumblr.com, and also building upon my craft of photography. Individuals looking to have a photo shoot done can email me at email@example.com.