Ashton Herman - California
SV: Hey Ash! Thanks for taking the time for these questions. It’s good getting back in touch since your first YOURS blog in July 2018. We’re stoked to see your photography evolve over the years to see where you are now.
Yeah no worries, it’s always been a pleasure! So glad we’ve been able to keep in touch throughout the years - love what you guys do and appreciate you guys for the ongoing support and letting me use your platform to share some words and photographs. 
SV: First of all, how old are you? Where abouts are you from? How did you get into photography? 
I actually just turned 18 years old a little over a week ago, so many lessons learned in these past 18 years, excited to see what the whole adulthood thing brings haha! 

I was born in San Francisco, CA and after a few years moved to Long Beach, CA and have been here ever since! 
I got into photography through seeing tons of amazing work online from people like Chris Burkard, Morgan Maassen, etc. Eventually, I ended up getting a little $20 waterproof point and shoot camera for Christmas one year, I was only 10 years old at the time and from that point on I absolutely fell in love with it and ever since then that love and passion has done nothing but grow immensely over the years. 


SV: What’s it like living in Cali? And what is the surf culture like there for those who haven’t been?
Living in California has been interesting to say the least, it definitely has its ups and its downs! I think the entire Californian coast is incredible, by far one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever got to explore - the thing about California is - you gotta know where to go and once you find those places you’ll never wanna leave! 

As far as the surf culture goes it’s the same sort of thing, all depends on where you are! There’s tons of great history all over the place but as far as crowds and just good human beings out in the water it can be a bit tough to find haha! Lots of people with jock mentalities and it kind of takes away from the fun, it’s like come on were all here for the same reason - drop the ego. If you go to the right spots you can get some great waves with some of the nicest and most down-to-earth people you can ever meet and that always makes it all that much better! 
SV: What are you shooting with at the moment?
I shoot with a variety of cameras and lenses, it all depends on what I’m shooting to be completely honest, they all have their own purpose. Here’s a list of my go-to cameras as of recently! 
Canon 7d mark ii (digital)
Mamiya RB67 (medium format film)
Contax G1 + TLA 140 flash (35mm film) 
SV: Who do you draw inspiration from?
Ah this is a tough one, the list seriously goes on and on - and no, I’m not just saying that haha! A few people that come to mind at the moment would be Chris Burkard, Woody Gooch, Morgan Maassen, Ray Collins, Alexandre Soutre, Mark Mcinnis, Zak Bush, Todd Glaser, Emily Soto, Rosie Matheson, and Cole Barash. I mean I could go on and on those are just some people off of the top of my head. 
Those are also all photographers, different types of course but I also draw inspiration from several different things consisting of Artists of all mediums, Musicians, Writers, Athletes, etc.  
SV: Favourite place/things to shoot? No need to name specific breaks.
My favorite place is always gonna be anywhere in nature, I know that sounds cliche but it’s true. It’s what has got me into photography and what has kept around. Anything from crazy landscapes, to perfect waves, etc. I love it all! Although recently I’m trying to learn more about working in studios and lighting. It’s another part of my craft that I’ve yet to experiment with and I’ve seen people create some crazy work with different lighting, backdrops, etc. - makes me excited to get some studio time in at some point and learn! 

Throughout these last 8 years or so surfing has always been a favorite, as of lately I’ve gotten REALLY into shooting more portraiture, editorial, and commercial, styles of photos. I don’t want my surf work to define me by any means and I’m 100% not gonna let it. I feel like as an artist there are no boundaries if you wanna make a certain type of work, go for it! Go invest your time and money into that body of work and make it the best you possibly can, if you really love it then the only thing stopping you is yourself! 
SV: Do you find time to surf in-between all your photography?
I used to be really into surfing when I was younger but over the years photography has completely taken over, I want to get back into it tho. Occasionally I’ll just go for swims and what not but anytime I’m in the ocean I love to document it if necessary.
SV: What do you do in your spare time?
Most of my time is taken up by photography these days - constantly sending out emails, editing, brainstorming, etc. and I wouldn’t want it any other way, I love what I do! Although at times it can get very stressful and I think a lot of artists can relate to this, by no means are these career path’s easy, there are lots of late nights, early mornings, time’s where you doubt yourself, I mean the list goes on and on. Sometimes it’s good to just take a step back, set the camera down, and live a little. 

But for me, I’m pretty obsessed with collecting photobooks, spending time at the beach, and going on road trips up the coast, oh yeah - and rock climbing has been pretty fun as well. 
SV: Plans for 2020?
There’s so much I want to do in 2020, a majority of it bring related to my personal self and my career. I can’t give too much away because a lot of it is personal goals that I’ve set for myself but one thing is that I will be graduating high school soon, I’m currently on my last year and once I get this out of the way 100% of my time will go to photography!

I’m hoping in 2020 I get to learn from and assist tons of great photographers and artists as well as build my bodies of work up more and more any chance I get!
A year of constant growth is what I’m looking for, I’m still young so soaking up information now is huge for me - you can never know it all and you are always a student to the game!
SV: Cheers Ash!
Thank you guys.




February 11, 2020 — SURF VISUALS

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