Ashley Garmon is a professional photographer based out of Austin, Texas.

Trained in the art of film photography, Ashley moved to shooting digitally in 2006 but soon became dismayed by the loudness of the format. “By loud, I mean that the colors are brighter, the images sharper—oftentimes to the point of absurdity. And people are constantly shooting with their smartphones, then uploading, sharing, and viewing everyone else’s images.”

Yearning to produce quieter, more thoughtful images, Ashley turned to her Holgas, toy cameras made out of plastic. The Holga’s cheap construction and convex-concave lens produces pictures with gorgeous natural distortions, as light leaks and other imperfections contribute to soft-edged, dreamlike images.

Shooting with a Holga takes considerable skill and patience. There are only 12 frames on each roll of film, so Ashley must be astute and deliberate in her work. Because the Holga is fairly primitive—with a fixed f-stop and shutter speed—she must carefully read the light before taking each photograph.

Another unique aspect of working with Holgas is not being able to predict exactly how a photograph will develop. “It’s always a treat to see how everything turns out.”

Ashley’s company, Ashley Garmon Photographers, is one of the premiere wedding photography companies in Texas and has been photographing weddings all over the world since 1998. Ashley has also photographed Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Fun Fun Fun Fest, and Sound on Sound Fest.

For some music festivals, Ashley exclusively works on aerial photos—big crowd shots that require hydraulic lifts to lift her high in the sky so she can hover above the crowd. (Luckily, Ashley is not afraid of heights.)

Ashley is a fifth-generation Texan, and most of her family currently lives in West Texas. Although she grew up in San Antonio, people often mistake her for being from West Texas. Recently, she decided to stop fighting this misconception. 

Ashley also has a golden retriever mix named Hedy Lamarr who gives hugs on command. Hedy is currently in charge of client communications.