Lightbulb moments come in different forms and in Ashley Low’s case, it came from her brother over a family lunch. “He remarked that since I love photography so much, why didn’t I pursue it. Funnily enough, I didn’t think to embark on my hobby as a career,” Low says.
After seven years in advertising, with its late hours and constant stress, Low took a chance and started Ashley Low Photography after enrolling in a diploma course in image production in London.
Her decision to specialise in newborn photography was an emotional one, having experienced a difficult childhood under very strict parents.
“My mother, in particular, was very stressed having to care for her two kids and two elderly folk while working a part-time job. I was caned constantly for every little thing I did wrong. I grew up thinking my parents didn’t love me and ended up doing anything I could to spite them. Through my work now, I want to show newborns that they are loved by their families, and to help preserve that memory through photography.”
Low has also been able to help families through her work. She cites the example of a client who had been diagnosed with breast cancer and had undergone a mastectomy. When she was finally able to conceive, she had a maternity shoot which included a tastefully done topless shot as a reminder of the scars she had been through.
Another memorable shoot involved a newborn shoot where the parents included more than 400 needles in the set-up. The baby’s mother wanted to document how she had to use these needles throughout her pregnancy to counteract her thinning blood and how she managed to successfully deliver a healthy baby.
Low also shares about a memorial print for a close friend who passed away a year after his son’s newborn shoot. “He was only 36 years old. After his passing, I printed a huge canvas as a gift to his wife and son. Just a simple picture of the family, for his son to always remember his dad.”
It’s these snapshots of moments in time that gives Low a deeper connection to the work she’s chosen to pursue.