Burke Residency 23: Ash Pangelinan Norman•
Posted on January 07 2023
MAGGIE: Hi Ash! I'm so excited to feature some of your newest photography work through the Burke Residency program! Can you introduce yourself and share a bit about your path to photography?
ASH: Maggie! I would love to mention that through your kindness and faith in an up and coming somebody, I wouldn’t be where I am without you, thank you. My name is ASH :), I’m from southern CA, born and raised, I love photography as a means to expand my community and dig deeper into myself. I’ve always been around cameras, working in the fashion industry I had the opportunity to style a few shoots, and I modeled for a short period, and I still have an interest in being in front of the camera. In searching for myself, I decided to buy a camera in 2020 with the help of someone I was terribly close to, I wish I could thank them too... Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy being in front of the camera and being behind the scenes assisting, but there is something special about holding a piece of metal that can record something only you can perceive, literally stopping time. The following year I ventured into analogue photography, and I was obsessed, I craved to be outside fiddling with the settings, learning about patience and really understanding composition. I taught myself everything, thank you to the platform that streams informative videos! Now, here I am a little over two years and I find myself still in love with every process, from developing the film to erasing all the little specks of dust after I’ve scanned the film.
M: I've worked with you through Burke in multiple ways in the past including
fashion styling and lookbook/web photography. How have these skills and
passions of yours informed the direction you're taking in your work today?
A: I’m pretty surprised to see where I am now compared to those first few photoshoots I did with you. From communicating with different people on a professional level, to learning my boundaries and sticking to them I found what fulfilled me the most. Standing firm in my boundaries was huge for me because I had to learn how to say no and ask for what I wanted especially when it came to understanding my worth; that was the biggest lesson that I’m still working through. My ability to communicate with people on different levels really solidified my path, I learned I take a lot of joy from getting to know people. With photography it makes it even easier to connect, as soon as you learn how to really talk to someone, the more authenticity you can extract from them and then translate that energy through the photo. You can really feel the emotions, and that’s what makes a powerful image, not the extra hoops and edits but the person you’re locking eyes with.
M: Your viewpoint is always so beautiful and thoughtful. What is your process for finding and selecting the subjects and settings you photograph? Additionally, what are your main sources of inspiration?
A: Like I mentioned, I love people, since I could remember I’ve always had this knack with peeps. They gravitate towards me whether those interactions are negative or positive. Now I find myself just going up to people and striking up conversation and then asking if we could shoot. My process for finding subjects is as simple as that, I see someone who fills an area with all this consuming energy, screaming “look at me”, “talk to me”, and I snatch that feeling and shoot my shot (lol). I don’t always get a yes, but through those yes’s I’ve gained the most wonderful friends, I think that’s how you and I met, we just started chatting. I like to use natural light for my photos so I usually just walk around the city with a model and start shooting. My main sources of inspiration are life itself, people and what they create, ART! and my dreams. They’re so vivid, I have this one idea of hanging my photos from the ceiling of some barn because I saw it in a dream, ha! I’ll make it happen!
M: I love that you're always challenging yourself and pushing your practice in
new directions. Do you feel like you find more direction and inspiration
from traditional education settings, or work experience? Is it both? Or is it
more intuitive decision making?
A: Great question, it has all been intuitive, following this here gut, that’s where I find the most direction and inspiration. I do what feels right. There was a point where I was like hey, I don’t need school, so I dropped it for a few years, I don’t regret that at all. Now I’m back, probably the best decision for me, I got to learn myself and what I wanted to make of myself during that break. The mentorships I’ve gained and the people I befriended through schooling changed my mindset on life. I didn’t know I was capable of being a part of an exhibition or having my photos displayed because of something a professor saw in me through my work. All these opportunities came to me because I trusted myself.
M: Any future plans or goals for your art practice that you want to share?
A: I don’t have any specific plans at the moment, but I have this aching in me almost, to do more, using different mediums to share myself, I want to be as vulnerable as possible with the world (I feel like sharing my goals with you is manifestation, let's go!). My goals are to create a community of peeps that create art from a studio that I own, to really learn my voice so I can create work that speaks to people, I made people cry through a performance I did last month. I plan to make people feel, to think, to look at life with a different scope. To come together. To build a space where people come to me for portraits, to make short films. Yes, all of that. I don’t know how but I trust it’ll happen.
M: How can people follow and support you outside of your curated pieces
available at Burke?
A: People can support by booking shoots with me via email, email@example.com and you can find my Instagram account here ~ @allseeinghuman . Soon I will have prints available for purchase on my website, so keep an eye out for that!
Thank you for carving time out some time to read about my work <3
Reach out and say hi, I’d love to chat :)
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