Today we would like to showcase a Derbyshire-based photographer who specialises in commercial, event, wedding and portrait photography (he’s even taken photographs of the Queen!) as well as branching into Photo Art and stock images. He has produced images for everything from calenders to greeting cards to travel brochures as well as being a freelance writer for Derbyshire Life & Countryside. We’re thrilled to introduce the “king of Derbyshire”, Ashley Franklin…
Can you tell us a little bit about how you got started in photography?
When I was a school I won a competition on local radio which meant that I had the opportunity of co-hosting my own rock show. After that I wanted to get into broadcasting so I enrolled in a media course which included three weeks of photography, and to see a picture develop in the dark room really got to me. Even though I went on to work for the BBC for 22 years I think that’s when my love affair with photography began.
How long have you been a photographer?
13 years now.
Did you go to photography school? Or did you assist?
No I am completely self-taught. I pore over photographic magazines because I always pick up little bits of advice and tips that I can then try out or apply to my own work. I wish I had assisted in some ways because I don’t possess a huge amount of technical photographic knowledge, which probably held me back a bit.
How would you describe your photographic style?
I don’t think I have a particular style. I think if you look at my pictures, then you would think there is a great variety of images but no particular style. I suppose the best way of describing my style is multi-genre.
What type of cameras do you shoot with?
I use two Canon EOS D Mark II, I would love a D Mark III but I think I’ll need some rather illustrious jobs for that. You hear photographers say that it’s not the camera you use but how you use it, which is of course true. But I don’t think you can deny that photographs can improve when you have better kit to work with.
What is your favourite editing tool?
Lightroom. I find it addictive and often stay up incredibly late because I get absorbed in it.
The worst part of your job?
The worst part are the hours before I’m due at a job. I get incredible anxiety and nerves because of the responsibility and demands that comes with this sort of job.
What is the best part of your job?
The best part is when I have felt all that anxiety and then when I look at the images I’ve taken I think “why did you worry so much because you can do this”. I love that.
Do you make time for personal photographic work?
Yes I have to really because I run the website for my village; Milford and Makeney and I actually do a calender for the village where all the proceeds go back into running the website. I love doing that because it’s a very photogenic village! I also run the website for Heage Windmill which is a big tourist attraction in Derbyshire. I also do various photographic work for charities as well. So I do a lot of personal photographic work for those various ventures.
What advice do you have for any photographer just starting out?
If you can find a speciality that you enjoy, embrace it!
What is the best piece of advice YOU have ever been given?
I love Ansel Adams’ quote; “I don’t take a picture, I make a picture”.
If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be doing?
I actually write for Derbyshire Life & Countryside, so if photography all caved in tomorrow then I would probably do more writing. But I do miss doing the contemporary music show when I worked at Radio Derby because it gave me a huge thrill.
Are you a Mac or a PC lover?
I would call myself a PC user.
What talent would you most like to have?
If I could create an elixir of life I would. I have so much I still want to do!
Your favourite film of all time?
Field of Dreams
What do you love to indulge in?
I play racket ball twice a week and I help at my local cinema showing senior films every Thursday. So I would say racket ball and cinema.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
The D’Orcia Valley in Tuscany. I could take photographs forever and never do it justice.
First thing you would do if you won the lottery?
If it was a substantial amount of money I would donate to a special school that helped my daughter for many years and has now fallen into slight disrepair. I would also buy a house in the D’Orcia Valley.
For your business, what is the best thing on theimagefile?
All the admin is taken care of, you know everything automatically goes through to the lab and emails are automatically sent out. It’s great because I hate admin! And your customer support is next to none. Any time I call about a problem someone is instantly back to me and they never talk down to you to for not understanding.
To see more of Ashley Franklin: