Artist Spotlight on Penny Ashford

Hold onto your hats, Ladies and Gents! This is Penny Ashford!

We first learned about Penny from her dear friend and one of our favorite artists, Sunny Goode (see our sunny love and sunny love) – the world just feels right when another artist is so big-hearted that she calls you and says, “Have you heard about Penny?! You are going to love her work!” But that is the kind of person Sunny is…not a jealous bone in her body and always out to help a friend. So we called Penny and used a piece from her “Under Water At Night” series in this fabulous Orange Dining Room! *we turned the photograph on its side*

Sunny was so eager for us to see Penny’s work in person, she brought her to our studio when we were filming this Giveaway of Sunny’s art, and we were able to catch my first viewing of Penny’s photography on film!


And look! I now own one of the killer photographs we discussed on film! It makes me smile every time I walk into my family room, and it is printed in the coolest way! Penny says, “These are Fine Art, archival pigment prints mounted to a solid aluminum substrate with a matte finish micro over-laminate for protection…They have a 1 1/4 inch float frame backer to distance the print from the wall and to aid in hanging.” I’m SMITTEN!

Penny graciously took time to answer our Lucky 7 Questions to give you a better feel of who she is as an artist (see below)! And if you want to buy any of these prints you can here.

LUCKY 7: Q & A With Photographer Penny Ashford

1. How old were you when you first picked up a camera? 

I always had a camera in my hand, even as a child. The idea of capturing moments in everyday life through photos — and then putting them into albums to share was very compelling to me. It’s just something I’ve always done.

2. Did you always know this was where your career was headed?

Actually never! I’ve always been very creative (I’ve worked in the interior design world forever) and passionate about photography, but I didn’t know how to take the first step. Then, about 8 years ago, my good friend and fellow artist, Anne Patterson, really pushed me into taking the leap.

I signed up for workshops at the International Center for Photography (ICP) in NYC, and decided to make photography my career, instead of a hobby. I got a huge break when Cade Tompkins, a fantastic art dealer in Rhode Island, saw my work and put on my first real show. I remember like it was yesterday the day Cade sold my first photograph!  

3. How has the digital medium impacted your process?

The great part about digital photography is that you get immediate feedback. As I’m shooting an image, I can stop, assess it and adjust accordingly. I never make a real judgment until I review an image on my computer, but it’s a good feeling to be able to look at the screen on the back of my camera during a shoot.    

4. What is your favorite nerdy camera equipment these days? 

I LOVE my Ikelite underwater housing unit! It fits my Nikon D700 and lets me spend hours in the ocean capturing that perfect droplet! I live for the kind of peace and calm I find in the water. There is nothing I like better!

5. Name your favorite shades of blue.

It’s what I call Turkish blue, the color of the water in a pool I photographed this summer in Istanbul. It’s a fabulous mixture of rich transparent blues that reflect light and bring me right back to that pool.

6. If you could float on a boat and chat with any photographer (alive or dead), who would it be and what body of water would you be on and why? 

In terms of photographers I’d like to chat with, where do I start? There are so many people I could learn from, including  Diana Tuft, Clifford Ross, Hiroshi Sugimoto. They are all so amazingly talented and I share their connection with water or ice.

7. Where are you going for your next shoot?

My next adventure is Antarctica in December, 2016. I want to continue to explore my fascination with frozen water — I just came back from Iceland. It was absolutely incredible, with scenery that was beyond breath taking. Frozen water was a new adventure for me and I’d like to continue exploring it. I’m hoping my next show will allow me to combine my work from both trips.

What fun it is to see talent collide with true friendship. These two fine women have each others backs and are generous spirits through and through. It’s fun to support artists that you truly like because having their work on your walls feels like seeing a friend every time you walk by…. Sunny! Penny! Highfive!!!

Everyone check out these fine ladies on Instagram: Penny and Sunny!