We had the good fortune of connecting with Aston Graham and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Aston, is there something you believe many others might not?
I feel that growing up and throughout life a lot of people will tell you “hey, if you work hard you’ll be successful”. Honestly, I think thats bullshit. Not to say I am extremely successful or have all the answers but I do know that getting to where you want to be is a convoluted process. Yes hard work is important and valuable, but also a lot of luck goes into it, and being prepared when opportunity presents itself. If you are putting in the hours to learn or master your craft, thats just half the battle. Sometimes you need that stroke of luck, or meeting the right person, or getting that first chance you didn’t think you would from an unlikely source.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As an artist I still think I have a long road ahead of me and haven’t even begun to accomplish everything I want to. During the peak of the pandemic believe it or not was when I had the most clientele and felt like I was really excelling professionally with photography. I felt like I was getting better but at the same time making money which sometimes feels like the only way to validate yourself in the creative world, Currently, I am still freelancing and pushing to build my own personal brand and I think some of the biggest challenges I’ve been facing are balancing time and being able to put aside moment to work on what I’m passionate about. Its this constant battle of making sure you have what you need to stay afloat at the end of the month and doing what you love.
If anything I want the world to know that my brand is just like any regular person’s story, highs and lows happen and its all part of the process.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Los Angeles seems so big but now that I’ve been here for time it feels so small. I would take them to visit Grand Central Market for some good eats, maybe stop by Mochinut for desert. Usually some spots ill frequent for night life are The Victorian, Highlight Room, maybe stop by EP&LP. If I’m not out in LA maybe I can be found on a trail somewhere or doing a bit of street photography in downtown LA The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I feel like I have a great support group in a lot of the things that I end up doing. Of course my family knows they’re near and dear to my heart in every pursuit I take and they’ve always had my back. So huge shoutout to them.
In terms of visual arts and photography I owe a lot of what I’ve learned and seen to all the great creatives who surround me. Xavier Williams, Ugo Nwagbala, Adrian Dizon, all some really amazing creatives from the Inland Empire who helped shape a lot of what I know about photography. Also had a lot of help from some buddies I met in college, Kevin Horstmann, Taylor Davis both really talented photographers who I learned a lot from as well.
Even in my day job as an influencer marketer, I had some impressive mentors who really helped show me the ropes and give me the fundamentals to be successful in my field. So shoutout to Jade Huynh, Jessica Yang, Bilal Bey, and Ibis Arcila.
All photos taken by me