THERE'S SOMEONE YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT. ASH NAYLOR. NEWCASTLE-BASED PHOTOGRAPHER, SUPPORTER OF ALL AGES LIVE MUSIC AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR AT THE BOYS DON'T CRY COLLECTIVE. BALANCING THE DEMANDING NATURE OF YEAR 12 WITH SHOOTING LIVE MUSIC, ASH'S TALENT CANNOT BE IGNORED. I'VE BEEN ADMIRING HER PHOTOGRAPHY FOR A LITTLE WHILE NOW AND FINALLY GOT A CHANCE TO ASK HER A LITTLE MORE ABOUT IT.
How do you go with balancing school and photography?
It can get pretty hectic – I’ve shot gigs on Sunday nights in Sydney and had to come back to an exam the next day, but I try my best to juggle them evenly.
When did you first pick up a camera?
The first time I remember officially was when my family went to Spain in 2012. They realised how much I loved it and I got my first DSLR in the next few years!
Do you remember the first gig you went to?
That’s a tough one... I think it was the very first Boys Don’t Cry [Collective] show. I took my camera, took some pics and surprisingly they weren’t awful! That’s where my love of concert photography picked up.
When did these two interests (music and photography) combine?
I’ve always admired music photographers from when I started going to ‘real’ concerts, and I have always loved music and wanted to be involved in the industry, but it’s pretty hard to do that with zero musical talent. So I combine my loves of art and music instead!
If you could go on tour with any artist as their photographer, who would it be?
If it could be any, without limits, totally The 1975. Love their music, and their visuals when they play are AMAZING! But saying that, I would love to go on tour with a local Aussie up-and-coming artist like G Flip, as I feel it’d be an awesome experience.
What’s your involvement with the Boys Don’t Cry Collective?
I met Andrew (the founder) through school and he invited me to his first gig, and from then on I’ve been kinda behind the scenes helping out and photographing their shows. My official title is Creative Director.
Any future collaborations you're dreaming of?
Nothing special is in the works at the moment – just applying to shoot shows and praying. Currently hoping beyond hope I can get approval for Yours and Owls festival in Wollongong, or Snowtunes in Jindabyne! I’d love to start branching beyond music photography though, so trying to find some cool people to work with in that endeavour.
Lastly, what’s your favourite thing about Newcastle?
It’s a bit cliché to say, but the music scene. It’s such a welcoming environment, and comparing it to the town I grew up in (Forster), it has so many more opportunities, especially for all-ages gigs!
You can find Ash's work on Instagram and Facebook: @ashnaylorphoto. There's some great film shots mixed in with live music and pretty scenery. If you're someone who can help Ash explore other forms of photography beyond live music – let her know! We're all about supporting Novocastrians in their creative endeavours and would love to help form collaborations to bring even more talent to our town.