Ashley Dara – Designer and Innovative Humanitarian


Date July 26, 2018

Ashley Dara – Designer and Innovative Humanitarian

I first met Ashley Dara at DigitalK in Sofia, Bulgaria where she gave a riveting talk about her work in Haiti with using 3D printers to solve urgent needs quickly and efficiently. She then went on to tell us about her work developing the worlds first gravity independent 3D printer which was used on the international space station. Meaning, instead of using rockets and tons of fuel to get a part up to the space station, plans can be emailed and printed. Game. Changer!

When we crossed paths again at the 2018 edition of the Pirate Summit, I had some lighting gear with me, and … well, the rest is history.

In addition to being a super awesome human being, Ashley Dara is works like a charm in front of the camera. She’s so incredibly humble, she’d probably tell you that she isn’t, and hated every second of it. But images speak louder than words, and I believe we produced a stunning series of images together.

And while I produce a lot of headshots, I’m forever learning the art of portraiture. It was when I sat down with Getty Images a few years back that I got called out on the carpet about the difference between the two. My editor at Getty commented that my works were an excellent series of headshots, but not many were portraits. So what’s the difference, you might ask? The way I think of it is like so; a headshot is just that. A, more or less, straight on, properly lit, this is what I look like shot. One that can be used in programmes, speaker bios, etc. A portrait tells much more of a story. Who is this person? What are they like? Not what do they look like, but rather, who ARE they?

We did a few headshots and a few portraits, but this one in particular stood out to me. As I commented on Instagram, “Sometimes the best takes are the outtakes.” Given Dara’s humility, I think this one captures her perfectly. Her blazing red hair, that knowing smirk on her face, fashionable shirt and harness, … it all ads up to telling me who she is as a person.

Ashley Dara, thank YOU for a wonderful shoot!

Enjoy, and if you’d like to work with me, get in touch!

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