Could you imagine going on tour with some of your favorite bands? Could you imagine taking their photos, while they get dressed in the green room or set up their guitars backstage or perform in front of thousands of people?
Ashley Osborn can.
While growing up in Minnesota and Chicago, Ashley Osborn started her music photography career at a young age. When she was in high school, she’d attend a bunch of concerts and battle her way through the mosh pit to take photos. When she graduated, she bought herself a Canon Rebel XS and took it to all the shows she could.
Now, she’s living in Los Angeles and she’s one of the most successful female music photographers in the industry.
She’s been on tour and shot with bands like Bring Me The Horizon, All Time Low, Pierce The Veil, and shot artists like Billie Eilish, Kasey Musgraves, Jessie J and so many more.
At the end of 2016, she was diagnosed with a condition that caused blood clots in her neck…because of concert photography.
At that moment, she realized she had to step back from tour – the noise and the constant stimulation – but she didn’t want to. Tour was home. It was a place she felt most comfortable and she didn’t believe there was anything outside of tour life.
Tour life was a lot of go go go and her saying yes to everything, and because of that, she wasn’t taking time for herself. When she finally stepped back from tour, she came to terms with what she was struggling with the most, deep down: depression, self-confidence, self-worth.
“As a creative and as a woman…everything outside of yourself doesn’t fucking matter unless you’re taking care of your heart and your brain and your body,” Ashley says.
Now, she is very reflective on the people in her life and the things going on around her. She used to say yes to everything on tour, and now, she questions everything and whether or not they’ll suit her (financially, physically, emotionally, and mentally). If it doesn’t suit her, she’s not afraid to say no. She doesn’t push herself.
“To the creatives out there — I have so much advice, I don’t even know where to start,” she laughs. “Take care of your body. Eat your vegetables. Be vegetarian – I’m sorry I have to say it.”
For social media users, she wants everyone to remember that you are on your own path. She says, “Put down your phone. Take a look at what’s around you and realize that everyone on the Internet is on their own path. Ignore it all. Don’t pay attention to it. Be strong. Love yourself.”