June is Pride Month, and J Michael Photography Co. is extremely excited to highlight outstanding members of the LGBTQ+ community and grab some insight into their lives.
J Michael Photography Co. had the pleasure to work and interview Shreveport's finest - Ransom Ashley. For those of you who might not be aware, Ransom is a renowned artist: a fine art photographer and actor. His artwork has been featured around the world, but most recently he has gotten a lot of attention over his work depicting what it felt like to grow up as a LGBTQ+ member in the Bible Belt of the South.
First, let me ask you about the portraits that James took.
When you look at them, what do you see?
Working with James was one of the most comfortable experiences I’ve had in front of the lens. I think that connecting with the person that you are allowing to capture you is so important, especially when even just the act of being yourself can cause you to feel vulnerable. I can most definitely see, when I look at the images he captured of me, that he got at something really beautifully contemplative but also a sense of confidence and empowerment.
Second, I’d like to talk about the hardships and injustices that members of the LGBTQ+ community members suffer. You, as a child, were not necessarily treated fairly growing up in the bible belt of the South.
What advice would you tell your younger self now? Is there something you wish you would’ve known then that you know now about coming out?
It is incredibly hard being a member of any marginalized community especially in communities or social circles where you are dehumanized and treated poorly for your differences. I would definitely tell my younger self that one day everything will make sense and get better. I never would’ve believed where I would be now if you had told me as a young struggling teenager in a conservative Baptist school. I wish I had known that my power and my beauty was in my differences and not inspite of them.
Lastly, I view you as a phoenix rising from the ashes and grabbing all that hardship and identity struggles to create beautiful art, as you yourself have said that your art comes from your emotions and identity struggles, more so your search to know why everyone is the way they are…
How has your art shaped your identity of today?
My art has given me an education and a self-reflection that I don’t think I otherwise would’ve had or encountered. It gave me a cause to take a hard look inside myself and around me, a means to put the pieces together and learn about what it means to be human. I think my identity has probably shaped my art more, but my art has certainly allowed me a greater understanding of who I am as a person.
Thank you so much for your time Ransom! J Michael Photography Co. is extremely excited to be working with you. We greatly appreciate it.
Thanks so much, Ro! The pleasure was all mine. It’s been a wonderful experiencing working with and getting to know y’all.
Isn't he just fabulous?! Well, that is it for now. Stay tuned for the next highlight of #pridemonth. Thank y'all for reading.
J Michael Photography Co.