Everyone has a story to tell, and through photography, Ransom Ashley is telling his.
The 25-year-old Shreveport native will showcase a retrospective of his work on Friday, November 10 at minicine? in downtown Shreveport. The exhibition is titled “UNREST,” and his message is that of identity struggle, especially within LGBTQ+ youth in the south.
“I like to say each image contains an emotional narrative,” he said. “It’s a translation of how I felt at a time in my life, coming of age and figuring out who I was.”
Ashley, who identifies as LGBTQ+, has been taking photographs for most of his adult life. His first love, acting, propelled him into a “different world,” as he put it. He said growing up in the south, especially at his Baptist high school, he felt out of place. He has now put that emotion into his photography.
“So much of my work is me, so many of the emotions I felt — it was horrible,” he said. “It was the worst time in my life. And I didn’t really have an outlet because I was the only kid like me at my school.”
It was at that point that Ashley turned to acting and theatre—something that moved his photography hobby into a passion. He said he was able to create narratives that embodied what he was feeling.
“Art, film and storytelling really got me through those years,” he said. “I’m exploring my identity through these photographs.”
Ashley studied photography at Parsons New School in New York City and was recently featured in Teen Vogue. His social media following is strong — on Instagram he boasts 50K followers and on Facebook he has 23K. He said he wants others to see his photography and know that they’re not alone.
Currently, Ashley is pursuing a psychology degree at Louisiana State University in Shreveport. This is his first solo exhibit in Shreveport. “UNREST” is a one-night only show and features music by Chris and Ansley Rimmer of Hydrogen Child, AJ Haynes of the Seratones and Ian Quiet.
IF YOU GO:
What: UNREST: A Photography Exhibition by Ransom Ashley
When: 7-10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1
Where: minicine? 846 Texas Ave., Shreveport