Working together for three years, the two were drawn together by their shared pursuit of natural color, light and the essence of youth. “We would go out together with our cameras and we developed a mutual respect. We had a shared interest in kids and teens. It just made sense to team up,” says Ashley Thompson.
It makes sense for their clients, too. “Advertising sets can be overwhelming,” says Ana. “And kids – whew, that’s a whole different game. With two of us, everything goes more smoothly. One can shoot while the other directs, or if there’s a logistics problem one can keep shooting while the other solves it.”
And the two bring complementary skills to each shoot, as well. “Ashley is an amazing fine art photographer,” says Ana. “And I come from photojournalism. So we balance each other. Sometimes I’m trying to put more info in the frame while Ashley is trying to take stuff out.”
“We have the patience of saints,” Ashley jokes when asked what makes them so good with kids. “We keep them busy,” says Ana. “It’s never just ‘stand there and look at the camera.’ We challenge them, tell them to jump, then jump higher. We talk about hip hop or skateboarding with them. We don’t act like kids, but we relate to them.”
Ana and Ashley have worked with clients as varied as Adobe, Pottery Barn Kids, Nescafe UK and MTV Brazil, but they always bring their singular style and approach. “A few times we’ve been told we’re too edgy, but we don’t see it that way at all,” says Ana. “We just know who we are, and we know kids.”