Faces of Long Island celebrates the uniqueness of everyday Long Islanders. In their own words, they tell us about their life experiences, challenges and triumphs. Newsday launched this social media journey into the human experience to shine a light on the diverse people of this wonderful place we call home.

‘Ever since I graduated from undergrad, that’s when I picked up my camera and have not stopped.’

Ashe Davis, Roosevelt

“I have always had a camera growing up. My dad had cameras around. We had a lot of photo books, so I feel naturally photography always surrounded me. Around middle school is when I really started picking up a camera. In high school, I was taking pictures for the yearbook or just to have memories.

“My parents got me my very first professional camera probably my sophomore year of college. I picked it up, went outside, took one picture and said, ‘Yeah, this is too hard’ and put it back down. In 2018, my friends were like, ‘You really need to try this out again.’ Ever since I graduated from undergrad, that’s when I picked up my camera and have not stopped.

Life is too short to not go after what you want.

“When I first started photography, I was just doing portraits, taking pictures of my friends and getting anyone in front of my camera, until eventually it developed into a business. I was not expecting that to happen at all. It just came about, and I started getting more clients. I have learned to put myself out there more. I started reaching out and emailing companies. I have had opportunities associated with MTV ‘Fresh Out,’ New York Fashion Week, Roc Nation, Femme It Forward, SiriusXM, [the] WNBA draft and more. You can’t just sit and wait for opportunities to come to you. The worst thing somebody could tell you is no.

“This year, I have been focusing a lot on putting out more personal projects, making my art more meaningful so that anytime somebody sees it, they can get a message out of it. I want to break more into the television and film industry as well as get my feet planted more in the music and sports industry now that I got a taste of it. I feel I’m very versatile when it comes to photography.

“I am also an occupational therapist for the Department of Education in the Bronx. I don’t do photography full time. I wear different hats, but while it’s important to have the career that you’re in, you need to fuel your passions at the same time. Don’t let work get in the way of your passions. If you can balance both, just try your best to do it, because life is too short to not go after what you want. Just go for whatever is on your mind. Maybe that crazy idea might be something we need in the world.”

Interviewed by Victoria Bell