However, with her pitch-perfect attention to detail, photographer Ashton Angle proves there’s still much to love about the disco decade. Handling her shoots with era-specificity of a time-traveller, Ashton’s work reads like the pages of a vintage magazine, complete with old-timey Pepsi bottles, cassette tapes and well-permed haircuts.
Given the distinct nostalgia of her portfolio, it stands to reason that Ashton — a 27-year-old from Dallas, Texas — first caught the photography bug from a bygone Polaroid camera. Although she’d later invest in an RCA camcorder, it was the Polaroid that launched the trajectory of Ashton’s career, a camera suited in both style and substance to the timeworn aesthetic of her shots.
“I’ve been taking photos and videos my entire life. My dad always had a camera in hand while I was growing up so it became natural for me to document everything in my life… My first actual camera was my polaroid. I still have a deep love for polaroids and still take it everywhere with me. That’s truly what got me into film photography,” Ashton recalls.
It’s one thing to incidentally evoke nostalgia through one’s work, but Ashton is intentional about recreating the look of her shoots, donning both the photographer and creative director hat for shots that could easily be mistaken for archived history. Every corner of her stylised frames is true to the era, from the groovy-lined wallpapers to the soft-glow lighting and dial-up telephone props. It’s why Ashton describes her work as “cinematic”.
“I enjoy creating entire scenes for my models to pop into like a time machine. I have a great love for earlier decades so I like to recreate time periods in my photos. It brings me and, I hope everyone else, a sense of nostalgia, which is one of my favourite feelings,” she says.
This inclination towards the cinematic pays off in spades. While other photographers might fuss over the ‘realness’ of their shots, Ashton, much like a director, is more concerned with creating wholly new worlds. It’s why her portfolio follows like that of a screenplay, reminiscent of movie magic.
“I can create whatever I want in an image and it will live forever. I love to create scenes and images and stories that only exist in one image – for that one moment. It’s the closest thing we have to magic. I make moments whether they actually happened or not. That’s the beauty. It’s like a movie. I can put myself into any scene I want and create a story that will live forever.”
Catch Ashton’s full Frames portfolio below, and head here to follow her on Instagram.