Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer
Much more than a pretty face, Ashley Salazar has big things planned. Aside from her modeling and acting career, Salazar owns her own photography company.
Ashley Salazar has had a unique background, as she spent time in the armed forces. It is rare to find a model with such a background. Ashley feels this, and her being a mother, is what separates her from many other models.
Currently based in St. Louis, Ashley Salazar has been featured in various projects. Her work has appeared in television commercials and magazines, among other products.
Despite being on billboards, doing runways, and being in movies, Ashley Salazar a mother and a fighter. She is also an amateur MMA fighter.
Recently, Ashley Salazar celebrated the one-year anniversary of her website, http://www.missoohlalaa.com/
. Ashley Salazar talked about this and a number of other topics with Hip Hop Vibe.
Read the entire interview below:
How long have you been modeling?
When I was younger, I did a few test shoots, but I didn't really start part time/full time modeling until 2007.
When did you first appear in television commercials?
My first big job that I landed was back in 2007 with Toni's International Models, one of my modeling agencies here from St. Louis. It was a television commercial for Rent N Roll.
Did modeling lead you to start your own photography company?
Yes, modeling did lead to me starting photography. At the time, I was working as a talent agent for Toni's and was in charge of the reconstruction of the high fashion board. I had all these great models coming to me that I saw real potential talent in. Many either didn't have the funds for expensive photo shoots or had low quality images, so I couldn't book them with as an agent.
One day, I just asked my fiancee, who had been shooting professionally for ten years, if I could shoot some of my models and have him set me up on the basics and let me run wild. Well, nevertheless to say, at the end of that day he looked at the images with me and told me that I had the eye and not to stop, so I never put the camera down and now I love it just as much as being in front of the camera myself.
Have you had many clients for the photography company?'
Yes, I have worked with a wide range of clients since I first started shooting out of the living room wall in my house to onto now my second photography studio at the Historical Lemp Brewery. My clients have been everything from families, models, corporations, magazines, many musicians, and more. My studio name is New Karma Studios, big lover of Karma.
You say your goal is to become a Playboy playmate, can you tell us more about that?
I have been trying to become apart of the Playboy family for about two and half years now. I've submitted to them online a few times and they have also contacted me on their own, but nothing ever came from it, besides many back-and-forth emails and phone calls.
In December 2010 I competed in Playboy's Miss Social and placed fourth in the finals. I then competed again and made it as a finalist in June in hopes of winning the title during my birthday month, but I didn't win. I've supported many girls who have ran in the competition, and personally even helped a few of them win their titles by devoting many hours to promoting them.
Recently, I also did charity work with Playboy as a Playboy Girl of Golf in the Los Angeles tournament. The reason I went to LA, about a month ago, in the first place was to set up a test shoot with contributing Playboy photographer, Josh Ryan, at my own expense. Being from St. Louis, there is no Playboy here, nor any photographers whom have an established - liaison relationship with them. Because of this, it's been very hard to be noticed by Playboy even to be a regular Playboy model, not just a Playmate.
To point blank answer "Why do I want to be a Playmate," well why not?!
I'm a mom and its ten times harder for us in the modeling industry, it seems, or at least from my experiences. I know I have what it takes to be a Playmate, I'm sexy, classy, full of amazing curves plus I have the brains, savvy, and support of my friends, family and fans behind me. I know I have what it takes to be in Playboy and represent the brand well. Honestly, I personally think they should start their own Special Editions that just features moms, the market for it is surely there.
It sadness me so much, nowadays, when all I see is the mass majority of women in Playboy who aren't moms, yet they claim to have the most beautiful women in the world. To me the most beautiful thing in this world is the creation of life and being able to create life, so when did all of a sudden moms become not so beautiful? If you do the research and look up how many Playmates were mothers at the time of their publication, the list is small, tiny in fact. I want to become a Playmate more then anything to break that stigma not only for myself, but for all the American hard working model moms out there. Lastly, my desire to work with Playboy doesn't end at being a Playmate, I want to produce and shoot the Playmates myself one day.
Can you tell us about your time in the military?
Oh ,wow, where to start, six years of service is hard to cram into just a few sentences. Well, when I was in the Air Force, I earned two national Radiology Registries as a Radiology Technologist and Mammography Technologist. I also performed over 800 military special ceremonies and funeral services while being a team member for Keesler AFB and a team flight leader for Scott AFB. In addition to all this, I served as a Security Forces Officer, Base CPR Instructor, coached Volleyball for the Scott AFB Medical Squadron, and was a goalie for the Kessler AFB base Soccer team.
In 2005, I went through Hurricane Katrina and remained on duty at Kessler AFB, and after losing my home I was relocated to Scott AFB and then was honorably discharged in 2008. Lastly, during my service, I was recognized for many medals, awards, such as BTZ, Diagnostic Imaging, Airman of the Year (AMC), Humanitarian medal, and Achievement Medal.
Following your service, you moved to St. Louis?
I was relocated here after I lost my home in 2005. I chose to remain in the area for school and because I had extended family members in the area.
How do you like St. Louis?
It's alright, I have some great friends here that are everything to me, but in general this city seems to not like me much. It's not my home town (Chicago is) , I've experienced times where I sit and wonder why do I try to hard to support the talent here and make more relationships with people who don't appreciate what I can bring to the table. Overall, the city itself is very historic and has some amazing places to shoot at, but California keeps calling my name.
Do you think it is a good place for you to build your career?
Well, of course, if you can't make it in your own town I don't see how you can make it anywhere these days.
How do you compare St. Louis to places like Miami, New York, and Chicago?
Well I've never been to the first two, but I have been to other big cities, like Dallas and Los Angeles. Our market here is existent, but it will only stay that way or grow bigger if the talent in our city wants it to and starts helping each other out more. This is what I have been trying to do for the past year and half now with my digital entertainment website, http://www.missoohlalaa.com/.
What magazines have you been featured in?
Model Maze Magazine (Cover), Fighters Only Magazine, Full Throttle, Midwest Magazine, Alive Magazine, Stunner Baby Magazine (Cover), Macho Rhino Online Mens Magazine, WWE Magazine, Co-Existence Magazine (Cover), Kamboom Magazine, COED Magazine (Miss COED of the Day), Super Models Magazine (Cover), Miss Ooh La Laa Magazine, honestly there has been many digital write up's about me, sometimes I don't even know about them until I Google my name. Those are the ones that have meant the most to me so far.
Have you starred in any TV projects, high or low profile?
Yes, I have my first independent film in which I play Sarah, as the lead female role, which will be released soon, viewers can check out the film at: www.farmthemovie.com and I have worked as a Strikeforce Ring Girl which appeared on Showtime. My Rent & Roll commercial and a few other projects as well.
How do you juggle your busy career and being a mother?
I just do, my daughter knows and see's how hard I work everyday to make opportunities possible for us. I make her watch me when I photo shop images sometimes of models because I don't want her growing up thinking that women look like they all do in the magazines. I also talk to her about most everything that a child her age can understand so she knows why mommy has to go on trips to places like LA and other areas I go for work. She calls herself little Miss Ooh La Laa and one day I hope that I can build this empire up for her and hand it over if she wants to run it or at least give her more than what I had growing up.
Who, or what, has served as your inspiration?
My daughter, fiancee, my muse(s) Tara and (R.I.P. Mason P. Cummins), my best friends, my family who I actually still talk to (I come from a very broken home), my fans who never stop believing in me and smack me back into reality when I second guess myself and, actually, my haters, because they make me grind harder and force me to learn new ways of connecting to my fan base which they try to destroy on a daily basis, it seems like.
A few other key individuals as an artist Pink, Marilyn Manson, Marilyn Monroe, Lady Gaga, Esther Lin, Mick Gleissner, Kingston O'Nasty, Hugh Hefner, RuPaul, Annie Leibovitz, Dorothea Lange, Demi Moore, Selena, Jennifer Lopez, Arny Freytag, Sally Mann, Jill Greenberg, and Cindy Sherman just to name a few.
I want to say thank you for the opportunity to be featured within your magazine and thank you to all my supporters for without you all I am nothing.
Check out additional photos of Ashley Salazar below: