With passion as intense as her photos, budding photographer Ashley Jordan Gordon recently caught the attention of London's National Portrait Gallery with her image called, "Girl on Kingsland Road." Shot at an East End music festival (pictured above), the 24-year-old caught the "convergence of the roiling crowd" as well as a fleeting moment of mutual awareness with her subject. The upshot, feeling like a strong, decisive moment, placed her as one of the candidates in the gallery's Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2009 competition and exhibition.
Gordon describes her draw to the pictorial medium as, "very much the same line as staring at my own tears in the mirror. I think I have always been fascinated with how personal experience translates and disseminates itself out into the world, how that is viewed and interpreted as opposed to what we experience internally, and where these meet or diverge away from each other."
A California native, it was only a few short years ago that the now London-based photographer graduated from college in Santa Cruz. Obtaining a degree in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Documentary Photography, Gordan aims to utilize her talent in a positive way. In her view, "there is a lot of need in the world for exposure to the environmental and humanitarian problems we are facing, and I feel a duty and desire to work toward being able to share this in a way that could perhaps help educate or overcome a viral apathy that our wealth of media and imagery has perhaps contributed to."
Comparing Steinbeck's "Travels with Charley" to her Peeping Tom personality and insatiable curiosity to document people, Gordon's objective way of viewing the world—and herself—lays the path for a life filled with inspiring images. (Click on photos below for enlarged view.)