Every employee here at KEH has a story to tell and it’s our job to share it with you – our customers! We are excited to re-launch KEH Stories, to give you an inside look to learn more about the KEH Camera team. Check out #KEHSpotlight each month where we’ll be showcasing new team members. This month we interviewed our Tech Write Up Supervisor, Ashli Youngblood.

Hey Ashli! Thanks for agreeing to share your background with our amazing KEH customers. To begin, please tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up in the early 90s, when every family had a camcorder, and my family was no exception. My grandpa had an old Panasonic camcorder that filmed on full-size VHS tapes, and you could count on him recording every single family gathering or event. As I got older, I became interested in being the person behind the camera instead of being on camera.

In high school, I took a photography class and fell in love with 35mm cameras and film. Then I worked at CVS Pharmacy, in the Photo Lab, while beginning an art degree in college. When I transferred to Kennesaw State [University], my desire to pursue photography was ruined after experiencing some design professors’ negative opinions on the students’ artwork. So, I changed my major to Communications so that I could pursue my love for video.

Since then, I began working for KEH where I have revived my love for cameras and photography. These days, I shoot video and photos in my off time and work on building my camera collection.         

How long have you been a KEH employee? What is your role (s) here at KEH and what does it entail?

I’ve been with KEH for 2 years and it has been my favorite job that I’ve ever had.  I am the Write Up Supervisor in the Tech Department. My role in Write Up is to identify and appraise the photo equipment and gear that our customers send to us. My team and I build the customer quotes, relay information about the equipment from testing, and send each deal to the next department.

What is your favorite thing about your role here?

My absolute favorite thing about my job is seeing all the unique cameras that come through the door. I collect old, vintage cameras and I love seeing all the pieces that I’d love to have in my collection. I also love when we get weird, quirky toy cameras, or rare versions of cameras, like gold Leicas, tiny Rolleis, or the gold and lizard skin Mamiyas!

What excites you most about working at KEH? Why is KEH a great place to work?

The thing that excites me the most about working here is learning camera equipment that I’d otherwise never knew existed or have access to use. I’ve learned so much about medium and large format that I never had access to in school.  I also love the people here. KEH has such a unique mix of talent and passion and learning from them has been an incredible experience that I’d never find anywhere else.

Photo Credit: Yesenia-Quezada- Friedman

Are you a photographer? What cameras do you currently own and which are you currently coveting?

I am, but I’d say the more accurate term for me is videographer. I currently have a Canon 70D and a GoPro Hero 5. But I’d actually like to switch over to Sony Mirrorless, specifically an a6500, because it’s smaller and lighter than my 70D. It also shoots 4K and the videos from it look fantastic.

Here’s a fun question, if you could BE any camera what would you be and why?

I’d definitely be a GoPro! That way I could do all those cool, extreme sports without having to actually train for them!

Do you have other special talents or hobbies?

I collect old, vintage cameras, so I am always on the hunt for more at thrift stores and yard sales. I like to write (I’m working on a novel) and do DIY crafts (especially dreamcatchers.) But, when I’m feeling especially lazy, you can find me watching my favorite shows or playing Destiny 2 on my PS4.

A quote/saying you live by?

Do more things that make you forget to look at your phone.