A Week in Milan with Photographer Ayla Adams

By: Valeria Ramos

This week I interviewed Ayla Adams - an Australian photographer living in Milan, Italy - in order to get to know what it takes to make it in fashion photography, the hard work that goes into shoots and the best thing about living in the fashion capital of the world.

Ayla made the move overseas to Italy when she was 18 and has been working successfully as a photographer for 2 years now. Despite this, she shares photography was not always a career she imagined to be possible for herself.

"I always dabbled in the creative industry but considered it a hobby or small paycheck on the side of another job. It took me a while to plunge into deciding that I wanted to make this hobby a career. It's scary quitting your job and relying on something that once used to be just for fun, but I don't regret it one bit!" 

Ayla Adams - IG @aylaelainephotography

Being that Ayla works in the fashion capital of the world, there is never truly a shortage of shooting to be done for the countless agencies she works for, including 2morrow model network, Major, MP and NoLogo just name a few.

"In my city there is a constant flow of international girls coming and going through the seasons. Most of them need new photos for portfolios to show to clients, so my main company I work for is the 2morrow model network. I occasionally also do ecommerce work as well as campaigns for various labels around the world."

While some might glamorize a career in photography as all fun and fashion, Ayla shares there is more that goes into her work that most people realize. In fact, her typical work day consists of long hours, juggling different tasks at once, and a vital supply of caffeine.

"My apartment transforms into a 'loft-like' studio, so I usually wake up and have coffee immediately.  In peak season I shoot about 5 models a day, so starting around 7 a.m and finishing around 7:30 p.m taking snaps, doing makeup, styling and also entertaining. Then once all the physical shooting is done, I pack up the studio, sit down with tea or a glass of wine (depending on how hard the day was) and edit until I can't keep my eyes open anymore."

Not only does photography require creativity and an eye for aesthetics, but it demands patience and time-management as well.

"You have a new model, a blank canvas, sometimes it's a struggle to find what 'look' suits the model best. Time is also such a pressure, getting the job done in time and then staying up to the early a.m editing so you can reach deadlines. When it comes down to it though, the stress and pressure is definitely worth it."

On the flip side, the benefits that come with Ayla's job include making long-lasting connections and friendships.

"My favorite part of the job is meeting so many new amazing people. I make so many friends with people I work with, whether it be the companies who book me, a makeup artist or a model, I have made some long life friends."


For Ayla, staying inspired is no challenge - a side effect of living in a city that hosts fashion week, is home to brilliant architecture, and contains a surplus of creative opportunity.

"I definitely draw inspiration from around me. I live in Milan, Italy, which is such a beautiful city in an even more breathtaking country. Everyday I get inspiration from the city and architecture, from the people I meet here and the fashion I see in the streets. It is really a creative and fashionable place to be."

With 2 years in the industry and a long career ahead of her, Ayla's advice for those pursuing a career in photography or fashion comes from a place of personal experience and hard work.

"Never give up, it really takes time to build yourself a career. You need to work on your portfolio and make connections. Don't let anyone tell you that you won't succeed, believe in yourself, put in as much work as you physically can and you will reap the benefits."