Before Ashley Maile graduated from Langara College in the ‘90s, Rolling Stone had already published his photos.
Now, Wayne Emde, his high school photography teacher, is organizing a scholarship in Maile’s name one year after he passed away following a battle with cancer. Maile died May 13, 2013, on his 36th birthday.
Emde created the Ashley Maile Memorial Scholarship to be awarded to a Vernon Secondary School student, selected by his or her photography and journalism teachers, who intends to pursue a career in either field.
Maile attended the secondary school and Emde worked there for 25 years.
A photographer remembered
Emde contributes to the scholarship from his own pocket, but after an article in the Vernon Morning Star announced it, people began contacting him to ask, “How do I do this? How can I contribute to this?” Emde said.
Emde said it was “terrific” watching Maile establish his career and continue photography past high school.
“He was one of my students who really went on in my program . . . you know, a lot of kids love it and then do something else,” Emde said. “He did stuff that none of the other kids were doing.”
Andrew Tripp, Langara photography program coordinator, said he appreciated the “edgy and humourous” quality to Maile’s work, adding that it was “technically excellent.”
“It is obvious he was carving out a prominent career in the world of entertainment photography,” Tripp said. “He had great imagination and wasn’t afraid to take creative chances.”
Even at age 16, Maile would talk his way into clubs to take photos and then be published in the Vernon Morning Star, Emde recalled.
Working with Rolling Stone
Following high school, Maile attended Langara and before he graduated, Maile photographed the riot that followed the cancellation of a Guns N’ Roses concert. Rolling Stone published his photos.
“He had an incredible enthusiasm for music and performers, and then tied that in with the photography,” Emde said. “It was a great mix for him.”
To donate to the scholarship, the Vernon School District’s address is School District 22, 1401 15 Street Vernon, B.C. V1T 8S8.
Reported by Graham McFie
Clip from the riot: