It's easy to enjoy the presence of model Ashley Morton. Raised in a small town under the guidance of strong family values, Morton possesses a willingness to succeed despite whatever obstacles come her way.
Morton's parents divorced when she was just four years old and her father never really played a role in her life. Without that father figure, Morton leaned heavily on her mom for support while growing up in the tiny town of Clay City, Ky.
"We've gone through some tough times, but my mom has made me really strong," says the stunning 19-year-old beauty. "My mom has always been there for me."
When drug use began to increase among her peers when she was an 11-year-old middle school student, Morton's mom took her away from the risky environment and placed her in a home school program.
"She didn't want me being surrounded by that scene," explains Morton, who earned her high school diploma last year. "It was a mutual decision and one for the best."
At the age of 15, Morton says that she began being approached by different people about a career in modeling. However, it wasn't until she turned 18 that she decided to pursue it as a career. Morton found a popular local photographer, Frank Baker, and took her first steps in building a portfolio.
"I was so nervous," Morton recalls of her first shoot. "I was thinking in my mind of all my flaws. But as it went on, I got more comfortable with my body and I gained more confidence in myself."
The results quickly led to her first paid shoot with photographer Jason Ross. Morton says that she has come a long way in just over a year of working in the industry.
"I really needed to learn how to look best on camera," she explains. Everything from how to move my body better, to how I look best on film."
With each shoot came increased confidence and a better belief in her abilities. It also led to an increased desire to succeed.
"Once I started seeing some positive results, I really gained confidence in my abilities," she says. "It made me want to model full-time, which I had never really considered."
Part of that had to do with the fact that Morton isn't exactly living in the modeling capital of the world.
"It's so hard when you live in a small, small town," Morton says of her home, which is about an hour drive from Lexington. "People don't look at you as much. They want you closer to them. It's really hard sometimes for me to stay positive. But when I do work, it gives me hope that maybe even living in a small town I can get the chance to live my dream."