At 12 she was spotted by a talent agent at a local mall in Nebraska who suggested that she send some of her photos to a modeling agency. This was the start of her career.
In the beginning of her career Graham did struggle because of her weight. For the first few years she booked jobs to be a catalogue girl but was repeatedly told that she would never go beyond that. But there was one job Ashley remembers most clearly that motivated her to defy her doubters. In an with Glamour she says “When I was 17 or 18 years old, I was doing a group shot for this really big campaign, and one girl, who was probably a size two said to me, ‘Did you actually get paid for this job?’ I remember thinking, She’s asking me because I’m fat…. It's one of those things I will never forget.”
In 2010 she made an appearance in Bust magazine and became involved in many Levi’s and Marina Rinaldi campaigns. After years of success in 2015 she appeared in Sports Illustrated as part of the Swimsuit for All campaign and the next year was on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition becoming the first plus sized model to do so in history.
Today she continues to work to show all people that they are beautiful no matter their size. When asked about her work Graham responds by saying, “I am really trying to make a change not only in the fashion industry but in the world.”