Thursday, May 12, 2016

Meet This Week's Judge: Amy Shire!

This week, Amy of Amy Shire Photographer is looking for your "little bit of weird". She's here today to tell you about her own world of weird, and with some beautiful photos too. 

Tell us about yourself...

Hi, I’m Amy and I live in Melbourne (Australia) with my two little boys and wonderful hubby! We moved here four years ago from England and while we miss family and friends so deeply, we do love the adventurous outdoorsy life that is pretty much inevitable when you live by the water.

What ignited your passion for photography, and what fuels it now?

I’ve always loved taking photos, but I fell more in love with the art of photography when my first son was born. I wanted my photos of this new phase of my life to capture the magic and wonder that I felt in our everyday moments. I knew there was a way to transform the mundane but often precious moments into more interesting pictures that told stories, but I felt limited by my knowledge of light and composition, so I took several online workshops with some amazing instructors at ClickinMoms. Motherhood and childhood continue to fuel my passion for photography, and these days I’m also inspired to capture other families’ stories and love for each other.

What’s in your camera bag right now, what do use the most? the least?

My Nikon D700, which I love but I will be upgrading any day now. I’m wondering whether to switch to Canon after shooting with a friend recently and falling in love with the colour sooc on her 5D. Anyone care to sway me?! Until recently, my Sigma 35 Art never left my camera, but then I dropped it in the sand and have been waiting to replace it once I make my mind up about the camera (indecisive much?). I’ve resorted to my Nikkor 24-70mm and 50mm, but I’m not in love with those! I also have a prism which frustrates the heck out of me because I just cannot take one good image with it! I also have a ND filter for long exposures. Spare card, battery etc (yawn)! I would love to be a tidy person but in reality my camera bag has pockets full of sand from beach shooting and various little toys like Octonauts and Hot Wheels. It’s endearing to come across these little surprises when I’m out and about trying to act professional!  

What’s your dream project or shoot?

I may as well put it out there … A shoot with Annie Leibovitz. Maybe I should go into specifics, but I can’t. Just any shoot, anywhere, of anyone, with Annie doing her thing.

What is the biggest challenge you face as a photographer?

Attracting families who want me to capture what I love capturing most: natural, visceral, unmistakable connection. I will always take a few photos of the family looking at me with happy smiles for them to pass onto grandparents. But I want to give their children the gift of their family stories, told in pictures of emotion, movement, light. My photos aren’t simply for previous generations to admire, they are for future generations to know and understand the relationships between the people who created and raised them.

If you had $500 to spend on photography... How should you spend it? How do you wish you could spend it? How would you really spend it?

I should put it towards my new camera, but I wish I could spend it on a workshop that I’m desperate to take. I would probably spend it on the new camera.

Is there any one thing you wish someone had told you at the very beginning of your photography journey?

That no matter how many goals you achieve or dreams become real, you will probably never feel like you’ve ‘made it’ in the way that you once thought you might. Some of the things that have happened in my journey in the last year still feel a little bit lucky, and sometimes I think that person is going to turn around and tell me they made a mistake, it was a different Amy! Art is such a personal thing, there will always be self-doubt, I’ve just learned to turn it into a challenge and study/work harder. Even though I wasn’t told this at the beginning of my journey, I think I always knew it deep down. I’ve carried on through the journey anyway for the sheer love of it all!

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