Love Amy’s work. Love Amy’s words.
JONATHAN CHERRY: What did you want to be growing up?
AMY HARRITY: A veterinarian. One day my older brother crushed this dream informing me I would have to put my hand up a cow’s butt to graduate from veterinary school. I then began down the long road of career exploration that lead me to photography.
JC: Who or what is inspiring you at the moment?
AH: Cinema, color, and Beyonce.
JC: What are you up to right now?
AH: Currently working from a coffee shop on my teeny laptop and looking far more unprofessional then you’re probably imagining me to be.
JC: Have you had mentors along the way?
AH: Thankfully yes. I’ve been really fortunate to have photographers in my life who are further down the professional road and unabashed with sharing their experiences and information. My cousin Jim Golden, and my close friend Annie Tritt have always been open, honest, and huge sources of inspiration for me. They have been able to nurture my vision while being straight forward and honest about my work and career path. One day I hope to repay them I’m thinking bottles of cristal on a yacht.
JC: Where are you based right now and how is it shaping you?
AH: I’m currently in San Francisco, CA. The quality of light and color in California has a huge influence on my work. I live in a neighborhood called the Sunset on the outskirts of the city. The Sunset backs up to the pacific coast and runs along the south side of Golden Gate Park. The houses are all painted like candy skittles and around 6pm everyday the neighborhood lives up to it’s name. San Francisco has a natural dream like quality to it and my work definitely pulls form that.
JC: One piece of advice to photography graduates?
AH: It’s hard for me to say because I didn’t graduate with a photo degree. I never studied it in school. Education is valuable and graduating is a great feat but it hasn’t been necessary for me the photo industry. The quality and consistent vision of your work has proven to be important. So I guess my advice would be to shoot, a lot, a ton. Figure out where your corner of the world is, photographically speaking, and make as much work personal work as possible. Be completely immersed in it. That’s why people will want to hire you, because it will be obvious how much you love it.
JC: If all else fails what is your plan B?
AH: The only Plan B I believe in is the kind that helps young ladies prevent pregnancy.
JC: Is it important to you to be a part of a creative community?
AH: To me, yes. But I don’t think it’s necessary. I’m a naturally extroverted person and my lack of photo schooling makes me drawn to a sense of community. I never had group critiques of my work, so I find my photo circle really helpful for things like that. Some people work better in solitude though. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received was from a more insular photographer. He told me “stop looking at other people’s work”. I don’t follow that advice all the time, but I think there are times where you shouldn’t listen to anyones opinion or be influenced by anything else except the shit show of your own creative pull.