The Creatives- all things ami

Today I'm excited to introduce Allyn from the lovely blog all things ami.  Allyn is a lovely photographer and writer. Through her eyes I feel the stillness and beauty of each moment.  She also shares a passion for three of my great loves, food, lists and blogs! Thank you for participating Allyn.  Welcome to our space! Note from Emily: All photos in this post courtesy of all things ami

Note from Allyn: I would first like to thank Emily for inviting me as part of her interview series for artists.  This project is not only inspired but speaks to Emily's goals to encourage + support the community via her blog.  I am thrilled to be a part of that.  Not to mention, the girl kicked off "The Creatives" with So You Think Dance superstars.  I get to follow? Seriously?  That show kind of makes me swoon { just a little }.  Now that I've admitted that, let's get on to the Q & A.  . . .

1) I’ve heard you mention before that you’ve been taking photographs since you were a kid.  Since becoming a Mom I’ve thought a lot about how to encourage Elian’s natural talents and loves.  How did you fall in love with photography?  Is there someone who encouraged you along the way?

Falling in love with photography began with the first black and white photographs of my father and his siblings lined up by age in a slanted row.  The edges were slightly torn and the paper appeared melted down as if a million fingertips raced across the picture.  My dad’s first photographs of my mom also served as inspiration.  The thought of my mom, his muse, making a camera an absolute necessity still makes me swoon a little.

Encouragement and support revealed themselves in the smallest gestures like my dad gifting me his Honeywell Pentax, my grandfather telling me I can do and be anything, and my mom purchasing, developing and picking up film for all my really bad photos.  Of course, I have to thank my stellar model family who posed {or at least didn’t mind or at least didn’t complain often} in front of my camera while I clicked away at every big or little occasion.

2) What is it that makes photography appeal to you as an artistic medium?  Is it something you can describe?

In the instant that you command the shutter, you’ve captured a moment you can never get back. The idea of time being immortalized for the sake of art, love, history or the process of making the intangible tangible are all amazing facets of a single act.

3) What is your process like when you take a picture?  What would make you stop and take a picture of something?

I don’t have a specific technical process. I do think about the space around the subject as much as I do for the subject.

I believe in celebrating in the daily so I try to capture details that move me in some way.  There’s certainly a mood or excitement that causes my pause to photograph.  I tend to ask myself, “Do I want to see this again?”  If the answer is “yes” then I’ll use the camera.

via All things Ami

4) You’re not only a great photographer but an awesome blogger too.  Something I love about your blog is that your writing style is very distinct and in some ways quite stylized.  Have you always written that way or did it evolve over time?

Thank you, Emily.  I’m incredibly flattered. I need to put that on loop because I cannot say that enough.

I love to write. I use every opportunity to communicate in script for that reason alone.  It has definitely been a personal evolution.  I think my writing has become more distinctive because I’ve opened up a bit. For a long time I was reticent about how much of me I put out there.  I admire people who are courageous enough to pen their feelings, stories or personal insight out loud.  In my eyes, there’s a whole of scary attached to the forever in ink.  It took some time but I started to listen to friends and family who told me to “get brave.”  As a result, the bits I post come from an honest place and driven with more confidence as well as a lot of support from loved ones.

5) We’ve chatted about the amazing online community of bloggers.  When and why did you start your blog?  Has your motivation for blogging changed over time?

I started the blog last January as an anti-Facebook measure to keep my friends and family updated with Ami Clan happenings.  It was a one-sided digest of things I thought they would like to know. More of me would emerge but mostly in my photographs or on the rare occasion I wasn’t talking about my petite ami.s, Twilight or triathlons.  All are important subjects to me but I wrote a lot of it from a newsletter kind of place.  That part wasn’t very “me” at all.

In time, the blog became a creative outlet.  I made the decision to make my true debut with a new site and a public reveal of my writing in March 2010.  Victoria of SF Girl by the Bay’s Blog it Forward project gave me an opportunity participate as a member of the larger blogger community.  I’m truly grateful for that.

I am continuing to realize my intentions for this little space of mine and enjoying the process along the way.

6) What advice do you have for photographers who would like to improve their skills?

Take a lot of pictures and make detailed notes.  I took one black and white photography class in my lifetime.  Everything else I know from practice, discipline, trial + error and inspiration.  There’s a lot to learn about perspective, being mindful and a thoughtful photograph that aren’t found in books.  With that said, good technique helps package your pictures in the best way possible.
Evolution in your craft is a requirement.
I am currently re-committing myself to film and scouring through photography books to learn and re-learn techniques.  I do the same for my digital photography efforts as well.
Oh, and read your manual(s).  You also have alternatives to reading your manual.  Check on line for tutorials that may be an easier or appealing read. You’ll get to know your camera along the way.  That relationship is important.

7) Many creative people express themselves in various outlets. I like blogging and dance.  What other creative outlets do you enjoy? How do you find photography and other creative outlets to be similar or different?

I enjoy writing.  A lot.  I suppose it mimics photography in that it’s a means to steal a moment that’s idyllic or otherwise.  I also cook, sew and garden. Each one has an aspect that allows me to make a statement (big or little).  I consider that an important element to creativity.

8) Who are you inspirations as an artist (art or non/art)?

I am inspired by many people, places and things.

People | For their ability to gift the world with true presence.

Places | Because sometimes being there says everything.

Things | Tactile and tangible are significant elements.

9) What drives you as an artist?

I have never called myself an artist.  I still squirm a little at the idea that I have the expertise to be called a photographer.

I’d like to think I’m a creative soul.  I attempt to use every bit of daily to convey the joy on my outsides, in my writing and my photographs.

I am a social scientist by nature and by training.  My curiosity for the all things every day is my driving force.

10) I find that many creative people have dreams and goals surrounding their art.  Do you have any specific future aspirations for your art?

This is a really good question.  I think I’m still trying to figure that out while I dream with my eyes open.  I know I want to write a book and put together a collection of photographs.  I also have a particular interest in supporting the dreams of children and young women.  It’s not easy being a girl, you know.

11) Please finish the following sentence. “When I take a shot that turns out beautifully I feel…”

When I take a shot that turns out beautifully I feel surprise and wonder.  It is a new appreciation every single time.

Posted on October 12, 2010 and filed under The Creatives.