INTERVIEW: Photographer Amy Postle on Shooting Women and Her Emotional Attachment to FilmPosted on August 20th, 2010 No comments
Fashion Makes Me Horny was lucky enough to interview talented photographer Amy Postle, whose work has been published in Fitness, Prevention and more–in addition to being featured in ad campaigns for Miz Mooz Shoes and Kodak. She aims to capture women as the multi-faceted creatures that they are and succeeds. This talented, young photographer grew up in Kansas and now splits her time between NYC and Miami. How does she feel about film, NYC vs. Miami and capturing women in intimate moments? Read on to find out.
FMMH: When did you know you wanted to become a photographer?
AP: I knew from an early age that I wanted to be an artist- my father is an amazing artist (design, enamel work, jewelry, drawing, you name it) and I always knew that I would follow down a similar path. I’ve always loved creating things and expressing myself in different mediums. I was given my first 35mm film camera when I was about four. I took to it immediately. I was constantly taking pictures of myself from an early age- playing dress up and using it as a means of transforming myself- I would feel beautiful when I would see the pictures and I was amazed by the process. I went back and forth between painting and photography for years- often incorporating both into my work. Although I still love to paint, I found that photography was a more literal medium for me and it finally won me over.
FMMH: What is your fantasy shoot? Any celebs or high-profile personalities?
AP: Liv Tyler has always been the #1 celeb that I’d love to photograph- she is obviously beautiful, but there is also a real quality about her that makes her relatable and fascinating.
FMMH: What’s been your favorite project or assignment so far? Why?
AP: I went through about a 7-year period in my life where I was constantly photographing my friends- almost everyone I met during that time was recruited at some point. I would choose them based on what was going on in their lives… When they were at low points, I would photograph them to cheer them up, when they were at high points, the shoot would be more of a celebration. I use to refer to it as photo therapy. Basically, I would show up at my friend’s apartment with lingerie, make-up, curlers (a bottle of wine or two) and we would play dress up in a way. Tons of fake lashes and dramatic lighting- captured on film. A handful of shots from the “women” section on my website are from these years. This work has defined me as a photographer in my eyes. This is also the work that I now have in galleries. The goal for me as a photographer is, and has always been, to empower women- that period was all about that for me.
FMMH: Digital or 35 mm and why?
AP: I shoot primarily a Hasselblad which yields a medium format, square negative. There is no replacing film for me- anyone who has ever shot a roll understands why. It has beauty, vibrancy, depth and versatility. I am emotionally attached to film and the process that goes along with using it. I believe that connection shows in my work. The lab I use scans my film immediately after it is processed, so I am still able to deliver the images to my clients digitally… That is key.
FMMH: Some of your photographs capture your subjects in private moments, as if the person viewing the photo is catching the subject unaware. Is this intentional?
AP: It is intentional and is set up to feel that way. I would never actually photograph a woman in a private moment without her consent and knowing- I think that would be violating. The way I shoot is much like a movie would be shot- I love shooting in locations with depth and textures, placing a woman inside that scene, and then capturing her own transformation and experience. It’s amazing how many personal moments happen for people when they are photographed- that’s when the real magic happens for me as a photographer- seeing that the woman I am photographing has been affected by the experience.
FMMH: Is there a pervading element or evocative feeling you want people who view your photographs to come away with?
AP: I always side with the woman, so I hope that my photographs help women to feel a sense of confidence and pride in being women themselves. I hope that my photographs encourage women to own their sensuality and wear that little black dress with confidence, no matter what the size is. My photos are for women more than men- of course I know men love the work and I am thrilled that they do, but they are not my target audience.
FMMH: How do you think it’s different photographing women as a female photographer as opposed to a male photographer photographing women?
AP: I can certainly only speak from my perspective on this one, but I think there is a certain comfort level that I achieve much easier, being a woman myself. I am not perfect, I am often insecure, I wish I wore a smaller jean size, I get it. I am a very easy woman for other women to relate to, there is a serious comfort in that for the people I photograph. Men by genetic default aren’t going to ever be able to duplicate that so I guess I’m lucky.
FMMH: We already know the answer to this, but does photography make you horny?
AP: Oh… I don’t think I can answer this one! EEK! I suppose I feel excited when I know I’ve created something that is really moving and I sense a pivotal moment in my career.
FMMH: What else makes you horny?
AP: My beautiful husband Brian who knows, understands and loves me unconditionally. Also, knowing that I am exactly where I want to be in life. That does it for me.
FMMH: How does living in NYC compare to other cities you’ve lived in (as a working photographer)?
AP: Right now I am going back and forth between NY and Miami, but I lived in the East Village for eight years. There is nothing like it. The excitement you feel walking out your front door- like you’re a part of something bigger and more important than you’ll ever really know. There is a camaraderie with the people next to you on the subway, on the streets, everywhere. That energy is invigorating and drives me to do more, to be better, and create. Every city offers something different- my apartment in Miami is 3x the size and half the cost of my NY apartment, but nothing compares to the energy of the Big Apple.
FMMH: What current or upcoming projects are you working on (and with what magazines) are most exciting about? Why?
AP: I’ve been shooting a series of advertisements for Kodak’s Motion Picture Film Division- they are portraits of Directors of Photography in testimonial ads for the motion picture films. I have met some of the coolest people and created work that I am so proud of. The project is challenging for me since it has been only of men so far- I’ve had to dig deep and get creative. I am so use to shooting women that, if I’m having a really rough day, I can almost be on auto pilot- I know what to do, what to say, how to be, and still have it work. With men, it’s new territory, and here I am shooting very high-profile men, who are award winning cinematographers- that alone can be intimidating! It has forced me to think outside my own box and really go for it. I feel challenged and like I’m learning something new. That to me is super exciting.
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