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Alumni Mentor – Amy Parrish

Hi!  I’m Amy Parrish.  I’m supposed to write 1-3 paragraphs about who I am.  I could cover the basics (I operate a portrait business in Granville, Ohio along with my husband, Ryan…I’ve been photographing professionally for close to 10 years…etc.), but I don’t know if you’d really learn much about me based on that.

I think the more important details are much smaller:

I’m pretty reserved except when I’m quite the opposite.  I do a lot of daydreaming.  I secretly want to be Martha Stewart when I grow up (minus the fame and legal issues!).  I can be quite impulsive (Ryan proposed & I agreed just 2 weeks after we met).  We have no kids, but my dog owns a pretty big piece to my heart.  I’d love to write children’s books at some point in my life.  Some of my favorite things are the sounds of spring peepers, the call of a whippoorwill, strong breezes, watching bugs & birds, and dipping my toes in the creek.  80′s love songs are pretty fantastic, too.

How did you get started in the business? Who helped/guided/mentored you?

I picked the college I attended for its amazing theatre program, but ended up studying Speech Communications and English and spending many hours working for the campus television station.  As graduation approached, I wanted to pursue a future in videography and carried my (cheap-o) video camera around everywhere I went.  It was through those screen captures where I fell in love with the aesthetic of still photography and checked out practically every book on photography I could get my hands on at the library.  I photographed nature, self portraits, food from the grocery store, and eventually found a job at a high volume portrait studio in the mall.  It was a very humble beginning and, even though I felt creatively constrained in my photography, I learned a lot on the basic structure of running a portrait business.

How many After Dark Events have you attended and what’s your favorite moment?

STL with be my 5th! During a POD in Kansas City, one of my classes consisted of just 4 or 5 people.  We went wildly off topic since it was an especially intimate group and got to connect with each other on a deeper level (tears, laughter, talk of struggles, insecurities & emotional/physical release).  I’ll always remember when someone spoke on the unexpected twist; “This isn’t what I wanted, but what I needed”.  I felt the exact same way.

Special Message or Advise for AD attendees?

You’re going to have a blast!  My biggest piece of advice is to get out there and take some risks.  Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to strangers and spend some time with a mentor or two who you don’t necessarily see yourself having a lot in common with.  This is how I personally learned the most at After Dark.  Being a little more advanced, I’d already discovered many of the tips shared by those creating work similar to my own.  When I sat in with a few mentors who were quite different than myself, I was pleasantly surprised to find all sorts of new information that I could tweak and apply to my own work.

What are your top 5 skills?

  • Connecting with Subjects
  • Creativity & Inspiration
  • Defining mood through lighting and color
  • Branding and defining style
  • Resourceful.. able to make something out of nothing

 

Contact Info:WebsiteFacebook

Fun Facts:

  • Canon Shooter
  • I’m most often categorized as child photographer, though we market to a specific personality type (artful sophisticates) more than to a certain age bracket or genre.
  • I started my career nearly a decade ago in a high volume retail environment, shifted over to a portable studio for a few months then quickly transitioned to a less cumbersome on-location business, opened a very hip, urban studio for a few years, and moved out into a rural setting where I currently operate from my home/property.

Majority of Business:

  • A majority of our business has historically been in families with young children, but this past year we’ve gained a larger number of high school seniors (girls, specifically).

Lighting:

  • I primarily utilize natural light, but also turn to my Westcott Spiderlights quite a bit (most often using them as a continuous light source).  I keep a pair of speedlights packed in my bag as well.