1) Amy, you have truly been a trendsetter in family photography! How do you keep yourself inspired and creative?
Really? A trendsetter? I think all I do is go out there and try to have as much fun as possible. I do get bored rather easily. When I get tired of the same locations/looks, I try to force myself to do something new. In the past couple of years I've also started working on more personal projects and have found that these have made a huge impact on the work I create for my portrait clients.
2) When you aren't hard at work, what do you love to do?
I love meandering through the woods and being close to nature. I just moved into an old farmhouse and, aside from moving/painting, have been keeping myself entertained by digging in the mud, splashing in the creek and have been on the lookout for salamanders (no luck yet!).
For me, photos are a side effect. My primary focus is to get a family connecting with each other. Once you get them to forget that there's even a camera there because they're so wrapped up in each other, it's quite simple to capture those really special moments. I love getting in very close for these with a wider angle so the viewer almost feels as if they're part of that moment.
4) Let's not forget the typical question: what do you shoot with and which are your favorite lenses? Let's spice it up a little this time and throw in: Do you like to shoot wide open as much as possible or is it ever changing depending on the portrait?
I primarily photograph with the Canon 5D MKII. My Canon 24-70 2.8 is almost always on my camera, but I usually pull out an 85 1.2 a few times through a typical session as well. I shoot wide open more often than not, but (especially in family sessions when I need to have several different planes of focus), I'll also shoot at smaller apertures.
5) Tell us how you got where you are today. Did you always know you wanted to be a photographer? When did it become a profession for you? What amazing things have you experienced in the journey?
Photography was a bit of an accident for me. I first wanted to be an actress, studied Speech Communications & English in college and graduated thinking I'd become a videographer. I purchased my first DSLR a few months after college and got a job working at a high volume portrait studio. It wasn't long before I felt ready to branch out on my own, though, when I first started my website, www.amyparrish.com, I purposefully left out the word "photography" because I wasn't entirely sure it would be a direction I'd stick with (remember earlier when I said I get bored rather easily??). I invested a lot of time and money, but the emotional payback kept me going. Since then I've met so many incredible people, in all walks of life: these interactions have reaffirmed that there is still a whole lot of goodness and love in this world.
Thank you Amy! You can see more of her fabulous work at Amy Parrish Photography or on her Facebook page.