Meet Houston based commercial and editorial photographer Amy Scott.
Do you have a favorite podcast?
Dear Art Producer by Heather Elder, Focus on Women with Traci Terrick, and I love listening to the “Daily Wellness” every day on Spotify.
What do you listen to when you’re shooting?
I let my clients choose, otherwise I like to constantly mix it up depending on my mood. In the afternoons when energy is a little low on set after lunch I like to pump things up with pop and R&B from the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s because they make folks laugh and sing along.
What inspires you?
People who see the world differently than I do. I love coming across artists and authors and other creators that explore the whole range of humanity through their work! Whether it be playful, heavy, or poignant, people doing work that reflects the insane, wonderful, and inspiring stories around or inside of them fill me with joy and help me think about my life and work from new perspectives.
What’s your favorite thing about being a photographer?
Making images that really convey the feeling of a moment. Working with incredible inspirational teams to make something I could never create on my own. And problem solving! Every day is full of surprises and I love it.
When you aren’t making photographs, what other pastimes do you have?
I love cooking, travelling, wandering through forests, growing food, writing, making weird wines and vermouths.
Describe your daily or weekly work habits. (Pre-Covid and currently)
Every day that I’m not on a shoot, I work out or take a walk before I start my day. I try to make sure I start the day with a clear idea of what my goals are so I have a daily to do list and highlight the things that are essential. Each week I spend time researching and connecting with new prospective clients, planning out marking emails or social media posts, brainstorming new projects, and teaching myself new skills. I have trouble unplugging at the end of the day and will often work late, but I’ve been getting better about it and try to just work 9-6 if I’m not on a shoot.
What have been some of the highlights and challenges of your career so far?
It was hard to get consistent assisting jobs when I was just starting out and trying to learn. I was even told once that I wouldn’t be considered for an assisting job because I was a woman. Many (male) photographers told me that I would have to prove myself because male photographers wouldn’t believe I was strong enough to do the job. I just had to persevere and continue to look for the folks who would hire me and mentor me regardless of my gender.
One of the biggest highlights of my career so far was being awarded a grant to pursue a photo documentary project of Houston farmers. That work then led to work with a national rice brand, and many more opportunities.
What was the best piece of advice you were given starting out?
Do not give up. This is a hard business, but you will make it if you don’t give up – let everyone else be the quitters.
What were you doing before you became a Photographer?
I was the manager of a 26 acre vegetable farm!
If you weren’t a Photographer, what would you be doing?
I’d be a writer, an advocate for small scale farmers, or I’d pursue my weird dream of going back to school to study ancient Greek papyrology.
What do you do when you get stuck?
Take a break, get outside, try something new, do something active.
What is your best advice for your peers?
Connect with each other! I would not be where I am without the support of other photographers and I am so grateful to not feel alone in this sometimes very challenging, lonely business! Community is what makes everything worthwhile.
What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back 10 years? 20 years?
Always be yourself and make no apologies. You got this.
What is a photographer’s role now that technology has made it so much more accessible to the masses?
I still see us as storytellers first and foremost. Anyone can take a picture, but I see us as creative partners who work alongside our clients to make their story or campaign come to life.
What do you see yourself doing in five years?
I would love to get larger grants to tell more photo documentary style stories about US farmers through stills and motion!
To view more of Amy’s work you can follow along here.