Every artist is influenced by the world around them. The people, places and things that define my work are what the Influencers post is all about. I hope you find inspiration from what you read/view. I present to you Amy Siniscalchi, CPP of Shades of You Photography!
How did you get into photography (or a specific genre of photography)?
My grandfather was an avid amateur photographer so I always got his cameras when he got new ones. So, I’ve just always had a camera in my hand ever since I was a really little girl. I was always drawing or painting or taking pictures. Then, I took Art classes in school and just have always had a very creative spirit. The shift to Portrait Photography was a very natural one for me. In college I got a Minor in Psychology and later got a Master’s Degree in Counseling. Finding the truth in people and their relationships has always fascinated me.
How do you think others view your work?
I’m really not sure what anyone else thinks and I actually try actively to not think about that. I don’t mean to sound cocky. Its just that if I distract myself too much with what I think someone else thinks I get totally off course for what feels right to me. I would hope that they see intimacy, fun, beauty, and vulnerability. Now, for a client, I hope that the artwork that they commission me to create with them portrays them and their relationships in a way that feels true and intimate. You don’t really know what you look like when you are looking at somebody that you love with a fully open heart. I want them to see that. I want them to look at the photographs of their child and say “that is SO him/her”.
Who are the artists that influence and inspire your work? Why?
Ansel Adams, just..the master. I love Mario Testino’s portraits. Also Richard Avedon. Brilliant. I also love Annie Leibovitz’s work. I think she is a visionary. And of course, Anne Geddes. Her newborn portraits changed the genre of newborn portraiture. Recently, I have been exploring more Boudoir work and I’m a big fan of Christa Meola. Also, Alberto Vargas. His work was so revolutionary. I love Art. I love to go to museums and look at books that have paintings and sculptures in them (not just photography). I just ordered an entire DVD course called The History of European Art. I love looking at the way classical painters posed their subjects or their use of light and shadow. Gorgeous!
What do you like most about your own work?
I like the simplicity. I don’t love a lot of clutter, activity, or “location” going on. I’m more concerned with seeing, in a deep way, the person–without other distractions. All of their beauty and vulnerability. I think that my subjects warm up to me very quickly and I get to that place with them where they stop being self-conscious about the camera and start trusting me enough to let down some of their walls.
What about your works brings you joy?
The fact that people trust me with such important times in their lives. I have clients who bring their 6 day old baby to my studio. This could be their first trip out of the house. And they trust me to handle their baby and sort of put themselves in my hands at such a vulnerable time. Right now I am really enjoying exploring more Boudoir portraiture and I am LOVING it. Helping other women feel beautiful and sexy is really something special. As women, I feel that a lot of the time we are so busy doing so much else and being so much else for so many others that we can lose track of ourselves. To share an experience where I can see a woman feeling more beautiful and more confident as we go along is extremely gratifying. Oh, and of course, I love doing Dog Portraits. Who wouldn’t be happy taking photographs of dogs?
What do you do to positively influence the next generation of photographers/visual artists?
I honestly don’t know how to answer this. I’m not aware of being an influence. If anything I’d like to influence them to value their time and talent enough to charge appropriately for it.
What are some of your favorite processes and techniques?
I actually don’t like a lot of processing. I really don’t like when the finished product looks almost nothing like the photograph that was taken. I guess this goes back to the whole “simplicity” thing for me. I like to shoot with a wide aperture. I love a strong focus where I want it and a lot of fading off of the unnecessary.
How can readers find out more about you and your work?
My website is http://www.shadesofyouphoto.com or my blog http://www.shadesofyouphoto.com/blog or on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/shadesofyou and our new Facebook page dedicated solely to Beauty and Boudoir at http://www.facebook.com/shadesofyouboudoir!