324 Portraits: Amy

324 Portraits: Amy

Amy Lombard

Occupation: Photographer

City/ Neighborhood Jackson Heights, NY

Instagram:  @amylombard

What is going on these days? 
These days my time is spent documenting interesting subjects for magazines, but i've also been working on a photo essay on square dancing across the United States.

How did you get into photography?
I never really expected to go into an art field. I always wanted to be a writer--i was more interested in telling stories. When I was 15 my friend Sam was enrolling in an urban photography class at Moore College of Art and Design, and he asked me if i wanted to join him. I said yes, mostly because it was something to do at the time. I hated it with every bone in my body. I did not understand how to use the film camera, my pictures were out of focused and underexposed. There was zero indication this would end up being my career until i, for whatever reason, signed up for another class at Tyler School of Art. It was here that I met someone who really instilled in me that there is something unique about every single one of us, we all have a story and it's worth exploring. Finally I felt like I could tell the stories i wanted to tell and words were no longer necessary

Your work is very recognizable, how did you develop your signature style?
My style is very heavy flash. The thing is, I was always very sensitive to natural light--I didn't have any interest in artificial light sources until 2009. My friend Ben had purchased this Sunpak 622 Super flash. This thing is an absolute monster--it is bigger than my head. When he showed me the flash it was like a magnetic force was pulling me toward it. He let me borrow it, and the rest is history. When I looked at my film, which was a picture of my friend Josh in his Upper East Side studio, it was like hearing music for the first time. The world around me just made sense with it.

What inspires and motivates you?
I let my curiosity lead the way, and that often leads me to interesting scenarios and places I never thought imaginable. Work ethic wise, my grandfather is 93 years old and works full time, travels the country, and runs a company. Whenever I feel tired and I want to be lazy, I try to keep that in mind.

Your apartment is full of interesting objects, how did you go about collecting? Any tips for antiquing?
I don't think there was ever an "a-ha!" moment for me where I began to get very into antiques. Growing up my mom was always very into antiques and decorating the house--so it's always been something that has been present in my life. I developed a love of vintage clothing and textiles as a teenager. This is probably an extension of these two things. These items genuinely make me happy when I look at them--specifically, my toys. When I was designing my office I knew I had to make it very fun for me to want to be in there, and the toy wall is a big draw for me. What I love about the toys is how they can tell you so much about what culture was like at a particular moment in time. It's really not unlike what I hope my photos will serve as one day.  To have these items in my office is sort of a visual daily reminder of that. 

I am not a serious collector, just an obsessive hobbyist at this point, but buy what you love! I bought a baby carriage at a flea market in PA for five dollars--the guy thought I was nuts for wanting it in the first place. I saw it the other day at Brimfield for 400 dollars. 

What is your favorite object in your home? Why?
Tough question! Of sentimental value, my mom gave me this really heavy brass frog after a breakup when I felt like absolute shit. My grandma had given it to her when she finally left a boyfriend who was relentlessly cheating on her. She met my dad a few months later. It was a really thoughtful gift that means a lot to me. On the completely non-sentimental side, I love my 70s toy kitchen sets. I have two stoves, a fridge, a sink... i'm about to buy a toy washing machine. They are just so cute.

Describe your style in 2-3 words.
Bold, colorful, fun

Why did you pick your 324 bag?
I just think it's stunning. I love the texture of the bag and mustard yellow is my second favorite color -- it's so fab.

What is in your bag during the day?
I try to not carry a bag during the day if I don't have to. I use my Louis Vuitton key ring to hold my entire life, basically. Most days I am running around working, so the reality is unfortunately I have a huge Langley camera backpack filled to the brim with camera bodies, flashes and batteries. Otherwise I have a black leather tote that I throw a phone charger, lipstick, headphones and sunglasses. 

And at night?
I gravitate toward my mini Fendi Oyster Bag. It pretty much only fits my phone charger, lipstick and key ring. 

Current theme song?
Sunday Roast by Courtney Barnett

Favorite place in the world?
I love the desert--no where specific, I like it all. The light is beautiful. I think the bumblefuck towns of Nevada are fascinating. I really enjoy Arizona and think it's so underrated. I want to have a vacation home in one of the retirement trailer communities out in Mesa. They live the life!

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