We had the good fortune of connecting with Amy Barnard and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amy, so given that most of us are stuck at home due to the crisis, we’ve been asking folks about what they’ve enjoyed doing during quarantine. We’d love to hear what your favorite thing to do has been.
During this current world-wide crisis that we are facing I would first like to acknowledge how incredibly fortunate I feel. I recognize that although we are “all in this together” that we are not all equally affected. My fiancé and I are being very serious about adhering to the stay-at-home orders. We both work from our house and strictly follow mask-wearing, physical-distancing, and sanitizing processes when we do venture outside our home. However, I am glaringly aware of how many people don’t have the same ability to stay safe, and don’t have the same luxury of being able to pay for basic needs such as rent, food, heat, health-care, etc. Many people no longer have jobs, or aren’t able to work from home, or don’t have the resources to give them the ability to stay home in comfort. For those reasons alone I fell incredibly fortunate and can’t complain one bit about being “bored at home”. I will gladly take that small inconvenience and count my blessings for as long as necessary. As to how I am filling my time at home, once again I feel very fortunate. Last year I started a book project that I somehow “never had time” to focus on. It is about a stunning home in Santa Barbara that I originally photographed for a 10-page feature and cover for Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine. Unfortunately, one week before going to press, the magazine got shut down by their parent company. I was crushed! Not only is the house incredibly beautiful and unique, but it has quite a story as well. As soon as I got over the disappointment of the magazine closing I spoke to the owners of the home about wanting to do an entire book about it. Thankfully they were thrilled with the idea and we started discussing my ideas for it right away. So now that I literally have all the time I need to focus on it, that is exactly what I’m doing. As for other things I’m doing at home: Exercise: yoga, weight training, walking around our neighborhood Hobbies: gardening, reading Household: deep cleaning, organizing, rearranging
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
People ask what challenges I’ve overcome to get where I am, but I don’t think it’s the challenges themselves that are the difficulty. There will always be things to overcome along anyone’s journey. The real lesson is learning how to react to those challenges in a way that is positive and gives you the best opportunity for success. It’s training your brain to not being defensive or negative when faced with something uncomfortable, but instead to focus on steps to create a solution. And I am never shy about asking for help from fellow photographers if I need guidance or help with a particular situation.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
This definitely can’t be summed up to just one individual, it took a village, one person at a time, each one creating pivotal changes in my journey. I will stick to those who helped me starting around 2011, which is when I decided to shift gears in my career from being a photographer in the movie industry, into an interiors and architecture photographer. It all started with a mentor, photographer Craig Mohr, who told me I needed to consider going to Brooks Institute when I told him I was considering going back to school to earn my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Then I have my fiancé, Andrew Paley, who supported me not only emotionally, but financially, in order to accomplish that. I couldn’t have done it without him. In my final year of Brooks there were two teachers who were directly responsible for my internship experiences during the 2014/2015 school year. The first was Chuck Place, who absolutely insisted that I take an internship with Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine, even though I had already made up my mind about a different internship. I took his advice and that is where my career opportunities really started. And secondly, Russ McConnell, my architectural photography teacher who not only taught me the fine art of interior photography, but also helped me secure a second semester interning at Seasons. While at Seasons Magazine I built a wonderful relationship with the editor, Leslie Dinaberg, who truly believed in my work and gave me my first experiences as an editorial photographer. As soon as I graduated, she started hiring me on a regular basis shooting features, three of which also received cover shots. We have been friends ever since, and I owe her so much. Another person who made a big difference to me at that time was Dave Burk. He was the first professional architecture photographer that I got to assist once I was out of school and working with him gave me my first taste of shooting for a high-profile client. He is absolutely incredible, and he taught me so much. The next big break happened because of two people, also connected with Brooks. The first is Emily Ream. One day I was showing her a list of interior designers that inspired me, and for whom I hoped to shoot for in the future. I told her that the one I wanted most to meet was Timothy Corrigan. She paused and said, “Do you remember Liz Corrigan from Brooks?”. I answered yes, and she said she thought Timothy might be her cousin. I immediately asked Emily to ask her, which she did, and a few minutes later we got confirmation from Liz that he was. I about fell off my couch. I asked if she would be willing to introduce me and she immediately sent an introductory email to both of us. I felt like the world stood still. I couldn’t believe what just happened. Those two women are directly responsible for that incredibly important connection for me. I sent an email that evening to introduce myself to Timothy and to relay the kismet of how the introduction came about. Over the course of the next year I kept in touch through Instagram and by February of 2017 Timothy asked me to give him a quote on my first job for him. I truly owe the shift in my career to that moment. Between 2017 and 2018 I was fortunate enough to shoot for Timothy multiple times, and because of those projects I started getting published. And I mean really published. In July of 2018 I got the cover of Architectural Digest and a 10-page feature of one of the homes he designed. Between that home, and additional projects I have photographed for Timothy, I have since been published in Elle Decor, Galerie, Milieu, Los Angeles Confidential, and more. I was also heavily featured in his most recent book by Rizzoli titled “The New Elegance” alongside some of the world’s most important interior photographers. I can say with complete honesty that Timothy Corrigan and his incredible talent are what really put me on the map. Not only is he one of the most renowned interior designers out there, but he has the biggest heart and kindest disposition of almost anyone I’ve ever known. I am honored to call him my friend.
All photographs shot by me: Amy Barnard Photography