We had the good fortune of connecting with Amber Canterbury and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amber, where are you from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I was born in Florida and spent 25 years there before moving to LA. I grew up an only child in a working class family, I’ve had a job of some kind since I was 15. As a kid I spent a lot of time playing outside, barefoot, always curious. I have very fond memories of helping my grandfather tend to his small garden and my grandmother prep meals in the kitchen. Nostalgia for me is citrus trees, humidity, salt air, afternoon thunderstorms, Spanish moss, cicadas. I’m really drawn to the visceral things in life, and I think photography is such a fun medium to explore that world. I’m definitely starting to see some of these themes pop up in my work.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I didn’t start out thinking of photography as a job, it was just something I enjoyed doing. I got into it my senior year of college as a bored and pretty directionless business major, and then took some darkroom classes + did a photo internship at a magazine in my hometown. It wasn’t until opportunities began to appear that I thought, maybe this is a viable career path for me.
A big challenge as an artist is learning how to successfully manage the business side of things. One thing I’ve learned is that when you’re overwhelmed, delegate. It’s so worth it, and makes room for more productivity and pleasure.
I think as I grow and evolve as a person, I’m striving to just live as my most authentic self. Whatever that looks like, however it may change over time. Love what you love, be drawn to what you’re drawn to, and that’s ultimately reflected in your work. That’s where the joy is, and the rest sort of naturally follows when you’re emanating that energy. A continual unfolding. I’d love to get to a place where I’m partnering more with projects that align with my ethics and sustainability. I’m also excited about exploring more in the photojournalism space.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Coffee – Maru in Los Feliz (the line moves fast, I promise!)
Low-key dinner and wine – Found Oyster
Afternoon stroll – The Huntington
Pizza and chill – DeSano delivery
Outdoor show – The Greek
Urban picnic – Barnsdall Art Park
Farmers market – Sundays in Atwater Village
Hike/camp/outdoors – anything along the 395 highway, Griffith Park, Angeles National Forest, Deep Creek Hot Springs, Malibu Creek State Park, north on the PCH, Ojai, Joshua Tree, all the little surrounding mountain towns
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My mom and grandmother who made so many sacrifices so I could have more opportunities than they did, and my therapist and friends for all their support and encouragement.
Toma Kostygina, Julie Hinkley