new genuary: introducing amber mahoney
Another year, another fresh batch of exciting young talent. Throughout the month of January we will be introducing the photographers set to define 2017. Capturing the world around them and interpreting it through the prism of their own experiences...
Amber Mahoney, 32
Tell me a bit about yourself and where you grew up?
I was born in Victoria, Australia and grew up in a small home with a tin roof in a sleepy Australian suburb. I moved to another sleepy suburb in the states with my mom when I was a kid. There wasn't much to do. I usually just read a lot and had a brief infatuation with sand art.
How did you get into photography?
My mom had been a photographer before I came along. She ended up selling her Nikon F at one point to fix a hole in our roof back in Upwey, but started buying equipment again after we'd been in the states for a bit. I think I started playing with her film camera when I was about 8. After realizing I was in love, she bought me my first camera for Christmas when I was 10.
What is it about the medium that appeals most?
I like sharing the things and people I see, as I see them, while inserting as little of myself as possible. Photography is the only way I know how to do that, really.
How/where did you learn your craft?
Through my mom, through books, through friends and mentors.
To pursue a career in photography do you feel like a degree is necessary?
I don't really. I'm sure it's very helpful and there's so much I'm still learning that I might've learned in a classroom. But, personally, any time I've gone to school for something I've loved, it's killed the passion. The over-intellectualization begins to overshadow intuition. And I start to dread it.
Who or what inspires you?
It's forever changing, but right now: Danny Lyon, Frieda Kahlo, William Eggleston. Lyon's perspective and uncontrived emotional connection to his subjects, Kahlo's strength and unedited singularity, Eggleston's narrative of "provocation without resolution."
Who would you most like to shoot?
How would you describe your overall aesthetic?
That feels quite subjective, doesn't it? But I guess I hope to create images that just make someone, somewhere, feel something.
What's been your career highlight so far?
I've really enjoyed working on projects that challenge me — either because I'm traveling somewhere I've never been, alone, or because the subject matter is intimidating. I don't think it can be called a career highlight — because I was there as human first, artist second — but I was grateful to be able to support the water protectors in North Dakota and share their stories.
What do you stand for?
Equal rights for all humans the earth over. Kindness to each other, to our planet, to its animals. Empathy and compassion. Always empathy and compassion.
Photography Amber Mahoney