Interview | Amy Lombard
Favorite thing to do besides photography or design?
I’m very into antiques and roaming around estate sales. I have an affinity for 40s-70s maximalist furniture and vintage toys. My interest in these antiques is not unlike my interest in photography, really. These items can tell you so much about culture and how people lived then—just like pictures can.
Red, orange and yellow. I'm a leo--the fire sign in me comes through in my color choices, I suppose.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I live in Jackson Heights, Queens—and truthfully, if I could live anywhere, I would still probably choose here. Queens really is magical. I do love desert culture though. In my ideal world Queens would stay my home base and i’d spend winters in the desert, either somewhere in Nevada or Arizona. The snowbirds who flock to Arizona with their RV’s and mobile homes are living right in my opinion.
Favorite place to shoot?
The desert. You cannot beat the light.
My first camera was a …
My first camera was a Nikon Fg that belonged to my friend Sam Gorelick's father.
Describe yourself in three words.
Brassy, stubborn, passionate.
Describe your work in three words.
Colorful, confrontational, joyful.
About Amy’s Work
What camera(s) do you prefer to use?
Canon 5d Mark III
What inspired you to pursue photography/design?
When I was a kid I dreamed of being a writer. I wanted to tell stories—both non fiction and fiction. There was a moment when I was a teenager that I realized with my camera I no longer needed words to communicate the stories that were important to me. When I was fifteen I made myself a contract with myself saying that I would build my life around photography—and that’s precisely what i’ve done. The biggest inspiration behind the subjects i cover came from my days working at LIFE. When you think of LIFE you think of great photoessays like Country Doctor, but what most people don’t realize is that LIFE literally and photographically covered all walks of life. I became fascinated with stories of squirrels in clothes and seeing eye cats. These were the stories I was interested in, that I didn’t feel were being shown anymore.
What is your greatest source of inspiration?
My greatest source of inspiration comes from American culture at large—ranging from the Kardashians to Harry Potter fandom. I’m deeply interested in the phenomenons, interests, and personalities that shape our worlds.
What artists in your field have influenced your work?
Diane Arbus, Cindy Sherman, Rosalind Solomon, Barbra Crane, Nina Leen and Mark Cohen.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
Very flash-heavy. I find that flash has a way of casting a spotlight on everyday life.
What is the most significant project you have worked on? Where did you find inspiration to pursue it?
I’d say thus far, my book Connected that I worked on with VSCO. It documented various internet meetups around the country—showing how internet culture has impacted our sense of community.
Are there any projects you are currently pursuing or would like to pursue?
Oh yes, I have a lot of projects I will be starting this year—some i can talk about, some I cannot…yet! I’ve been working on a project on Square Dancing for years that has been on hiatus for much of 2018—i’ll be returning to it this month and hopefully wrapping the work in 2019. It’s extremely comprehensive, and very complicated subject matter. Totally separate from my documentary work, I am deeply interested in doing a photography based children’s book so it’s something i’ve been researching extensively and hoping to make moves with in 2019.
What general process do you undergo to produce your work?
Typically I become obsessed with a certain topic and it just snowballs into an internet hole that lasts for days until I find myself photographing it.