Interview with Amity Mason
What is currently one of your favorite images to date? What makes it so special to you as a photographer?
One of my most favorite images of all time is the opening image on my website, a night shot of the Coliseum in Rome Italy. I took this picture years ago on my first trip to Italy. Shot on film – Ilford SFX which is a near-infrared film but not as sensitive as true infrared film. There is just something about this image that I LOVE, and to me is timeless and atmospheric/moody. I am having a large print made for my house.
What sparked your interest in Photography?
My interest in photography was sparked when I was attending art school at Alfred University in upstate NY. I originally went for ceramic art and thought that was what I would major in. Took a few other classes: metal sculpture, glass blowing and decided to take a photography class to learn how to photograph my 3D art pieces—that was it! I was in love.
I learned how to shoot, develop by hand and print both color and black and white film. Through all the assignments (depth of field, white on white, choose a photographer you like and mimic their style, landscape, portrait shoots, etc..) my interest grew.Then I discovered long exposure/night photography… It’s a whole other world out there when shooting at night. These shots really complete the body of work I present to my clients. You can view more night images on my website in the travel section. I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art with concentration photography.
How would you describe your style?
I shoot weddings because they are fast paced, exciting, fun, glamourous, and emotional. There is a lot for me to capture. My style incorporates a combination of fashion, fine art, photojournalism/candid work. Specializing in weddings has required that I shoot a variety of styles in order to provide my clients with a complete body of work as well as be able to capture their event in its entirety. From the smallest details like cufflinks, flowers, and shoes, to capturing the emotion during the ceremony and reception. These are the images that will bring back the memories of their wedding that they will share with their families and friends for years to come.
Do you have any tips for Brides and Grooms on their wedding day?
Enjoy it ’cause it flies by!
What is your favorite part of weddings to photograph and why?
One of my favorite parts of the wedding to photograph is the bride getting ready. There is so much emotion, excitement, and anticipation. My goal when shooting the bride is to capture beautiful, timeless images that she will love for years. Every women has her own beauty, and I am there to capture it. My favorite is when I show her a picture I have taken of her and the response usually is, “Oh my gosh I can’t believe that’s me!” That’s when I know I nailed it. During this time I also capture all the details: the dress, the shoes, hair, makeup, jewelry— everything that is going into making this woman feel and look beautiful. Another favorite part is the first look… this is such a special moment when the bride and groom see each other for the first time.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by fashion, art, the couple’s emotion and plan for their event. I really strive to capture images that are not only wedding images but pieces of art— images that the client can hang in their home and enjoy, not just a “wedding picture”. I really want to capture their essence and who they truly are with each other.
What are your favorite photo lens to shoot with?
My favorite lens is my 70-200. I shoot most of my event with this lens. It allows me to back off the action and just let things happen. Also love the 50mm F1.4, great for portraits/ and details and a fisheye to spice it up every now and again.
What kind of locations do you love to take your couples to for their portrait sessions?
I have many secret spots where I like to shoot around the island. It just depends on what the client is asking for and where they are staying. I like to keep it fresh and new so I am always scouting for interesting new spots.
What do you love to do during your free time when not shooting weddings?
When I am not shooting weddings, I can usually be found in the ocean:: surfing is my number one choice of sport followed by outrigger paddling. This year our team was undefeated in Maui County, placed 18th out of 100 at the Queen Liliuokalani long distance race on the Big Island, placed 35th out of 90 in the Na Wahine O Ke Kai channel race from Molokai to Oahu and completed multiple channel crossings. I also enjoy a variety of other sports: swimming, stand up paddle boarding, biking, hiking, and kickboxing. I plan a big trip once a year to get off the island and see what the rest of the world is up to. My past trips have been to: Turkey/Greece/Italy another to South Africa/Egypt/Dubai and this year I am going to explore Australia. Of course I will have my camera with me!
Do you have any words of wisdom for photographers who are starting out?
Love what you do, stay true to yourself, commit 100% to your business and always strive to be creative. I don’t believe in being a starving artist.