A night with Amy Toensing

Last week I was able to attend a talk by Amy Toensing that was being sponsored by TAFE NSW and the HeadOn photo festival. I must admit I had not seen any of her work so I check out her web site before sending in my RSVP, just by looking at her work I could tell it would be well worth attending. She is primarily a documentary photographer who puts her focus on the ordinary people who end up in front of her lens. But do go to her site http://www.amytoensing.com/ and you will know what I mean.

I had always intended to write a post about the poignant points she made during the talk so I set a recorded going so I would not have to take notes, I wish I took notes as I ended up with a sound files with some 90 minutes of silence.

The talk and slideshow with some Q&A last for almost and hour and a half but it felt much shorter when Amy got her flow going moving though her photographs at just the right pace, never losing the audiences attention. It was great hearing the behind the scenes thoughts of her work that was enlightening, as was hearing how to talked about her subjects, she took more then just there photograph. 

Amy Toensing at the Podium, 2012

There were 4 things during stick with me now as I am writing this now that are worth sharing.

  • It is important to have other skills besides photography, the best other skill to have is one where you always get the job done, no matter what.
  • Photo assistants don't have to be photographers, you want some one that can help you get the shot. So if the photograph requires climbing you better hire some one that can help you climb.
  • It takes time to connect.
  • Research your project first, think about what photographs you are after that will tell the story and keep them in the back of your mind.