Since she was a child, self-made photographer Amy Stone's interests have been rooted in visual creativity. After moving to New York and graduating college, she landed a gig being a social photography intern at Zac Posen, and later went on to intern at the CFDA and with Garance Doré and The Sartorialist. It wasn’t until later that she realized there was an industry need for beautiful imagery—specifically for social content—and with her impressive list of internships, Stone eventually landed at Gap, where she now oversees social media creative and content direction. In addition to her full-time role, Stone has built a successful photography business with clients ranging from Rag & Bone to Nars, and she hasn’t looked back. What’s the key to it all? Being proactive and enjoying life to its fullest—with a glass of Veuve Clicquot in hand. Continue reading for four tips Stone has learned during her career.
“When I moved to New York, I was attracted to working in-house at a large, well-known brand, and I ended up pursuing marketing as a career. While social media was burgeoning, at the same time,” says Stone, “it was hard not to notice that the industry was in need of imagery for social content, and I loved creating beautiful stories through visual work. Next thing I knew, I was interning as a social photographer for Zac Posen. Side projects and freelance campaigns came after I established my name, my work, and my experience.”
“Entering a new relationship with a brand or client can be very exciting, but it’s always important to ask questions up front, whether it be potential hypothetical scenarios that could arise during a shoot to inquiries about covered expenses, approved props, and usage rights,” explains Stone. “Even if the client doesn’t ask, I always send a mood board, location scout, and shot list for approval prior to any shoot to make sure everyone is aligned.”
“If there's a brand or publication you’d like to shoot for, reach and out and express interest! I often hear my peers say they don’t contact anyone, they wait for people to come to them, which I feel is very ego-driven,” explains Stone. “We live in the social and digital era where distractions are high, attention spans are low, and finding contact information is simple. Your dream brand might love your work and want to hire you, but they never knew you existed. Be open to anything.”
“It’s important to partner with optimistic people and brands who value the same things as you do. Despite the many challenges you’ll likely be faced with in your career, try to enjoy life as much as possible,” says Stone. “I love traveling, being inspired by creativity, seeking out beauty in all forms, and obviously clinking a glass of Veuve Clicquot at the end of the day.”
Would you ever leave a stable career to pursue your passion? Tell us in the comments below.