Today we’d like to introduce you to Amy Scott.
Amy, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve worked in food a long time- just not in your average jobs! After college, I managed a food pantry and decided I wanted to learn how to grow food. I became an intern on a small veggie and dairy farm near Santa Rosa, CA, and ended up farming for seven years, managing a 25-acre organic vegetable farm for 3 of those in central New Jersey.
When I moved to Houston to be with my partner, I knew that my relationship to farming might change-Texas has a lot of farming and ranching, but there are limited opportunities if you live in the city. My first year here, I helped a non-profit, Recipe For Success, start Hope Farms. But after about a year, I knew that I needed to take a break and look at other paths. I’d been doing photography work for a friend’s food business for a few years, just on the side, and when I started looking for options, I decided I’d see if I could pursue full-time food photography work. I knew it was crazy, but I didn’t know what else a farmer could do in Houston!
I joined professional photography groups, assisted other photographers, and practiced constantly. Assisting was an enormous help, and it gave me a strong understanding of how photography businesses work. Assisting also helped me build friendships and find mentors. Having a background in managing a farm business helped a lot too because no matter what you do, small businesses have a ton of the same challenges.
It took a lot to start over in an entirely new industry, but I’m so glad I took the leap. Photography has given me an opportunity to grow as a person, meet incredible people, and support businesses I care about. I love having my own business and being proud of the work I do each day.
My work has also opened up opportunities I never imagined. I was awarded a grant this year by the City of Houston and Houston Arts Alliance to pursue a photo-documentary project telling the stories of some of the farmers that feed Houston. In a way, I get to come full circle and celebrate where I came from using the skills and platform I have now. My project, The Hands That Feed Houston, will be on display in November 2019!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Starting over in a new industry in your 30’s is difficult. It’s humbling and embarrassing at times. I like being good at things and I had to start at the bottom so that I could learn how things are done. I’m grateful for these lessons, though, and I think it’s good to keep our humility fresh!
I also had to ask my partner to support us financially as I was starting over. I was lucky that this was even an option and that he was so supportive of my business. My identity is built on independence, and providing for myself-so, this was one of my biggest obstacles. Many times I considered going out and getting an office job just so that I could have my pride back, but I wouldn’t have been able to build my business as quickly if I didn’t do it full-time. I know this was a huge privilege, and am so grateful that I was able to take advantage of it.
Lastly, it’s really challenging to start a business in a new city. I had so few connections here in Houston, and I’ve had to push myself constantly to get out and get involved in as many places as I can. Business is all about connection, and I’ve had to start from the ground up so that I can build my business and meet the people who will help me bring it to the next level.
Please tell us about Amy Scott Photography.
I’m the Farm to Table photographer!
I help businesses tell the full story of their food, from seed to stove. I do commercial and editorial photography and love highlighting the stories of people and their products in food and agriculture.
I offer something pretty special. As someone with agricultural background, I have a different understanding and eye for telling food stories. I’m comfortable in farm spaces and can help businesses design and create visual campaigns that tell their food stories with authenticity.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
From 3rd-6th grade, I lived in a small city in Southern Indiana. We lived near a little patch of woods that I would play in all day. I’d go with friends sometimes, but I think most of the time I would just go by myself and wander around, looking at all the interesting mushrooms and trees and play in the creek. I remember I asked my mom to use her camera one day and I took pictures of so many things- clouds in the sky, a funny looking mushroom, and trees. I ended up sending a ton of those photos to my favorite band at the time!
- Website: www.amyscottphotography.com
- Phone: (916) 796-3709
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/photography.amyscott
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/photography.amyscott
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/AmyScottphoto
Amy Scott Photography