My name is Amy Patterson.
I am a Photographer. It took a long time before I gave myself permission to think of myself as a photographer; as an artist. I used to tell myself that, first, I had to have a top-of-the-line camera. Then I had to learn to use every feature of the camera. I had to have certain lenses. And I really should have a studio, with all the bells and whistles: lights, backdrops, and a tripod. And then, finally, I had to sell some photographs before I was “really” a photographer.
But after a while, I realized I didn’t need any of that. Many of my friends and acquaintances were noticing my photographs and telling me how much they liked my work. The highest compliment you can pay an artist is to recognize their work as “art.” The first time someone called me an Artist, my heart nearly burst and I wept with joy. What I always knew in my heart, that I am an artist, finally felt real.
And perhaps not coincidentally, once I truly believed I was (AM) a photographer, and not just someone who enjoys photography, my photographs got better. I began to capture more photographs that surprised me; that made me smile; that I couldn’t wait to share with my friends.
Sharing what I see through the lens is really what it’s all about for me. To capture and to share beauty with the world is what makes me happy. It’s what makes my heart swell with joy. Photography is my passion.
When I look through a lens, I’m transported. I lose time. The world falls away and all that matters is what I’m seeing through that portal. I especially love to capture details that most people don’t notice as they go about their daily routines. Much of the time, I’m either lying flat on the ground, or on my elbows and knees, my bum in the air. It’s probably a good thing that I take most of my pictures out in the woods, or in my yard where no one can see me with my ass in the air, my chin on the ground.
Sometimes I end up wet and muddy and cold. But I only notice this after I’ve captured the photos. I feel no cold, no discomfort, no heat, no aches while looking through a lens.
So … what about other aspects of “me”? I tend to believe most people aren’t that interested in me. But since this page is entitled “About Me,” and since you’ve taken the time to actually read it, I feel I owe it to you to tell you something about myself other than the fact that I have a passion for photography.
Where to begin? …
I have a deep, abiding love for animals and for the natural beauty of our Planet Earth. I live in southern Missouri in a very rural area surrounded by forests and mountains. Many people don’t think “mountains” when they think of Missouri, but the Ozark Mountains make up much of the landscape of southern Missouri.
I live in a very modest home on about 55 acres of wooded land, surrounded by thousands of acres of national, state and privately owned forests. I share my home with four dogs, all of them rescued from one bad circumstance or another. They are, of course, always showing up in my photography. Sammi is the oldest, and the only male, followed by Cookie, Andie, and Franki. They are my muses.
The first really good photograph I took was of my dog, Brittany. I captured a moment of time with her in the woods of Pennsylvania, where I lived during my last year of graduate school at Penn State University. She was standing still, looking into the distance, her ears perked forward, her eyes bright with peace and wonder. I didn’t consider myself a “photographer” back then, but after seeing the photo of Brittany, I started to look for more moments, more beautiful and interesting scenes to capture with my camera.
It was during my time in Pennsylvania that I realized I was destined to live somewhere surrounded by trees and rocks and clean air. Brittany showed me the freedom of the woods. One of my greatest joys is watching dogs run free among the trees, stopping to sniff and dig, before taking off to explore some more.
It was several years later that I had an opportunity to buy my current home. Although it’s old and in need of many repairs I can’t presently afford, I felt compelled to buy it for the land and for the surrounding wilderness. I’ve lived here for over 15 years and never tire of exploring the woods within and beyond my property borders. Being able to open the back gate and step into the woods is an invaluable gift; for me and for my four-legged companions.
At least for a little while longer, I earn the bulk of my living as a reporter and staff writer for a daily newspaper. I’m also a volunteer board member for an animal welfare group. We operate a low-cost spay and neuter program, largely supported by our rescue-owned local thrift store.
What else is there to say? I live simply, have few wants, and am happy to spend most of my free time at home (or in the woods) with the furkids. My greatest aspiration is to make a full-time income from my photography. I’m still working on that, so I hope, if you really like what you see here, you’ll consider buying a print now and again.
If you’re still reading this, thanks for allowing me to share a bit about myself. I hope you’ll come back often to see what’s new and what we’ve been up to.
It’s here that I’ll take you along once in a while as we hike and explore and find cool stuff to photograph. Feel free to leave comments or feedback. I’d love to hear from you.