INTERVIEW: Pamela Ayala
Written by Cameron Capers
Washington D.C based photographer Pamela Ayala spoke with us about finding inspiration, favorite moments of 2015, and more. Shooting a variety of artists and bands including Miguel, AWOLNATION, The 1975, and Raury we’re excited to see what Pamela does next.
You’ve been shooting for only a year and have done amazing things. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
One of the most important things I’ve learned is to be confident in your work. It’s something I’m still working at. Not to say that I’m not confident in my work, but sometimes I’ll shoot a show where I’ll feel like I didn’t get the best shots and later on when I look at the final batch of photos from that show I’ll say to myself, “Woah, I took these. I’m pretty awesome.” I think it’s common to get a little down on yourself in an industry that’s tough to break into and has so many talented people. That’s why I feel that being confident is so important. Also, authenticity and standing out from others is key. I want people to see my photos and say, “Yeah, Pamela Ayala definitely took this one.”. I could go on all day with tips and advice about music photography, but these two really stand out to me.
What have been some of your favorite memories from this year?
I don’t even know where to begin to be completely honest! Obviously touring for the first time was insane and so much fun. I visited the west coast for the first time this year as well while on tour. That’s something I never thought I’d be able to do until probably my late 20’s. I did a photo shoot in Santa Monica on the beach while there. The weather was perfect, the photos turned out really cool, and I remember being the happiest I had been in a long time. Firefly and Landmark Music Festival were also really cool moments in my photo career. I still can’t believe I shot The Strokes. Shooting Twenty One Pilots two nights in a row was also a really cool moment for me. Their live shows are mental. Looking back on this year I’m just so grateful for all the opportunities and support I’ve had.
With 2016 on the horizon what are some things you want to accomplish within the next few years?
I’ve been itching to get back out on the road so touring is something I’d love to do a lot of in 2016. I love doing behind-the-scenes stuff with artists whenever I’m able to. Hopefully I’ll be doing some behind-the-scenes work at festivals. I also really hope to network a whole lot more next year. That’s such a huge thing that I regret not doing a better job at this year. Looking at big picture stuff, I really would like to work closely with artists on promotional shoots, album covers, and it’d be a dream to be to go on tour overseas. I just want to go out and shoot as much as I can wherever I can. There’s no better way to learn more about this field than going out and just doing it.
How does the music you listen to influence the way you shoot?
I think the music I listen to definitely influences the shows I choose to shoot. I think if you shoot music you don’t enjoy, then you’re not 100% in it. As someone who used to wait in line for hours to be front row and after the show wait a few more hours to meet the artist, I’ve completely invested myself in the live music experience. So when I take photos of a show, I want to capture something that makes that experience come to life. I think that’s the best way I can say it. I don’t want to sound cheesy here, but I’m going to anyway and say that music photography is so much more than just the technical aspects of shooting ; it’s something you have to be passionate about.
Favorite albums from this year?
I will forever stand by “I Love You, Honeybear" by Father John Misty. That man is a genius and I listen to that album every day. I’ve been listening to Circa Waves’ “Young Chasers” a lot lately too. Day Wave and Diiv have also been putting out a lot of music this year that I’m really into. I feel like 2015 has been such a good year for new music now that I really think of it. SO excited for 2016 though.
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