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Interview with Instagram Legend: amyseeley Part 1

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Amy Seeley
IG Name: amyseeley
Photos: 575
Followers: 10,787
Followings: 100
A S
songwriter explorer believer lover in the heart of kansas city \\\\/\/\/\/\/\//\/\\/\\/\//\/\/////\/\/\// listen & see more makings here :
http://www.amyseeley.com
She’s penned songs with a powerful simplicity. The brevity in her words hold a heaviness that would instill reflection in the unassuming. And in the short time I’ve heard Amy Seeley’s music –”Mile Marker” is on repeat right now — I feel more reassured. About what? I don’t really know. What I know though, is that like her music, Amy’s photography has a therapeutic influence. It calms the mind but it stirs the soul. Through her Instagram feed we are given an intimate look into the life of a person who approaches daily life with an unusual amount of delicacy. There are hundreds of arousing moments in our day that most of us probably overlook. It could be the redundancy of employment, too many Temple Runs, maybe were 20 shades of grey into a trendy book, or it could be the overwhelming daily grind of raising children that diminish our chances of being a part of those special moments, the slivers of time that enliven us, and remind us to think about our purpose and why we’re here. Amy sees every one of those moments. She takes us through backwoods, empty porches, towering mountains ranges, and into private escapes in quiet rooms, where an open window and a subtle breeze provides all the thought one needs. Amy photographs what she sees. But she sees more than the rest of us.

I can see far from here
I can see far from here
I can see far from here

-Amy Seeley “Mile Marker”

Your style could be described as minimalist. Do you like that label? Is that a compliment to you?

I take that as a compliment . :) i’ve only recently genuinely realized that i’m a minimalist …  it’s evidenced not only in the photos i take but in my home decor,  in the music i create and also in my writing . i relish the calm simplicity brings and my hope is my work showcases the beauty and awe that can be found in those spaces, however grand or seemingly mundane.

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Your edits are clean, and simple, and are never over processed. Many IG’ers will run a photo through multiple edits before they decide on one to post. You don’t seem like you’d follow such a route. How much time do you spend in the post production of an image?

This is such a compliment too.  editing my images is a pretty simple recipe : vsco cam app,  filter 5,  +1 fill, +1 fade . this is the sweet pocket I’ve found that creates the feel of richness and realness i want to share . and then there are exceptions to this, of course,  but as a general guideline for myself, if I’m spending more than a minute on a photo – or too many editing steps -  i can feel the image becoming too overproduced and i scrap it. for me, my best creations happen when that spark of ‘ oooooo! ‘ strikes and a photo is snapped, edited and posted in that vein of being captivated.

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I’ve always been incredibly curious about your songwriting. Do you have any material you could share? When did this passion begin? Have you recorded anything? Who are your biggest musical inspirations?

I love that you’re asking!…  and i do have songs to share with y’all.  I’ve released 4 albums,  along with a few singles that are floating out there as well.  you can hear my music on my website  : amyseeley.com  or on itunes or heck,  you can invite me to play a house concert in your living room and you can hear the songs live.

Music for me has been an undercurrent in my life for as long as i can remember -  or at least since i was 4 when i played ‘amazing grace’ on an old casio keyboard my mom acquired from a garage sale. i just knew how to play it … and it didn’t take long for the piano to take a central place in my young life . i was crafting songs as an 8 year old but after a horrible recital experience,  i vowed to NEVER NEVER play music for people again in hopes of managing to escape being on a stage and made vulnerable. aaaaaaaaaaand then i became a musician. so that plan was foiled. i learned soon enough when something is deeply a part of your fiber,  it finds its way out of you, out of your hands and heart and lips and becomes your place of refuge, to process life, to work through all the shit. the piano has been that for me.

My biggest musical inspirations have been tori amos (as a teenager),  and most recently:  Sufjan Stevens because his brilliance makes me want to either vomit and give up songwriting or hone my craft like a diligent vigilante . patrick watson, for his unbridled creative genius .  bon iver for his masterful craftsmanship that translates as beauty that knocks me over every time i hear it .  and olafur arnalds, who creates sparse arrangements of gorgeousness .  i want to be like all of them, in some fashion.

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Do other Instagram users inspire you?

absolutely! seeing work that is made well, no matter what medium, is always inspiring to me .   and with ig, sometimes i sigh deeply because of the beauty you all are finding … or squeal and SWEAR because one of you posts an image that is downright extraordinary.

You participated in an Instawalk recently. How was that experience? Was there ever any weirdness with an event that is calculated and could even be too forced?

I loved the kansas city instawalk. I’m an introvert, so for the most part groups terrify me, and you never know what to expect with these sorts of themed gatherings but everyone was super kind.  and we pretty much nerded out for a few hours waving our phones around in every which direction laughing.  we also ended up getting a private tour of a brewery and watching the sun set from the rooftop which was FANTASTIC.

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Where is your quiet place?

porches. If any of you have porches i want to come sip coffee or wine on them . but seriously. I’ve been living with friends during this time of transition in Kansas city and regardless of whose house I’m crashing at, without fail i find solace on their porch watching the golden light of dawn or dusk peek through the trees and reading my bible, scribbling in my journal and praying.

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Tell us about yourself.

i am an aritst who believes in fostering and creating beauty,  connecting with others deeply and loving with your guts .  i’m also a believer in magic and discovering awe again, even through our deepest griefs and losses.

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How long have you been on instagram?   

June was one year. And a sweet year of snapping photos indeed. Happy anniversary.

How many times a day do you post on instagram?   

As many as i feel excited about. Sometimes 0. Sometimes 5. But I post only what i feel passionate about. Which includes a lot of coffee.

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How are you inspired?   

by beauty and by authenticity … found in natural surroundings or in a conversation i’ve shared with someone or words in a book or in the way sunlight is that perfect hue of golden in the late day. they are all an invitation to appreciate and, in turn, to be a fellow creator.

What do you love most about instagram?  

that people engage with each other and are awfully kind.

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How has IG changed your daily life?   

there’s definitely been a tendency to have my iphone at my fingertips all the time. But with that realization am now curbing that addiction in light of wanting to preserve experiencing without a phone in my hands.

What do you take pictures of?  

gosh …whatever lights a spark inside. Rural roads, rivers and ocean, the grandness of the sky, or the simpleness of a mug of coffee and a newspaper.

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How would you describe your style as an IG photographer/artist?   

a weaving of grand and simple, spacious, richly calm.

Who are some of your favorite instagrammers?   

right now i’m digging pretty much everything @bijouxself posts.  also : @carmynjoy @lonniewebb @kristinrogers and fellow kansas city folk @thejacobsharp  and  @ash_parsons.

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How could instagram improve? 

i quite like instagram. no complaints.

What are your 5 favorite photo apps?   

i honestly only really use vsco, so that gets my 5 votes.

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What is the most underrated photo app?   

i have no idea . ha!

What are your feelings on hashtags?   

creating a zany hashtag for your cross country road trip is a treat, but i’m personally not a fan of hashtagging the crap out of a post to gain ‘exposure’, whatever that means.

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Any instagram pet peeves?

yes. this: FOLLOW ME FOLLOW ME PLEEEEEAASSSEEEEEE.

How do you choose those you follow?   

when i see images that make me gasp? i definitely follow.  :)  photos that are thoughtful, have a presence to them,  and evoke emotion in me are what i love most.

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What do you attribute your follower success to?

it’s been incredible to me that a few instagramers with huge followings have plugged my work, and that has brought a gain in followers my way, most definitely. beyond that, i’m just humbled that people seem to resonate with my work and enjoy what i create.

How have you benefited from IG?

IG arrived in my life at a unique time this last year when my songwriting had taken a dive and i was feeling creatively bone dry. i realize it’s ‘just an app’ but for me, it’s actually changed my life. having always labeled myself as a ‘songwriter’, photography really wasn’t at the forefront, but all of a sudden instagram gave me an invitation to create and share how i see. and then, to my surprise, people actually connected with what i was sharing . IG gave me newfound inspiration to create again, and too – shifted how i see myself only as a songwriter into knowing more of myself as an artist.

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Extra Credit

What do you do to pay the bills?

I’ve been fortunate to be able to create music for the last three years which includes writing & recording my own music as well as songs for licensing projects like commercials, tv shows and *hopefully soon, for film. i’m also an urban farmer for westside local, a fantastic restaurant downtown kansas city that grows their own produce & herbs right in their back lot. it’s pretty much rad.

How do you spend your leisure time?   

i go on dates with my library book.  i also love sharing meals and bottles of wine with friends,  chasing sunsets on the prairies, baking pies and watching master chef and eating pancakes for breakfast.

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3 Comments

  1. Daniella says:

    Great interview! Amy’s instagram pics are gorgeous. Keep ‘em coming!

  2. Sara says:

    love her. love this interview.

  3. gweiss83 says:

    great read Nick!

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