Ama Lea

Location: Los Angeles, CA

What made you get into photography?
I got into photography in high school. I grew up in a small town in Maine and there was nothing to do. My friends and I bought a wedding dress from Salvation Army and spray painted it black. I borrowed my grandpa’s old Pentax K1000 and took pictures of my friend wearing the dress in a cemetery. Once I got the film back I was completely hooked.

How would you describe your photography style?
That’s a hard one because I think my style is always changing. Some would say my style is cute, feminine and sexy. Others would say it’s dark and nihilistic. It depends on what I’m shooting for. If it’s for tattoo magazines then it’s always girly and sexy. If I shoot for personal projects (like my upcoming celebrity horror book, The Bloody Best), it’s usually gorey! haha. Either way I’d say I have a cinematic style. I love to tell stories with photos.

Any photographers or artists that you looked up to that helped influence your style?
Oh lord, tons!!! I love photography and film so much! Ellen Von Unwerth, David Lachapelle, and Chris Anthony I’d say are my top favorites. I love film makers! John Carpenter, Clive Barker, Wes Craven, Alex Aja, Eli Roth, James Wan, Tarantino, I could go on all day. I am a huge movie nerd.

Did you study photography in school or are you self-taught?
I went to school. I graduated from New England School of Photography and did the grad program at Brooks Institute. I loved art school! It kept me on my toes and I was always beyond excited to go to class. I miss it!

What do you feel is the most challenging thing about starting a photography business?
I will be the first to admit that I’ve had it easier than some in my career. A lot of things just fell into place and I had a lot of luck! But, I think it’s still challenging for all of us working professionally right now. There will always be a lot of competition and we’re just now seeing the market bounce back from the recession. For me though, I think the hardest thing is to stay creative even when I’m feeling burnt out. I just try to keep myself surrounded by art and things that inspire me.

What do you love most about being a photographer?
I love the ability to create and tell a story. In the past few years I’ve moved more into celebrity and editorial work so getting to take pictures of people I’ve looked up to since I was a kid is pretty amazing. Getting to sleep in, take pictures of hot ladies and be caught up on every TV show that’s out there (I listen while I edit), is also pretty awesome haha.


Model: Barbara Crampton & Stuart Gordon © Ama Lea


Model: Danielle Colby Cushman © Ama Lea


Model: Dina © Ama Lea


Model: Dina © Ama Lea


© Ama Lea


Model: Jason Mewes © Ama Lea


Model: Joe Lynch © Ama Lea


Model: Sali Gia © Ama Lea


Model: Anne Lindfjeld © Ama Lea


Model: Jesse Lee Denning © Ama Lea


Model: Lea © Ama Lea


Model: Lisa Damato © Ama Lea


Model: Sabina Kelley © Ama Lea


Model: Sabina Kelley © Ama Lea


Model: Megan Massacre © Ama Lea


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