Amy Koughan says that she was born to be a photographer, and that she spent most of her teenage years carrying around an expensive camera. She was constantly asking her friends to pose for photographs, and was a staff photographer on the school newspaper. She took the several photo classes that her school offered, but says that most of what she has learned about photography has come from getting out there on her own and taking pictures. Lots of pictures.
“When I first got serious about photography,” she says, “we were in a transition period. Digital photography was just coming into its own, but you could still find a lot of people still shooting film.” That has mostly changed now, and photographers who work with film are rare.
They are still out there, though, and Amy Koughan, though she shoots primarily digital, says she counts herself among them. “There are those who will tell you that film is dead,” she says. “And sometimes, I have to admit that it’s almost true. It’s certainly on life support.” Part of the problem, she argues, is that digital photography appeals to those with a high need for instant gratification. And she admits that many of her clients expect a fast turnaround with the images they are paying for, because they know that high quality digital cameras exist, and so it is realistic to expect a fast turnaround.
“So if I don’t shoot digital,” says Amy Koughan, “I’ll get killed; I’ll start losing jobs.” So she shoots both. And at the end of the day, she says she must be a traditionalist, because she still loves film and it’s always her first choice.