Amy Warwick talks to The Balti Club about photography and the creation of her independent press entitled 'Blame Your Parents'.
The Balti Club first came across the work of Amy Warwick a number of months ago via her Instagram page. Ever since, the 22 year old from Essex has been on our radar and we are thrilled to bring our readers this interview into the life of an extremely talented photographer who is constantly pushing youth culture.
The Balti Club: Hi Amy, hope you are well! So how long have you been into photography and how did you get into it?
Amy: I used to skate as a little kid and I wanted to be able to take photos just like the ones I saw in Sidewalk Magazine. I saved up and bought myself a cheap compact camera and starting shooting my friends skateboarding. This was when I was 12 or 13. The more pictures I shot, the more obsessed with it I became. As I got older I started to take it more seriously and worked on developing a style.
The Balti Club: What were your inspirations in when you started out photographing, and what have they become now?
Amy: When I first started to get serious with my photography a few years ago I looked closely at the work of Larry Clark, Nan Goldin, Ryan Mcginley, Ed Templeton and Deanna Templeton. They were some of my favourites at the time and they still are now. Particularly the Templetons, their photos and their zines fascinate me.
The Balti Club: When and how did the idea from Blame Your Parents come about?
Amy: I had not long discovered a love for designing and producing zines as I started my final year at university. I knew I wanted to make zines for my third year major project but I wanted to be more collaborative with my work, rather than just self-publish my own photos. A small press made a lot of sense. In November 2016 I set up Blame Your Parents with the hope of collaborating with a bunch of cool artists and photographers. 7 months down the line and I have!
The Balti Club: Was it difficult to get the zine noticed in the beginning? How did you go about promoting it?
Amy: It was really difficult to get the first zine, Oi Punk!, noticed at first. It’s hard to convince people to buy your photos if they’ve never heard of you! Once Foyles Bookshop and The Photographers’ Gallery Bookshop stocked copies, some interest generated and the zine’s sales increased which was cool. I use Instagram a lot to promote zines as well. It’s been a sick platform to ‘meet’ photographers I like, and has been a good way of promoting so far.
The Balti Club: The first edition I believe was entirely created of your own work, however since then you’ve began collaborating with other photographers. Was it a case of you seeking them out, or did they begin to contact you after they came across your work?
Amy: A bit of both. I asked a few people who’s photos I like if they’d be interested in getting involved – most of who did. But the majority of photo submissions came from who had seen the open call on the BYP website or Instagram page and wanted to get involved. I was really surprised by the amount of people wanting to get involved, especially with the first group zine, Youth is My Excuse. I had no experience of curating other peoples work before, so it was cool that a lot of people were willing to send me their photos anyway and trust that I’d make something half decent. It’s amazing how supportive such a competitive industry can be.
The Balti Club: There seems to be an overarching theme of youth culture in your work. Is this a theme that you set out to portray from the get go? Or has it come about organically, and have you slowly began to reflect more on the changes in your life/youth since you began to document for the zine.
Amy: I wanted Blame Your Parents to explore and celebrate youth culture from the beginning. It was very general at first, as time goes on each zine gets a bit more specific by concentrating on one location, or a certain sub-culture. I like Blame Your Parents zines to be very voyeuristic and have elements of nostalgia too. I mostly shoot my friends, so in zines with just my work there is a bit of a change within the people in the images. Especially my most recent zine, Fags, Tags and JD Bags. It was documented over a couple of years so there are some changes and developments in my friends that appear in the zine. I like that though – the same characters popping up. It’s almost like the viewers can get to know them just from reading my zines.
The Balti Club: What are the future plans for both your personal photography, and Blame Your Parents? Anything exciting you can tell us about upcoming projects?
Amy: I’ve got a few personal projects in mind at the moment that I’m trying to figure out some details for. As for Blame Your Parents, I’ve got plans for at least one open call this summer. The next step for the press is to work with one photographer and publish one of their existing projects or work with them to create new content for a zine. A group zine is on the cards later in the year as well. Maybe some sort of 1 year anniversary show/party in November too! We’ll see.
You can see more of Amy's work via the links below:
Amy's personal Instagram: @amy.warwick
Blame Your Parents Instagram: @blameyourparentspress
Buy Issues of Blame Your Parents: Online Store