You see these badass influencers crushing it on the gram and know they got a story to tell. Not the branded narrative promoting a product or service (no shade) but the important stuff like, why they think it’s important for women of color to travel, or how to discover the best of a destination in a short period of time. We cornered your favorite Globetrotting Stilettos and asked the burning questions we know you want answers to. 60 seconds is all you need to walk away feeling satisfied.
GTS: Do you consider yourself a Globetrotting Stiletto?
AMY: When you think of a woman wearing stilettos, you think of a woman with authority and confidence, a woman about her business. I definitely consider myself a Globetrotting Stiletto. I have my own company, make my own rules and go where I want to go.
GTS: Well said.What do you love most about being able to travel and take photos for a living?
AMY: Seeing things outside of my comfort zone. As a photographer, it’s important to experience the world from different perspectives, observe what makes people happy in other countries. I love to allow myself to be open and see how the rest of the globe is living, hear the conversations they’re having… There is no one standard way of existing, travel and photography are constant reminders of that.
GTS: Excellent point. Have you ever photographed a wedding from a different culture that shifted the way you look at life?
AMY: Yes. Quite a few. I’ve done traditional Nigerian weddings, which are normally a two-day celebration, Indian and Egyptian. American ceremonies tend to focus more on church and partying. With these cultures, getting married is more of a ritual with offerings, singing, dancing and a serious marriage Covenant. Plus, the families are way more involved.
GTS: Ahh, that’s interesting. So, for Americans, it’s more about the glitz and glam?
AMY: Yep. The American wedding industry is a multi billion dollar industry. Whenever you put the word ‘wedding’ in front of anything in this country, the price tag goes up. I find that fascinating. Our culture tends to focus more on the ring, dress and party and less on that serious marriage Covenant.
GTS: I recently read an article that reported Europeans spends less on weddings than Americans.
GTS: That’s insane! What’s the strangest thing someone’s asked you to shoot?
AMY: Hmm, that’s a great question! When someone ask me to shoot something out my realm I usually decline. I shoot what I want and try to remain true to myself when accepting jobs.
GTS: I respect that. What’s one offer you turned down?
AMY: Erotic nudity in New York City. Not into it! I was also asked to shoot a Halloween, cod fish-theme wedding. I found it a bit strange but I would have done that if I was available.
GTS: Photography is so broad, why weddings?
AMY: When I first came to New York in 2008, I interned at Celestine talent agency. I wanted to be a fashion photographer. I quickly realized, in the fashion industry, clients tell you what to shoot and how to shoot it, there are so many parameters, not much creativity, you have to give the client exactly what they want. I didn’t enjoy it so I started shooting real people in real moments and realized capturing meaningful photography was fulfilling. Fast forward a few years and a friend of a friend asked me to shoot their wedding in Key Largo, Florida. I accepted the invitation and loved it! You get to see raw emotions and the things hidden from everyone else, like the bride putting on her gown. Being able to capture those important moments is fulfilling.
GTS: Any tips you can offer for capturing the best travel photos with your smart phone?
AMY: Focus on the light. For anything in photography the light is most important. Being able to capture something in its best light is a challenge. Shoot a lot of different angles until you find the right one. Don’t take one snap and think it’s the one!
GTS: Haha. Thanks for that! So Amy, what’s one thing you wish knew before you started traveling?
AMY: TSA pre-checks and Global Entry. If I would have known about both when they first came out it would have saved me a lot of headache. Being able to cut lines and get through security quicker is a lifesaver. Also, not to overpack. I’ve failed in the past overpacking, thinking I’m going to need all this damn stuff and only end up using a quarter of it. As a photographer, I travel with a lot of gear, so when I land in a destination, I try to use my smartphone more so I’m not lugging equipment around. Finally, hook up with the locals and do what they’re doing if you want a more authentic experience.
GTS: Those are great! If money wasn’t a factor, where would you go and what would be the first thing you did when you arrived to you destination?
AMY: Morocco and Istanbul. The first thing I would do when I arrive is go to a teahouse—I’m quite obsessed. Santorini is another destination I really want to travel to. After I’m done in Morocco and Istanbul, I would head over to Greece, relax on the beach and hang out with the locals.
GTS: When you going?
AMY: Well, I was just telling my boyfriend my plans and he asked when I wanted to go. It’s on my radar to go sometime this year, November would be ideal. It’s wedding season right now, I’m booked until then.
GTS: Have you ever traveled solo? What was the greatest takeaway?
AMY: I have. I did a photo project in Ecuador early on in my career. I had never traveled to a foreign country alone. It was nerve wracking at first. I worried about being taken advantage of or ending up in a compromising situation, none of which happened. It was nice to step outside of my comfort zone and be forced to interact with people. Once I moved past my fears I found it to be very relaxing. Traveling solo is awesome! You’re able to do things on your own terms without any other opinions. I recommend solo travel when you need time to become centered with yourself, quiet your thoughts and shower YOU with self-love.
Keep up with Amy and all her travels on Instagram:@amyanaizphoto