I try to stay in contact with everyone who has contributed something to The Wasted Hour. For example, Kao and I exchange emails on a regular basis. When I asked him about a potential photographer for the next View feature, he recommended Ally. 'Her work is really refreshing. I think you might like some of her portraits', he said, and scrolling through her Instagram feed I can confirm that.
Each of Ally's portraits makes me want to get to know the person in front of the camera. Emailing back and forth with her, I realised she is not in the least bit less interesting than her subjects, as you can read in the following short interview.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Provo, Utah. It’s a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains. The majority of people that live there are very conservative and religious so it was a bit strange growing up amongst that.
Do you remember the moment, that photography became a part of your life?
I don’t remember a particular moment, but in videos of me as a young child, maybe 6 years old, I’m either trying to get all the attention from the camera or I’m asking to take it so I can record. I’ve always been drawn to create in some way or another, and taking pictures has been an interest of mine for quite some time.
What was the first of your pictures that you saw and thought that you should continue doing this?
I think there have been many. I really started taking pictures at about 14 and would just play around with the camera , taking photos of random things around the house.
Do you listen to music while you’re shooting? If yes, what kind of music?
It depends on the shoot and what kind of vibe or mood the shoot is. There are a lot of amazing female singer songwriters coming to the forefront right now, my favorites being Phoebe Bridgers, Soccer Mommy, and Snail Mail.
The people you shoot portraits of, are they friends of yours or strangers?
I always have my best friends model for me, but quite a few of the models are strangers I have just found on Instagram or something. I want to start approaching people I see when I’m out and about that I think are interesting or beautiful, I’m so shy though.
What’s a moment that you wished that you’d taken a picture of?
I have been to a beautiful festival here in the U.S. called the Rainbow Gathering. They are in a different location each year, and it’s basically a gathering for peace. There is no money involved, and everyone trades things. People come and set up kitchens , devote tons of time to cooking meals for people. I have met the most unique characters there. It would be amazing if I brought my camera , but it’s a more sacred of an event. You don’t really see any cameras there, it would be a little disrespectful. I still wish I would have though.
Can you still enjoy moments without your camera?
Oh definitely. Sometimes I need to make myself leave the camera at home so I can enjoy a moment more fully and just live it . If I have my camera I’m very focused on capturing it in the best way and sometimes that can take away from the moment.
You combine beautiful people with beautiful places in nature. Do you have a favourite place out there to shoot or seek inspiration?
Thank you! Honestly, I’m so blessed to live in Utah because there’s tons of locations available super close by. My favourite place to be is up in the mountains. Some of my photos were taken in Northern California though, which is super gorgeous as well.
If you could choose a flight to any desired location on earth, where would yo go?
My friend and I are talking about going to Bali, but I could list about a hundred places I’d love to go. Travel is what makes me feel most alive.