Photo Spotlight

Photographer Spotlight: Carolyn Ambriano

Carolyn Ambriano is a self-taught photographer and graphic designer based out of Florida who I first learned about via Instagram. Since then, I've been noticing her photo work pop up more in the shape of shots of such bands as Gouge Away and Old Wounds. Get to know Carolyn, and check out some of her favorite pics in this new Photographer Spotlight piece.

Where were you born and raised, and were your parents into the arts?

I was born in Franklin Lakes, NJ and lived there until I was about 8. I then moved to Towaco, NJ, where I lived until I left for college in Philadelphia. My parents are into the arts. My dad was in a few bands when he was younger, and my mom is an extremely talented Creative Director who's developed a ton of awesome ads throughout the years.

Beach Slang at Tequila's, Little Ybor, FL, 2015. (Photo: Carolyn Ambriano)

What was your first musical love?

I think the first band that I fell in love with would have to be *NSYNC. Pop music was gigantic in the '90s, and I learned about them through watching music videos on MTV with my older sister. 

Turnstile at Club Aqua, Jacksonville, FL, 2014. (Photo: Carolyn Ambriano)

What is your camera and post set up?

I'm currently using a Nikon D7000 with a SB 700 flash, but I'm looking to upgrade as it's near death. As far as lenses go, I mostly use my Nikon f2.8 10.5mm fish eye, Tokina f/2.8 11-16 mm, Nikon f/1.4 50mm, Nikon f/2.4 24mm, and Sigma f/2.8 28-70mm. My post set up is 99.9% through Lightroom, while I do edit some photos in Photoshop if a mic stand or something needs to be removed.

Old Wounds at Crow Bar, Little Ybor, FL, 2015. (Photo: Carolyn Ambriano)

In terms of your non-musical photo work, what kind of stuff do you do?

I mostly do landscapes, and I used to urban explore a lot. I've been trying to do more portraits as well.

Photo: Carolyn Ambriano

Who are some of your favorite bands to shoot?

Turnstile, Tiny Moving Parts, Gouge Away, Just Friends, and Prince Daddy & the Hyena are a couple of my favorites!

Gouge Away at the Atlantic, Gainesville, FL, 2017. (Photo: Carolyn Ambriano)

If you could go back in time, who are some bands that you would have loved to shoot?

Have Heart, Queen, Minor Threat, and Thin Lizzy, just to name a few

Rozwell Kid at Double Happiness, Columbus, OH, 2017. (Photo: Carolyn Ambriano)

What are the toughest aspects to shooting live shows?

Not a lot of space to move around, no pit/shooting from the crowd, and of course, terrible lighting!

You Blew It! at Boca Fiesta, Gainesville, FL, 2016. (Photo: Carolyn Ambriano)

Tell me about some newer bands that we should all be on the lookout for.

Overgrow, Bogues, The Old You, Jetty Bones, Minor 'Love, Save Face, and Backpacks

Jetty Bones at Ottobar, Baltimore, MD, 2017. (Photo: Carolyn Ambriano)

Who are some modern-day photographers that you admire?

Tommy Calderon, Nick Zimmer, Miranda Jayne, Michael Herrick, Kaytlin Dargen, Anam Merchant, Emmely Pavila, and Errick Easterday.

Just Friends at Boca Fiesta, Gainesville, FL, 2017. (Photo: Carolyn Ambriano)

If you had to pick one of your photos that best encapsulates why you love shooting bands/artists, which one would it by and why?

I would probably pick this one of Prince Daddy & the Hyena from Fest last year because you can just feel the energy of everyone in the room, and I remember running from another venue just in time to catch the last song of their set. I was extremely out of breathe (I have asthma, but never have my inhaler with me), and super sweaty, but I truly feel like those were some of the best photos that I got all weekend.

Prince Daddy & the Hyena at the Wooly, Gainseville, FL, 2017. (Photo: Carolyn Ambriano)


See more of Carolyn's work on her website, and she's also on Instagram.

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