October 1, 2014 by
Photography by Amy Lynn

Amy Lynn is a hardcore DIY-er. Not in the “weekend scrapbook warrior” type of way, but in the “I may not know right now, but I’ll figure it out” sense.

A passion sparked by the lackluster photography of her high school classmates in a journalism class forced the now 25-year-old fashion photographer to immerse herself in online tutorials and message boards.

“I just visualized things I wanted to do and I just figured out how to do them,” she says. Even with virtually no formal training and working with stock camera lenses and low-budget lighting, Amy Lynn nails it. And, quite frankly, she probably wouldn’t change much even if she could.

Dressed in black lace-up boots, black pants, and a black cardigan, Lynn speaks quickly and confidently as she casually tugs and strokes her long, braided, ombre ponytail hanging over her shoulder and onto her outer space-themed T-shirt. “I’ll have people meet me,” the study in black explains, “and then see my work and be surprised about how colorful it is.”

And her work is stunning. There are always the hyper-pigmented hues, the glow of well-constructed lighting, and the head-to-toe flawlessness of a well-executed concept. From channeling the 1980s to the darkness of struggling with mental illness, Lynn is a bona fide storyteller. She aims to spark conversation.

The noted photographer says 90 percent of her work isn’t commissioned. She finds inspiration, sources the models, secures hair and make-up, sometimes snags a stylist, and hits up thrift stores to build her set and wardrobe.

Fashion and fashion photography have only shown up on her radar in recent years. She said she never got to experience wearing clothes that would elicit the “ohs” and “ahs” of others. She walked right past fashion magazines on the shelves of bookstores. But her obvious talent has built a new appreciation for the industry. Like her journey finding confidence through photography, with fashion she says, “You get to dictate…that first initial visual impression people have of you.”

And Lynn now has “fashion designer” to add to her name. She started up Declared, an online clothing retailer that also lets Lynn flex her talents as a thrift store connoisseur for its prime vintage denim section. Most recently, Lynn humblebrags about spotting Hayley Williams from the pop punk band Paramore sporting one of her crop tops.

Also on Lynn’s radar is the idea of creating adult storybooks like Grimm’s Fairy Tales.
“But not as twisted or horrifying,” she says. “I think that would be…beautiful.”