Amy Seder is a photographer, commercial film director, travel blogger, and one half of Away Lands, a film and photo production company founded with her fiancé Brandon Burkley. After leaving their lives and careers in New York, Away Lands has been traveling and shooting their way around the world for the past three years, occasionally returning to their Los Angeles home.
Name: Amy Seder
Title: Photographer and Commercial Film Director
City you live in: Santa Monica, CA
Most recent city visited… Kona, Hawaii – Next up is Buenos Aires, Argentina, and then Guadalajara for Dia De Los Muertos!
A typical day in my life includes… My life gets so crazy that it’s never really typical. When I’m home in LA, I usually hit a gym class at 6:30 a.m., and then work at our home office for the day on photos, blog posts, emails, contracts, travel planning, etc until the evening – We don’t get out much in LA! When I’m traveling, we’re usually getting up extra early to shoot sunrise, but no two travel days are ever the same.
I was born… in Ventura, Ca – but I lived in NYC for almost 10 years, so I claim dual citizenship.
When I was younger, I wanted to be… an actress, and then a photographer. I started taking theater classes at age 4 and by 10 I had an agent and was auditioning in LA. I took my first photography class at 15 and majored in photography in college. I have been working in the industry ever since.
My first job was… folding clothes at Macy’s when I was 16.
My favorite thing about traveling is… Being able to meet and connect with people all over the world. It’s been amazing to me how in even the most far away, exotic places we have been to, humans are so similar and have so much in common across every culture.
I’m currently listening to… Hayden James, Anderson Paak, and more Taylor Swift on repeat than I’m proud to admit. :-)
If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be… Ruth Bader Ginsberg
One thing I cannot travel without… my camera, noise-cancelling headphones and my pillow.
I’m inspired by… Dreamy cinematography, fashion magazine editorials, and beautiful scenery. I try to look to a lot of different sources for inspiration to come up with new ideas of my own.
The one person who motivates me is… One thing I’ve learned over the years is that motivation has to come from within. Focusing on how far I’ve come and how much I have left to achieve is my biggest motivator. Also my fiancé and business partner, Brandon, is incredibly great at focusing and getting down to business, and us being a team has been great for my work ethic.
If I could change anything in the world, it would be… a radical, serious, global approach to combat climate change. And universal healthcare.
The perfect day would be… getting up early, being somewhere tropical with a group of friends, and being creative and active. Any time I get to spend time running around and swimming out in nature with great people is my bliss.
My favorite place I’ve visited… It’s impossible to pick just one! But I have to say Big Sur, California – it’s where Brandon and I took our first ever trip to 6 years ago, and where we are getting married next year! A few other favorites are the Cook Islands, Cape Town, and The Sahara Desert in Morocco.
My top 3 bucket list destinations… Madagascar, the Philippines, Egypt, and every tiny island in the South Pacific.
My life… Is nothing like I ever pictured it could be! I’m incredibly grateful to be able to travel and create for a living, and I take the honor of having our dreams come true very seriously. My life also doesn’t always look like my Instagram! To make it all happen, I work double the hours I did at my last full-time job, and often spend days on end in front of a computer in sweatpants putting in all of the back end work.
I’m currently working on… Finally putting together our first vlog, and getting back to creating personal videos. We’ve been so busy with work, that we haven’t had the time to create enough of the kind of videos we wanted to in the beginning.
Always… Say yes to new things, new foods, and new experiences.
Never… Keep a bad attitude for more than a couple of hours. Feel it, and then figure out how to move on and learn.
Favorite quote… Be the CEO your parents wanted you to marry.
Biggest dream… is to create really beautiful and meaningful documentaries and photo essays that have an impact on the world. Visit every country in the world. And keep working for ourselves for the rest of our lives.
My pet peeve(s)… Inefficiency. My years as a New Yorker taught me to be fast, direct… and very impatient.
My 3 favorite travel influencers to follow… @marisa because she has some of the most unique images out there, @glographics because she is both inspiring and hilarious, and @bburkley, my life & travel partner.