I met Detroit, Michigan, USA based photographer Amy Sacka at a Magnum Photos workshop in San Francisco and was instantly impressed with her wide range and intimate style that she is amazingly able to maintain in all contexts whether shooting porch culture in Detroit or children on a beach in Tanzania.
I interviewed Sacka about her Detroit Stories street photography series for LensCulture and am excited to share her stunning travel photography.
Currently, all of Sacka’s travel photography is based on personal travel.
“I commit to taking an extended trip out of the US once a year, when funds allow, to offer my eyes a break from the norm of my nearly daily Detroit shooting, to see new places and landscapes, and try to gain a different perspective on the world,” Sacka says. “My work in Detroit is primarily black and white, but I find when I travel, I see in color. Maybe this has something to do with a traveler’s mindset, or maybe I just see differently when I’m away. Life comes to life.”
She travels with a companion from college who lives in Seattle on the West Coast of the U.S. far from Detroit. She said most of the year, they’re not in communication but traveling together offers a chance to “reconnect over a love we’ve had and shared for years — we’ve been traveling together for two decades, having visiting about 40 countries together.”
Like her street work, Sacka said she usually lets the moment dictate her focus.
“My photos are mostly people-oriented, that’s what makes an environment fresh and newly seen, or ‘scened’ differently, to me,” she says. “There have been times when I’ll plan a trip around a festival or an event that brings out the culture of a place, but more often than not, it’s the everyday people I stop and talk to who provide that insight. The camera offers a way in to conversation, even if not in words, a visual conversation, that allows for a deeper view of a place. Through the camera, I’ve been invited into homes, introduced to families. That portal offers a somewhat deeper understanding of a place.”
Favorite destinations, she says, are places where people are open to being open to the camera. “India was one such place, Colombia and Brazil, are others.”
What’s on her travel list? Laos. “I haven’t been there before, but I’ve heard the people are extraordinarily warm and friendly. On the traveler’s trail, you hear what you might not read or know about a country, and the stories I’ve heard about the openness of the culture in Laos is incredibly appealing to me.”