Teen Seen – Amy Miccio

Filed under: Uncategorized

For awhile now, I’ve wanted to start doing teen interviews.  I’ve had the urge to do this for a couple reasons. The first is that I’m fortunate enough to know some very amazing teens and they always astound me.  The more I learn about them–the more I want to learn.  In fact, I’m usually so impressed, I want to share them with the rest of the world.  

There is a second reason I decided to do this kind of an interview–I write for teens and I’m friends with a whole bunch of folks who do the same thing. *grin*  I know for a fact that they’re always looking for ways to get into the heads of young adults.  As YA writers, we always want to know teenagers as readers, but we also want to dissect them and use their parts in our writing. I mean this in a completely non-bloody, kinda nice way.

I hope you love what can happen when a teen can be seen…

This is my awesome babysitter, Amy Miccio!!!!  Feel free to give her a round of applause.  Amy makes it possible for me to go to dance class (Workshop) every week AND my boys cheer when they know she’s coming over.  But Amy is so much more–here let me show you…

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself to get us started?

Well, my name is Amy Blair Miccio. I am 18 years old and I go to Dutchess Community College. I am a Liberal Arts major. Next year I would like to gear my studies toward photography and media arts. In high school I took a photo and media arts class and fell in love with the subject. In Dutchess I’ve taken photojournalism and currently take a digital photo class. I’ve applied to SUNY Purchase to transfer next year and continue in Liberal Arts.

***Spoiler Alert***  Amy will be attending Purchase in the fall and she was kind enough to have an awesome older sister willing to fill in with the boys.  Congrats!!!!!!   ***Back to our regularly scheduled programming***

Although I love art classes, I’m really not sure of what I want to pursue. Maybe photography will just be my hobby that I can take with me anywhere I go and I like having that option. I used to attend Yanarella School of dance from ages 3 to 18 and its been a huge part of my life. I don’t dance anymore though, instead I babysit every Tuesday for the WONDERFUL Kim Sabatini who is definitely an inspiration to me. (and no she did not make me say that!!)


Something else that I feel is an important part of who I am is my parents recent divorce. They separated two years ago and even though I was devastated at the time, its made me grow dramatically and I’ve learned so much about myself. Its made me a stronger person in every way possible. My incredible friends have also been a huge support system and I’m grateful to have such genuine people in my life. Other than that, I’m just a simple girl trying to find my place and trying to have fun while doing it.

Photography by Amy Miccio-This was a project I did just for fun. I wanted to see if I could capture extreme emotions and this one came out the best. I like taking really intense pictures.

I kind of went off track but i hope this is what you were looking for.

It is so perfect I can’t stand it. *heart squish*–Thank you for being so sweet. I LOVE our talks on Tuesday nights.
I’m privy to seeing a ton of your gorgeous photography. Can you tell me more about it? I’d love to know what you like to take pictures of and what it means to you. Do you share your work? Oh and digital vs. film-do you have a preference?

I would love to share my pictures with you! I love getting feedback. Especially negative comments. I find that the positive comments inspire me and make me believe I am working in the right direction, but the negative feedback makes me take a step back and really look at all of my work. It helps me recognize my style and my artistic intent and maybe change something that I hadn’t realized before. But if I find that someone negatively comments on a picture that I truly love and believe in, I ignore it only because art doesn’t have any guidelines. Its all about what you feel and that is why I love it. After I stopped dancing I found it really hard to express myself and let out my passions, angers, etc. When I started photo classes I realized that I could still show my feelings through a picture. A photo has no limits which frightens me as well as it motivates me. 
Ever since I did a mentor program in Garrison with a woman named Mary Ann Glass, who has a studio in Beacon, I carry around a portfolio with me in my car in case anyone ever wants to see my work. Its always good to have in case you get an opportunity to show somebody important. Or to just brag to your friends! So yes, I show my work occasionally. Its hard for me to take pictures of subjects like a bench or a fruit basket or anything material. I love taking portraits. I love the expressions people make and their body language and the shadows that the body makes. It’s really intriguing to me. With my mentor I just mentioned, I worked on a semi nude shoot. It was very classy and straight forward. I love the idea of unmasking a person and capturing them at their most vulnerable moments. Film vs. digital? I really love both. If I had to choose it would be digital only because its something you can see right away and fix in an instant. It must just be with the times, digital is how you do business mainly and it has more of a set career than film does. Although, I love the idea of film. Being in a darkroom for hours just to get a picture just right. When you create a print with film, it feels more like art. Its a process you have to go through to get your artwork just right. Its just that sometimes it can be a very long process, as well as expensive. And being a broke college student, I choose the cheaper version.

Photography by Amy Miccio 

I LOVE what you said about art not having any guidelines…it gave me chills. It’s all about balance in the end. Because you are my AWESOME babysitter, I have a little bit of insight into your life. I know that last minute, last year, your college plans changed. This had a big impact on you.   Other teens have mentioned that they’d like to see more books that talk about going to college and deciding who you are. What kind of experience was it for you? What was great about it and what was hard? What would you do different–or would you not change a thing?

My experience with college was definitely not a joy ride. My friends started looking at colleges in 11th grade, which is when my parents separated, and by my senior year, I only knew about the colleges that my older friends were going to. I still had no idea what I wanted to do after high school. The main problem was, my parents let me be so free about my education that it was almost too free. Mainly because they were too worried about their marriage dying, which I totally understand. I was starting to mimic my sister since she never looked at schools either and dropped out of Dutchess Community College after her first semester.

***Spoiler Alert*** Awesome sister is back in school and well on her way to rocking this world!!!  ***Back to our regularly scheduled programming***

A big part of my confusion was having to deal with the divorce and all the stress that came with that. I wanted to hold on to what was left of my childhood. I was terrified of more change. Instead, I procrastinated and ended up only applying to FIT where I got put on the waiting list and then denied. But I honestly think that DCC was the best thing that ever happened to me. Yes, I dread going everyday and the classes aren’t exactly fun, and living at home isn’t what I had in mind, but I’ve learned so much about myself in these two semesters than some people have learned in their entire life. My independence is incredible, even to me, and I know who I am now and can accept myself, most of the time. So it didn’t matter where I went to college, I still learned about who I was and in a sense I actually found myself.

There was one friend I had in particular that was staying home and not going to school during my first semester who inspired me to follow my dreams no matter what it took. He made me realize that I wasn’t supposed to worry about my parents or anyone else besides myself, and it was okay to be a little selfish. Thats when I decided to apply to more schools and follow through with my plans. I started focusing only on myself and wound up moving out of my mom’s house into my dad’s only because I knew that I would have more independence there. The story of my parents is a long one that has a lot to do with my current life so its hard to understand everything I’m going through, but it affected almost every aspect of my life for the past 2 years. That was probably the hardest part about going to a community college, living at home and still dealing with the divorce. I wouldn’t change a thing though. I learned who my real friends were and made new ones as well. I feel as if I am stronger now than I have ever been. I think that if I had just went off to a school I would have been okay, but I wouldn’t be as strong and confident as I am now. Telling this whole story now it seems so complicated and confusing, which it was, but I really wouldn’t change a thing.
There is a quote that I found soon after my parents separation that stated, “Sometimes we need to get lost to find ourselves.” I would always say it in my head just to re-assure myself that it was okay that I was so lost about everything. Now I think that its such a perfect quote because in all of that confusion and chaos, I truly found out who I was and I know I keep saying it but I’m just really proud of that fact.

Photography by Amy Miccio

Have I told you that I love you…really really love you? I do. ((((hugs)))) It is so hard to grow up. I know-I’m still trying to figure out how to do it correctly. We’ll figure it out eventually.
I love that quote. Do you like to read? If yes, what and if no…what might make you want to pick up a book?

I love you too!
I do like to read but I don’t read as much as I would like. Mostly because I have a hard time staying interested or I’ll start reading a story, stop in the middle, and months will go by and I won’t remember what the story was about. I do like to read James Patterson’s books such as Sam’s letters to Jennifer and Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas. I also like Nicholas Sparks books. I guess I’m more into love stories. What might make me want to pick up a book? That’s a really good question. The reason I read those books was because school required summer reading. I am actually very guilty of judging a book by its cover. Since I’m an aspiring photographer, if I see a book with a really interesting picture, I’ll read it. If the cover is too overdone or too plain I won’t even take a second look. I guess that’s not really a great method, but that’s just how I do it.

Photography by Amy Miccio-this was for my Color Photography class I took this semester. We had to make a book and pick a topic and mine was shapes of the body. 

I’ll admit it…I can fall in love or get very turned off by a cover. If the buzz for the book is good, I can get past it, but if I don’t have any any other strong factors to sway me…the cover will do it. Hmmm maybe a future career in cover art for you??? Out of all your pictures, are there any that feel like a YA Book cover to you?

That would be awesome!!

I guess that this picture could be an interesting book cover. I think that most of these pictures could be used as a cover but I also think that an author always has a picture in mind for their book and Book Cover Photography is an art in its own. There are certain things that should and should not be in the picture. I think that simplicity is key when it comes to book covers. So looking at my pictures its hard to tell which ones could be put on a book.

One of the things I like to ask is if you think teens are misrepresented by authors and adults in general? What are they not understanding about who you are as a person and as a reader?

I think that authors and adults, most of the time, see us as very one sided. The girls and boys who want to fall in love or want to become something that seems impossible. You don’t normally see a story about the confusion a young adult goes through and their perspective on life. These days I think its a lot more complicated for us teens to really understand everything thats going on. We are exposed to so much now that teens in the past wouldn’t be exposed to for another few years. We have to figure out our lives earlier and faster and its really hard for some of us. We don’t necessarily want to see so many stories about getting a happy ending when we know that not all of us get one. Maybe we just want to see that its possible to get through our hardships without falling apart completely.

Photography by Amy Miccio-this is one of my favorite pictures that I have ever taken. This was for a photojournalism project I did in the Fall semester. I did a “picture story” on the Yanarella Recital. I’ve gotten nothing but good feedback from this picture and i”m really proud of it.

That is an amazing answer. I think a lot of adults think that kids want the happy ever after books, but sometimes they need a gritty read.  What I love about YA books is that they can be hard, but still leave you with hope. 

Amy, thank you so much for letting me interview you, for being a super sitter and an amazing friend. I know everyone is going to love you just as much as I do.  You can find Amy on Facebook and Twitter and in my living room.  :o)



4 Responses | TrackBack URL | Comments Feed

  1. Hey Amy! *waves* Nice to meet you.
    I loved the pics here!
    And you know? My parents recently divorced too… and since I know what it's like, I'm sending you ((((hugs))).
    PS: would you come babysit my kids too? LOL

    Thanks for sharing, Kim! 😀

  2. You soooo want her-but you have to have her back from Chile by 7pm on Tuesday. *points finger* I mean it!!!

  3. I've never gotten to thank you Kim for having such an impact on Amy. She has grown so much since you and your family came into her life. Thanks for being a caring adult and friend in her life. This was a look into Amy's life that I enjoyed viewing as her Mom, she truly is a wonderful, smart, beautiful girl.. not as lost as she was, still finding her OWN time!

  4. Oh, my gosh-best comment ever. I love Amy and feel so lucky to be friends with her. Thank you for sharing her with me and being a great mom. She loves you so very much-she tells me all the time. <3

Leave a Reply

By submitting this comment you consent to your contact details being stored in accordance with this website's Privacy Policy.

  1. Now Available

    Touching the Surface
  1. Follow Kimberly


  1. Archives



    agent Anica Rissi Apocalypsies blogging Bookanistas Book Review Class of 2k12 Conferences Contest Dad drafting Ellen Hopkins giveaway Jane Yolen Jodi Moore John Green Kimberly Sabatini Kimmiepoppins Kim Sabatini LA11SCBWI laurie halse anderson Lin Oliver Michelle Wolfson NaNoWriMo Oblong Books reading revision running SCBWI Simon and Schuster Simon Pulse The Class of 2k12 The Opposite of Gravity Touching the Surface WHEN A DRAGON MOVES IN by Jodi Moore Wolf Pack Wolfson Literary writing writing style YA Author YA Book YA Books YA Novel YA Outside the Lines YA Writer
  1. Links

  1. The Apocalypsies
    The Class of 2K12