From the article by Jill Waterman for Digital Photo Pro:
Touchette minored in studio art in college, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in literature, before gravitating to New York City to enter the publishing world. She moved up through the ranks from writer to editor to managing editor, when she suddenly realized that she just didn’t enjoy the corporate life. During the summer of 2001, she forbade herself from working overtime, going home to work on a series of large-scale black-and-white oil portraits of jazz musicians instead.
“And then September 11th happened a few months later,” she says. “We were living in the West Village, and it was just an extremely intense experience.”
Fearful and confused about what to do with her life, Amy Touchette “decided to figure out what I would want to do in an ideal world.” This meant turning her back on almost everything: Her past resume, her university degrees and any practical thoughts and feelings of intimidation that could interrupt potential options being carried out. “I needed to live a life that felt more authentic,” she says. “There seemed no time to waste.”
She had a few photographer friends and was fascinated by their adventures. “Photography lets you go out into the world. It’s so different than writing and painting, which are so introverted and lonely,” she says.
Additionally, she had long been fascinated with the people of New York, explaining, “Truth is stranger than fiction, and that’s never more evident than in New York City.”