April 9, 2012

Interview - Amanda {The Habit of Being}

I thank my lucky stars for this community because it was through one of the contributors here that I connected with my next interview guest Photographer, Amanda of The Habit of Being. I began reading her blog and fell in love with the stories she told through her words and photographs. It's truly a great moment for me to be able to introduce you all to her! Please meet and welcome:

When did you begin to develop an interest in photography? Take me back to those first years and if you could, tell me about the paths you explored to expand on your craft.

When I was still in elementary school I received a camera from my grandparents. I have no idea what ever possessed my grandmother to buy me a camera but I'm so glad she did. I was absolutely smitten with it and carried it everywhere. As a child I spent time taking photos at family gatherings and on trips, at slumber parties, etc. During a photography class in high school I began to see photos that made me feel, photos full of emotion. That changed things for me. I went from trying to take a picture to trying to capture a moment, an emotion, a story.

Do you feel as though your photos reflect or reveal pages of your own story? How so?

Most definitely. I did not have the best childhood. There was a very nasty divorce, a very difficult step parent, a time where I felt very unloved. I felt abandoned and lost from a very young age. In high school and college my photography was mostly street photography, photographing the homeless, abandoned buildings, night life on the streets. I think back to it and those photographs, what I was trying to express with my camera and a roll of film, was my own struggle. The girl that was so desperate to be seen was photographing the unloved, the forgotten.

And then, many years later I became a wife and mother. I photograph my children a lot. I photograph them doing seemingly mundane things like school, or painting. I spend time photographing these seemingly mundane moments looking for the magic in them. Sometimes it's the way the light is back lighting my daughter's hair, sometimes it's the way my son has his head tilted just so... these little glimpses fill me with happiness. My focus is now on the quiet moments, the moments that fill me with peace, the magic of life with five little kids (finding a Lego man in the salt cellar, a child curled up in a chair lost deep in a book).

My photography still reveals pages of my story but it's the story that has changed and influenced my photography.

What do you love to photograph most? If you had to step out of your comfort zone, what would you photograph?

I love to photograph corners of my home, little things I find laying about that give a hint of story or glimpse into our life.

If I had to step out of my comfort zone, I'd love to join people in their homes, photographing their moments...Saturday morning breakfast in pajamas and bedhead, kids bouncing on their beds, a family trip to the farmer's market. I'd love to chronicle a day for them to look back on, to remember.

Would you share three of your own tips to capturing a great photo with the readers?

Take the shot, change your perspective, shoot again. Don't be afraid to play with different angles.

Shoot every single day. Even if you shoot the same thing every single day, shoot.

Find the light. Watch the light move around your house during the day, find the good light, the soft light. Then shoot it. Shoot the light and shadows on the floor or wall, shoot a toy laying in the light, shoot the light falling across your child's face.

When do you feel most inspired to go shooting?

Early morning when the house is still quiet. I often sneak out with a coffee in one hand, camera in the other. And traveling. I love to explore new places with my camera in hand.

Would you share the links to the photographers or books that have guided or inspired you?

I am constantly inspired by other photographers. One of my favorites is Tara Thayer's blog. I love how she captures a busy family life.

I have followed Jennifer Causey's work for years now and find her work inspiring.

If I had to choose one book, Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. This is the book to read if you want to get comfortable shooting in manual.

Amanda... Thank you for sharing parts of your photography story with us today. I am so happy to learn more about you & to feature your beautiful photos here today :)

Amanda, raised in New Mexico, currently lives in a ramshackle cottage in the deep south with her husband and five kids.  She has worked in coffee shops and kitchens across North America but her favorite job is caring for her littles.  She is a storyteller and photographer capturing moments of starshine and love.  Amanda rambles on her blog, The Habit of Being and on Twitter.

*All photos have been published with permission from Amanda {The Habit of Being}


fjord girl said...

Lovely interview I enjoyed reading about Amanda and learning new things about her - I love her beautiful photgraphy and blog.

Pamela said...

I just love Amanda.
What beautiful soul.

amanda {the habit of being} said...

thank you ladies :)

Unknown said...

Love this.

michelle gd said...

a sweet little interview...amanda, so lovely to learn more about you. i've been taking a peek at your blog lately...and enjoying ;)

Baby By The Sea said...

wonderful interview. as a {habit of being} reader, I just adored getting to know Amanda a bit more. Love her advice, her story. I feel that folks with wounds produce beauty. And, wow, through her words and images and tiny glimpses into her sweet, Southern life I can tell she makes (and celebrates) beauty in a way that inspires, fulfills. xoxo

Lori ann said...

beautiful photos from lovely amanda. i've enjoyed reading this interview. thank you amanda for sharing a part of yourself. xo lori

thea said...

What a tender and beautiful interview. I love your photos Amanda and am happy to have been intoduced to you.

christina said...

i adore amanda! and i love seeing here work here. i really am honored, to call her my friend.

amanda {the habit of being} said...

awww, thanks everyone. i'm all teary eyed reading your sweet words. xo

Unknown said...

I echo the adoration for Amanda. She exudes a peace that is as welcoming as it is empowering. I hope she feels it always. xoox

Angela said...

You are such a beautiful being Amanda. You always inspire me. Of course you inspire my photography, but more importantly my life in general. My parents' divorce was of a nasty flavor too. Thank you for being Amanda. I am so glad you are here, and that you have such a wonderful family and those precious quiet moments.