Most photographers will tell you they started in photography because they loved taking pictures of friends and family, but Amanda Claire’s story is a little different. When she was three, she was photographed by award-winning photographer Jeff Lubin. She loved the experience and admired the portraits he took.
As she grew up, she also enjoyed sitting and looking at her grandparents’ wedding albums. They were magnificent black-and-white photos that looked like old Hollywood movie stills. Her great uncle had been the photographer, but he was also a press photographer who was assigned to the White House during the Kennedy era. While he died long before she was born, he inspired in her a passion for classic, quality photographs that would become heirlooms.
After attending college to study photography, Amanda Claire mentored under several world-renowned photographers, both locally and in New York, before she branched out on her own. She wanted to set herself apart from what she saw happening in the photography industry. She watched as digital cameras brought in countless untrained ‘photographers’ and cheap digital printing. Having trained on film and in the darkroom, Amanda looks at digital differently; she uses a digital camera, but prints with a true photographic process so her images will be preserved for generations. Clients immediately see the difference, from her artistry and skill to the quality of printing.
They also are often surprised how much fun they have at their sessions. Amanda carefully edits each photograph to create a unique collection for them, which is then turned into heirloom albums and wall collections, which may include fine art photography from her travels.
After a few years in business by herself, Amanda grew to the point of needing an assistant. Who could be better to hire than Mom? Amanda Claire’s mom was an avid travel photographer, so Amanda knew it wouldn’t be hard to teach her the skills of portrait photography. Thus, their team was born.
Mom (Terry) studied posing techniques and drew inspiration from classic fashion magazine photographers like Annie Liebowitz. While Amanda says she often fires mom on the job, it’s always in fun, and they work well together. “Mom is my studio manager, partner, posing guru, and girl Friday.”
Amanda Claire is committed to helping her clients feel confident in front of the camera, whether they want to improve their online presence with personal branding photos, stay current with a creative headshot, or update their family portraits. “I love finding new ways to help my clients personally or professionally. For example, I recently started making digital business cards for my personal branding clients. Ultimately, though, giving confidence to everyone that steps in front of my camera is everything. No matter their age or gender, everybody deserves to feel good about themselves. The photographs we create are simply a visual reminder of that. My work is fulfilling because I create art that I love that makes people happy.”
Family and friends are very important to Amanda. She and her mom cook together all the time, something her sister also loves to do. “My dad has an incredible palate, so he makes a great taste tester.” Amanda is extremely close with both of her parents, claiming she and her dad are two peas in a pod. “We are so much alike, especially our sense of humor; we’re often racing each other to a punch-line, somehow anticipating what’s coming.” They are big entertainers, taking every opportunity to have friends over, whether for a meal, to watch a football game, or just sit around and laugh with a bottle of wine and the people they love.
“When I can get away, Paris is always a good idea! Actually, given the opportunity, I‘ll travel just about anywhere. If I can’t get away for a big trip, I love the theatre, music, reading, and watching tennis. I’ve been to New York for the U.S. Open many times, camera in hand, of course. All my adventures fuel my creativity, inspiring new ideas and energizing me when I get back to work.”
Amanda Claire measures success through the reactions of her clients. Terry handles client photo-reveal meetings, but as soon as they’re done, Amanda always asks, “Did I make them cry?” (Happy tears, of course.) “It makes me proud to be able to capture their personality in their pictures.”
Amanda also attributes success to the idea that, in a world dominated by instant gratification and mass media, quality still matters. While she utilizes social media and stays relevant in the digital age, she’s an old soul and knows that a beautifully printed heirloom photograph that lasts for generations will always be better than a Snapchat selfie.
To learn more or to book a private photo session with Amanda, contact her at:
A. Claire Vision Photography