It started for me when I got my first art set. They were all the rage back in the late nineties, and I fell in love. It came complete with over a hundred different pieces including a watercolor set. Of course I look back now and think my parents must have really loved me to give me such a mess of a present. But they've always been there to support my passions. They loved seeing the world through my eyes as I documented what I felt, who I saw and how I saw it.
The next spark came when I got my very first camera. It was a Crayola crayon poloroid camera that had a flash and everything, and it's prints came out in the shape of crayons! I took that thing everywhere, from Grandma's house to mom's cookie shop it was attached. A few prints still survived from it too, let's just say I also really loved Beanie Babies as well. They were my muses at the time.
I got my next inspiration when I got my first digital camera around my thirteenth birthday. It was a Fijifilm camera that had a lens that came out when you slid the activator across to turn it on. It too was attached to my hip. That was when I realized that photography was something that I could really get into. I enjoyed documenting all my friends, the sports games and life in general. I joined the yearbook and eventually became the editor my senior year. I loved gathering all those memories from the big events in our lives so that one day we could look back on them.
Once I got to college I had my heart set on becoming an art teacher. I had a strong desire to follow into my favorite teacher's footsteps, because Mrs. Lee had such an impact on my art in early high school. I spent about two weeks in the art teacher program at Northwest and I hated it. It just wasn't what I felt like I was meant to do, I loved kids and inspiring others but I didn't want a career in it. I had to change my major to something that inspired me to go through four years of school and then beyond college.
I was sitting at the table in my principles of art class and thinking about what to change my major to when it hit me. I had this long history of loving photography, why not learn how to make it into a career? Why not capture the world as I see it and give it back to people. I got out of class and instantly called my mom, I told her I was changing my major to photography and all she could say was "Amanda, that makes more sense."