Awe and Amazement with Amanda

Awe and Amazement with Amanda

Closing 2016 on a high note, and beginning this new project, I was fortunate enough to meet with Amanda and capture her beauty in a quirky environment — Coney Island during the winter.

The off-season is far from ideal for a variety of reasons, ranging from weather, to lighting, general cleanliness and appeal, but it provides a really interesting atmosphere for portraits. Wait? Am I criticizing Coney Island for being dirty and gross?

With the right look, and the juxtaposition of fashion versus funk, I think this was an interesting approach. Though, maybe if we turned it into a computer hacker freak show themed portrait shoot it would have been better? Probably not… though Mr. Robot fans might disagree.


Amanda was visiting family in the area for the holidays after a year long trek through all 50 states in the US, an incredible journey that every American should at least attempt. I was impressed to learn about it — and to learn what states may not be worth more than a drive through. There are definitely a few, and if you live there, I’m sorry.

Anyway, to the shoot! We had a relatively short period of time. It was cold, cloudy, and the subway ride was slow that day — but we managed to pull together some quick looks, both on the boardwalk and nearby areas. It was fun to explore the graffiti tagged metal gates, empty walkways that are normally swarming with people during the open season, and be able to find ways to utilize the few breaks of sun peaking through the clouds for shots, and to warm us up a bit. As a side note, if you ever have the pleasure of working with Amanda, you should. She’s friendly, funny, easy going, and takes direction well.


My only concern with this shoot was making too many bad jokes from behind the camera and then promptly asking her to stop laughing at me, which resulted in some funny outtakes. In way, that’s the point of these portrait sessions. My personal thought is that we should both have an enjoyable experience and create art. Sure, the outcome is a quality image that we can use to promote ourselves, but when you’re working with this approach — it has to be fun for everyone.

If we had a full day in warm weather, maybe I wouldn’t be so hard on myself for cracking jokes, but c’est la vie.


One last thought is that it would have been lots of fun to play with the carnival lights had they been on, but in order for that to be the case, we’d have to fight through people walking into the shots, and end up with bad photos.

Overall, I think this shoot was a success, and I’m looking forward to exploring more portraits with her in the future, though we’ll probably aim for a combination of more artsy and unique shots in a different environment, in addition to whatever my style evolves into.


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