Purely Life Sessions Winter Special

Welcome 2018!!!! I know for some welcoming this new year was a much look forward to event as 2017 may not have been the best… as for our family 2017 was pretty great.

We became a family of 5, we traveled, we camped and we made some great new friends!  As our family has grown (both in number and in age… how is our first born almost SEVEN!?) I have been scaling back on the number of gigs I take so that I can attempt to master this work/life balance.  (if anyone has that on lock… give me a call, I have some questions! 😉 ) (Our photos courtesy of Ester Cobe Photography)


As I re-enter the work force again this year I am going to be taking less weddings (probably only 6-10 weddings verses 12-16 I used to!) and try to focus more on portrait sessions and corporate work.  This gives our family a lot more flexibility to travel and spend time together as a whole (plus its not super fun for Rico to be home solo parenting every weekend in the summer!)

To kick off this transition I am running a Purely Life session deal for January, February and March.  I will be booking select dates for these sessions for the steal of $750 per session.  This particular special will come with digital rights which is an average investment of $2550 (so that is a 70% savings!)

For this blog post I wanted to address some of the FAQ I get regarding these sessions… if you have one that isn’t here ask me!!

What is a Purely Life session?

A purely life session is essentially where I come ‘live life’ with you for a small portion of a day.

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How do you know what we will do?

I will send a questionnaire to you that will help you plan out different portion of your shoot.  I promise we won’t just sit and look at each other 😉

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These shoots look fun, what if our life isn’t that fun?

Everyone’s life is fun!  I will help to prompt you into the different activities we emailed about and since it is your life it IS fun… and it will look fun, promise.  Remember, one of my super powers is making people look awesome 😉

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What about our mess?

Well I shoot around mess… but also its your mess.  So its part of your story.  When we had our family photographed we stuffed a lot of things we didn’t want photographed in my office and laundry room.  Like laundry is a huge part of our life but I didn’t want it photographed… other people LOVE having their baby play in the laundry while they fold it… super cute photos!  I put all of my mail and bills in my office on the desk, no one needed to see that 😉 But it is a personal decision.  Some people live spotlessly, others have stuff.  It’s my personal opinion that stuff makes it look real.  🙂  If you’re not sure about it leave it and we can talk about it when I get there.  The point of these sessions is to enjoy love… not feel stressed.  So please, do NOT hire a house cleaner before I come or scrub the floors, or paint… or anything else like that unless of course that is part of your normal, every-day-activites.

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Will we be bored?

Absolutely not.  In fact most people find that the session flies by.

How long does it take?

Since it isn’t a typical ‘posed’ session at a park I recommend people block off 2-3 hours.  Most sessions last about 2… some last less and some a little more.  So just plan on 2-3 hours.

What happens when/if my kids meltdown?

That’s part of life too… it is overwhelming having someone following you with a camera.  When kids start to show meltdown-tendencies I take a few steps back and give you space… if you’re cool with it, I may take a few snap shots of the crying because thats part of life too… If you’re not thats fine too!  Usually when the kids start to melt down we take a break and get a snack 🙂

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Can we have multiple outfits?

Yes! I promise I won’t take pictures of you changing!  :p

Can we have some posed pictures?

Absolutely!  I will do a mixture of photojournalistic documentation as well as have you sit in a great spot with great light for a few fun posed photos.  I also try to make a special effort to take some photos of just parents.  Probably the last time you had solo portraits was your wedding (I’m guessing…!) So since we are in your space you have some safe places to send the kiddos… so lets send them there with an activity for a few minutes and nab a few pictures of just you!  Time to update your profile picture any 😉

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Can we go outside around our property?

Yes!  These sessions are generally limited to one location but if it is within walking distance we can go outside or around your neighborhood.  Where ever your life is lived, lets go capture it!

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Do you have more questions?? Ask them, I would be happy to answer them!

Here are a few more of my faves (ok… a lot of my favorites!)  These sessions are my favorite to photograph because I feel like they are such treasured time capsules of reality.  Hope you agree!! ❤  To book head to my website and give me a shout out!






Hello World!

While it is embarrassing that I haven’t posted in nearly a year… or that frequently before that I find it fitting that I am making my re-emergence with this post.  I have been working professionally as a photographer now for 12 years and full time for nearly 7.  Most artists try to continue to grow their skillset even as they enter the professional world because sometimes when your exchange your craft for money your passion takes the backseat… and no one likes a stagnate cranky artist 😉

The last several years I have focused immensely on upping my game in the lighting category.  Lighting is basically the foundation of photography so mastering added and artificial lighting makes the world your oyster.  2017’s project was working on a new, harsher lighting.  Most of my past lighting focus was for portrait work and so I needed a new and more challenging project so this year I decided to focus on fitness photography.

Anyone that knows me knows that I am the weirdo who can’t get enough of a good sweat session or the endorphin high after cranking out a new PR.  So entering into this new line of photography was not only fun but it allowed me to combine some of my passion with my work. (winning!)

After I learned some of the lighting techniques I needed for fitness photography (a HUGE thank you to all of the fitness instructors I used as guinea pigs 🙂 I should do a post for them at some point!)  I wanted to do more than just shoot professional athletes or fitness pros.  My favorite part of my job is not capturing the ‘money shot’ or the 8×10 great grandma will hang on her mantle.  My favorite part of what I do is working with families and people in such an vulnerable way that I capture ‘THE’ shot.  The shot where a person can see themselves through my lens the way loved ones see them.  Beautiful.  Strong.  Capable.  Loved.

Our society puts so much pressure on all people to be a certain way, act a certain way and achieve certain goals and without completing this imaginary list of conquests we are told we are worth nothing.  I hope that through my work (both hired and personal) people can treat themselves a little more kindly and see themselves in the light that other people view them.  Which with that longwinded journal entry brings me to my project!

This project was birthed to show everyone of all fitness levels, interests and walks of life that there is an inner athlete in you.  Everyone can be fit, strong and do amazing things.  You don’t need to do cross fit, run marathons or be a zumba instructor. (though if you want to, more power to you!)  Everyone has their own starting point and often times people have *multiple* starting points.

The main goal is to view your body as this amazing machine that enables you to do AWESOME things.  So we should really love it instead of constantly hating it, criticizing it and worse; trying to starve it to mold it into something it isn’t meant to be.  Fuel your body.  Love your body.

As I finally delve into the ACUTAL post a huge, huge shout out to KIN Movement for hosting this event.  They have an awesome space to help people from all fitness levels achieve their goals.  Their mindset is unlike any I have found in a gym and their support through this project has been unparalleled.  Also a HUGE thanks to the folks who showed up and were vulnerable enough to let me use them as my models.  These are just regular people (NOT fitness models!) and I hope you give them a standing ovation for their awesomeness.

2017-08-22_0001Bob: Triathlete and would be diplomat.
Always be ready to embrace the suck.  May not be the fastest but always moving forward.

2017-08-22_0002Cole: Manager/Specialist at Human Element and Single-Mom-Extraordinaire
Strives to be stronger and more fit to set an example for her son.  Wishes she could be a travel writer to show him the world.

2017-08-22_0003Hannah: Owner/CEO Metric MKTG
Loves the beach, her kiddos and kicking thyroid disease in the butt.
Favorite actress is Candace Cameron Bure and would be a professional singer in another life.

Holly: Mama of two sweet babes and part of University of Michigan’s Sea Grant (School for Environment and Sustainability)
Multi-sport competitor and Proud Canadian.  Mama who nurses/pumps WHILE working full time (that is a marathon folks for those of you who have never done it!)

Jesse: Swim instructor and coach.  University of Michigan student.
Would be professional gymnast.  Favorite book is The Hurt Artist by Shane Neimeyer.

Katie: Mama and Manager of Health and Wellness of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Would love to travel to Greece and favorite color is yellow.  Has a PhD but in another life would be a Labor/Delivery nurse.

Megan: Nurse Anesthetist, bad ass and dog mama.
Loves Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and would be a race car driver if being a nurse anesthetist didn’t work out.

Nikki: Mama to 3 littles and fitness lover.
She is a beach lover and Paul Walker fan.  If she could tell her younger self anything it would be: To stop spending so much time caring what other people think because what matters is what YOU think!

Sam: Teacher for STEM Prep school in Nashville.
Runner and newly minted teacher from EMU.  If she could live anywhere it would be to her newly relocated Nashville, living the dream!  Favorite song is ‘Before He Cheats’ by Carrie Underwood.

2017-08-22_0010Stacey: Mom of two and Battle of Waterloo finisher
Loves making gains in the gym, pushing herself harder and being epic for her two sons. If she could tell her younger-self anything it would be “Don’t compare yourself to all these girls. Don’t change a thing about what makes you you. You and your life end up to be really amazing! ”

2017-08-22_0011Susan: Fitness Guru and Marketing pro
In another life would be a photographer or a veterinarian.  Miami transplant to Michigan and warm weather lover.  If she could live anywhere it would be Brazil.


Thank you to everyone who has supported me in this journey!  Posting this has taken a bit of vulnerability on my part as an artist because as we learn new crafts we see only the flaws in our projects… much like how we view our own body’s in the mirror.  I hope through this journey of life we can all view ourselves a little more kindly and honestly give ourselves a pat on the back.  Being a good human is no joke, so lets all be nice to each other, give each other high fives and encourage each other to be the best, strongest human ever.

run often, smile more!

Amanda 🙂

1/52 The Beginning

So Rico and I have decided to challenge ourselves to a 52 project this year (one post a week 🙂 ) with once a month focusing on a skill that is more challenging.

As much as I am excited about our new challenge I think sometimes we get overzealous in our ‘New Year, New You’ planning and immediately feel overwhelmed by the greatness of the challenge.  Then, instead of putting one foot in front of the other we feel paralyzed and doomed to fail.

My hope for this year is we can sit in front of our great aspirations and instead of feeling like we are going to fail before we even begin, that we can remember that the greatest journeys begin with the first step.



2015-01-04_0001We took Lalo to the Henry Ford Museum NYE this year and while it took a little coercing to get him to take this picture, I feel like it is so symbolic of my feelings of this potentially great and magical year before us.  I hope that I can sit in wonder and awe and look at the potential this year has and drink it in like he does with this ‘steamies’.

To 2015!