Our interview today is is with the talented, Amanda Elkins. Amanda is a Los Angeles based photographer specializing in editorial photography, as well as celebrity portraits for advertising, magazines and lifestyle. If you don’t know Amanda, you must head over to her blog and check out her work. You might recognize several actresses and actors, including a shoot she did with some of the guys from Twilight (definitely eye candy). Thanks to Gina for interviewing Amanda, it was so much fun reading her fabulous interview.
Tell us about yourself and how you got into photography.
My name is Amanda Elkins. I am originally from Brazil, but have been living in the US for over 11 years. I married the love of my life and together we have 2 beautiful children. Photography has been a passion of mine since I was pretty young! First, I loved to be in front of the camera, as a model. When I become a mother, I started documenting my children’s lives. I was obsessed with everything they did… and I wanted to freeze those precious moments forever! My whole family lives in Brazil and it was a way for me to share our day by day life with them. My friends would see the images and ask me to take a few shots of their kids and soon my friends’ friends were asking me to do the same for them… that’s how it all started! When my baby girl was about 9 months, I started shooting images of her for No Slippy Hair Clippy, which is a great hair accessories company for little girls. That led to working with child celebrity, Ryan Newman, for a No Slippy Hair Clippy catalog. And the rest is history… I am so appreciative and blessed to have a job that I love!
You are the director of photography for ZOOEY Magazine. It’s so different from portrait work, why did you decide to go into this field?
I did work as director of photography for Zooey Magazine for a long time, but just recently quit. Yes! It is very different, but I love a challenge! You know, I still ask myself that same question and to be honest, I’m not sure if I chose to get into this field or somehow I just got caught up in it. Either way, It has been fun! I enjoy working with talents and capturing their personalities. Currently, I work for myself as freelance photographer, which I am very happy about. Beginning of last year, I was invited by my friend TJ, to join his production company, “Theater Junkie”, as Director of Photography. I am absolutely in love with this role!
What is a typical work day like for you?
Depends on the day … they are all different! As a mother of young kids, they come first, always! Weekdays, if I have a shoot, it’s usually during school hours so I can be done in time to pick kids up. Weekdays, when I don’t shoot, I’m editing or have pre-production meetings, but I must be back in time to get kids from school. I shoot a lot on the weekends too, then my husband is in charge of the kids. We have decided early on that we’d be raising the kids ourselves and not hiring nannies/babysitters so we could work. So It’s challenging for sure, but we are good at multi tasking! haha There is always something going on at the Elkins residence…
How much interaction do you have with your clients before their shoot? Is it easier to work with actors/actresses?
It depends on the shoot and who I’m shooting. Usually for talents, as soon as they get there, during hair/make up, I chat with them a little bit to get a feeling for their personality and figure out what will be my approach to capture them best. Again, it depends on the actor/actress. Some are really laid back and really fun, others a bit more reserved. Some I have shot more than one time, and those are super easy! Usually, it means we got along really well the first time and they already know my style and are ready to play some more! :)
Now head over to the forum to read the rest of Amanda’s interview and to see more drool worthy pictures.