My name is Amanda. I am a photographer, a designer and an artist.
Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of being an artist and working in the fashion industry. I grew up in a home full of domestic abuse, so working in fashion didn't seem like something that could be possible, but I kept dreaming about it. When I was 14, my mom and I left that situation and moved to Texas. When I was 17, I moved to Dallas and went to school for Fashion Design.
When I graduated and began my career in fashion, a girl named Lauren gave my first job. She hired me as her Assistant Designer. Over time, we became friends outside of work. Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. She gave it a very good fight, but eventually lost her battle with cancer. She was very young when she passed on, and it really impacted me in a big way when she was gone. One of the last conversations that I had with Lauren was with her imploring me to pursue my love of photography. She said life is too short not to do what makes you happy.
I worked in the fashion industry as a designer in corporate jobs for seven years before deciding to follow Lauren's advice to pursue photography full-time. The entire time that I worked in corporate, I had an urge to use my creativity and art to help other people. When I decided to go after photography full-time, I had the idea to found Surviving Beautifully.
I have spent my life in art and fashion, and I know what beautiful looks like. I can see it in every woman that I photograph. I know how to bring that beauty out in portraits. I want Surviving Beautifully to show these strong women who have faced cancer, critical illness and domestic violence in their most beautiful light as a way to inspire others who are facing the same struggles.