We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Laferriere and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Amanda, why did you pursue a creative career?
My grandfather was a photographer and my mom always used to tell me stories of how loved he and his work were by everyone he encountered. He passed away exactly one year before I was born and even though I was never able to meet him, I always felt close to him. My mom was a hobbyist photographer when I was growing up so I used to always steal her camera at family gatherings and on vacations. I finally got my own when I was 15 and my stepbrother asked me to take photos for his band’s show in their drummer’s backyard. I fell in love with music photography that night even though I had no clue what I was doing. It’s been six years since that show and nothing has ever felt as natural or as comfortable as taking photos. 

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I started by taking photos at the beach when I was 13/14. They were really terrible photos but I was proud of them nonetheless. When I first started taking photos of music, I realized that there was a whole other world of the art and quickly shifted my focus. I started taking photos of friends’ bands and DMing touring bands on Instagram and asking for a photo pass to their show. I was hired by a band, Glass House Point, for the first time about a year after I started taking photography seriously and I still work with them today. I met so many other artists through them and gained a lot of experience. The biggest thing I have learned along the way is to just be a cool and kind person and you will make connections with others and create work that you are proud of. The pandemic really changed a lot for me as shows stopped entirely. I had plans to try touring full time once I graduated, but those have obviously been put on hold for the foreseeable future. I invested in a little home studio set-up in August and began taking self-portraits in my bedroom. I have really created the work that I am most proud of in the past few months with that set-up. The work just feels much more personal knowing that it exists solely because of me. The concept, the preparations, acting as the subject, and the actual shooting is all me. I have really never connected to my work in this way before and it has really shown me a new love for photography. Beyond the self-portraiture, I have started doing shoots for myself. Meaning that I am not hired by anyone to create work for them and I am simply executing a concept that I thought up in my head. I have had multiple artists that I have looked up to for years reach out to me and tell me that my work this year has inspired them in some way. I really can’t explain how it feels when someone you have looked up to tells you that you are now inspiring them. The work that I have made during the pandemic has been some of my best yet in my opinion and I am more excited about creating than ever before.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Number 1 on the list is absolutely Concord Coffee. I spend way too much time there but the coffee and people make it worth it. Hillcrest is another coffee shop just down the road in the cutest little house. It also has great coffee and showcases local artists’ work on the walls. Best stops for food would have to be Divicious, the absolute best sandwich shop in the middle of downtown, and The Joinery, a food hall that is sure to have something for everyone. A little out of the way but King State in Tampa is also one of my favorite spots for coffee and food. There are quite a few little shops downtown so just a walk through them would be on the list. The Saturday morning Farmer’s Market would also be a must-do while in town.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My mom 100%. She let me steal her camera frequently and eventually bought me my first camera. She shared all of those stories of my grandfather with me and has always encouraged me to pursue what I love. I know for a fact that I would not be anywhere close to where I am today if not for her.

Website: https://www.ajpgphoto.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ajpgphoto/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ajpgphoto
Other: https://ajpgphoto.darkroom.tech/

Image Credits
Amanda Laferriere

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