This lady overflows with invitation to clients, and future friends, to be a part of their genuine love stories. A wedding and portrait photographer of eight years in her home state of Oklahoma, Amanda Watson (along side her husband Chris) lives a life of coffee and littles (soon to be three) and dinner-making evenings with her love like many a Midwesterner. She got her start with a 35mm in high school and has found her home again in film for the rainbow of soft tones and sweet details that fill her lens. Her images beam with the boldness of natural beauty and balance the softness of romance. What a treat to spend a few days learning with her over at @indiefilmlab this week.
Indie is all about supporting a dreamer and we’re helping sponsor Amanda’s next workshop on August 14-17th in Dallas, Texas. There will be some phenomenal speakers and vendors on board – to learn more visit www.amandawatsonworkshops.com or @amandawatsonworkshops on Instagram.
IFL: How did photography become a part of your life?
AW: I picked up photography as a sophomore in high school, it was an offered class and was supposedly an “easy A” but little did I know I would fall in love with the darkroom process and it’s followed me since! My father gifted me his old 35mm Minolta and I lugged that thing around all through high school and some of college continuing my hobby. It wasn’t until we started planning our own wedding that I became obsessed with weddings and as the saying goes “do what you know” I decided to start shooting weddings and interned for a time and then branched out on our own!
IFL: Why film?
AW: I shot film all through high school and college and was reluctant to pick up digital when we decided to try for a business, but at the time film just wasn’t feasible for us. Honestly, I struggled a bit with digital, especially coming from a film background. So when we decided to reincorporate film back into our workflow it was a natural and easy process—finally my images were back to where I was striving for them to be and it just felt right.
IFL: What/who/where gets you inspired?
AW: Being outdoors, traveling, music, movies, exploring, a good sunset, color, fashion—to name a few 😉
IFL: Do you have a favorite geographical place to shoot?
AW: Someplace new—living in Oklahoma has it limitations (albeit is also a beautiful state, don’t get me wrong) but I love to shoot in new places it doesn’t necessarily matter where.
IFL: What’s your favorite film stock?
AW: Portra 400
IFL: Any challenges you find in being a film photographer? Or supporting yourself as an artist?
AW: I feel like there are challenges with any medium. The main challenges I face are more geographical while shooting film. Oklahoma has some crazy weather and our weddings (and especially our receptions) are primarily indoors, so I have to be selective as to when and where I shoot film and when I decide to supplement with digital.
IFL: Do you travel often for work? What does your everyday look like when not traveling?
AW: We love to travel and have the privilege of traveling often, but we limit our travel schedule since we have littles at home.
IFL: Any gear secrets you’re up for sharing?
AW: Don’t obsess with what you have or what you don’t. A lot of my favorite images came from my Mamiya 645 and 80 1.9 setup. Work with what you’ve got and perfect your skill—the gear isn’t magic, the magician is.
IFL: Favorite moment/or one of favorites you’ve ever captured.
AW: One of my favorite moments ever captured was right after Claire & Austen’s ceremony when they raced out of the chapel under a saber arch and he leans over and kisses his new wife on the cheek! So much joy and purely candid – you can’t recreate those type of moments!
IFL: What other art forms or artists are you drawn to?
AW: I love stained glass and I do a little as a hobby. I also have great admiration for calligraphers. I think it’s a beautiful art form and I wish I could do it, but my chicken scratch isn’t up to par.
What makes you feel awesome?
Spending time with the people I love.
Favorite thing about your current home/town.
The people; we are lucky to live in a great community!
Food you love.
Pasta and mint chocolate (but not necessarily together.)
What makes you dance? Do you dance?
I dance when no one is watching and it’s mostly to 80’s music.
Can you handle skinny jeans?
All day erry day.
Jazz and bluegrass
Do your family/friends think photography is cool or nerdy?
Cool, they think I live some crazy posh lifestyle which is totally not true. I do love that a big part of my ‘job’ is networking and getting to drink lots of coffee, ha!