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I am so excited to be bringing back the blog to share not only my images with you but also my words. I saved a few of my favorite blogs from my old site to include here!! I hope you will read these and gain some insight to my heart and soul. 

 

Stay Wild & Wonderful, 

Amanda

Monday, May 28, 2018
By Amanda Reed Photography
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Congratulations Class of 2018! Thank you for an amazingly beautiful year. I have enjoyed every minute of it. I leave you with a look back and one of my favorite poems by Marianne Williamson

 

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate,
but that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give
other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

 

 

 

 

 
Sunday, May 06, 2018
By Amanda Reed Photography
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WOW WOW WOW!!!! What a fabulous prom season!! I did not shoot GEHS prom like I have in years past since this was my daughters first prom and I didn't want to miss a minute. Thankfully my best friend is a fabulous photographer who is known for creating real life fairytales and she came up and photographed my daughter and her friends. You can see my lovely girl below and a huge shout out to Jessica Holt of Dalton Lane Portrait Co.  Next year GEHS prom will be back on my schedule!

 

Greenbrier West as always exceded my expectations. The weather was beautiful but the lack of soft light and mother nature lulling behind on our natural greenery we chose to set up a luxe set inside the studio that didn't fail. The poses, the lighting was nothing short of Hollywood Glam for these prom goers and they got the signature AR treatment! 

Last but not least Westside turned out in high style as always. This was my first year shooting Westside High School prom but it definitely won't be the last. These images were shot on the West Farm which is also undergoing a huge transformation into one of West Virginia's premier wedding venues! So you want me to shoot your prom? Get me dates well in advance, secure at least 8 clients for me to photograph and you're all set. Packages are all digital so you can print and share as much as you like and start at $40. 

 
Friday, April 27, 2018
By Amanda Reed Photography
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Ok....so maybe you don't love all the free stuff you get in life. I am thinking of a few possibilites. I like to give you awesome free stuff so let me tell you about some of them.

 

Attention: I seriously lavish you with attention. Getting to know you and your story enables me to tell it from the perspective of my heart and not my bank account. I don't want to rush anything about our time together. Sure I have time limits I like to keep for myself in the enjoyment of my own family and your poor husbands or dads you had to drag here with you. Which leads me to another point! Your husband will love me, sounds weird right? But he loves me because they get to spend their time outdoors with the most beautiful woman in his life..........YOU. I know how real life rolls and it's busy. Trust me, when I have you and your husband look into one anothers eyes it might make your knees tremble with nervousness because as adults raising awesome kids we often forget that connection that comes when you look into the eyes of the one you love and when I tell him to whisper something in your ear that is sure to make you grin he never fails, in fact he aims to please.....YOU. While the male figures in your life may arrive apprehensive they leave feeling energized 99.9% of the time. You always have that .1% that can't nobody help but their momma. 

 

 

Medicine: Wait, did I say free medicine? Yes and the best medicine in the world is laughter. I was raised around tough situations and I coped by making people laugh. Just this month on my aunts birthday I bought her a memory book and near the end of the fill in the blank page it read, remember that birthday when........ but I couldn't remember anything other then the fact that on this day my aunts mom died who was my grandma and the most beautiful human that could ever happen to a person and ya know what else happened on that day? Her sister died the same day several years later and that sister happened to be my mom. How in the hell do you get past moments like that and move on? For me I had to laugh and that's what I wrote and we laughed about it for a solid 20 minutes going back and forth.... hey, remember when your mom died on your birthday? Hey, remember when my mom died on your birhtday. So laughter has gotten me through some of the hardest days of my life because sometimes you throw your hands up and realize you just couldn't make this stuff up. I am so blessed to have laughter as a coping mechanism rather than anger or acting out. Now that you have heard about that crazy story you know we are in for a wild ride. I like to laugh. It makes me forget those hard moments that happen like the death of my loved ones, the realization that my skin is aging, my daughter will be leaving for college before I know it and soon a woman will fill a bigger role in the life of my son then I do. We all need to laugh. If I can get you laughing then I can capture you living!

 

 

Friendship. A friend is a very special thing to have and I am blessed to know that many of my clients walk away never being a client again because they become friends. My career has led me to the most beautiful and fulfilling friendships I could ever ask for. I am that text away when your child needs extra prayers. I am that phone call when you get accepted to college. I have even been the 1am come get your teenage daughter from a party because she is to scared to call you and I deliver her to your door. That road goes both ways as I often lean on those who first came into my prescence only for a portrait but I received the bigger gift of their friendship.

 

 

Experience: When you combine all of the previous details with a kick ARse session catered to you with set designs picked exclusively for your style and your desires then this isn't something you put in your digital shopping cart at Amazon. This is so much more. I miss those mom and pop shops that used to line mainstreet. You walked in they knew your name, asked how your family was and helped with your purchase. That's how I want my business to be. I want to give you that mom and pop, how you and the youngins been doing, why sure I can take care of that for you business experience. 

 

 

Some of the best things in life are free. I just happen to be blessed that God uses my talent as a photographer to give and receive those free things. I can't wait to see y'all for your next portrait session where I can throw some free stuff at you! 

 

 

xoxo,

Amanda

 

 

 

 

 
Monday, April 23, 2018
By Amanda Reed Photography
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Because I am a mom, I know how many emotions you must be feeling right now as the parent of a high school senior. Ten years of experience in not only photography but client relationships have left me with a permanent reminder of how important what I do and how I make you and your child feel during this experience is.

 

 

 Maya Angelou said it best, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." 

 

 

I know that one of the three biggest investments you will ever spend on portraits is about to happen. In my experience, I find that most people hire a professional photographer on the day their child was born, graduation year and the day they get married. Why? Because these are the milestone moments. That fresh baby changed your life. That child you raised most likely raised the bar in you. I know that this journey has been a plural one and I know that most often after this year it turns into a singular one. You as I will question every day if we made the right decisions. If we prepared them for the future and most importantly did we raise someone of compassion and respect. 

 

 

I want you to know when I photograph your child I see more then the perfect child presented to me, I see my own child. I recall my own daughter and the way she laughed when she was five and I hope to invoke that laugh your own daughter had when she was five so you can see that little girl in this moment. I see a day when I planned a wedding of my daughter, yet to happen, with my own mother who has passed on and I remember that I need to capture that woman your child has become. My own son who is a mix of sawdust and motor oil who climbs in bed to snuggle will one day help me climb into his truck. I know that I need to capture that side eye and grin he gives you when you tell him to stop fake smiling because I have told my son the same thing. I know that I must photograph all the men and women who have made this young man who he is today. This moment is more than photographing him with his truck its about knowing all the work that went into building it. That little boy who sat on grandpas knee and now holds his hand. The child that sat at grandmas dinner table to a warm meal is now the young adult helping them to prepare it. This moment and what I do is far beyond the click of the shutter. 

 

 

When I say, "I want to be your photographer," I do not want to take your picture.... I want to tell your story.

 

 

When choosing your photographer I hope you trust me as a professional and also as a mother to capture the story of your heart. 

 

 

 

xoxo,

Amanda

 
Thursday, April 12, 2018
By Amanda Reed Photography
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It seems like I often want to write when my heart is heavy. Possibly because God knows those of us here on Earth can relate and know we aren't alone. 

April....

Leona McGraw 2/24/42 -- 4/16/11

Rodney McGraw 9/1/39 -- 4/13/13

Vanessa McGraw 7/6/62 -- 4/16/14

 

Within a 3 year span my grandparents and my mom passed away. From 2011 until today I have been adapting to a new way of life. A different mindset and a whole new lifestyle. I wasn't left with an inheritance..... I was left responsibility. Like most things I have faced in life......this would be no exception. It Is Hard. 

We know we all have an end date. I just wasn't prepared for theirs to be so soon or close together. They all came by surprise. Most things do.

Since then I have been watching my children grow and accomplish things. Things that I want to pick up the phone and let them know. 304-438-9167..........they won't answer if I call. It takes me by surprise how fast the thought can come into my mind before it drowns out in my soul. That split second of excitement thinking you can share your joy but you can't. Now I know I can pray and I can speak to them spiritually. I can recall their voices...their fingernails. The lines in faces. 

This story doesn't end with a happy ending. This story is real life. No fairy tales here for me and most likely none for you either. What else can we do but be real and raw about grief. Days get easier and sleep comes again but the longing, that never goes away. The breakdowns in your local grocery store when you see the yams at Thanksgiving or when you see the first Spring butterfly, they stay, at least for now, they stay. 

My grandpa talked about his mother every day of my life and she never lived one day that I breathed. That is grief. That is pain I now know. Pain that only gets replaced with the sound of my children laughing. Watching them grow and live and that makes the knowledge of my own death humbling. I know this time.... our time.... it is an exhale and its gone. 

I could exploit this whole conversation and say take all the pictures but I am going to say........ feel every moment....all the emotions. I leave my camera at home during 99% of my children's activities because I want to see it through my eyes and not my camera lens. I want to feel it in my fingertips. Photographs are a gateway to a time we can no longer participate in. Life is in the participation. Your fans.... they should be the ones that love you back. Your like count....those should be the number of smiles in a day. The number of should be reflected in the people who show up for those moments when you don't want to participate and not measured by Mark Zuckerberg Your blog should be one that is lived out loud and only written when time allows. The longer that I spend sharing this with you the less time I have participating but it must be shared. You must know that right now is the most important time of your life. Right now........while I type, you are my most important moment. So please do not read and go back to your social media accounts, your television programming. Life is asking you to participate. 

 

 

 
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