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My Wild & Wonderful Blog

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

Saturday, November 04, 2017
By Amanda Reed Photography
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I get asked often to photograph newborn portraits and 7 out of 10 times I decline. Why? Well, 7-10 clients love what's popular in newborn photography right now and that is cute positions, baby wraps, extravagant props and the like but the older I get the more I appreciate and cherish the relationship I have with my children and I am not saying these parents do not I am just saying my feelings have changed. Instead of looking back on all of these images I have of my children in an awesome studio with top of the line accessories I wish I had more of those real time moments. I wish I had a photographer peeking in to capture me rocking Lydia, her daddy snuggling her to his chest. I wish I had images of Reed lying on our living room rug which was his favorite place to be while my golden retriever watched him through the window. Those are the moments I want to capture so I attract clients with those similar needs and others I send to the baby whisperers like Andrea Martin and Nikki Painter in Beckley, WV. If I wanted all those awesome poses you see all over Pinterest then these ladies would be my go to photographers here in WV and I refer to them often. If I am being 100% serious, I don't have that kind of patience. I really don't. I know what I am good at and what I am not. With that said, I think I am good at newborn lifestyle photography and while I do not accept a ton of newborn lifestyle commissions I am always happy when one shows up on my schedule as it did this morning.

I met Carter and his parents at their home in Lewisburg today. I love photographing in home. I see all of those things that you love. I see what you choose to display and how. I notice the picture of your ultrasound placed beside two Bibles on your shelf. I feel the pride from the reel of ultrasound photos hung on the fridge with magnet. I get to watch your pets find their new role in your larger family. The nursery you worked so hard on, the special personalized touches and the things you created in your home to feel more at ease, take for example the screen door CJ made for Carter so Shadow wouldn't disrupt your sleep but could still watch you from the doorway. When dad says, I need to cut my nails but we all agree he shouldn't because the hard working hands of a father are also the same hands that comfort us.  All of these little things help me to complete the story of why I am here and that is what I love. 

 

 

 
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
By Amanda Reed Photography
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I honestly cannot tell you how long we have been hosting Toy Drive Christmas Sessions but I do know we collect and distribute upwards of $3,000 in new gifts throughout communities each year. This is a cause very special to my heart. I remember one winter in particular after my parents divorce that my mom had honestly zero dollars to purchase anything for our family. I knew my grandparents would come through with some gifts for us but I was worried more about my younger brothers having nothing under their tree on Christmas morning. She probably won't want me to brag on them or their church but Sandy Sorrells along with her sister Debbie and their church if my memory serves correct funded our Christmas that year and that was a huge relief to my mom and to me, not because I felt I was in need but because I wanted my brothers to have a good memory of Christmas after their divorce. I knew that if I had the opportunity to give back one day then I would do so to my fullest ability. Our family has always had the tradition of giving back not only at Christmas but every opportunity we can serve but I wanted to do more and exchange my service for new gifts instead of a traditional setting fee. Sure, I give up fattening my own bank account but my heart is so full that I couldn't worry over dollar signs if I tried.

My services are expensive. It is where I have landed that make me comfortable and my supply and demand profitable for myself and family. I know that many if not most cannot afford what I do consistently on a full session so I deeply discount these sessions by 50-75 percent on most products. So how do the sessions work? 

1. Book your session and pay a non refundable $100 reservation fee that applies towards your purchase.

2. Bring a new gift valued at $35 for each person photographed at your setting. These gifts are donated throughout our communities.

3. View your images online and order within 7 days to make sure your products arrive by Christmas.

So what are your options when it comes to packages? Each client goes home with this price list:

 

2017 Annual Gift Drive Christmas Sessions!

Thank you for your generous donation to our cause. Your gift will be donated throughout our location to children in need of a brighter holiday. There were many Christmas’ when events like this put gifts under my own tree for my brothers and I when we were growing up and it is an honor to be able to give back.

Your reservation fee of $100 will apply to your order. Packages are listed below.

 

$100 Remaining Balance $0

2 Digital Files with Print Release

 

$200 Remaining balance of $100

11x14 Print

4 Digital Files with Print Release

 

$375 Remaining balance of $275

16x24 Wall Portrait

6 Digital Files with Print Release

 

$500 Remaining balance of $400

16x24 Wall Portrait

4x6 Artist Originals

All Digital Files with Print Release

 

Ask about adding an Heirloom Gallery Wrap Canvas to your order.

 

What can you expect at your session? I allow one full hour for every client. Some clients, if you are adults can be in and out in 20 minutes and other times we have six children who have other plans so I work on their time frame and in my experience this allows us plenty of time to get your desired outcome. Expect a laid back atmosphere, for my daughter to hold your babies and feed them cookies. We allow them to play with all the toys on set and give them a filling of familiarity once the session starts. 

If you are interested in booking a Christmas session or would like to be put on our wait list please fill out the contact for here: Toy Drive Session Contact Form

 

Thank you for making this a continued success. It would not be possible without you my clients. 

 
Monday, October 16, 2017
By Amanda Reed Photography
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Our winter sale is happening November 1st through April 1st. These are the lowest prices of the season! The price of $475 plus tax includes a 60 minute session with unlimited outfits and 15 poses with a print release which allows you to print your own images up to the size of 8x12! Print where you want and as many as you like! I will however give you my information for my preferred printer so your prints turn out as awesome as we created them. Hurry and book your winter sale soon by calling or texting 304-667-8507!

 
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
By Amanda Reed
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West Virginia is often taken for granted. My West Virginia has been placed among the bottom of every health and social happiness scale in America. My West Virginia cries out from streams of fresh water and rich soil to be noticed and appreciated. Her people are sheltered in the bosom of her green mountains and yet this shelter has been mistaken for uneducated, poor, dirty and less than. I want to introduce you to My West Virginia.

I am not going to quote statistical data for you about West Virginia. We all know quite well that our economic state was depressed long before President Obama and President Bush. Or how most of us are depressed in the winter, you could argue that comes from our lifestyle or you may say it is because of the vitamin D deficiency so many of us here in West Virginia suffer from due to our hard winters and lack of sunshine. I like to believe we make up for that depression when the weather breaks. We all know the heartaches and misery reported from West Virginia. We see it daily in national media news, quick jabs at our people our state and yes our cousins. So much has been done in the wake of civil liberties for the diversity of our people in these United States, yet discrimination and bigotry about our people are commonplace and widely accepted.

What exactly is My West Virginia? My West Virginia is a front porch. My friend Elise visited with our family a couple of summers ago and what she took home from West Virginia was our love of the front porch. A front porch is more than a floor and some railing, it is a gathering spot. It is where children rest because they still play outside. It is where our friends gather for cookouts and cold beer, where grandmothers rock their grandbabies to sleep on the red porch swing, where your wet nosed best friend lies waiting for you to return home at the front door

My West Virginia is a mountain. It is green and lush in the summer and it sticks to you on a hike. The sweat beads up on your forehead and you hear the birds, the water, you feel more importantly. You feel alive with God’s creation. You breathe in the wild air that Emerson spoke of. You take your children to these mountains and you educate them on vegetation, the wildlife and how to survive if you lose your way. You teach them that when the world is pressuring you to do more, see more and be more that the mountains will welcome you back and give you rest in her shelter. It is full of color in the fall and not only do the leaves look like they are set on fire but your heart catches fire and falls in love with her beauty. It is a cold playground for sleds and skis and any other means of transportation down a snow covered hill. For example, kayaks, canoes, trash can lids. It is a new beginning in the spring as it bursts with new life and reminds your soul that you too can yet begin again.

My West Virginia is river. It runs clean and in the spring it is the color of the Caribbean. It is exhilarating in a kayak and a cooling welcome in the warm summer sun. It is a gathering spot of friends and families. It is learning to tie on a hook and bait it. It is where my dad learned to swim by tying empty milk jugs to his body to float and then gradually cutting each one away until he could maintain the float for himself. It is an evening dinner of fresh trout. It is a minnow trap and the sound of bullfrogs singing you to sleep under the stars at night. The river washes you clean and restores your spirit.

My West Virginia is a farmer’s field where you cut hay at least twice a season if it is good. It is your family and friends bailing that hay and filling the barn for the winter. It is the cold beer after a long day of work. It is food on the table after the harvest. It is a tailgate and quilt where you learn about life giggle at possibility. It is a corn row to hide from your friends. It is a pumpkin to carve in the fall. It is the place you ask your grandparents to plant cheerios and mashed potatoes when you are four. It is the dirt that you long to put your hands in after the people that taught you to plant that soil have passed on. It is moving the crop to the canner where you make tomato sauce in the kitchen, test it right off the spoon and put in quart jars for the winter.

My West Virginia is dirt road that holds more memories than your family photo album. It is where you learned to drive a stick shift. It is where you went on Friday night with your boyfriend and you thought in that moment that all was right in the world. It is where you smoked your first cigarette, hung up the four wheel drive, got your heart broken, made new friendships. It is where your little boy climbs on your lap and takes the wheel while you handle the gas and brake. It is where you know your children will share in the same memories you made and you will be scared and happy all at the same time. It is where you will ride in the front seat of the pickup with your grandfather and put wild turkeys on the roost and it is where you will drive your Jeep behind the hearse that leads him to his final resting place.

My West Virginia is friendship. My West Virginia is prayer. My West Virginia is exhilarating. My West Virginia is the prettiest place I have ever been. My West Virginia is strong. My West Virginia is kind. My West Virginia is waiting. My West Virginia is singing her song to you, won’t you listen?

Stay Wild & Wonderful,

Amanda

 
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