A Founding Story: How Joy & Community Shaped my Life: Part 2
See the full series here
Okay so now let’s dive a little deeper into my founding story
In the last post you got a glimpse into my angsty teenage self and the beginning of a great journey. But now I want to share the founding of Amanda MacPhee Studios. I ended up taking a different path from others like me. I did Not ditch the graphic design degree for a photography career.
And I ended up ultimately choosing the wedding industry because weddings fill me with joy, wedding vendors living out their dreams fills me with joy, and capturing it all fills me with joy.
College. College is a beautiful place. Both Figuratively and Literally! I lived on the most gorgeous campus and once word got out that I liked to spend my downtime photographing it, I was shooting all the time. Most of the time, they were passion projects with my friends. We would get all dressed up and then just take pictures ALL OVER CAMPUS. And this was a weekly thing for a while. We would go to the lagoon, the mansion, the casino, the willow, the fields behind, the gates, the pond, the lake, and any other obscure place I could find outside of those to shoot. Eventually word got out to the faculty what I was doing and they offered me my first paying gig. I was honestly floored that they thought I was good enough for the official publications and super nervous the night of that first event. They wanted more photos of campus life to share online with their alumni, so every time there was an event going on, they wanted me there. I got a lot of great practice with those events. So when my sisters best friend announced she was engaged, I thought to myself, “I want to do that!” I did not have half the skills or knowledge I do now when it comes to shooting weddings, or something NOT in golden hour, but I LOVED every second of it. I was capturing love and joy so what’s not to love? That was an amazing experience and I am so grateful to Amber and Matt for taking a chance on me. and letting me start with them.
I knew I wanted more, so I started second shooting for a guy I met in Best Buy (you meet people in the strangest places). He exposed me to the most amazing sweet couples and the best real world experience I could ask for, but I still had so much to learn! After shooting Amber & Matt’s wedding solo, I knew I needed to know a whole lot more before taking on any more weddings on my own. SO I went back to shooting events and portraits my last year of college. And all was going really well. Graduation came and went and I was really excited about this little business I had grown back at school. I had even booked a wedding for the next year! But now that I was back in Maryland, I wasn’t sure where my jobs were going to come from. And I really did want to focus on getting a full time job in the graphic design field, so the business stopped growing for a little bit. But I never stopped shooting. I was currently working in a HVAC and plumbing job as a marketing assistant (Dad got me a job at his place of work a while back and when I was freshly graduated, they were more than happy to be my entry level job because hey-experience) As I prepared their proposals and updated website content , I noticed that it really bothered me printing out these low quality photos when I knew I could go out and get better ones. So I convinced them to let me take my fancy new full frame camera out to the shops, and well…I basically took over their personal branding. Mind you, I had no idea what that was, I was just happy to be using my gifts to serve and make people happy ( and see something pretty coming out of the printer for once). Fun fact: they still use a good many of those shots in their marketing materials and that honestly just makes so happy and warm inside. I’m guessing you are gathering that this is not a typical A-B story of how I got to where I am. Well friends, God never works in our lives A-B. It’s a messy chaotic story. But hey, it’s ours.