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

Hi Amanda, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
One of my favorite quotes is by Mathiole, “Art speaks when words are unable to explain.” I want the images I take to be so full of emotion that they speak for themselves. I hope that my clients can look back at their images and feel all the same emotions they felt on that day, even emotions that can’t be simplified by words.

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 am portrait and wedding photographer for joyful people who want real, raw and fun memories of both everyday life and those once-in-a-life moments! I strive to make my clients feel comfortable and highlight the joy they feel and the love they share as a couple or family. My journey is unconventional as I am a former elementary school teacher. Looking back though, that has prepared me in many ways for a career as a photographer. I am a more skilled planner and director, two very important things for sessions and wedding days! I am also more flexible and quick-thinking in my planning, since in the classroom and on a shoot you are constantly evaluating your situation and adapting to new circumstances! As I built and am working to grow my business I’ve realized that we can create the life we want to live, and that I’m capable of more than I thought I was. All thanks to God for blessing this season and showing me that He is present in every situation and profession! I want others to know that having joy, true and lasting joy, is the best act of defiance in an often crazy world. I am here to capture that joy so it is never forgotten!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love showing people around Phoenix, and have done so several times! I like going downtown to the Breakfast Club for brunch for a great meal with an urban vibe. As a photographer, I know the best spots for desert scenery (shoutout to Usery Mountain Regional Park) and love taking hikes there. For those “wow” views, we can’t skip out on Lost Dutchman State Park and hitting up some trails there! We’d also have to see the Salt River and the absolute beauty surrounding it while floating down river. My favorite dinner spot is Blanco Tacos + Tequila, which has delicious Mexican meals and amazing queso. Old Town Scottsdale is great place for shopping and snacking, and I’d probably end the night at Postino because of the great people you can meet there!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I first want to give a shoutout to Amy and Jordan Demos who showed me the joy of photography and gave me the knowledge and tools I needed to learn it and make it my job. I also want to thank Leah Manusco of Leah Hope Photography, whose kindness allowed me to make connections in a new city and truly gave me my start in pursuing this dream!

Website: www.amandakarisphoto.com
Instagram: @amandakarisphotography
Facebook: Amanda Karis Photography

Image Credits
PC: @ Amanda Karis Photography