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Rising Stars: Meet Amanda Ellis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda Ellis. 

Hi Amanda, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I always had a love for photography since I was a little girl. My dad and uncle loved landscape photography and had old film cameras that I dabbled with. I also was inspired by black and white photographer Ansel Adams and his photographs of the West. 

I’ve done a little bit of every genre of photography: weddings, high school seniors, pets, families, and kids. But then I had 2 friends back-to-back ask me to photograph their maternity and newborn photos. The reaction to their beautiful images and the self-esteem they gained was really inspiring to me. I wanted to make all women feel beautiful and goddess-like during a time when your body is changing so much and you don’t always recognize yourself. 

And newborns were a perfect fit for me as I had always loved children and babies and enjoyed taking care of little ones. 

After about 6 years in business, I decided to specialize in just those types of photography. I stopped doing weddings and high school seniors and focused on being the best maternity and newborn photographer in my area. I attending many training workshops to learn posing, lighting, editing, and everything in between. Pretty soon my work started getting recognized and I became the go-to photographer for motherhood portraits. 

I started exploring more fashion-inspired photography and leaned into artful nude maternity portraits. I always thought the pregnant form was one of the most beautiful and I wanted to showcase it with dramatic lighting and unique styling with fabrics and gowns. 

People come from all over to be photographed by me and it’s such an honor to be trusted with such a personal experience. My clients are always thrilled when they see the results and often can’t believe it’s them in the images! All of our portrait sessions include hair and makeup to make mom feel beautiful and confident. I also help style and provide wardrobe that is flattering for pregnancy. We are all about hitting that easy button for our pregnant clients and making the whole experience completely stress-free. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Definitely not smooth. I was doing photography on the side while working full time doing bookkeeping for a consulting company. I was mainly doing photography weekends and evenings. I was so burnt out that I thought about quitting many times. I knew I needed to build up a reputation in the area and find clients who would come back again and again, but it was very difficult having no business experience or sales experience. I spent a lot of time learning and researching how to run a photography business. I didn’t want it to just be a side hobby. This was my passion and I was desperate to make it work. 

I finally got up the guts to quit my 9-5 job and pursue a career in photography. I opened my very first studio in 2016 and never looked back! My business continues to grow and evolve, but it’s the people who come to me that make it all possible. Giving them an experience, they’ll never forget, and gorgeous heirloom art pieces they can hang in their home to remember this fleeting time in their lives. 

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I’ve documented the magic of motherhood with a modern, vibrant, and dramatic style. Inspired by the Renaissance masters and black and white photography, I craft each portrait with intentionality and care. You won’t catch me telling you to “just be natural” while I click away wildly. I’ve carefully studied the art of posing, and I’ll position you to perfection down to the way you rest your hands and hold your mouth. I’ll even teach you how to breathe in a way that floods your pregnancy-laden posture with strength and power. 

As a mother myself, I experienced all the discomfort, stress, heartbreak, hope, loss, and IVF needle pricks many have traveled through in their own journey. It felt endless. But eventually, we brought home our beautiful, headstrong baby girl, Olive. Talk about a freaking emotional rollercoaster. Nothing is more exhausting, stressful, and emotionally taxing than an uncertain journey to bring a child into the world. But this is why I find such joy in preserving this milestone for other mothers. Their bravery is inspiring, and their resilience is unmatched. It’s a time to celebrate, and I want to give each new mother the ability to see herself the way I see her. 

Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
Cuyahoga Falls is really up and coming! So many young businesses owners and creative genres! We also have some of the best restaurants around! The sense of community, especially in the Downtown area, is unmatched! Everyone looks out for each other and support as many businesses as we can! 

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