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Rising Stars: Meet Amanda Tallon

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

Hi Amanda, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
“You’re not good enough.” These are the words that played on repeat in my mind as I dreamt of becoming a photographer for years. I compared myself to my incredibly talented brother and friends. I knew so little of the technical side of photography but I continued finding a creative outlet taking photos on my vlogging camera my mom bought me to document our home reno. It was a fun hobby. But that was all it was and all I believed it could ever be.

One day two talented women I knew from church reached out to me asking if I would take their photos for an upcoming business they were launching. I was shocked. I had never advertised myself as a photographer. Why me? These women knew so many other talented people. Nonetheless, I agreed, communicating full well that I was no “pro.” They continued to emphasize that they saw something in the way I creatively documented the world through my Instagram. Wait… like my personal Instagram, full of plants and home renovations and awkward selfies? Yup, that Instagram.

So began the journey of learning how the heck this photography world works. I knew nothing but I was determined to find out. I began offering photoshoots on the side of my social media management business and invested in Photography Education. About a year later I was just about to press the “checkout” button to purchase my first real professional camera when that same voice snuck in, “You’re not good enough.” Maybe I wasn’t. Maybe this was all just wishful thinking and people were just being nice about the photos I took. I closed my laptop. It was time to be realistic. This could never happen.

It wasn’t until a few months later that another friend asked me to take their daughter’s Christmas photos. On the car ride home from the photoshoot, my husband stopped the car and looked at me. He said, “Sweetheart, I couldn’t pay you to NOT run home and edit these photos right this very minute!” He wasn’t wrong. But so what? He continued to explain to me that I was letting fear stop me from doing something I clearly loved. He began to ask me some hard questions.

“What if you go for it and this becomes your actual career?”
“What if this is what you were meant to do all along?”
“What if you never do this because you let fear stop you?

So it was decided. I would buy the camera. I would go all in. I would shut those lies out and choose to listen to those around me who so graciously believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. And so began my journey as a professional photographer.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
I’ve never heard an inspiring story with a smooth road. It certainly hasn’t been easy. Aside from the crippling fear, I had a lot to learn and not to mention learning to thrive as a photographer through 2020. Not an easy task by any means. But if you love what you do, you get creative. Even in spite of all of that, it has been more than I could have dreamed!

I have met and worked with some of the most incredible clients over the past few years. I’ve had so many joyful moments with tears streaming down my face as I have had the honor of photographing things like my best friend’s maternity and newborn photos after 8 years of infertility, a couples session with my 80-year-old grandparents before my Pap passed away of Alzheimer’s disease, surprise proposals, family photos after seasons of sickness and hardship, celebration moments of triumph and sorrow.

I never imaged being a photographer would allow me into some of the most intimate moments of people’s lives and I certainly don’t take that honor lightly. My heart still does somersaults in my chest thinking about the joy I have being a photographer. I was one all along, it just took the love and encouragement of others to get me there. For that, I am forever grateful.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
As a family photographer, I focus heavily on capturing those special sentimental moments that are so easily missed. I’m a sucker for them. Seriously, I’m a sap.

I’d consider myself a lover of golden hour and a good flowing dress. My favorite thing is helping parents reframe the photography experience for their kiddos (and even the husbands too). I focus on making them fun and interactive and less about stiff “stop moving and smile” moments. I want to capture families in their most real form, so I’m always giving prompts that feel natural and help eliminate the awkward or uncomfortable moments.

My proudest moments are typically at the end of a session when the kids are sad it’s over already because they were having so much fun. Oh and can’t forget about the occasional Dad moments when they tell me, “Ok, that wasn’t so bad.” Though best of all is seeing the reactions from clients when I deliver their final galleries. From exclamation marks and emojis to tearful pictures or videos of them in sheer emotion, it’s truly my HONOR to share in these special moments with these families.

The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
Pivoting is a must. Through the chaos of 2020 or the chaos of a normal, yet hard year as an entrepreneur, learning to adjust in an ever-changing industry is how to keep business going while still loving what you do. I’ve learned to never get too stuck in any of the ways I run my business. It helps those bumps in the road feel a bit more manageable and boy has there been a lot of bumps!

Contact Info:


Image Credits:

Benton Palermo

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