Real Beauty Shoot
By Amber French
(Amanda’s assistant on the shoot)
What an incredible experience. The women that came to model just made the entire day! They were so full of life and joy. Young and old alike. A particular experience that really moved me, was when Amanda was photographing an 5 foot tall, 87 year old half deaf women, with milk chocolaty brown skin, and long wavy hair, so silver it could line all the clouds in the sky. She was the most delightful women you could ever meet.
She was wearing a crisp white shirt against a pale white wall. Towards the end of the shoot Amanda and I both could see her going somewhere beyond the studio in her mind. We could both feel that something really incredible was happening, but I could not have dreamt how much of an impact that moment would be on all three of our lives. The words that the women shared with me after the shoot, I will never forget. She told of her friend that had died recently, and at her memorial service her family put on a slide show of images of this women throughout her life. She told of how beautiful her friend was, and how everyone sat in complete silence while viewing the photographs of this women’s entire life. And then she preceded to tell me where her mind went when it wasn’t with us. She was thinking of her own memorial service, and how wonderful it would be if the images that Amanda was taking would be shown there. To show people how beautiful she was, to show people WHO she was.
After that I walked her, and her caregiver/best friend (who is only 7 years younger, and just as beautiful) down to their car. As she struggled down the stairs from the studio with a glowing smile on her face, I realized that she had spent all the energy that she had saved up for the remaining weekend on this afternoon of shooting. When they drove away in their car, I was so completely taken back by the experience that I was moved to tears.
It was an amazing day with five amazing women! It wouldn’t have been the same with professional models, it wouldn’t have been the same at all.