Amanda Koster

thoughts and experiences of an international documentarian


with 2 comments

Amanda Koster

5047 45th Ave South    |    Seattle, WA 98118 USA

phone: (206) 286-9707    |



Citizenship: USA, valid passport
Languages: (fluent) English, (spoken) French, (spoken) some Spanish

-Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT, June 1993
BA: Liberal Studies. Triple concentration: anthropology, religious studies and art history
-Creative Arts Workshop, New Haven, CT, 1991-4
Photography courses
-International Center of Photography, NY 1994-6
Focus on documentary photography studies
-911 Media: Seattle, WA: 2002-6
Focus on video, audio, multi-media (capture and editing), fundraising courses
-Landmark Education, WA: 2006-7
Focus on leadership, relationship, project management, team building, communication courses

Amanda Koster Productions, LLC. (
1994 to present. Photojournalism, commercial photography, video and audio production.

Professional skills:
Professional photojournalism, commercial photography, lighting photography and video shoots. Script writing for audio and video dialogue, location scouting, directing and producing multimedia productions. Casting visual and audio talent. Project management, team building, capturing and editing professional audio, video, still photos for wide range of output and applications. Ability to learn very quickly.

Photoshop (prof. photo editing, processing, retouching), Lightroom (prof. photo editing, processing, retouching and archiving), Final Cut Pro (prof. video editing), Audacity (prof. audio editing), MS Office.

Select Clients:
Non-profit organizations: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Doctors Without Borders, Rabuor Village Project, International YWCA
Publications and commercial: Newsweek, New York Times, Microsoft, Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Fortune Small Business, Fast Company, BusinessWeek, Inc., Sunset Magazine, Metropolis,  Ladies Home Journal, Conde Nast Publications, Natural Living, Entrepreneur
Ad Agencies/ Corporations: Integer Denver, Grey NYC , Publicis San Francisco, RuderFinn, Ramey Agency,  Microsoft
Stock: Getty, Corbis

Funded projects:
CARE+ Kenya: 2010 (Lead: Dr. Ann Kurth/NYU, reference below)
Collaboration NYU Global Health Department and AMPATH (Eldoret, Kenya), funded by PEPFAR. CARE+ is a computerized counseling tool developed for HIV positive patients for counseling sessions on touch-screen tablets with audio narration that contains evidence-based counseling elements shown to improve adherence and positive prevention.

Director and producer: cast all actors: voice and on-camera, location scout, capture all audio: spoken word and ambient, capture still photos and video footage, drafts all scripts, edit all still photos, audio and video, produce final quick-time videos for software product.

SalaamGarage, LLC:
2007- present: founder and leader. (
SalaamGarage is a digital storytelling organization that partners with International NGOs and local non-profits. Participants [media activists] connect with international NGOs, create and share independent media projects that raise awareness and cause positive change in their online and offline social communities.

Built company (for-profit business) from original concept, secured national sponsors, built relationships with international NGOs, identified relevant outsourcing resources and partnerships, hired a core team and pool of leaders to lead international trips. Lead and produce trips around the world.

African Women of Empowerment: 2004-2010 (Lead: Neema Mgana/Ashoka, reference below)
Funded by the International YWCA. Multimedia project profiling 20 powerful inspiring African women to create content for storytelling, continent wide dissemination and local, inter-generational conferences. Grant writing, build media team in USA and South Africa, captured multimedia, outsourced editing.

This Is Beautiful: 2001-2003
Awarded several national grants and funded by private sources. Multimedia project photographing and interviewing women about their bodies. Over 100 women in several cities were photographed naked and interviewed about their personal history and revived a positive body-image in their communities.

Project resulted in traveling exhibitions, newspaper articles, TV interviews and public speaking at high schools and universities nationally. Managed a dedicated team of volunteers (6 mo-1 year commitment), secured sponsors, identified over 100 women for project, interviewed via questionnaire information about bodies, produced multimedia exhibition, PR, worked with press, curated and produced 3 multimedia exhibitions, public speaking circuit about project.

AIDS Is Knocking: 2004-2009
Awarded several national grants and funded by private sources.  Project in collaboration with Rabuor Village Project. Photograph and video interviews of NGOs stakeholders who were greatly impacted by HIV/AIDS. Goal was to tell its story in a way that respects its stakeholders, informs and educates potential donors, moves viewers to donate, provides people with clear insight into a problem and concrete ways to get involved.

Project resulted in traveling exhibitions, newspaper articles, TV interviews and public speaking at high schools and universities nationally. In 4 years the project raised over $10,000 for the organization, including several other public events and using the images for other fundraising campaigns.

Focused heavily on ethical journalism and pre-production with NGO to identify willing participants in-country. Identified and enlisted small team of volunteers in-country, produced multi-media content: stills, vide interviews, audio. Edited content into multimedia exhibition.

Public Speaker:
5/11: 1Ø Conference: Amanda will present, and 2 SalaamGarage exhibitions will be on display: Guatemala and India!
4/11: SalaamGarage exhibition at the EVO Times Infinity Gallery.
3/11: UC Merced, CA: “Incorporating entrepreneurship, leadership and social justice: you are now a free agent.”
3/11: “The High Bar” TV interview with Warren Etheredge (that was really non-alcoholic beer)
2/11: Ignite 13/Seattle. “I May Have More Impact on a Cheeseburger.”
4/10 @ TEDx Seattle : “In Steve Biko’s backyard: the intrinsic value of show and tell.”
4/10: BBC ‘Pods and Blogs’: “Leaks, blogs and NGOs” interview with Jamillah Knowles of BBC.
4/10: “Global Humanitarian Discussions” for blogtalkradio.comInterview with Megan Schiebe.
4/10 @  Tertulia (private)
3/10: Tech Flash: Awarded “Top 100 Women in Seattle Tech”
3/10: Chicago Trib Nation: “Talking About the Future of Journalism.
3/10: Pro Blogger: “Updates from SxSW.
3/10 @ SxSW (Amanda Koster + Amanda Rose of Twestival) “Citizen journalism and the little NGO that could.”
3/10 @ Ignite Seattle “How I made sense of my trip to Vietnam.”
12/09 @ Willamette University
4/09 @ Web 2.0 conference. “SalaamGarage: Imagine What You Can Do”
2/09 @ Northeastern University Private presentation to media students.

Koster, Amanda. Can I Come with You?: Social Documentary Photography. Seattle, WA: Bennett & Hastings Pub., 2008. Print.

Photography instructor:
1999-2006: Faculty, Photographic Center School Northwest.
2004: Spearhead first African school/program:  Bridges to Understanding in Takaungu, Kenya.

Part 1: Identified core students for project, taught basic computer skills to adolescents with zero computer exposure, trained my replacement, developed culturally relevant projects, enlisted a team of committed volunteers.
Part 2: Led a group of American adults to create projects with Kenyan adolescents in Kenya, led cultural exchange developed projects for entire group, oversaw the creation of multimedia projects, taught Photoshop and multimedia editing.

Professional references:

Ann Kurth, PhD, CNM
Professor, New York University College of Nursing (NYUCN)
Executive Director, NYUCN Global
726 Broadway / NY, NY 10003
Cell phone US  (011) – 206.795.3616

Neema Mgana
Director, Global Engagement Team at Ashoka
1700 North Moore Street, Suite 2000 (20th Floor)
Arlington, VA 22209 USA

Written by amandakoster

January 28, 2009 at 7:00 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Hi
    Its wonderful


    June 28, 2009 at 8:57 am

  2. You have a good reputation


    May 4, 2010 at 12:47 pm

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