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Inspiration

170k+ Fans and Counting: Interview with Fashion Photographer Amanda Diaz

By Adam Kuzik on January 3rd 2014

Fashion photographer, Amanda Diaz is something of an internet phenomenon. She has conquered social media with over 170,000 organic fans on Facebook, and growing significantly every week. With well over 25 publication credits to her name, she has recently started teaching workshops  and is releasing an entire line of products in the next weeks. I recently had the opportunity to chat with Amanda about her work and outlook on 2014.

© Amanda Diaz

Adam: In a recent Facebook post you mentioned that 2013 was a great year for you. What were the highlights?

Amanda: I was excited to achieve a of few of my goals in 2013. First, I began teaching workshops and I held my first Fashion and Beauty Workshop last October; it was a great success! I was also nominated in the FRAMED Awards as one of the Top 10 Fashion Photographers of 2012. I felt really privileged to be seen alongside some really amazing photographers whom I’ve looked up to since I started photography. To cap it all off, I was recently invited to New York to collaborate with Lindsay Adler whom I’ve been following for forever. Finally, I began my online store, selling Photoshop Actions and Presets. My 2013 was pretty fulfilling, to say the least.

© Amanda Diaz

Adam: Did you have any business or artistic challenges that you overcame in 2013?

Amanda: Something that is a constant struggle for me is the ‘office’ side of things. I swear I just have such a hard time focusing on emails, paperwork and so on. It drives me insane! I can only focus for so long before I go and check Facebook or go do some random thing. But, put a Wacom pen in my hand [to work on an image] and its ON! I can sit in front of the screen for hours editing my images.

© Amanda Diaz


Adam: Do you think you’ve experienced anything differently, artistically or business, because you are a woman?

Amanda: Yes. On the business side, I have noticed that it’s a constant ‘walk up hill’ to get my work ‘out there’. Don’t get me wrong, doors do open here and there, but I feel that a lot of people get their breaks because someone is helping them somehow or in some way. At times, that can be very frustrating. It’s like that saying: “It’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know”. {Sigh…}

[REWIND: 18 Real Tips on Becoming a Pro Commercial/Fashion Photographer]

Adam: What is your outlook on 2014, both business and artistically?

Amanda: I have a pretty positive outlook on 2014: I plan to continue with teaching two or three workshops, travel and continue to grow in my publications.

© Amanda Diaz

Adam: If you got to shoot with your ideal gear, what would it be?

Amanda: Okay honestly, I have never been into gear! I have come to love a couple specific lenses, a camera that takes decent quality shots and have learned to use light as it’s available. Here’s my current setup:

© Amanda Diaz

Adam: Do you have a favorite, must have piece of kit? And why do you love it and must always have it with you?

Amanda: Yes! My Canon 85mm f/1.2. I have used that lens for so long now and just love it so much!

© Amanda Diaz

Adam: What advice would you give young women looking at a career in photography?

Amanda: Stay focused, don’t worry about what everyone else is doing and strive to be different. Also, constantly seek inspiration — not just in other photographers’ work, but in everything: your surroundings, books, movies, music and so on.

But, most importantly, take any negativity that may be thrown at you and use it to get better! This is something I think that is so important and not told enough to young women.

© Amanda Diaz

Start the conversation!

  • Who’s the photographer we should be watching out for in 2014?
  • Is photography a harder gig for women?
  • Where do you find inspirations for your work?

Don’t forget to LIKE, TWEET, +1 and SHARE this article!
Feel free to also find me on Facebook.

© Amanda Diaz

CREDITS: All photographs by Amanda Diaz are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist

About

Adam Kuzik is the founder and owner of Studio 35 Photography + Video based near Calgary, Canada. He is a professional wedding and commercial photographer as well as an industry educator.

Website: studio35photo.ca
Adam’s Facebook: AKPhotoCanada
Studio 35’s Facebook: Studio35Photography

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Kelly Wright

    I agree everything is really pretty, and I think it is a wonderful interview, and I like her honesty. What I dislike is the amount of photos in here and there an zero team credits beyond her watermark. I was reading and if you agree that a fair amount is hair and makeup and wardrobe, I would love to see those artist on what I am assuming is that these are creatives not editorials, being credited. I think it goes both ways in terms of recognition, who knows maybe it was just a wonderful opportunity to work with Miss. Diaz. I still think the dynamic work of the artist should still be given, especially in the case of this interview.

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  2. Megan H

    Thank you so much for this wonderful interview! As a young woman just starting out in the field, people like Amanda Diaz are a constant source of inspiration. I really appreciate her honesty and integrity as an artist.

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  3. Sara

    I follow Amanda on FB, her work is beautiful. Good interview!

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  4. Kim Regier

    Thank you for the wonderful article/ interview. Ms. Diaz your work is both amazing and truly inspirational and I appreciate you sharing it with us. Thanks for continuing to inspire and motivate me!

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  5. elyse

    Just a new fan here, excellent work!

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  6. Jun

    Great work from Amanda,hey adam how can you compare this to the work of erich caparas3d?thanks

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    • Adam Kuzik

      I’ve looked at Erich’s work and I don’t think I can do a comparison. Erich focuses on the barbie doll look popular in Asia. Amanda is more of a conceptual art and fashion photographer. Comparing the two would be like comparing apples and Volkswagen.

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  7. Frederic Charpentier

    Gorgeous work Amanda !!!

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  8. Dean Reichert

    She’s very good, however for my personal taste I think she hits Photoshop a little too hard. Too much Photoshop becomes a distraction for me, which is typical of internet phenom people these days.

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  9. Michael

    p.s. Pardon my typos in the last couple sentences. My connection is lagging.

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  10. Michael

    I agree with John… when you break it down this kind of work relies heavily on hair and makeup, model, clothing and extensive editing. But, I must ask… what’s wrong with that? The whole point is the final image. Miss Diaz obviously is very talented in doing what she does. It may not be what you consider to be “pure photography “, but she seems to have many people that appreciate her work and you suggesting that she might not be as capable doing product shots or forms of photography is irrelevant . This what she does.

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  11. Dana

    I’ve loved Amanda’s work for a long time now, and it’s awesome to see how far she’s come, and her style has only gone from strength to strength. It just gets more and more beautiful! This is an awesome interview, great work!

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  12. John Joran

    Well, now lets tell the truth. These images are 45% hair, makeup, style, full frame+50 mm/85 mm, good model, 50% postwork. But this is NOT fashion, and rather well built self marketing “artwork” way way far to great photography.
    The lights are mostly flat, no drama on images, horroristic cut sometimes. Then the artist trying repairing the holes on images with postwork, adding contrast, tone, particles, overlays etc.
    Why dont you ask miss Diaz, if she so great photographer let me show us some professional interior shoot, product shoot, or fashion shoot for top 10 fashion companies or Magazines (editorials, catalogues etc. etc.).

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    • Dan Robinson

      What?! Much of what you are saying makes no sense.

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    • Adam Kuzik

      Thanks for you comment, John. Photographers take on many roles, depending what their focus is. In Amanda’s case its art and fashion. I don’t particularly agree with your breakdown of what her images are, but one thing you neglect to mention is all of that: hair, makeup, style, full frame+50 mm/85 mm, good model, post production work is 100% Amanda. If you’ve ever tried to put a fashion/art/conceptual shoot together, you’d know how much work it is. Ben Von Wong comes to mind here; take a look at his BTS videos.

      Weather you think her work is or isn’t “fashion”, over 25 print and online publications would disagree with you — including SLR Lounge. Her images are certainly not flat and they definitely do not lack drama. Your assumptions about “filling holes” are only that.

      I would have no intention to ask Amanda about anything other than what she’s putting ‘out there’. That would be as ridiculous as asking Miley Cyrus to prove she’s a singer by performing Puccini. Whether I personally like her work or not is inconsequential.

      So, again, thank you for sharing your opinion. We always love to hear from our readers.

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    • Jack Hayword

      Wow, really? Could you be any more jealous of Amanda or her talent? Maybe you’re “butt-hurt” bc your work isn’t noticed or even out there. (Seriously, where is your “portfolio” so the world can pass on to you the awful critique you give her work? You know, what goes around and comes around. And as harshly as you judge others, you will be judged. And worse.)
      You really need to get a grip on reality (and consider a lesson in English). Amanda is obviously successful bc her work resonates with people. Actually, a LOT of people.
      I’ve never personally been a fan of Pablo Picasso, but does that make his work awful? No. It just confirms how subjective art is.
      There is nothing worse than a critic with no history or track record of talent and instead leaves a trail of bitter jealousy and bad language behind them.
      When you become the next big thing in photography, let us know so that we can dish it to you the way you have to her.

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    • Donna

      John, I agree with having the right to an opinion on any sort of art form, but it seems you have some sort of satisfaction by posting negative comments on Amanda’s work on different social media sites as well as here on SLR. No artist would think of judging another so harshly – last I heard art was a subjective form of self expression. If you don’t like what Ms Diaz does with her paid clients…why not search the glorious internet for something you do love, John? I’m sure you would rather use your photography “knowledge and expertise” on a photographer you admire.
      The rest of us, however, will continue to be in complete awe of Amanda’s photography style and support her…. as she gains worldwide success.

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    • Questionable Morals Media

      Your comment leaves me quite curious about what exactly you think a fashion photograph is? Additionally what you think a professional interior photo, or product photo is?
      So, your statement is: These images are 95% all the work that goes into making a great photograph and 5% pushing the shutter button? I think you are wrong with your numbers, its more like 99.99999% Planning, styling, designing, hair, makeup, lighting, lens choice, camera choice, framing choice, cropping choice, postwork, careful editing, and complete understanding of a final target image.. and 0.00001% actually taking the picture.

      Basically what every single professional photographer sets out to accomplish, and many many many scores of them unfortunately don’t accomplish as effectively as Miss Diaz.

      I’m not attacking you, just trying to understand what YOU see as a great photograph, or great photographer….

      I’m going to bet though that you will name someone who puts easily as much effort into their pre/post work as she does.

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  13. Amanda Elkins

    Love! Beeeeeeautiful work!

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  14. Antonio Pantoja

    Great interview! Amanda’s work is insanely good. I’m a huge fan of both of you!

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  15. GM Miranda

    Great interview!

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  16. Eric Pare

    “… But, put a Wacom pen in my hand [to work on an image] and its ON! I can sit in front of the screen for hours editing my images.” … ahhhhh totally… same thing here.

    Great interview Adam!

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