˜ "I think that I'm currently living my dream now that I think about it because I moved here to LA. I got my Masters Degree six days before I turned twenty-one. I got my degree in film and I knew that I didn't want to stay in Florida, so I moved out to LA to pursue my dream of taking pictures and capturing stories. I'm trying to capture stories within my life span that will hopefully, when I die, have an impact on future generations.
I don't know how to say it without getting too religious, but I think when I was created, I was created with a purpose. While it took me a hot minute to figure out what that purpose is, now that I know, I want to inspire others with my purpose.
When I was fourteen, I was really sick and that crushed what I thought was my original life plan of joining the military. I was in the junior marines and other police programs and when I got sick I couldn't do any of that anymore. Now, if I were to try and join the military, I have severe deafness. I can't hear out of my right ear at all and my left ear I can hear only a certain amount of frequencies, so it's a lot of lip reading for me. The camera gives me a shield when I'm dealing with new people because I'm looking at them through a certain frame that I'm creating and not the one they may portray of me.
I've always had a strong relationship with God, so when I got sick I questioned a lot of things that happened to me. I feel like often when something bad happens to someone and they're religious they ask, 'God why me?' I was kind of in that state and then I realized that if I were to join the military and carried on with that path, I would be dead because of my personality of saving others. So I think I had a bigger purpose than dying at like twenty from some wartime situation.
I want to make a difference before I die. I think being in a situation where you almost die makes you think a lot like that. I am also a huge advocate for mental health, especially now when it is so common for kids to have anxiety, depression or be bipolar and its accepted as something not to be thrown under the rug. Everyone's story matters." ˜
I met Amanda at the 2016 Laguna Beach Instameet and she later reached out to meet up for coffee. She is a really talented photographer/filmmaker and I can't wait to see what work she creates as she tells stories through her art! Follow her Instagram: @a.b.stills
Blue Bottle Coffee / Beverly Hills, CA