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Art & Life with Amanda Chesin

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

Amanda, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
My story may not seem like it has followed one single trajectory, but I think every step and path my life has taken has led me here. Music has been a part of my life since I was a kid. I started playing guitar and percussion at age 10, ukulele at 13, and bass at 15. I performed at coffee shops throughout high school and was a member of the front ensemble of my high school’s marching band. When I got to college, I joined KAMP Student Radio, the University of Arizona’s student-run free-format radio station. I fell in love with so many new types of music and my relationship with music changed. While I still love playing instruments, I took a more observational role to the processes behind music when I started interviewing artists a few years ago. I got to connect with artists from all over just by asking thoughtful questions. Then, when I got a chance to photograph my favorite band, The Aces, about six months ago, I jumped at the opportunity to do a great job. Talking with some of my other talented photographer friends, they gave me the skillset to capture good photos and edit them too. Since that show, I have photographed thirteen other shows and one festival and seen my style grow and expand as I get better at my craft and find new inspirations through social media. My love for music has translated to this incredible behind-the-scenes role, and I couldn’t be happier.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I am a concert photographer and a podcast host. For my photos, I try and take photos that are intriguing and eye-catching. The beauty of concert photography is that you can go in prepared with the right gear and right mindset, but you never know what will happen. The artist on stage can do anything, and you have no influence over that. You only have about 15 minutes to get what you need, and that’s it. Then, I try and present it in a fun way, by posting in rows on Instagram. I want to constantly challenge myself, by creating collages or different ways to experience the photos than by just posting one at a time. I hope people can feel like they experienced the concert by looking at my photos. While I am about six months into my photography journey, I hope I can inspire people to branch out and try something new.
With my podcast, my goal has been to create meaningful connections with artists whose music I genuinely enjoy. I have gotten to interview bands I met the day before and left as great friends, and interview friends and gotten to know them as a band. I am inspired by the people I interview and their dedication to their craft, and I hope people can discover a new band and new genuinely wonderful people.

How do you think about success, as an artist, and what do quality do you feel is most helpful?
I define success by if I am happy with my product. I work hard to get good photos, and I am constantly challenging myself to try new editing styles or new concepts. When I am looking through my photos after a gig, I can always find that one photo that lights up my eyes and makes me want to go through the stress of a show all over again. That’s what I do this for. To succeed as an artist, you can’t be obsessed with numbers. I would love to get a thousand likes on a photo, but if I am happy with my photo, I could get 0 likes and still be happy. You have to be content with knowing that you put out your best work. I am constantly proud of the photos I put out, and that is a success to me!

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I post my concert photography on my Instagram @amandacphotog. Any comments or likes are greatly appreciated! I’m thinking of selling some prints soon of some of my favorite shots, so if people are interested, I would love the support! My podcast “Rose, Bud & Thorn” is available on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts! Any listen to discover a new artist is great to me, and if you like it enough to leave a review that would make me so happy!

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Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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