We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Gish and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amanda, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I strongly believe in taking risks and putting myself out there, especially when it comes to my career and passions. When I find something that makes me feel excited, I follow that feeling. Ultimately, I think we all have a choice between potentially failing or living with regret that we didn’t try. Life has taught me repeatedly that fortune favors the bold. People who consider themselves lucky are usually the ones who make moves to create opportunities and go after what they want. When I started my photography business, I tried to think of small, non-overwhelming ways to grow and progress without putting too much pressure on the outcome. I managed my expectations, while challenging myself to move toward my goals. A mentor of mine, Rich Baker, often says “dare to fail.” I really like that saying and apply it to many aspects of my life. I try to remind myself to think of failure as a stepping stone to success rather than something to be feared.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
It’s exciting to me that the outcome of a photoshoot can never be fully planned or controlled and there’s always an element of spontaneity. My other creative outlets are improv and sketch comedy so I am always willing to put my pride aside and be silly to capture a non-posed, genuine moment. I love working with small brands, couples and families, but capturing motherhood is my favorite. As a mother myself, I know what an emotional, draining, soul expanding experience it is. Capturing beautiful, real moments between mothers and their children is so special and fun. Starting my own photography business has allowed me to meet new people, work with children (which I love) and have full creative control over the type of art I create. I started my business out of pure excitement and love for the craft and decided not to put too much pressure on it. I think focusing on what I find fun has helped me find my niche and avoid comparing myself to others.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
1) I love watching good improv comedy shows. Upright Citizens Brigade or Second City in Hollywood usually have hilarious and super affordable shows every night of the week! 2) I love shopping and my favorite clothing store in Los Angeles is Wasteland. They have tons of secondhand designer clothes and several locations (Hollywood, Studio City, and Santa Monica) 3) The rooftop bar at Perch is my favorite spot in LA to grab drinks. It’s located at the top of a tall building in downtown Los Angeles so the view is beautiful. They also have a live band and the vibe is mellow and relaxing. 4) KazuNori: The Original Hand Roll Bar is a delicious place to eat. They only serve sushi hand rolls and they are amazing. There’s limited seating inside and sometimes there’s a line to get in, but the wait is worth it! 5) Brand Park in Glendale is a beautiful park with a Japanese garden and some interesting architecture. It’s free and there are even hiking trails around it. I often photograph clients there. 6) I love a good high tea with scones, finger sandwiches and beautiful table settings. There are plenty of good high tea restaurants around Los Angeles. One in particular is Tea Rose Garden in Pasadena. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband Jason supports and believes in every cooky idea I have. He is an amazing co-parent to our two little ones, and takes over whenever I need help balancing home and life. He tells me that I am capable of anything and is excited by and proud of my success. I’m also very grateful for my parents Dan and Mary who are both extremely talented creatives who inspire me. I always go to them for support and advice and they do a great job putting up with me.