Amanda is an optimistic individual who is always ready for the next adventure – with photography, with writing and in life. She loves to laugh. She spends her time volunteering to various causes around KCMO, educating others on urban gardening, dog training and encouraging personal growth in others. In today’s blog, we’ll take a trip into Amanda’s life allowing you to learn more about Jordan Photography’s photographer.
Amanda Brown was born in Helena, Montana. She fondly recalls that her first experience with photography, at the age of five, was with her Disney Mickey-Matic 110 Pocket Camera by Kodak. Amanda spent the majority of her free time as a child learning about photography from her father and, as she grew older, from books. She and her father often spent hours together on photographic adventures all around Quad Cities, Iowa. They could often be found on road trips to undeclared destinations with the sole goal being to photograph something new.
As a teenager, Amanda often joined her father at work at a camera store named The Camera Corner. He worked at this store to bring in extra income while he earned his Doctorate in Chiropractic. After having browsed the equipment for months, she saved up enough money to upgrade the Minolta SLR her father had given to her as a gift. She set up a location in their basement which allowed her to not only photograph, but to develop her own black and white film. When their apartment complex’s landlord saw her work he hired her to photograph the buildings and surrounding area to be used in his marketing. Happily, she agreed.
Amanda took her high school’s photography class in order to have even more time to hone in on her skills and passion. Her creative writing teacher saw her photography during class one day and asked her if she would be interested in interviewing and photographing some firefighters who were visiting the school. Though she was nervous to conduct an interview, which she had never done before, she did so excitedly. The small article and photo that was published was a hit amongst the students and teachers alike and she was asked to work for the school newspaper. Amanda was quickly promoted from photographer, to reporter and finally to creative editor. Her love for photography and writing was thus solidified in high school.
She attended Montana State University for two years as an English Major before the burden of 15+ credit hours and working full-time took its toll on her. The summer after her sophomore year she began considering joining the U.S. Army for the experience, the challenge, the travel and college tuition. On the Army’s birthday, 14 June 2004, she raised her right hand and pledged to “ support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic […] bear true faith and allegiance to the same.”
During her nine year service, she travelled to many places where she was afforded the opportunity to photograph varying cultures and lifestyles than her own: South Korea, Ireland, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Germany and many more. When she was stationed at Fort Drum, New York, Amanda was selected from her battle buddies to perform a special tasking to be her unit’s public affairs representative (UPAR.) There had not been a UPAR previously set up so she constructed the program from the bottom up. As her unit’s representative she was responsible for photographing events, interviewing individuals, writing articles to be published worldwide, maintaining an online presence and other necessary tasks. Amanda won a competitive award, earning 1st place for the article/photography she completed during her unit’s humanitarian aid to a girl’s school in Afghanistan.
She was discharged from the Army in November 2013 and took some personal time afterward to relax – having served three year-long combat tours back to back and frequently moving for the Army’s needs. Amanda began working as a seasonal photographer for Jordan Photography on March 12, 2015 during their seasonal Photos with Live Bunnies event. After the season was nearing completion, John and Dawn Jordan asked Amanda to work as a part of their team beyond the season and she elatedly agreed. She recently celebrated her one year mark with Jordan Photography.
Amanda also currently works, on assignment, as a photographer and writer for a St. Louis based magazine.