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Meet Amira Maxwell

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amira Maxwell.

Amira, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I remember being in my freshman year of college (seven years ago) and telling one of my close friends that I was going to be a photographer. I was a business student at Howard University and I didn’t even have my own camera yet. I just knew I wanted to make photos that made people feel things. I’ve always been really observant and sensitive, finding comfort in my own world, my memories, and my imagination. I loved music as a kid, and I loved the cliche romance movies. I think I was always on to something. I was full of ideas and had these really vivid visions of my future that involved me feeling free and happy. Sometimes my classmates would ask me about my latest corporate world internship/job offers and I never had any answers for them because I just wasn’t interested in that world. And I didn’t think I needed to be. I think that’s how I got to where I am today. I don’t really like to ask if I should, if I can, or if what I’m doing is a good idea. I look at myself more than I look at others. Whenever I want to get into some new life/artistic endeavor, I go within myself and explore whatever the thing is. Some ideas are put on hold while others feel more urgent and exciting. Photography is one of the things I’ve stayed with and have had a great amount of patience with. It’s been good.

Has it been a smooth road?
Becoming more of a business person was probably my biggest struggle. I only saw myself as an artist. I didn’t want to ask clients for reviews or let anyone know where my work had been featured. If something wasn’t going right, if I wasn’t getting clients, I was kinda like “aw, woe is me.” I didn’t understand the importance of learning about the boring stuff, or marketing funnels, or why I should send a quick follow up email to the client who seemed to be ghosting me. I relied too heavily on my talent and personality (both hugely important, but there’s more when you have an actual business). I learned SEO this year to better position myself on google and I’m really glad I did. I guess in the beginning, I thought that if I became this strategic business person, I’d lose my authenticity. But luckily, I still have my heart in it.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Amira Maxwell Photography story. Tell us more about the business.
I photograph weddings, elopements, and couples who want their photos taken just for fun. I’m proud of myself for stepping into an industry that is sometimes interpreted and practiced in such inaccurate, careless ways, and bringing my style and sensitivity to it. I’m proud of my clients and their willingness. I’ve been told that the diversity in my work sets me apart. I’m proud of that as well.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Right now in the wedding photography industry, there’s an ongoing conversation about managing our egos and just photographing exactly what we see + what we are given. Not wishing that couples or their weddings were more “this” or less “that.” Hopefully, in 5-10 years, many couples photographers will be working in this way- showing up to serve with the couple in mind first, the photos second, and their social media/portfolio last.

Contact Info:

 
Image Credit:
The personal photo was taken by Emmalaine Berry. The other uploaded photos were all taken by Amira Maxwell.

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