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Daily Inspiration: Meet Amanda Lopez-Wilkins

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda Lopez-Wilkins.

Hi Amanda, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
Haha, honestly I was working towards an idea of success that wasn’t my own when the real growth started. I had no awareness of my own internal self-limiting beliefs and was in a loop of self sabotaging behaviors when I started French Press Photographie. So I dug deeper to explore myself in an attempt of a resolution. Turns out most of my internal beliefs didn’t actually come from me, but outside influences starting from a young a age. I noticed societal expectations on one’s appearance were being used as tools to reinforce sexism, racism, colorism, classism, ableism, ageism, and gender norms. I decided to challenge the idea of beauty/boudoir by deeply connecting with my clients in order to capture who they are as a whole, light and shadow alike. Spoiler, it doesn’t look like what we are used to seeing on social media. And I’m happy with looking different if it means helping the greater good feel powerful in their own skin.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Not all the time, but I think that’s the point. Growth and comfort aren’t always mutually exclusive I’m learning, it can at times, but not always. When my toxic beliefs were challenged it made me face a plethora of things I had ever done and said that upheld toxic systemic issues, and it was extremely uncomfortable. I decided going forward it wasn’t who I wanted to be and was tired of performing what the world expected of me. I began reconditioning my beliefs, and still am, in order to show up with authenticity and compassion for myself and others. Learning to balance, honoring my experiences and feeling of being enough while being open to receiving new ideas and information that challenges my belief system. It’s becoming more apparent that this is indeed a constant learning journey and there is no destination on self discovery and self love. There’s beauty in uncertainty and that’s still very much a valid and acceptable experience.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I create a safe space for people to open up about their past traumas and adversities and photo document their strength, divine feminine and masculine energy, light and darkness, to normalize and help empower people in their own worlds. Break social expectations to make room for people who feel alone in their own experiences to come forth and build a deeper/more loving connection with themselves and others. I do this by listening and getting to know my clients story before any photos occur, then curate a theme that reflects who they are on print to take home. I believe when it’s on print, tangible in their hands, it serves a greater impact to remain in that powerful feeling.

If you had to, what characteristic of yours would you give the most credit to?
Listening and learning. To respond instead of react. To make space instead of always taking up space. I think it’s easy for people like me, recovering people pleasers, to make something about ourselves in the attempts to relate to others. Instead, practicing pause and validating ones feelings has made room for deeper connections which leave people feeling more comfortable to be themselves. That’s a characteristic I’m happy to have discovered.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
#1 & #2 @Ashleehuff #3 French Press Photographie #4 @tonhyakae

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