It takes courage to move to LA. It takes courage, naïvety, and bull headed stubbornness to survive here. I should know, I made the move four years ago and I must confess, I had no idea what Drew and I were getting ourselves into. We made a life here, friends, careers, the whole nine, and now we are leaving...
As I think back on what it was like to move to Los Angeles from a 'far away land' I can't help but think of a friend of mine and the giant leap she took just over a year ago. Amanda not only moved herself, but her husband and her two young kids from Canada to LA because she felt it in her bones. She took a leap of faith, accepting a job working for a photographer she admired, knowing nothing else about what life may look like in the future.
Amanda Gallant is a womans woman, a cultivator of energies and, as she says in her introduction, a storyteller. I met her just over two months ago, but it feels as if I have known her for ages. She has a gift for keeping her eyes open, she 'sees' the world and wants you to be able to share in her vision. And so, allow me to introduce, Amanda.
Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about what you do
My name is Amanda and I am a storyteller. A visual narrater and I use photography as
my language to communicate what I am experiencing in this world.
How would you describe the ‘lens’ through which you see the world?
I believe I have an innate ability to see a unique beauty in all things, places and all
people. I go strait for it, past the facade and into the heart and feeling and moment I find
What is your creative process and how has it come to define your work?
I want to tell stories and I can do that best when I have the chance to collaborate with
someone. I ask a lot of them. My creative process involves give and take, trust and
bravery. I ask those who I capture to reveal themselves, their art, their ideas and their
creations to me. It is vulnerable, but important. I want to reeducate the people I work
with about the beautiful ritual lost to this modern culture of documenting a moment of life
with intention. I am constantly fighting against the expectation of perfection and
bringing it back to the heart of a portrait - TRUTH.
What do you feel is the greatest difference between LA life and life in Edmonton?
The greatest difference between my life here in LA and my life in Edmonton is definitely
my mindset. This move was an intentional divorce of one lifestyle to create space for
something new. I feel awake here, I feel alive. I can feel creative energy all around me.
and I am choosing to experience my life here from a place of gratitude, and that has
been a game changer.
Who or what ‘moves’ you?
I am moved most by connection. No matter who it is, if I have a chance to connect with
them with a look, words, actions - it impacts me. In each moment I have with someone, I
have a chance to learn and grow from them. For that I am very grateful.
Music or podcasts/ what are you listening to right now?
Music is always a constant in my life. I listen to lots of variety, but the new Radiohead
album, Moon Shaped Pool has been on repeat for a couple months now.
And I have been listening to some Rob Bell podcasts lately, while editing.
Being in a creative industry can be physically and emotionally draining, what restores
I love to go hiking and I love to go to the beach. Both feed my soul.
Best piece of advice you have ever received?
My grandfather always told me to be a hard worker. His famous line was, “ You've got
to start from the bottom and grow up, not start from the top and BLOW up!”
Favorite quote, there are so many…. but if I had to choose one:
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.” - Anais Nin
And lastly, I always ask... What is one little luxury you can’t live without?
A good cup of coffee, a note pad and pen. My favorite combination of things.
Amanda, I think your life is expanding, given the courage you posses and the intention you long to cultivate. Best of luck to you and your beautiful family on your journey through the years to come, in making a life and creating stories out of moments that you witness (in LA and beyond).