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Daily Inspiration: Meet Amber Schwartz

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amber Schwartz.

Hi Amber, 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?
I always enjoyed photography as a young child. I would constantly take pictures of my family or set up photoshoots for my friends and I. I decided to take film photography classes at my high school, and that’s really where my passion took off. I loved every part of film photography and it made me appreciate digital photography that much more. As I went through college, adult life and adult worries started to creep in. How am I going to make a living doing photography? Am I prepared to be self-employed? What a photography career doesn’t work out? I decided to use my time at college to get educated for a career backup plan. Over time, I slowly did less photography work and I entered the workforce after college. As you can guess, my “backup” plan became my life. About three years ago, I was sitting in my office, at a job I didn’t enjoy and decided enough was enough. My life just didn’t feel right without art, and I felt empty. I picked up my camera again for the first time in years and planned a shoot with my sister-in-law. After that, I never looked back. Within four months, I was able to leave the job I didn’t like and pursue my passion of photography full time.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Anyone who owns their own business will probably agree that it is not a smooth road, but it has always been worth it. I think that one of the biggest struggles for me, besides the usual struggles of being self-employed, was getting over others’ doubts of my path. I think a lot of people who care about you worry about you from a place of love, but it comes across as doubt and that was hard for me, especially as a young woman in a male-dominated field. All of those doubts and worries manifested in me as self-doubt – what if they are right? A challenge I had to learn was that not everyone understands when you go down an “alternative” path and not everyone will be there to celebrate you, so just celebrate yourself. Another challenge I find myself in as a photographer is competition in the field. This field has become more and more competitive, especially since the rise of social media (Instagram). I have actively pushed back against this because it’s something that I don’t find necessary. I truly believe that there is room for all of the artists in the world, including photographers. I think that while it can be hard to create from the heart and be authentic in your art, I find that it is always the best path, and I don’t give in to the competitive nature of this field.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am a portrait photographer, and I specialize in any kind of portrait work. This includes couples, weddings, families, high school seniors, and more. I also shoot editorials and campaigns with models. Another important part of my role is model representation and model training. I am the head modeling agent of Schwartz Models and have a modeling academy where I teach new models about the modeling industry and get them into their first photoshoots, runways, and signed with agencies. I have been internationally published over ten times for my editorial work in the last three years and currently have two models walking in spring/summer runways this summer. I would say I am most proud of my mission to bring big opportunities to the small rural region I am based in. when I moved here, I met a lot of young people who wanted to model, but didn’t have any resources to get started. Living in a digital age, I became determined to bring those opportunities to rural Southwest Colorado and I’m incredibly grateful to have done so.

How do you think about happiness?
So many things in this world make me happy, but I have to say that the art of creating makes me the happiest and also fulfilled. I don’t know how I ever went on in life without creating art and storytelling through photography. Something that people don’t see behind the scenes is the creative directing within photography, and that is what I live for. My favorite activity in the world is planning mood boards and storyboards for my next shoot. It is a beautiful way to express yourself through color, design, music, light, and more.

Contact Info:


Image Credits
Personal photo: 303 Magazine at Denver fashion week, all others taken by me

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