We are delighted to begin our photographer spotlight series by
featuring the work of Amy Kauffman of Allenaim
Allenaim Photography is a home based photography and design
studio located in the sweetest place on Earth; Hershey, Pennsylvania! I have been lucky enough to shoot at some landmark
Hershey and Harrisburg venues since moving to town a few months ago from
Nebraska. They include the fabulous
Hotel Hershey, the AACA Antique Car Museum, the Zembo Shrine and City Island in
I began becoming a
photographer way back in college when I received my first SLR (an N65) from my
parents. I learned to love photography
and the breathtaking photos an SLR can capture. I was absolutely hooked from day 1!
I began my photography
career as a MWAC (a mom with a camera!). I had one little boy at the time and wanted to be
able to capture professional photographs of his everyday life, so I bought my firs
DSLR (a D40). After a few friends saw
photos I had taken of my son, they started asking if I would photograph their
children. The answer, of course, was
YES!! Absolutely! Sign me up! From then on, the business grew quickly, I
sharpened me skills, networked with other professionals in the field and upgraded my
I'm always trying to
narrow down what it is that defines my style as a photographer. I have to reign
myself in because I like so many different styles and I don't want my work to become
TOO varied. The goal is to have variety without sacrificing unity. Since
I haven't figured it ALL out yet, I've at least come up with a few key points that
define me as an artist.
1. I dislike boring. I dislike "proper" photos that are stiff
and unfeeling. I don't really even like "cute". I won't post examples
(that would be mean!), but certainly you know the type of photography I'm talking
about, right? I'm not saying it's bad. I am just saying I do NOT like
it. I want my photos to be interesting and...
2. I want my photographs to evoke an emotion. If it shows off only
technical skill, I am doing my job, but if I capture emotion, then I have done a
great job. I want you to look at a photograph and know exactly how that person
is feeling, or I want you to look at a photograph and be so intrigued by the
expression, the body language, the angle I have taken on the subject....so intrigued
that you think about why.
3. I am not
terribly cool. I really am not quite cool enough to shop at
Anthropologie. I'm more Eddie Bauer. I'm more Crate and Barrel or
Restoration Hardware. I'm more Brooks Brothers than Urban Outfitters.
I'm more excited by the newest David Austin catalogue than by the latest issue of
Vogue. This shows up in my work. I much prefer to showcase a beautiful
girl with the curling bark of a birch tree or make a photo feel desolate and
sparse with crooked bare branches.
Of course, I'm all for
new and fun environments, but I'm always drawn to the natural, to the matte finishes,
to the desaturated colors.
4. I think I shoot like a mommy. I like capturing moments that only a
mother would love. I love capturing a child making silly faces and pouting
because that is what a mom sees more often than a perfectly smiling child. You
know it's true! My family shoots will include perfect smiling children, but I
don't think it should stop there. I also almost always end up shooting children
and adults while they are sitting and I am shooting looking down my arm at
them. It is an artistic shot, and shows very little facial detail.
Perhaps the profile or a close-up of eyelashes.
Pictures like this:
I even have one of my
son and me hanging on a canvas in our home. Some people may not get it (men!),
but one day I realized why that shot is one of my favorites. It is because that
is the way I am usually looking at my children. Sure, I get down at their
level and talk to them eye to eye, but most of the time, I am double their height
looking down from the angle of my arm to the top of their head. If not
standing, then sitting with a child on my lap, looking at the side profile of their
face. I want to capture the way it feels to be your child's mommy and that
includes the everyday angles that mommies see their children from on a daily
As my business grew, I started focusing in on weddings and small family
shoots. I shoot in my home studio and a
2 acre garden on our property which allows me to stay at home with my 3 boys and run
my business at the same time. While I
enjoy the studio shoots, I am in love with shooting weddings. I absolutely love the rush and being able to
capture such an important event for my clients. I love the wedding business so much; I recently
started a new blog called Wedding of the Season or WOTS to feature photographers and
Amy Kauffman is a wedding and family lifestyle photographer located in