Amanda - Punk Rock Audreay Hepburn
Initially, I started with street photography, wandering around the city and looking for cool outdoor spots. Lately, I've been doing a lot more lifestyle sessions though and I love them. There's something so intimate about it.
Tell us where are you from, something about growing up, your roots.
I was born in Chicago and have lived in the city most of my life. However, my parents got divorced when I was very young and my mom moved off to Ohio, taking my younger brother and me with her. I spent a couple of years in Ohio but always returned to Chicago for vacation and holidays, eventually moving back to the city for my last three years of high school. I’ve always considered myself to be a city kid and Ohio really never was for me. I'm happy to have spent most of my life in Chicago, but I am ready for a change of scenery.
When you were a teenager, did you have any wishes what would you like to be when you become older?
As a teenager, I was really interested in psychology. I always wanted to be a psychologist and this was confirmed by my high school AP Psychology class. This class just fueled my desire to practice psych. Initially, I was interested in being a child psychologist specializing in divorce but my college courses pushed me towards drug abuse counseling. I guess that's a bit of an odd wish for a teenager, but I was an odd kid (still am).
Chicago native - European explorer. Can you elaborate this statement on your Instagram?
I came up with that when I was studying abroad in London. Chicago is my hometown but I think my heart is in Europe. I loved visiting different countries and I am dying to go back the first chance I get.
Punk rock Audrey Hepburn? What can you tell us about that? :)
I wish I could remember how I came up with that one! Audrey has always been my idol. 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' was my favorite movie growing up. She just had so much class and grace; she was timeless. She also was an incredibly compassionate and caring person, doing a great deal of Humanitarian work. These are all qualities I try to embody. But I'm also a punk. I like to think I have a little bit of an edge (not to say Audrey didn't have an edge); I'm just a little more obvious about mine. I don't think you'd see Audrey in Docs and a leather jacket anytime, though that seems to be my uniform.
For how long are you into modeling?
I did a little modeling as a kid - a toy catalog where I spent more time playing than posing. I had several awkward stages during my teens, but feel as though I really started to come into my own in college. I had friends that we're modeling so I started tagging along to shoots and it sort of just grew from there. I wouldn't consider myself a professional or anything though. I just do it for fun. I love being able to collaborate with such amazing photographers and help to bring there and my visions to life.
What kind of photo sessions do you prefer?
Initially, I started with street photography, wandering around the city and looking for cool outdoor spots. Lately, I've been doing a lot more lifestyle sessions though and I love them. There's something so intimate about it. I feel as though these sessions allow for my personality to shine through more. There are not a lot of people around so you can just talk to the photographer and really connect, and this connection allows for them to get to know you in a sense and thereby better capture who it is you are.
What kind of art you like and why? Favorite artists?
I love all kinds of art. I was raised in a very art-centered home. My dad is in photography and my mom left her corporate job years ago to open an art gallery, Hayley Gallery, in Ohio that has been thriving. In particular, I've always been drawn to modern art: Warhol, Lichtenstein, and Dali. Additionally photographers like Henri Cartier-Bresson, Richard Avedon, Jim Marshall, Timothy White (Marshall and White published one of my favorite photography books, Match Prints), and Diane Arbus. I could probably go on and on here, but I'll keep it brief and say that there are countless artists that I love and I struggle with selecting just a few as my favorites. I apologize in advance for whoever I missed!
You seem to be a big fan of Chicago. Tell us more about your city - your favorite places, all the things that you like about Chicago.
Chicagoans have a tendency to have this crazy sense of pride for this city. The lake is definitely one of my favorite features of the city. I love running along the lakeside path and reading books on the beach during the hot days of summer. Being able to look out across the water and see the most stunning skyline of a city (I'm so biased) is such a privilege. I also love the nightlife in the city. Scattered across the city are some great bars I tend to frequent. And the music scene is incredible. One night you're at the Aragon in this grand ballroom seeing your favorite band, and the next, you're with your buddies at someone's loft watching your friends' band rock out.
Tell us more about your tattoos.
I have a bit of a tattoo addiction. It all started with a little '23' behind my ear that I got with my mother when I was 16. It's my favorite number and always was my number for sports. I also have a hamsa that comes from Judaism and is meant to ward off the evil-eye. This piece was really important to me since it represents the religion I was raised as, and though I don't consider myself to be religious still, and I would say that I'm culturally Jewish in that I feel a deep connection to this part of my heritage. I have a Chicago skyline tattoo on the inside of my arm. Also, an octopus on my leg that I got as a reminder of the ocean. I've been scuba diving since I was 12 and the ocean is truly my happy place. Additionally, I have two daisies, one on my arm and one on my side, since they're my favorite flower. I have two lame stick-and-pokes, one covered by another tattoo. Finally, I have a hand holding a sprig of lavender which I got with my best friend, Matt. Lavender is my favorite scent and instantly soothing so this little tattoo is a little reminder to remain calm. I'm working on a half sleeve so expect more soon!
Plans for 2017.
As of writing this, I am one short paper away from completing my undergraduate degree. So I guess my main plan for this year is to graduate and figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life. There are so many options and I feel overwhelmed yet also incredibly hopeful at the same time. I also plan to travel as much as possible.
Instagram : panda.weinper
Model Mayhem : Amanda Simone