There's Something About Amanda

A portrait series of Vancouver illustrator Amanda Neikamp |

When gathering inspiration for this session, I found myself studying Amanda's website. A large portion of her illustrations depict modernist/brutalist architecture, and I loved the emphasis on bold colors, lines and texture. I wanted to see how I could translate this into portraiture, and soon found myself gravitating towards a piece of her artist statement:

"Raw patterns and colour in industrial forms, architecture, or natural environments, penetrate her soul. She is moved by surrealism in living spaces, and seeks to bring out the light in otherwise dark and cold spaces."

I loved the idea of experimenting with surrealism and bringing out light in dark spaces. My studio at the time had this beautiful, harsh sunlight that would come in through the windows around 4:00PM, casting these very industrial feeling shadows across the room. I knew I wanted to take advantage of the contrasting light and shadow, and use a variety of reflective materials to create some pops of texture. I had just painted a very bold red backdrop and was stuck on the idea of a monochromatic portrait - there is something about blondes in red that I just adore! It turned out that Amanda owned a ton of red, and showed up with a great selection of pieces including a fantastic candy striped dress that fit the shoot concept perfectly. We spent almost 3 hours experimenting with double exposures, movement, and reflection. By the end we were both completely exhausted, but came out with hundreds of beautifully unique and unexpected images. These are some of my favourite! Enjoy -