Go Mighty’s 31 Days of Inspiring Women, #23: Amanda Jasnowski
Meet Amanda, a young (20!) but noted freelance photographer living in Brooklyn, New York.
Instead of taking the traditional college route after high school, she moved to New York City last October from the rural Midwest, and her career has been skyrocketing ever since.
Amanda started dabbling in photography roughly six years ago, but loves and finds inspiration in all kinds of mediums. She’s usually trying to control a constant case of wanderlust and a never-ending to do list of personal projects. She believes in working together, positive energy, keeping family close and being yourself. Keep up with her life and projects at amandajas.com/blog or on Instagram at @hokaytokay.
So, Amanda, what’s your story?
I was born in the northeast corner of Spain, then moved to Ohio at age seven & stayed there until last October when I moved to New York. I am one of four siblings, and one of three triplets. I am currently working as a freelance photographer, which has been my dream since picking up a camera. You can usually find me doing any of the following: laying in sun patches, eating ice cream, petting dogs, picking flowers or exploring nooks and crannies of New York.
How did you get where you are today? Where do you want to go from here?
Early 2012 I made the decision to put school on hold and work full time in order to save money & move to New York in the fall. Ohio was making me go a little crazy. I was pretty confused and going in circles with what I was doing at the time, and the only thing I was really sure of was my dream…to move to New York and work as a freelance photographer! I had had enough of feeling dissatisfied and not working towards anything I was excited or proud about.
September rolled around and after months of anticipation, it was all getting closer and it was either go for it or not. Make the leap or not.
Initially my parents were weary of my goal, especially my father.. understandably though. Looking back it takes a whole lot of trust to let your recently turned 20 year old daughter move to a city she’s never spent much time in and go into a business that isn’t exactly easy. But in the end my family has been extremely supportive and I will always be so thankful for them.
Since moving here in October I have been learning how exactly to live this life as a freelancer, it’s my first time doing so, so I’m learning so much, feeling like it’s such an important time in my life. From here I’d love to go nowhere but up.
It’s been a big challenge to learn how to balance working and pleasure with this lifestyle, and I think time will certainly help me find that. I’m always asking other freelancers how they find a balance, I think it’s really important for freelancers to help one another out. It seems much more appealing to “reach the top” with your friends rather than alone.
I want to see myself collaborating and working with people I admire (I’ve already been pretty lucky to do a lot of that), shooting for companies and magazines I like, engaging with my audience & always finding new ways to be creative and have fun. “The future is bright” - Jimmy Marble
Tell us a bit more about these ten goals from your life list. What’s the inspiration behind the goals you chose?
It was really tough to pick just ten! My goal list is never-ending. It’s a mixture of personal and professional, but mostly personal. I guess both of those things tend to intertwine for me. I think a lot of my goals are oriented with learning how to be a better, happier human being, which is probably my ultimate goal & something that will be a life long adventure.
Any advice for others on how to stay motivated/focused on achieving their goals?
This is also a work in progress for myself, but I think being aware of your goals, reminding yourself can really help. Don’t overwhelm yourself every day with all the things on your list, take it one step at a time. It can help to figure out why you have the goals you do, and I think most importantly is not letting fear deter you.
If you put yourself out there in the world, I think great things can happen. It may be frightening and unlike anything you’ve ever done but it is the most rewarding feeling in the world, I can vouch for it. You can always change things, nothing is ever set in stone.
People always reference that quote about how when they’re old folks they want to look back on their life and smile so big with pride and joy, I don’t think that comes easily. It comes with some risk-taking, fear, exhilaration. I want to encourage everyone to do the things that make them proud, make their heart race, make them happier than they have words for.
Follow Amanda’s journey through completing her Life List here.
Want to make a Life List of your own? Easy—join the Go Mighty community here.
(Photo by Helena Price)