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Check Out Sandy Adams’ Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sandy Adams. Them and their team share their story with us below:

Sandy Adams, an award-winning photographer and brand strategist, is excited to be back in her native West Tennessee after spending 16 years in Houston. I would attribute growing up in a small town and my mom’s love of travel to who I am today. Mom always had a camera in her hand, but I don’t think I thought of photography specifically as a real interest until I returned from Europe after grad school.

It was travel that made me realize there are unlimited stories to tell if people would only take the time to look and listen. My love of history and travel led me to photography and not the other way around. I started asking myself how could I teach others about history with one single photograph? I honestly started with an instant 35 mm camera, but it wasn’t until my return from Europe in 1998 when I gave it more serious thought.

In 2000, I transitioned into people photography and readily admit Vogue and Vanity Fair magazines… that is where I took my portrait style from, and I always look for ways to show someone how I see them through my camera lens. Photography is another avenue in telling a person’s story.

Early on, I specialized in on-location shoots because I had no money or a studio. In the beginning, outside shoots were because of necessity, but now those outside shoots are what truly bring my photography style to life and what my clients hire me for. Even in 100-degree weather, some clients care more about the finished portrait than their discomfort. Clients want those magazine-styled cover shots you see in fashion magazines. I can create an iconic portrait or series of portraits that tell a person’s story and what makes them special.

In 2016, I began teaching my clients social media brand strategy based on what I had learned out of necessity. Now, I incorporate motivational speaking, focusing on topics, like self-confidence and mindset, into my service offerings.

Everything I do revolves around the concept of storytelling. Whether it’s telling someone’s story through a camera lens, teaching people about other cultures with a photograph, creating brand strategies on social media, or helping people discover their own story and how to use that story to better themselves. It’s all about stories and there are so many to tell.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Trying to build a business is hard enough, but add in personal struggles and that only complicates the situation. My mother’s heart issues during the time I lived in Houston were a constant strain on my emotions. She lived in Tennessee and the distance definitely added to my stress. She passed away while I was still living in Houston. Living so far away from her is something that is hard to accept even now.

In terms of photography, I taught myself how to use a camera simply by experimenting over and over. At my very first wedding, in 2000, I think, I had never used an off-camera flash and didn’t realize that I would need to shoot slower so as not to deplete the batteries. The most important lesson learned that night, ALWAYS carry extra batteries no matter what.

In my defense, the bride had sought me out to shoot her wedding because she felt more comfortable with me. In the end, she was happy with her images, but let me tell you that night was extremely stressful and a lesson I learned I will never forget.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I help individuals and brands to tell their stories. A story can be told through a social media presence, content and/or photography, or any combination of methods. People buy into stories and it is important to identify the stories that best represent a person and/or brand.

I believe my best trait is seeing the potential beyond the most obvious story to tell. My work with the American Heart Association in Houston and now back in Memphis is the storytelling I am most proud of. I began volunteering with AHA in Memphis back in 2000 shortly after my mom had an emergency triple bypass. When I relocated to Houston, I started volunteering with the Bay Area Galveston Go Red For Women campaign and began a 10-year journey creating a powerful brand story for them with their yearly Heart Throb photoshoots (eventually renamed Heart Ambassadors).

Now back in Memphis, I am once again volunteering with the Memphis American Heart Association Go Red For Women campaign and photographing their new initiative “20 Women of Impact” in 2021 and will start shooting the 2022 women in January. AHA is an organization that I am most proud of working with and the impact they had not only on my mom’s life (she passed away in 2016) but on every woman’s life.

Can you share something surprising about yourself?
Something surprising that most people who know me or have worked with me may not know is that I worked for 15 years in the intermodal trucking industry. And my birthday is on leap day, Feb. 29th.

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1 Comment

  1. Annasheril

    January 14, 2022 at 4:48 am

    Dont forget she took amazing photos of animals too.

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