Amy Stanton


My exposure (pun intended) to photography took place when I was fairly young. As far back as I can remember, we had a portrait of one of our St. Bernards proudly displayed in our home. In it, the dog rested atop a bank of snow, with a wooden flask of reviving brandy attached to his collar. He gazed nobly off into the distance. I remember being especially taken with this photo, because the dog's regal nature was enhanced by the low angle from which the camera was pointed at him. It made him seem immense. My father took that wonderful photo and many others that reflected his love for the beings and places dear to him.

My mother, a fine arts teacher in a public junior high, decided to expand her creative horizons by taking a photography class. Her photos revealed a different kind of exploration of the world. She took charming photos of my brother and myself--perhaps the most memorable one was of my grinning brother bedecked in a crumbled tweed hat, but she also took photos which were more intellectual and detached in nature. I particularly remember a series of images of a tumble-down structure somewhere in the vast Wyoming countryside. She focused on textures, shapes and shadows, and by doing so, taught me to look at the world around me with fresh eyes.

Despite my early exposure to and interest in photography, I had always assumed it was the province of brighter and more creative people, such as my brother, who spent years in and out of college studying it. I didn't think I'd ever be able to master the unfamiliar terminolgy, physics of light, and complicated equipment in a way that would enable me to use it as an outlet for self-expression. Because of this misguided notion, I never attempted to photograph anything. I just took snapshots with a point and shoot camera, as was expected during special occasions such family celebrations or vacations abroad.

It wasn't until the birth of my children and a series of photos which utterly failed to capture the wonder and beauty of these little beings that I decided to fully engage my analytic and creative powers to learn more about photography and how it could preserve sweet moments of their infancy. It hasn't been smooth sailing from that point forward. Even after reading up on the subject and attempting to do all the "right" things, I ended up with some pretty rotten shots. But there were a few jewels too, and those triumphs kept me motivated. Somewhere along the way, photography stopped being a field where I had to prove myself. It turned into an enjoyable and fulfilling hobby.

Despite being the catalyst of my photographic odyssey, you'll notice that portraits of children aren't the only types of photographs I take. My collection is eclectic. I'll photograph just about anything that catches my eye. I do feel that there's one common thread running through my images. To me, they reflect a youthful joie-de-vivre, which couldn't be taught by college professors, but most certainly has been reawakened by my children. I hope my photos convey this feeling to all who graciously take the time to view them.


Amy Stanton recognizes the impermanent nature of the world around her. She captures, with her images, the change in seasons, her family, and the world around her. One can almost perceive the moment, the feeling, which urges her to reach for her camera. She's not grasping at fleeting moments, but being truly present in her life.

Testimonial written by Crystal Utter