Welcome to my little slice of the interweb. Allow me to introduce myself; I’m Amanda – a food photographer and certified holistic health coach with a serious love for beautifully plated foods, travel, and great danes!
My journey to health and wellness wasn’t a life long dream. In fact, my life long dream was to graduate from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and move to New York City and become a fashion photographer. Graduate from AIFL did happen in June of 2003, but New York would have to wait, the universe had other plans for me. Shortly after I returned to Pennsylvania I met my now husband and opened a fashion inspired boutique photography business that allowed me to travel the world.
Becoming a holistic health coach wasn’t part of the plan, again the universe had other plans for me. When my photography business opened in 2003, I had a lot of quick success and my business grew quicker than I could manage. Majority of my days were spent sitting in front of computer for hours on end editing- often until the wee hours of the morning. I ate, slept, and breathed building a photography business that I had dreamed of since I was a little girl. Workouts had become non-existent with the exception of an eight to ten hour wedding day or running to the door to accept a FedEx delivery. My body functioned poorly on highly processed, packaged, carb-ified foods. I used my business as an excuse, until the excuses had excuses. Surrounded in a pile of designer duds that no longer fit, shit hit the fan, and I had an uncomfortable heart to heart with myself.
Several weeks later, I found myself walking into a local gym filled with shame, guilt, and embarrassment for the person I had become. Hidden in layers of fat and excess weight, I knew the women that I dreamed of being somewhere inside. She just had to fight like hell to reconnect with her. Twelve weeks later, my life changed. My weight dropped, my business was restructured, and I was beginning to find me. Two years later, my love for health and wellness continued to increase and I decided to enroll at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and become a certified holistic health coach.
I’ve merged my love for photography with health and wellness to create a lifestyle that I am incredibly passionate about and created a way to share my message and personal mission. I want women to exist in their family photographs not by force, but because they are confident, strong, and feel incredibly beautiful with who they are on the inside as well as the outside.
On more occasions that I can count; clients or family members of clients have asked me to shove them in the back-row of a family photo, use a child or pet to strategically block their bodies, requested that I “photoshop the hell” out of them, or flat out refuse to be in a photograph.
Sadly, if this continues we will be missing from the photographs that our children's, children will be looking at in the years to come. We simply need to exist in our family legacy. Yet, discovering how to improve our health and wellness in a way that suits our lifestyle, bio-individuality, and aligns with our core beliefs seems to be an on-going challenge. My mission is to show women how to overcome chronic yo-yo dieting and yo-yo living by transforming their relationship with food, movement, and self care to support their health and wellness goals while becoming their own before and after photograph.
//MY COACHING STYLE//
My focus is to help my clients create a “new normal” for themselves and it can be whatever that means to them. We work together to create a lifestyle that aligns with their core beliefs and desires. While one client might thrive on a plant based lifestyle filled with yoga and green juices, another might excel following our Live Unboxed whole food paleo-ish lifestyle with crossfit/insanity style workouts. I meet you where you are and guide, support, and motivate you to where you want to go. Tough love is applied when necessary!
When, I look at photographs of myself from four years ago, I am shocked at who I had become. I was so unbelievably unhappy on the inside, but became a master of masking it on the outside. My transformation wasn’t easy, nor did I expect it to be, but the outcome was so worth it to the point that I wish I would have done it sooner! My entire life changed from a fifty-five pound weight loss, to a new career path, unbelievable amounts of happiness, and a lifestyle that aligns with me instead of one I thought I had to live to be happy.
My husband, Patrick and I “Live Unboxed” – which is our version of a whole foods paleo-ish lifestyle. We can often be found in local cafe’s on Sunday mornings chatting up our upcoming week, planning our next adventure, or hanging out in the kitchen doing a bit of meal prep. We are proud parents of two great danes, Jax and Winston. We are stronger together today, because of the fire that we walked through.
Graduate of the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale - 2003
Graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition - 2013
All photography provided by Amanda Kraft Photography unless otherwise noted.