When she’s not assisting Farallon clients with stormwater compliance, Amber often is out hiking Washington backcountry with husband Andrew and their golden retriever Ozzie and 1-year-old husky Ripley. Amber discovered that their hiking locations provided the perfect backdrop for photographs. “Ozzie’s the one who got me into photography. I started an Instagram account for him, and as it grew, I got more and more into photography. I eventually bought my first DSLR camera and the account took off! Our account now has 135,000 followers.”
The popularity of Amber’s animal photographs generated unexpected responses. “Social media can be a cruel world,” she relates. “When you’re in the public eye like my dogs’ account is, you can become a target for bullying and negativity.” But instead of being discouraged by the acrimonious feedback, Amber channeled her photographic skills to create something positive: the Woman Warriors project.
The project began when Amber learned about Jana, a young woman surmounting physical ordeals while awaiting a heart transplant. Amber offered to do a portrait photography session with her. Amber found Jana’s story so compelling she asked to post it to her website, along with a series of vibrant photographs; the messages and comments were overwhelmingly compassionate, positive, and supportive. “You can tell who the strong women are,” Amber says. “They are the ones building one another up instead of tearing each other down.” Following the success of her photoshoot with Jana, Amber asked her Facebook hiking group for volunteers for the Woman Warriors project. To date, she has profiled five women from the flood of responses, with a sixth profile in progress.
Amber was interviewed about the Woman Warriors project on the Seattle King 5 morning show “New Day.” She explained, “I want to keep sharing women’s stories through photos and social media to help lift women up rather than pull them down.” Farallon is proud to have Amber’s creativity and compassion complementing her field skills as part of the Farallon team.
AmberMae Photography: http://ambermaephotography.wix.com/adventure