Girl To Know: Amanda Charchian
Written by Alexandria Yip
Traveling with friends and artists- amongst some are Emma Elizabeth Tillman and Ana Kras, Amanda Charchian photographs the female body in various locations around the world. Iceland, France, Costa Rica, Morocco, Israel and Cuba are just a few of the places Charchian has explored with her camera.
The photographer exclusively photographs women because it establishes a more personal connection and purpose. Instead of using a person solely as a subject in a photograph, the fact that both individuals are women creates a bond for Charchian. The artist says, “I also feel like because they’re female subjects they’re more comfortable with nudity, and showing me a part of themselves that they’ve never shown in that same way. Yet, I feel that because I’m a woman it’s me empowering them instead of taking something.” (ANP Quarterly)
Charchian’s style is extremely spontaneous and her process is natural- she doesn’t have an intention during photoshoots, and depends on energy rather than an objective. Her shoots for her personal work are short- five minutes is often all she needs to yield spur-of-the-moment photos. Her connections to her subjects are the most important aspect of creating her photos. The whole experience and the adrenaline is what makes the photo for Charchian, “Sometimes I would also be nude and they would be taking pictures of me. Sometimes it was important that they be making something too. It seemed right in that moment.” (ANP Quarterly)
One of my favorite photos by Charchian is taken in the Antelope Canyon. Many have captured the captivating shapes and textures of the canyon, but Charchian, delivering her own personal approach to photographing the scene, brings a female figure front and center into the light; transforming the overused location into a renewed version of itself.
Charchian’s monograph, heromone Hotbo, contains a series of photos taken over the course of three years. The photographer describes the book as expressing the overlap between the instinctual attraction provoked by pheromones to creativity: “For women, the energy of artistic production and sexuality is inextricably linked. This is what I call the “Pheromone Hotbox,” a
space in which a bio- logically confounded process occurs, as our pheromones interact (in a nonsexual way) to generate creativity through both trust and mischievousness. I discovered that through the camera I had unique access to the creative women around me.” (Vogue)