For four years, Amanda Lucidon was the only woman on a team of five photographers working in the White House and she pretty much was responsible for covering Michelle Obama's every move. From small hospital rooms in Tennessee to a traditional tea ceremony in Kyoto, Japan, Lucidon followed the first lady all over the world.
Her new book, Chasing Light, released by Ted Speed Press on October 17, is a collection of all that she was able to capture during her time with Michelle Obama. In the format of a "visual diary," the collection highlights the stories behind 150 photographs shot in two different countries, many of which were published for the first time, according to The Cut.
"I feel like I'm still pinching myself that I actually worked there and got to have those experiences every day," Lucidon revealed. "I feel like it's my responsibility now to share with other people what I learned."
On her book tour, which began yesterday, libraries and schools all over the country will display a selection of her photos. The photographer plans to talk about the significance of arts education during every single visit. In terms of the title, Chasing Light, she says, "We've all had lights in our lives. Whether that's the inspiration of Mrs. Obama, or my mother, or other powerful women in my life ... that [light is] pulling me forward."
Lucidon told The Cut about her experience working with the Obamas, saying, "People are always like, ‘What are they like, when the camera goes off?’ And they’re the same people. They’re so grounded and compassionate and thoughtful. It’s just amazing, because they’re extraordinary people, and at the same time, they have a way of making everyone feel loved and comforted and special."
She also spoke on her motivation while on the job: “Being around the Obamas every day. Seeing everything that they are doing. She took on so many initiatives, and it was just the constant work, and when I started to feel like I was getting tired, I looked at them and said, ‘Oh, you’re still going, I have to keep going, too.’ I talk a lot in the book about losing my father, and I think, even though it was the hardest time for me, it gave me good perspective. Our heart beats only so many times. What is your heart worth beating for? And that’s how you should live every day. I have a beautiful daughter, who is 10 months old. When [there are] days that I take myself too seriously, I look into her eyes and say, ‘Oh, I can be a role model the same way Mrs. Obama, [and] my mother, was a role model, to my daughter,’” she explained.
(Photo: Marla Aufmuth/Getty Images for Pennsylvania Conference for Women)
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