If there’s one thing nobody can deny, it’s that photojournalist Amanda Mustard is much more than just a creative, passionate being; she’s also sentimental and has an intense history of her own. She actually inadvertently conveys this in her directorial debut too — HBO’s ‘Great Photo, Lovely Life,’ a feature-length documentary spanning eight years to really underscore her family’s verity. So now, if you simply wish to learn more about her — with a focus on her background, the way it developed her interests, as well as her current standing — we’ve got the essential details for you.
Who is Amanda Mustard?
Although born and raised on an aesthetically wondrous Christmas tree farm in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Amanda was honestly quite young when she understood her family was far from idyllic. They did appear so at one point, yet the truth is they were the epitome of brokenness — her grandfather was a serious pedophile, even family members were victims, and still none of them spoke up. “My childhood was difficult,” she candidly conceded in the original production. “There was so much dysfunction within my family and no communication about what was really going on.”
Amanda continued, “I just felt this pressure to maintain this image that we were this picture-perfect Christian family. I wanted out. A week after I turned 18, I left my family, my faith, the state.” She was reportedly on her way to becoming a successful marimbist at the time owing to her skills plus talent, but soon changed paths to pursue her other passion of visual/pictorial storytelling. In fact, she worked hard to evolve into a photojournalist: “My childhood dream was to be an ice cream truck driver…,” she said. “But I love that I [now] get to make exposing the truth about something a part of my job.”
It’s actually through this profession that Amanda was able to gain some “healthy perspective” on her experiences, her familial standing, as well as her past to uncover the darkness they all contained. “I had this new… language to describe things that, for my whole life, I just thought were normal,” she conceded. “Like the way some men treated me and my body, that was assault. Or my ‘touchy-feely’ grandpa is actually a pedophile.” Then, once she realized she was horrifically victim-blamed after being sexually assaulted by a friend’s partner, it ignited a fire in her to speak up for those who’ve long suffered in silence.
Amanda decided she’d investigate her grandfather’s offenses to help bring many some much-needed closure, unaware her grandmother’s tragic death would soon lead her straight to the source. Hence began an 8-year-long journey of arguments, honesty, pain, and healing for not just herself but also her family, especially her mother Debi as well as her sister Angie. Moreover, and more importantly, this enabled them to start breaking the cycle of dysfunction by allowing them to see none of them was to blame — it was complex considering the familial angle, yet they knew William “Bill” Flickinger alone was responsible.
Amanda Mustard Has Now Evolved Into a Filmmaker
From what we can tell, Amanda is still a professional photojournalist, bringing a myriad of remarkable stories into the limelight in a unique manner while also holding onto her new title of filmmaker. It actually appears as if she’s dividing her time between her home state, Brooklyn, New York, and Bangkok, Thailand, at the moment for this, from where she also often contributes to publications such as Associated Press, Bloomberg, GEO, New York Times, Outside Magazine, TIME, National Geographic, The Smithsonian, Mondelēz, Colgate, Le Monde, Facebook, Al Jazeera, Mashable, and WIRED, amongst many others.
Furthermore, Amanda reportedly presently serves as a board member of the Frontline Freelance Register as well as a board member plus exhibition curator for the Foreign Correspondents Club. This RISC combat medical trained personnel is even an advocate for gender equality and the protection of freelancers in the media industry, along with being a contributor for Redux Pictures. Though, if you only mostly wish to check out this 2014 30 under 30 Women’s Photographer’s most recent work, you should head over to her website, her social media platforms, as well as the Wonderful Machine roster. We should also mention that, when it comes to her personal standing, Amanda prefers to keep details well away from the spotlight, yet we do know she’s a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community.
Read More: Where is Debi Mustard Now?