Northwest Indiana is filled with talented photographers from all walks of life. One photographer in particular who stands out is La Porte native Amanda Tonagel. Founder of Amanda Tonagel Photography, Tonagel loves capturing precious family moments. She especially enjoys getting photos of families with their horses.
“Family photography is something I have a heart for,” Tonagel said. “But taking photos of families and their horses requires an understanding of how horses behave and the relationship between the family and their animal.”
After high school, Tonagel left home and attended Grace College in Winona Lake, IN. After graduating and working for some time as a teacher, both she and her husband felt it was time to come back home. Once she came back with her family, she felt compelled to give back to the community that raised her and make a positive impact, which led to her starting Amanda Tonagel Photography.
“I got into the photography business because of my kids,” Tonagel said. “When I was staying at home with them when they were young, I started taking a lot of pictures of them. Then, my husband bought me a camera as a Mother’s Day gift. After taking a photography class and plenty of practice, I continued to upgrade my equipment and eventually the rest fell into place.”
When she began, Tonagel dabbled in wedding and newborn photos, though she soon realized this wasn’t her passion. She discovered that her true calling was taking pictures of families with their horses.
“In terms of interests, taking family portraits with their horses is what sets me apart from other photographers in the area,” Tonagel said.
While Tonagel started to approach this hobby with more a business-centeredattitude and demeanor, she remains humble.
“The important thing to me is doing a good job for my clients,” Tonagel said. “I want to provide an overall positive experience for them, though in hindsight, I’m not really in it to make a name for myself. I just want to provide for my family and enjoy doing my photography work.”
Tonagel also states that her husband is her biggest influence, in both work and personal life.
“He is the person that grounds me and brings me back to reality when I need it the most. We have the same aspirations for our children and we work really hard for them.”
“I feel blessed that I can work around my passions and provide for my family,” Tonagel said. “It’s also great to see my photography evolve as my family grows. It’s been an amazing experience overall.”
Tonagel’s website can be found here: amandatonagelphotography.com