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Mandy Parks Photography – Capturing Proof of Unforgettable Moments


A well-known American photographer, Aaron Siskind, once said, “Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything,” and no one can probably attest to that more than one local photographer, Mandy Parks.

“I was widowed in 2011 and realized that pictures play a bigger role in life than some of us realize. Life is short and we will never know when pictures will be all we have left to take us to a certain time or place.”

Perhaps that is why Mandy’s eye sees much more than the person or object of her shot. Such was the case with the photo that graced the front cover of the Pulse’s first issue of 2018 that once posted on social media, quickly went ‘viral.’ Mandy’s photo of an ‘old barn’ and a local veteran she lovingly referred to as ‘Mr. John’ became proof in Mandy’s own words that ‘pictures will be the only proof that barns like this and men like him were really built that tough.’

Mandy explained that she is self-taught but the natural raw talent is evident in every photo.  Photography had always been a passion and hobby of hers but when her husband, Josh, bought her a camera a few years ago, things have just “took off” from there and she explains, “We haven’t looked back.”

Mandy decided to go full time in January 1, 2017 and just recently opened a studio in Wickes, which she says she is super excited about. “This community has been amazing towards me and my business.”

Mandy is not a native of Polk County, having moved here in 2014 when she married Josh. She has quickly fallen in love, not only with the area, but has learned that it is the people who make it a tremendous place to live,  “I’ve never been part of a community like this! I constantly brag about this community and the people in it. It’s amazing!” In fact, Mandy will quickly tell you that it is the local people who make her job so satisfying, “Since I am not from here, the most satisfying thing about my career is the people. I’ve never walked away from a session without having a personal friendship with my clients. That is hands down the best thing about my job.”

The digital world keeps many industries and professions constantly evolving and photography is certainly no different. “Keeping up with the daily changes in the digital world can sometimes be challenging, but I am self taught and continue to educate myself as I go.”

Mandy has immense respect for the plethora of local photographers, “There are some very talented photographers in this area and each one provides their own style. I love that this area has a variety to choose from.”

The goal of Mandy’s photography shoots goes beyond capturing an image to capturing a moment… and she readily admits that she likes to photograph anything that makes an “impact. I try to get my clients comfortable and act natural without posing. I will say or do something and try to capture their reactions. There is nothing better than a genuine smile from a senior, a real tear from a bride’s mom, or a sweet kiss from a fiance. That is my goal when approaching every session.”

Josh and Mandy share three children: Reagan (13), Ziggie (11) and Heath (8) and the family makes their home in Wickes. “There is no way I would be able to pursue my dream job without their support.”

Mandy’s favorite quote is from the great Maya Angelou and as many of her customers will testify, the standard by which Mandy lives and works, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

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