Amanda Cheromiah

I can see, but I cannot see. My vision is a phenomenon that I cannot explain, other than I see the world with a unique pair of eyes. When I was a teenager, I was diagnosed with an eye disease called Stargardt's, which is a form of macular degeneration. I have no central vision, and I can only see 20/80 in both eyes. For example, when I look through my Canon Mark 5D II camera's viewfinder, I cannot see the menu settings because the print is small.

Although I have a visual impairment, I use my peripheral vision to see objects and patterns, which gives me a creative edge as a photographer. I enjoy photographing anything about university life, desert landscapes, and pretty much anything symmetrical!  

My interest in photography began in 2009, when I bought my first iPhone. Initially, I used my iPhone 4S as an assistive technology tool, where if I could not see an object, I would take a photo of the subject and zoom in. This method was beneficial in seeing signs and fine print text.

Eventually, I began to experiment with photography and videography apps like Instagram and iMovie. I would often receive positive feedback on my photos and videos, which ultimately motivated me to learn how to shoot with Canon DSLR cameras.

Since I did not own a DSLR, I rented camera equipment from the UA's information technology services. I taught myself how to use DSLRs by watching YouTube videos and photography sessions with my mentors. Photography became one of my favorite hobbies, which also benefits me professionally.

I shoot with a Canon Mark IV. My favorite lenses are Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM III and Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM II. I also enjoy shooting with my iPhone X and using the mobile Lightroom app to edit my photos.  

Photography is storytelling, and I look forward to sharing my journey through my eyes.

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For inquiries about photography sessions, digital storytelling workshops, Indigenous-focused marketing or other requests, please contact me at acheromi@arizona.edu