Tooting Someone Else’s Horn

by Amelia Kanan

"Steph and Her Balloons" New Year's 2011

“Steph and Her Balloons”
New Year’s 2011

We were 18 when, as she likes to say, “they stuck us together in the dorms.” We were instant best friends without any girl bullshit. She wanted to be a music columnist and I wanted to be…a little bit of everything. I admired her writing while she admired my photography. She grew tired of writing, which broke my heart and at the same time, I grew tired of photography, which broke hers. Somewhere along the line, we evolved and grew into adults with some (oddly) real careers. I am so proud to say that today, she is one of the most talented photographers I know.

Having her in my life over the last decade has been a gift. Not only because she is my soul sister and one of the quirkiest birds I know but also because her work inspires my own work. It’s rare but necessary to find someone who does what you do and not feel that tinge of competition. She is my go-to for critiques, photo editing/website help (she makes me feel like such a grandma), reassurance, motivation, a good laugh and remembering where I’ve come from and where I need to keep reaching.

Please check out her work at She is based in Chicago but will literally travel anywhere if you’ve got the dough and the photo is worth it. Personally, I don’t let anyone else shoot me (that’s a total lie but, if I had that kind of authority…I would use it). My favorite sets: Travel, Found and Music.

You’re amazing, Steph. I love you and as always, am in constant awe of your talent.

P.S. A Skype wine night this week is in order.