René Amado, Racine
2020–21 RAM Emerging Artist Award Recipient
Photography: Camela Langendorf, Varitay Studios
Based in Racine, Wisconsin, René Amado began honing his craft around 2013, in the downtown streets of San Antonio, Texas. For Amado, walking the streets and capturing the various scenes and unique individuals he would encounter was a great way to flex his creativity while unwinding from a stressful workday. Since then, he has gone on to work in many other genres of photography including: concert and live music, photojournalism, fashion, wedding, culinary, automotive, portraiture, and documentary.
Amado’s interest began in the 1980s when he was a young boy thumbing through photography magazines his father, an amateur photographer, had lying around the house. Later, he enjoyed taking photos at car shows and went on to take classes photography classes while in college.
Through his exploration of street photography, Amado found a community of artists and self-described street photographers who have helped him define his creative voice and purpose. While his professional client work often requires him to work in various environments, he remains true to his street roots at heart—practicing the same techniques and utilizing the same style developed during his early days, regardless of what he’s photographing.
2020. I write that one word/phrase as a sentence with no accompanying verbs, adjectives, nouns, or anything else, and feel like it’s more than adequate on its own to have an impact on anyone reading it.
The depression, solitude, and uncertainty I felt when the pandemic began were quite crippling to me. Then, as the weather warmed up and the American social climate boiled over to extreme temperatures, I made it my personal mission to do all I could to help others and push the social justice movement forward.
As a photographer, my camera is my tool. It is my Swiss Army knife, as it can be my key, my pen, my crutch, as well as my sword. Wielding it, while so many dramatic events and scenes unfolded across Southeast Wisconsin and our country, became an impassioned duty for me.
Thankfully, through all of the shutdowns and uproar, not all of what I captured was so heavy in “the feels.” My days of shooting lowriders, models, and sunsets were invaluable reminders of why the hard times are worth fighting through.