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Wear great shoes and give back

Profile: Meet photographer Amy Martin-Friedman at TPC in Valencia

Posted: June 5, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: June 5, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Photographer Amy Martin-Friedman photos women wearing their favorite shoes for the coffee-table book “A Day in My Shoes,” which will benefit the Domestic Violence Center of SCV. Photographer Amy Martin-Friedman photos women wearing their favorite shoes for the coffee-table book “A Day in My Shoes,” which will benefit the Domestic Violence Center of SCV.
Photographer Amy Martin-Friedman photos women wearing their favorite shoes for the coffee-table book “A Day in My Shoes,” which will benefit the Domestic Violence Center of SCV.
Martin-Friedman takes aim. Martin-Friedman takes aim.
Martin-Friedman takes aim.
Martin-Friedman’s favorite photo of her shoes and the feet of her children. Martin-Friedman’s favorite photo of her shoes and the feet of her children.
Martin-Friedman’s favorite photo of her shoes and the feet of her children.
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Photographer Amy Martin-Friedman has a passion for photography, architecture and giving back.

Born in the mid-West Martin-Friedman, 41, now lives in San Francisco with her husband, Eric, and sons, Aiden, 6, and Harry, 4.

“I have two little boys, and I wanted to leave something that my children can look at and say, ‘She left something good here,’” said Martin-Friedman. “I want them to think, ‘My mom really tried hard to do something good for other women.’”

Her journey from business major at the University of Wisconsin through her career in retail fashion to her current occupation as a freelance photographer is an inspiring tale of a woman who found the courage to reinvent herself after years of emotional abuse.

“I was in a long-term relationship that, after years of verbal abuse, left me with no self-confidence,” she said. “I hate that part of my life, that part of myself, that I let myself get there,” she said.

Martin-Friedman reclaimed her life and found her life’s work in photography — a passion she had since age 8.

“I was giving away my work for years,” she said. “My first client gave me $100 and told me to stop giving it away. It changed my life.”

Now Martin-Friedman helps victims of domestic violence through the fundraising project “A Day in My Shoes” — coffee-table art books of women wearing their favorite shoes.

“I woke up one morning with this idea,” she said. “I want each person to feel like they could be in any of those women’s shoes. That’s why there are no faces involved.”

To date she has eight “Shoes” books — with two more slated to begin later this year and next.

Not all of the books are fundraisers for domestic violence, some benefit breast cancer and other causes.

In the Santa Clarita Valley, “A Day in My Shoes” is seeking 50 women to pay $500 to be photographed for the book, with proceeds to benefit the Domestic Violence Center of SCV.

A meet-and-greet mixer for Martin-Friedman, with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and no host bar will be held at the Tournament Players Club at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The party will be presented by fundraising organizer Shelley Hann.

“This is an opportunity to get to know Amy and to learn about this fabulous project,” Hann said. “The Domestic Violence Center needs our help.”

Martin-Friedman encourages women in the SCV to participate in “A Day In My Shoes.”

“You get something back when you give,” she said. “You are supporting women that feel everyone has given up on them. This is something that makes a difference.”

Martin-Friedman said she is excited to be in the SCV for the “A Day in My Shoes” project.

“I always am excited to get a community to wrap its arms around this project,” she said. “I am really anxious to meet the women of the SCV. There is something very powerful that comes from this process.”

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