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First Lady Michelle Obama’s Photographer Amanda Lucidon Discusses Art and Healing

Speaking of Phenomenal Podcast Episode 010: The healing power of the arts with Amanda Lucidon

In this episode, meet Amanda Lucidon (@alucidon). Listen to Amanda recount her journey to the White House as photographer for First Lady Michelle Obama during President Obama’s second term as well as the important and transformational role that the arts have in creating healing as well as growth in a community. Learn more about this movement with @groundedinmemphis.

AMANDA LUCIDON is an award-winning documentarian, filmmaker, public speaker, teaching artist, and New York Times best-selling author. Lucidon served as an Official White House photographer responsible for documenting First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama from 2013 to 2017. She is one of only a few female White House photographers in history.

Lucidon is the author of Chasing Light: Through the Lens of a White House Photographer and Reach Higher: An Inspiring Photo Celebration of First Lady Michelle Obama.

In 2018, the John F. Kennedy Center appointed Lucidon as a Turnaround Artist, highlighting the importance of the arts in underserved schools. Lucidon is the co-founder of Grounded, an organization that combines arts and mindfulness practices to reduce violence and address trauma. She lives in Memphis, Tennessee with her husband and daughter. You can learn more about Amanda Lucidon and her work at

CONNECT: @alucidon & @chasinglightbook


Win a copy of Chasing Light or Reach Higher

Leave a review of this podcast episode, screenshot it and share it to your Instagram story tagging @Speakingofphenomenal @alucidon @chasinglightbook 1 winner for each book will be chosen at random on 4/15/21.


You could also win a copy of Amanda’s @CreativeLive Course Documentary Photography: Creating a Life in Storytelling Please leave a comment on the show’s original blog post

1 winner for the class will be chosen at random on April 15th.

  • US residents only
  • This giveaway is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Instagram
  • Contest closed 11:59 PM (CST) on 4/15/21
  • Winners will be notified via DM


See Amanda’s feature from the 52 Phenomenal Women Project

Two Images that Amanda references in this episode are below:

From the Obama White House Archives – Italy
From the Obama White House Archives – China

Amanda Background Resources

“Think” piece written by Amanda that touches on her background and path to and from the White House:

The organization Amanda co-founded called Grounded:

A short video that recaps Grounded’s year of work in supporting students during COVID:

Daily Memphian article about Grounded’s work in the community:

Amanda’s book, Chasing Light available now.

amazon link included, not sponsored


Be sure to subscribe now as well as follow along @Speakingofphenomenal on Instagram and See you soon! Support the show


INTRO/OUTRO MUSIC (used with permission) WOMAN Performed by Tiffany Villarreal Instagram Written by Greg Buddy Bangs Reed Jr, Michael Big Mike Hart Jr, Taura Stinson, Tiffany Villarreal


Podcast artwork by Caffeination Design


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