MASSAPEQUA, New York -- As early as age of 3, Long Island's Amanda Hawthorne began to express herself through art.
From doodling in class as a child to eventually enrolling in art school, Hawthorne has made painting a centerpiece of her life.
But it was only when she started painting portraits of couples in real time at their weddings that she realized sharing her gift made her even happier.
"The whole point is capturing those little details that make their day unique," said Hawthorne, who can spend eight hours or even more on a single painting as soon as she gets to the venue.
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"It's always different couples, different experiences, different love stories that I always make sure to find out ahead of time," said Hawthorne, who makes sure not to leave out the smallest details.
From the floral arrangements to the lipstick the bride is wearing, Hawthorne uses her artistic abilities to capture the moment.
"My favorite part is when they come over to the wedding, and they see the beauty in themselves," Hawthorne said. "When they see that light within them, and they see that moment a lot of the time they cry."
Hawthorne uses her social media platforms to document her journey throughout each wedding, starting with a blank canvas.
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The canvas slowly fills with intricate details. Finally, she gives the couple the big reveal of the painting, which is her favorite part.
Hawthorne loves meeting couples from across the country and is happy she is able to participate in their special day.
"I love my clients so much I can cry just thinking about it," Hawthorne said. "They find me somehow, we were meant to cross each other's paths, and I'm in service to create that moment for them. Nothing compares to that honestly."
Contact Community Journalist Alex Ciccarone