Meet the Artist

Short & Sweet/
Greetings & Salutations! My name is Amanda (or Mandi) and I am, and have been, the creative force behind VarukaBlue Photography & Design since 2004. Recently I have transitioned from working full time in the Finger Lakes for a lakefront hospitality group, to focusing on growing my brand and clientele at VarukaBlue.

I am a creative professional, with a Bachelors in Graphic Design, certification in web design, certification in videography from DINFOS, and 4 years of active duty service in the United States Marine Corps. I am dedicated, creative, and passionate about continuing to learn in the arts, and apply those skills to my work for you.
Amanda Miskell - aka VarukaBlue Photography & Design

I was born and raised both in Western NY near Buffalo, and in the Finger Lakes Region on Keuka Lake. After graduating high school, I committed to a four year enlistment with the United States Marine Corps as a Combat Videographer; in layman’s terms, I was shooting & editing live fire training videos (among other things) in the desert of Southern California. The military was a wonderful melting pot of many creative individuals that inspired me to reach outside of what I was doing and expand on my passions. From video work, I began exploring my love of photography & graphic design, and eventually enrolled in college for web & graphic design (graduating in 2012) while continuing to self-learn the art of photography.

After completing my enlistment, I remained in Southern California to work on base as a civilian contractor with MCCS, in their marketing department as a graphic and web designer, and eventually transferred to Cherry Point, NC. Finally, I made the move back to the Finger Lakes Region of New York, settling in Penn Yan and finding work with a hospitality group as their photographer & graphic designer.

Although I have done photography & design in a freelance capacity under VarukaBlue since 2004, at the end of 2015 I made the decision to transition away from working for other marketing & advertising companies, and focus on building my own brand & business.

When I’m not photographing or designing, I enjoy spending time with my young son (who loves photography as well…as long as he is taking the photos), exploring & photographing abandoned man-made structures (Urbex’ing), and enjoying a variety of quiet time activities like reading, gaming, yoga and the occasional run.

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