The Amber Show

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8 November 2015

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My Human Lightstand

My friend Laura laughs every time I complain about wanting my photography to be more “crispity”.

“What does that even mean?” she asks.

I was finally able to put into words that I want to make those sharp, crisp editorial-looking portraits that you see in Vanity Fair for my clients, but I want to do it while still maintaining an organic sense of place and posing that is why a lot of people hire me in the first place. This is where I am creatively, and it is so exciting to be “somewhere creatively” (I am so cool!) but also kind of frustrating because I’m not “there” yet.

I do know, though, that it has a lot to do with proper lighting, and I’m trying to make it work with what I have before I move on to the more expensive stuff. This morning “what I had” was Marley, who I asked to stand off to the side and hold an off camera flash, like a human light stand. I’d never done this before, and it’s not totally perfect, but it’s a really solid good start (my clients this morning met on the subway, and they wanted to take their engagement photos underground, which would normally strike fear into the heart of a photographer, but I was super excited.)

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Amuse my Bouche

And here we are, at the most difficult part of keeping up with NaBloPoMo: remembering to blog on the weekend. It’s 12:51am on Sunday 8 November, and I haven’t written for the 7th yet, but since I’m still awake, and it’s still Saturday in California, I’m going to count it as not missed. Okay? Okay.

***

We went to the most amazing meal tonight. Adam and Cecily gave us a gift card to the Union Square Hospitality Group of restaurants, and I left it up to Marley to surprise me with where and how we would use it. He chose tonight, a random date where we weren’t celebrating anything except ourselves, and we went to the Modern for a 9pm reservation.

The service was wonderful, the food was wonderful, too. They sent out an amuse bouche compliments of the chef, of pumpkin and sweet potato soup. The presentation was lovely; they served it with the spices, sauce and sweet potatoes in the bowl already, and then poured the plain soup over them after it was set in front of us. Then the waiter then opened this tiny copper pot and gently spooned a tablespoon of hazelnut foam on top. It felt special, almost like a ritual, and I was so inspired with this reminder to present things well to my clients, and make them feel special and appreciated. I know this is dorky, but it was actually really moving.

The best part of the night was when they offered a special that had “dehydrated grapes” to which I responded “So, raisins?” and then Marley and I started giggling inappropriately, and then we couldn’t stop because we were overtired and there were gin cocktails while we were waiting to be seated.

The rest of the food was amazing; Marley sprang for the addition of truffles shaved on his gnocchi, I tried a new fish called turbot that I loved, we spit two desserts, and then they rolled over a cart loaded down with truffles, and were were invited to pick whatever we wanted, and we did the whole thing overlooking the garden of the MoMA. I felt fancy.

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