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Birthday Portraits, an Eight Year Tradition

This was ALMOST the final photo. You can see the one that made the cut, and that links you to years previous, here.

If you follow me on – oh, just about any social media platform – you know that yesterday, I turned 32. It was hard to miss; I pretty much refused to shut up about it for 24 hours straight, starting at 12:01 am when I showed the waiter the time and announced my celebration had begun. He gave me my beer on the house. (Yes, we eat late in New York.) I also took a photo of myself, a now eight year tradition I intend to keep up as long as humanly possible. It’s been so fun to watch my face change. I’m thinner and oh-so-slightly more wrinkled around the eyes. My hair has varied lengths in the photos but remains largely unchanged, as does my smile.

For the first time this year, I took my birthday photo in a non-bathroom mirror. I have a new, giant full-length mirror in my pink bedroom, and the light is gorgeous in there. I had so much fun doing my 20 minute photo shoot (featuring Matty, now twelve, who took my sitting on the floor as an invitation to get close.)

The concept that everyone has one day where they get to be special and have a reminder that they are worth celebrating just for being here is such a happy one for me, and I get bummed out by the “let’s not make a big deal out of it, you’re *insert adult age that doesn’t divide by 10 here*” narrative. Birthdays are AWESOME! I’m on a one-woman mission to get everyone else excited about them, too.

My suburban mom dance skills are unrivaled.

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career photos

Western Light – a Photograhy Project

western light photography project

from Nicki Fietzer in Manhattan

western light photography project

from Erica Rose in Anchorage, Alaska

western light photography project

from Lauren McGlynn in Edinburgh, Scotland

I started a cool photography project with some other female photographers. We all live in the Western Hemisphere, stretching from Anchorage, Alaska in the US to Edinburgh, Scotland, so we call it Western Light. Every week, each of us contributes an image from where we are at the time (it’s on a tiny bit of delay for blogging purposes). I love seeing what everyone comes up with every week. It makes me feel connected with some of my smart, talented girlfriends spread around the world.

“Like” us on Facebook here.

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photos the dogs

Matty in the Snow

On Tuesday, Brooklyn got hit with about 14 inches of the fluffiest snow I’ve ever seen. Matty is in heaven. He kept asking to be let out into our tiny back yard to he could frolic and plow his face into it. His basset hound legs make him REALLY low to the ground, so the snow went up to his chin, which I think made the challenge of walking around in the stuff even more fun for him.

What a fantastic weirdo. I love him so much.

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Jesse is Bailing Me Out, My Intern is Cuter than Yours, and My Chicken Recipe is Delicious

brooklyn portrait photographer

My blog got all quiet. It happens. Regular posting will be back eventually, when I’m done fu-REAKing out. Jesse is convinced that my computer heard me talking about buying one of the new Macs that are supposed to be coming out soon and decided to act the fool in revenge. He’s been over here several times in the past few weeks, trying to make everything work again, and I’ve been clutching my hair uselessly and dancing behind my desk chair while he’s sat, and sighed, attempting to fix yet another snag. I have no idea what’s going on, but we’ve decided the best course of action is to back everything up and start from zero. At least, I think that’s what we’ve decided. I only know enough to make me dangerous.

I’ll leave you with two things: this chicken recipe, which is out of this world. The whole “cut a recipe out of a magazine and make it” concept was never a thing that I did, but now I feel like some sort of kitchen goddess. Plus, cutting cherry tomatoes up is pretty fun. They’re tiny and spurt everywhere.

Two: a photo of my very cute intern Alex. I’d taken all my cameras out and we were waiting for the wedding couple to show up, so I snapped a handful of shots of her. This is my favorite.

Happy weekend.

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career photos

Headshots for Charity:Water

I am so excited: Camp Mighty is coming up this October. It will be my fourth year going to a Mighty Event in the fall (holy cow). As per tradition, attendees are to raise money for Charity:Water, an organization that helps get clean water to impoverished villages in need around the world.

To raise my portion of the funds this year I’m going to do what I do best: take photos of faces. My “20 minute, $150 photo session” got removed from my official list of business offerings last month, but it’s coming back just for now, and only for Charity:Water.

It works like this: you contribute at least $50* to the Camp Mighty 2013 Charity:Water donation page, meet me somewhere in New York City looking dapper, and we do a 20 minute photo shoot that is fun and makes you look fantastic. You come away with a good handful of photos at really great bargain for use on LinkedIn, social media, or online dating. You also get to do some good.

To book, go to the donation page, write “for Amber Marlow, team 5” in the comment section, and email me to set up a date and time: amber {at} amberMarlow {dot} com.

Thanks in advance for helping me make a difference, and please spread the word to your friends for me.

*If you don’t want a photo session but would still like to contribute, you may make a donation of any amount, putting “for Amber Marlow, team 5” in the comment section.

inexpensive headshots NYC

nyc linkedin headshots

headshots NYC

New York City LinkedIn Headshots

social media headshots nyc

nyc headshot photographer

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You Should Go to Barbados

Despite the fact that what happened AFTER my trip to Barbados was pretty crummy, the trip itself was wonderful. The Caribbean is magic, and I have dreams of buying a tiny cottage by the sea one day, and “wintering” in it when I am an old lady.

I’m making good on a promise: many of the workers, bartenders, and taxi drivers implored me to tell all my friends how wonderful and friendly Barbados is; their primary industry is tourism. It was nice to see how proud the locals were of their tiny, beautiful nation (431 sq. km/161 sq. miles) The bus drivers were happy to make non-bus stop stops for us, taxi drivers turned trips into a tours of the island,  and bartenders were eager to chat and share recommendations on things to do. And it’s gorgeous! Homes are painted either soft, sandy colors or bright, fun tropical ones; flowers bloomed everywhere; and when I went snorkeling, I was delighted to meet schools of shy, brightly colored fish.

Although they are happy to accept US currency and peg their dollar to ours at 2:1, the former British colony is very European: they play cricket, use proper British spellings, and EVERYONE was excited about the royal baby, whose birth was announced while I was poolside and immediately elicited squeals from the British sunbathers next to me. But enough with the yammering: photos!

This guy TOTALLY caught me aiming my camera at him.

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blah blah blah good things photos

Vermont Road Trip

Lost wallets aside, Vermont was fun. We drove the entire loop of the state, going so far north at one point that we crossed the border into Quebec.

First stop: Ben and Jerry’s! It’s Vermont’s biggest tourist attraction, and for four dollars (or free if you check in on Foursquare) you can take the tour of the factory. I honestly figured it would be epic levels of corny, but as someone who loves small business (uh, not to mention ice cream) I found it fascinating. And we got to pose in this thing:

ben and jerry's

amber marlow ben and jerry's

The tour doubles as a test kitchen, so they gave us samples of ice cream that hasn’t hit the shelves yet. This is brownie salted caramel, and it is AMAZING.

ben and jerry's factory tour

The kids on our tour were pretty much gutted when they saw this sign, and there were a few trembly lips until they were clued into the joke.

vermont road trip

vermont road trip

vermont road trip

My boyfriend is a school teacher which means he often wants to do things that give me icky homeschooling flashbacks, but I think he’s rad, so I go along with them. This was actually pretty cool, though. We took a tour of the State Capitol of Vermont in Montpelier guided by a volunteer who let me sit in a senate seat since nothing was in session for the summer. Apparently State Capitols are available to the public.

vermont state capitol

vermont state capitol

The coolest thing we saw was the Haskell Free Library and Opera House (the opera house tours had ended for the day when we got there, unfortunately). It’s all the way up at the top of the state, so far north that it’s actually built on the international border, and books are in both English and French. As long as you’re in the building you don’t need a passport, and I had a fun time hopping back and forth over the line between the US and Canada a few times. Here’s the reading room as seen from the front entrance; I was standing in the US, and the line on the floor shows the division between the two countries. I am reflected in the piece of furniture over in Canada.

Haskell Free Library and Opera House

Haskell Free Library and Opera House

Haskell Free Library and Opera House

Haskell Free Libaray and Opera House

Donations in both Canadian and American dollars.

Haskell Free Library and Opera House

I had to cross the border to get this shot, and because 1. we we wary of breaking international law and 2. I wanted a stamp in my passport, we walked through customs. The Canadians were quite happy to have us over and laughingly stamped my passport when I asked, even though it wasn’t strictly necessary. The customs agent to come back through into the United States was grumpy, though.

“Why did you go into Canada?” she snipped, and we told her it was to see the back of the Haskell.

“What’s so special about the back?” she demanded.

As it turns out, not much, but here it is. I got a photo.

Canadian United States border

US Canada border

With a cooler in the car, we made three stops on the Vermont Cheese Trail (which is, bless them, actually A Thing). First stop was Fat Toad Farm which is moving away from making goat cheese in favor of making goats milk caramel. A taste made it pretty clear as to why it’s selling like crazy, and I bought a jar of salted bourbon caramel, along with one of their last containers of cheese, which I am hoarding it in the back of my fridge.

The goats were friendly and eager to be pet, the dogs were friendly and eager to greet us, the people were really friendly and happy to see us, but the chickens, man. They look judgy and disapproving.

Fat Toad Farm

baby goat“Hey kid.”


“I’m going to take a photo of you doing interesting farm things, ok?”

“Uh, well, I’m going to roll this wheel barrel away…”

fat toad farm caramel

She’d just added the bourbon for the salted caramel bourbon, which smelled amazing.

fat toad farm vermont

This chicken thinks you should have worn more appropriate slacks.

chicken fat toad farm

This chicken doesn’t understand why you insist on wearing your hair that way.

chicken fat toad farms

These chickens wonder if maybe you could stand to loose a few pounds.

Next was Neighborly Farms down the road a bit for cow cheese. We were given a tour by teenaged Darien, who is pretty much the cutest and was amused that I wanted to take his photo.

neighborly farms vermont


Calf number 180 was too shy to come out of her cow house. She’s only a few weeks old!

Last stop was Vermont Shepard where we didn’t see any other humans.

The store was another tiny cottage, this one next to a meadow full of sheep.

It had a refrigerator full of cheese for sale…

… and this was how I paid for it. Clearly not in New York any more.


And finally, a wrong turn brought us to a Saxtons River Distillery, where I bought maple bourbon. Not technically cheese, but a good fourth stop anyway.


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