The Amber Show

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NaBloPoMo

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And that’s the end

And that’s it: 30 blog posts in 30 days. I will probably never do that again, but I remembered how fun it was to blog when I *actually* have something to say. The reality is that most of what I think about now revolves around business, which is pretty boring if you don’t care about camera lenses, focal points, or mounting a flash to a light stand.

I will be back in this space more often, though.

Thank you for reading.

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I’m So Stuffed

Happy Thanksgiving!

We went to Marely’s relatives this year, and I did the classic Thanksgiving mistake of skipping breakfast and then pigging out when dinner was finally served. Every year I know better than to do this, and every year, I do it anyway! It’s just one day, as they say in Weight Watchers, but still.

Remember when I posted this article on 50 ways to be happy and live life on your own terms? Since reading it, I’ve been forcing as close to 30 grams of protein down for breakfast every morning. I HATE EATING in the morning, but since I started doing that, it’s been a marked change for the better in the way I feel, and skipping today (and then eating way, way more sugar at dessert this one night than I usually eat in a week) has made me feel like poop. It’s official: I’m at an age where what I eat affects me dramatically. I came home with swollen ankles and a headache, and Marley had to rub my feet.

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! I’m mostly skipping any Black Friday shopping I can’t accomplish from my laptop, and then suiting up on Saturday for Small Business Saturday in Brooklyn. If you’re shopping tomorrow, be safe.

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Benjamin Hardy’s 50 Ways Happier, Healthier, And More Successful People Live On Their Own Terms

Gavin introduced me to Medium, and through it I have discovered so many quality articles and pieces of writing. This one in particular has me very inspired. It’s called 50 Ways Happier, Healthier, And More Successful People Live On Their Own Terms, written by Benjamin Hardy.

Some I already do: get 7+ hours of sleep each night, say “No” to people, obligations, requests, and opportunities you’re not interested in from now on (which I do without even a speck of guilt).

Some I would really like to do: read 1 book per week and drink 64–100 ounces of water per day (Seriously, why the fuck is this so difficult? I have clean running water in my house, an innovation that is relatively new to humanity and a luxury that is not even afforded to roughly 663 milling humans around the globe, and STILL I fail at this. I feel so ungrateful.)

And some I’m not doing ever, ever, ever, like give up caffeine (although I’ve needed to cut waaay back, since my body gets plenty of rest at night most nights, which is a good thing.) My best life involves coffee.

It reminded me a lot of what I want to be. Maybe you’ll find it inspiring, too.

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Random Thursday Thoughts

I completely forgot about about Daylight Savings Time – the bane of my existence – and told three clients scheduled for this week that “four pm will be gorgeous light.” No. No it won’t. By four pm it is dark; by four thirty it is pitch. Can we just stay in DST all year, please? It will be lots less depressing for everyone. I can’t work like this.

They’ve all been rescheduled.

These new pumps are part of my wardrobe. I don’t need them because I go from bare feet at home, to Chucks when I’m out, to my “shootin’ boots” when I’m running around town with clients taking photos. But they’re beautiful.

My pilates instructor chided me for not eating a hearty breakfast, but the thought of doing more than peeling a banana before noon makes me tired and queasy, so I have no idea what to do. We did stay in a bed and breakfast last year and flopping at a table and having chopped fruit and muffins presented to me with eggs and coffee was kind of heavenly. Conclusion: I need a butler to live my best life.

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The Buddy, part 2

It’s ringing, and there’s this flash of hope that no one will answer, but of course, someone does. I explain that I’m very sorry, I’ve found their dog, and unfortunately he’s passed away.

“I knew this would happen one day,” she says. “He’s a runner. I tried everything; our electric fence was new and it still wasn’t working. But yeah, I knew; the police called me this morning. Are you at the police station?”

Apparently he had been dead for hours, and the police called her that morning to let her know. She was under the impression they were taking him and she would be able to go get his body later night, but they either hadn’t done it yet or weren’t planning to after all, and she was heart broken to hear he was still laying where he died. While I was on the phone, she tried to figure out what to do.

“Maybe my neighbor can take me,” she mused. “I can’t imagine going to get him myself.” I advised her to not, and tried to tell her, gently, that he was tough to look at.

She then kept me on the phone while she told me her buddy’s entire life story, while I “mmm-hmmd” and made sympathetic sounds and shrugged at Marley who likely saw the rest of his life stretching out before him in that moment, a series of running late and making detours for hurt things that need me. I think she concluded that she’d get someone to go with her, and I agreed she had made a good decision. I don’t remember her name, but I’ll think about her a lot for a really long time.

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The Buddy, part 1

So we’re driving home from our wedding having been married less than 24 hours and I see a dog laying on the side of the highway, dead, only my brain doesn’t register it as “dog” or “pet”; it’s the word “buddy” first, slamming into the back of my forehead and lighting it up. Someone has lost their buddy. We drive by, and half a mile down the road I realize I am, of course, going to turn around, because all I can think about is someone with a tear-stained face hanging up lost dog posters. Everyone else on I-87 is driving by thinking everyone else is going to do something, because this is the way people are unless you make an effort to not be that way, which I try to do.

So I turn around, going through a toll, and then back through that toll on the other side, and then back through a third toll that we’ve just gone through, knowing I will have to go through another toll again, and being so thankful that I married someone who wouldn’t grumble about a wasted twenty dollars when someones peace is at stake. We pull up to the buddy, and I take a few breaths before getting out of the car.

He is a beagle, and his ear is flipped back over his name tag with the phone number, which means we’ll have to move it. In the time it takes me to screw up the courage, Marley has found a piece of road debris and flipped it over. I dial.

to be continued.

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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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I Found Myself; I Was Under a Lot of Hair

If you follow me on Instagam, you saw the photo I posted of me about a year and a half ago on my birthday. My hair was absolutely perfect, and I was growing it out for my wedding. By the time the big updo happened it was so long that, straightened, it reached almost to my waist.

I’d never had hair even close to being this long before, and I was so excited about how pretty it was, both in the updo I wore to get married and in the rest of my life, but I was also super annoyed at how tangled it always got, because I’m way too lazy to comb my hair out every day. So really, it was only pretty if I spent a lot time detangling which I never did because I work from home, and I spent most of the time looking like I hadn’t seen a shower in ages.

Posting the photo inspired me, and I called to make an appointment for next week. They happened to have a spot today, so three hours later I was in the chair.

There was one tiny moment right at the beginning where I worried about regretting it. Having long hair was my dream when I was a little girl, and through careful use of products I had finally able to grow it long and healthy, without it breaking off into a frizzy mess for the first time. It was gorgeous, but it wasn’t me. When she finished, I grinned in the mirror.

“There I am!”

It was fun to be a bride, it is better to be me.

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