A few months ago, I quietly, somewhat nervously made a change in the way I do business and now I’m ready to talk about it: I’m offering free engagement sessions to couples that book me to shoot their full-day weddings (six or more hours of photography).
The best part for you: my wedding package prices didn’t change. I’m genuinely offering them entirely as a perk. You can skip them if you’d like, of course (but why? They’re FREEEEEE!), and non-wedding clients may purchase them a la carte as always. I’m offering them in New York City.
The main reason they’re free is because they’re valuable to me. I can see how you move in front of the camera, what your best smiles are, how you come together naturally, and if you need special help finding your smile (no judgement: I am the WORST at holding a smile. My passport photo looks like someone just stole my dog.) This all happens before the wedding day, in a low-key setting that gives us time to try poses that work and see what just doesn’t fly for you. It also gives me an opportunity to connect with my couples, and give them then a more awesome “Marlow Experience” (this is a phrase that a photographer friend coined for me. I am not entirely sold on it because I think it sounds like either a dessert or a sex move, but…)
I’ve already shot a good handful, and I can’t wait to do more! Get in touch if you’d like me to photograph your wedding, and we’ll set up one of these NYC engagement sessions!
The photo above is me and my own shiny new fiancé Marley, in a photo taken a few weeks ago by my friend Carissa. I counted “one two three SMILE!” and snagged my pose right before the camera clicked. The only way you get a good smile out of me is by capturing it last second, and I use this method on clients all the time.
Amylynn and Kevin hosted a backyard wedding at their Connecticut home. Their house is tucked into the woods, and we actually drove by it at first before turing around on a narrow country road and pulling in.
They bought the property years ago and built their dream home on it, and recently added an elegant barn in the back that will serve as a woodworking space and home for Kevin’s dreamy vintage car. Its very first task, though, was to dress up in twinkle lights and host their wedding reception.
Rarely do I photograph a wedding where the location is such a personality of its own, but with all the personal touches these newlyweds added to their space, the entire property felt like a character, too, and it was really fun to discover all the little details. When we arrived to photograph it, friends and family were bustling around getting last minute details finished up. The result was that every corner was brimming with love and community.
They timed their wedding to the August super moon and crossed their fingers that it wouldn’t rain or be overcast at night. The gamble paid off and we had incredible weather, with glorious moonlit shots at the end of the night.
My friend Jen from Jennifer E. Thompson Photography came along to shoot this with me; in addition to creating albums for me, she’s a brilliant photographer in her own right (and one of my absolute dearest friends), and it was so great to have her with me all day. We both had a blast (and loved the avocado bar – seriously, it was like “make your own sundaes” except with slices avocado instead of ice cream and salsa and cheese instead of sprinkles. Amazing.)
Congratulations Kevin and Amylynn!
hair and makeup by Areli at The Signature Salon and Day Spa | catering by A Thyme to Cook | florals by The Flower Pot | DJAnthony J. Sottile | Amylynn’s wedding gown by Justin Alexander | Kevin’s suit by Ralph Lauren | wooden wedding rings made by Kevin
Some exciting news, which you probably heard if you follow me on Facebook: I launched a side company!
This year has brought me into focus: I want to photograph weddings and elopements primarily. It’s where my heart is, it’s how my mind works, it’s what my calling is. Summer wedding season is over, and I came through it exhausted and glowing, filled up and excited.
I’m a wedding photographer.
Letting go of family photos was hard; hanging out with toddlers and babies is this sweet, soft space that I really loved and cherished (if you’re a former client – or you really, really want me to photograph your family – reach out and we’ll talk.)
But letting go of headshots? It wasn’t happening. I love-love-love portrait photography. And it’s necessary: you need photos for Twitter and Linked-In, of course, and there’s a huge lack of photographers who take dating headshots for OKCupid and Tinder and Match.com. Me? I can say pretty confidently that I’m damn good at dating photos, partially because for most of 2013, I (sort of) jokingly considered dating my part-time job. I went on THIRTY first dates. (It worked: first date number 29 and I got engaged at the beginning of September and I haven’t stopped glowing… or sparkling!) I know what it takes to make a good profile photo.
As a result, I’ve launched Amber Marlow Headshots as a side dish to my main course. If you’re looking for dating profile photos, professional but creative headshots, or just need to update your social media images, this is the place to go.
I’m so excited!
Jim and Jerry own a bed-and-breakfast down south, and they eloped up to New York City to get married for their 30th anniversary. We met just after sunrise on the Highline, which is the absolute best time to go. It’s not yet covered in people, and we were able to get some fantastic shots without other folks popping up constantly in the background. The surrounding area – West Chelsea in particular, which is one of the three neighborhoods in Manhattan that the Highline runs through – has fantastic cobblestone streets and tiny restaurants that were just opening up for the day. It always reminds me a little bit of Paris or other European cities, and I had wanted to bring an eloping couple there for a really long time. It was fitting for these two; they set off on a European tour for their honeymoon shortly after.
After an hour of photos, we traveled via taxi down to City Hall where they were among first in line to exchange vows that day. I’m going to recommend this method to anyone looking to tie the knot at City Hall; they were in and out so quickly! After their marriage bureau ceremony we took the subway uptown and headed into Central Park where we took some wedding photos among the summer greenery and blooms.
Congratulations Jim and Jerry; it was so great to be part of your day.