The Studio, and My Philosophy
My studio offers couples a boutique experience, allowing me to concentrate on every aspect of my client's needs personally.
My photography style is informed by fine art traditions and mixes in a bit of editorial and fashion sensibilities. You can also use the term "semi-photojournalism", which I totally made up. True photojournalism means taking a photo of whatever is occurring with zero interference from the photographer. I, however, will invite you to stand in a perfect pool of light, or move a water bottle out of my way to get the best shot. So... "semi-photojournalism" wedding photography fits.
I’m based in New York City, and serve both local and international weddings.
My Artistic Process
My process is to create a strong personal connection with my clients and their wedding planners before the wedding day (usually over coffee or a glass of wine) in order to gain a good understanding of their wedding day vision.
My team is made up of the best lighting assistants, second photographers, photo editors, retouchers, and album designers I know, to ensure that everything about your experience leaves you feeling well taken care of and supported, and that your photos are gorgeous beyond your expectations.
My photography has been featured in the New York Times, the Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Catalyst Wedding Co., the Associated Press, a Practical Wedding, Glamour, BRIDES, Style and the Bride, Offbeat Bride, Simply Elope, and in international newspapers. I was listed by Tomayia Colvin as a "Notable Black Female Photographer to Follow."
My husband and I live in the Park Slope area of Brooklyn, New York City.
As far as I'm concerned, the best things in the world are wine & cheese nights, rooftop cocktails, second-hand bookstores, tiny bistros, tropical climates, getting my makeup done (I'll take any excuse to head to Sephora!), indie hotels, excellent design, pretty shoes that are also magically comfortable, and when it’s someone’s birthday.
My collection of vintage Christmas records is getting ridiculous, and I swear it is un-ironic.
I believe in kindness, handwritten notes, champagne toasts, doing the fun thing instead of the cool thing, authentic moments, real families, fictive kinship, genuine over perfect, well-made and tailored over trendy fast fashion, old dogs, new passport stamps, live jazz, and classic wedding photos - for you, and for generations to come.
I am very good at backgammon.
portrait of me by Sarah Hoppes
Causes & Ethics
My business supports Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, the UNCF, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the National Immigration Law Center with monthly donations.
My studio does not accept weddings in zoos or aquariums with captive mammals, or where trained wild animals are being used, such as elephants, baby tigers, etc.
- You want wedding photos that endure.
Your ideal wedding photos are ones that will stand the test of time: vibrant, true-to-life colours; crisp black and whites; non-cheesy posing; and no Instagram-like filters. My goal is enduring photos.
- You want photos that are authentic.
I won't make you hold awkward poses, do things that make you feel ridiculous, or even doing a whole lot of directing at all. Instead, I imagine the photographs you'll want to look back on in 20 years, and then I take those. I'm present. I care. At the most, I'll search around for a perfect backdrop, or that one pool of perfect light, and then allow you to be your authentic selves.
You want the boutique, full-service experience of hiring a wedding photographer.
I offer local clients the option of an in-person meeting, and non-local clients a Skype meeting, as well as my personal phone number to call at any point. You'll have a curated, personal experience from initial meeting to album delivery. I only take on a limited number of weddings and elopements each year in order to cultivate the relationship I feel is necessary to create genuine relaxed photos and true connection, which is the heart of everything I do.
Even for elopement clients that sometimes hire me within a month of their wedding, I lay out a clear timeline for our day so you have the best experience possible. For international couples coming to New York City to elope, this means you won't have to figure everything out on your own using Google maps.
In a process that can so easily be frantic, working with me is a sophisticated, serene experience.
You want a photographer that is easy to be around.
The most frequent review I get is “Amber made us feel at ease” which is just... oh man. What a compliment.
You want to work with a wedding photographer that is “woke” and egalitarian.
Things I do not tolerate up in my studio: expressions like “It’s the bride’s day!" and treating grooms like second-class citizens; using pronouns you don’t, or making our incredible non-binary clients feel "othered"; and treating your same-sex wedding differently. Ever person who works with me feels the same way.
You might have said, “I hate having my photo taken!”
Listen. I’ve said this myself, so I make it a point to be photographed about once a year by my colleagues just so I can remember how intimidating it can be. The truth is, I don’t have “awkward clients”, I have “clients who think they are awkward”, but who are really great in photos when we get down to it. This is because I’m photographing them together, in love, as they really are, and not putting them in “people getting married” poses. You know what I mean? I never tell you to smile, but maybe I’ll make you smile. It’s a difference, and it’s subtle, but it’s everything.
That said, I cannot overstate how helpful it is to add an engagement session to your collection so we can get to know one another first if this is a big concern.