Amber Marlow Photography – Small Weddings & Elopements In NYC

Back in the fall, I hosted a giveaway for photo sessions with Amber Marlow Photography after I met Amber at Mighty Summit (as my roommate). And oh my god you guys, did she have a fun time working with y’all. Amber told me that APW-ers were thoughtful, and “they always feel like old friends.” Which is exactly the kind of photographer you want to work with—one that loves you already.

Amber’s motto is “Photography for Everyone!” And the girl means it down to her core. And seriously, what could be more APW than that? She told me, “I like working with different kinds of people, and working with people to create the kind of shots that they want.” And she’s starting to grow her business, wheeeee! Back in the fall Amber was mainly focused on shooting photo sessions (and she still is, of every stripe), but now she’s branching out into small weddings with a vengeance. She’s currently shooting small weddings and elopements for $500/hour in the New York City area, which is a total steal, in case you were wondering. And seriously, y’all? You will adore having Amber by your side at your little wedding. Plus she’s the girl you can call and say “We’re eloping TOMORROW,” and she’s going to be as excited as you are.

And before I forget? All of the photos at the top of the post? APW portrait session winners (I love them all!)

But the APW community is huge and growing, and has needs beyond just wedding pictures these days. So I’m delighted that part of Amber’s ‘Photography for Everyone’ motto is providing affordable photography sessions of every stripe. Her rates for portrait sessions in New York City are just $250 (I’m not kidding!), which means you can officially afford to get maternity shots, or engagement shots, or pet shots (she loves the doggies), or shots of your family just because. Amber says, “One of my hopes is to focus on maternity photos that aren’t cheesy, engagement photos that aren’t sappy, and family photos that showcase family members in real light.” And girlfriend does just that.

Plus, until March 31, she’s running a ‘blogger headshot special’ which is basically a 20 minute session for $100, where you get headshots to use for anything from twitter to your non-profit job (or, you know, blogging).

But beyond that, I want to talk a little about Amber’s boudoir photos. (which are NTSFW, but CRAZY pretty, and after the jump.) I’m not usually a fan of the boudoir photo session, partially because of the distinctly un-feminist language they are normally cloaked in (“Take risque photos for your future husband so he knows your body is just for him!” Gag.) And besides, they tend to range from cheese-tastic to whoa-PORN? And meeeeh. Not my thing. BUT, Amber has this way of taking the girls-girl boudoir pictures that are sexy-as-hell, and help you see yourself as you are: HOT. And I think maybe you should take some.

Right? I’m just saying. Or, you know. Hire Amber to shoot your small wedding or elopement. Whatever. Details.

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  • heyyyy I know that Laura! apw-dc RAWK.

    awesome pictures. I love the whole idea of “photography for everyone!” might just have to drag my little baby family up to NYC sometime for a little photo shoot.

    • Laura

      Yay! I am that Laura (pink hair). Go to NYC for Amber!! I totally recommend it. She is way cool, like even cooler than I am which I know is hard to believe.

  • ZOMG want. to. hire. her.

  • Elaine

    FYI the “sponsored post” graphic doesn’t show up in the RSS feed. For posts that include related links at the bottom, the related posts links don’t show up in the RSS feed either.

    • meg

      Good to know. We’ll at least fix the first problem!

  • I kind of want to go to New York, and hire Amber, right now.

  • Meg! I’m so excited about the way you described my boudoir sessions. They are VERY girls-girl, not “porny” or “for dudes” at all.

    • meg

      You can tell by the pictures. And I love that. Nude-ish photos for dudes… I donno. They can get weird really fast. These? AWESOME.

  • I loved all the photos here and went to see some more awesome pictures of same-sex couples on her website… and had a really hard time finding them, which was disappointing. It’s tough getting all excited about an ally/supporter and then having it seem like it’s ok for them to advertise in some places (like APW) but not others (their maybe-more widely publicized website). I recognize that this could be for the couple’s privacy or for any number of reasons, but photographers! If you want to photograph same-sex couples, share your pictures of same-sex couples, and try to make it seem like you’re not ashamed of it! I did eventually find the photos on Amber’s site, and the pictures are fantastic, but this is something that I’ve seen come up several times. Um, if you’re still reading, thanks. If this is an inappropriate comment, feel free to remove it…

    • meg

      Whoa! Super NO, lady, you’re mis-reading, or over-reading the situation. Amber is a passionate LGBTQ supporter, and she gave away pictures specifically to a same sex couple because she’s just building her business and she hadn’t shot any yet. She lives in the super gay friendly Park Slope, and was thinking everyone just assumes your gay friendly, and after a post on APW she realized, “Oh my god. Me not having gay couples on the site might make people think I won’t shoot gay couples, and I love gay couples and I just haven’t had a chance to shoot them.” So she went out of her way to shoot them for free for us!

      BUT! She’s in the middle of totally re-building her website and building her business, so she hasn’t updated her main site with all of her new shots yet, but she has them plastered all over her blog, right at the top, not at all hidden.

      I think we need to be really really careful when we peg people as not being an ally enough, without knowing the situation, or stopping to ask. In this case you publicly pegged someone who’s going way way out of her way to make sure everyone knows how much of an ally she is, as not-enough-of-an-ally because she hasn’t updated her site yet, in the way you think she should. And how uncool is that? So we should all be really careful about how we make these judgements.

      • Sorry if I did mis-read or over-read the situation! I didn’t mean to say Amber in particular is doing this (again, I did find the photos, and honestly I didn’t click on all the links you posted – I mostly just looked at all her awesome photos and clicked over to her website), but that it’s something I’ve seen before. Obviously, given your explanation, I DID overlook a lot – and ironically, I stopped looking at the blog in my search right after the photos of the cookies (HUNGRY)… exactly where Karin & Megan’s pictures show up. So I commented a little too quickly. Again, I didn’t mean to say that Amber is doing a bad thing at all or to be “uncool” (ouch) but that it is something I’ve noticed some other photographers doing recently (plus I’m hypersensitive to this, but that’s not news). I wasn’t trying to “publicly peg” anyone in particular, but to comment more on a Thing I See Happen (photographers keeping their same-sex photos on the DL), and maybe this wasn’t the right place for it, so I’m sorry for any hurt feelings or misinterpretations.

        • I’ve only shot one gay couple (the giveaway winner) and they’re in my portfolio (under “Love”) but the site seems to not load their photo as a thumbnail (it shows up when you scroll through in the full-size, right between the couple holding hands with the skateboard and the couple sitting in their living room).

          I’m a proud LGBTQ ally, and I bend over backwards to make sure that everyone who works with me knows that I will happily work with all humans who are kind.

          I march in parades, I boycott major corporations that make donations to anti-gay groups, I vote for people who support equal rights, and I bust out my wallet to help fund pro-equality causes. One of my very closest “soul” friends is a lesbian.

          Also, I really struggle with the line of trying to let everyone know “Gay is fine! I will work with queer families! I want to, because I love seeing real life proof of the concept ‘Love makes a family’!” and not using it as a selling point, because I feel really weird using anyone’s sexuality as a marketing tool, thus labeling them as “different” or “a commodity”. (If anyone has advice on this, btw, I’d love to hear it.) So, instead of a separate “And here is where you can see my photos of gay people in love” section, they get put into the “Love” section, not necessarily in the beginning, or at the end, just in with anyone else – where they belong.

          • Amber, thanks for commenting. I really didn’t mean for my original comment to be just about you personally, but more about what I saw (or didn’t see, apparently with not enough scrolling) on your site and have seen happen several times on OTHER photographers’ sites.

            Regarding that thin line between “Gay is fine…and not using it as a selling point” – I think you’re doing it right. I think those pictures DO belong in the “Love” section, not in some other section. Some other things I’ve seen people do is tag their photos “same-sex” or “lgbtq” and that one little thing has made a huge difference for me when I’m looking/recommending. If I can’t find anything in a few clicks around, I usually keep looking for someone who DOES have something lgbtq that’s easy to find. I did recently see a photographer’s website that had a “wedding” section, a “family” section, and a “same-sex” section and that was NOT OKAY (because same-sex does not fit in wedding or family?). But that’s all just my opinion, of course.

          • @Amber — Responding specifically to not wanting to use anyone’s sexuality as a marketing tool — OMG yes!! I’m a fellow pro-LGBTQ photog and I really don’t know how to balance this. I wasn’t even sure whether to keyword tag my blog posts with “LGBT” or “same-sex” when I’d photographed same-sex couples because something just felt… weird about doing that. Is it ok to pick out that aspect of a couple’s relationship? Don’t we feel a little like we’re defining same-sex couples by their sexuality if we create these easily searchable categories and tags on our sites? Like, I wouldn’t tag photos of an interracial couple with “asian” or “native american,” right? Anyway, wish I had some useful advice. I’m glad you brought this up from a photog’s perspective <3

  • Laura

    That is me with the pink hair. We were one of the winners of the giveaway last fall. Let me tell you Amber is the bees knees and I will never quit singing her praises. My fiance and I were so nervous before the shoot and that immediately went away once we met Amber. She is super down-to-earth and hip and cool without being hipster pretentious. We were immediately joking about completely inappropriate subjects and we had a blast and it shows in our photos.

    If you’re in NYC, book her immediately. If you’re near NYC, get there. Many cities (DC, Baltimore, Philly, Pittsburgh, etc) have a billion buses a day that go there for way cheap so no excuses. Spend a weekend there and see the sights and get some awesome pics taken that you will cherish forever. Plus you’ll probably make a new friend.

  • Lisa

    Another Amber fan–and I paid her actual money! :-) I am happy to see her work featured on APW again, as that’s how I heard about her. For two camera-shy humans (and one prima donna cat), she was the perfect photographer: relaxed, creative, and above all, fun! Not gonna say it never felt awkward, but we are talking people who had–until Amber’s intervention–a mere handful of photos of us together in 4 years of dating (while having, of course, 500+ photos of our cat!). She even made our crappy apartment look less crappy. We will be saying goodbye to NYC next fall, so it is especially wonderful to have Amber’s work to help us remember our first home together.

  • What amazing photos! I wish we could afford her, we’re having a low budget wedding!

    Anyways head to my blog as I prepare for my Vegas wedding at the end of this year!