Friday, December 19, 2014

Crockpotographer: Do you know someone who is kind and thoughtful? Let me know!

That's right. What kind of friend would I be if I didn't give away some awesome?  Crock pot awesome that is.
So plain and simple.  I have a dessert crock pot that I will ship to you. Melt some chocolate, grab some pound cake and strawberries.... you can thank me later!

What's the recipe?
1. Bag of candied chocolate (usually in the wedding aisle of Walmart or Target and all over the place in Michaels!)
2. Turn on pot
3. pour in chocolate
4. wait til melted.
5. dip. eat. repeat.

So, here's what we do.
1.Share the post
2. Tag someone in the comments that you feel is kind, generous and works hard to help others (and loves dessert!)
3. You may tag more than one person.
4. Follow us on Instagram (amberjphoto) and you can tag there as well! I will select a winner Monday. Don't worry, there's something in it for those who nominate too!
5. Have a wonderful Merry Christmas!!!!
Thank you for being awesome :)  This small business thrives on you. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I have been waiting to post this all year!!!!

 The first image in this post is the reason this post even exists.  One of our favorite part of weddings is trouble making grandparents.  Not only are they precious people, they are absolutely hysterical and they always hug us.  bonus!!  So an ode to all the elderly sass we encountered along the way this year.  We loved you grandma and grandpa or your precious generational influence even if you weren't grandma!  As for the first image these beautiful ladies were sneaking appetizers, thus began the idea to blog about these . 
They were stealing appetizers before the couple's announcement. They have crackers stuffed in their pockets.

He was tech savvy

He was also dance savvy 

She liked my camera :)

They danced and held hands almost all night.

Because it's simply lovely

loved this moment.

Still snacking...

When you're surrounded by Pomerantz men, you must smile.

All three women held hands, laughed like sisters all night. They loved Leslie and Michael so much!

They hugged us too.

Seriously, we showed them this pic.  They wanted to photobomb the next one!

He figured it out.

Seeing the bride for the first time.

Then she found the dessert table ;) 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Crockpotographer Part 2: It's CPR on a Biscuit

Confession: I have three crockpots. I actually only own two, but I stole one from my mom and I hide every time she comes over so she doesn't remember to take it back.  Yes, I'm that shallow.
Holidays are amazing and slightly difficult when there's a studio in the back of your house and brides and teens waiting eagerly on their orders.  Technically the day before Thanksgiving is a work day, but I did very little work. Sometimes, those two handsome men I have take priority and we achieve greatness in making snow cones instead of sales.
But I had fun finishing this up for Allyce!

Let's talk about surviving post Thanksgiving life.  For those of us who don't exactly LOVE being in the kitchen,  holidays call for a lot of food prep, which means a lot of kitchen time. So I say,  bring on some Ed Sheeran, a counter full of food and the dream of leftovers and not cooking for a week.

Crockpot idea for AFTER Thanksgiving.  Ready? 
4 Ingredients.
Leftover Turkey
Can of any cream soup. I like cream of chicken or cream of broccoli.
Canned Biscuits.
1/2 cup milk. 

If you're feeling extra feisty, throw a half a block of colby jack cheese in there.

Turkey in the crockpot
Mix milk and soup and pour over turkey.
(add cheese if you wish)
Let this set on low for at least 4 hours but can go for longer.

Time to eat? Put the canned biscuits in the oven until done and serve the turkey over the biscuits.
Delish.  It's a food revival!

Now here's two holiday gift ideas. One is very practical, the other is not at all.
Genius. You could do an appetizer, meal and dessert all at once!

You can order cardboard cutouts...of ANYTHING. You can even get one of yourself. Don't ask.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Did You Hear?

Did you hear about those people who merged a business and called themselves happy about it?
I did.
Quite honestly, at first I was leery of them, you know how it is, people with new and innovative ideas are weird and kind of quirky.

However, this merging of ideas and producing art has led to three amazing divisions of a company named Amber J Photography.

When you click on our landing page  You see Weddings, Senior Portraits and Epic Teens.

Two crazy girls (their names are Shelly and Amber, not protecting the innocent here!) had the idea to produce weddings together (and had the most ever this year!) and then specialize in teen portraiture.

This slightly insane, but thought provoking idea has infiltrated a coffee shop near you. So what the heck are we doing?  

Amber J Photography in the wedding world is seeing their largest publication in January 2015 (small shriek)

Amber J Seniors: Is in the middle of their model call for next season and found a home with some artistic seniors this year.  Though Amber J Seniors is new in the scheme of things, it's grown as an artistic entity for senior portraiture.  It's been an education experience for clients. We are not for everyone and thats ok, but we ARE for some amazing clients that have launched images we didn't even envision a year ago. Sometimes, you just get bring in an airplane or vintage vehicles and call it a normal day!  Oh we also produced our first Senior Magazine this year!

Epic Teens: A name that could also be The Lost Years.  Those quirky ages between 12-16 that rarely are captured professionally.  We all have our babies and toddler and seniors photographed, but then there's that vast emptiness that IS the early teen years.
Epic Teens is dedicated to that.  Giving young clients something different than a powder blue back drop or hugging a tree with an awkward chin tilt. Best yet, giving parents a memory to cherish.  We all know that children don't stay children for long.

By specializing in these areas we can offer awesome topped off with some phenomenal and served on  a tray of fantastic.  So, go check it out.

I'm going to go grab some coffee and find more crazy people to talk about :)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

What Good Are A Bunch Of Teen Girls Anyway?

I was gonna wait, but decided not to.  So you're welcome for two blog posts in one day.
When I'm not photographing or working on sixth grade math homework or working up wonders in the crockpot, I'm coaching a bunch of teenage girls through a soccer season.

Tonight was the awards night. We get together, make speeches, give awards and all such normal things. I give out awards and the teams give their coaches a thank you gift. Standard procedure.

But, tonight a bunch of teenage girls broke the standard.   No one scored any goals, we didn't celebrate a championship, but we did celebrate something very special.

I don't know how long it took them or how they did it, but  The Middleburgh Girls' Varsity Team stepped up to the mic and presented a check for over $1,000 to LOVE146.    
Love 146 is the organization that fights against child sex trafficking and it's a passion of mine.  That was my gift.

That's right. A team of high school female soccer players took this small community of Middleburgh and raised over $1000. No one made them do it. It wasn't for a grade or newspaper headlines. They just did it. They also threw in a bag of peanut m&ms.  ;)  To say they touched my heart would be an understatement.  I'm even more impressed they kept it a secret until tonight.
I love my girls in green, not just because they are good soccer players, but because they really are wonderful human beings.... teenagers or not. So, thank you my young girls. I love you. 
Thank you to all those who gave and donated. Check out the site when you have a chance and see who you have helped.

My girls in green.

How Do You Get It All Done? Frankly, My Dear... I Don't

How do you get it all done? Work? Coaching? Family? Friends?  It's a question I get asked and I think it surprises people when I giggle.
How do I get it all done? Well, my dears, I don't.

We all have a superhero complex. It's easy to have. Someone posts about game night with their kids and we feel guilty because we didn't have time for game night and three bed time stories. Next up? Someone posts about their latest home improvements and we sigh because we haven't even vacuumed. Then, someone else posts one million and one posts about their kids accomplishments and ours is crying in bed after a bad day.  The life of comparison is a cruel one.  Stop it. We all can't do it all.

However, if you are still searching for ways to get it all done. I have provided a fool proof checklist from a me.

Just some tips from me on how to master the "idea" of getting it all done ;)
1. I overfill my dishwasher to embarrassing heights and pray that it all gets cleaned when I shove it shut.

2. I don't fold underwear.  We stuff it in the drawers and the first guest that comes to my house to complain about my unfolded underwear drawers will encourage me to change my ways.

3. I clean a little everyday, but I don't obsess over people finding my house untidy. WE LIVE HERE!  It's no HGTV commercial, but it's comfy and cozy.

4. I'm not a huge do-it-yourselfer.  I've hired out to have walls painted, I shop online and pick up my groceries and I even outsource some of my work (EEEEK!).  I don't enjoy gardening and canning and find little pride in going to 5 different grocery stores to find ingredients for food that I can't pronounce.  This is NOT to say, that if you are the opposite of all of this that it's wrong. I'm just OK with others being whole food geniuses and gardening extraordinaire while I'll claim the crockpot as the only way to cook :)

4a. I look at some things as "time is money".  Some people swear on doing it themselves to save money, I get that.  Other times, it makes sense to pay. Money can also be more time.... to beat your kids at Wii dance 4.

5. During soccer season socks and underwear can be found in the dryer. They are clean, that's all.

6. I work out. Sometimes, I watch infomercials on working out.

7. Beds don't always get made. I'm ok with that. My bathroom and kitchen are always clean.  I also just found the thank you notes I made my kids write for their Christmas gifts... in 2013.

8. We can ALL wear capes.

We ALL have things we are good at and things we aren't. The comparison of one life to another is silly. We are all great at some things and terrible at others.
 I'm really awesome at time management, I stink at remembering conversations and names.  I'm great at organization, but I throw out important papers...all. the. time.

I'm great with people on photo shoots and weddings, but ask me to return a phone call and it takes me forever to get around to it.

I could keep going. My point is this. Let's stop comparing lives.  Be great at what you are good at and let other people be great too. If we were all great at all things, this would be a very boring world.
Now go be awesome. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Crockpotographer Series: Part 1 - Chicken Divan and Survival

Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows my obsession with crockpots.  I still don't know how families with busy lives survive without one!
Here's the deal, there is nothing normal about this photographer's life and I'm going to assume you are quite busy as well. Two boys that play travel soccer, coaching varsity soccer at the high school level and running a full time portrait and wedding business  - it MIGHT get a little busy in the fall. So I thought once a month or more, I would share how I survive...crockpot style. Thus...the Crockpotographer Series. Get on board.

My crockpot and I keep family fed and sanity in tact.  Apparently, everyone needs to eat every day. EVERY DAY! So as a photographer who is out at weird hours, I still very much pride myself on family dinner time consistently.  It might be a little later than normal, but I do want it stress free and a time where I can listen to about weird things that happen in elementary and middle school ;)

Enter Crockpotographer series 1.  CHICKEN DIVAN (family fave!)
This was not a recipe for the crockpot but I made it one :)
1. 1 pound of chicken breast.  (I put it in raw, but you can boil or grill it first)
2. 1 family size can of cream of chicken soup
3. 1 cup mayo
4. 1 brick of sharp cheese
5. 1 cup of milk
6. 1tsp curry powder (I use more)
7. 1 bag of frozen broccoli
my hard core group of athletes.

I just throw it all in there. Set it on low for 8 hours or high for 6 hours.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a foodie. I do not have kids with allergies nor are we fighting weight issues, so my recipes are what I like to call a healthy balance of normal, edible, semi-home cooked food.

There is nothing better than coming home to a house smelling of dinner and knowing all the prep is done? Well, that just makes a happy crockpotographer.

Got a recipe you want to share for the crockpot?  I would love to know! Email me at  Include your recipe, name and where you are from.
Let's all survive winter in delicious style!!!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Do You Know What The White Home Is?

It's that time of year where I can get so focused on what I have to get done that it's hard to realize there is a world going on outside of photography and weddings and high school seniors ;).  We all get stuck there sometimes, the point is to get unstuck at some point.

A little email jolted be out of my seemingly superfluous tasks this morning  and pointed to me back to my heart.

The White Home

The White Home provides a safe house and a future for boys that are victims of child sex trafficking.  Love146, as always, is an organization close to my heart.  It's dark nature is hard to comprehend sometimes.  I think we all tend to think of young girls as the only victims of this disgusting crime, but statistics are creeping in that tell us, boys are becoming more of an "entity"

The White Home tugged at my heart hard... (below pics might tell you why!)

So here's what we are going to do:

Of course you can always donate directly. BUT! if you share this post, we will donate $30 every time it's shared!  Here's what happens..
$30 will provide the boys safe transportation for a year. 
$50 Can help feed the boys 3 meals a day.
$150 can help send a boy to school for an entire year!

We are also going to take 10% of all our high school senior sessions and donate. So thank you for all those who have booked and will book. There's always a great reason to work together!!!

Monday, September 29, 2014

You might love it or hate it....

Whenever you try something new, it's going to resonate with people differently. 
However, a couple of things have happened in the past few months, but the most recent has been the onslaught of senior portraiture work. 
I LOVE seniors.  As we work to provide amazing quality and service to each senior we are also providing a little mystic if you will. 
Each week we are creating a piece of art from each session.  It can be purchased in print or it can just be enjoyed for it's pure magic.  We always feature them first on Instagram.... @amberjseniors
Amber J Senior Model: Jordan - Worcester Central School

Bring on the creativity!!!
For purchasing information, visit

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Don't Forget This...

I have chanted "I will survive September" more than a million times this week.  Ok, so it's a little dramatic, but sometimes I like to be dramatic for effect.
The truth is, it's wedding marathon time. Nine straight weddings and several senior portrait sessions to take care of, a competitive varsity soccer season to coach and oh yes, that thing we call family :)
It's time management conundrum at it's finest.  However, by the grace of God I will do this.  
The crazy that is happening helps me identify with the brides to be that are sometimes feeling a little overwhelmed as their day approaches. (Ahem, wedding planners alleviate a lot of this!)
But all in all, I try to encourage them to take a step back and remember, you are getting MARRIED! Your guests will come and go, your cake will be devoured, your dress will go back on it's hanger and the food will be consumed, but the marriage...that will continue.
I understand that Pinterest and wedding blogs have put the pressure on some to make it a detailed extravaganza and I admit, I LOVE details.  Details do not make the marriage.  The cake will not promise a lifetime of happiness and your timeline of events will not be celebrated on your 10th year anniversary.  
I love weddings. I do. I love all the energy and crazy and beauty they behold, but I know that comes with stress and a LOT of time planning.  So, I ask you all as your wedding date edges closer to remember... you're in love. You have made the decision to love and you will make that promise in front of some amazing people in your life.  Celebrate that for a moment, because that is the one detail that will love on.  Well, that and your amazing photographs :))))