Amber Bain : Portraits / by Liz Brown

Last night, I photographed Amber Bain--more commonly known by her band name The Japanese House--at Bottom Lounge for Interscope. In addition to shooting her performance, I was able to get some portraits of her in the empty venue before the show. Floored. Grateful beyond belief. The first show I ever shot was in April 2010 and it was because a kind human named Josh gave me a chance Last night was another instance of a kind human giving me a shot. Man. Undeserved of this life. Thank you, Carl, for rooting for me. Thank you, Caroline, for being so kind and helpful. Thank you, Amber, for being such a sweet human. 

About two years ago, I started shooting stranger portraits. I'd approach strangers, usually in big cities, usually outside, and ask for their portraits. I'd have perhaps a minute or two with each human; that meant that in a minute or two, I'd have to determine where to shoot, how the light was falling, and how best to angle the person's face so that light fell in a flattering way. Last night felt like the cumulation of all those stranger portraits. I was ushered into the empty venue--that I hadn't stepped inside in over a year--and had seconds to scan the venue and search for light and a little bit longer to pose Amber. Practice your craft, guys. Practice so hard. Because you never know when an opportunity will be set before you and you'll want to be ready.

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