So Many Ways to Make You Look Beautiful!

by Liv Spyers from Photo Finished

Hi! I am Liv Spyers, of Liv Spyers Photography, a portrait studio in the West Village of New York City, and it’s true: I am ready to capture your story. My greatest joy has always been taking photos of people and the world around me. I’ve had a camera in my hands since the day my dad gave me a used Nikon for my tenth birthday. Some people escape into books. I escape into my camera’s lens. It’s fair to say that a sealed metal box which does no more than capture light can even make me jump into things I might otherwise have no business tackling. Without it, for example, I might never have landed in New York City.

In a neighborhood of polished homes and chic stores, I’ve turned my grandparents’ old key store, which had barely been touched since they’d bought the building over fifty years ago, into my home and business’s headquarters. Their former stockroom is my private residence, consisting of a single bed, two jam-packed closets of clothes, and a bathroom you pretty much have to climb over the bed to reach. With only a step across the threshold of my tiny bedroom’s door, however, I leave home-sweet-home and arrive to work. My studio is a modest, rectangular space I painted white from top to bottom the first week I moved in. A partition blocks the entrance to my bedroom and works as a backdrop for my client sessions. Add a couple of catchlights to give your eyes a little sparkle, a small desk with a visitor’s chair, and a narrow kitchen galley with a fold-out counter on the opposite side of the room, and you have arrived at Liv Spyers Photography.

I work hard, never take a job for granted, and I’m willing to hustle to make any job work: Big or small. My studio’s street street-level window display is filled with baby photos, family photos, and several portraits that show my skill at yearbook photography. A few more artistic photos hang along my studio wall. They are images of people I’ve observed in Manhattan, both day and night, living their lives. I think of them as spontaneous portraits in contrast to the more structured work I do with clients. Regina Montague, New York’s premier society photographer, has said that my studio work shows I “can make anyone look good,” while the street-life shots have “great style.”

I now occasionally work for Ms. Montague, too, which has quickly expanded my repertoire. I always say you need to keep your lipstick handy because you never know who might be around the corner in this town. One day, Regina arrived looking to copy a key at my grandparents’ store above me. Before she knew it, I’d managed to get her into my studio. Next thing I knew, I landed my first big job as a junior photographer for her. Fortunately, I worked my cousin’s wedding last year, so formal events were not foreign to me. I know how to pace myself, compliment dresses to loosen up guests, reminded them how beautiful their smiles are, and make sure no one looks too tall, or too small, or too fat, or too skinny. Bottom line is that everyone wants to look good for the camera, whether it’s for a personal commission or at a party. That’s what I do.

I am ready to capture the special moments in your life, whether they be big or small. Hope to see you in my studio someday soon!

With biting wit, a young lens, and satisfying sleuthing, the first in Christin Brecher’s brand new Snapshot of NYC Cozy Mystery series introduces aspiring photographer Liv Spyer, as she juggles rent on her postage stamp-sized Manhattan apartment, part time work at her grandparent’s Greenwich Village key shop, her #lovelife with a guy who just might be FBI, posting to her thousands of Instagram fans, AND solving the odd murder!

While some people escape into books or music, Liv Spyers escapes through her camera’s lens, which inspires her to jump into things she might otherwise have no business tackling—like moving to New York City. Hustling to make her dreams come true as a portrait photographer, she runs a pocket-sized studio below her grandparents’ West Village brownstone and key shop, where she also lives and works part-time. All of which still has her down to the end of her savings as the holidays approach. Everything changes in a flash, however, when elite events photographer, Regina Montague, invites Liv to shoot with her at New York City’s most exclusive socialite event of the year—the Holiday Debutante Ball! Liv snaps at the opportunity, convinced that a job with Regina will launch her career. But when her fabulous new gig ends with the murder of billionaire Charlie Archibald, her dream job may never develop with Regina framed for murder. Once Liv begins to focus on her photos from the ball, she’s convinced they reveal Charlie Archibald’s real killer. Now, between cracking the world of high society—and the attentions of a handsome stranger—Liv must hustle once again to expose the killer…before she gets cropped from the picture!