Hand of the Hills: In The Studio

Hand of the Hills (briefly known as Black Hills before a name switch) is a Seattle band formed by David Totten (The Quiet Ones), Erin Tate (Minus the Bear), Eric Sturgeon (The Lonely Forest), and Matt Benham (Black Swedes). The guys spent time in the studio recording their new full length album with Matt Bayles between the holidays and had me down to snap some photos of them at work, as well as get some new press material.

Check out a review of their recent show at The Comet Tavern by Lindsey Bluher featuring photos I took on SSG Music (here) to get to know them a little better.

Hand of the Hills also currently has a 7" of Sterile Eyes available on Porchlight Records. Make sure to catch their next show and keep your eyes out for more from them -  they are wonderfully easy on the ears.

2012: The Year of Music

December is the month to gaze back over the year and compile "Best Of" lists. As a self proclaimed music junkie I've kept track of every show I've attended for the past six years, but this year took an interesting turn as I started photographing shows for press reviews, music festivals and live performances at a local radio station. It has been incredible combining two of my passions and so in leui of a photo list or Favorite Albums (See the bottom) I've decided to share what I've been up too when I wasn't photographing love birds at weddings. A big thanks to Lindsey Bluher, my music blogger in crime and now PR Director of SSG Music, who saw me at Pretty Broken Things and said "hey, can I use you your photos?" If you click on the reviews following the band names 80% of the words are written weilded by her keyboard while you'll find photos I took from the shows.

Thank you to CultureMob, Neumos/Barboza, SSG Music, KEXP, Capitol Hill Block Party and City Arts Fest for getting me out and posting my work. It's been a healthy mix of work and pleasure (okay, mostly pleasure) I'm looking forward to getting out again in 2013! I'm also officially launching Band Press Kit packages so keep your eyes peeled and email hello@amberzbitnoff.com if you'd like to make some magic together!


Key! Bold Names = Band featured in the photo directly below the name ***s = Favorite Performances of the year ^ = Off Duty / Sans Camera

JANUARY ***17th - ^ City and Colour at Neptune Theater

FEBRUARY 17th - ^ Damien Jurado, Bryan John Appleby at The Neptune Theater

MARCH 26th - ^ Of Monsters and Men at Showbox Sodo

APRIL ***9th - ^ Radiohead at Key Arena 12th - Pretty Broken Things at Columbia City Theater - CultureMob Review

24th - ^ The Naked & Famous, Vacationer at Showbox Sodo

MAY 4th - Delta Spirit at Neumos - CultureMob Review

***7th - Father John Misty, Har Mar Superstar at Neumos - SSG Music Review & Blog

8th - The Black Keys at Key Arena 13th - Death Cab For Cutie with The Magik*Magik Orchestra, Youth Lagoon at The Paramount Theater

JULY 20th - 22nd Capitol Hill Block Party Day 1: Father John Misty, Gold Leaves, Youth Lagoon, Thee Oh Sees, Allen Stone, Constant Lovers, Fitz and the Tantrums, Fresh Espresso - Blog & Allen Stone Review on CultureMob

Day 2: Nude Pop, Beat Connection, Hot Bodies In Motion, Twin Shadow, ***ReignWolf, Grimes, Aesop Rock, Major Lazer - Blog & Reignwolf Review on CultureMob

Day 3: The Lumineers, Blouse, ***Phantogram, Neko Case, Porcelain Raft - Blog & The Lumineers Review on CultureMob

25th - ^ Fiona Apple at The Paramount Theater 27th - Neon Trees, BattleMe, Penguin Prison at Showbox Market - CultureMob Review & Blog

AUGUST ***8th - Sigur Rós, Julia Holter at The Paramount - SSG Music Review & Blog

12th - Twin Shadow, Poolside at Barboza - Barboza Photo Set 15th - Cold Specks at KEXP - KEXP Blog

20th - Three Mile Pilot at The Tractor Tavern ***27th - Minus The Bear, Helms Alee at The Comet - CultureMob Review & Blog


SEPTEMBER 3rd - Bumbershoot Musical Festival for KEXP: Seapony, Reignwolf, Noah Gundersen, Ty Segall, M83, Bryan John Appleby, LIGHTS, Passion Pit, Skrillex at Seattle Center - Blog

***5th - Purity Ring at Neumos - Neumos Photo Set and Blog

6th - Silversun Pickups, School of Seven Bells, Atlas Genius at Moore Theater - SSG Music Review 21st - Father John Misty at Neumos - Neumos Review & Blog

22nd - ^ Cold War Kids, Portugal The Man at Redhook Brewery 24th - Zambri at KEXP 25th - Sera Cahone at KEXP 26th - Alt-J ∆, GroupLove at The Moore Theater - CultureMob Review

OCTOBER 3rd - Beach House at Showbox Market - CHBP Photo Set 6th - ^ The xx at The Paramount ***9th - Ben Gibbard at the Smith Tower 16th - Grimes at Neumos - Neumos Photo Set 17th - 20th City Arts Fest in Seattle: ***Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band, Pollens, ***Ghostland Observatory (Laser Dome and Showbox Sodo), Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground, Lemolo, Land of Pines, DeVotchKa, Motopony, ***My Goodness, St. Lucia - City Arts Fest Facebook Page

21st - Lord Huron at Barboza- Barboza Review ***22nd - Lord Huron at KEXP - KEXP Blog ***22nd - ^ Ben Gibbard at KEXP

27th - Daughter at Barboza - Barboza Review

NOVEMBER 21st - SSG Black Party with The Tempers, blackdiva as La Tigre, Two White Opals at The Crocodile - SSG Music Photo Set 30th - Deep Sea Diver, Wild Belle, Pretty Broken Things at Neumos - Neumos Review

DECEMBER ***8th - ^ Sufjan Steven's Christmas Sing-A-Long Tour "Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant On Ice" 13th - Lavender Diamond at KEXP 17th - Alt-J ∆, Wildcat! Wildcat! at the Crocodile - CultureMob Review 21st - The Comettes at KEXP

21st - ^ Noah Gundersen Family Christmas at Fremont Abbey

22nd - The Comettes at Barboza - SSG Music Review 22nd - Black Hills, Black Whales at The Comet 31st - ^ Pickwick at Showbox Market



If you are curious what my are my Top 10 Albums of 2012, you can check out my list on the KEXP blog: http://blog.kexp.org/2012/12/19/kexp-staff-volunteers-interns-top-ten-albums-of-2012-part-2

Featured: Ever Ours

E & A Wedding - Amber Zbitnoff Photography (40)  

Lydia of Ever Ours released a 'Best of 2012' photography collection this week, and I am honored that she picked two photos from my submission, including the photo above from Emily and Andrew's wedding. You can see my image and more from a talented crew in her {BEST OF 2012} REAL WEDDINGS…PART ONE post.

Then head over to the 'E & A - Wedding' gallery in my spruced up portfolio to see more from this sweet Fremont wedding!


E & A Wedding - Amber Zbitnoff Photography (45)

Emily & Alex - ACT Theatre

A masquerade themed wedding in the ACT Theatre. Puzzles all around that involved their cake and bridal party. An ecstatic first dance to Passion Pit's "Sleepyhead."

Emily & Alex made their wedding 110% them and oh what a celebration it was. Not only were these two totally awesome to be around, you could see them visibly light up every time their eyes met. They are just so stinkin' cute!

(Psst - You can view photos from their House Session here!)

Preview: E & A - Fremont, WA

I have been blessed with awesome couples this year, and these two sweethearts were no exception! From the October sunshine to her darling dress I had the best kind of photographer ADD with their never-ending smiles. I'm pretty sure I have also told every couple this year "don't worry I climb on things" while I'm shooting too, from railings to spider-filled ivy.

Thanks again you two for having me out, I can't to share the rest of your wedding in a few weeks!

*In a world of social media and search engine galore, these guys have requested a little privacy in regards to their names.