Amber Asaly’s summer season was higher than yours. Until you additionally spent the previous three months chilling on a $22 million greenback yacht, taking dreamy pictures of Kylie Jenner in classic Dior whereas Kris Jenner flounced about in a tunic. ’Trigger yeah, that’s what Amber was as much as whereas the remainder of us drowned our feelings in White Claw and argued over whether or not or not Camila and Shawn’s relationship is a PR stunt. (Amber thinks it’s, which, honest).
Though this summer season was dominated by press-hungry celebrities doing absolutely the most, Kylie, notably, opted to get out of L.A., escaping on a number of luxurious holidays together with her submit–Jordyn Woods social circle. At this level, you’ve in all probability scrolled by means of your justifiable share of Instagram pics that includes Kylie posing with Sofia Richie, Stassie Karanikolaou, Yris Palmer, and Victoria Villarroel—all of which have one factor in frequent. Really, two issues: 1) your VSCO filter may by no means, and a pair of) they have been taken by 26-year-old photographer Amber Asaly.
Amber stays behind the digicam, which is why you’re in all probability like “wait, whomst????” however in case you open up the ’gram once more, you’ll discover an @amberasaly tag on each single one in every of Kylie’s latest vacay pics. The Kylie Pores and skin journey to Turks and Caicos? Amber was there. The birthday jaunt to Italy? Additionally there. That latest Vegas getaway? Yup, invited on that personal jet too. She’s the individual singularly liable for Kylie’s attractive summer season Instagram aesthetic.
However to be clear: Amber doesn’t work for Kylie. Sure, she’s an expert photographer, however she’s invited on these excursions as a buddy. An especially gifted, extraordinarily good buddy. “This summer season has been fucking superb,” Amber tells Cosmopolitan. “Kylie invited me on her Kylie Pores and skin journey as a buddy but in addition to catch the vibes and get cute footage. And once I’m in an exquisite location with stunning individuals and I occur to have dope cameras. I’m gonna do my factor it doesn’t matter what. And so they need dope footage too, so it kinda simply works hand-in-hand.”
Amber and Kylie have been pals for a pair years now. I discovered Getty proof of them hanging out in West Hollywood throughout a less complicated time: Final August, on the launch of Jordyn Woods’ activewear label SECNDNTURE. To place their relationship in L.A. phrases, they’ve been operating in the identical circles for a minute.
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However their Turks and Caicos trip in mid-July was when yours actually first observed Amber’s elevated fashion start to take over Kylie’s grid. Her pictures went from moderately unremarkable (no shade, Kylie, lol) to…properly, attractive. “Turks and Caicos was superb. It was so, so stunning, and all the things was simply photo-shoot prepared, so it made all the things very easy—attractive pure mild, attractive location, the home that we stayed in was simply insane, or mansion, I can’t even name it a home,” Amber remembers.
“It was proper on the seaside. We did some enjoyable water actions. We went out. We simply had such a good time. All of Kylie’s superb outfits, all of Sofia’s superb outfits—all the ladies had simply stunning garments. Their make-up was executed, their hair was executed, so all the things kinda simply become a photograph shoot. It might simply be us hanging out and me being like, ‘Okay, we gotta go to the seaside proper now, the solar is setting, we gotta shoot this.’”
Flash-forward a pair weeks, and the cosmetics queen hit up Amber once more to request that she lock in dates for “one thing particular,” aka Kylie’s #BirthdayTour, as she dubbed it on Instagram. Amber ended up spending 11 days in August on a large yacht in Italy with Sofia Richie, Scott Disick, Travis Scott, Stormi, and most significantly, Kris “This Is a Case for the FBI” Jenner, who apparently spent her time being iconic and shopping for everybody hats.
“She’s simply such a queen,” Amber says of momager Kris. “She’d been to Italy so many occasions, so she was taking us all over the place….The whole lot she touched was like, ‘Wow, thank god Kris Jenner’s right here.’ As a result of if she wasn’t, we’d simply in all probability keep on the boat the entire time. Like, we wouldn’t know what to do. She actually took us round, she was our tour information—she purchased us all hats at some point. She’s only a queen.”
Amber’s pictures from the Italy journey are next-level—like, there’s no method you didn’t double-tap the pic of Kylie in a Dior bikini. “These pictures simply regarded insane, Kylie’s physique regarded insane, her face was excellent, the sunshine was superb. We shot it in 15 minutes and so they’re our favourite pictures ever,” says Amber. However coping with paparazzi was a battle.
“We couldn’t actually have a lot of a photograph shoot as a result of there have been so many paparazzi all over the place and we didn’t need the pictures to leak earlier than I shot them—so it was extra Kylie trying actually cute, and me simply being like, ‘Alright, that is good mild proper right here, let’s get this executed now,’” says Amber. Which, hey, could possibly be the explanation why so many followers speculated that Kylie was staging her paparazzi pics on this journey. In actuality, it seems like she was at all times camera-ready for her BFF/photog.
However, Kylie and her sisters are consistently being accused of Photoshopping (shout-out to Kim’s six toes), as anybody who spends 5 minutes on the web can verify. And Amber’s work is not any exception. This photograph from Turks and Caicos drew a ton of flack when Kylie posted it due to the scale of her property:
However right here’s the factor: Amber shoots on movie, which makes Photoshopping an entire lot extra…sophisticated. Apart from color-correcting, what you see is just about what you get. “I’ll be like, ‘Let me colour right, let me do a pair issues to them.’ After which I ship to [Kylie], and it simply goes from there,” Amber confirms (though, fantastic, it positively is feasible that Kylie edits pics on her cellphone earlier than they hit IG).
“I really feel like movie captures a vibe so significantly better than digital ever can and ever will, as a result of it’s one second, click on. After which that’s it….You don’t have 100 alternatives, you don’t have an SD card….It’s only one shot. That’s it.” Kinda ironic that probably the most influential member of Gen Z has fallen in love with such an old-school technique of pictures, eh?
Having America’s resident billionaire spotlight your work on Instagram is clearly main, however lemme make one thing clear right here: Kylie isn’t making Amber’s profession. If something, Amber is making Kylie’s Instagram. Amber was already a longtime badass when she began hanging out in the identical buddy group as Kylie, Stassie, Yris, Victoria, and Jordyn—and except for creating content material for Kylie, she’s shot campaigns for manufacturers like Puma and Converse. She even launched pictures imprint Print Is Useless—which featured a stripped-down and styled-up Jordyn.
Very similar to, ahem, me, Amber wasn’t probably the most academically-minded in highschool however was totally “that bitch” when it got here to pictures. As soon as she hit junior 12 months in Laguna Seashore—an insanely rich resort metropolis the place she says “actually everyone seems to be fairly”—Amber began taking pictures her pals in a portrait collection known as Summer time Faces: “I might have simply random individuals from my hometown present as much as my home, and I’d shoot them in entrance of an American flag with one thing that meant one thing to them—so like, my Native American buddy wore a headdress. It was simply completely different individuals doing various things. Truthfully, trying again on the pictures, they’re terrible, however everybody thought they have been so dope again then.”
In case you watched MTV within the early aughts, then you recognize Laguna Seashore isn’t precisely probably the most numerous place to develop up, so Amber bought the hell outta there and enrolled on the Academy of Artwork College in San Francisco as quickly as she may. “Laguna Seashore was actually white-washed; there’s not loads of tradition,” she says. “I’m 100 p.c Lebanese, I’m Arabic AF, so residing in Laguna, I felt like all I needed to do was be white so dangerous—have blonde hair and blue eyes so dangerous. That’s all I needed. However then once I moved to San Francisco, particularly going to this college, it was like all of the freaks, all of the weirdest children. The outcasts form of got here collectively, and I actually discovered myself residing in SF. It was an exquisite time.”
Amber’s work has taken her all over the place—from San Francisco, to Los Angeles, to New York—but it surely was final 12 months in NYC that she had her first totally viral second: a celebration…on the subway. Nope, not on a platform or at one of many not too long ago renovated stops, however in an precise automobile on the J practice—full with lobster, pasta, a piñata, and streamers.
“Everybody is aware of I’m obsessive about my birthday, however that 12 months, I used to be extra low key about it—I used to be simply there [in New York City] for the Victoria’s Secret Vogue Present. I’d at all times needed to go to that,” Amber says. However uh, the “low-key” vibe modified when her cousin, occasion planner Samantha Seyfert, instructed her to ditch Manhattan and head to Brooklyn ASAP for dinner with pals.
“That they had all these suitcases packed up and it smelled like fish, and I used to be like, ‘Wait, what the fuck is occurring? I don’t know what’s happening.’ So we get to the practice, we get on, and it was like a meme the place you press fast-forward and all the things strikes quick. They arrange a desk, that they had pasta, lobster, wine—they arrange banners all over the place, after which we simply had dinner on the practice. They a million p.c threw me a shock social gathering on the practice.”
The pictures have been coated by a trillion retailers and from there, Amber’s Instagram—and artwork—took off.
And it’s apparent why. Amber’s work is f*cking enjoyable. Her pictures really feel lived in and heat; they breathe. They’re alive. Her lens makes celebs like Kylie Jenner and Sofia Richie—who, regardless of being actuality stars, are so faraway from our actuality that they don’t appear actual in any respect—really feel tangible and human. It’s clear Amber is aware of—actually is aware of—the individual in entrance of her digicam. And you may inform that Kylie feels seen too.
In the meantime, for the remainder of us, thumbing by means of Amber’s Instagram is as near a $22 million yacht as we’re going to get.