A family shoot at home | Brooklyn Photographer Ana Gambuto

Yeah, I know it's dark at 3pm and it's colder than cold out, but the sun DOES still rise... and from in here, you can't even tell! Don't be afraid to plan a shoot indoors in the winter, especially if these slower months are the only time you might get around to it.

Ali Forney Center

Tonight my friend Sole and I hosted a dinner at my house. Food, feels and a bit of action. Sole cooked a beautiful meal, and we all sat down together.

We watched a five minute video on the Center, telling us about Ali, the youth whose light shined so bright that he inspired the work of helping generations of others.

Donations go in the basket! The sign is a handy prop left over from my recent wedding.

December 2016 feels crazy. There's been one wave after another of change in the the world, and one development is crazier than the next. This week as each new cabinet member gets announced feels especially nuts. It feels like being flattened between two whooshing subway trains, barely able to grasp the scope of one disaster before the next barrels toward you. It is easy to feel paralyzed. 

One thing that felt important was connecting with others. Last night we had some really great conversations about our fears and concerns, the steps we've taken to enact change, and the different histories and personal experiences that brought us together. 

We thought, let's do something super-local, to benefit our community. The massively unknown future our country faces has stakes that are too high to stay still.

We asked each guest to bring $40 bucks or so, and we'd provide the dinner. The whole pot goes directly to the Ali Forney Center

Our mission is to protect LGBTQ youths from the harms of homelessness and empower them with the tools needed to live independently. -Ali Forney Center

They provide shelter to young people who need it. Enough said. That's why we chose them.

There are many groups of people who are in grave danger of losing their rights in the coming months, and gay youth are high on that list; these are, for the most part, kids whose very identity has brought abuse and violence upon them, often by their own parents, who have kicked them out or made them feel unsafe. 

I think about all the good fortune in my life, the basics of which are having been born white, heterosexual, and with a culturally acceptable gender identity. I was loved and cherished as a young person in my home.

Home is supposed to be a safe place, the safest place you know. What if that essential part of your life is the very part that shames you and kicks you out in the cold? I quite literally can't imagine it. I'm aware of my incredible good fortune, and I vow to act on behalf of those who don't have that luxury.

We raised $1,000! I am proud of our efforts and uplifted by the conversations we had last night. One little step at a time!

Sole Anatrone, chef hard at work!

Sole and Ana!

Sole and Ana!

To read more about the Ali Forney Center, or to donate. CLICK HERE

(post not sponsored, this was a labor of love).

Tomorrow, I get married

Tomorrow, I get married and I'm totally ready. I'm filled with anticipation and butterflies, but in the very best way. How will I group hug so many of my loved ones at once? Will I remember to thank everyone I cherish? 

I'm on the edge of this huge life change, and doing a tiny moment of reflection. I'm looking forward with a huge surge of gratitude and love for where I've been, and eager on my tiptoes for all that is to come. Tomorrow, I marry the love of my life.

Tomorrow, a Gambuto!