An Off-Duty Photog Snaps The Cutest Pics

If you're prone to flipping through photos of beautiful people at beautiful late-night parties, you've probably seen more than a few of photographer Nina Westervelt's gorgeous candid images. After all, she's shot up events for Vogue.com, RollingStone.com, T Magazine, and many more. Oh, and, yeah, every time we send her out to snap one of our own parties or the on- and off-runway magic of Fashion Week, she absolutely kills it.
Now, we were wondering how an accomplished party photog might shoot her own events. So, we hooked her up with a sleek, new Canon PowerShot N — boasting 12 megapixels, a wide-angle lens, and built-in Wi-Fi that sends snaps to smartphones in a flash — and let her loose on the holiday-party circuit. Are you ready for some of the cutest, sharpest, and most utterly personal shots you've ever seen? You best be, friend. You best be.
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Photo: Courtesy Nina Westervelt.
"My view en route to Friendsgiving. I never get tired of this skyline. You know, when I'm not working, my free time is spent photographing my friends and all of our random adventures — camping in the woods, swimming in lakes, watching live music, or, yeah, holiday partying. Honestly, my friends are my greatest inspiration."
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Photo: Courtesy Nina Westervelt.
"Our hostess Liz poses with one good-looking turkey, but my eyes are glued to that adorable apron."
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Photo: Courtesy Nina Westervelt.
"Nightlife assignments are frequently part of my hectic schedule, and I love them! It's a great way to meet amazing New Yorkers, and I love helping partygoers remember their fuzzy memories. Free snacks are always good, too."
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Photo: Courtesy Nina Westervelt.
"Oh, us? We're just keeping it simple with our go-to drink of the season."
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Photo: Courtesy Nina Westervelt.
"Eric and Liz, my holiday rock stars."
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Photo: Courtesy Nina Westervelt.
"No glasses were harmed in the making of this toast — promise. As a documentary photographer, shooting parties gives me the opportunity to often capture those raw, honest, and intimate party moments — like this!"
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Photo: Courtesy Nina Westervelt.
"Every year on the first Sunday of December, I throw a tree-trimming brunch at my apartment. It's the perfect way to kick off the holiday season. We drink mimosas and wear Santa and elf hats — or, like my girls Aly and Christine, polished nails, gold and red shades, and festive antlers (they're the definition of holiday chic)."
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Photo: Courtesy Nina Westervelt.
"It's Santa and his all-American backing band, The Egg Nog Quartet! Holiday parties bring together all of the things I love most: dressing up, sparkles, and big, vibrant colors."
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Photo: Courtesy Nina Westervelt.
"Truly, no holiday party is complete without us screaming Christmas carols around our organ. I constantly surround myself with photographers, designers, and musicians (clearly). Without their influence, I wouldn't be able to create the energetic and colorful narratives of our lives."
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Photo: Courtesy Nina Westervelt.
"Here, my girl Bek does the honors of popping the cork on our fourth (or 40th?) bottle of Champagne."
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Photo: Courtesy Nina Westervelt.
"If you attend one of my holiday parties, you will step on balloons."
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"These vintage, heart-shaped glasses make an appearance at every one of my soirees, (they're adorable year-round). Throw in a chocolate kiss and a candy cane, and you've got the perfect holiday celebration."
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Photo: Courtesy Nina Westervelt.
"Who needs mistletoe with a guy this sweet on my arm? Now, I'm a camera junky, and when I'm shopping for a new addition to my collection, it's all about size and low-light performance. That's why I've had such a good time with this little baby from Canon. It fits in the palm of my hand. I can carry it in any bag or purse — oh — and it looks adorable with every outfit. Love it!"

Canon PowerShot N, $299.99, available at Canon. Advertisement
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Photo: Courtesy Nina Westervelt.
"When the Champagne runs dry, just add tinsel."
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Photo: Courtesy Nina Westervelt.
"My little elves Christine and David share a sip of bubbly."
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Photo: Courtesy Nina Westervelt.
"I say if there's a delicious cake on the table at a holiday party, why not just stick candles in it? Birthdays shouldn't have all the fun."
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Photo: Courtesy Nina Westervelt.
"The one and only Kriss Kringle."
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Photo: Courtesy Nina Westervelt.
"3...2...1...TINSEL!"
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Photo: Courtesy Nina Westervelt.
"Did you know that pizza slices also love Christmas? It's a fact."
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Photo: Courtesy Nina Westervelt.
"Show up to a party in cute pants, and I'll definitely wrap you in garland."
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Photo: Courtesy Nina Westervelt.
"Becky gazes at her glowing silver sparkles. When you're photographing a party indoors or out, you need a camera that handles low-light situations. The flash on this one packs a pretty good punch, too. Serious bonus!"
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Photo: Courtesy Nina Westervelt.
"'Christmas Ain't Christmas Without the One You Love' — and sparklers. If you couldn't already tell, I live for the holidays. It's absolutely the best season to photograph. The colder weather brings two of my favorite things, rosy cheeks and Christmas lights."
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Photo: Courtesy Nina Westervelt.
"It's been an unseasonably warm holiday season in NYC this year, so we've taken to making our own snowstorms."
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Photo: Courtesy Nina Westervelt.
"That beautiful skyline is just the perfect backdrop to my one-woman sparkler celebration. Really, this city is my favorite place during the holidays. I love visiting the giant Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, chasing Kris Kringle at SantaCon, watching the ice-skaters in Central Park, shopping at the holiday markets and fairs, gawking at all of the magical department-store window displays, and all the other endless winter-wonderland activities."
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Photo: Courtesy Nina Westervelt.
"All Billy and Anthony want for Christmas is a package of Morning Glory Sparklers. Done!"
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Photo: Courtesy Nina Westervelt.
"My ideal holiday party includes a room full of my favorite friends and all of the holiday props you can imagine. For me, just being surrounded by the ones I love — like my blue-Christmas babes, Susan and Erica — and sharing a laugh is better than anything a nightclub can offer."
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Photo: Courtesy Nina Westervelt.
"Joel's yuletide cheer is contagious."
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Photo: Courtesy Nina Westervelt.
"Let it be known that I travel with this many holiday props in my purse at all times. Have I mentioned I love the holidays?"
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Photo: Courtesy Nina Westervelt.
"No strangers to human pyramids, my friends know that a party isn't complete without a (near) perfect formation."
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Photo: Courtesy Nina Westervelt.
"The shirt reads, 'Shopping My Cardio.' With Emily, I believe it."
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Photo: Courtesy Nina Westervelt.
"It's a Bootsy Collins' Christmas, y'all!"