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LOS ANGELES — Whether she’s on the job or on the town, party girl-actress-turned-photographer Amanda de Cadenet says she’s never without her point-and-shoot camera, much to the dismay of her friends. “I’m sure everyone I know is pretty sick of it,” she says. “I know my daughter and my boyfriend [Nick Valensi of The Strokes] are.”
That may be so, but they ought to check out the results nonetheless. They’ll have an opportunity this month with the arrival of de Cadenet’s first book, “Rare Birds” (powerHouse Books), which is being accompanied by an exhibition and reception at the Staley-Wise Gallery in New York Thursday during fashion week, sponsored by Nikon. De Cadenet, who hosted the British talk show “The Word” and appeared in films such as “Four Rooms” and “Brokedown Palace,” says the book’s title “is a way of honoring everyone’s unique personalities.” De Cadenet captures her subjects — including friends such as Drew Barrymore, Orlando Bloom and Rose McGowan — in delightfully unguarded moments.
She dedicates the book to Atlanta, her daughter with ex-husband John Taylor (of Duran Duran fame), who was born when the British actress was just 17. “That was a huge turning point for me,” she says. “I photographed her every day, and she’s lived through most of the moments in this book.”
De Cadenet first picked up a camera at boarding school. “I was really unhappy, and the only thing that gave me any joy was taking pictures of things at home.” But she soon discovered show business, and began acting at age 13.
“By the time I hit 22, I was done being on camera,” she explains. “I was more interested in being behind it.
“In acting, you’re always dependent on someone to tell you that you’re good enough, or that you got the part,” she concludes. “But anyone has access to a camera.”