Bombshell in the City: @stylemediator Collaboration by Amanda Liew

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  I shook her hand and introduced myself. "WOW. You have the SMALLEST hands! That is so weird!!...SO weird!", she said. And that, my friends, is how I met the firecracker that is Samantha Davis of @stylemediator. Once we moved past that hilarity, I was thrilled to learn of Samantha's love for fashion, styling, and her blog stylemediator.com. Having never done a photoshoot focused on style before, I aimed to capture three things specifically: 1) my bombshell of a model 2) style details 3) the city. This meant full-length shots, creative close-ups, standing in the street and trying not to get run over by that taxi, but oh wait that taxi is stopping let's hurry and get as many shots as we can in front of it before the person comes out, and hey there's a police barrier, do you think you could sit on that? From the get-go, we took a "Well why not?" approach, and in the end it turned out spectacular. We picked the area around Madison Square Park but gravitated more towards the buildings and streets to provide an urban feel. If you can't tell, Samantha is an extremely photogenic person with an exquisite eye for styling. I particularly love the photographs that highlight the details of her accessories - it just goes to show style often takes much more thought than just throwing something together.

Make sure to follow Samantha on Instagram @stylemediator and on her website stylemediator.com.

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Sunsets on the Hudson: Pier i by Amanda Liew


Taste: 3.8 / 5Ambience: 5 / 5 Would you want to eat there again?: Definitely - more for the environment than the food, though! Was the price worth it?: Yes!

A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to celebrate two very special people at Pier i: Tutu, who had just turned another year older, and Victoria, who completed her first half-marathon. We threw the phenomenal pair a semi-surprise party (one where they only knew something was happening, but not exactly what) and Pier i was the perfect location! It's often difficult to find locations where you can find good food, solid drinks, an excellent ambience, decent prices AND not have to deal with getting caught in a reservation. For events where you know people will trickle in here and there, perhaps spontaneously bring another friend along, forget to RSVP, etc., you need flexibility for your fun, and Pier i offers exactly that. Set along the Hudson River at 70th & Riverside, Pier i offers a wide variety of food options, but is also casual enough that you can easily pull up more chairs and tables as people arrive. The food, while quite tasty, is definitely not the reason you're coming here. Since there's no such thing as a secret in New York City, it's always tough to first stake out a good spot, but the wait is always worth it - I promise. If I didn't live on the East Side & wasn't so incredibly lazy, I would be at Pier i every other weekend.

What we ordered: Maine Lobster Roll, Watermelon Goat Cheese Salad, Bacon Wrapped Scallops, Calamari, Fresh Blueberry Lemonade_DSC0307_SemiSurprise _DSC0305_SemiSurprise _DSC0311_SemiSurprise _DSC0317_SemiSurprise _DSC0313_SemiSurprise _DSC0362_SemiSurprise _DSC0294_SemiSurprise _DSC0342_SemiSurprise _DSC0354_SemiSurprise _DSC0355_SemiSurprise _DSC0359_SemiSurprise

Photography, Wanderlust, and Starting Anew: 2013's Year in Review by Amanda Liew


2013 has been a whirlwind year! For starters, I began delving deeper into my photographic interests..._DSC0026 ...discovered a love for isolating objects..._DSC0062 (1) _DSC0099

...found the joy that comes with giving a gift of portraiture...

_DSC0078 _DSC0102 _DSC0224 (1) _DSC0091 _DSC0488...and challenged myself conceptually with self-portraits._DSC0080_blog_DSC0218

I embarked on projects that included total strangers..._DSC0003

...and bit a little bit more than I could chew with trying to tell a dozen stories...2 - Tyler

Most significantly....I GRADUATED!_DSC0151 _DSC0189

...but first indulged in more than just a little bit of wanderlust by visiting the Dominican Republic...IMG_6063 IMG_6015

...and Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Malaysia..._DSC0437 _DSC0700 photo (1) _DSC0903 _DSC0395

...and various islands in the Caribbean too..._DSC0105 _DSC0134

Finally satisfied with my traveling, I plunged straight into the real world with a big job and big city to tackle...photo (19) photo (13)photo (16)

...I made new friends I couldn't be more thankful for...

photo (11) photo (14)...and reunited with old friends in new environments...photo (12) photo (15)

...and in the end, I couldn't even count my blessings if I tried. Here's to a phenomenal year and a new start to 2014!