fashion

Ethereal Light in Bushwick: Sarah Jane Shanks Collaboration [Part 2] by Amanda Liew

  This is Part 2 of my collaboration with the life-loving Sarah Jane Shanks! To see Part I please click here.

For Part 2, I'm showing you guys the photos from the incredible rooftop of this apartment we used in Bushwick! The wind was blowing hard and it was a lot colder than it looks, but we laughed our whole way through, played with the breeze as much as possible, and witnessed swatches of colors appear in the sunset behind us. I had so much fun experimenting with light out on the rooftop and in the interior shots in Part 1. It's incredible how just the slightest of movements, the tiniest of blockings, can completely change how a photo comes out. Soft hues versus sharp contrasts are all possible. While normally I would try to be editing the colors of my photos to remove any "unnatural" hues, I actually loved the shades cast on Sarah Jane as the sun set and sought to capture them even more. 20150403_0280_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0311_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0328_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0331_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0339_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0343_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0345_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0351_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0353_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0358_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0366_ALiew_SJShanks Collab20150403_0373_ALiew_SJShanks Collab

Ethereal Light in Bushwick: Sarah Jane Shanks Collaboration [Part 1] by Amanda Liew

Collaborating with other artists has become one of my favorite things to do as a photographer - whether it's working with the members of The Photograph Collective to come up with a new project or working with fashion bloggers, I love the teamwork, new ideas, reflective questions, and joint visions that go into collaborations. So when Sarah Jane Shanks reached out to me ever so sweetly with a request to collaborate for one of her upcoming projects, I jumped at the opportunity. We met up for breakfast early one morning to get to know each other better and how we could match what she wanted with how I preferred to shoot. We used a Pinterest board to brainstorm the looks we were interested in capturing, and it became clear we wanted light to play a large role in all of our photos. She came up with the brilliant idea of getting a space for us at an artist's loft in Bushwick that had unique furniture, plenty of light and an incredible rooftop. Armed with a few flowing outfits, 4 ft flower sticks, and an adventurous spirit, Sarah Jane came ready to turn our vision into a reality.

I can't even begin to describe how much fun I had during this shoot! I snapped a couple of hundred photos, moved furniture around, taped a blanket to a wall, chased the light, watched the sun set in the background, and just had the time of our lives. We tried some things that didn't work, but found other things that worked surprisingly well. I am so happy with how these photos turned out!

Another aspect of this collaboration that was quite interesting was our discussion of payment. I've been thinking about what photography means to me and how to balance the "value" of my photography. On one hand, I feel that the minute I start accepting payments for my photography, I will lose a love for it. I find so much creative refuge in shooting and blogging and don't want to have the stress of having clients & expectations on time frames for delivery. On the other hand, I don't want to devalue my time & effort for photography. For this collaboration alone, I probably spent 12-15 hours total in between meetings, brainstorming, traveling, shooting, editing, formatting, delivering, etc. Fortunately, for this time around, Sarah Jane and I found a beautiful solution that she would donate to my roommate Krista's missions trip in lieu of paying me for my services. I think that this solution addresses both of my concerns so appropriately - I'm not doing it completely for "free," but I am placing a value on my work as well!

Keep your eyes out for Part 2 of my collaboration with Sarah Jane soon!

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The Pear Shape: A San Francisco Collaboration by Amanda Liew

_DSC0400_The Pear ShapeFor the majority of my life, I didn't have a role model. Sure, there were certain people I looked up to, but there was never quite anybody that I wanted to emulate. That is, until I met Lauren. As a naive little freshman, when I was paired with Lauren in the Chi Omega house I was blown away that we were from the same hometown. I'm pretty sure I actually uttered, "What are the chances?!" (A year later I would found out that was 100% planned...) Being the out-of-the-loop freshman that I was, I somehow got it into my mind that sorority rush was the equivalent of an interview. That meant I talked about all things nerdy - my "accomplishments", my educational interests, classes I loved, etc etc. Luckily for me, I was paired with one of the few people who found that absolutely fascinating, and my friendship with Lauren was instantly born. A few rounds of rush later, I was joining Chi Omega and going on the equivalent of speed-dates with sophomores to find my Big only to come full circle and be paired with her! For the past 5+ years of knowing her, she has become my role model in ways I never imagined. Lauren is strong, confident, determined and one of the most accomplished people I know. Only a few years out of her undergrad, she has accomplished so much in her career by merging both fashion and technology. And on top of all of that, she has been running a successful fashion blog targeting "the hip endowed" over at The Pear Shape for nearly two years.

Naturally, in my recent visit to San Francisco, I knew I had to force a photo shoot on her. And wow, I'm so thankful I did. By now a blogging veteran, she is immensely comfortable and fun in front of the camera - making my work as a photographer much easier. Learning from my collaboration with @stylemediator, I knew that I liked detail shots showing off smaller aspects of the outfit as well as tight frame close-ups. I struggled a bit with how to best take advantage of the setting sun - there were certain shots where the sun was far too bright against her, but I was able to fix a few of the issues post-editing with Camera Raw. Definitely head over to The Pear Shape to take a look at the rest of Lauren's gorgeously planned outfits!

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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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