Brisk Mornings on the Upper East Side by Amanda Liew

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Every now and then, I manage to trick my body into thinking the mornings aren't quite as painful as I think they are. (This is a lie.) Usually this means catching up with somebody for breakfast or coffee, but last week, I had the fun opportunity to whip out my camera and embrace our proximity to Central Park on a very brisk morning with my dear roommate Krista. Despite the jokes our friends give us about needing a passport to get up here, we've both loved living on the Upper East Side. There's a certain peacefulness about the neighborhood that you don't get in other parts of the city, and for a place I call "home," that's just what I need! Often times tourists visit the city and claim it's too chaotic and overwhelming - but the reality is that they've only explored Times Square or some other equivalent of a tourist trap. Unbeknownst to them, there are little treasures and neighborhood gems scattered throughout the city that offer a tranquil retreat from the rest of the craziness. Want artisanal doughnuts? A view of the East River? A great open field that's not filled with a thousand human beings like Sheep's Meadow? The Upper East Side calls your name.

It was so much fun just ducking out of the apartment for 15 minutes to snap a couple of gorgeous shots of Krista in the neighborhood!

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Behind-the-Scenes of Merry & Kelly's Engagement Shoot by Amanda Liew

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  When my roommate's boyfriend, Kelly, told me he was going to propose, I died trying to keep it a secret. When Merry & Kelly did get engaged, I celebrated and told the world. When Merry hilariously asked me to take her engagement photos, I panicked and laughed...and then pointed them in the direction of someone with more experience: my good friend Rob Cleary. Nevertheless, the four of us went together to the Central Park Conservatory Garden on a beautiful Saturday evening when the weather was the perfect mix between spring and summer. As Rob dutifully snapped away, I took on the role of hair-fixer, bag-holder, sign-maker as well as behind-the-scenes-capturer. I love these candids because of how they capture Merry & Kelly's relationship - from the ridiculous sarcastic jokes constantly bouncing back and forth to the secret glances and smiles that they don't think I see. It brings me so much joy to see Merry & Kelly build their life together, and I can't be happier to be a part of their journey! To see Rob's engagement session photos click here.

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