san francisco

where the californian breeze blows by Amanda Liew

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 My fascination in the ocean isn't in the color, the roar, or the strength, but in its endlessness.

Snapshots from my road trip up the Californian coast. As the winter seemingly gets colder and colder in New York City, I'm finally returning to these gloriously sunny photos and reminiscing about bare feet, californian breezes, and sunshine that never stops. For more details on my trip and FujiInstax shots, check out my previous post "thirty eight."_DSC0026_california _DSC0020_california _DSC0045_california _DSC0052_california _DSC0069_california _DSC0105_california _DSC0107_california _DSC0124_california _DSC0135_california _DSC0137_california _DSC0139_california _DSC0144_california _DSC0149_california _DSC0159 copy_california _DSC0161_california _DSC0166_california _DSC0175_california _DSC0188_california _DSC0191_california _DSC0201_california _DSC0208_california _DSC0227_california _DSC0248_california _DSC0244_california _DSC0250_california _DSC0256_california _DSC0268_california _DSC0269_california _DSC0272_california _DSC0273_california _DSC0275_california _DSC0277_california _DSC0281_california _DSC0298_california _DSC0299_california

The Other Side of the Camera by Amanda Liew

_DSC0465 Since I've identified myself as a photographer more and more, I've found that I'm in photos less and less. There are so many days where I'll come back home with a hundred photos on my SD card and I'm barely present in any of them. So when Lauren from The Pear Shape and I were doing our photo shoot, I took up her offer for a chance to be on the other side of the camera for once! With such a sharp eye as a fashion blogger, I love the photos she took - perhaps it's the leather jacket or the dark lipstick, but I swear this is the edgiest I've ever looked in my life. Thanks for these amazing photos, Lauren!

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thirty eight from california by Amanda Liew

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  For years we made the trek. Nine hours plus however many bathroom breaks it took to reach San Francisco from San Diego. It was to see my grandparents which was great, but it meant being thrown in the car at the wee hours of the morning where your only activity options were sleeping or eating or staring out the window. So when my dear friend Victoria and I were planning our much needed vacations, the concept of a road trip, much less a road trip in California, seemed less than enticing to me. Nevertheless, a few scheduling coincidences and a chance to reclaim the California coast in the make of adventure finally swayed my vote.

Thus, just as fall was quickly ushering Manhattan into its arms, we skipped backwards into the eternal summer of San Diego. Right before we left, I made the spontaneous decision to purchase a Fujifilm Instax instant camera and a boatload of film to document our adventures. What came out of it was thirty eight prints - some posed, some candids, some given away as gifts, and many that will be treasured for a lifetime.

On my turf, Victoria was shown all my favorite spots and some of my favorite people - Marine St Beach with Maegan, the Cove, Don Carlos with Ruth, Extraordinary Desserts with Drew, Balboa Park and Coronado with my family, and so much more.

We then began the first part of our journey and headed up North to Santa Barbara where we spent time leisurely walking along boardwalks, destressing for the first time in too long, and of course basking in the sun on both the beach and our rooftop pool.

After Santa Barbara, we faced the ambitious task of conquering the Pacific Coast Highway in one day. Unfortunately, our giant stacks of Swedish pancakes at our first stop in Solvang put us off to a delayed start (and a dangerous food coma while driving), but we made it to Morro Bay without w hitch. We then tackled Big Sur which was hands down my favorite part of the trip. It's gorgeous driving along the coast no matter what, but to have these enormous cliffs alongside you and breathtaking beach inlets below you was just something else. We managed to find Pfeiffer Beach which you cam literally only identify by sign that says "No RVs." You them drive about 2 miles down to the beach itself where the powerful waves have created a hole in an enormous rock formation and the sand runs purple from erosion. Not wanting to say goodbye, we pressed on to do the 17 Mile Drive in Pebble Beach. It's a fascinating neighborhood with ridiculous coastal views that even managed to make a La Jollan jealous.

Finally, finally we made it to our last destination of Sam Francisco where my amazing Big, Lauren, hosted us in her oh-my-god-is-that-the-golden-gate-bridge-from-your-window?! apartment. We had the chance to see Brad and Laura for some phenomenal views of The Golden Gate Bridge and oysters out on the deck of The Ferry Building. The food was such a highlight of San Francisco: Dinner with Nate and Alex at Delarosa's was phenomenal, salami sandwiches at Molinari's, chocolate at XOX truffles, and of course pizza at Tony's (with no wait!).

It was the perfect nine days. Pure bliss, wonderful rest, and the sun on our faces.

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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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