Miami Museum of Ice Cream - Tour & Video!

Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to attend the press preview for the LA Museum of Ice Cream, and when I heard that they were opening a location in Miami, during the same time that I would be working from Miami, I knew I had to visit! 

I met up with my friend @ananewyork to explore and take as many photos as possible! Overall, I loved the location. The building's architecture was stunning and the rooftop had views of the ocean! For added punch, they painted all of the hallways pink, patterned the stairwells, and installed a bouquet of "balloons" in the main courtyard. I also loved the secret disco coconut room, and the popsicle installation (which was very similar to the banana one from LA, but on a much smaller scale). If you're in Miami, love colors, and love Instagram, this place was made for you! And the best news - unlike other locations that have sold out almost immediately, tickets are still available here!

Check out the video blog here &/or scroll through for all of the photos. All images of me were taken by @ananewyork. Be sure to follow her if you aren't already!

And because there have been a lot of questions, here is the gear that I was carrying with me:
1. Canon 5d Mark III Camera 
2. Canon 50mm f/1.8 
3. Canon 35mm f/2 
4. Canon 16-35mm f/4 
5. Lexar 64gb SD cards
6. Joby UltraFit Camera Strap (fits like a crossbody!)
7. Fujifilm XT-20

 

The perfect hotel for tech-savvy creatives

Even though our Europe trip was intended to be a vacation, I didn't leave my laptop at home. As a creative entrepreneur, it's hard to take time off, and I am always looking for super fun hotels that cater to business needs. But business hotels can be blah, boring, and corporate - aka not a good fit for me! So when I found out about citizenM, I was so excited to stay in their bright, colorful, and smart rooms when we visited London and Paris!

In London, we rolled up to the citizenM Shoreditch and were delighted by colorful lounge chairs, and a stunning spiral staircase leading to the check-in floor. The citizenM Paris Gare De Lyon had a similar impact with stunning, spinning, sculptures hanging from the ceiling! They definitely know how to make a good first impression. 

Both properties had seamless self check-in experiences, and the coolest smart rooms controlled by an iPad! They are also perfect for design-lovers featuring a consistent color palette, and fun elements like balloon dog sculptures, union jack throw pillows, and murals painted on the walls and even the ceilings! Click through to see photos of the properties and my list of the top features. You can also tune into our city VLOGS below to see video tours of the spaces. 

citizenM Shoreditch

Best features:

  • Fast wifi (fine for uploading photos, even!)
  • iPad controlled smart rooms (lighting, window blinds, a/c...everything)
  • Free movies (we watched Finding Dory!)
  • Self check-in (so. easy.)
  • Free water daily (seems small, but is so appreciated after a long travel day)

citizenM Gare De Lyon

See video tours in our London & Paris VLOGs! 

Top 3 Most Colorful Spots in Paris!

One of my favorite parts of our Europe trip was finding colorful spots in the wild and taking photos! Of the 4 cities we visited, Paris surprised me with color more than any other. So when I found out that one of my favorite color-loving brands, Mixbook, released a Paris photo book template, I knew we had to partner together to showcase this colorful city. I'm listing the 3 most colorful spots here and sharing how I displayed the photos in a beautiful Mixbook travel photo book

1. Pigalle Basketball Court
My favorite colorful locations are the ones that seem to appear out of nowhere. They surprise and delight and make your jaw drop with just one look. The Pigalle basketball court is a retro technicolor surprise in the midst of an unsuspecting residential street. If you love color, design, graphics, or just sports in general, the Pigalle basketball court is a treat. 

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2. Rue Crémiuex
Stroll down a few blocks from the Gare De Lyon train station and you'll find the most charming and colorful pedestrian street, Rue Crémiuex. With houses and doors in every color of the rainbow, quaint window boxes, and bright bikes at every doorstep, Rue Cremieuex is a pastel-lover's dream. 

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3. Montmartre
Put on your cutest sneaks and head to Montmartre, one of the most colorful neighborhoods in the city. One catch - you'll need to climb some stairs and steep streets to get there, but I promise it will be worth it when you see the view from the top and the vibrant, ivy-covered buildings along the way. 

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The Photo Book
The Mixbook Paris theme, "J'adore Paris" designed by Molly Hatch, really makes the photos pop!  The pink Paris map illustration and the hand-lettered French phrases are my favorite elements, and they're easy to add with Mixbook's editing tools. I'm pretty sure these travel photobooks will be the go-to holiday gifts this year. One for my parents, one for the grandparents, one for the future in-laws...the list goes on!  

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This post was created in partnership with Mixbook, but all our content and opinions belong to LISH creative. Thanks for supporting the work with our sponsors, it means a lot! 

Visiting London!

When Graham found out he was getting a one month vacation during his third year of medical school, we knew we had to take a trip to Europe. We each studied abroad and neither of us had been back to visit since. Graham studied in London in the fall of 2009, and I studied in Lugano Switzerland in the spring of 2013, so it had been far too long!

We knew from the start that London would be our first stop. When I first met Graham, he talked to me about his time living there and we are both huge Wimbledon fans, so we’ve been wanting to go to experience this town together. 

Not only did we get to explore together, but we also got engaged while visiting! Graham had been planning to propose since March, and when we went to Wimbledon for a couple's photo shoot,  he got down on one knee in front of centre court! It was a surprise to me and our photographer, and I'm so happy to have photos documenting the occasion. 

Click through for more details about where we stayed and played, or watch the video recap here:

STAY
We stayed at the citizenM Shoreditch and it was a great base for exploring! Aside from it being a super clean and beautiful, smart room, it was also conveniently located near multiple bus lines and tube stations.

CitizenM Shoreditch
CitizenM Shoreditch

EATING IN SHOREDITCH
Shoreditch is a super hip neighborhood with various yummy restaurants to try. Via Emilia had some of the best Italian food we’ve had outside of Italy and the Cereal Killer Cafe was a novel experience for us too! We also heard great things about HomeSlice and Pizza East, but we didn’t get a chance to try them.

EXPLORING
Since we had both visited before, we didn't take time to see some of the most popular attractions like Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, or Buckingham Palace, but here are the sights & neighborhoods we did explore:
- Brick Lane
- Shoreditch
- Paddington
- Kensington Gardens/Palace
- The Victoria & Albert Museum
- Notting Hill
- Portobello Road Market
- Southbank
- The London Eye
- Big Ben & Parliment
- Tate Modern
- Tower Bridge
- Canary Wharf
- Millenium Bridge
- St. Pauls Cathedral
- Trafalgar Square
- Piccadilly Circus
- Oxford Circus
- Carnaby Street
- Sketch London
- Wimbledon

Paddington

Paddington

Kensington Gardens

Kensington Gardens

I lived in this ASOS coat, and the freestyle crossbody by State of Escape. 

I lived in this ASOS coat, and the freestyle crossbody by State of Escape. 

Notting Hill

Notting Hill

LENGTH OF STAY
4 nights is a great amount of spend in London. I honestly would've liked longer, and I definitely wouldn't try to visit for less than three days. You can buy a visitor's tube pass for the length of your stay online before you leave, or at the airport. It gives you the best value if you plan on taking the tube daily (which we definitely recommend!). 

GETTING AROUND
If you're going without an international data plan, you can download the London Google map to use offline without internet, but look up transportation from the airport to your hotel before you arrive. We took all public transportation, but a cab or uber is way easier and more convenient if you're not budget conscious. Speaking of the tube - picking a hotel near a tube stop can be helpful in allowing you to see as much as the city as possible! 

DOCUMENTING THE TRIP
Engagement aside, I would still highly recommend hiring a photographer to document at least part of your trip. It's so hard to get selfies and I always hate asking strangers to take photos, so a dedicated photo shoot is a great option, especially if it's a destination that's particularly special to you!  

fall in London
Notting Hill

Notting Hill

The London Eye

The London Eye

Portobello Road

Portobello Road

View from the London Eye

View from the London Eye

Notting Hill

Notting Hill

The London Eye

The London Eye

Graham's Fav Allbirds

Graham's Fav Allbirds

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

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london mural
Notting Hill

Notting Hill

A sneak peek from our surprise proposal & engagement session with Cecelina Photography - more details coming soon! 

A sneak peek from our surprise proposal & engagement session with Cecelina Photography - more details coming soon! 

All photos were taken with Fujifilm XT-20
Engagement Image by Cecelina Photography

Thanks to our sponsors - 
Accommodations by CitizenM Shoreditch
Shoes by Allbirds
Bag by State of Escape

Fashion links:
ASOS White pleated layer dress
ASOS gray textured coat

 


 

PICKING A TRAVEL CAMERA

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Before I  get into sharing images and videos from our 2 week Europe trip, I  wanted to spend some time discussing how I  decided which camera to take! I’m going to talk a little about my thoughts on each model and share what I ended up going with!

OPTION 1: CANON 5D Mark III + Canon Powershot G7X Mark II COMBO
I  am a proud Canon 5d Mark III user. I  love the camera and use it for all of my commercial photography & stop-motion work. I  usually use it for personal projects too, but for Europe, I  was concerned about its size and weight. I knew we would be out and about, on our feet, walking all day, and I also knew that we were only taking one carry-on bag which wouldn’t leave much room to pack the body & lenses. The Mark III has great video quality also, but it's not very agile and I  find it clumsy for VLOG-style footage. For that reason, I have recently been using the Canon Powershot G7x Mark II, a high-performance point and shoot with a flip up “selfie” screen, as a video camera. I  love this combo, but it is still sometimes hard to juggle 2 cameras when you’re on the go. 

OPTION 2: Canon Rebel + Canon Powershot G7X Mark II
The rebel is the camera I  learned to shoot with, and it is one of the greatest value cameras considering its price and image quality. It is also nearly half of the size of the Mark III! I highly considered it for that reason, but I  realized I  would still need a second camera for video, so this combo wouldn’t save that much space. 

OPTION 3: Canon Powershot G7X Mark II Only
You may be asking, why not just take the point and shoot, Lish? That’s a great question, and I’m still asking myself the same question. The G7x is so convenient and so tiny, It can fit in a pocket! But then I remember that although this camera is amazing for my style of video, I  thought I  would miss having lens options and it doesn't have the ability to shoot in RAW either. 

OPTION 4: FUJIFILM XT20
The cool thing about mirrorless cameras is that they have the same, if not better specs than larger and more expensive DSLRs, yet they’re 1/3 of the size! This one still isn’t full frame, but it has the capability to add multiple lenses (which are also more compact) and it can shoot images in RAW format also. Because of our limited packing space and excess of walking and traveling, I  decided to go with this model to cut back on the amount of equipment I  was carrying and still be left with high-quality images and video. I  didn’t own this model previously, but my cousin Ryan has a similar Fuji model so I  felt more comfortable purchasing. 

VERDICT & EXPERIENCE
Ultimately, I  wish I  had more time to play with and really learn the XT20 before the trip. I  did watch a few YouTube videos, but once I  go there, in the moment, I didn't want to take the time to play with it to make adjustments as we were touring each city. If it was a dedicated photography trip, it would be a different story, but this trip was for fun! Because of that, I  think I would have taken the G7x instead if given a second chance. BUT if it was solely a work trip, I  would definitely take the Canon 5D Mark III + Canon G7X COMBO instead. Obviously there are hundreds of combinations and cameras that I  could’ve picked from, but these were the 4 setups that I was considering based on my past experience. 

What’s your go-to setup for travel photography? I’d love to know and compare experiences! 

Q4 Q&A + Road Trip VLOG!

Last week, I announced that we were driving from Los Angeles to Pittsburgh as the start of 3 months of traveling away from Los Angeles. With the announcement, we were met with lots of questions, and requests for a VLOG! Check out the video here and scroll through for the FAQs. 

 

1. Where are you going to be over the next three months?
We will be in Pittsburgh for 4 weeks, Europe for 2 weeks, and Miami for 4 weeks. There are 2 weeks where we are undecided, and this also doesn't count any of the time that I will be back in LA over the course of 3 months. 

2. Will you continue to work?
Absolutely YES! So much of my work can be done from anywhere like client relations, inbox management, conference calls, creative concepting, prop shopping and more. I also brought along all of my gear, basically a mobile studio and prop closet, so that I could execute any in-studio photography and animations. For lifestyle imagery, I will be shooting anything fall-themed in Pennsylvania (we have changing leaves and rolling pumpkin patches!) and for anything related to the California lifestyle, I will fly back for. I already have an LA trip planned for the week of October 9th. 

3.. Are you still able to serve your clients?
Absolutely. Aside from the 2 weeks in Europe, I will still be responding to client emails & phone calls, working to bring their projects to life, and communicating with my internal team daily.

4. Are you accepting new clients at this time? 
YES! We are able to execute any in-studio imagery or GIFs from anywhere, fall lifestyle work in Pittsburgh, international lifestyle work in Europe, and beachy/artistic lifestyle work from Miami. It's kind of the best of both worlds! We will cover so many unique locations for our clients!

5. When will you be back in LA?
I will be back to shoot for three of my clients during the week of October 9th, most likely sometime again in November, and we will be back for good on December 15th. 

6. Where in Europe are you going?
We are traveling to Paris, London, Copenhagen and one more city that is TBD - send recs! 

7. Is it hard catering to a medical student's schedule?
It presents a unique challenge, but I feel like we're embracing it! Not many people get to experience living in multiple cities and medical students have a chance to. Being an entrepreneur is ideal for me because I can have a more flexible schedule and I can create opportunities wherever we go. The time he spends studying and in the hospitals has also been perfect because I never feel guilty about working too much. I use that time to serve my clients and to build my business and it works. If he wasn't in medical school, I think my business would be in an entirely different place, or maybe not even exist yet. 

8. What year of Medical School is Graham in?
He is in his third year. He has one more school year of rotations left and then he will be matched into a residency. 

9. What type of doctor does he want to be? 
He is a former college hockey player so he is interested in some form of sports medicine. 

10. Are you both from Pittsburgh?
We are both from the South Hills! I grew up in Peters Twp and Graham in Bethel Park.

Any other questions? Leave them in the comments or DM me on Instagram! I hope you enjoyed the VLOG!