My favorite things with Lena Antaramian!

1. Traveling (and eating!) my way through the world: Seeing the world with my favorite people – namely my husband and my twin girls is definitely on the top of my list. We are big world travelers (have been to over 50 countries) and I am so happy that our 7 year old daughters share this passion of ours.  I just love exploring new places, taking in new smells and sounds and of course experiencing new cultures through food!   Food just might be my favorite part about travel.

family traveling photos

2. Ona Capri Camera Bag: I admit that I am HUGE bag person – I have more bags that I care to admit. I remember once I was on a quest for a particular limited edition Coach bag for a week – checking for it online, on eBay and calling every store within a 40 mile radius from me – till I finally got it.  When I had my kids I was obsessed with diaper bags – I almost want to have another baby so that I can buy a new Petunia Pickle Bottom bag. And of course when I became a photographer my bag obsession turned to camera bags.  I think I own every camera bag that’s out there and I love them all.  But my favorite by far is my Ona Leather Capri.  It is a STUNNING bag – made out of weathered Italian leather (that according to my husband just looks ‘old’ but what does he know!) and it is a perfect size.  It is large enough to fit a camera body with two lenses (including my giant 70-200 mm) but small enough to be used as an every day out-and-about bag.

I promise, I am not a paid salesperson for Ona, I just love it so much!

3. UFC Gym: I’ve tried so many gyms but my current favorite is UFC.  Before joining, I did not think such intense workouts were even possible – think boxing, burpies, sprints, pushups, crunches and everything in between.  In the beginning of each class times seems to crawl, each minute feels like an hour and making it to the end of a class seems like an impossible task. But the feeling of accomplishment at the end of the class is amazing and I come back day after day after day.

boxing gloves

4. Bruno Acampora Musc Perfume Oil: Bruno Acapora Musc Perfume oil is my absolutely favorite perfume and it is my ‘signature’ scent during winter months.  It is earthy, spicy and so memorable!   Years ago the only place where you could get it was from their store in Milan, Italy!   I remember having to make an international phone call and my husband, who speaks Spanish and some French but not much Italian, explaining to the sales people what I wanted to order – in VERY broken Italian.  Another time my parents, who were on vacation in Italy, had to find this little store during their travels and buy me a bottle. But now you don’t need to go to such great lengths to get it because it is available online!

Musc Perfume Oil

5. Spring: I LOVE spring – it is my absolutely favorite season!  I love warm sunny days after cold New Jersey winters, I love running outside without having to put on 10 layers to be warm, I love how nature wakes up from long winter’s sleep and everything burst with colors; I love planting flowers and picking lilac from my own lilac tree in front of my house. And the fact that my birthday is in April makes spring even better.

yellow flower

6. Camera Creatures: I always have one in my camera bag and bring it out at pretty much every session with a baby or a toddler.   I put it on my lens and its bright color and loud squeaky sounds (it has a built-in squeaker,) grab kids attention.  And what’s even better is that they look directly at my camera, which allows me to capture amazing images!

7. Mac Cosmetics Face Brush: I bought this  Mac Duo Fibre Face Brush years ago and to this day it is my absolute favorite makeup brush.  Originally I bought it to apply a mineralize powder – that powder has been long gone now but I still use the brush.  I use it to apply my blush – it applies it evenly and feels so nice and smooth!

Mac makeup brush

8. J Crew Lady Day Coat: This is the best coat I’ve ever had!  I love this coat so much that when the first one I bought got old, I bought another one.  The fit is so flattering, it is very light (but surprisingly warm) and I LOVE bright colors it comes in – my first one was baby blue and the new one is bright yellow.  I get a compliment on it every single time I wear it!  And wearing a bright yellow coat makes me happy even on cold grey fall days.

JCrew coat

9. PixleFlash 3.0 Card Reader: I LOVE this card reader!  It is fast and it does not have any pins inside, which means that there are no pins that can get bent!  And that means that you don’t need to buy a replacement card reader every few months (which is what I used to do before I discovered this one!).  I’ve had it for several years now and it works as great as ever!

card reader

10. New York City: I want to start this by saying that I mean no disrespect to other cities and I am just stating my (very passionate) opinion.

Recently my husband and I had a long discussion on the position of NYC as the best city in the world.  We both came to a conclusion that no other city even comes close to NYC.  Yes London and Paris are great cultural centers, Hong Kong and Tokyo are exotic, Sydney is cosmopolitan, Cape Town is picturesque, Prague and Buenos Aires are beautiful but having visiting all of them I don’t think they stand a chance against NYC.

I love the energy and diversity, the grit and beauty, the smells and sounds, the people and traffic, and all little nooks and crannies that this amazing city has to offer.  And of course it is an amazing place to take pictures!

We’ve lived in New York for 15 years before moving out to the suburbs after we had kids.  We still come to the city with our girls (and sometimes for a nice weekend get-away without kids) and I love it as much as ever!

New York City