I am a 36 year old woman who may not live in "The Big City" but I like the little city I live in and there is a lot that goes on around here too! This is a place where anything can happen..or be written about!!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

2010... Wrapped Up In A Pretty Bow :)

2010: Can't say I am going to miss you (please let 2011 be a better year..pretty please) but on that same note  I/ we had some good times in 2010! ;) So lets focus on that!

#1: I started My Sarah In The City Blog...Yay! I am having so much fun with it, and I appreciate all the great feedback..Thank you! I look forward to doing even more with it and 2011! Thank you to all the great people who let me interview them this year..it so much fun getting to know people and what they LOVE to do! There are so many inspiring, creative, hard working, fun, and fabulous people doing extraordinary, special, and wonderful things here locally. We are a lucky city to be filled with such talented, giving, and interesting people. I also appreciate you reading my own personal ramblings with such positive feedback...Thank You- Thank You- Thank You! xo

#2 I learned about "True Strength": I have had many friends including myself who went through some major surgeries this year! We have all been very lucky with the amazing love and support we have gotten from our friends and family and each other. I also learned we all have the ability to be quite strong even when it's the hardest to be. I hope 2011 is a very healthy year for all my friends who have struggled this year with their health as well as for everyone else. With that said though the number one story of strength and survival I have learned from this year is my grandfather's story! At 89 years
old my grandfather's appendix ruptured (not quite a common situation for someone that age). An appendix rupturing in someone my age is quite dangerous let alone in someone who is 89. My grandfather made it through a very long surgery, he made it through a long hospitalization, he made it through an infection that hit his whole body and in turn ended him up on life support. We were told he would probably not get off life support..but he did..then he couldn't talk or eat, and then he started to. A few weeks ago the "miracle man" celebrated his 90th birthday at home with his friends and family. My grandfather is a fighter, he wanted to live, he didn't give up when his body was trying to. He showed me what true strength was. When I was at the hospital saying what I thought were my last goodbye's to him I kept thinking I wish I could have told him all this ONE more time while he was awake; how much I love him, how much he means to me, how much he has impacted my life in such positive ways, and to thank him for being an amazing grandfather. I was VERY fortunate enough on his 90th birthday to retell him those things face to face. Not only did my grandfather teach me strength he taught me to never put off what you want to say to someone! Always tell people you love how much they mean to you...you don't realize how important it is for you until it is to late. I love you Grampy!!!! xoxoxo

#3 You can always reinvent your life/ You are never to old to start over or to start something new!:  Since I have had some time on my hands during my recovery from my 3rd hip surgery I realized that life is short and you should do what you love. I got a new camera from D (Thank you so much for my dream gift), I have been writing my two blogs, practicing my guitar again and doing more creative things in general. Which is what I feel I am am truly meant to do in this world. I am not sure where all this is going to take me, but I am not going to let something like a 36th birthday for example make me believe that I don't have the capability for great change and to follow my passions to see where they take me...AGE SHOULD NOT MATTER..only what is in your heart! That is a lesson I have definitely learned this year and I am still currently bringing that lesson and mindset into 2011! There is a lot out there in this world..even for a chick with a "difficult" hip ;)

#4 Love At First Site: I became and Auntie to a BEAUTIFUL (and I am not being biased) niece, and I became a "mama" to a feisty, fun, and cute puppy name Sky. Both in their own way have expose me to the world of unconditional LOVE. From the moment I met my niece I knew that she will be one of the most important people in my life...for the rest of my life!  It is a feeling that even I did not understand until the day my sister gave birth. I can't wait to see all that Lil L will become as she gets older. She is the BEST!  My puppy Sky has already become a very important part of my family, and she has also presented D and I with are own little family. I felt like she was part of my family from the moment D surprised me with her, and the bond between us gets stronger every day as I care for my little "baby". Sometimes life gives you lemons, but it also gives you babies and puppies too :) So in that case in the end my world was somewhat balanced out this year ;)

#5 A Weekend Away...is always needed! Bethel NY (The site of Woodstock), Stowe Vermont, NYC, York Maine. All small jaunts away from my city..the longest was a 5 hour drive, but they all gave me a burst of new energy and a better outlook on life. I think we all need to sometimes get away just so we can appreciate what we have here at home. Long far away vacations take planning and more money (they are also needed too, but I can't personally do them as frequently ), but short little jaunts are good rejuvenators for your soul. With all that happened this year those mini trips really help me mentally during my recovery from surgery. ..made me feel like I was still living life and doing new things..we all need that feeling..so I say..don't put off life's little adventures.. just go for it!

.....and last but not least I am happy to be living back in Salem (moved back here in 2010). I love this city and I have been having a blast getting to know it, and the people in it even better this year!!! Cheers to 2011..may it be a good year for us all!!!!! xoxo

ps. Stayed tuned for some really refreshing, fun, educational ,compelling, and of course FABULOUS interviews coming at you in 2011 (maybe one will be with YOU!!!)
Peace, Love and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I met my friend Jodi Greenleaf 13 years ago.  Till this day she is the most creative person I know. Jodi just recently graduated from New England School of Art and Design with a degree in Interior Design.

Jodi is an artist in every sense of the word. She draws. paints, and sews. She also has a passion for cooking and her food always looks likes beautiful edible art. She is a creator.  She truly has a fire in her for hands on activities and creating beautiful and useful items.  She makes Halloween costumes that are  much cooler than any you would find at any costume shop. I have seen her many times whip up curtains and pillows for many of our friends in a blink of an eye. It always impresses me to see her natural talent at work.

 Jodi always makes hanging out a fun and creative time. On many a cold winter's day we have made purses out of random fabrics, reupholstered chairs, cooked yummy dinners and desserts, we have made designer stools to put our feet up on plus many many more items (way to much to list here). Jodi also taught me how to paint with oil paints as well as sketch different objects with just some drawing pencils and a eraser. Each time we hang out not only do we always laugh a lot and have a good time, but I become a tad more creative myself.  I wanted to interview Jodi, because it's always fun to tap a creative brain plus Jodi has started her own business Greenleaf Home. I am so proud of her and I am also happy she is finally going to be able to share her talents with the public:)

So now it's time to let me "draw" you into Jodi's "colorful" world.......here is my interview with Jodi Greenleaf:

S:What was the first product you ever made?
J: I was in third grade and I made a bed for my barbie out of flannel fabric. I also crochet a skirt for my barbie.

S:What made you decide to do more "Green" designs?
J: I love the concept of giving a new life to an old item. To look at this item in a new light instead of just throwing something "old" away. I think it is such a consumer based world, sometimes we throw away things without thinking twice about it. We don't realize all the potential our products we buy have.

S:What is your favorite way to express yourself creatively?
J: Anything with my hands! Paint, draw, sew, crochet,quilt, and cook are a few ways :)

S.Why did you start Greenleaf Home?
J: I always treated my art as a hobby, but I would really like to be able to support myself doing something I love...live the American dream.

S: Can you share an easy GREENleaf project with my readers that they could do at home?
J: An easy gift wrap for a wine bottle.  You can use an old sweater, long sleeve tshirt, or a men's long sleeve dress shirt.  Place bottle next to sleeve, adjust to leave a little overlap at the top and cut 2 inches below bottle bottom.  Stitch the bottom all the way around.  Gather the threads by gently pulling and then stitch a couple times through the gathered fabric.  Tie off and slide the cozy on.  Top off by putting on a cute bow!


Step #2

Step #3

Step #4


Step #6

Step #7

Step #8

S: What is your favorite thing you ever created and why?
J:I loved doing watercolor paintings! I love the way colors mix on the paper and the translucent properties of the overall look. 

S: Where do you see the future of Greenleaf Home?
J: I am hoping to see Greenleaf Home products in gift shops everywhere. I would love to sell my products in the Mass General Hospital gift shop, because I love the idea of someone buying my product to cheer up someone who is sick. 

S.Any tips for people to help refine their skills with
A. Drawing: Drawing is like any skill. Practice, practice, and practice is the key to mastering any skill.
B. Painting: As for painting, paint from the heart and don't worry about making mistakes. Sometimes mistakes turn out to make the piece better. 
C. Sewing: Sewing is tricky. I would suggest reading a pattern and then following exactly what it says. It helps to understand construction.

Picture to the right is me wearing one of "Greenleaf Home" purple Neck Loop (Neck Loop made from 100% cotton using recycled material. 
Comfortable, stylish, and versatile. Super soft and cozy. It can be twisted for a solid look or half of it can be looped to create a look of two different lengths.)
You can see Jodi's products on Facebook: Greenleaf Home  

You can also contact her at : greenleafhome@hotmail.com
Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/people/greenleafhome?ref=ls_profile

(Photo's of Jodi taken by Sarah In The City)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me ;)

OMG!! I am turing 36 this week ...am I even allow to say OMG at my age ;)

Well instead of an interview of a fabulous person doing outstanding things....I will be "interviewing" myself this week.  ;)

 I guess the reason I wanted to write this post is that I am kind of reflecting/ freaking out about turning 36, and I am sure others have been in my shoes :) It's amazing how fast time goes by, I guess I need to learn how to appreciate it more! Let's just say birthdays are not as much as fun as they use to be when I was a kid, but then again why shouldn't you celebrate yourself, and enjoy it even if it means getting "older".

Every year since I was in my early twenties I have written in my diary about what I have liked about the year I had (to keep life in a positive perspective), and I also write what I would like to see for my future for the upcoming year. Then I look back at the previous diary entry from the year before to see if I obtained any of the goals I set for myself. I always seem to achieve a few, miss some, and discovered goals I did not think about along the way.

Instead of doing my diary entry this year I am writing it here. I wanted this blog to not only be interviews with interesting people, but also to put myself out there and maybe inspire others to do the same. Some people believe privacy is important, and I do agree with that to a point. I also believe we can learn from each other, and the only way to do that is to share. I am putting my thoughts out there that I want to share, and it's your choice to read them or not. You can agree or disagree with me, that's not important. I think what is important is talking and sharing with each other. I have learned a lot from others, and I have always been fascinated with people's stories, so I figured might as well share  some of mine too ;)

This past year has been a hard one for me to say the least. 35: I spent half the year on pain medication, so part of it is just a blur and the other half  I spent in pain. I have been angry about the whole "hip situation" and threw a few pity parties for myself. I have been through a lot and until you experience the level of pain I have been in it's hard to understand, even if you want to. I think that even though my 35th year has in someways been defined by my hip, I don't want it to be defined that way in my mind.
This is how I want to remember my 35th year:
 I found out what an incredible support system I have. I am TRULY lucky to have so many people in my life that care about me and want to help me out. I know I am quite fortunate to be this lucky and not everyone is as blessed as me to have this. The people in my life truly made a hard year into a year where I learned what true love and support is all about. I appreciate the people who have been there for me in my life. I am grateful to them more than words could ever express and I hope I can be there for all of them in any way they may need me in their life.

 I learned how to be a stronger person. Life isn't easy if you live long enough. You will have your hard times, but it's the way you handle them is what truly defines your life. I have learned to find strength in places I didn't know I had, it hasn't been easy, but I have to say it makes you feel so empowered to pick yourself up when you are at your lowest. It makes you realize if you can do that you can do anything! To me this lesson has gotten me through some very tough times this year...bottom line..you can't give up hope even when you feel like there is none left (Trust me...I do understand it is easier said than done, but we all have the ability to do this. )

This has also been the year of true self reflection. I thought at this point in my life I would probably be at  different place....married, kids, a successful job...what the world has made me believe that I should have/be at by this point in life. Not to say that all people believe this ,and not to say that the people who are at this stage are not happy, but as my sister said to me "even with all that you have been through you still have more fun than most people I know". I laughed at her when she said this, but in some ways it is true. I may not have the stuff listed above, but those things don't always equal happiness, not to say I don't want it, but if is meant to be it will happen, but in the meantime I am trying not to focus on a number or what I should or should not have. I am trying to just live each day to it's fullest (which isn't always easy, but at least I am trying). Like my sister reminded me even through my hard times I have had a lot of fun/amazing times and experiences in my life too, which again makes me very fortunate. It's nice things to reflect on when times do get tough.

 Even though it's been a difficult year I have also been given the opportunity that most people are not given at my age; a time to think about just myself, to reflect on what will make me happy, and what I want from my life. I am still reflecting, but I am starting to find answers to these questions with all this "time off" I have had. 

 I also have started a new chapter in my life with my boyfriend "D" who I moved in with this year. D has shown me the true meaning of what caring and being in a relationship is all about. He has been there with me through the good and the bad this past year which I know hasn't been all easy,  but he did it without judgement and with a kind and caring hand and heart to lift me up when I truly needed him most. I am so lucky to have him in my life! We make a great team... D has been such an incredible and important part of my 35th year, and I am very happy for that. 

I also became an Auntie for the first time this year! The love I have for my beautiful niece is indescribable. I just look forward to her future and taking part in her life. She has been the shining star of my 35th year!

Plus I started THIS BLOG this year which has been a great place to put my positive energy and focus.  I hope people have been enjoying reading it as much as I enjoy writing it :) Thank you for all the wonderful feedback..I really appreciate it :)

I hope that this year coming up will be the year my hip will finally give me some peace and quiet, so I can move on from it. If it doesn't I hope I can find a way to at least work with it. I hope that I will find a career that I  can enjoy thoroughly as well as make money from. I would like to get involve with charity/volunteer work to help others since so many people have helped me. I want a chance to give something back.  I want to keep working on getting better with age and to keep on learning. I also have some other hopes and dreams for my future year, but maybe I will keep a few to myself...just like a birthday wish ;)

Age is truly just a number and I do have to remind myself that, but that doesn't mean I haven't been getting up in the mornings more recently looking in the mirror to see if wrinkles are forming..I swear I am seeing laugh lines appear..like seriously in the past two weeks...like they know I am turning thirty six...why do I have to smile so much..damn it ;) I am not saying I don't have fears about getting older, but I am trying my best to stay away from that mindset as much as I can, because all I got is the present and what I do with that is most important. I guess in 10 years I will be wishing I was turning 36 and thinking how young that sounds ;) 
In the end we all get older..it's a part of life. As my wise younger sister said to me on one of my birthdays...you have two options. A.You get older B. you die...blunt, but that's it. She has a point, so I guess I go with option A! So cheers to 36..hope it will be my best year yet!

(**Pictures on this post are of me from different birthdays in my life..the last two capture my last week at 35 ;)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lets Go Ride A Bike!

The picture to the left is of my sister and I circa sometime in the early 80's riding my grandmother's bike in Florida. It was one of our favorite things to do when we went to visit my grandparents. I felt that all of sudden I was given a key to pure  freedom... well the freedom to go as far as my bike and my legs could take me :) This fabulous bike also came with a "passenger seat" which I could tote my little sister along for the ride. It was a mini adventure for us every time we took it out for a spin.

To get to this point on this picture it took an act of bravery on my part, patience on my Dad's part, as well as many bumps, bruises and bleeding elbows along the way.) I was a pro at riding my big wheels and then my bike with training wheels, but once the training wheels were taken off I didn't seem to excel like I did in the past. I was scared of the brakes..the sudden stop...the end of the ride ;) Instead of using brakes I used sidewalk edges. I would bike into the sidewalk edge, and then put my leg down and hope for the best. Once in awhile the trick led to a nasty spill, but still for some reason I was scared of those brakes. It took my father many hours of extreme patience, and I think a bribe to go see the movie "The Fox and The Hound" to actually get me to use the brakes which in turn led me to love riding bikes.

If you want to buy a bike look no further than Salem Cycle. That is where I actually purchased my first bike on my own. The owner for over the past ten years is Dan Shuman a business owner, a bicyclist, and a overall great guy. Dan and I went to school together, so I have known him for a loooooong time ;). He is trust worthy, good natured, and always helpful, and he knows a lot about bikes!

So here is my interview with  my friend and the owner of Salem Cycles Dan Shuman, so hop on and come along for this ride ........

S: What is your first memory of riding a bike?
D: Well the first memory of me pedaling was in my parents driveway, I was trying to ride my sisters old Schwinn, and it was probably not the right size, because the handlebars turned in, and I scraped my chest on the bars and crashed. I remember before that riding on the back of my dad's bike and he got a blow out, because he over inflated the tires at the Mobil Gas Station that use to be on Humphrey St.

S:Where is the coolest place you have biked?
D: The coolest place I have biked is probably Crater Lake in Oregon. I have biked up and down it twice on different trips. It is an old volcano that the top has blown off and it now has a lake inside it. I believe it is inactive.

S:What are your top three tips to share with buyers when looking to purchase a bike?
1) Get sized for the bike and listen to what the sales person tells you about fit.
2) Test ride a few bikes. We allow you 30-days to take the bike home and try it out in the comfort of your neighborhood
3) Ask questions and do your research, but don't think that the better known brand is always better. For example, many people have not heard of KHS, so they are hesitant to buy them, but almost my entire staff rides them, including myself.

S:What is the newest/latest thing in bikes? Future of bikes/biking?

D: Well the bike has changed a lot over my 23 years in the business, but for the most part a bicycle is 2 wheels with a triangular frame and you pedal. Disc brakes, suspension, carbon fiber, and now pedal-assist motors are all gaining momentum. We try to keep up with the latest and greatest. We have been selling electric bikes for about 5 years and we have several carbon bikes, and most of the mountain bikes have suspension and disc brakes. We also have folding bikes and bikes with belt drive instead of a chain. I even own a kit so you can ride your bicycle over the water!

S:How is it being a business owner in Salem? What makes it special to own a business in this city?
D:Being a business owner is Salem has a lot of pros and cons, but I love this city and have made it my home. Before I bought Salem Cycle in January 2000, I toured the country looking at locations. Salem is growing more and more every year. I am on the Bike Path Committee and we are creating new bike lanes and installing bike racks all over the city. More and more people are riding their bikes to work, school, and around town. I like to think Salem Cycle played a big part in that. On the downside there are a lot of rules and regulations, taxes, and fees for everything. The city and I have worked well together, and I only see that getting better.

S:What makes your bike shop stand out from other bike shops?
D:I would say we have excellent customer service, a great selection, and the staff to back it up. We have won the Readers Choice Award from North Shore magazine for 2009 and 2010 for Best Bike Shop on the North Shore. We also offer free Body Scanning Custom Fit, Road Side Assistance, 30-Day Risk Free Purchase on all new bikes, Financing, and we service all makes of bikes. As I said before we also have experience with electric bikes, folding, bikes, suspension, hydraulic brakes, and internal hubs.

S: Do you have a dream bike? If so, what is it?
D:I don't have a dream bike, but I do dream of biking through Belgium, Germany, and Prague sampling their great beers and taking in the sites.

S:Where are the best places to go for a bike ride in the North Shore?

D:Best places to go for a ride on the North Shore - Mountain Biking: I would say Lynn Woods, Greenwood, and Dogtown are some of the nicer places I have been. Road Biking: I would recommend Routes 127, 133, 22, and 1A.

S: I am such an accessory woman..I love accessories!! What cool bike accessories do you sell?

D:We sell just about every accessory. Bells, horns, computers, bags, baskets, pet baskets, hydration packs, shopping baskets, picnic baskets, lights, fenders, locks, child seats and trailers, IPOD holders, GPS, mirrors, and so much more.

S:What good biking tips can you share?
D:Tips to Share:
1.Always wear a helmet
2.Check your tire pressure before each ride
3.Clean and lube your chain at least once a month
4. Tune your bike once a year or more
5.If you are not comfortable on your bike get fitted
6.Use lights at night so you are seen
7. HAVE FUN!!!!

Salem Cycle
72 Washington Street
Salem, MA 01970

Dan Shuman  sales@salemcycle.com
2009 Salem Chamber of Commerce Business Man of the Year
Salem Cycle - 2009 and 2010 Readers ChoiceAward Best of North Shore
12 Months Deferred Interest Financing
Hours M-W 10-6, Th-Fr 8-8, Sat 9-5, Sun 12-4
(The Biking Coop, NBDA, IMBA, NEMBA, LAB, Specialized, KHS, Rocky Mountain, Dahon, WeThePeople, Free Agent, Redline, and Torker)

You can also find Salem Cycles on Facebook!
(photos provided by Dan Shuman)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words.....

 I love pictures!!! I love taking pictures, I love looking at pictures, and you can ask any of my friends and they will tell you how much I love sharing my pictures (do they love looking at them...well that is a matter of opinion ;) ) My dream job has always been to be a professional photographer. When I was a child it was to be a photographer for "National Geographic". I would look at those magazines for hours in awe of the photography. I would say currently my favorite subject matter to photograph would be people.

Awhile back I met this cheerful, sweet, and kind woman at my workplace. I got to know her more throughout the years and come to find out that she is a professional photographer!!  I never wanted to bother her with my million of photography questions, but I am a "fan" of her on Facebook and I always love looking at her pictures she has taken.  Jennifer has a beautiful eye for the perfect light and a impressive and stunning way of capturing a true moment in one perfect shot. Recently I asked her if I could interview her for this blog and she said YES!!!! Now I get to ask her all the questions I didn't want to bother her with before ;)...and I get to share them with you!

Jennifer Shore is not only an amazing photographer, she has a master degree in clinical social work, she is a mother, and a all around kind soul. She has a warm and gentle personality which I noticed from the first time I met her, which I am sure is what helps her makes her subjects very comfortable while photographing them.

So I finally get to have my "shot" to interview Jennifer and pick her mind on all things photographic, as well as give you a "snapshot" of what it's like to be a professional photographer. So Lights, Camera, Action: My interview with Jennifer Shore......................................................

S: What made you decide to pursue photography?
J: I don't think that I am unique in my love for photography and always wanting to be a photographer. Even when I was little I loved to look at old photographs and think about what was happening at the time they were taken. I also loved the idea of capturing a moment and freezing it in time forever.

I took a class in High School and was fascinated by the darkroom. Seeing an image appear on a piece of paper seemed like magic and from that point forward I was hooked!It was always in my mind that I wanted to do something with photography, but I ended up becoming a child and family therapist instead.

While I was working at a school for kids with severe emotional and behavioral problems,I decided to go back and take another photography class. I brought my camera into school with me and loved seeing how the kids enjoyed being in front of the lens. A softer, more truthful side came out of them. I felt like I was seeing them more for who they were and found that they felt freer to be themselves with the camera. With the
encouragement of my photography teacher, fine art photographer Andrew Xenios (who is now my "husband"!), I ended up having an exhibition with the focus of the photographs being the kids I worked with. It really changed everything for me and from there I started taking clients on the side. I actually started with film (does this make me old?) and Andy put a darkroom together for me in my shed. A few years later I finally made the decision to become a full time photographer. I do think that the years working as a therapist has helped me to have a sensitivity when viewing my subjects....I always can find beauty in
every single person I photograph.

S: What do you love about being a photographer?
J: I love everything about it! That may sound cliche but it's true. I spend every spare moment doing something photography related. I remember when I was working as a therapist (which was a job I loved too but differently) I was telling my dad how tired I was and how my work was making me exhausted. My dad, who is a doctor and is still working full time at age 72 (with no ideas of retiring), responded that your work should make you feel energized. In my mind that made no sense. Working and becoming energized through your work just didn't register. When I would get home from my job as a therapist I just wanted to zone out in front of the TV because our days were so difficult. BUT! Now I see exactly what he meant. Every morning I cannot wait to get to work and I am constantly trying to improve my ability to photograph what I see in my mind's eye. The learning curve is endless and I am never, ever bored.

The other part I love about being a photographer is meeting and getting to work with my clients. I have met some of the nicest people and I get to give them this gift of captured time. Sometimes a client will apologize for crying a little when looking at images of her family, but if I was able to give them a moment that they can look back on and remember that feeling, well, that is what I love about being a photographer!

S: What are your top three tips to share on how to take a good picture?
J: A. LIGHT: Good lighting is everything. That doesn't mean middle of the day, open sunshine as that is too harsh for photographing people. Open shade is usually a good place to start. Open shade is where light is pouring in, but it is not directly overhead. A way of picturing this is thinking about the light in a garage. If you place your subject a few feet inside the garage with the door open and face them toward the door, you will see they are lit up from the light outside. They are also in the shade so they won't have unflattering shadows making raccoon eyes!

B. COMPOSITION: Try to make sure that you are looking at the whole picture when you photograph. Look around and see what story you are trying to tell. Many times all you have to do is adjust the subject and/or yourself a few steps to fill the frame with a desirable photo.

C. LOVE YOUR SUBJECT: Really! I mean it! You will see that love in your images. If you are photographing something that bores you, you will see that too! I love working with children, families and people in general. Hopefully that shows in my photographs!

S:What is your favorite thing to photograph?
J: Well, I think I sort of answered that above but I wanted to add that placing people in beautiful environments makes it even more fun. Add in some soft, buttery late afternoon sun and I'm in heaven. Or in someone's home where they are most comfortable is always nice too.

S:What would be some advice you would give someone who would like to go into photography to make a living?
J: I would like to tell them to please, please, please learn how to use your camera inside and out before anything else. You can do this by photographing your family and friends. Practice and then practice some more. I often see people start a photography business and keep their camera on automatic because they don't know how to use it. It shows when you look at their images....once in a while you may see a nice image but mostly they will be inconsistent because they have never learned how light and shutter speed affect an image and how to manipulate that in the way you want. It may get frustrating and take time, but you will improve through thoughtful practice (looking at your images and seeing what went well and what you can do better). Learning how to use your camera is essential and should be a requirement.

Also learn from my mistakes....I knew very little about the business side of photography when I started and boy did that make my life hard. Owning your own business is a lot tougher than some may realize. I work from morning to when I go to bed (love every second of it!) and am trying to balance work with family. Taking a small business class and/or talking with people that own small businesses would be a great place to start.

I don't want to discourage anyone from becoming a photographer for a living but I think in this digital age where almost everyone can claim that they are a "photographer", what will separate you is having the knowledge you need to succeed. Set yourself apart by being the best you can be in the area that you love.

S: Do you have a favorite photo? If so can you tell me about it?
That is such a tough question! I have many favorite photos. Usually it is the one I am working on right now. My favorite photos are the ones that make me really feel something, whether it's the sincere joy in a child's face or the connections between people, those are my favorites.

S:What do you look for in a "perfect shot"?
J: A combination of things....beautiful light and true emotion. I am a mushy person by nature and if I see in one of my images something real about my subject, it makes me teary. I know that may sound ridiculous but when I capture an image of a mother looking at her new baby like it is the miracle that it actually is, or a father hugging his son close with his eyes closed because he is feeling how much he loves his child in that moment,
those are the "perfect shots" that get me every time.

S: What advice can you give to someone who is being photographed to look their
best in a photo?

J: Relax! Easier said than done with a camera pointing at you, I know. But truly it works. If you can forget about the camera for a little while and just be yourself it will show. Try to remember that you are beautiful for many reasons. I try to be funny (well, like I said, I "try") to help my subjects feel a little better and am always just myself which hopefully helps the person I am photographing feel like they are with a friend. I love when families just act how they do normally....tickling, funny faces, running around and having fun.Those make the best images and most people love how they look because you can see the happiness.

S: This may be a question more for me, but I know a lot of people who enjoy photography so it could be helpful to others. I am looking to purchase a good SLR digital camera in a mid-price range....any suggestions?

J: There are many good SLR cameras out there now that are also affordable. I would suggest to stick with Nikon or Canon (I shoot with Canon). Both have consumer models that are excellent. Canon Eos Rebel is a good place to start with Canon. That was actually my first digital SLR and that was several years ago so I know that technology has improved quite a bit since then. I think the Nikon D90 or D5000 may be good
enthusiast cameras as well.

Just want to add....even if you don't feel like you can get the "perfect shot" and are using your camera on automatic, PLEASE keep taking photos. I feel like it is so important to record the passage of time, especially when everything changes so quickly. The perfect shot to you may be technically incorrect, but it doesn't matter as long as YOU love it.

(Self portrait of me taken by me, photography of Jennifer Shore and her son taken by Kristina Young of Kristina Young Photography and all other photographs in this post were taken by Jennifer Shore Photography)

To Contact Jennifer:

phone: 781-519-2285
web site: www.jennifershore.com
blog: www.jennifershore.com/blog

Facebook fan page:  fan me!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What I am Loving Right Now /aka/ My Quest For Minimalism

I am always striving to become a minimalist, I just think life would be easier with less stuff! It hasn't been an easy journey for me, and I am not "quite" there yet, but in the past few years I have donated numerous bags of clothes to local homeless shelters, I have had three yard sales, I have given stuff away, I have sold a few items, I have had stuff on Craig's List, and I even have an appointment coming up at "Modern Millie" (103 Washington Street Salem, Ma 01970 #978-745-0231) in Salem to try to consigned some of my shoes and clothes for the first time (so excited about that). So as I am parting ways with some of my stuff it also makes me think about what I will not part with ,and what is some of the stuff of mine do I love right now (that I can share with you!) I love getting recommendations from people about their faves, so here are some of mine..that I will not be parting with ;)

Tempur-Pedic Pillow: Or "Tempy" as I so lovingly referred to it. I LOVE my Tempur-Pedic pillow so much I even travel with it. I seriously cannot sleep with out it. Anyone who knows me knows that I struggle with sleep, but Tempy has made a huge difference in my sleep life, I sleep better with it! I love my Tempur-Pedic bed as well, but I would part with the bed over the pillow if I had a choice...but hopefully I will never have to make that one ;)

My stationary bike, along with my ipod, and my borrowed Bose Headphones (thank you Dad :) ) : For my fellow "hipsters" you will understand how during recovery from surgery how out of shape you start feeling, because of the resting/ pain/ and recovery time. I miss working out so much (just the stress relief you get from it alone),  so having this bike in my house helps my mental and physical well being. I can't do my bike without my ipod...I LOVE music..it keeps me moving! Currently I am going through and old school Cyndi Lauper phase. Seriously how can you not love "True Colors"!  The Bose headphones drowns out everything else,so I am at one with the bike and my music. Also when I am belting out songs while I am riding I don't have to hear myself sing ;) Seriously these headphones rock....literally!! In my opinion best headphones around....clear music, no outside noise, and they feel so cozy and comfortable on your ears :)

My Fave "Beauties"!

Lancome Hypnose Mascara/ Lancome Oscillation Powerbooster: Ok this double duo actually makes you look like you have fake lashes..If you want big thick lashes and don't have them naturally these are the product to use!

gloMinerals (liquid foundation): When my friend/make-up artist Manda use this on me for my birthday, I couldn't believe how amazing my skin looked (seriously flawless), and it reflects flawless skin in photos too! It is only $35 and it has lasted me a year... I LOVE THIS STUFF! Plus you don't feel like you are wearing make up! I purchased my gloMinerals at Rouge Cosmetics in Salem MA (322 Derby St  # 978-740-1044) http://www.rouge.com/brands/gloMinerals.html

Wunder Budder Lip Balm: I have a blog post already dedicated to this product line (see "Made With Love"), but I do need to reiterate how much I love my WB lip balms! I just got the Chai Lip balm for my sister and I. So good! Not an overwhelming scent at all, but a hint of chai (yummy) and my lips never get chapped.  It is perfect to put on before lipstick or lip gloss! You can check out all the different products at http://www.wunderbudder.com/

GHD Iron: I love my hair iron! I have owned a lot of hair irons in the past, but this one is by far my favorite!  Straight hair or curly hair this is the iron for you! It keeps my locks either straight as a pin, or if I want the tousled curly look it can do that too (it may just take a few practice rounds to get it done right ;) ) I have had mine for two years, and it still works as good as new!
***Also a bonus hair tip! I have been doing Keratin treatments (both the 30 day one and the 3 months one) and it has made a huge difference on how manageable my hair is! No frizz, easier to style, makes hair shinier...best hair treatment I have ever done for myself.  My hair has never looked better or felt healthier.  Also makes color shinier and last longer! I get my Keratin Treatments at Karen Sutton Hair Studio (26 Hawkes Street in Marblehead #781-631-7603)

Cloud: This teddy bear has been through all of my 6 surgeries with me, (during my appendix surgery my surgeon even gave Cloud a wrist band and bandages which made me LMAO when I woke up). Cloud was right by my side with me 24/7 during all my most difficult times....I know i am 35, but I ain't ever parting with my teddy ;) You are never to old to have a teddy bear (especially when you are stuck in a hospital).

My Guitar: Well it's far from an amazing guitar..it's a pretty low-end acoustic Takamine guitar (was priced at $350 at Guitar Center when I bought it 5 years ago), but I bought with the intention to finally learn how to play, and that is what I have been trying to do with it since. I liked the sound it made, it had a rich warm tone and I picked it out all by myself (nothing more embarrassing then picking out a guitar when you don't know how to play it, and having the salesman tell me to play some chords to see if I liked the sound.... ;) ) I started lessons when I was in 5th grade and stopped before I was in 6th, I got distracted by my dance lessons (back then they were more fun to practice). Since I bought the guitar I have been taking lessons off and on as well as trying to pick up tips from my "musical friends". One day I hope to at least hit one open mic night and play one song, and then mission accomplished!

My Hat (from Salem): I bought it from a street vendor in SALEM during Halloween time (such an awesome time in Salem...well unless your trying to drive through the center of the city ;) ) My friends Nancy and  Nicole and I walked by this vendor while we were strolling the Salem haunted scene, and I fell for this hat the moment I saw it. I talked myself out of buying it and we walked away.....15 minutes later I convinced my girls to go back with me to buy that hat! Nineteen dollars and two years of wearing it (and still going strong)...was totally worth walking back for! Hats are awesome! The best invention for a bad hair day/ and or a rainy day!

Ok there is a lot more "stuff" I haven't added to this particular list that I love and will not part with, but it doesn't mean that each day I don't strive closer and closer to reaching my potential as a minimalist!