February 28, 2011

The Stove Depot

The Old Stove Depot 1982
My dad, Bill Hawkins  started his own business called The Stove Depot Hearth and Home.  He would sell all kinds of fireplaces, stoves, accessories, outdoor furniture and so much more. At one time it was the biggest stove shop in all of New England but this week was the last days  of the store. In this article I will share with you some of my fond memories I have from the Stove depot.

 My dad started his own business about thirty years ago. He bought a little shop in Canton, Ma. I can remember the train tracks running right next to the store.
Whenever a train passed, bells would ring and  the shop would start to rumble and shake. It was kinda scary and I remember feeling relieved with the sound of the train going further and further away. We used to put pennies on the tracks the train would run over them and squish them flat. 

My Dad kept this picture on his desk
   A few years later my dad bought a much bigger store in Canton. My favorite part of this store was the the show room. It was a huge room filled with working fireplaces and stoves. As a small kid the ceilings seemed to be a hundred stories high. All of the grills and patio furniture was set up in the middle of the room.  I would have a great time testing out all the new patio furniture like the reclining chairs, benches, the swings but my favorite were the hammocks.

My dad even sold things like water fountains and colorful outdoor flags. There were artificial tress all around the furniture and a big warehouse door that would let  the summer breeze in. It was like sitting outside when you were really indoors. Sometimes it would even feel like I was on  vacation.

 Sometimes my dad would take me and my brother Jon into work with him. I would use one of the small glass patio tables as my desk. I would stamp endless amounts of paper work with the Stove Depot's logo and I loved polishing up the stoves. I was a weird kid, still am actually. My dad is a great salesman I can remember sitting in the lawn chairs and listening to him sell the stoves.He would bring me and my brother out to lunch at a restaurant down the street. My dad was good friends with one of the waitresses there she would bring paper and crayons especially for me and Jon. After lunch it was time to go back to "work."

The Stove Depot 2011
There was a big back warehouse where there was a mountain of big bags of wood pellets stacked up. Me and  Jon would climb up the bags and sit at the top. Sometimes the guy who worked i the warehouse would even arrange the bags so we would have a little fort to play in.

There was a a little silver bell that the salesmen would ring when they needed something from the warehouse. I loved ringing that bell but I don't think the workers did they would come into showroom and see that it was just me again smiling at them, sorry guys.  After the day was done we would all have some fun out in the parking lot. We had a small Go Cart back then that we loved to drive around in circles. I have so many great memories of being there.

Lily and her PaPa Bill 2011
My dad sold his business ten years ago I was sad to see it go but happy to know he would still own the building.  Since then the shop was never felt the same. The new owner split the big showroom it into two small rooms and lowered the ceiling down to about 8 feet high. He no longer sold any of the fun patio furniture and accessories just stoves. It no longer felt like a vacation resort to me. 

Now the owner is downsizing to an even smaller building that is miles and miles away. Last week was the last days of the Stove Depot as I remember. Now  it is a big empty building waiting to be sold. It is a little sad for me but I will always have those memories and I feel like there are only more good times to come. After all, it's not the shop that meant so much to me, it was being able to share those times with my dad and brother. Without them it would have just been another day at work.

February 27, 2011

My Picture of Peace

I am setting a new photography goal for myself. I have always felt the need to help people and  I want to take pictures of things that mean the most to me love, peace, happiness and change. In this article I will share the stories of a few meaningful pictures of mine.

This was taken in my scanner
This is a little surreal for me to be writing because not long ago in 2007 I was depressed. There was a time in my life where I was too afraid to even leave my house. My low self esteem and anxiety took over my life until the day I decided to fix myself. I started counsoling and I found out who I was. A good person who would sometimes let people take advantage of me. I learned how to take control and I gained confidence and I took my life back.

I don't understand why some people think that they have life all figured out or how they fell they are the right way to be. In my opinion there is no way to know. To me this world is a fairytale and it all comes down to what you believe in. That no one has the answer to whats right for everyone else. Something I truly believe in is equal rights for all.

The Boston Globe 2009
Three years ago I met a good friend of mine, Sarah. I was so happy to have found her because she was the kind of friend I was looking for. Sarah was kind, caring, smart and open minded. I had mentioned the idea of going to a rally together and in no time she found one for us. It was a Peace Rally in Boston that was honoring the soldiers who had fallen in the Iraq war. I love to craft so when I heard about this rally I made two big sparkling peace signs for us to hold. They must have made a statement because we made Boston's news paper, The Globe. I was proud of us that day. I felt like we had helped spread the word of peace.

My boyfriend Justin and I love to go walking. We especially like going to the Blue hills because there are no mountains where we live so that is where the highest point you can reach with your feet is. One day we made it the top. It was awesome up there, we could even see Boston. We were both having a great time until I saw something that really boiled my blood. It was a big red swastika painted on the rocks. It was also dated from ten years ago. It bothered me knowing that this sign of hatred had been seen for that long. So the next time we went walking there I brought along my paint and painted something I truly believe in over it. A peace sign big enough for everyone to see, even the planes going by.

I have always been inspired by the ones who use there career to help themselves along with others. This is my new goal, to find a way to put more meaning into my work.These pictures were taken with a Nikon Cool Pix Camera

February 26, 2011

Thankful For You

Dear Justin,
I was thinking about you today when I was putting Lily down for a nap. About how lucky I am to have you and I wanted to tell you.....

Thank you for chasing me years ago when I didn't want to be caught. Thank you for catching me. Than you for giving me over a decade of happy times. Thank you for giving me our daughter.Thank you for letting me sleep when I am tired. Than you for saying the words I need to here when I needed them the most.

Thank you for trying to make your self even better than you already are.Thank you for always doing what I ask of you when I take your picture. Thank you for your support that I need to chase my dreams.Thank you for always believing in me and thank you for everything that you do.

Sometimes when I lie in bed at night next to you I look over while you are sleeping and I think that without you I would not be as happy as I am today.You have given me my best friend, my daughter and hundreds of happy memories. For this and for so much more I am forever thankful.
Thankful for you.

February 25, 2011


Sometimes I get a little discouraged. Sometimes I feel like I stink. Sometimes I feel like I cant do this. But then I start believing and I keep on going. Photography is a very opinionated profession. Everyone seems to have things they like and dislike about your work. No matter how hard you try you will never be able to please everyone. At the end of the day you just have to be proud of what you have done and when you overcome the fear of failure that's when you'll succeed.

February 21, 2011

Pick Your Flowers For Your Pictures

My mother is a great gardener and every year our yard  bursts with colors. I try to capture the beauty and all of my moms hard work in my pictures. One year I thought of a way to make my flower portraits better. I will tell you how in this article.

Along the side of our pool area my mom has a railroad tie flower bed. This is my favorite one of all her gardens.  I think it is the most natural looking one. The ties are very old and moss is starting to grow out of the ties witch I think looks even better. At the end of this flower bed there is a little bush that I just love. It's the first plant in our yard to bloom when spring comes. There are hundreds of tiny pink flowers that come out on it.

  Sometimes we pick flowers to put in vases inside our house. One year I went to get a small branch from off that bush that I love. That's when  I got my big idea I had Nikon Cool Pix Camera on me so I held up the branch of flowers in front of my camera. I could see the pink flowers up close and in the background was the bush, the rail road ties and the inside of our pool area which was covered in phlox. Phlox are a ground cover type of plant that when in bloom are covered with tiny flowers. The sun was setting when I was taking that picture so I also used that branch of flowers to hide the glare. The sun lit up the flowers and made my picture glow.

I used this same idea when I went to take some pictures of my moms roses. I really liked the way this one light pink rose looked up against our brick chimney.The colors of the bricks complimented the rose very nicely but I felt like it was missing something. I had the branch in my mind so I started looking around for another flower to add to my shot. I found a peach rose near by that I thought would look good next to the other rose so I picked it and held it up next to the pink rose.  I think the extra pop of color from the peach rose really helped the picture look complete.

I am so excited  to apply this method to my flower pictures this year.  Now I have my brand new camera and cant hardly wait to try it out on my mothers flowers. I must have gotten a little impairment because I went out and bought some colorful flowers from the grocery store a few weeks ago and stuck them out in the snow. We have about four feet of snow out there right now so I couldn't get to our backyard so I had to take the pictures in the driveway. I think the people driving by and my next door neighbors thought that I was crazy but I didn't care I wanted my picture. I took this picture with my Nikon D90, It is a GREAT camera. The white of the snow made the flowers look even brighter. One day I am going to get even nicer flower like a red rose to stick in the snow. But I'll wait until at least a foot or two of snow melts so that I can out to get a better back drop for my next picture.

February 20, 2011

Capturing Some Family Fun

It has been a very long winter this year so we got out of the house by taking a family trip into Boston. We all had so much fun and It was a great place to take pictures.  I'll tell you all about it in this article.

    It was In January 2011 when we decided to put aside an entire day to spend in Boston. Before Lily was in my life my boyfriend Justin and I would go into Boston often.We would have a had time choosing whether or not to visit the Science museum, the Art Museum or the Aquarium. These places may sound corny to some but when you go to them there always a blast. I had wanted to go to the Childcare's museum even before  we had Lily. I'm  a kid at heart but I thought I may look like a creep without having a child with me.  So when Lily was nine months old I thought she was ready and I was more than ready to finally go. I brought my camera, the Nikon D90 along with me that day because I knew that there would be a ton of colorful pictures to take.

When we got there we saw that the place was amazing. They had so much fun stuff to do. Lily was still a little young for most of the activities but we all still had a great time. Lily didn't close her eyes for a second she loved looking at everything. One of the coolest things was a big fake school bus. It had seats, a steering wheel ad one of the windows was a television that was playing a video of out a school bus window so It really looked like we were driving down the street.

There were fake class rooms too. There were desks that were filled with the things kids would keep in them at school. They had a big desk for the teacher and a chalk board that the kids could play with magnets on. I had an idea for a picture. I asked Justin to sit at the desk while I spelled out, Hi Ben in back of him. Our nephews name is Ben so I had thought it would be cool to send Ben the picture of his Uncle Justin saying Hi. I think the picture turned out great but I do wish that Justin would have cracked a smile so that he didn't turn out looking like the teacher everyone was afraid of in school.

We were all excited when we found the room for babies. It  was completely padded with Foam Mats that made it very safe for Lily to crawl around on. The neatest thing was a water bed sunken into the floor. Justin had fun playing with Lily and I was enjoying taking pictures of them. We were so proud to see Lily crawling around and having such a good time.

They had a light room to show off different types of lighting. I was psyched about that because I was learning about lighting with my photography. There was a light table with clear plastic  shapes for kids to play with. We sat lily on the table so that she could play with the shapes. I took a picture of her  then because I loved how the light table was making the shapes glow and I also liked how Lily was lit on it. In this same room there was a area to demonstrate shadows. It was triangles cut out of purple foam with two big lights on each side of it. I  gasped and asked Justin to plop Lily onto it so that I could take her picture. When I showed my photographer friend that picture they had thought I took it in my studio because of the lighting.

 One room was dedicated to
the scale of things. there was doll houses that showed there scale and chairs lined up smallest to biggest. I thought that Lily would look really cute sitting on the smallest chair.So once again Justin sat her down for me and sat next to her while I took her picture. She held her hand up too so in that picture she looks like she's waving to you.

The last room we visited was about construction. Before we had Lily Justin and I worked together doing home remodeling so this room really brought me back. We would do tiling, painting, building and other random things. I liked that room very much especially the yellow work lights they had as street lights. I took a picture of one of those lights when Justin walked behind it. The picture looks industrial and reminds me of the work we once shared together.

    That was a really good time and I cant wait till the next time. By then Lily will be walking and will have so much more to do. Then  I will also have an excuse to climb the kids tower after her.

February 19, 2011

The Day My Dream Camera Came

I had dreamed about getting a new camera for years.I waited until I had the money to buy my camera and I was unbelievably excited to try it out the day it came.

 Wen I felt ready to buy a camera  I wanted to make sure that I was investing in a really good one. My boyfriend is great at researching and figuring out what products are the best for us so when I went to choose my camera he was the man I wanted advice from. He found that the Nikon D90 had everything I was looking for. I was worried that I would not be able to see out of the view finder because of my poor eye sight so I wanted to go a store to test one out. So we went and I saw that it had a good sized view finder and that  I was able to see through it. I loved the camera and was sold. We ordered it online and I eagerly awaited for it to come in the mail.

    It came after dark one day but I didn't want to open it until the next day. I had made sure to have a day off so that I could spend the entire day trying it out.When I woke up it was like Christmas morning and I went for a walk with my family. I was so excited but  at the same time I was nervous. I didn't want to get my hopes up. What if the camera sucked? What if I sucked at using it? I knew that there was a lot to learn with owning a camera like the one I chose.I wanted to go for a walk because I feel that natural light is the easiest light to shoot with. I had asked Justin to take the first picture with it to make sure that the settings were right. He took one of me and he was impressed with how clear it was . I  didn't want to see it then because I wanted to see for myself when I took one. Dramatic, yes but It was a big deal for me I had been waiting for a long time. My first picture was of Justin I was so happy I was almost in tears when I saw how clear it was. I had  dreamed about seeing a picture of mine that clear and I got one that day. Now  that I know how to use my camera better I can get it to be even clearer too.

    Where we went for a walk is beautiful it is full of great pleases to take pictures. I especially wanted to get some shots with the giant stone steps that are there. I was use to using my old camera a Nikon Cool Pix so I stood far back to get my shot. I was amazed with how much I could fit into one shot. I ended up having to move much closer to get my picture. I didn't want a picture of just the rocks, I wanted my two babies in it, my daughter Lily and Justin. So I asked them to go sit on the steps for me. I was getting more and more excited every picture I took.

    It was November when I got my camera so there were hardly any flowers around to take pictures of but I saw some near the walking trails we were on. I was amazed to see flowers out so late in the season. There were a bunch of light purple flowers and bright red bushes behind them. I like how my camera focused on the purple flowers and blurred out the bushes in the background. I have always taken pictures of my mothers flowers and this camera was taking better pictures of those flowers than any other flower picture I have taken. So I cant wait for her flowers to come up this year.

    When I got home I went over to my grandmother house. She lives right next door to me and i was excited to show her what I had got but I think she was more excited t see Lily. I took a picture when my grandmother was holding her. The camera focused on Lily and blurred out my grandma in her kerchief.

    When I went home with it. I was walking around the house and trying to find things to take pictures of. That is when I walked by the mirror and saw me walking by smiling. I wanted to remember how happy I as that day  so I took a self portrait. The picture is me with a huge smile on my face pointing at my new baby The Nikon D90

February 18, 2011

My Top Five Unforgettable Pictures

It's not the look of a picture that is special to me It's the love and the memories that go along with it. In this article I'll tell you about the top five pictures that mean the most to me.

My number five most precious picture is the first picture that was ever taken of me. The picture is of my mother holding me right after I was born.One reason that I love the picture because I can sit and wonder about what we were thinking about at that very moment. Was I saying, "Who is this pretty lady?" Or did I just know she was my mommy? I'll never know but what I do know is that I'm happy to have that picture. It is an everlasting memory that me and my mother will always have.

The Fourth Picture is of Me, My Dad and my brother Jon. When we were kids my dad would take us somewhere fun every weekend and I remember how excited we were when the weekends would come around. Jon and I would have to wait patiently for my dad to finish his morning coffee. To a kid it seems this took forever and I don't think he got to enjoy it because I would sit there and stare at him eagerly waiting for him to finish so we could go. Every year we would go to our towns fall festival at a park called Sheep pasture. We would go on the hay rides, look at all the crafts and animals, sometimes we'd get our faces painted and much more. I can remember the year when my dad bought us sugar lemons. They were just lemons that were cut in half topped with sugar and had a straw stuck it in. Yup, sounds gross and It was but it did look cool. This was the year that we got our pictures taken there. In it you can see me with my gross lemon and I love Jon's great big smile in it. They had a really cool Button Maker so they made a button out of that picture for us. When I look at the picture I can remember how much fun I had going out with two of my favorites guys. I am forever thankful to my dad for giving me so many fun childhood memories.

My third most precious picture  is of me with my dog Shadow when I was a kid. He was the best dog and the best friend I could have asked for. Where ever I went Shadow would follow. He was the only dog that I have ever known to stay with you without needing a leash. Shadow and I had so many good times together. We would go for walks down the street to some corn fields and we would run through the rows of corn together.The picture is of Shadow taking a breather in the corn. His tongue is out, his ears are flipped back and he looks so goofy.The picture reminds me of how silly and sweet he was. Shadow never said a word but I could always tell that he had a great seance of humor.

Number two is the first picture that my boyfriend Justin and I had ever taken together. It was taken at my grandfathers birthday party. We had only been dating for about a month then so I was still a little nervous around Justin. I love how happy we are in it. It has been thirteen years now and when I look back onto that picture I remember all of the good times we had back then and how lucky I am to have Justin in my life.

Which brings me to my all time favorite picture. This picture is of Justin and I in the hospital right before the birth of our daughter Lily. This picture means so much to me and it holds so many good memories. In this picture I'm in the bed while Justin is standing over me with his hand on my head and you can see me holding his hand. You may have thought that my favorite picture was going to be of Lily and you would be right. We wanted a natural birth and had prepared for this day for so long. Justin and I really came together that day, we were there for each other more than ever before and it was all for Lily. It had been just us for so many years and that day changed our lives forever. The memory of finally becoming parents tops all others and the pride I felt for Justin and I that day is unforgettable. I knew then that Lily was coming into this world to parents who would do anything for her.It is the memory that takes up a lot of space in my heart.

Some people may be mislead about this way of giving birth but If you would like to learn more about natural childbirth and why we find it to be very important, The Business of Being Born is a great movie to watch.

February 17, 2011

How I Came Out Of My Shell To Get My Picture

Sometimes you have to face your fears in order to do what you love. This is a story from the night I rose to my friends photography challenge.

My friend Lisa is a great belly dancer and one night she invited me to see one of her shows. Along with the dancers there was also a band that was performing. I was sitting at the table with my brother Jon and a few friends of mine when Lisa came up to talk with me. Earlier that day I told her how excited I was to bring my new camera there. So she asked me, "Would you mind taking some pictures of my friends band when they come out to play?" and I said sure I would love to but truthfully I was a little nervous. In front of where the band was suppose to play was a big empty dance floor. Next to that was where the crowd was sitting... dum dum dum ! I was nervous because I knew that in order to get good picture I would have to get up there. I'm pretty shy and this was a big deal for me and if I wanted to pursue photography I would have to eventually become more comfortable doing things like that.

Lisa is in the back left
The closer it got to the time for the band to come out the more nervous I became. I kept telling my brother Jon how scared I was and that I wouldn't be able to do it. He kept trying to reassure me that I could but I wasn't easily convinced. Then the show started the band was up on stage and I could feel myself stiffening up and shaking at the same time. I turned to Jon with a look of sheer terror and he told me "Get on up there" and despite my fear I did what he said.

I don't have very good eyesight so I had a hard time seeing where I was going. I probably bumped into a few people but I eventually made it up to the front. So there I was in front of that empty dance floor I paused before going onto it. I took a deep breath and told myself that everyone was watching the band and not me. Suddenly I felt alone up there, just me and my mission.

So First I went up and knelt down in front of the guitar player to get a shot up at him. He had an awesome Gibson guitar with bright red and yellow on it. I had the vision in my head for the picture to be all black and white with nothing colored but his guitar and I think it turned out great.

Next I got up in front of the singer. I love taking pictures because not being able to see very good in life means that I don't get a chance to see people's faces so when I got home and saw the pictures of her on my large computer screen I got to see how beautiful she was. I can see how people move and I loved how she was moving her hands along with her calming voice so I made sure to get those gestures into her photos.

It was time for the belly dancers to come out. I was looking forward to taking some pictures of them but before they were about to come out I got a call from my boyfriend Justin. My daughter Lily needed me so I had to leave earlier than planned. I did get to catch a few minutes of the show and it was awesome! The lead singer with the band was also a belly dancer. I took her picture while she was doing a dance with a wine bottle on top of her head. I like her facial expression in the photo along with the colors from her costume.

I am glad to of had the opportunity to take pictures that night. I feel confident knowing that I am capable of taking musicians portraits. I couldn't have done it without my brother he really helped me out by giving me the extra push that I needed, Thanks Jon!

February 16, 2011

Granddaughters Memories Preserved In Pictures

My grandparents are wonderful people and I have made sure to preserve some of my precious memories that I have of them. In this article I will share with you how I created everlasting memories.

I am lucky to have grown up right next door to my Grandparents. Whenever I wanted to see them I would just have to walk across our yard into theirs. Every season holds different memories for me. In the fall I would walk over and the leaves would crunch beneath my feet. In the winter I would have to bundle up to brave the snow and when spring came I would have wet shoes from the wet grass. In the summer I would see them gardening so I would walk over and say hello. When I look back onto the pictures I have taken of their house I will always remember how it felt to walk across the yard to see them.

Some of my best memories are of when we would sit at her dining room table making crafts. She would find neat ideas in her Crafting Magazines and then we would go out to the craft stores and she would buy what we needed. I loved it when Easter came around one year we made an Easter bunny out of a woven hat. The part that you put on your head was the face and then you would hang it on the wall. It is still there on her wall to this day. I took a picture of it last year so that I could remember the memory of crafting with her.

My grandmothers name is Edwina and she is from England and has a lovely English accent. I love to ask her to say things that I know she'll say very Englishie, Like "Ello" (hello) and "how you bean" (how have you been)? My grandmother is also a great knitter. I would give her the title of a master knitter if there was such a thing. She has always worn this purple knitted vest that she made years ago. One day I was taking some pictures of her old collectible maps to sell on Ebay for her. I noticed that the purple matting really complimented her vest. So when she was looking through her magnifying glass at the map I took her picture. I'll always be able to remember her vest, her magnifying glass and her old map.    

I remember the nights when my family and I would go over for dinners on there porch. I can still see the plates of sliced tomatoes and cucumbers that they had picked from their gardens in my head.  They had put so much effort into the gardens, they would prune and water them almost every day.  My grandpa, papa I'd call him passed away in 2001 and I had never taken any pictures of him gardening so last year I had made sure to be there when my grandmother started planting so that I could take her picture. She happened to be wearing a beautiful sky blue shirt that day that really made the picture pop. You can see all of her peony flowers in the background, they were almost ready to bloom.

   They were and are Excellent Gardeners As a matter of fact that is there last name, Gardner. They also planted flower gardens and every summer there yard was bursting with colors. To this day when the flowers bloom I think of my Papa and I love to take pictures of there work. I especially love how the flowers look against there old white barn. My grandparents mean so much to me and I'm forever grateful to have and to have had them in  my life.

he was a great man who loved to laugh

February 15, 2011

My Picture Of Summer

  I don't usually don't look forward to summer because I hate the heat but this year I am. I can't wait to have tons of summer fun with my daughter Lily and to take lots of pictures along the way.

We have a nice big yard that we can't use because it's been buried under about two and a half feet of snow. Last summer me and Lily would go outside at least twice a day. We would sit under the trees and work on her belly play time and I liked to dress her up and take her picture in front of my mothers flower gardens.

We are lucky enough to have a pool right in our backyard. She was too little to go in last year so I would bring a plastic container out in the yard and I would let the sun heat up the water. She was only four months old then so she was very small so it was like she had her very own Kiddie Pool. I would fill it with her bath soap and give her a bath at the same time. She loved it and I like the picture I took of her. At first you will see her and her dad but then you can see her little feet through the plastic tub it's pretty cute if you ask me.This year she'll be walking when it comes time for swimming weather. I think she's going to have a lot of fun swimming and I'll be there waiting with my camera to remember the special moments.

Me 1985
When I was a kid my parents would have to drag me and my brother Jon out of the pool and our skin would be so wrinkled we would look like raisins. My mom and dad would take pictures of us while we were swimming. I love the way the light sparkles on top of the water and the blue color is beautiful as a back drop.

I have not gone swimming at the beach in about twelve years now and I miss it. Last year we took Lily but babies are very sensitive to the sun so we had to keep her in her stroller. But when a big cloud came we were able to bring her out onto the beach. She didn't seem to impressed with it but back then she couldn't even smile yet so who knows how she will react this year. I am very excited to get some pictures of her playing in the sand with her dad. I took a few last year but I was rushed because the cloud coverage moved pretty fast so I had to take my pictures quickly. I am very excited to use my new camera, the Nikon D90 when I go out this summer.

There is so much to look forward to. Sharing all of these special times with Lily and her dad really makes me see how lucky I am. It makes me realize it's not about having all of the material things like a yard and pool but to be able to watch her grow. I am glad that I took so many pictures of her last year because now I will always remember her first summer and how tiny she was and how she took everything in, everything was so new to her. I can't wait to see what pictures and good times this year will bring. All of these pictures were taken with a Nikon Cool Pix Camera camera so you'll be sure to get these same results with any camera you use. Happy Shooting!

February 14, 2011

Save Money And Get The Camera You Want

I am definitely not Mrs. Money bags but I have found a way to get the camera and everything else that I have ever wanted by finding a hidden gem. I'll tell you all about in this article.

Studio Stool- Two Dollars!
I have always loved taking pictures. When I started thinking about becoming a photographer I started doing tons of research online and looking at other photographers work. Even though my point and shoot camera was taking nice pictures I realized that I wouldn't be able to get the higher quality I was looking for without a higher quality camera.I was depressed with the thought of not being able to afford a new camera. I would look at pictures online and daydream about being able to take photos like the ones I had seen. Also with a better camera I would of been able to do more with my photography like blur my backgrounds and choose lenses for the specific kinds of pictures I was trying to get. So I put my camera dreams on hold until I found a way to achieve it.

 I love to buy things second hand but I haven't always been this way, the thought of going into a thrift store two years ago scared me. I  had thought they would be dirty and that everything would be stained or just gross. My first trip to the Salvation Army pleasantly surprised me. It wasn't dirty at all and I had such a great time looking around at everything. As I went there more and more I saw that they add more stuff every day so it's always an adventure when I go. The savings are incredible! I have everything I have ever wanted and more money than ever in my pocket. This was when I had realized that my camera dreams were reachable.

My friend got a couch-Fifteen dollars!
When we found out that we were having our daughter Lily we were worried that we wouldn't be able to afford her. We had thought that baby clothes would be too expensive for us. When we went shopping to the big stores we were right, baby clothes are expensive your talking around ten to twenty dollars for an outfit that could fit a tiny teddy bear. Then we found the thrift stores. There we could get her clothing all in great condition some still new with the tags on for much less. We get around 10 items of clothing for around five dollars.The thing about baby clothes is that people have and get so much of it that the babies can't wear it all and with them always growing there's not much time to get good use from an outfit. So there are always wonderful choices when it comes to baby clothes at thrift stores and we are able to get Lily a lot of toys too. We also feel great about not buying everything new for her. Picture this, If every kid were to get one small ball for every birthday until they were ten years old imagine how many balls that would be. Now think of huge plastic toy houses, cars and so many other things kids want unfortunately some of this stuff ends up in our land fills.

The Nikon D90
It's not just baby clothes and toys that we get from thrift stores Justin and I also get great deals on our clothes too. I don't recommend getting your underpants there but everything else,yes! Because you can find some very nice stuff there. Once I had found a beautiful brown vest with the tags still on it. It was originally priced from another store for ninety dollars and I got it for seven. My Uncle David was very happy when he received it from us on Christmas last year. We have also gotten so many household items, chairs, tables you name it you can probably get it there. I can't tell you exactly how much we've saved over the years but here is one example. We got a beautiful couch in perfect condition for sixty dollars and I looked online and found a couch like it and it was two thousand dollars new. There's my camera money right there with one purchase. So with all these saving I was able to buy my dream camera. After I used it I felt comfortable taking peoples portraits so in a way the camera is paying for its self as well.

Baby Carrier for two dollars!

Not only are we saving the environment by shopping second hand we're also saving butt loads of money and having a great time while doing it. Thrift stores have given me all things I have ever wanted including my dream camera the Nikon D90. After we are done using what we have bought we donate it right back to the thrift stores. So  If your worried about going into a thrift store give it a try and you may be glad you did.