Monday, February 28, 2011

All American Girl Next Door

Liz: The All American Girl Next Door (11)
This sweet 'ol pup was happy to meet Liz (photo by Jenny Skinner)

Yesterday afternoon I met up with Liz to shoot her outfit photo for her blog, Reston Style: A Suburban Style Blog. I thought this outfit was great - red, white, and blue plus pearls and a black blazer. Very classic and very All-American. The addition of the cutie-pie pooch in this shot just added to the Ralph Lauren / Tommy Hilfiger vibe.

The photo shoot was a blast, and I loved the casual and carefree style of the photos. Stay tuned, because I plan to make a re-appearance as Liz's guest photographer!

Liz: The All American Girl Next Door (13) Liz: The All American Girl Next Door (4) Liz: The All American Girl Next Door (6)

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Before you begin reading this post, you should click play on Norah Jones' video.

Today is a quiet morning, and this is the "music mood" I'm in. I'm about to hit the trail for a run. But for these few moments where I'm waiting for my oatmeal to cool and body to warm up, I'm reminded of peaceful summertime mornings in Maine. No matter how little sleep I've had, there's something about sleeping by the ocean that makes you jump out of bed to watch the sun rise. They are all different, and uniquely beautiful. This one here is reflective of my attitude this morning... mellow, yet ready to get things going.

Camden Sunrise

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Dog Days are Over

Today is a pretty exciting day for me. Shortly after the stroke of midnight, I announced to the Facebook world that my doors are officially open for business. This may not sound like such a big deal, but for me it was monumental. I'm letting people into my world, and into my soul - I'm completely disarmed and entirely vulnerable... yet I'm beaming from ear to ear and am blissfully happy.

I started getting serious about photography about 5 years ago when I bought my Nikon D50 DSLR. I'm proud of the shots I took with that camera (including the rainbow below). I recently decided that it was time to upgrade my camera and get some better lenses. This was also slightly metaphorical, as I upgraded myself, too and gained clarity and focus on my creative desire.

This has been a scary process for me - my creative voice is part of my core being. Previously bound by fear, I have broken free and am declaring to the world "I EXIST!"

Friday, February 25, 2011

In Search of Beethoven

Today I watched a documentary titled "In Search of Beethoven." I was particularly inspired and moved by the following quote set to Beethoven's Piano Concerto No.5 (often referred to as the Emperor Concerto)

"His music is so firmly rooted in everything human; with all of it's frailties, and weaknesses and shortcomings of all sorts. But at the same time there's an element of Promethean struggle and of attempts to always reach higher and to never give up and never surrender. Something that always tries to elevate itself from the difficulties of the misery inherent to the human condition. 

That's also what's so fascinating to me is that he's perceived often as a misanthropic character, but his music is also the music of an inveterate optimist, of someone who never gives up in thinking that men can be better." - Hélène Grimaud

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dear Spring, Where are You?

In the Garden
by Emily Dickinson

A bird came down the walk:

He did not know I saw;
He bit an angle-worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw.

And then he drank a dew
From a convenient grass,
And then hopped sidewise to the wall
To let a beetle pass.

He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all abroad, --
They looked like frightened beads, I thought;
He stirred his velvet head

Like one in danger; cautious,
I offered him a crumb,
And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home

Than oars divide the ocean,
Too silver for a seam,
Or butterflies, off banks of noon,
Leap, plashless, as they swim.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ocean of Life Baby Shower

My mom and I have been planning my sister-in-law’s baby shower for the past couple of months. We developed a theme around the “ocean of life” and without getting too cerebral, let’s just say that the source of inspiration was a vintage image of a mermaid and the notion of the primordial sea. Thankfully, we toned things down so that our guests can obviously tell that this is a festive baby shower and not a study group! My mom has a great recipe for sugar cookies and I have a knack with the piping bag.

Ocean of Life Baby Shower

Ocean of Life Baby Shower

Fishbowl Cookies

Baby Shower>
And yes, these taste as good as they look!

After planning and prepping, the Baby Shower finally happened! Overall, I think people had a good time and enjoyed themselves. I loved the colors, textures, and the mix of seashells and roses. It’s feminine (baby girl), but still had style and an appropriate sophistication. What fun! I can't wait to plan my niece's birthday parties!!

Ocean of Life Collage

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Counting Sheep: A Bedtime Inspired Post

Right: Real Sheep (photo by Jenny Skinner). Left: "Wolle" a Sesame Street Sheep (designed by Ed Christie)
 I'm tired and about to hit the hay. And on that note, I'm reminded of a recent story I read about how many Americans suffer from sleeping disorders. I, on the other hand, rarely have trouble falling asleep. Josh tells me that I have pillow narcolepsy! But if you are one of those who needs to count sheep before you catch your Z's, let me suggest that you count the cuddly Sesame Street-type lambs, and not the real kind (though you've got to admit, that sheep is sorta cute!)

Sweet Dreams!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

An Accidental Annie Leibovitz

Photo of Liz (left): by Jenny Skinner. Photo of Miley (right): by Annie Leibovitz

Okay, so it's not the exact same photo, but I can't help seeing a similarity between my photo of Liz (left) and Annie Leibovitz's shot of Miley (right)! Innocent, vulnerable, pure. And yet, they both have that glimmer in their eye that hints at something confident and free spirited.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dreaming of Paradise

Yesterday hit 70℉. It's still February, right?! Despite the powerful wind gusts, I had a taste of spring yesterday and loved every moment of it. Today was another story. Back to cold temperatures and the sad reminder that it will be months before I'm wearing a tank top and shorts again.

In the meantime, I'm posting one of my favorite photos of the roses at Deetjen's Big Sur Inn. I honeymooned there with Furb, and absorbed every molecule of nature. Big Sur, CA is a breathtaking paradise and I long to go back.
Deetjen's Roses
I read a quote in Departures magazine not too long ago that said "you can never let go of Big Sur because it never lets go of you."  That is the absolute truth.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Puppy Love

Well, it's Valentine's Day. To all of you out there who aren't feeling the love, may I present to you my dog, Dagny. Puppy love, right?! She's almost 3 now, and still melts my heart. I'm really lucky to have the two BEST friends in the world living under my roof - my husband and my dog. I hope Cupid treats you well today!!

Puppy Love

Saturday, February 12, 2011

100% Jenny

I suppose it would be polite for me to introduce myself. I’m Jenny. Welcome to my photo & design blog!

Self Portrait 

Since I was a wee thing, I've had the creative bug. Over the years I've earned the reputation of being and out-of-the-box thinker and having artistic skill. My artistic endeavors began at an early age. I was voted "Most Creative" in 1st grade, created my own brand of doodles that I called "kidcicles," and fullfilled orders for custom drawings for my friends. I used to stay up way past my bedtime to paint and draw. And now I'm certain that this is the core element of my being. Without artistic expression I am not whole.

I constantly feel like I have a movie playing in my head. No matter where I am, my eyes are the camera and whatever I see is played back in my mind (sometimes I even play the soundtrack!). The color, the lighting, the silence of the forest or the whooshing of the passing cars - it all sets the tone and tells the story. I translate this into my photography. I believe that art exists to evoke emotions and tell a story. My photos attempt to capture the emotion and truth of the moment.

When I was in 6th grade, I was given an assignment to write an autobiography. I called it "100% Jenny," and that's who I am.