11 Feb

Sarah Blesener may as well call Eastern Europe home. Using her common hashtag #everydayeasterneurope, it is no surprise Sarah’s heart lies across the sea. In addition to photographing countless timeless weddings worldwide, she now photographs her adventures while traveling. And guess what. She’s good at it.

I’ve called Minneapolis home for as long as I can remember. I’m a nomad at heart, and spend more time abroad than at home, but whenever I am in Minneapolis I know that I’m home. I grew up twenty minutes outside of the city, but I graduated high school when I was 16, and I decided to move downtown Minneapolis and start University. I had just bought my first camera, and all I could think of was stretching my independence and shooting anything I could.

Photography has always been second nature to me. I started to take it seriously about four years ago, when I officially started my own freelance business. I shot anything from portraits, to headshots, to weddings. However, two years ago was the first time I really felt my nitch in documentary photography. I started working for a NGO in Haiti, photographing their school, orphanage, and kids. From there, I fell in love with storytelling, and shifted the focus of my lens. I began attending a Russian school, and heading to Russia and post-Soviet countries for 6 months of the year to work on personal projects and for different organizations. Being the kind of crazy that I am, I appreciate that Minneapolis has a community that nurtures the free spirit. I’ve received nothing but encouragement and support from the community of artists and mentors in Minneapolis. Minneapolis is a place to thrive, to learn from others, to challenge yourself. I’m nothing but grateful for this city.

In Minneapolis, my favorite spot has to be Magers and Quinn in Uptown. I’m in love with literature, and would spend hours in this bookstore reading when I was in college. The owners are incredibly kind people, and it’s hard to not find inspiration here. Right across the street is Dogwood coffee – with the best baristas and coffee you’ll find in the area.