Category Archives: Rising Stars

Hip New Jersey sits with the state’s up-and-comers before they hit the mainstream. We’ll find out what motivates them on their journey to the top!

stacy mae photography

Stacy Mae Photography

A cupcake and a click: a sacred, sweet moment is captured.

In front of the camera, mothers share giggly, cuddly, silly seconds with their children .  Behind the camera, mother and photographer, Stacy Canzonieri of Stacy Mae Photography, clicks away.

#HipNJ headed over to Crowley Cupcakes in Madison for the “Cupcakes with Mom” event to take a look behind the lens.

“These are actually some of my favorite shoots, the shoots that we did today where it’s moms and their kids because moms are never in front of the camera. They’re usually the ones behind the camera taking pictures of their kids,” Stacy said.

It’s not just smiles she’s capturing, but the essence of the blissful relationship between a mother and her child. In her shots, Stacy doesn’t aim for the perfectly posed picture, but to see the connection and interaction between mothers and their children unfold and bloom.

Although Stacy has doubled as an entertainer and photographer when doing infant shoots, which sounds fun (yet tiring), family photography is her favorite. “Getting everybody together in the frame is really important,” Stacy said.

In business for nearly six years, her own children inspired her work behind the lens. Like most mothers, she wanted nice pictures of her children and like most mothers she would devote a lot of effort to get them.

We’re not talking doing the “Hokey Pokey” in the middle of the mall or bribing her kids with candy (yes, before dinner), but teaching herself the skills of a photographer.

Her photography spoke for itself as people started requesting her service, just as the photos captured at Crowley Cupcakes tell the stories of loving mothers and her children.

For more information, check out Stacy Mae’s new website,

Transmedia at Montclair State University

Students at Montclair State University were at the cutting edge of information sharing this school year, where they- and #HipNJ– learned all about transmedia.  

Transmedia takes storytelling to a whole new level! By utilizing multiple platforms, information can be distributed to people in any way imaginable. It is a collaboration of social media, print, websites, products, television, and so much more.

“You can’t just exist on the planet anymore, you need to exist in every facet,” said transmedia student, Christian Proscia. “You need to be on Facebook, you need to be on Twitter, you need to be on Instagram, you need to have a Youtube channel.”

The concept of transmedia can be taken beyond the classroom; it can be utilized by every business to extend their reach to a wider audience. It encourages people to delve deeper into an idea and act as a participant instead of a onlooker. Transmedia is used to create collective sources of information that are engaging and immersive, creating an experience for the user.   

“The biggest takeaway is seeing how interconnected everything is,” said student, Chris Heintze. “What you do on one platform, you want to continue onto another platform and make sure everything works in a cohesive group.”

The Montclair State University students were pushing the envelope with new, creative ideas. From creating a virtual board game and developing apps, to making Facebook pages for specific characters in their story, they thought of out-of-the-box ways to reach their audience.

If you’re a looking for a new way to promote your business or ideas, this is must-see segment!


Rising Stars: ETTWomen

#HipNJ‘s Lisa Marie Latino presented at the ETTWomen Workshop, and talked about the importance of incorporating video into business marketing plans.

Lisa Marie’s presentation was held at Fireside in Marlboro, and over 50 women (including ShoreTV NewJersey’s Janine Strafaci) attended.

“What makes us hip is that we don’t complete with each other, we empower each other”, proclaimed Judy Banks of Balance Your Life.

Lisa Marie, who owns Long Shot Productions as well as co-running #HipNJ, gave the following tips:

TIP 1: When brainstorming for your video, think outside the box. Don’t be so rigid and traditional. Have fun with your message, and come up with something completely original that is short and to the point.

TIP 2: Your videos should look professionally produced. Even if you create the content yourself, it should be structurally sound. Do not cut corners just for the sake of saving money. Hiring a reputable production company will ensure the best result. They will work with you on scripting, storyboarding, production, and post-production.

TIP 3: Plan ahead on how you will market your video content. Videos just don’t get uploaded to YouTube and become viral on their own. You must share on your social media channels and get your audience involved.

TIP 4: A great way to get your customers involved is by staging an online contest. Offer a prize for submitting and showing how they use your product or service, in a video. You load the winning entry on YouTube and share across social media.

TIP 5: Use video as a key part in your communications. Instead of having a phone call with a potential client, use Skype or another service to connect. Having that virtual “facetime” will strengthen your bond and help seal the deal!

The Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Women, formerly ETTM, helps women build businesses “holistically”, covering every angle the successful entrepreneur needs.  ETTWomen’s mission is to connect like minded women to network with intention, build relationships, learn from and support each other.

“Our annual retreat is a little bit more personal, where the women come to connect on a deeper level,” explained co-founder Vanessa Coppes.

“It’s working on yourself, on your business, and we’re setting the stage for an amazing 2015,” added co-founder Lynette Barbieri.

For more information on ETTWomen, log onto