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A Little Cactus

I wake up to this pretty little cactus every morning the past few days and it makes me smile. Then I turn over in my cozy bed and come face to face with my big black fur creature, Banksy, and I know it is going to be a wonderful day! 

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National Cereal Day With Banksy

In honor of National Cereal Day Banks ate some of my favorite cereal...well mostly just the milk. He thinks milk is the cat's meow. He just loves his milk soooo much, I swear it is favorite part of waking up. He waits so patiently nearby to finish off my bowl. My heart sings a little to watch the little guy enjoy such a simple thing. Gewwww...I love my pup. :) 

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Go for Dreams

Don't Let the Man, Naysayers, or the politics get you down. Keep your head high, so you can keep your eye on your dreams and and make a B-Line for them. 

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The Essential Camera Bag

Over the years you get burned a few times, and then you get smart. I wanted to share a sneak peak into my bag. These are things I consider essential to avoid surprises or something slightly more serious. You should have everything you need if you are in a tight corner, and be able to backup your images immediately so they are safely stored in at least two places at all times while you travel. 

WHAT IS IN MY BAG? 

  • Canon Mark III 5D
  • Canon 50mm fixed
  • Canon 16-35 mm | Great for tight spaces 
  • 2 Fully charged Camera batteries + Charger
  • 4-8 | good range would be (3) 4GB | (5) 8GB | (2) 16GB | (2) 32GB Cards)
  • Memory Card Wallet | I recommend Think Tank
  • Lens Cleaner + Whip
  • Small Travel Tripod | Manfroto does a great series of various travel sizes) 
  • Laptop 
  • Card Reader | for both SD and Compact flash) 
  • External Hard-drive | At least 500 GB
  • Travel Tripod | Manfrotto is my favorite thus far
  • Pen + Paper + Black Sharpie
  • Snacks | I get hungry often, and your client might as well
  • Water 
  • Chapstick | Model may need some
  • Flash Drive | Just a small 8GB to run a print if needed 
  • Batteries | Anything your hardware may need
  • Phone Charger

It is also great to travel with a discrete bag that does not scream "I AM A CAMERA BAG, HEAR ME ROAR." You want to blend in so your goods do not get stolen, but stay protected. I opted for a local brand carried by a local shop in Salt Lake City, ACME Camera Company

The Porteen medium bag is Beautifully handmade in the USA. The bags are extremely unique with hand picked fabrics, leathers, and furs. It is an extraordinarily well built bag, protecting your camera goods, while not giving away the contents stowed inside. 

with some cute leather styling, and hand-stitching that looks like a nice customized purse. It is much smaller than my initial travel, bag, I cannot carry everything I need. I only take my camera and favorite lens, leaving a little extra room for extra camera cards, ID and cash.  

I do highly recommend a portable Manffroto lightweight tripod. You hardly notice you have it with you, but it comes in handy when you need to get a clean shot at all hours for both stills and video. 

 

Let me know if you have any questions. 

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Christmas Tea

Mi Madre has always loved the idea of English High Tea, and has started incorporating it into our Christmas traditions. Ever since we lost my grandparents we have been trying a few new customs to ease the pain of missing them. It has proven difficult to not miss them, but it has been healthy to try a few new things here and there to mend our hearts and talk about the many dear memories we have. Here is a little glimpse of the deliciousness we tried for this tea. 

Menu

Chocolate chip Scones | Cheddar Chive Scones | Cranberry Orange Scones | Pimento + Olive Spread | Seafood Spread | Turkey Spread | Poor Man's Fruitcake | Raspberry Shortbread Cookies | Egg Spinach Muffins | Devonshire Cream | Variety of Crackers

Teas 

White Chocolate | Peppermint | Ruby-red Cider | Youth Berry | Wild Orange Blossom 

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A Fresh Smoothie

Keep your blood sugar up, and your creativity stays up!

A delicious fruit smoothie in the making:

2 heaping Tbsp of Plain Greek Yogurt
1 cup mango, pineapple, strawberry mix
1 cup blueberry + raspberries
2 cups frozen or fresh spinach
2 Tbsp Whey Protein
1 cup Orange Juice
1/4 cup Almond Milk (optional)

Enjoy!

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Being Creative

Sometimes it sure feels that way, but then it is good to remember to just let others inspire you, and take what you can to make it your own and grow from it.

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A Kind Soul

A very wonderful mind shared this video with me over the weekend. I instantly fell in love with it. The creature has the kindest eyes.

 

MNEK, Zara Larsson | Never Forget You

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9 Tips for a Better Instagram

As designer I have a few pet peeves, and one of them is a messy work space, and that includes a messy IG feed. How can an IG feed be mess you ask? Well my dear friend, there quite a few ways. But, instead of going into the details of doing something wrong, let's talk about how to do it right.  

If you are just on IG to show your latest adventure don't be to harsh on yourself, but if you are attempting to share personal work for the world to see, not only that, a potential client, you want your feed to look brilliant and unified. Here are a few Tips and Tricks to keep in mind. 

1. STYLE + APPEAL

You will have to make a few decisions ahead of time, mainly LAYOUT and how you want your overall feed to look and feel. Be consistent from the beginning and people will see you know what you are doing. In my own opinion, the two examples below work well. Remember you are creating a cohesive feed, not just posting individual pieces to a random puzzle. Think of your  feed as a living, breathing creature that should captivate anyone who stumbles onto it.

- BOTH WORK WELL, BECAUSE THEY ARE CONSISTENT -

FULL SQUARES THROUGHOUT FEED

BOARDERS AROUND EACH IMAGE

2. POST THOUGHTFULLY

What does your feed currently look like? What did you recently post? Consider the image you are selecting, and how it will jive with the other images you have already posted near it. Do the colors flow? Is there two much of a one thing, even if it is a good thing? I loooove dogs, but if your account is not all about the paws, you probably shouldn't have three posts of your dog in a row, no matter how adorable the little fur beast is. 

3. MIX UP CONTENT

Definitely show off your own work, but find complimentary images by fellow Instagrammers that may inspire you and elevate your brand. Share quotes that resonate with you. Here is a good example of using cohesive images that have a similar feel, pushing your brand identity further. 

I adore Darling Magazine, and they inspire my work. So I wanted to share. 

Naturally I adore this handsome face, Banksy makes the cut upon occasion. 

Just a kick ass image I regrammed from another feed and gave credit. 

4. BE AUTHENTIC

People generally like people, and they like to know the person behind the feed is an actual person with real joys and real problems. Naturally you can express yourself through the imagery you share, but you can also share your thoughts in the caption, people may relate to your words and decide to follow you. Maybe you talk about the work you created, explain the process, give us a glimpse into how hard it was and how happy you are to share it now.  Even clients respect someone who works hard and shares successes and failures. Makes it interesting. 

I posted about my much needed Hiatus from all things social for a bit. And it was nice to get it out there, and let people know I was back at it again. 

5. GIVE CREDIT

If you decide to share someone else's delightful image, be sure to give credit where credit is due. I snagged the image above from one of my very talented gal pals, Jessica Peterson, and I did mention her in the caption. To mention someone, snag their attention, or invite someone to see something you thought was the cat's meow, use the @mention. Place "@" in front of the username you are giving credit to or calling to action. You can also tag people in the image. Regardless, one option should be used. 

6. COLLABORATION 

If you want to get eyes on your feed, get in contact with a friend that maybe already has a significant following and see if you can get them to @mention you in the caption or tag for your contribution. I am all about trade. Sometimes I offer to to do a photo shoot for someone with a larger following and just ask they aim the credit my way. You could also just get crafty together and both of you share the credit. But, don't just call up a random friend who has had some IG success and ask them to do you a solid for nada. That is bad form, IG can be a business, and be aware of what is important to them and their feed. Ask how you could help out or if you have anything you could trade. Maybe that trade is just silly ole cash money. 

7. SPEND THE TIME

Now you have started posting relevant images to your feed, and it is looking glorious, and you just want people to see your cute feed. How do you get people there? You can go the collaboration route, but you can also just set aside 15-20 minutes a day where you get in the heart of IG and find feeds you like, and actually "like" or "Heart" someone else's images. They are notified when someone likes their image, maybe they will return the favor. Perhaps you love their feed so much you "FOLLOW" them. This is great, you are engaging in your community. Who knows maybe they will follow you back. 

I want you to sit down an put on your thinking cap, let's get down to the nitty gritty. What kind of feed are you creating? Who is your target demographic? Maybe you shoot weddings, so search #engagements and go like 50 photos under that #hashtag because those are potential clients, the people who just announced on IG, they are engaged! Perhaps you sell custom vintage bags, find your favorite stores that you think should be selling your bags and take a look at their followers. Get in there and follow their followers. Most likely they will already like your style because they like the store you think your bags should be in. Starting to make some sense? 

8. TIMING

Don't get on IG and go post happy, posting everything you have right off the bat. People really hate that, they do not want to see you in their newsfeed all day long, maybe just once or twice a day. Space out your posts, try to allow 3-6 hours between posts. I understand there will be times when you just need to post a few images in a row because whatever is happening is just that cool. But it is rare, so be cautious, or you could loose followers for over-posting. 

9. BE CONSISTENT

If you build it, they will come. If you neglect what you build for weeks on end, people forget you exist and the hype falls into a hole of sludgy despair. When people come to your feed and see new content on the daily, they will most likely return. If they visit, and see your last post was 3 weeks ago, you are dead to them, Until you start posting again and that post slithers down their IG feed, they may start to remember who you are. The best thing to do, is just avoid all of that and post consistently. Everyday if you can, twice a day if you have a reason. If posting daily is the hardest thing for you, get in there every other day or every three days. If you show dedication to your feed and community, it will grow. 

BONUS. HAVE FUN

Don't take yourself to seriously, and enjoy the journey. Don't compare yourself to everyone else, your life and product is important too. 

- HERE ARE A FEW THINGS TO REMEMBER -



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SIMPLE DESIGN | Changing Colors in PS

If you are as picky as I am,  you want your color to be perfect. Often times I watercolor or draw with markers, and end up scanning in my designs. 

Tip #1 : Use a color when you draw or paint instead of black. You can change the hue and saturation of a color, but you pigeonhole yourself when you use only black. I find PINK translates well to other color options, and it is wonderful to have options while designing. 

To change the hue/saturation of a color follow this path:

 Image > adjustments > hue and saturation

I scanned in a watercolor drawing to demonstrate easy color changes you can make by moving the sliders.

You can start playing with multiple layers, and experiment with your design over images you think it might work with. 

Perhaps black + white makes more sense for your design aesthetic. 


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A Tiny Bit Teal

You know that time when you look around your house and you realize you have acquired an awful lot of things in a particular color? Apparently, over the last year, I have been drawn to teal in every aspect of my life. What can I say, it is a FANTASTIC color!

It is also interesting as you get into the psychology behind the color. Turquoise helps to open the lines of communication between the heart and the spoken word. Turquoise controls and heals the emotions creating balance and stability. It radiates the peace, calm and tranquility of blue and the balance and growth of green with the uplifting energy of yellow. T'well I guess I am a seeker of stability and balance, who knew? ;)

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