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Ridiculously Happy Ppl
17 minutes | 3 years ago
16 / Self Care: An Introduction To Living Ridiculously Happy
Life is tough. No matter your circumstances (for example how much money you have or how much you love your partner), stress will always be a factor in your life. Scary stuff. Juggling a job, kids, their extra curricular activities, and an attempt at your own social life is seemingly impossible if you ever intend to sleep. And I know that as you read this, the hairs on the back of your neck are starting to stick up. But there are some really simple things you can do to improve your self care. What do I care about self care? Well, my dear, I photograph people. I'd compare being in front of the camera to standing on stage in front of hundreds of people. It can be terrifying, and my clients often preface our session with, "I'm so nervous!! You have your work cut out for you." A big part of my job turns out being to help my clients chill out and feel comfortable being themselves while I stand back and observe. And of course, the more at peace and comfortable my clients are with themselves, the more confident they appear in front of the camera. Good self care will absolutely help you feel that confidence and peace in front of the camera. What I'm talking about are all those things that you can do on a regular basis to reduce stress and enhance your well-being. Truthfully, self care is an essential life skill. Developing strong practices in your daily life is simple (I swear), and will help you connect more with what makes you ridiculously happy. How?? By committing to improving your physical and mental well being you'll strengthen your body and mind for when it matters (for example, when you have the flu and should be sleeping but your kids think now, of all times, is the right time to hit baseballs towards the house in the middle of winter). Exercise and Healthy Eating Regular exercise will help keep your body fit for life-duty, and eating healthy will help improve your immune system. It might go without saying, but I'm going to say it anyway. A healthy body and immune system will significantly improve your ability to function when you're sick and also fight off the germs that might get you sick. And the sooner you get healthy, the sooner you can get back to kicking butt in life. Exercising and eating well will also help energize you. The more energy you have, the more time you'll have to spend doing the things you love, and the less time you'll spend grunting and groaning when bending over to pick up your children. (Or in my case, to pick up my cat.) Here are some ideas to get you started: Go for a walk. One of my absolute favourite ways to get a little physical activity is to go for a hike (or in the winter, go snowshoeing). Getting a bit of time away from the 70 billion screens at home, getting some fresh air, and getting some light exercise can really refresh my mood. I go for a walk for anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. Prepare your meals in advance. Especially when you're not hungry. If you're like me, then waiting until you're hungry to choose a meal or make food ultimately results in me eating junk and then also eating the entire meal I prepared while eating the junk food. So instead, every Sunday I prepare a few things so that I can either grab-'em-and-go or pop them in the microwave. No thinking involved. Make one small change to your diet for the week. Drink a big glass of water first thing in the morning or order a side salad instead of fries the next time you eat out. If you're nervous about cutting the unhealthy food out of your diet, trie adding good food instead. It can be as simple as adding one big serving of vegetables to your routine each day. Time Management Have you ever caught yourself saying, "I just don't have enough time!" Well I have a painful truth for you. There is always more time! Time is one of those things that we literally never run out of. And yet, so many complain about not having enough of it. Now, I'm not saying you don't have a lot going on, but so many of us spend time doing things we don't want to do at the expense of doing things we do need to do. Some of these things are unavoidable (like laundry or washing the dishes), but others can be dropped completely from our routine in favour of spending more time reading or taking a relaxing bath. Try these three things to help prioritize and schedule your time, set goals, and quit procrastinating: Pay complete attention to something you usually do on autopilot. Perhaps brushing your teeth, folding laundry, eating, or performing your morning routine. Get a clearer understanding of how long it takes and why. You might find that you're spending more time on a task than you need to. Cut the time wasters. These could be activities or people which do not bring anything positive to your life. If you're not getting anything out of it, quit doing it. Ask for help! Yes, there is always more time, but there is only 24 hours in a day. If your day is going to take you 25 hours, ask someone for help. A partner, a parent, or a friend might be so willing to lend a hand. This goes for work as well. If you are finding it difficult to get everything done that you need to it might be time to talk with your employer or delegate a task or two. Say No So many people pride themselves on helping others, but I've found that so many of these people help others at the expense of their own well being. Ask yourself, how can you take care of others if you cannot take care of yourself? Learning to assert yourself is a tremendously important skill. If you ask my family and friends they would probably tell you that I already have this quality on lock-down. But actually I, too, find it difficult to say no sometimes. When people reach out to us for help, the human in us instinctively wants to help. But you cannot help others if you cannot first help yourself. So if you don't have the time, if you don't have the patience, or you just don't want to do whatever it is, summon your inner assertive self and say no. Reduce Unnecessary Stress As I've already said, stress is a constant part of our lives and that will never change. Thankfully. But sometimes stress can get the better of us and turn us into a cranky, emotional mess. So it is so important that we learn how to relax and develop anti-stress techniques. Here are a few easy and, might I say, enjoyable options. Pat your pet. If you don’t have one, go to the park and find one. (Ask first!) It can be so soothing to pet an animal. Go outside. You're probably expecting me to say, "And go for a walk," but just a few minutes of sun can help relax you. (Use sunscreen if appropriate.) Take a quick nap. Ten to twenty minutes is perfect. If you're the type to nap for 2 to 3 hours, you might want to set an alarm to keep from feeling like absolute garbage afterward. Practice Mindfulness If you know me really well, you've probably witnessed me go on a rant about something-or-other that's been frustrating me. (If you don't know me really well, just ask my mother.) I blame my red hair and literally thin skin for my propensity to show off my temper. (Coincidentally, I can also blame my red hair on my mother...) When we get feeling like this (stressed and overburdened), we can start living on autopilot. We go through the motions, completing the same tasks over and over again without recognizing the joy around us and how much time we could get back. I've adopted a few techniques recently to bring me back to living in the moment. Here they are: Start a gratitude list. Document all the great things you are thankful for. Write them down first thing in the morning and/or right before you go to bed at night. Recognize the journey and not just your current position in it. What I mean is, recognize that you are in the process of achieving your goals and that you will get there eventually. Don't just dwell on the fact that you haven't reached them yet. For example, instead of saying, "I'm trying to lose weight," say, "I am losing weight." Find balance. A friend recently told me about an exercise he used to do in hockey. You are in the middle of a hockey rink with your teammates in 4 corners. Each of those teammates is a life priority. When you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, chances are that those 4 priorities are out of balance. Try drawing it out and naming your 4 priorities. The next time you're feeling stressed, look back at that piece of paper and examine what you might be focussing on too much, and what part of your life you've been neglecting. Get Good Sleep As a human being you have any number of daily tasks to complete. But I have a secret for you, you cannot complete those tasks without getting a good night's sleep. And I don't mean a long sleep. 8 hours means nothing if you're tossing and turning for 4 of those hours. It's important that you get a good, solid, deep sleep, which could be interrupted by any number of things. Here's a few ideas for how to improve your sleep routine and get more of the good stuff: Create a deliberate habit. For example, as the sun goes down turn off all the bright lights in your home. By dimming lights your body will start to recognize that sleep is coming and start winding down, and when it's actually time to sleep, you'll be ready. Unplug for an hour. I actually plug-in an hour before bed. And by that I mean I put my phone on the charger in my office, far away from my bed. Getting this screen-free time is essential in for me to get a good solid sleep. If I don't, I feel like I'm dragging myself when I wake up the next morning. Practice a little self-soothing. I do this by moisturizing, and especially paying close attention to my feet. Right before I tuck myself in at night I get a handful of moisturizer, lay down, in the dark, and massage my feet and ankles. Yes, life is tough, but you're tougher. And with great self care strategies in your back pocket you might be quite near invincible. Consistent exercise and a good diet will help keep you healthy. Realistic tim
21 minutes | 3 years ago
15 / Smartphone Photography Tricks: 5 Tips For Improving Your Photos
I’m willing to bet that you have a smartphone with a camera built into it. Yet I hear from so many people that they want to invest in a camera so that they can take better photos. But here is what I tell everyone I mentor in photography: the equipment doesn’t make the photographer. In reality, you can take better photos with your smartphone by picking up a few easy photography tricks. And they won’t cost you a dime! Choose Your Smartphone I recently had a conversation with Craig from Africa 4 Canadians about this very idea. Craig hooks up Canadians with spectacular trips to Africa. We were talking about how to get better photos on these adventures, and of course I recommended that his clients use their phones or the equipment they already have rather than investing in a new rig. Here’s why: It’s far too easy to spend your entire trip staring at the back of your camera and fiddling with your equipment. Also, if you want to use that equipment well, you’ll need a lot of it and a lot of training and practice to use it. It’s easy to spend $5,000 to $7,500 on equipment for an amazing trip like this. In truth, it won’t enhance your trip, but in stead put a barrier between you and all the amazing things going on around you. Especially in every-day life, I find that many people spend too much time trying to set up a scene rather than enjoying the moment in front of them. Moms fiddle with props while their toddlers lose interest and teens take 20 selfies trying to get the exact right angle. Even I sometimes let my hot chocolate with a mound of whipped cream go cold as I try to get the most romantic, drool-worthy shot when I could just drink the dang thing, already! I talked about this a bit in my episode on what camera is the right camera for you. The answer? The camera you have right now. So how can you take better photos using just your smartphone? Here are my 5 ridiculously easy tips. These aren’t secrets or overly complicated. I swear you can do these things without having “the eye” or “natural talent.” If you use them well, though, your family and friends just might think you do. 1. Look for More Light It might seem like there’s plenty of light indoors with all of your lights on, but the truth is that your camera doesn’t work exactly like your eyes. Your eyes naturally adjusts to lighting conditions, but your camera cannot. This is especially the case for the camera in your phone. Instead of taking all of your photos indoors, go outside outside. If you can’t go outside, try making good use of a window. Have your subject stand to the side of the window, or you can stand between them and the window where you are not casting a you-shaped shadow. In this photo, eggs was totally lit by the warm sunlight coming in from the window. (Isn’t he handsome??) There is one minor caveat to this. Make sure that you aren’t getting too much direct light. Direct light is what causes the squinting and racoon eyes when your kids are staring directly at the sun. So take your photos in the shade of a full tree, or a building, or something to ensure you get the best bright, but diffused lighting possible. Here are a couple other things to keep in mind with regard to light. Don’t use your flash. I know you might be thinking, “My camera phone has flash. I’ll just use that instead of going outside. Because pants are the worst.” Hold onto your sweats! Your smartphone’s flash is, at best, too harsh, and at worst, not powerful enough. Natural light is always best. You might also try using your cameraphone’s HDR setting. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range, and in short it brings more details into your shadows and highlights. When you’re outside taking amazing photos with a clear sky behind you, try switching this setting on to get more detail in the sky. 2. Get Focused Don’t you hate when you take the perfect photo… the best photo you’ve ever taken… and then you look closer and realize that it is, in fact, blurry? This happens to everyone; professionals included. And with your smartphone there is no excuse for settling for it. Most smartphones have awesome auto focus. They will even recognize faces and bring them into focus for you. When your camera is having trouble focusing, however, try tapping on the screen on whatever you’d like to be in focus. Your phone will [try] to focus on that spot. (Sidetone: If you’re struggling with lighting, tapping on your subject will also make sure that whatever it is is properly lit.) If you keep tapping on the screen and your photos are still coming out out of focus, there could be a couple things going on. First, if you have a camera case that covers your screen in any way, that might be your problem. It’s kind of like looking through a window your dog or toddler slobbered on. Any obstruction will deteriorate the quality of your photos. Next, is your camera lens clean? If there is any dust or scratches on your camera then your photos might come out fuzzy. This happens when we are pulling our phones in and out of our pockets. Try taking a very, very soft cloth to your camera lens. You can also try getting closer to your subject. More on this below. 3. Use Portrait Mode Here’s how I use Portrait Mode to make tea from my favourite café look even more delicious! The new iPhones have an amazing portrait mode. What this setting does is focuses on your subject, and then blurs out the background. I love it, because this is actually how I prefer to shoot with my professional gear. Portrait mode helps you keep the focus the focus. It diminishes any distracting elements in the foreground or background. That being said, don’t use fake blur. It was trendy not long ago to mimic the tilt-shift look with fake blurs, and some still love this effect. However, on the wrong photo this starts to look very fake. 4. Crop Your Photos, Don’t Zoom Lucky for me, Maude doesn’t wake up for much, so getting closer to photograph her isn’t too difficult. Your smartphone doesn’t take quality photos from a distance, and its zoom capabilities are probably poor to nill. The truth is that most cameraphones don’t have a real zoom option. This is the difference between optical and digital zoom. Optical zoom uses the glass in your lens to magnify your subject. 11 seasons of The Big Bang Theory hasn’t prepared me to explain the physics of it. But it’s the same as glasses make near- and far-sighted individuals save on headaches. Digital zoom, which most smartphones use, simply crops your photo and then artificially enlarges it. The problem with this is that your photograph is made up of many tiny pixels. When you enlarge the photo, each pixel gets duplicated, and eventually the whole thing looks like a big blurry mess. There are three ways around this tragedy of zooming. You can get closer to your subject, as I already mentioned. Problem solved. If that is not an option, take your photo without zooming and crop it after. This saves the final image from being stretched, so it still looks as sharp as it can. And finally, you can also be conscious of which camera you are using. For example, your back camera (the one you use to photograph your dog) is almost always better quality than your front camera (the one you use for selfies). So whenever possible, use the back camera to take photos. 5. Brush Up On Photography Composition Photography composition might seem complicated, but in reality it’s all about simplifying your image. I’ve spoken about this in a previous episode on improving your homemade family photos. I’m going to focus on 3 easy ideas here. First, try eliminating distracting elements from your photos. If there’s a tree sprouting out of your tween’s head, a banister cutting through your husband’s neck, or someone else’s kid eating dirt in the background, move! Removing these distractions will immediately make your photo better. Next, use the rule of thirds. Imagine splitting a photo into 9 equal parts. If your subject lines up with anywhere those parts meet or intersect, then you’re on the right path. And your camera phone might actually help you out with this. Some will show a grid while you’re taking a photo so that you can line up your subject. Next time you’re taking a portrait, try having your subject on the right-side of the photo instead of right in the middle. Check out Lola in this photo. She’s framing her sleeping buddy, Greer, perfectly. Also, the lines on the couch frame these two snuggle bugs perfectly. And finally, use lines to frame your photos and direct your followers where to look. For example, stand in a doorway for your next smoochy selfie with your Valentine. Or instead of having your kids stand right in front of the backyard tree, have them stand to the side of it so that the trunk and branches frame their cute little faces perfectly. Improve Your Smartphone Photos I can tell you that good camera equipment is not inexpensive. You don’t need it. It’s true what they say that equipment doesn’t make the photographer. Don’t waste your money on camera gear you’re going to use once then ditch. Instead, you can use these 5 smartphone photography tricks to improve the photos you take with the camera in your pocket. Because the best camera you have is the one that’s always with you, and it’s totally free! I hope that these tips will help you take better photos on the fly, while also saving you a lot of money, and a big headache, and help you get back to enjoying life with all those folks you’re snapping photos of. Links From This Episode Sign up for my Annual Boudoir Series This Is The New Camera You Should Buy How To Take Better Photos Of Your Family Get free shipping using the code HAPPYPPL in my Photography Shoppe Download my Picture Perfect Guide Join the Ridiculously Happy Ppl Facebook Community Africa 4 Canadians
17 minutes | 3 years ago
14 / Organize Your Family and Home in 2018
As the head of the household, you have a tough job keeping everyone and everything in your life organized. I see it every time I work with a family. Mom is running around feeding the kids, keeping the dog in check, and getting Dad out the door. She barely has time to get herself ready before I arrive for her shoot. In fact, she usually needs a good 10 minutes before she can join the rest of us. If this sounds a lot like you, take this moment to breathe a big sigh of relief. It doesn’t need to be like this. In fact, I have compiled a short list of tools I use which will help you do some serious family and home organization this year. This list is full of time, mind, and money savers. And you can use these ideas and inspiration to get your whole family on the same page for the new year. How To Get Organized I myself started my journey to get organized for 2018 at the beginning of November. I'll undertake dozens of marketing projects in one calendar year as a small business owner. And that doesn't include working directly with potential clients, existing clients, shooting, and editing. It was a lofty goal but is paying off already by freeing up a lot of brain space. I dedicated one full work day to organizing my to-do list. It might sound like an easy task, but let me tell you it was not! In fact, you can see what my todo list looked like before and after in the show notes. A lot got culled. I use a number of tools to keep my todo list, my business, and personal life organized. I’ve picked out a number of them which you can actually use to systematize your family and household. Let’s start with some apps that organize. Last week I myself embarked on the journey to get organized for 2018. I'll undertake dozens of marketing projects in one calendar year as a small business owner. And that doesn't include working directly with potential clients, existing clients, shooting, and editing. It was a lofty goal but is paying off already by freeing up a lot of brain space. I dedicated my Thursday to organizing my to-do list. It might sound like an easy task, but let me tell you it was not! Just take a look at this graphic below. On the left was my project list before my organizational spree, and the right is after. As you can see from the graphic a lot got culled. You can't even see all of the projects in the before column. Organize Your Files Where do you store your important files? Are they on an external hard drive? Are they on your home computer or your laptop? Can you access them from your phone if you have to? If you had to share them with someone would it be easy? Do you even know where they are? I use Dropbox for a few purposes. First, it serves as an incredible backup for important files. Second, it saves those important files across all of my computers and mobile devices. And third, it makes sharing those important files outrageously easy. All I have to do is copy and paste a link, or share a folder with someone. In fact, it makes recording my other podcast (Double Exposure Show) much easier. Because Petro and I live in different places we record over Skype and at the end of our session he Dropboxes his audio for editing. Organize Your Projects OmniFocus is a project management tool. I use it to systematize both my business and my personal life. This might sound a little bit Type A, and it might be, but I find that I am so much more productive when I follow a consistent routine. The graphic above is OmniFocus. As you can see, during my Great Organizing of 2017 I added a folder of rituals. In this folder I included both a morning routine and a morning routine for travel. The latter came in incredibly helpful when I was out of town for a full week visiting friends. It ensured that I still woke up at 6am, but took into account that I wouldn't be going to gym. This way I kept my normal sleep schedule, made sure I was taking my vitamins, and that my routine didn't get thrown out of whack. Organize Your Family Trello is a visual platform for managing projects, and I've just recently started using it. I use it to record podcast topic ideas, guest inspiration, and track the progress of various related projects. At first glance it might seem a bit overwhelming. So here are a few ways you might use it to organize your family: Create chore boards for your kids and each week review them and their progress with your kids Create a weekly calendar to keep track of who needs to be where and when Build a family holiday board and fill it with tasks for yourself and your partner A bride might create boards and share them with her family and wedding party for the following: Working with the photographer Venue set up and decor Wedding dress progress including alterations Bridesmaids dress search search and fitting progress Groom and groomsmen suit search and fitting progress How To Save Time Once you have your life in order you might be thinking you don't have enough time to get all of those things done! Never fear! Sophia is here, and I have a few more tools for you to help you save time. Especially this time of year. Save Time Budgeting Wave is THE place to manage your finances. I cannot say this enough. We all do taxes, and each year it is a pain to track down all of our receipts and files. But Wave let's you easily keep track of all of your expenses throughout the year. With it's handy-dandy smartphone app you can quickly snap a picture of any receipt and save it to the cloud for later. Not only that, but the personal tab in Wave will let you keep track of where you are spending your money, how much money is on your home credit line, credit cards, and in your bank accounts, and easily maintain a household budget. When it's time to compile all of those expenses for your accountant at tax time, just send them an income statement with the full breakdown and send along a downloaded file of all of your receipts. Easy, peasy! Save Time Grocery Shopping You might know that I am a huge advocate for eating locally. Eat Local Grey Bruce is a big part of how I do that. Each week I order a seasonal box of vegetables. You can also stock your freezer with beef, pork, lamb, and chicken; fill up on baked goods, loose leaf tea, and cheese; and get your local honey, herbs, ice cream, and, yes, chocolate! All from local producers. And this list barely scratches the surface. This is one of my favourite weekly time savers. Every Thursday I stop on my way home from Collingwood at a farm just around the corner from mine, where impressively polite children bring my bags to my car. On top of that delight, I know exactly where my produce is coming from. And they have dogs. Save Time and Do Good I use CanadaHelps.org it each year in my business to donate to a local charity for the holiday season. This might sound counterintuitive at first, but you can use CanadaHelps.org to save money and spread some warm fuzzy feelings for the holiday season. Rather than buying little gifts that clutter homes for people you aren't particularly close with, you might use it to make a donation to a charity you love. You can then send a handwritten card to those folks letting them know that, in lieu of gifts, you've made a donation to a charity. Get Organized OK! You now have some of the tools I use to organize my personal life and save time. Now go! Have a look at each of them and try them out. I can't wait to hear what you find most useful. Here are all those necessary links again: Organize your files with Dropbox Use OmniFocus to get a handle on your to do list Collaborate on family projects with Trello Wave goodbye to stressful accounting Eat local with Eat Local Grey Bruce Canada Helps will help you manage gifting Use The Picture Perfect Guide to prepare for your next family photo session Join the Ridiculously Happy Ppl Facebook Community
15 minutes | 4 years ago
My Photography Philosophy
Wondering how I get those beautiful and natural photographs of people? That's what this episode is all about! If you've ever felt unhappy with photographs of yourself, I bet I know the reason why. It's because you're trying to look like someone else. But being yourself is what makes everyone around you love you. Listen to this episode for my advice on showing off your true self. - Get the updated Picture Perfect Guide at http://pictureperfect.guide - Find the links that go with this episode at http://sophialemon.com/14
17 minutes | 4 years ago
Picture Perfect Beauty
Get the Picture Perfect Guide at http://pictureperfect.guide - This episode is all about bringing your skin, your hair, and your body together with your mind so that you not only look fantastic for your next special event or photo op, but that you feel even better! - See the photos that go with this episode at http://sophialemon.com/13 - Join the community on Facebook at http://sophialemon.com/Facebook - Thanks to Benjamin Edward for my super cool caricature and Bensound for my awesome beats.
13 minutes | 4 years ago
10 Ways To Make A Bad Day Good
Get the Picture Perfect Guide at http://pictureperfect.guide - Get all the show notes at http://sophialemon.com/we - Having a bad day? Everyone does. And frankly, life would be boring if it were stress free. Still, it's a good idea to have some easy and effective strategies to turn a bad day into a good day when you're feeling like you just aren't going to make it. Here are 10 things I do to fix my brain when I'm having an off day: 1) Take a bath; 2) Go for a walk (outdoors); 3) Listen to a favourite song;4) Have a good meal; 5) Take a nap; 6) Clean up; 7) Hug someone; 8) Dress up; 9) Wear sweatpants; 10) Do something nice for someone else. - Thanks to Benjamin Edward for my super cool caricature and Bensound for my awesome beats. - Join the community on Facebook at http://sophialemon.com/facebook
14 minutes | 4 years ago
5 Tips To Take Better Family Photos
To see the pictures that go along with this episode go to http://sophialemon.com/11 - To download my Picture Perfect Guide go to http://pictureperfect.guide - As a photographer I’m often asked, “How do I take better photos of my family?” In the past I’ve sat down with friends to explain the physics of photography. I’ve struggled through the settings on their cameras; written notes; drawn diagrams; and gone over the relationship between ISO200, f5.6, and 1/250 again, and again, and again. Ultimately I don’t think I’ve helped anyone this way, so I’ve decided to try another approach on teaching folks how to take better family photos. - Taking better photos of your family is not about what ISO/aperture/shutterspeed combination produces the best photographs, or what zoom lens you’ll need, or how much sunlight is too much sunlight. It’s about taking the best photos of your family you can with the equipment you have right now. These tips won’t make you a professional, but they will help you take photos you’ll be more proud to show off. - 1) Simplify. 2) Say cheese! Maybe... 3) Delete. 4) More light! 5) Get in your photos! - Join the Facebook community at http://sophialemon.com/facebook
10 minutes | 4 years ago
Camera Upgrade: The Best Camera for Parents and Vacationers
Check out the show notes at http://sophialemon.com/10 - Thinking of purchasing a new camera to document your family or next big trip? Listen to this for the best camera upgrade, and 10 reasons to upgrade. - Here is the camera you should get: none! The camera you already have will probably do the trick. I bet the camera you’re looking at is packed with features. It has one billion megapixels, 70 to infinity zoom, and a bulb setting; whatever that is; and you can always get extra lenses. But the truth is, unless you’re a professional, a photography student, or a diehard hobbyist you likely have no need for a camera better than the one in your smartphone. It probably does more than you need it to, and you’ll never use it to its full potential (or even want to). - Join the community on Facebook at http://sophialemon.com/facebook
10 minutes | 4 years ago
Unplugged Wedding: Why And How To Unplug Your Guests
Join the Facebook community at http://sophialemon.com/facebook - In 2013 I attended my first wedding as a guest since I started working as a wedding photographer. Every 5 minutes I found myself in a panic and reaching for my camera. But it wasn't there! It was weird. Much to the surprise of other guests, I didn't take my camera with me. And it proved to be incredibly liberating. Though I had experienced the 'unplugged wedding' as a photographer, I hadn't yet experienced it as a guest. This wedding totally convinced me that it's the way to go! Here are the questions you should ask yourself when deciding whether to go unplugged: Are you hiring a professional? Do you want your guests to be engaged in your wedding? Do you want them in your photos? If they take photos, will you ever see them? Ultimately if you decide to go unplugged the best advice I can give you is to communicate your wishes. You can send along instructions in your invitations, ask your officiant to share your wishes before the ceremony starts, and you should tell your photographer whether you are going unplugged or not so she knows what to expect. Get the show notes and see the photos that go along with this episode here: http://sophialemon.com/9 - Thanks to Benjamin Edward for my super cool caricature and Bensound for my theme music!
13 minutes | 4 years ago
Copyright Law And What It Means For Your Family And Wedding Photos
See all the notes for this show at http://sophialemon.com/8 and join the community on Facebook at http://sophialemon.com/Facebook Copyright law is a little bit convoluted. I admit it! As a photographer I care a lot about it, but even I find it difficult to decipher. In fact I had a heck of a time reading the Canadian Copyright Act when researching this article. So for you, someone who might not have a reason to think about it ever, I imagine it's absolutely baffling. It's a question I often receive from clients as we discuss my process and our contract. When we get to the copyright clause there are understandably questions about who owns what, and what my clients can do with their photos. After all, you are contracting me to create photographs for you. So when you read that I own the rights to all of the photographs I produce you might rightly be surprised. Being that this is an important and significant investment, you should understand why your photographer owns the copyright to your photographs, what it means for you, and what you should look for in your photography contract to be sure you're absolutely covered and protected. Thanks to Benjamin Edward for my super cool caricature and Bensound for my awesome beats.
12 minutes | 4 years ago
What To Wear (And Not Wear) For Family Photos
See the photos that go with this episode at http://sophialemon.com/7 - Join the Facebook community at http://sophialemon.com/facebook - When you're trying to create a beautiful and timeless family portrait it is important that you choose the right clothing. Just Google bad family portraits to see why. You'll find lots of hilarious outfits and concepts which make great Facebook profile photos and future blackmail material. But when it's time to tell your family story you really want to get it right, and you want it to last! Not too long ago it was popular for the whole family to wear white shirts and blue jeans. In fact, your Google search will probably return lots of matching outfits in family portraits. These days, however, the trend is to coordinate, not match for a couple of reasons. First, this is the best way to show off each family member's unique personality. And second, not every outfit looks good on every person. Those white shirts will wash out most skin tones, and not every cut works on every body. Listen to this episode for my tips on what to wear, how to dress your kids, and what not to wear for your family portrait session to ensure that everyone looks fantastic and your portraits last!
13 minutes | 4 years ago
How To Get Your Kids To Behave For Family Portraits
See the photos that go with this episode at http://sophialemon.com/6 - I photographed the cutest little almost-two-year-old last week in the Niagara Region. I spent 3 hours with him and his family. He showed me his mechanic skills, how he cuts the grass with his dad, and his garden. In that 3 hours there was a lot of laughter, some intense curiosity, and even some tears. But altogether it went really smoothly, and it got me thinking about how parents can prepare young children (and themselves) for their session. - So this is what I got into in this week's podcast episode. Here's a quick rundown: Don’t talk in too much detail about your session; Give your photographer some topics your kids like to talk about; If there are tears, let them flow. Don't stress out about it; Arrive early so you can introduce your kids to your photographer before the camera comes out; Don’t expect your children to behave for more than 20 minutes; Don’t say cheese. Natural smiles are always better; Only look at the camera when you are asked to; Never expect children younger than 2 to look at the camera on command; Do not scold your child for behaving like a child; Trust your photographer to get some great photos of your children in the moment. - Join the community on Facebook at http://sophialemon.com/facebook - Thanks to Benjamin Edward for my super cool caricature and Bensound for my awesome beats.
12 minutes | 4 years ago
Caring For Your New Artwork
Join the Facebook Community: http://sophialemon.com/facebook Follow my shenanigans on Instagram: http://instagram.com/ridiculouslyhappyppl Thanks to Benjamin Edward for my super cool caricature and Bensound for my awesome beats. To see the photos that go along with this episode and to contact me directly go to sophialemon.com/5. Here's your tips for keeping your family and wedding artwork looking fantastic for decades! Store your canvases front to front and back to back. The staples and wires on the back can rip the image side of your artwork. Be careful! The fabric your photograph is printed on is delicate, and if you put enough pressure on the image your finger can slip right through and leave a hole in your loved ones’ faces. Not a good look… Don’t get them wet! The inks from your photo will peel right off the canvas! (Trust me, I’ve seen it happen.) If you absolutely have to clean your canvas use a soft cloth, and if you MUST use water be sure the cloth is just damp (nearly dry). Do not under any circumstances use any store-bought cleaning solutions, lemon, or vinegar. Never touch your prints with your fingers. Have you ever seen the finger prints you leave behind on a glossy print? The oils your fingers leave behind cannot be cleaned off and will damage your print. Pick up prints by the edges, wear gloves when handling them, and if you must clear off dust use a dry, soft cloth. Store your prints flat and in a solid box to protect them from curling and folding. Large format photographic printers print on rolls of paper, and given the chance your prints will curl again. This is one reason why I recommend that you mount your photographs for framing. And of course, never fold your prints! Where possible, keep your photos out of direct sunlight, even when displaying them on the wall. This will protect them from turning that vintage yellow colour you see in your grandparents’ wedding album. Avoid manually changing the photos in your frames too often. I’m an advocate for updating the artwork on your walls, but if you intend to regularly change the images in a frame be sure you have chosen a high quality frame, that your photographs are professionally mounted, and you should probably take them to a framer to be changed. Fiddling too much with your frames can loosen the backing and allow for your photos to curl and warp. Store your albums and books in a cool, dry place. Keeping them in their box will go a long way to keeping them clean and dust free. Do not stack your albums under other heavy objects as that can cause even hard covers and thick pages to bend. Photographically printed, flush mount albums feature images printed on photographic papers that are then glued to one-another to create full-width spreads you can flip through like any other book. These papers are delicate and susceptible to splitting and tearing if they are not appropriately cared for. Avoid touching your album pages directly with your fingers. The oils from your fingers will transfer to the page and will damage them (just like a loose print). Turn the pages by the edge of each page. You should enjoy your album regularly. The only caveat to this is that albums are delicate and the more use they get the closer they get to ripping along the spine. Sh*t happens! Be careful flipping through the pages, don’t fling the book open too hastily, and don’t slam it shut or throw it on your coffee table (or at another human being for any reason). You should also chat with your photographer about her replacement policy. Some (not all) will replace damaged albums within a reasonable amount of time. Be sure to thoroughly inspect your album closely on delivery as well. Before you order your prints, you should speak with your photographer about lamination and gallery glass which will go a long way to help protect your images from fading and discolouring. Otherwise, enjoy your new artwork! You’re now pretty well equipped to keep it looking fabulous for years.
16 minutes | 4 years ago
30 Day Beauty Regiment for Brides and Bridesmaids
Between confirming your flowers, finalizing your cake, and managing your soon-to-be in-laws, the weeks before the wedding can be a complete, exhausting blur. Your family and other guests will hound you with questions, your coordinator will be buzzing your phone constantly, and your bridesmaids will insist on a wild bachelorette party, leaving you no brain power to remember to moisturize, let alone the energy to do it. You might forget to whiten your teeth. You certainly won't have time to fit in a hair trim with your stylist the week of the wedding. And you'll probably totally forget to sleep. Listen to this episode for a run-down of everything you need to check off your beauty to do list before the big day and WHEN to do each of them. Check out the photos that go with this episode and download the Picture Perfect Guide app at http://sophialemon.com/4 Join the community on Facebook at http://sophialemon.com/facebook Thanks to Benjamin Edward for my super cool caricature and Bensound for my awesome beats.
14 minutes | 4 years ago
How To Choose the Best Location for Your Portraits
Choosing the perfect location is an important part of the portrait process. It's also a very difficult one. In fact, if a deeply meaningful location doesn't immediately pop into your head you might be absolutely stumped. Most of my clients stare blankly at me when this question comes up, and many just defer to me for the final decision. But choosing the right location for your portraits can be what makes them truly meaningful instead of, "just some pictures of us." So how do you pick the right place? In this episode I share my workflow for choosing a location for your portrait session. Join the conversation on Facebook at http://sophialemon.com/facebook Subscribe to the podcast at http://sophialemon.com/podcast Thanks to Benjamin Edward for my super cool caricature, and Bensound for my awesome beats.
14 minutes | 4 years ago
How to Boost Your Teen's Confidence
The expectations for our teens are high, and the consequences for not meeting them can seem absolutely life-shattering. Add bullying, anxiety, and depression to that, and it's no surprise that the teens in our lives will experience low self esteem. It is heart breaking. As adults, there are a few things we can do to repair and improve their self confidence. One of my favourites for those on the cusp of adulthood is to remind them of how spectacular they are. Whether it's by subtly dropping them compliments or creating time to celebrate their achievements, we can help the young adults in our lives recognize how amazing they are and believe it. Listen for my favourite 3 ways to boost your teen's confidence and how photography can help you do it! See the photos that go with this episode at http://sophialemon.com/2 Join the community at http://sophialemon.com/facebook
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