This week has been super hectic with photography, so its been really good that I didn't have school to add to the craziness. I had some great shoots this week and got to photograph a dance Charity event last Saturday. As well as, I got to try out my new studio backdrop set up for a couple of shoots. Also, I got to finally practice my shutter speed when I was photographing the dance event. For those that don't know the shutter speed basically helps you snap the picture really fast so its really good for capturing movement in photographs. Today, I will be showing you pictures I captured from the charity event, and some of the shoots I did this week with my photography backdrop.
If you have read my previous posts you know that Mondays at the gym are my favorite because of my Dance Fusion/ Zumba class. This charity event last Saturday was for the Edmonton Food Bank and was a free Dance Fusion class for anyone. The creator of Dance Fusion, Antonio Messam decided to create this dance event for his birthday that happened to be that past week. He gave me the opportunity to shoot some pictures of the event which I really appreciate, so thank-you to him! It was an amazing turn out, which I'm not surprised because the class is so fun. Even if your not the best dancer the music just gets you pumping. Not going to lie, I was quite nervous just because I never really practiced using the shutter speed and I wasn't sure if I was going to get very good images. Here are a few shots that I got:
A lot of the images were taken at a shutter speed of 1/250. Some were higher or lower depending on what the dance move. As for the class itself, I would recommend this class to everyone because it does not feel like your exercising it just feels like your having fun. If your interested in Dance Fusion I recommend checking it out at World Health Club in Edmonton. I had a fun experience learning the shutter speed through this process and I am happy the way the photos turn out. However, I always think there is room for improvement!
As for my new backdrop set up, I could not be more satisfied with the product. I am still learning about photography and I know how expensive equipment can get but I found this product for a very affordable price as I am a student and I am quite happy with it. The product I got was the CanadianStudio Photo Studio Continuous 2-Head Umbrella Lighting Light Black/White/Green High Key Muslin Backdrop Stand Kit . Now I know this is not the best product out there but one of the things I've learned through my experience is learning to work with what you got, which ultimately makes you better photographer. In my opinion though the lighting and the whole set up is very workable and I am loving it. It comes with a black, white, and green backdrop. I used the white backdrop for my photoshoots this week and I am really happy with the turn out. These are how the some of the pictures turned out after editing.
Nothing but laughs with these two girls. They were so fun, and made my job very easy. The only thing I would say about this backdrop is that it would need to be ironed here and there as it can become wrinkled. In addition, I would of liked if the backdrops were as wide as the stand itself but they are a bit smaller and there is not much of it extended on the bottom where people stand. I had to use another white sheet to extended the length. I would say that this stand is good to photograph no more than four people, I think that could still require some editing as four may not fit either. So I say 3 people is a safe number to take pictures with this stand. Other than that the stand holds up well and works beautifully.
If you want to see more of this shoot and other ones like it check out the Mini Sessions in my Portfolio by clicking on the button below.
All in all, this week was filled with a lot of great opportunities for photography and I could not be more grateful. Its a little bit of a shorter post today, but I thought I'd let you guys in on my reading week away from school. Let me know if you guys liked the pictures! more will be up on my Facebook and Instagram which are linked down below. If you would like to see more photography posts/reviews like this please let me know or if you have suggestions on what you guys would like to see for my next post let me know as well:) hope you guys enjoy your weekend, and for all you college/university students enjoy the rest of your reading week!
Life is hectic and can be easily overwhelming if we are unable to handle it. Were not usually aware of this but when we feel healthy we are more productive, happier, and feel accomplished. There is no secret on how to start a good habit, or to be motivated. You just do it. You have to find the benefit, and the goal in each thing you want to change in your life. That is probably the best way to gain motivation. Figure out what your goal is, and why you want to gain these healthy habits in your life. Have you ever realized how your health is affected when you fail to incorporate these habits? A healthier you, is a happier you. As cliche as that is, it couldn't be more true. Without doing the 8 healthy habits that I listed below, my life becomes a mess and I don't realize it until I'm half way into a mental break down and I figure out that I haven't went to the gym in two weeks, I haven't been doing the best on my self care, ate terribly for the whole month, and probably had a few sips or no water. I know how easily it is to get caught up in life, school and work. Stress can come to you indirectly, and you won't notice it until your body tells you that you have to slow down. I got my first major migraine this past November and that was due to not paying attention to how I was taking care of myself, and my body shut down. The most recent health concern that I am dealing with is that I am now dealing with TMJ problems which is basically lock jaw, and tight muscles in the jaw. This is due to stress and guess what helps stress? Staying healthy. I read the pamphlet that the dentist gave me and to help manage stress for the TMJ and a lot of what was mentioned is listed in the habits I have listed down below. Therefore, I cannot stress enough the importance of making certain things habits so that you are able to maintain your health and stay productive. I am a go go type person, so when I am held back by any sickness or health concern I get impatient and frustrated because I can't complete what I want because I have to rest. However, sometimes that is our bodies just telling us to slow down, or that it needs some attention. With that said, here are my favorite habits to maintain my health, stress level, and to keep me going.
1. 5 minute clean up
A Clean workspace or place helps you become more efficient, and think more clear. This is a very easy healthy habit that helps especially when you just can't seem to find the time to clean up the whole house. So basically wherever you are in your household, whether its watching Netflix in the living room or cooking dinner clean that area for five minutes (or however long). During a commercial break or when your waiting for water to boil or waiting for the oven to heat up, clean whats around you. For me, usually on Thursdays because I don't have school I'll get up and clean my room, or if I just finished watching a movie in the basement I would just organize and clean the area before I would head back upstairs. One room at a time, once a day seems a lot less overwhelming than the whole house all at once. It also helps with maintaining the cleanliness of your home.
2. water, water, and more water
This is a tough one for me, because when I am busy I never really think about drinking. In addition to that, I am not the biggest fan of just plain water and would rather have some Crystal Light or favouring in it. I also like to cut up some fruit to put in my water to give it a little bit of flavour without anything artificial. There are a couple of habit challenges to drink more water that I would like to try because I defiantly feel like I need to drink more water. Right now I probably drink a water bottle a day which isn't a lot. Water keeps you hydrated which keeps you more awake. I always have some water first thing when I get up in the morning before my coffee because it gives me that initial kick to get up in the morning.
3. Getting up/going to bed early
I know this is tough for a lot of people because instead they have made a habit to stay up later and sleep in longer. Its hard to come out of bad habits, just like its challenging to start new ones. The question you got to ask yourself is what's going to benefit you more? Technology is one of the biggest reasons why we are up so late. We have to set restrictions for that kind of stuff so that we are able to actually get the sleep we need to function in the morning. I've made it a habit to get 8 hours of sleep and if I get any less its like my whole day is thrown off. Some tricks to starting this habit would be to set a time you would like to go to bed at, and how many hours you want to get in (6-8 is usually pretty reasonable). The bedtime option in the clock app on iPhones is helpful because it sets up an everyday alarm for you based on how many hours you want for sleep and what time you want to get up. Also, set a time where you shut off your phone, lap top, and tv so that you are able to go to bed to get however many hours of sleep. Another tip would be to have your phone or alarm clock on the other side of the room that way in the morning you can't press snooze and you have to get up to shut your alarm. Train yourself to get up earlier by using increments of time. For example, if your final goal is to get up 6am everyday and your getting up at 9am everyday the first night set your clock for 8:30am ,and the next at 8:00am, the next at 7:30am and so on until you get to 6 am. This way your body adjusts gradually.
4. Healthy foods/portioning
So as I have mentioned before I don't like to give up any foods that I enjoy because I love anything sweet. However, I think a good compromise to that is portioning them. It has really made a difference in my life when I started to eat healthier foods but I think the best part was that I was enjoying what I was eating, and I never put restrictions on what I could eat. We all try these crash diets, and it lasts us maybe a month and then were back to our old habits. Heres the thing, and I've said this before IF YOU FORCE IT, IT WILL NEVER LAST. Bottom line is that you have to enjoy what you are eating, because food is honestly the best thing in this world. Keep a certain day for bingeing or for that one unhealthy meal (McDonalds always) for the month. Or if you know you ate not the best one month, try for the next month to eat really clean. There are hundreds of healthy recipes for some amazing meals all over Pinterest. For me, I like Monday-Thursday to eat clean, sometimes I'll have a chocolate (especially since our house is full of them right now because of Valentines Day) but for my main meals they are clean meals. Friday-Sunday are more relaxed days, it doesn't mean I just have the worst foods all weekend but if for instance my family wanted to order pizza on Friday that was okay, if I wanted a Coke it would usually be the time I have it and during the week I stick to water. If your a snack person and like chips, or are a chocolate fan like me (m&ms are the best) try to only fill up a bowl full/handfull instead of taking the whole bag with you. This way you won't continulousy eat and finish the whole bag, and instead will portion it. By doing this you don't have to give up any of the foods you like and it will make a difference in your diet.
You hear this one so often, I know. Although, Its defiantly the most true in staying healthy. Now, you don't have to be this crazy weight lifter. If you like that and it makes you feel good, then all you! If your more like me, I use to hate exercising at a gym. I played soccer for majority of my life so that was my exercise usually. I liked sports for exercise and hated when we had to go to the fitness centre for gym class. Anyway, I decided to give the gym a try and I learned a lot about myself and what I like to do for exercise. I am a class person so I like the classes because a lot of the ones I do are rhythmic movements, or like routines and it works out your entire body. I love to dance so the dance fusion/Zumba class I do is on Monday's and it makes a not so fun day into the best day of the week for me. Now I am not saying you have to go spend money on a gym membership to do classes. There are countless amounts of Zumba yoga, and other fitness exercises all over Youtube that you can do right from your house. I think a good goal is to get an average of 30 min a day of exercise. This can be as easy as just walking on the treadmill or elliptical. If you hate the treadmill and elliptical try watching an episode of one of your shows while you do it, trust me time just goes by. Now when I say an average of 30 min a day, it doesn't mean you have to work out everyday. For me, I usually do 2 hours of exercise on Monday, which is basically equivalent to a 30 min exercise for 4 days. The point is you can't force exercise either you have to want to do it or else you'll give up in two weeks. So find out what you like. Do you like sports? find a rec team. Do you like lifting weights? join a gym. Do you want to dance? find a dance class. Find your reasons and why you want to work out and it has to deeper than just "I want to loose weight." I do it for my anxiety, stress, and my health. Exercising also doesn't make me feel so bad for having that unhealthy meal! If you find a deeper motivation then habit is more than likely going to last.
6. Taking care of your body
PAMPER DAY! I always say when you look good, you feel good. I've mentioned this pamper day before, but basically find one day out of the week to just love your body and give it some attention that day. Paint your nails, put a face mask on, give your hair a treatment, take a bath and anything to make you feel clean and refreshed. I usually try to do this every Sunday before the beginning of the week so that I am ready to go. This is also good to do when your bored at home, and you finished everything you had to do because you were so productive. When your skin feels soft, and your hair is shiny how do you not feel good?
For me I like to do this in the morning and at night before I go to bed. Just being thankful for the people in our lives and everything that we have really does a switch in your mood. I have been quite a pessimistic person in the past, and I knew I had to change that if I wanted to change my life for the better. Now that does take training your brain, but that conversation is for another day (let me know if you guys would like a blog post on that subject). Just counting your blessings even through a difficult time can make things better. Another thing I like to do is manifest what I want in life. I usually listen to a motivational talk on Youtube every morning to start my day. This helps me keep my goals in check, and keeps me from staying on track. It has helped so much especially because my anxiety has stopped me from going after a lot opportunities and by listening to these videos and meditating it has helped me grow and surpass a lot of my fears. I encourage people to do this, but I totally understand that its not for everybody. However, even just doing something for you that helps you reflect on yourself is a great way to keep you on track.
8. Social media cleanse/ focus on relationships
Lastly, we are so caught up in social media that relationships are becoming affected everyday. There was a study that I learned about that looked at what truly makes someone happy, and it was studied for years and continues today. They found out that the key to happiness is the relationships in an individuals life. Now its not about how many you have but the quality of them. I think social media is great to express yourself, and without it I wouldn't be able to be writing this down. However, I think its good to start habits such as putting your phone away the entire time your with someone, or when you are eating at the dinner table. Try and just enjoy the moment with the person your with and try to learn something new about them. Face-to-face communication is one of the most declining skills in in today's society. I think its one of the reasons why people lack healthy relationships in their lives. Lets start connecting to one another again, so that we can be happier in our own lives, and bring happiness to others.
Also, I like to apologize for being late on this Blog post. I caught a little stomach bug yesterday and wasn't able to find the energy to finish my post. However, I hope that you guys find these helpful, and maybe come up with some of your own healthy habits you would like to try. If you have any suggestions please let me know in the comments, I am always looking for different healthy habits to pick up. Hope you guys have a good rest of your weekend! <3
Valentines Day, the celebration of love and romance. This is a special day to me as its my birthday! YAY! haha but this is usually the day where people stress over finding the perfect gift and spend tons of money. I think Valentines Day should be the day that we show our love in small ways. In contradiction to popular belief I don't think Valentines day should just be about romantic relationships. As it is my birthday, I've always grown up with knowing Valentines day was a celebration of ALL love. Love is all around us, and I think we should celebrate everyone we love, and show them that we do. These little gifts are perfect to show anyone you care about that you love them. In addition, there is a variation of gifts in this list to fit all different types of people. The gifts are really affordable, memorable, useful, creative and I can guarantee they will put a smile on peoples faces.
The cheesy but absolutely adorable gift (sentimental)
1. Happiness Jar - This is a really cute and thoughtful gift to give to anyone you love that can really make a difference in their day. Basically what you need is a mason jar or any kind of jar, paper, and any decorative embellishments. You can have a lot of fun with this and get creative with how you decorate the jar. I saw a really cool idea on youtube where they folded each note into a paper crane. There are a couple ways to go about this. You can write 365 (or however many you want) little messages about the other person and why you love them, or memories you had, etc. so that they can read one everyday. OR you can make it where they read one every time they feel down or having a bad day.
2. Open when letters- I did this one year for someone special and I think its a really sweet idea. This is a more old fashion take on a Valentines day gift because you don't see many people sending handwritten letters to anyone anymore. With technology all around us it is so much easier to just shoot a text or email. I think this differentiates in the fact that more time and thought goes into making them, and its a physical copy, so unless you lose it, or it gets destroyed its much easier to hold on too than a text message or email that you'll probably delete and have no idea that you did. There is something about written letters that I think are very meaningful and would be a great gift.
3. Playlist/CD- This was something I received as a gift, and its a perfect way to show someone how you feel about them, especially when you can't quite find the words to tell them yourself. If you want to do something a little extra you can download the songs on a CD for them and decorate the cover. So to all my lovely people who get stuck in trying to tell someone you love them, this is perfect way to tell them without saying anything at all.
4. Date night sticks- Alright, I really like this idea. Lets say you and your significant other said no gifts this year for Valentines Day but you still want to do something that kind of celebrates the day. This is something you can do together to keep things fun, new and exciting in your relationship. Each of you take 5 popsicle sticks (or however many you like) and you write a date idea that you would like to try with the other person. Put them in a jar, decorate if you like, and BAM you have ten dates set. Now, wether you want to go out on Valentines day, or any other day you each take turns picking out a popsicle stick and that will be your date for the night.
For the more practical person (s)
1. The ultimate movie night - Here is something that everyone would LOVE. What is better than blankets, movies, and food? I love the whole idea of building a fort and kind of just chilling in pyjamas and having some pizza and just enjoying each others company. You can totally fancy this up and do a picnic with some fancier foods, and some wine (of course). This is perfect for movie lovers, and for someone who enjoys quality time more than sentimental gifts.
2. Valentines Day stocking- This one is pretty straight forward basically the same idea as a christmas stocking, in which you can fill it with chocolate, candy, chapstick, little cream, and anything that they can use. This also doesn't have to be an actual stocking, it can be a decorative box, or heart shaped holder or anything you wish. I love little stocking stuffers like cool pencils, sticky notes, and anything crafty because I use that kind of stuff all the time. This is great to do for everyone in the family to show some love.
3. Ultimate Wine night - I think this has to be one of my favourites ( and not just because I LOVE wine). Alright ladies, this one I dedicate to you! especially the ones sitting at home depressed watching romance movies all day wishing they had a relationship. Get up, call your girlfriends, cousins, mom, aunt, whoever you choose and celebrate one another. These are people you love too, and there is nothing wrong with spending Valentines Day with them. Kick on a movie (comedies I find are the best), try out a new dinner to make together, crack open a bottle of wine (or 3), and just have a good time. You'll see that your surrounded with people who love and care for you, and thats what its all about. As for my fellow guys, switch wine for beer? and play some NHL and your good to go!
4. Spa in a Jar- Here is a nice little treat you can give to someone. Basically in these little spa jars you can fill it up with body butters, cream, bath bombs, nail polish for the ladies. For the men, you can put in body wash, a shaver, and cologne. If you want to get really unique you can create your own body scrubs, and bath bombs!
Here are a few cool recipes for bath bombs and body scrubs that I found that are great!
Body Scrub recipes:
Homemade Bath Bombs:
(Heart shaped bath bombs) http://acultivatednest.com/2016/12/heart-shaped-bath-bombs/
For the Family
1. Pulling out the home videos- This was a personal addition to the list because I always loved watching videos growing up of a recent trip or christmas. Recently, for my last couple of birthdays my family and I would watch all our old home videos and I loved it. I think its a very cute way to bring the family together, so if you haven't watched your old home video Valentines day could be a good day to do so. This could be included with the wine night idea, or the movie night.
3. Valentines day treats- I am such a sweets person! That is why I love any sweet treat. These are just a few treats that I ultimately love and I thought would be cute for Vday. However, the options are endless! there are so many goodies you can make for Valentines day. I think it would be a cute activity to do with the family. Here are a few more treats to make this Valentines Day:
(Valentines day Oreo Pops)
(VALENTINE’S HEART MACARONS)
4. Homemade dog treats- This one I just threw in because I love my dog, and I felt that dogs deserve a little extra on Valentines Day too. These treats are peanut butter banana and I think these would be perfect because all dogs that I know go crazy for peanut butter. I haven't actually tried this yet for my dog, but I loved the idea so I might just give it a go.
That is all the DIY gifts and activities I have, I hope you guys enjoyed this post! All links to these DIY's are listed or linked to the picture so go check them out. Have an amazing Valentines Day this year, and just always choose love no matter what. Talk to you all next week! :)