How to go on an adventure.

Do you find yourself waking up every morning at the same time, going to the same job, doing the same things, eating the same lunch, seeing the same people, etc., etc.? Me too! I sometimes feel stuck in my own life, and I know I’m not the only one who feels that way.

Here’s the thing, just because you feel stuck doesn’t mean there is something wrong with your life. It just means that you’re in a rut and you need a change of pace.

Studies show that animals need a changing environment to maintain cognitive health. For example, many people will rotate their dogs toys every week. Basically, they have half of the dogs toys available to the dog, and the other half are tucked away and hidden. Once a week they are rotated, and to the dog, it’s like getting all new toys each week!

So maybe you can’t afford to take a vacation all the time, or you can’t get away from your work. That’s okay! Just try implementing small changes in your life.

Instead of waking up at your normal time, force yourself to wake up 30 minutes earlier and do an easy 15 minute exercise. Listen to some different music on your way to work, and maybe take a different route! Go out for lunch for once (or bring your own lunch if you often go out). Join a club and meet some new people, or just make some small talk wherever you go! You don’t have to do these things all the time, but if you’re getting a little bored, try something new.

I often find myself wanting to do the same things over and over again every day because it’s what I’m familiar with and it’s what is comfortable to me. Because of that, I don’t always go out and take photos as often as I should, or I put off all the editing that I need to do. When I’m in those moods, I try to change things up to get myself out of the rut.

Adventures don’t have to be anything extravagant. Most of the time, it’s about the attitude. We get stuck because we get too comfortable. Being comfortable feels good for a reason, but if we get too set in our ways, it can ironically make us uncomfortable.

So go out and make a change. Make your own adventure. Be spontaneous! Most of all, don’t let your rut turn you against yourself!

∆ Abbi

Photographers who inspire me - Part II

I get caught up looking at the success of other photographers and I sometimes think to myself, how could I ever be successful like that?

It sometimes makes me feel anxious and threatened, but I know it’s not the right way to look at it. The success of others doesn’t keep you from achieving your own success. Don’t fall victim to the illusion that others’ success somehow brings you down. Learn from the success of others!

I work hard every day to remind myself of that.

The success of these following Youtubers/Instagrammers inspire me to think outside of the box and I’ll explain why!

Sorelle Amore

Sorelle is known for her “Advanced Selfies.” Essentially, she does these beautiful, interesting self portraits. She makes videos not only about her photography but about her lifestyle as well. She’s a minimalist, which means she has very few possessions. Having few possessions allows her to move around a lot and explore the world without being tied to anything. I can’t say that I would want to live exactly like her, but her minimalism inspires me to appreciate everything I have and to remind myself that there are very few things that I actually NEED. She also encourages other people to take “Advanced Selfies” as a way to learn to appreciate, accept and respect yourself. If you don’t first value yourself, how can you expect anybody else to value you?

Chris Hau and Lizzie Peirce

These two actually have different Youtube channels and Instagram accounts, but they have very similar content (and they are a pretty darn cute couple if you ask me). Chris mostly does travel photography, but he’s also done photos and footage for Mercedes-Benz! How cool is that? Lizzie does travel photography too, and she provides a lot of photography business advice! They do such a great job of inspiring me (and many others) to keep moving forward even when I am not yet where I want to be. Success is a process. It’s a series of steps. You can’t be successful if you don’t put in the work.

Peter McKinnon

Coffee, coffee and more coffee! If you watch Peter McKinnon’s videos, coffee is a common character. Peter McKinnon has found unique ways to personalize his channel and set himself apart from everybody else. He is also a master of “B-Roll” footage. To briefly explain, B-Roll is side-footage or supplemental footage that adds to the atmosphere of the video. For example, if you’re shooting a video of yourself walking through a forest, some good B-Roll would be close up footage of the bark or leaves of the trees, a panning shot of the sky or shots of wildlife. It’s not the main point of the video, but it adds to the adventure. Peter McKinnon’s work is inspiring because his videos aren’t always about big adventures. Some of his videos include him cleaning his garage, drinking coffee out in the snow with his dogs or raking leaves with his dad. He shows me and others that you don’t have to live in a big city or have a lot of money to make an interesting video, or live an interesting life. It’s not about what you have or what you do, it’s all about the attitude!

Success does not happen overnight. If you want to be successful in anything, you have to work every day for it and you can’t let the bad attitude of others get in your way. You are always in control!

Δ Abbi

Photographers who inspire me - Part I

People aren’t born famous or great. They build themselves up over time and develop their skills after every success and every failure.

No matter if you’re an artist, athlete, musician, doctor, or scientist, finding inspiration is important. Why, you ask? Because if you’re not inspired, you won’t be motivated to improve and achieve the best.

There are so many photographers who inspire me. Some of them are more iconic photographers of the past, and some of them are influencers and vloggers of today.

I find inspiration in all kinds of photography, which makes it hard to choose a “specialty” if you will. Many photographers choose to focus on one type of photography because it makes it easier to market yourself. If you “specialize” in everything, it isn’t specializing, right?

But I digress.

These are (some of) the photographers I find most inspiring.

Ansel Adams

This one seems a little cliche, because who isn’t inspired by Ansel Adams? This guy is known for his landscape photography. He was born in 1902, so obviously he only shot with film. The technical skill involved in shooting with film is so intimidating. It’s something I want to learn some day. To be a photographer back in Ansel Adams’ days, you had to understand every technical thing because you couldn’t just fix it later on a computer. The way Ansel Adams was able to see and capture light was just extraordinary. He wasn’t able to capture the colors, but instead he captured patterns and textures. If you look up his work, you will see what I mean.

Elliott Erwitt

His street photography is captivating. Specifically, I love his photographs of dogs. I photograph my dog all the time, and it’s something to which I can relate. His other street photography has a silly essence to it; it’s almost comedic. It’s the positive energy in his photography that inspires me. There’s so many bad things in the world, but Elliott Erwitt was able to capture the goofiness and love within humanity. I think that’s something we should all look for more in life instead of focusing only on the negatives (haha, a little photography pun for you).

Henri Cartier-Bresson

“The Decisive Moment” is that valuable split second in time; it’s the quick smile of a groom as he dances with his new bride, the sparkle in the eye of a new mother as she sees her baby for the first time, or the instant before somebody gets a pie to the face. Henri Cartier-Bresson coined the term “The Decisive Moment.” There are so many of these decisive moments and it takes a skilled photographer to capture them and Bresson was excellent at it. The Decisive Moment brings the photo to the next level. If it seems like a photograph is missing something, it might be missing a Decisive Moment.

Photography is more to me than just taking pictures. It’s about trying to find a new way of looking at something. It’s observing human (and non-human) emotions and trying to understand what they really mean. Most importantly, it’s about creating something that makes the audience react or feel an emotion.

Δ Abbi

 

What to be thankful for.

I have so many things to be thankful for, yet sometimes I forget. Bad days, inconveniences and tough situations make it easy to brush off the things we should be thankful for. So I am going to make a list of things I am thankful for (of course I couldn’t possibly name everything because we would be here all day).

  • The roof over my head

  • Clean/running water

  • My warm blankets!

  • Food in my fridge

  • Clean clothes and shoes

  • A loving family

  • Caring, devoted friends

  • My (mostly) behaved dog

  • My loving boyfriend who usually supports my hopes and dreams (apparently, having 30 dogs and a pet moose isn’t an option)

  • Fresh air

  • The ability to live freely and peacefully

  • Being healthy

  • Learning new skills

  • The cute little grunting noise piglets make

  • The beauty of changing seasons

  • People who sacrifice being with their families to serve and protect others’

  • Being able to pick up the phone and talk to just about anybody

  • The fact that my dog will stay still for photos

  • My camera and gear

  • The ability and opportunities to work toward my dreams

  • Pizza

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Don’t forget to acknowledge and be thankful for all the things you have that others may not.

∆ Abbi

Things to ask your photographer before your photoshoot.

There are plenty of things you’ll need to know before any kind of photography session, but some things can be ambiguous. Asking your photographer the right questions will iron out any misunderstanding and confusion you may have.

How long will the session be?

Some sessions may only be an hour, but some may be two or three, maybe more. It all depends on what kind of session you are doing. Senior photos tend to go quicker, but newborn photos can take much longer. It’s important to understand how much time you are working with so you can make the most of your and the photographer’s time.

What should I wear?

As a photographer, I usually prefer to shoot solid colors over prints and patterns. I do like patterns, but they need to be implemented correctly, otherwise they become a distraction. Ultimately, the choice is up to the client, but there are some things you need to keep in mind. If you plan on displaying the photograph on your wall, choose colors that compliment your walls well. You definitely don’t want to get your photos back and find out that it clashes horribly with your decor. Good photographers will keep this in mind and help you decide which colors work best.

In what way will the photographs be delivered?

Many photographers provide digital copies of the photos, while some photographers only offer prints and other printed products. There is no one right way to deliver photos, but you need to make sure you know what you want and make sure that the photographer is offering what you want. Here’s my little piece of advice: Order prints! The digital age is upon us. It’s easy to just take the digital images and forget them. Get them printed and hang them on your wall. Share them with your family! You won’t regret it!

How long will it take for me to receive the photos?

Most photographers need a couple weeks at the very least to get everything organized and edited. The length of time depends on how many clients the photographer takes on and how many photos they took during the session. When the photographer gives you a timeline, make sure to respect the timeline, as they have many other clients who are just as eager to view their photos.

What information do you need from me?

Lastly, there are a lot of things your photographer will need to know from you. Information they need could range from your availability to things about your personality. Again, a good photographer will be prepared to ask you all the questions they will need to perform their job effectively. Don’t be afraid to reach out and see if there is anything the photographer might need.

You shouldn’t have to worry about any of these things, though, because hopefully your photographer will already have all of these things, and more, in mind, but it never hurts to be prepared.

∆ Abbi