Tag Archives: top 10

10 tips for better photos

1 Sep

Here are my top 10 tips to help you take better photos

1. Avoid distracting elements such as too much light / dark, light / dark elements. Try to set either a light or dark tone for your overall image.

2. Eliminate distracting elements that draw your eye in a bad way. Examples: If things are too close to the edge they will create unwanted tension because your eye wants to close the small gap. If there’s red in a picture it usually is the brightest element and can draw your eye even if it’s not what you wanted the viewer to focus on.

3. Don’t center things, it creates more interest when things are off center. Asymmetry moves your eye around the image more than if things are exactly centered. When things are centered rather than in thirds, your eye just looks and rests only in the center.

4. If you want to really impact people with your work. Think of how to photograph the subject from a different view (physically or emotionally).

5. Depth of field matters. You want to illicit emotion and movement of the eye. You want to focus on one subject and let the rest fall away / become the background. Your other option is to have everything tack sharp (everything all in focus). For sure, one thing in your picture has to be tack (meaning REALLY) sharp in the photo. Pick your focus: all in focus or only one element that’s focused really well, that will create your one emotion.

6. The fewer the elements, the stronger the composition. As you don’t need too many words in a sentence, you don’t need too many elements in a photo. It gets distracting. Have a resting place like the sky or the ground. Plus, if you have that space you can create images like this for your brand:

Light Our Own Way

7. Give scale by not all things being the same size. If everything was the same size in the photo it wouldn’t be as dynamic. Same goes for a headline in an ad. If it was the same size it wouldn’t draw you into the article.

8. When taking pictures of people, make sure that they don’t have a tree coming out of their heads.

9. If the photo is a close up picture of a person, make sure their eyes are in focus. That is the most important thing on the face to focus on. It will draw you into the portrait.

10. Remember that posture also matters a lot when taking pictures of people. You want them to shine in your photo, not look like Oscar the slouch that has no figure.

 

If you are trying to figure out what to do for your own head shot session, check out this blog post for tips.

If you like this post I’m coming out with an ebook very soon. It has expanded tips as well as example photos. Leave a comment if you want to know when the book is available.

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2014: A Quiet Year

28 Dec

It’s annual round-up time. A time of reflection on the highlights and the things that didn’t go quite as planned. A time of new goals and visions for the year ahead. Here’s my top ten from 2014.

  1. Made some really great connections, forged some lifelong friendships and learned to grow my business at Pioneer Nation.
  2. Had two photography shows.
  3. Went to my first live TEDx event in Portland. It’s pretty cool seeing it in person versus the countless videos I’ve watched on screen.
  4. Celebrated one year living in Portland. Yay! I love this city and it’s quirks.Portland!
  5. Met my two Australian mastermind members for the first time (after a year and a half of weekly online chats!). All four of us in one place at one time was amazing! WDS brought them and so many more people that I loved seeing. Plus all the new people I met that live in Portland and around the world. Thanks again Chris for picking my friends and also helping me achieve my third world record.
  6. Volunteered a lot. Two big projects I worked on were for the Brian Grant Foundation and Women Enough.
  7. Took a road trip to Boise.
  8. Got my very own horseshoe on the wall at Pope House Bourbon Lounge. I missed my original quest deadline but made the second one. Just over a year to complete 50 bourbons.
  9. Camping on Mount Hood and checking out Timberline lodge for the first time.
  10. Went to Maui for Thanksgiving (aka Friendsgivemas)! It was great to spend the holidays with good friends and tour the whole island in the process.

Sunset in Maui

It was a quiet year. A year of growth in the valleys. A year of no new countries or states but I did a lot of local exploring. I explored more spots in Oregon, California and Idaho. The good news about local travel is you don’t have jet lag or a 10 hour flight.

What went wrong?

I was supposed to go to Greece for TBEX and some of the surrounding countries but the trip just wasn’t coming together as easy as I wanted it to so I didn’t go at all. Bummer, but I did work and save some money! I was supposed to go to Africa as well but there was a death that derailed the trip, so I opted to postpone. I found out that you can delay your mileage tickets for up to a year. Pretty cool trick I learned this year. Hoping that I won’t have to use it very often, but good to know.

Next year I have to grow more in my business and add some more travel to my list. Starting with my postponed Africa trip…stay tuned for more adventures in 2015 on the blog. You can also follow my 140 character adventures on Twitter and my photo adventures on Instagram.

Wishing you a happy 2015! Cheers.

Top 10 not to miss adventures in Maui

7 Dec

I’m Irish: I have pale skin and I burn easy. Not really conducive to sitting around at the beach all day for a week. Plus, I love adventure. I love to have new experiences, explore and really get out there. I’m not one that likes to sit around when there are sights to see. I can read on the plane or when I’m at home.

Here are my top 10 experiences from a week in Maui:

Drink beer at Maui Brewing CoThey don’t have a ton of beers on the menu but they have something for everyone, including some guest taps, homemade root beer and cider. I had a sampler tray of four deliciously dark beers. The food is also pretty good. We opting for onion rings and nachos.

Hike Waihe’e Ridge Trail. It’s winter in Maui, which means it rains on and off. The good news is you also see a lot of rainbows. Certain parts of the island are drier than the hills that take you near the wettest spot in the world (sometimes second wettest). It may have been one of the muddiest hikes I’ve ever done but the views were spectacular. You feel like you are on top of the world. It’s so quiet and the clouds are so close. It’s also a study in the different colors of mud. Quite interesting to see the range. I never knew there could be so many different dirt colors.

Waihee Ridge Trail

Eat at Leoda’s. They have great food that isn’t centered around meat. This is great for me since I’m a selectetarian (somedays I select to have meat but most days I don’t). They have wi-fi, beer and coffee. What more do you need? It’s like being home in Portland…but warmer.

Join a canoe club. On Tuesday and Thursday mornings you can join Kihei Canoe Club or another club for a fun adventure. For a small donation they’ll teach you how to row in an outrigger and take you out into the water with their crew. Let you swim around. If you are lucky you also get to see some wildlife. Perhaps, a turtle or two, some dolphins or, if you time it right, whales. for us, we saw three turtles.

Canoe Clubbing

Hike the Pīpīwai Trail. To me the most spectacular spot on the island is the bamboo forest on this trail. There’s a really cool waterfall (400-foot Waimoku Falls) at the end but to me, the magic spot was in the bamboo. The wind in the bamboo and the tranquil noise you hear when they hit together. It’s really peaceful.

Bamboo Forest on Maui

Watch the sun rise at Haleakala. Rivaling the bamboo forest for my top pick on the island was watching sunrise above the cloudy mountains. Before dawn the air is crisp and the silence is welcome. After the sun rises there are many hiking trails you can take down into the valleys.

Peace on Earth

 

Swim with the fishes. We went snorkeling at La Perouse Bay but there are several other spots on the island plus boating trips you can take.

Visit a red sand beach. It’s like a rainbow of sand on the island. It’s really cool to see them all: white, brown, red, black. The red sand beach we visited was a short hike along a cliff and some lava rocks. I’m sure it’s less of a secret than it felt like.

Visit a black sand beach. We went to the Black Sand Beach at Waianapanapa State Park. The greens of the plants and blues of the water were just stunning against the black rocks. Truly a sight to see if you’ve never seen black sand.

Black Sand Beach

Drive around the whole island. Between Hana and La Perouse Bay there is some stunning terrain that most folks will never see because the rental car companies forbid it. If you are not in a rental and you want to see some really cool farm land. I highly suggest the route. The road is narrow and not paved all the way so be warned.The terrain of Maui is so varied and interesting that I don’t see how you could just sit at the beach. Unless you go to all the colored beaches. That’s fun too. But the terrain in between the beaches or inland or upcountry are worth a visit too. Spectacular scenery, rich in the history of the islands’ formation.

If you like my photos, follow my adventures on Instagram @rouxroamer or consider buying a print.
How did I get to Maui on Miles? Read more.

O’ahu

14 Nov

I recently got back from my third trip to Hawaii. This was my first trip as an adult and the first time I stayed outside the tourist area. Since I had already been to the tourist hot spots I thought it would be best to do some more local things. What better way do find those gems than with a local.

The highlights of my trip:

  1. Reconnecting with a childhood friend.
  2. Sitting on a beach with only a handful of other people looking out into the beautiful water.
  3. Watching the sunset on the western most point of the island.
  4. Hiking to a wonderful waterfall and listening to the tranquil sounds of the creek.
  5. Body boarding for the first time and being able to take a wave all the way onto the beach.
  6. Finding an amazing Indian food restaurant. Cafe Maharani, where the food tastes great and the metal dishes will make you feel like royalty.
  7. Seeing two complete rainbows forming over Honolulu. Talk about lucky! What an amazing sight. I only wish I had the photo to share with you.
  8. Hiking to the top of one of the peaks and watching the gliders launch from Dillingham Airfield while seeing the beach in the background.
  9. Watching the surfers at Pipline. Even better, was seeing Bethany Hamilton dominating the waves. That girl is such an inspiration. She’s a great role model for not letting anything keep you from your dreams.
  10. Coming home with as much of a tan as an Irish girl can get in 5 days.

The little things I missed: water pressure. Detachable shower head.

Aloha!

Postcards from paradise