Photography as a Lifestyle

Photography as a LifestylePhotography is my life. I have always loved to capture life’s precious moments as I would grip my camera and focus on the details that would leave me in total awe. In case you didn’t know, I have many hobbies. Actually, I like to call them passions since I think about them daily. I remember the adventures I had one summer with a friend of mine—Frank. Frank and I have been buds since junior high. When we entered adulthood, we continued to converse through the miracles of social networking. Frank and I decided to spend some time together enjoying many summer activities.

I wanted to remember these times since Frank and I rarely hung out. I had the idea of taking pictures of our real life events. These were photos I wanted to remember when I’d come across them again in the future. I had the idea of having a picnic and inviting our friends to the event. Frank looked forward to it. As a photography enthusiast, I knew exactly how to take quality pictures. Even when in doubt, I always bring my camera. When a photographer wants to take lifestyle photos, he or she must be prepared at all times. There are several toys that I like, including camera, tripod, and SD card readers. I make sure I have my bag to carry what I need; it is very convenient.

A tip I can give when it comes to taking pictures of everyday life is to be creative. Don’t worry if the action or object you want to take a picture of looks odd to some people. Uniqueness is a great quality to have and it stands out from ordinary photos. No matter how trivial we thought the action or object was at first glance, I would take the snapshot. I took pictures at the picnic we had with our friends. We were eating subs, fresh watermelon, and other goodies and I was telling jokes to the point that Frank had a “laugh attack.” This allowed me to capture moments that built into a true, interesting story to tell friends. [Read more...]

Smooth Ride on Mini S

Smooth Ride on Mini SEverybody and their mothers know I am a car fanatic. It has been this way since I was a kid.  I like comparing wide body versus stock. The same goes with automobile manufacturers comparing Ford and Chevy; it does not matter to me. I keep up with the trends, especially what is coming out this year. Matter of fact, I had the great opportunity to meet up with an old friend of mine who had just purchased the 2014 Mini Cooper S. I don’t like or dislike Coopers, and I had not driven the 2014 automobile until a few weeks ago. I know “advancement in technology” makes our life better, but I was a tad skeptical with this new release. Luckily for me, that skepticism instantly diminished once I hopped in the driver’s seat.

The 2014 Mini Cooper S has a four-cylinder engine and six-speed auto transmission with a maximum speed of 145 miles per hour. The Cooper’s length is 151.1 inches, which is an increase of 4.3 inches. The moment I sat in the almost 2,800-pound vehicle, I felt an instant rush as I changed gears. I took it out for a spin as my friend satnext to me and the drive was smoother than peanut butter. The paddle shifters allowed the experience to be better than expected, especially for shifters that were crafted from plastic. [Read more...]

Big Blue’s Plans for the Next 5 Years

Big Blue’s Plans for the Next 5 YearsI’m what they call a “techie,” an individual who loves to learn and play with new gadgets. Desktops, laptops, iPhones, and other pieces of technology are always updating faster than the speed of light. As time passes, things evolve, and for the most part it is for the better. A new IBM project is surfacing and I am stoked to talk about what I’ve learned so far.

Over $3 billion dollars is being invested over the next five years. IBM’s goal is to make smaller, more packed processors and other tech parts. IBM wants to continue progress in the world of computing and help with development in the next half-decade. A smaller, yet more efficient processor is just what I need for my notebook.

Big Blue, the nickname referring to IBM, wants to create nanometer-sized transistors with more compartmentalized features. The second wish IBM wants to make come true is to find alternatives to the current silicon chip with more durable materials. Introduction of new technologies to manufacturing is IBM’s concern and the company has already planned teams in areas such as Switzerland and New York for new staff to start the work. The research conducted by these teams will be analyzing ways to advance today’s technology. [Read more...]

Rise from Ashes or How I Became Independent

Rise from Ashes or How I Became IndependentI came a long way. Never could I imagine rising from the ashes and stepping onto the platform of doing what I love—doing what I was born to do. I dreamed of being able to write and photograph life’s precious moments ever since I could remember. I have always liked the idea of doing something I could never get bored with while still being my own boss and helping other people. I started at the bottom as I tried to learn how to improve my writing as well as getting people to buy my writings. It wasn’t all roses as I have had to jump hurdles, so to speak.d

When I first started freelance work, I had no idea how to navigate. I asked myself questions such as: “How should I start?” and “Will I manage?” – I was, like walking back and forth, questioning my actions. The very first tip I would give to those who are just starting out is to start freelance work on the side. I was smart enough to start out slow and doing simple writing assignments before I went any deeper.

I had set up my freelancer profile at a responsible and credible website. On the page, I put my picture up as well as a description about my freelance copywriting and photography. I was ecstatic when I found my first client.

She liked a piece I had written on promising technology news. New innovations are always making their debut, and she wanted me to touch on a new phone app and include a few pictures. It was a challenge that at first I thought was very simple, but once I presented the finished product, she thought the work was “good.” What does that mean exactly? Her voice sounded more disappointed than pleased. When she went on my freelancer website, she gave me 2.5 out of 5 stars.

As a novice, I didn’t know how to take criticism. The next few clients after her gave me up to 3 out of 5 stars. People started to not want to recommend me to their co-workers and other businesses. My appetite for improving my ratings and building great relationships between my customers and myself grew as I continued to analyze what I was doing wrong. [Read more...]

How to Become Successful Freelancer

How to Become Successful FreelancerA nine to five job with a hefty paycheck is what most of us dream of when we are young. I too had fantasized such a scenario, when I was young. Unfortunately I did not take into account the stress or boredom that you get when you work under someone and also do not like the work you do. Working on a schedule that I’m fully in control, became more appealing as the sheen of the nine to five job started wearing off.  Freelancing is the trend now.  A recent study has revealed that over 40% of workers in America would earn by freelancing only, by the year 2020.

Why freelancing is more lucrative?

The present state of economy does not give you much leeway in terms of keeping your job, even if it is something you do not like much. Full time work is not available that easily and if you’ve been unemployed, the chances of you getting full time job again is very less. More and more companies are cutting down jobs and it is harder than ever before to get a job and that too one that you love to do. The best solution for this is going the freelance way.

Here are some top tips that I’ve gleaned from my time as freelancer that I’m sure will help you out, if you are considering freelancing as your profession. I know the true ways, as I’m a Successful Freelancer. I recommend hooking readers to your copy. These are the things that have made me stick to freelancing and also do it wholeheartedly. When you are finished with the reasons below, you’ll forget what an office is and plunge into freelancing readily.

Socializing is vital

The most crucial factor in freelancing is talking to a maximum number of people in the time you have. I’ve always come across as an introvert or shy person to my acquaintances. But after taking up freelancing, I realized early on that it is the accidental interactions with complete strangers that turn out to be the most fruitful than any planned meetings.

For a freelancer networking is vital to gain visibility and exposure. Most of your clients will be those who travel with you on planes or trains, and distant friends of friends you know. To gain more leverage, you need to learn the skill of starting a conversations. Though initially it may be hard you’ll catch up on the tactic soon.

Let your interest motivate your work selection

No matter what subject of work you’re skilled at, you get hired because of your skills and not on what you know about the industry or company. If you start working for a company, because you have the necessary experience, but are not interested in it, you will find it hard to do the job and soon lose interest and worse you’ll not have a boss to egg you on. Even if you don’t have any prior experience, if you‘ve the interest then it will work out well. For instance, professional photographing is a legit source of income that you can try out, if you’re interested in photography.

Increased productivity

When working for someone else you will not feel totally engaged in the work you do. But this is not the case, when you freelance. The simple reason is you cannot afford it. Most of the time, I try to accomplish as much as I can by setting a timer. The more work you do as a freelancer, the more you are paid and vice versa. So your work will and does improve when you freelance.

Risk factors

While the positive side to freelancing is you are your own boss and can function freely, it comes with its own risk factors. For one thing, you need to produce constantly to keep yourself afloat. The result of this is you feel anxious about how you can support yourself, if you’re not getting enough work to do. A regular pay check does not have such issues.

And another effect of freelancing is the excitement you feel when you find that you can earn as much as you can. Even if you do not get that excited feeling, you can well fake it. A positive attitude will get you more opportunities than by being moody and depressed.

Get a good working environment

The best way to work as a freelancer is to find which environment suits you best. If you’re an introvert like me, you’ll feel too crowded by an office atmosphere. An open environment will suit you well. But for extroverts who need the energy radiating from an office atmosphere seeking out co-working areas is better. Frequenting the coffee spots in the city is also a good way to help your work environment. When you find the right environment, you can see your work flourishing.

Veer away from traditional mindset

While a balanced work and personal life may go well with the traditional jobs, a freelancing does not come with perks like planned weekends, holiday or free evenings. You need to adjust to your new and atypical job. You can well have a working vacation as doing freelancing does not need you to be confined to the work space. You can spend your time as you want as long as you manage to be productive and earn at the same time.

Exerting total control

In an office setup there are people who look after the managing part and ensure that you deliver on time. With freelancing you have to monitor each and every aspect of your work all by yourself. Being on top all the time requires a great deal of work, but it is worth the freedom it gives. By planning your schedule and keeping track of the due dates, work to deliver and keeping tabs on clients you can be on top successfully.

Ask a higher rate

Since you need to take care of aspects like Social Security and also Medicare, you should set higher rates for your work. Increase as much as you can, and if possible try pricing per item rather than working per hour. You can easily assess how much an hour’s work is worth and when you do not work an hour, you know how much you have to lose.  Time is money in freelancing and you should never forget this. Ensure that you don’t leave space for tax deduction, when you file your returns.

With freelancing one of the most important advantages is you can work from anywhere and at any time. I was able to overcome my laziness and create my own success story with freelancing. Why don’t you try this out too!

My Acquaintance with Longboarding

My Acquaintance with LongboardingI love taking pictures. I take pictures of everything. Buildings, cars, families, and of course, nature. One day, as I was doing my usual scouting of what photos I wanted to take next, a sudden idea popped in my head. I decided to go to the nearby skate park. I remember seeing some skateboarders doing some cool moves and I thought a couple of stills would look good. While I was snapping some pics, I heard someone call my name.

“John! Dude, it’s me!” It was my friend Matt! This isn’t the same Matt who helped me with my Crossfit; this is the one I went to high school with. He was a big skateboarding enthusiast who used to get in trouble for skating in the school’s parking lot and scraping the curbs. After high school, he started to do some competitions and got the chance to make it to the pros. Who knew all of that mischief paid off? “Matty! I almost didn’t recognize you with that scruffy beard you got there. How ya doin’, man? Long time, no see!” I said to him.

“No kidding! Hey, check out the gift my girl got me.” I examined closely–it wasn’t another one of his skateboards. No way, it looked way too long. “Um, is that a skateboard fit for a 7 foot tall man?” I joked. “Naw man,” he responded. “This is called a longboard. It’s like the skateboard’s cousin, only it’s longer and not as thick. Let me show you what this baby can do!”

Matt started to do sharp turns on the board around the skate park and skated back towards me. “Man, this thing is awesome!” Matt said. “Yeah, man! I want to learn more about longboarding.” “Sure thing, man” he responded. Matt told me to visit this website where it talks about the basics and gives loads of longboard reviews.

So, I went home and started to google up on my laptop about riding the longboard. I learned there are two riding stances: regular and goofy. The regular stance is when the left foot is forward on the board. Goofy is when the right foot is forward on the board. Once you find your stance preference, you stand on the long board on an even surface like a smooth parking lot. It’s to make sure how comfortable you are. While the front foot is on the board, you take the back foot and gently push off a few times until getting a good speed.

I decided to read the website and learn more for a couple of hours. I was so immersed in the subject, that I decided to watch some videos. My friend Matt told me what his video channel handle was, and I looked at some of the cool moves. He even pushed with his front foot, called “pushing Mongo,” even though most longboard riders simply use the back foot. This has inspired me to looking into longboarding. I hope to be as good as Matt… or at least, close enough.

Win Street Fights Easy With These Tips (I did!)

Win Street Fights Easy With These Tips (I did!)Sometimes, I hate going to the bar. I mean, yes I love to drink with my friends. After a long day’s work, who doesn’t need some suds? Unfortunately, something always happens when I step inside…I do not like to fight; I try to calm people down with my words. Dudes always try to step to me, but thanks to my father teaching me some Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu when I was 9, I knew how to defend myself.

My father studied the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for over 30 years. I didn’t need Schwarzenegger or Stallone to know how to fight or how to look tough like a lot of boys’ heroes… All I needed was my dad. I remember when I was bullied badly in 3rd grade. They made fun of my glasses and how chubby I was. One day, my dad was home from work early and saw me with the cuts and bruises from this kid name Joey and his twin brother Jimmy. I told my dad what happened and he knew exactly what to do. He went downstairs to the basement and grabbed a tough grappling dummy. After showing me some moves on the dummy, he had me practice on it. Every day, I practiced for at least two hours with my dad and the grappling dummy. Let’s just say, after using the different holds I was taught, Joey and Jimmy left me alone for the entire year.

Now, back to the bar. I was drinking with my four other friends: Mike, Matt, Gary, and Paul. We were all talking about work and some new PC games that were coming out at the time. I got up and started to head towards the bathroom. I mean, drinking a lot of light beer will do that. The bar’s bathroom was single-stalled, so I knew I had to act quick. A guy bumped into me as he was exiting the bathroom. “Careful,” I muttered to myself. “What?” asked the guy. “No, man. You were in my way!” He had a grimace on his face as if he was ready to deck me. “You better say sorry, brut, or I’m knocking you out!”

Here’s a quick tip. Before getting into something stupid, wake up. Be aware of your surroundings. I still had a bottle in hand and I was on the outside of the bathroom, which is good because there was the front door and an alternate exit on my right. I tried to then defuse the situation by apologizing. Still, this 6’2”, 200+ pound inebriated behemoth wouldn’t listen. I tried to walk away, so while still having my eye on him, I tried to back away.

This drunkard looked like he was ready to rumble, so I stood at a fighting stance, after I placed the bottle at a nearby table. The people sitting there were smart enough to move the glass beer bottles away from our reach. I put my hands up, with clenched fists, in front of my face. The guy tried to head butt me, but he tripped and I took him down against the wall. I started punching his eyes and nose and someone even tried to help out my kicking him in the gut. It was my friend Paul, that crazy dude.

We all ran out of that bar that Saturday morning and hopped in Matt’s SUV. We all headed to my place and I let them crash until 1:00 PM. Some other tips I would give to you? Don’t be afraid to knee the assailant in the groin, always keep your guard up, tried to defuse the situation without resorting to violence, and if the guy is down, get out of there! I think I will start drinking at home again.

My Crossfit Training Try-Out

My Crossfit Training Try-OutI try to workout as much as possible, but as a freelance copywriter and photographer, it is difficult to create a workout schedule. A workout schedule, that I can realistically follow. I’m just an average American guy who likes to watch videos and pull pranks when my friends are over. Now, I think it is time to be serious with myself; I need to be committed to my health and to learn how to stay active. One day, I was surfing online and saw Crossfit. “What is that? I have never heard of this,” I thought. I clicked on the fitness website link and started reading. As I kept reading, it has made me want to challenge myself. My thought was: if other people can do it, then so can I! So, I’m going to talk to you all about my one-day Crossfit training challenge.

I started my extreme crossfit practice about a week ago. At first I was nervous, but I told myself to stay focused. As a beginner, I had to figure out my “WOD”. A “WOD” is just an acronym for “Workout of the Day.” Crossfit is an amalgamation of strength and conditioning in a single program. There is a wide variety of workouts to choose from. The one I opted for was called “Helen.”

Before I started, I wore my shorts, gray athletic t-shirt, and a pair of Crossfit shoes. If you are looking to compare crossfit shoes, visit this website. You can find plenty of recommendations there. Now, Helen can be scaled to your fitness level. My level is quite high, but since I am a novice in Crossfit, I decided to take it easy, so to speak. I decided to do two rounds of a 200-meter run, 10 kettle bell swings, and some band-assisted pull-ups. I could not do this all by myself, so I asked a friend of mine who is familiar with the Crossfit program to help.

The cardio part of Helen was intense! I almost felt like giving up, but my friend Matt kept pushing me! We worked out at this indoor track at his gym he drove us to. Sweat beads tricked down my cheeks and my gray shirt was drenched as if it had been raining that day…It wasn’t! Matt has to really push me during my second round, but luckily, the gym was playing some heavy metal and I was pushing to the limit!

After I finished my break and brief talk with my friend, we went into kettle bell swings. I did 10 of them with 10 pound kettle bells. They were easier than expected, but I still worked up a sweat doing it. Afterwards, I finished with some pull-ups. They were assisted with some bands, which added resistance.

After showering and eating a post-workout snack, I thought about the most intense and most fun workout I have ever did. The next day, I called my friend Matt and thanked him again for helping me, and let him know how sore I was. He asked me if I was game for another workout today. I told him I was ready for round two!

7 Things to Know For Growing Stuff at Home

7 Things to Know For Growing Stuff at HomeHi there! It’s John and I am here to talk about something that I truly love. I am passionate about nature. Weather, animals, and plants are what make me curious about the world around me. It allows me to take a break from typing on the computer or compulsively checking my Smartphone for texts or Facebook updates. Since I was a kid, my parents would tell me the travels they took with my grandparents. My grandparents came to this country from Ireland where they liked to enjoy the plains and plants they had over there. They would bring my parents to Ireland on vacations and to get in touch with their roots. My parents did the same when they took me to Ireland several years ago. Ever since I went, my mindset about what Mother Nature has produced has shifted and now, I am trying to get in touch here at home. That is why I started to grow plants.

For the newbie planter, there are many things to learn before spending money for supplies. First things first, learn about what you need for indoor planting. You need a lot of room for your plants to grow. The part of the plant that grow at the top needs space, so the leaves that are responsible for producing food can expand. The same goes for the bottom parts of the plant. Roots need space to stretch and grow out in the soil. If the roots are crowded, then the plant will not grow as big as it should.

Another thing that a plant needs in order to grow is the perfect temperature. Some plants do well with warm temperatures; others may need the temperature to be a tad cool. Research the suitable temperature based on the type of plant.

The third important factor for potential plant growth is light. Light is vital for plant growth, so be sure to place it in front of a window as close as you can get it facing west or south. The further away from light, the darker the plant will get. A plant can also garner energy from an artificial light source. Check out www.plantozoid.com where you can purchase T5 grow lights. There are plenty of benefits of using T5 grow lights for your indoor grow. These T5 grow lights produce more light with less energy necessary, can last up to 20,000 hours, and outputs a low amount of heat.

Water is very important in order to produce nutrients. Depending on the type of plant and its size, you should use enough water that will drain out of the pots. That is why pots and containers with drainage holes are a great advantage. Check how dry the plant is by putting a finger into the soil at about an inch deep. If it is dry, then sprinkle some water.

Clean air is necessary for healthy plant growth. Air contains carbon dioxide that the plant needs. Pollution in the air can deplete the plant’s nutrients and as a result, avoid growth.

Nutrients are dissolved in water and sucked up by the plant’s roots. Fertilizer keeps the soil full of nutrients. Plants need phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen as a part of their nutrients. They help with cell division, root growth, above ground growth, and fight off plant diseases.

Last, but definitely not least: you need to take your time! Time is needed for the plant to grow within your care. Some plants take less time than others. It all depends on the plant type and if you are following these necessities. If you want, keep up with the timing by writing down when you planted, when you watered, and when it is expected to fully grow. Happy growing!

5 Ways to Keep Readers Hooked to Your Copy

5 Ways to Keep Readers Hooked to Your CopyI’ve been writing about as long as I can remember, even since before I picked up a camera and started taking photographs of whatever interested me. There’s something about the written word that just appeals to me. It appeals to a lot of other people too, which is why some folks learn information better, or remember it longer, when it is written rather than spoken. That doesn’t mean your copy can be boring and you can still hope to catch readers, though. Here are 5 ways to keep readers hooked to your copy, and thus improve traffic for your website.

–          Give your readers unique content they are unlikely to find anywhere else, and they will become more likely to revisit your website, looking for more of the same in the future. This one is really a no-brainer. Don’t just rewrite content you find elsewhere – make your own!

–          Next, you’re going to want to make your content informative. You could write something completely unique, which is inherently all fluff and no substance, and that wouldn’t do you or your website any good. Readers need to take something away from your copy.

–          Creating a posting schedule and sticking to it is another good way to keep readers hooked to your copy. It’s not as confusing as it might sound. Consider this: you like to visit a website of some sort, where the host typically puts up new articles or content once a week, every Saturday. You, then, will be very likely to check the site every Saturday, to see the new content when it is released. Now, put yourself in the writer’s place, and someone else on the outside looking in, and it should be clear how a schedule and regular updates will draw readers.

–          Next, you should be looking at similar websites to your own, and seeing if writers on those websites are using tactics or techniques you could take back to your own website. Researching the competition has always been a big part of coming out ahead of the rest, not just in writing, but pretty much every kind of business.

–          Last but certainly not least, you might consider setting up a newsletter or some other campaign that sends regular messages to the email addresses of readers. These reminders about new content and upcoming events at your website can only do good things for you.

Well, these five steps are pretty much guaranteed to increase your number of readers, and keep current readers coming back for more. Just recently, I got a freelance job from http://www.citrus.lv/ to redo some copy someone else wrote for them. I just applied these few methods to the content I was given, did a little editing, and came up with something much better, which they were very happy with.

I don’t know about other writers, but for me, creating copy is kind of like endless studying. There are new techniques and tricks coming up all the time, as well as new and interesting people, events and other bits coming to light. You have to keep your eyes and ears open.