Holiday Gift Guide

If you’re looking for a few last minute gifts for her, Amazon is always a great place to pick up some wonderful buys. I’ve scoured the site looking for things that caught my eye in different prices ranges, and thought I’d share just in case some of these might catch your eye as well.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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Lessons Learned from BlogJam Atlantic 2018

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I attended my very first BlogJam this year and I’m so very glad I just happened to randomly see the Facebook Event in my news feed.

I didn’t know what to expect. I was going on my own and I would know, no one. I was definitely nervous and my anxiety levels were quite high but I bought my ticket and travelled up to Moncton, New Brunswick for a weekend full of bloggy goodness.

So here’s a few insights that I picked up from the sessions I attended this past weekend:

  • Do it (whatever ‘it’ is) because it’s what you want to do—stop waiting for gold stars or permission to do it.

  • You’re always going to be tweaking at things, so just start. Start!

  • Don’t put out content just to put it out—share things that might help people.

  • People are following you for you. The more you share of your life, the more connections you’ll have with your audience.

  • You don’t have to live an exceptional life for it to be shareable.

  • Take care of all the people who always share and like your stuff.

  • You have to get out from behind your screen and let people see you – connections are important.

  • Believe it or not, YOU are a brand!

  • Your story is what differentiates you from the blogger next to you.

  • You have to hold yourself accountable to make your intentions a reality.

  • You have to put in the work - there’s no shortcut.

  • Be a part of the blogger community—don’t just create, participate (both online and in person).

  • Small fish or not, you deserve to be in the room-you deserve a seat at the table.

  • If you want to gain followers ask them to follow you!

  • Do it! Stop not doing it!

  • It’s okay to take inspiration from other people’s ideas.

  • You’re not alone—someone will always be out there relating to your story, even the negative ones.

I definitely got the sense that this was a special BlogJam. Many of us were having not just blog breakthroughs but personal and emotional breakthroughs as well. I ended up dealing with some emotional things that I 100% never thought I’d be dealing with this weekend. It was unexpected and I learned a lot about me and some things I need to work on. What was eye-opening though was that I got to see I was not alone in some of my struggles. Like, genuinely! Right down to an actual show of hands display, when the question was asked, “who else feels like this'‘? It was amazing to realize that the things I struggle with are the same struggles others have. Pretty powerful stuff.

I met some amazing people, made some wonderful connections, and I’m so excited to put what I learned into practice.

Thanks to all the organizers and volunteers for making this past weekend, one I’ll never forget.

*image shamelessly stolen from the BlogJam website (thanks!)

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Life Experience: Doing A Photoshoot

A few weeks back I decided it would be fun to try doing a photoshoot. I saw a local photographer had some spaces open so I contacted him and we decided on a casual night shoot. I had a fantastic time and the photos he produced for me are something I’m glad I have.

As a first-timer, here are some things that I learned along the way that might help you if you don’t have a lot of experience in front of the camera, like me.

  • Ask if you’re responsible for hair and makeup. Chances are good you will be, unless this is a major production but it’s always good to check so you’re sure and so you’re prepared.

  • Bring a couple of articles of clothing that are easy to change into so the photos will look like they’re taken at different times. For my photoshoot, I brought a shawl, 2 coats, 2 scarves and one other pair of boots.

  • Confirm with the photographer if these photos will be headshots, full-bodied, or a combination of both. That can help you with your wardrobe choices. You don’t need a change of shoes if the photographer is only doing headshots.

  • Confirm with the photographer if these photos will be colour, black and white, or a combination of both.

  • Learn how to pose and then practice posing. Your photographer may be great at taking photos but they may not have developed the skills to direct you yet. If you search YouTube for “posing for photography” there are all kinds of helpful videos. I’d HIGHLY suggest searching out Lindsay Adler who is a fantastic photographer but really knows how to help her subject pose. I’d suggest checking out her website and taking some of her posing courses on CreativeLive. I’m still working on this one. I wasn’t quite sure how to pose myself so, this is also a good tip for photographers—learn how to direct your subject so you can get the best out of them.

I lucked out and was really pleased with the majority of the shots that were taken that night. Here are some of my favourites:

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