Thursday, August 27, 2015

Short and Sweet

Just when you feel you can't take the heat anymore, there's a shift in the morning light and the sound of geese in the air and the lightening of leaves.  And that's when you know...know it deep in your soul.

Fall is coming.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Change Starts with Me: 3 Steps to Making the Decision to Change Last + Download

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Changing the world starts with changing yourself.  And let's face it.  Changing yourself is the most difficult first step to take.

I have this book.  It's really more like a journal, but it's the home to my goals for the next year.  A lot of the goals are things like pay off debt, lose 20 know...they're probably a lot like the goals in your book.  But then there are other goals in there that have to do with changing my character and my attitudes.  Those goals are a lot more difficult to accomplish than paying off debt and losing 20 pounds.

When we look at our life, if we're honest with ourself, we can see the character flaws that need to be changed.  They're those blinding defects in our lives that haunt us.  But changing those glaring flaws are real challenges.  So how do we change them.  If we are to be real world changers we have to change!  We can't stay the same!  Sure, we can throw money at problems.  We can donate our time to a cause that is important to us, but in reality, real lasting change will only begin when we change ourself.

I don't have all the answers because I'm no where near where I want to be, but I'm going to share three steps we can take to get on the road and stay on the road to change.

First, we can't do it ourselves.  It's impossible.

I'm a Christ-follower.  Jesus is the light of my life and without Him and His strength I couldn't begin to stay motivated on this path to life change.  I physically have to make myself spend time in prayer and Bible study.  I have to make myself become more like the principles outlined in His Word.  And I have to abide in my relationship with Him.  He is my source.

Maybe you're not a Christ follower, but you still want to see change and impact change in your community.  I believe that God will still help you in your path.  Ask for help and see what He can do in you and through you.

And even if asking God for help isn't a possibility, seek help from another like-minded individual...someone who wants to change their community.  Hold each other accountable.  This is a journey, after all.  And journeys are much more fun with other people.

Second, we have to be inspired and stay inspired.

As of late my life has been a little crazy, but who's life isn't?  Busy-ness may be the greatest adversity you'll face on the road to life change.  We're too busy to work on ourselves.  But that has to change.

A couple of months ago I decided I was going to really commit myself to voice training.  I'm a good vocalist.  I was a voice major in college.  I've always known that singing is a talent of mine.  What most people don't realize is that even excellent performers and musicians have to practice.  I committed to practicing and to developing that gift even more extensively.

I downloaded my books and music, I downloaded podcasts, and I started rehearsing.  And then life happened.  My life was interrupted and I found myself traveling most weekends.  My week nights were full with life's weekend activities.  It has just been crazy.

But here's the thing, my crazy life is no excuse for not staying inspired.  I know what I'm supposed to do.  I just haven't done it in a couple of weeks.

Right now I feel a little shame because of my lack of commitment.  Which brings me to my third point.  In order to see true life change, we have to be committed at all cost.

I love passionate people.  I love passionate people who can talk for hours about what drives them in life, but what I love more than passionate people is a passionate person that will not give up regardless of the obstacles they face.  That's the kind of person I want to be.  I want to be a person who is passionate about seeing the world changed for the better.  I want to be so committed to my mission that I will fight relentlessly to make the world a better place.

Let me just sum all this up.  If we want to make see change that will last here's what we must do...
1.  Surround yourself with people who will help you meet your goal.
2.  Get inspired and stay inspired.
3.  Be committed at all cost.

If I'm going to be that kind of a person it all starts with change.  Changing the world around me starts with changing me.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Why Giving Something Back to the Community is So Important for Business People

There are so many problems in the world around us, and most of us often feel that we would like to do more to help. Whether it is the issues facing our local communities, our country, or faraway places in the world, it can be difficult to look at the problems people (and other creatures) are facing without wishing we could somehow make things better. Of course, many of us try in small ways to make a difference, whether by giving money to charity, spreading the word about causes that matter to us, or by using our time to try and make the world a better place, however most people don't have the resources to help as much as they'd like to.

This is why it is so inspiring and uplifting when people who have found the financial success to do it actually use their money and influence for charitable and community endeavors.

Successful People Can Be Great Role Models
Successful entrepreneurs can be true role models, both in business and in terms of how they conduct themselves once they have found success. People aspiring to make a successful life for themselves look to those who have done so before them, and the ones who have not only made an impact on the business world or innovated in their field, but also helped their communities or became philanthropists can also teach us about the importance of sharing our resources with those who need them, giving the same opportunities we have had to others, and remaining humble.

A Businessman Who Makes a Difference
A good example is software entrepreneur Aubrey Chernick – he founded one of the most successful software businesses of the 80's, Candle, and now uses his time, money and influence both to help good causes and create opportunities for young people. You can see more about him in this Aubrey Chernick photo album. He's been recognized many times over not just for his achievements in business, but also for the differences he has made to the world as a philanthropist.

Of course, it is not just business people who can be good role models by engaging in philanthropy--anybody successful and influential in their field can raise the bar by doing this, and we tend to remember the names of the entertainers and athletes, for example, who are known to be givers.

If You Ever Make It Big
If you are reading this with your own aspirations towards big success, try always to remember to make a place for giving in your life, especially as your resources grow. Philanthropy is not only vital to some causes, but can also give you a greater reward than all kinds of other achievements as you know you are making a lasting positive change.

Remember too that often, people seek inspiration from successful people, and by being a good role model you can help other people also find a way to make a difference.

Essential Tips for Your First Commercial Photo Shoot

Commercial photography can be intimidating if you aren't used to following a rigid schedule and corporate pace. Below are some tips for acing that first big shoot.

The Notebook
Commercial photographers like the pros at Fashot have what's known as a production notebook. This is the place where you're going to store all of the shoot's details, expectations, and requirements for quick and easy reference. Include everything from company logos, to the hourly schedule for shooting days.

Make sure to type it up in a clean format that's easy on the eyes and simple to follow, especially since there's going to be a lot of information. It should be easy to access any data that's important to the flow of the project, so list names and contact information for everyone on your crew, as well as any client contacts. Also be sure to include daily schedules that outline start and end times for the day and any scheduled breaks for lunch, dinner, wardrobe, and travel times.

All of the visual details of the job should be listed here as well, such as colour schemes, props, lighting details, special requests, backgrounds or locations, and reference resources. Make copies of all model releases, property releases, permits, and insurance information, too. Basically, everything and anything related to the shoot should be included and distributed to all involved parties prior to the shoot.

Business Details
The most important thing you need, aside from the skill and confidence necessary to please your client, is a clear understanding of expectations. After all, if you're going to be shooting for the big league, you've got to prepare like it as well.

Before you start putting together the production notebook, you'll need to go through all of its details, often over a period of time that's going to be different with each client. Most importantly, make sure all of the client's requests are reasonable and can be handled. Don't ever think you'll talk them out of an idea once the project starts. Be upfront, tell them what will and won't work with your skill set, and offer valuable alternatives that are in line with their goals for the shoot.

Make sure you get all of your pricing approved and signed off on, too, and make sure you have a solid contract drafted and signed by the correct parties before beginning work. After the shoot is complete, get the client's signature on a statement that confirms you did the work they asked for in a satisfactory manner, and make sure you outline how long it's going to take to get the image proofs and final edited images to them.

Delivery and Follow Up
Once the shoot is completed and everyone's satisfied, it's a matter of making sure that you deliver the edited photos on time. Thank the client for the work and let them know whether or not you're available for more work in the future.

As you get the hang of things, commercial photo shoots will be easier and more exciting, especially since every shoot is different.