Don't Wait, Do It Now

Over the past year, I have learned something so important, and I feel very fortunate to have learned it as a young adult, rather than later in life. Let me back up and start at the beginning. 

It was September of 2017 and I was sitting at my computer when, out of boredom, I started searching locations I wanted to eventually travel to in the country. We had just gotten home from a trip to Washington state a month earlier and I was experiencing that antsy feeling of wanderlust again. 

I found myself looking at photos of the popular Acorn Street in Boston, Massachusetts. I had then remembered that I'd always wanted to visit Salem in the fall time - preferably October. Then almost immediately, I had that "Ah-ha!" moment. I knew right then and there that I needed to turn this eventual goal of mine into a plan. Why? Why not. Also, because we would be moving to the west coast in six months and would be living even further away. Basically, in the matter of less than an hour, I had purchased plane tickets, made Airbnb reservations, and booked a rental car. This was probably the most spontaneous thing I had ever done and it felt so right. It was official, we were going to Boston and Salem in October for a few days. Excitement raced through my veins and I couldn't believe I was actually doing this. 

The thing is, people usually have these dreams they set aside for someday. In fact, traveling to Salem was one of my "someday" goals. The problem with that, though, is that you never know when your last chance to something is. I had the funds to do this and I made it happen. Over the past two years, I had cut back on my spending and saved as much as I could (that's for another blog post). I made this possible for myself all because I had been careful with my money. 

So what did I learn? I learned that you shouldn't wait until someday to do something. Sure, you might have to wait until you have the money to do it (if it requires money), but you shouldn't just keep putting it off. The world is huge and there are so many beautiful places and cultures to experience. Aliens could land on earth tomorrow and your chance of doing whatever is you wanted to do could be diminished (kidding about the aliens..). But seriously! You just never know what would happen. This goes for anything, by the way, not just travel. Starting your own business, starting a Youtube channel, learning a new skill. If you're too scared of rejection or things not working, the worst thing that can happen is you just simply learn from it and move on. If you wait, you might wish you had done it sooner once you actually do it. 

Overall, the trip to Salem probably costed around $800 in total. The only thing on my mind about that was that we were going to be moving across country in six months and that money would act great as security if things didn't work as we had planned. But I am so grateful fear and the "what if's" didn't stop me from going. Money is replaceable but experiences are not and I would much rather have those memories. One of my favorite quotes is, "Travel while you're young and able. Don't worry about the money, just make it work. Experience is far ore valuable than money will ever be." Of  course I think it's better to have the money to do something than to put everything on a credit card - debt isn't ever fun. But get out there and work hard. Save your money up. Make things happen. You will be so happy to look back on your life and think of all the experiences you said yes to and made happen. 

How To Take The Perfect Headshot

Something I get asked about quite frequently is how I take my photos. To be honest, there are so many ways I could answer this question because I take my photos a few different ways. What I'll focus on in this article, though, is how to take your own headshot in a way that looks professional and clean. Headshots are vital in the digital world if you're looking to spruce up your online profile. LinkedIn is a place that I commonly see people needing them for. If you're a freelance artist in any way, they're perfect for whichever social media platform you use. Now, if you're lucky enough, you may have a friend who has fluent in photography and can take your headshot for you, but if you aren't so lucky, fear not, I've got you covered. From my experience and knowledge, the key ingredients to make a great headshot happen are: natural lighting, a tripod, a camera with self-timer, and a good background. Let's dive in a little deeper so I can better explain each component. 

Natural Lighting
Unless you're experienced and well-rounded in knowledge of artificial lighting, you're better off using natural lighting (from the great outdoors)... plus, in my own humble opinion, I think natural lighting looks best! If indoor, I like to take my photos in front of a big window so that I can get all the light possible. To me, this is the ideal route because it's the most natural form of light and when efficiently supplied, it will make the quality of your photo better. 

Tripod + Self Timer
While you can just use the good ol' selfie stick or even just your arm, a tripod works best because your camera is still, which will prevent the photo from turning out blurry. Even the slightest movement, depending on the camera, can really affect the photo quality. I highly recommend using self-timer with a 3-second count so you don't have to have your arm in the way. The idea is to make this look less like a "selfie" and more like a professional headshot, and while you may not be a professional photographer, you can still make your photo look pretty professional. The camera itself really isn't too important. Believe it or not, I usually take most of my own headshots using my iPhone. I have a great camera that works perfectly well, but I love using the front-facing camera so I can see how I look to ensure complete satisfaction!

Good Background
Just like the subject, the background is pretty important as well. Choose wisely... Depending on your line of work, there are so many options you could go for. Always choose something more on the simple side of the spectrum, as you are the main focus of the photo. A plain white wall works perfect, or a park with nature in the background. It's fine to get creative and have fun with it, but from my experience, it's also best to keep it simple. This is just the headshot -  the cover of the book! 

I hope this article has helped you and you are able to take something away from it! If you're still a little unsure on how to go about this, there are plenty of examples on the internet that can spark some inspirationAs always, if you have any questions at all, please leave them below and I will be more than happy to answer! Until next time!! x
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