Things You Should Always Keep In Your Vehicle

No matter the season, being stranded in your vehicle can be very dangerous. In the winter the hazards for hypothermia are of course very high, whereas in the summer dehydration and heat stroke are common issues. Below is a list of everything you should have in your vehicle in the case of emergency.

72 Hour Emergency Kit

  • Food items that won’t spoil, such as protein bars
  • Water in plastic bottles. Preferably a case of 24
  • A few blankets.
  • A jacket rated for -40
  • A few pairs of wool socks
  • Sweat pants and sweaters
  • A first aid kit (with a seat belt cutter)
  • A shovel
  • Candles, a deep tin to burn them in, matches and a lighter
  • A flashlight
  • A whistle
  • Jumper cables
  • A tow rope
  • Road flares

A Few Things To Remember

When boosting a vehicle, attach the cables to the “dead” battery first. Proceed by attaching the positive then the negative to the “live” battery.

Change out your water bottles at least every six months and store plastic bottles to avoid cracks during freeze and thaw cycles.

Ensure your kit is accessible from inside the vehicle as you may not be able to access your trunk during a time of emergency. It should also be secured in a manner in which it does not become a safety hazard in the likelihood of a collision.

Remember to check your emergency kit every 3-4 months to ensure nothing has been damaged. Keeping your kit in good repair can be the difference between getting through a situation or not.

If you have any tips or advice for anyone in the case of an emergency, please leave it down below to help our community in their time of need.

10 Simple Ways To Strengthen Your Relationship

Love is a war all on its own without all the external issues that plague modern relationships. With the rise in glamourizing infidelity, social media and the decline of open and honest communication relationships are becoming harder to maintain. Let’s go over 10 simple things you can do to strengthen your relationship.

1. Build mutual interests together.

Your relationship started with connection. Find a few things you really enjoy doing together, such as watching a show, a sport, hiking, photography, paint events, car meets or anything else you both enjoy doing. Make the time to do these things once or twice a week and discuss the activity afterwards to understand each others perspective on the activity.

2. Ask more questions.

Relationships take compromise and selfless actions. Ask your partner about their day, how they feel about things, what they would like to do and take their response into consideration. Remember that your partner deserves your consideration and compromise, and making decisions without their best interest at heart does not promote a healthy and balanced relationship.

3. Make time to be sensual with your partner.

Physical intimacy is important in a relationship, but sensuality is often over looked or lost over time. Couples become complacent and over time their intimate time becomes short and repetitive. Take the time to light some candles, throw on some sensual music and engage in massages, sweet trailing kisses and passionate love making. Each person varies in what they enjoy, so tailor it to your partner. Enjoy the build up of the tease and shower your partner in respect and affection.

4. Learn to work as individuals.

Working as a team is important, but working as individuals carries the same importance. Ensure that while you are respectful of each other, that you are capable and confident individuals as well. Being able to be in the same room doing completely different tasks without feeling compelled to speak constantly can be difficult, but it is a sign of capable independence from your partner. Each person has their own interests that should be able to be enjoyed alone.

5. Work together to achieve common goals.

Working as an individual on your own projects is great, but with shared goals take the time to work together to strengthen your abilities of working as a team. These can be things as simple as cleaning the house, getting the groceries or walking the dogs. Larger projects are good too, starting a company, building up investments or home renovations. The only requirement is working together, teaching each other and respecting your partner.

6. Don’t forget the little things.

Over time couples can become complacent with showing small gestures of love and respect. It may seem inconsequential, but “pet names”, inside jokes and kind words go a long way to keep a loving feeling to your relationship. Small gestures like knocking the snow off your partners car, cleaning up the dishes or even making a coffee for your partner go a long way in showing your partner how much you care for them.

7. Resolve your arguments.

The old saying “don’t go to bed angry” is a good one to go by. Resolves your arguments, talk through and find the compromise required in the situation. Though it may take time and tempers are likely rising, try to remember that this is your partner, someone you love and respect and even while upset you should treat them that way. Going to bed angry, or leaving your partner during a fight do not allow for resolution to your issues, it only lets them fester.

8. Breathe first.

In moments of stress, anger or anguish we often reply emotionally instead of rationally. Just remember, breathe first. Breathe deeply before replying or making commentary, as it gives you a moment to compose yourself and think about how your words may affect your partner and yourself.

9. Make an effort every day to communicate.

Making an effort to ensure your partner has support everyday is very important. This doesn’t mean talking hours every day, but simply checking in with your partner and giving them positive attention and support will strengthen your relationship. It also reminds your partner of your commitment and support for each other.

10. Speak honestly.

We all know lying and keeping information from your partner can be harmful. Ensure you speak honestly, but not hurtfully to your partner. State the things you enjoy, the things you don’t like and behaviour you do or do not appreciate. Having honest and open communication with your partner is the foundation of a healthy relationship, and keeping discontent quiet allows issues to fester without being discussed or resolved.

In the end, attention, love, respect and honesty are the requirements for strong relationships. They take work and commitment that can be trying, tiring and difficult. The struggles along the way will ultimately become the points in your relationship that will bring you closer together.

If you have any comments or other ways to strengthen relationships, please put them in the comments!

Is Intermittent Fasting Good For Weight Loss

Does Intermittent Fasting Work?

Intermittent fasting is by no means a new idea. Throughout history fasting has been common to elongate food supply or for religious reasons. Now days it’s more commonly known as a weight loss system.

There have been a lot of fad diets, especially in the last two decades, but intermittent fasting isn’t about cutting back your calories to an extreme or doing liquid diets. Now there are two main types of intermittent fasting. Daily fasting consists of limited caloric intake during a part of the day, whereas full day fasting consists of not eating during a 12 to 24 hour period.

Let’s start out with daily fasting. It’s about using your calories as efficiently as possible. Eating during times of the day when you will be burning more calories and not eating during times of minimal activity. If you have a very active morning but limited movement in the afternoon, you would consume most of your calories in the morning, and stop eating in the early afternoon.

For a full day of fasting may sound like you don’t eat during the day, but that is untrue, unless being done for religious ceremony that requires it. In a usual day of fasting you would take supplements (vitamins, botanical solutions) a lot of water, tea or light juices and between 400-600 calories in snacks throughout the day. Not eating anything at all in a whole day can have consequences on your digestive system. Ensure you stay well hydrated during this time.

Now both of these methods have health benefits, but for weight loss, daily fasting is a very efficient way to increase your weight loss results without cutting more calories. That being said, eating a healthy, balanced diet is important and without it weight loss is difficult to achieve no matter how you organize your calories.

If you’ve used either method for weight loss or to maintain a healthy lifestyle please let me know down below.

10 Shots To Get In February

Common practice for photographers is to assemble a shot list for events, days and photoshoots, but for promotional work, personal blogs, Shutter Stock contribution and Instagram, it can be difficult to put together a list. Below is 10 interesting shots to get in February with a few suggestions for each.

  1. Your Favourite View Of Your City : A skyline shot, an interesting shot of a bridge, the downtown street, anything you like in your city.
  2. Something White : Snow, marble, a statue or a textured fabric.
  3. Water : A river, a lake, the ocean, an outstandingly clear glass.
  4. Trees : A forest, a solo tree, a small indoor tree, a shot from inside a tree (please be careful climbing).
  5. Something Very Small : A ring, the iris of an eye, s snowflake.
  6. Iron : A bridge, a fence.
  7. Interesting Angle of a Car : Down the run of the body, close up of a model, shot though the interior.
  8. An Indication of Time : A clock, cool watch, clock tower, time lapse.
  9. Something That Scares You : Clown, bat, the darkness, a cat.
  10. Gold : A ring, jewelry, home decor.

If you want to share any of your photos or share where you posted them please do down below!

Is The Nikon Z6 Worth Its Price?

The Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera was released in November of 2018 with a lot of anticipation from the photography community. The specs are impressive but come with a professional price tag. Costing between $2599.99 and $2799.99 in Canada for the body alone it certainly isn’t a purchase to make without consideration. The cost is certainly justified by its capabilities though. 

Nikon Z6

24.5 Megapixel

100-51200 ISO

12FPS Burst Shooting

4K Video Capture

30P, 60P and 120P Slow Motion 

Battery Reportedly Lasts Around 600 Shots

Touchscreen 

Wifi & Bluetooth Sharing

Now some of those features don’t really aid in the functionality of the camera and realistically just increase the price tag and repair costs. Having a touch screen on a camera may seem convenient, but in cold weather conditions the screen becomes difficult to use and inconvenient for the user. Bluetooth and Wifi sharing has always seemed to be a limited use feature to me, but that is pure opinion. I’ve always thought of it as a simple way to increase the price of the unit. 

Now when it comes to video, the battery life is extremely limited, coming in at under 18 minutes until having to change out batteries. To put that in perspective, if you were working with a model doing outdoor shoots with multiple locations, you would need to bring three or four batteries with you. Not a deal breaker, but certainly inconvenient. There is only one card slot, which again is not a deal breaker, but is also an inconvenience for the photographer. 

Moving onto the better aspects of the camera, the pictures taken are in stunning clarity and many auto focus and light modes that facilitate its use for newer photographers. So overall, I would say yes, the camera is worth it’s price, but should not be purchased without thinking it over.

Canon EOS T7i

Now if the price tag is intimidating, the Canon EOS Rebel T7i is a great option with a much lower cost, $749.99 for the body alone. Below are comparisons between the Canon and the Nikon. 

As you can see the basic functions and specs are incredibly close, the biggest difference lies in the ISO range, where Nikon is a mile ahead. Otherwise the Canon is a much more affordable camera with a wider selection of directly attachable lenses without using any conversion rings. 

If you have any reviews of the cameras above or would like to add anything to this breakdown, please do so in the comments. 

How To Increase Your Productivity

How To Be More Productive

Productivity is an interesting thing. We generally define it as how efficiently we use time. Which is not actually an inaccurate definition. We look at our productivity as individuals as how much we get done in an amount of time, whether that be an hour, a day, a week or a year. High productivity means less time invested, therefore more time for leisure, time with the family, the kids, the dogs and time for yourself. 

A few tips for increasing personal productivity include having a physical day timer. We live in a technological world, and I won’t discredit the utility of calendars on our phones, and even in backing up our physical calendars to our phones, but having a physical day timer allows for better tracking. Correcting your day timer throughout the day to accurately reflect your productivity will allow you to adjust your schedule more easily for the following period, increasing your productivity. For example, say you notice between noon and one o’clock you don’t have high productivity and you tend to eat your lunch at one thirty, why not adjust so that you eat at noon, a time where you are not pouting the pavement anyways. Or for example, if you find that your afternoons tend to become too busy to get everything done, consider scheduling your first items earlier in the day. 

The second very effective method for increasing your productivity is to create a routine. This ties into the day timer as it is an excellent tool to see how your day works best to begin with. Once you have figured out how your day works best, build a routine around it to optimize your time. Routines allow for a consistent day that goes according to plan. It may seem a little trivial, but brushing your teeth at the same time every morning can help ensure you are up and out the door at the right time every day. Consider putting “night time prep” into your routine to make your mornings, when you are sleepy and not yet in the full swing of things, more efficient. 

One of the most important tools in your arsenal is your own accountability. Don’t put things off when they are scheduled, as you waste a lot of time re-scheduling appointments, not to mention the financial side to missing appointments. Accountability doesn’t just help with your productivity, it shows co-workers, managers and clients that you take things seriously and can be depended upon. 

Another very important part of productivity is ensuring you are healthy in your mind, body and soul. Put “me time” into your daily routine. Whether it be reading, meditating, exercising or anything else that brings you comfort and allows you to build personal skills. I would recommend adapting reading time each day, as it allows for continual growth in your reading and linguistic skills that will aid you in all aspects of your life. 

If you have any productivity tips to share, please do so in the comments! 

How To Set Up An Indoor Photography Studio

Three Light Set Up

Each aspect of photography can be a little daunting at first and the cost affiliated to professional equipment can appear to be a mountain, especially when you’re just figuring out your set up. When it comes to indoor studio photography the standard is five primary lights for full lighting coverage, though a lot of photographers use a simpler 3 light system. In this we are going to cover an inexpensive way to figure out which style works for you before investing in hundreds of dollars on lighting kits and covers. 

Five Light Set Up

A great way to start a basic lighting kit to play around with is with clamp lights, which go for around $20.00. These allow for very versatile set up and are not likely to get damaged while figuring out a set up that works for you. When using these you have the option of switching kinds of bulbs, allowing for white light or ambient lighting. They are also great to put light gels over when using LED bulbs as they don’t emit a lot of heat. Non dimmable bulbs are preferable in this set up and all lights should be the same kind and light level. Adjusting the lighting is done by distance and angle from the subject. Below are diagrams for basic three and five light set ups. This works well with portraits for people and pets, product shoots and video. 

Clamp Light

A tripod is not necessarily required to make this set up work, but for the sake of editing pictures later, it is highly recommended. Having a blank slate with your lighting set up can save a picture that has irregularities. Decent quality tripods are not overly expensive anymore and many can be purchased on Kijiji for under $50.00. I would recommend aluminium as it is inexpensive and can be used outdoors without fear of rusting.

Now for this DIY kit the total cost comes out to roughly $110.00 for a three light set up and $150.00 for a five light set up. That being said, using a DIY kit with clients in the room does not inspire confidence or a feeling of a professional work environment. For product shoots, personal projects, figuring out your system and personal video work this is a great way to go! 

Basic Lighting Kit

Once clients enter the room, a more professional set up will give you better credibility. That professional kit does not have to cost you an arm and a leg though. Kits can come as low as $200.00 that include a frame, three soft lights and generally come with a green screen.

Having changeable backdrops is also recommended. Though a green screen is fun to work with, especially with video, it doesn’t work well for portraits. Soft whites, blues and black are good backgrounds for people. Standard Muslin backdrops can be purchased online for around $25.00 and adjustable frames vary from $45.00 to $200.00. 

That’s the basic kit for indoor photography when it comes to your indoor lighting and screens. If you have an any questions or want to add anything, please do so in the comments down below. 

The Secrets To Outdoor Portrait Photography

To any upcoming photographer outdoor shoots can seem a little daunting, as you have limited control over the lighting, other people in the area and most especially, the wind. Not to fear! The key to outdoor shoots is flexibility. Being able to work with what you have instead of rigidly trying to work an unfeasible plan.

Brianna C.

For example, with the shot above I knew the lighting was not ideal and with her hair colour against the brick there would be issues balancing out my highlighted areas. Instead of sticking to a balanced shot, where there would be no “blow out” or excessive lighted areas, we played with the over exposed style, allowing the scenario to take us in that direction. Both the client and I were happy with our decision to do so, as we got a series of more interesting shots.

Brianna C.

In this shot the winds were starting to pick up, so we simply adjusted her position to face diagonally to the wind to allow for a more dynamic looking shot. Again we continued with our over-exposed style and it turned out great. Had we stuck to the original plan of having a more subdued look, with perfectly coifed hair and no movement in the photo we would have struggled to find that shot until we lost the afternoon light we were working with.

In short, be flexible and anticipate weather getting in the way of a planned shot. To help you do this, I would recommend keeping a few things in your kit or vehicle during an outdoor shot.

  • Umbrella
  • Battery Powered Flood Light
  • Hairspray
  • Baby Wipes
  • Basic Cosmetics
  • A Blanket (To protect and keep your model comfortable)
  • Socks
  • Alternate Lenses

It’s incredible the difference a blanket and fresh socks can make during an outdoor shoot. No one wants cold feet and keeping the model more comfortable will absolutely make for better results and less editing. I would also strongly recommend becoming more comfortable playing with new styles, themes and locations to gain more experience with split second style decisions. The more experience you have with a variety of different scenarios, the quicker you’ll be able to adapt in the future.

Hope you enjoyed and maybe picked up a new trick or two. If you have any advice to share to new photographer, or us older ones as well, please share in the comments.

Who Am I?

Hi, I’m Eva. I thought we could get to know each other a little today.

I am a little bit of an all over the place kind of woman. Not in a messy or unorganized way, but rather in the way where I am constantly trying to do new things, start new companies, work with new people and explore and build on new skills.

At the age of eighteen I graduate college with a diploma for Graphic Design & Photography. At the age of twenty-two I had completed my apprenticeship in Ironworking, became a Journeyman and passed my Red Seal exam, allowing me to work across the country in my industrial field. In that time I started working with soap, which I formulated to be safe for absolutely everyone, as commercial products often have compositions and ingredients that are harmful to people with ailments or of whom are post surgery.

I also started working in health and fitness during this time. Not because I loved fitness, or due to any strong ties to athleticism. I started because I was over weight and needed help getting control of my body and health. Which turned out to be a great thing because I met a great team of women who really supported me, which lead me to start working with a company that allows me to be the one supporting others in their weight loss and fitness journeys.

Over the years I have dabbled in many things. Painting, sculpture, nail art, photography, videography, YouTube and I even tried my hand at being a green thumb (which did not go well at all). I find that with every new skill or path I take I gain a lot more than just a few more pieces of technical knowledge. I find new people, positive interactions and more than anything, communities that I can be included in.

Now days I’m working primarily in health and fitness, working occasionally as an Ironworker, but enjoying my time near home with my man and my dying house plants.

That’s pretty much me. Which means you got a chance to get to know me, and I would like a chance to get to know you. Tell me who you are, what your passions are and what drives you down in the comments.

If you wanted to find me or see what I’ve been up to lately, my Instagram link is just below.

https://www.instagram.com/evablakeman/