It has been almost two months since I received my new camera and I adore my new creative outlet. Photography is drastically different from drawing or painting. Using what is around you or bringing aspects together to create a new image. Everything is left up to light that comes into the camera which all these little settings to alter it. High light, low light, large shadows, no shadows. There is so much you can do with it, but it is all up to how you alter the setting to get the image you want.
  At the moment I am slowly trying to put together elements to develop my own style. Taking pieces from here and there to get to the end result. It’s a long road but I am taking it day by day.  But I want to share what has helped me so far with you.

Exploring Photography- Tips to help you take better photos with use of a few very affordable items you can obtain locally. Get the most out of your cell phone camera or DSLR Canon Camera.

Tip #1: Use  daylight where ever possible

A bright window does wonders for lighting up your subject. Lights in most homes are fluorescent which gives pictures a tint in any pictures you take. Which brings me to our next tip. 

Tip #2: If not then use “daylight” light bulb to create it

 Thanks to technology we can now recreate the light we wish. This type of light bulb can be purchased sometimes at dollar stores but if you cant to create a quick kit for under $20 then check out places such as Home Depot. There you can find a light socket with a clamp and adjustable “neck”. Super handy if you need to take a picture latter in the evening or when it is overcast out. 

Tip #3: Used White foam core to bounce light back onto your subject

This has been my go to tool for the last few years, a trick I picked up at Blog Podium from Giulia’s photography workshop. Either check out your local dollar store or craft supply store to pick one up. Have the light coming in from one side and bounce the light back on the subject with the foam core board. When you feel you have mastered bouncing light this way try out our next tip.

Tip #4:  Rent or buy a 5 in 1 reflector

I have only had this for about little over a month and I love it. You zip and flip to get the side out that you desire. There is gold, silver, white, black and the middle can be used as a diffuser (lessen the light or soften). It folds up small and comes with a little bag making it super portable! For this little gem I would check your local Photography store and also Amazon.  Mine is 20″ wide and suits all of my needs so far. 

Tip #5: Try out a fixed prime lense (50mm or 35mm)

   These little guys have no zoom, only a focusing ring on them. They are light usually and versatile. If you are into portraiture and still life (such as flat lays) then 50mm  is perfect for you. Although if you are into fashion photography with friends or need a wider shot then 35mm is your friend. Compare prices (don’t forget to look at used from a certified retailer such as Henry’s here in Canada) and abilities online to find the ones that suits you the best.

Bonus Tip #6: Practice regularly to get used to your camera and its functions 

  This applies also to the camera’s on our phones as well (or apps for that matter). Getting used to all the functions of a camera takes time and practice. I learned back in High School but was not able to recall what each thing did such as ISO and shutter speed. Practice has helped me understand it in the best way for myself.  

But if you are the type that likes a little guide ( same here, so I can break rules after I learned them). Here are two e-courses that  I would highly suggest checking out A Beautiful Mess’ DSLR for Beginners e-course or even Giulia’s Table Top Photography e-course on Atly. I have purchased both of them and found the information very valuable.

   Do you have any tips for photography with either a camera or phone? Share them in the comments below to help others in the community here at Tea Journey.

    Inspiring quotes can provoke you to set intentions and become closer to your truth. Quotable is a series where thought provoking lines from various sources are brought together and lessons can be learned from each one. 

   Tune in to either set your intention for the week and learn more about yourself to get closer to living in your highest truth. All past posts can be found over on the Quotable series page

        Ever since we passed the age of pure innocence, we constantly are looking for approval from everyone around us.  It is like a nagging feeling that just will not go away.  It can stay with us even till adulthood.  Not only do we seek it from our parents but also our bosses (some times teachers and partners). For me it was my parents throughout University. Every piece the first few years I showed them, but every time it felt half hearted. Now I know this was not their intention but something that I made myself see.
        In my last year (and beyond), I decided to just do things for myself to express how I am in that moment (no mater the subject matter).  By letting go I was eventually able go further. But letting go of the need for approval from others is a struggle, one you need to take one day at a time.
   The most recent struggle is with the mental voice which represents all of you. I ask myself am I making the right choice for a post, this picture or that and even am I the right person to write this?                You have to make the choice to trust your intuition and do it. For me this is writing posts that talk about tea in a different way and trusting that all of you will stick with me.
    Take a chance for the good of being true to yourself. Listen to your intuition. It has your best interest in mind.

    Have you been “prisoner”  to the opinion of others before? Share your story with us in the comments below. Much love everyone.

Throughout October we are going to focus on being present by unplugging. “Unplugged” is going to help you find things to do when you just want to disconnect. It can be 10 minutes or a whole day. Take a chance and join us. All unplugged posts can be found here.

Want to improve your handwriting?Here are a few tips to get you started and why you should take the time to write by hand. |Throughout October we are going to focus on being present by unplugging. "Unplugged" is going to help you find things to do when you just want to disconnect. It can be 10 minutes or a whole day. Take a chance and join us.

When was the last time you took the time to write for the sake of writing? Was it during University, College , High School or , as far back as Elementary school? No matter when was the last time, there is always a chance to start again. Even with technology slowly taking over our lives, pen and paper has taken the back seat.
    Why should you start again? Writing with good old pen and paper helps you focus on a task ( by the way put your phone on air plane mode, you will thank me). Secondly, it also helps you remember material. The very act of taking notes during a lecture (or webinar) helps you absorb and keep the information. Thirdly, doing something mindful (aka turning off and being present) has been known to reduce stress, anxiety and fight depression. Lastly, (this is for my tea friends) it connects us to something from the earth. Paper comes from a plant just like tea, take a moment like the tea sages and reflect on paper.
    Before we get into the tips, I wanted to discuss tools. There are so many out there it can be daunting. Try different materials next time you are out. My favorites are fountain pens (refillable with ink you want), brush pens and fine tipped pens (0.3 point). Go to your local art store or hobby shop and test a few out. It is welcomed. Always.

Want to improve your handwriting?Here are a few tips to get you started and why you should take the time to write by hand. |Throughout October we are going to focus on being present by unplugging. "Unplugged" is going to help you find things to do when you just want to disconnect. It can be 10 minutes or a whole day. Take a chance and join us.

Tips to improve your writing

Practice writing

   Get some scrap paper and get messy (make mistakes). Most of all have fun. Write out the alphabet or even just write out words you love to write. Some of mine include: love, free, live, and breath (with an occasional “wheeee” because I can). By the way if it feels like your cramping up you may want to check out this post for form. Remember: move your arm, not your wrist.

Morning pages

  Morning pages are what Julia Cameron encourages in her book “The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity”. All you have to do is free write (no editing, this is for your eyes only after all) three pages every morning. The very act will allow you to let go of all the thoughts that are going on (consciously and subconsciously). After doing this for a while you will have more focus, and had the chance to practice. Two birds with one stone. Yey!

Always take written notes

   As I said earlier there is a link to writing and memory. But it also let’s you reframe thoughts as you go.  During university this was my go to method. Writing out my exam notes by hand helped me remember crazy dates and names that I needed to pass. In any field this is something that will help you go further ( and perhaps even improve your memory over time).

Keep a physical planner

   There is something that just satisfies the soul when you create a to-do list, plan out gifts to buy, budget, wish lists etc. It helps you focus and keep your mind free for other things (like more tea or yoga maybe).  From experience my planner keeps me accountable. All my reminders are in there (with some alarms on my phone too).  For job hunting it has allowed me to make a list of places to apply, numbers to follow up by and keep track of who I even talked to. It just makes things simple.

Send hand written letter or cards

  This is high on my list for this month, sending a little note to friends or family goes a long way.  When you write it by hand it gives it a personal touch that will be conveyed to the reader. Now I am not talking about buying a card and putting their name, date, and signing. I am referring to actually writing a little note from the heart. Tell them why they matter to you and that they are in your thoughts. Or hey you can even start sending mail to a pen pal for practice. Anything is better than nothing. 

What ways do you use to improve your handwriting? Share in the comments below. 

    Inspiring quotes can provoke you to set intentions and become closer to your truth. Quotable is a series where thought provoking lines from various sources are brought together and lessons can be learned from each one. 

   Tune in to either set your intention for the week and learn more about yourself to get closer to living in your highest truth. All past posts can be found over on the Quotable series page

   If you have been following me on instagram the last few days you will have seen the progress I have made on my “Room Oasis” project. I am kicking myself for leaving this on the back burner for over a year. Who would have known that it was this much fun to put a room together which you spend most of your time in.
    That leads me to today’s Quotable. Mary Poppins said it best, there is always a way to make a job be fun. While painting my room I started small with the window sill and worked outward from there. I learned very quickly about the paint and materials I was using.
   The fun part for me was seeing the room come together and approaching painting like I would usually (child like and free). Once all the walls were dried I put up some art in frames (or washi taped the prints up for now). It feels so much more livable than before.
    Next task for this project is to use the “KonMari” method to tidy my room (blog post on this soon, till then check out this video by Lanvenaire). Removing things that no longer brings me joy will be hard but I am looking forward to living with what does.

What ways do you make your projects/tasks become fun for you to accomplish? Share in the comments below.

    Inspiring quotes can provoke you to set intentions and become closer to your truth. Quotable is a series where thought provoking lines from various sources are brought together and lessons can be learned from each one. 

   Tune in to either set your intention for the week and learn more about yourself to get closer to living in your highest truth. All past posts can be found over on the Quotable series page

Over the years I have noticed that we have an odd human trait, conformity. The desire to “be like the rest” or “normal”.  We change our ideas, what we say, do and even buy. All to fit in, while hurting ourselves in the process.
    In High School I changed how I dressed to fit in with my group (and to impress a guy). Looking back on those times I know I was not being fully myself. We all go through it and just need to look at ourselves. Realize our mistake and begin to live true.
   When we move away from what society is calling “normal” and truly begin to be ourselves we receive joy. It takes time and effort but it is well worth it. It took till I was 26 to realize why everything felt wrong. So give yourself time. You are worth it, because there will only ever be one you.