Tuesday, 29 May 2018

WORKING ON SOME SKILLS


At the beginning of the month, I attended a photography workshop with the intention of getting more comfortable with using my camera. I have owned my camera for over eight years, but have only skimmed the surface with how to use it. I've read books and online articles, but I knew that in order to really get the most of it, I would need someone to show me. 

The workshop was perfect. It was an afternoon packed full of information, but it was small and informal. There were practice challenges and ample opportunities to ask questions. I finally felt like I grasped the trifecta of manual shooting - ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. I'm extremely slow at setting them, but at the least, I understand them. 

          

We also learned about light and storytelling and how capturing images is about more than just capturing pretty images. This aspect resonated with me thanks to my art background. Every single detail contributes to the story in your image. There are ways you can play with light and detail to create a stronger, more meaningful image. I love this idea and once I master the technical, I know that I want to play around with this idea even more.


Earlier this year, I seriously contemplated buying a new camera to replace mine. It feels outdated and clunky. I spoke to a few different professionals about different cameras and brands. I received some recommendations. But the cost felt steep right now, so I put it off. However, what I came to realize (thanks to some wisdom from a series of very talented people) is that what I should consider doing instead is replacing my lens. The only lenses I ever owned were the kit lenses that came with the camera, both of which were zoom lenses. It was recommended that I grab a simple 50mm prime lens and learn to shoot with that. The best part? They're only around $150 new compared to buying a new $1200 camera. I figured it was worth a shot.

         

The results? Night and day! It has proven to offer a bit of a learning curve with the fact that I can't just simply zoom in and out but instead have to physically move my body around to find the shot I want. But this is a small sacrifice. The act of doing so actually makes you feel much more connected to the photographs and the results are so stunning. Small investment, big pay off.


These are just a few random photographs from the past couple of days as I have been playing around with my new lens. It has felt so good to capture some special moments and memories of time on a real camera instead of my smartphone for once. We're going away this weekend and I'm excited to bring my camera along to see what I can capture. There is so much to learn and explore and I'm excited to finally feel like I am in a place where it is fun, not frustrating, to learn.

          

Here's to always learning and growing and trying something new. I've owned my camera for eight years, but just now I am really embracing it. It just goes to show you that just because you don't get something right away doesn't mean you never will. There is always an opportunity to start again.


Monday, 28 May 2018

CLEAN MAKEUP OVERHAUL: MAY


Another month has come and gone and I'm just over here testing some more clean makeup purchases. Last month, I decided to take the plunge and purchase a clean foundation - probably the single most item that terrified me about making this transition. Foundation is exactly what it's name implies - the foundation to it all. It takes up the biggest surface area and also tends to be one of the most expensive items to purchase. I was nervous that I would spend a lot of money on a product that I didn't really care for. I shared more about my thoughts in my April post, but I can quickly note here that after a month of using it, I am feeling pretty good about that pick.

For May, I wanted to keep building on the face and skin. Based on the way I apply my makeup, bronzer and highlighter felt like an obvious next step. Where to begin? I read this amazing post on A Beautiful Mess recommending some good natural bronzer options, but for some reason, my mind went immediately to the Pink House Natural Solutions glow sticks. I first heard about these a few months ago, and have since followed along, reading positive review after positive review. I wasn't sure I would love the stick format, but after some contemplation, I decided to just go for it. This whole process is all about experimenting and testing anyways, am I right?



Pink House Natural Solutions is a Canadian company - another reason they won my vote. They use all clean ingredients in their products. In fact, as I sit here and read the ingredient list on the side of these tubes - coconut oil, hemp seed oil, meadow foam oil, shea butter, organic beeswax, e-wax, reship extract, and mica - they are all ingredients I have heard of before and can actually pronounce. You can't get much cleaner than that. The products are not all vegan (with the inclusion of beeswax), but vegan is not necessarily a dictator for me on this journey. I just don't want products with nasty chemicals in them. These guys definitely pass the test.




I selected this glow stick to use as a highlighter. It offers a really soft and iridescent glow, without looking too bright. I've been streaking it across my cheek bones, brow bones, on my nose bridge, and cupids bow and using my finger to blend it in for a natural look. I wear it over top of my foundation, but I have read many reviews of people who wear it right on their bare skin. Even though it can help complete a full makeup look, it also could be used on a natural face to a little extra glow. It's really soft and barely there, but catches the light in the best way. I would definitely recommend this one, as it would definitely work on a variety of skin tones.



I selected this glow stick to use as a bronzer. It is way more pigmented than the highlighting glow stick I purchased, so I've learned that a little goes a long way. I streak it (lightly) under my cheek bones and blend out and down the sides of my face for a more natural look. I then swipe a little on my finger and blend along my hair line in the upper corners of my forehead. It definitely offers buildable pigmentation, so if you try it, I would recommend going for a lighter pass and blend, and then adding more as desired. The colour is beautiful. It is one of the lighter bronze tones that they offer, so it works well on my really light skin, but there are a few darker tones that would likely be more suited to if you have a tanned or darker skin tone. This could be used as a blush too, though I like to use a slightly pinker hue for my cheeks.


Above you can see the tones swiped on my hand. My hand it slightly more tanned than my face, but it gives you an idea of how the colours look against your skin. Once blended, they look really natural and do exactly as their name implies - giving you a beautiful, natural glow!

What do you think? I'd love to hear if you have any other recommendations for natural bronzer and highlighters - I still have over half a year to go!


SaveSave

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

POSITIVE VIBES


There is something about the sunshine staying out a little later each day that is good for the soul. The warm breezes, the evening walks, the smell of fresh cut grass and budding trees. It all instantly brings back the feeling of sunnier, happier days, and those feelings make my heart soar.

I've been feeling so creatively inspired these days. I've spent a lot of time exploring the meaning of creativity over these past couple years, and now that I am consciously making creative practice more of a habit instead of a random act, I am starting to reap the harvest of the age old adage - more creativity leads to more creativity. I have a dream for myself that I'm really starting to explore. It feels like I am not quite there yet, but I'm okay with being patient in the waiting. I don't want to rush this one. For now, I'll just keep making and just keep feeling the positive vibes.

Sunshine, happy thoughts, and creative satisfactions to you, my friends.