Time to get busy
The time had come to dust off the cobwebs from the fashion photography brain and get to it. Amanda from Tropic Bliss contacted me to see what kind of collab we could get on with. So here it is; Amanda had also contacted Alison, a serious fashion blogger and she was one of the two gorgeous models for the day.
Models: Alison from styingmylife.com & Vaitea Cowan
Clothing: TropicBliss.com – you can get all of her items through her Amazon Store
Tropic bliss is a fair trade company operating out of Chiang Mai, Thailand. You can find out more about her story on her website.
Don’t really have much more to say in this post so just go buy her shit 😉
With Christmas around the corner and some serious travel plans too, I have decided to get myself a backpack. NOT as easy to choose as you may think. In February 2017, I will be embarking on a trip to Nepal to go and check out them Himalayas and maybe find Karmar-Taj to find my magic powers. From Nepal, I will head to India to start my yoga learning journey.
What size can you fly with?
I’d love to be only talking about carry-on luggage. I have done a bit of research on this and (22 cm x 35 cm x 56 cm) seems to be standard. And it usually needs to be 7kg or less… That’s nowhere near enough space/weight for a long trip, especially with my camera gear.
I’ve see too many confusing and detailed posts so here’s a really honest and to the point breakdown of the 5 backpacks that I looked at.
1. The Mardingtop 50L Backpack
This backback boasts just the right amount of storage space for me. It looks comfortable and neat. I’ve had a few backbacks with terrible loose straps. Loose straps are enough to drive you mad when you’re trekking through the hot South African Drakensburg mountains. It claims to be ideal for a 3-day hike and in all fairness, I’d be handwashing shit after 3 days.
Purchase it here!
2. TETON Sports Summit 1500 Backpack
You can clearly see that this is your typical backpack for hiking or at least it’s what I have in mind when thinking of trekking through mountains with a tent. I’d buy this one if it came in black. Yes, colour matters, remember, this thing is your new best friend and you wouldn’t want a pack that you don’t 100% love. I do like the reinforced spine and waist support on this bag. What turned me off is that it’s ideal for a day hike. This generally means that the comfort level comes second to the internal makeup and structure.
Purchase the TETON Here
3. The NOMATIC Travel Bag
I saw this bag on Facebook. Yup, good old Facebook ads, which I will probably be seeing more of now that I’ve written this post. FML. Although this is not really a bag for trekking or hiking, it is a very well thought out everyday backpack for essentials. Go have a look at their video on Indiegogo and let it blow your mind!
4. Local Lion Outdoor 35L Backpack
Another clean bag just like the Mardington. I really am attracted to the simple bags with less straps. For the last year, I have been getting rid of clutter so maybe that’s why. Maybe it’s because this complex product appearing so simple, means that a lot of work has been put into stylizing the bag. I didn’t opt for this bag simply because of the back support. It’s a soft back with not much breathing space which would probably only be good for a day or two. My current camera back is similar and my back is sopping after an hour in Thailand’s sweaty weather.
Purchase the Local Lion Backpack 35L here
5. Makino Outdoor Hiking Waterproof 60L
So this is a strong contender. It looks a little more complex, but that’s just the fabric detailing. It has just the right amount of straps to carry a yoga mat down the back, water bottles on the side and something else on the underside. It even has a laptop compartment. I am still deciding between this one and the Mardington and it’s a tricky one. The laptop compartment is a big sway but the look is letting me down.
Makino Outdoor Hiking Waterproof 60L
Like most things in life, the end decision is yours and it will always be yours. So, you do you and choose whichever bag you like!
Bring on Nepal!
Buying Instagram Followers
We all know about buying followers and how that’s NEVER a good idea. Buying followers only boosts that top line number, you can spot these accounts from a mile away – 20k followers with 50likes on each post – I call bullshit.
If you have an Instagram “business” then this is for you!
We all know about affiliate marketing programs, maybe not all of us but have you ever wondered how those “Instagram Models” can live those lavish lifestyles? They run affiliate programs with all sorts of businesses.
Brands want to talk to specific people and what better way than to align themselves with endorsers and early adopters.
I’ve added Archie to my Instagram account to see how it works. The free trial is 3 days. Click the link and sign up and test it yourself: https://www.archie.co/sign-up/
How it works:
Define your customers/users that you want to engage with. What do these people talk about, what trends to they follow? You add all the keywords/hashtags that make up your niche as well as include similar accounts. Archie then follows those trends and engages audiences.
I think the most beneficial part, is selecting the relevant “similar accounts”. This is only available in the premium option but you get access in the free trial. Find that account that does what you do, and start “copying” them. As far as I am aware, Archie then engages with those accounts followers.
I’m up 350 followers in two weeks and these are active followers. Archie says 249 but I started with them at 1050 and now I’m up to 1400. This is more of an experiment for me… until I am offered a weekends stay somewhere in Indonesia…
There is much more in the dashboard but this is just an example of what kind of metrics you’ll recieve.
Give it a bash and it may be worth investing in for your business. At the end of the day, Archie helps you gain, engaging followers who are in line with your niche.
Wok – Wokshots Blog
So it is time to buy your first lens for your Canon 1200D or 750D, depending on which you went with from my previous post. Here she is and it’s a pleasure! The only heads up I have for you is to get ready to move around with your camera, find the right angles and the perfect crop, you don’t get the chance to be lazy with zoom here!
Canon’s Nifty fifty or 50mm f1.8 STM lens is THE best option as a first buy and here’s why:
1. It’s cheap
Literally! Although the price has gone up by $25 from it’s predecessor… BUT for that extra little cash, you will get a more rugged – made of metal! Your value for money with this lens is like no other.
You want the blurry backgrounds right? That is what bokeh is. Bokeh is the quality of the out-of-focus part of a photograph, made by a specific lens. A little camera knowledge for you. When you start shooting, hit the Av mode and dial is right down to f1.8 and PLAY!
One of my very first shots I added to portfolio. Shot with my nifty fifty
On my Canon EOS 5D mkii this lens looks tiny. It is super light and easy to slip into your bag even though you may never want to take it off your camera. This lens coupled with the Canon EOS 100D literally feels like you’re holding a Tamagotchi – moment of silence please!
4. STM for filming
Smooth Transition Motion. This is a silent motor that is a MASSIVE improvement from the last fifty. Anyone that knows the previous plastic fifty would know the sound that the auto-focus makes. It is enough to think a transformer is coming for you.
5. Eyesight or a normal Lens
When I say normal, I don’t mean it in the way you’re thinking. Normal, refers to the lens’ view – being the closest to how we humans see(some of you are aliens). No distortion or “fish eye” impact. What you see is what it captures.
6. It is real fast
No, it’s not running away! What makes a lens fast? Having an aperture of f1.8 allows this lens to shoot at faster shutter speeds to get the correct exposure. In other words, your images won’t be as blurry with this lens in low light as opposed to a standard f3.5-5.6(standard 18-55mm) kit lens.
You can shoot street, portrait even macro with this lens. A friend of mine, Carl Jones, showed me some reverse lens tricks too. If you reverse the lens and hold it over the camera backwards, you can get a SUPER macro. Pretty pointless and perfect way to get your sensor dirty but hey I am all for experimenting.
So go on, get yours and show me some of the results! Any questions you have, just let me know in the comments below!
Wok, what camera would you recommend?
Firstly, I’m a Canon man. So, if you are wanting Nikon, steer away, steer away now.
I have had this conversation with many people who are seriously enthusiastic about getting into photography. It’s really simple – Canon EOS 1200D or 750D. You’re going to get a bit more out of the 750D so if you are BEAMING for photography and have the extra pennies then go for the 750D. You will notice that they’re slightly different on paper but the 750D is made for the intermediate photographer and the 1200D for the beginner. The price tag is a rather big difference though so, again, if you have the cash do it, if not the 1200D is a brilliant start.
For a super detailed comparison that you probably won’t understand click here. It’s still cool to check out.
Camera Body vs Camera Lens?
What most amateurs don’t know is that the body of the camera isn’t as vital as the lens. So, invest in a good lens and soon as you can. The standard 18-55mm lens is boring although great to have in the bag when starting out. The first lens I purchased was the Canon 50mm f1.8, you can’t zoom with this lens so it forces you to get more creative. I would recommend buying this with your purchase of the camera. It is also known at the nifty fifty.
But, are you sure that’s a good buy?
Yes! Think about the joy you will be getting out of this camera. It’s hardly much to pay for what you’re getting. Tech is changing all the time and yes there will be a better camera tomorrow but if you want for that, you might as well be waiting for the iPhone 7 release only to realise it’s going to cost more.
I shoot with the Canon EOS 5D mkii and an array of lenses namely: Canon 70-200mm f2.8, Tamron 24-70mm f2.8, 50mm f1.8 STM. I’ve ditched the rest of my gear in South Africa whilst I travel and I will probably end up selling it.
I’m throwing a spanner
I travel with my setup and it is HEAVY. If you want something more travel-friendly at an entry level, go with the Canon EOS 100D – said to be the smallest most compact SLR on the market. I recommended this to Travel With Lamb – check out the pics on her blog. It is a brilliant little piece of work and weighs NOTHING. I was tempted to buy this and ditch my gear for one.
photo cred – http://www.lydogbillede.dk/nyheter/verdens-mindste-spejlrefleks/
Last but not least, get yourself a memory card because the camera doesn’t come with one. Here is the perfect one for photo and HD video.
I’ll be posting a quick “how to use your camera” soon so please subscribe to receive a notification when that arrives.
Follow me on Instagram(@wokshots_photography) and Snapchat(wokshots) to keep up with where I am in the world
PS: Be sure to leave questions in the comments below!