Wardrobe Changes, Adulting, and Other Life Things

After falling off the grid for awhile, I feel like I should talk about things again. I’ve been feeling pretty good the last few days, as if everything is falling into place. Apart from getting engaged (super exciting!) I’m just feeling really comfortable.

Work is going really well. I’ve even been less nervous about it lately. It only took a year…
I haven’t done much on the side in the way of photography. To be honest I’ve been trying to re-evaluate what I really want to focus on in that regard. I thought it would be really great to get into photographing fashion and cosplay, but lately I’ve been feeling really content with what I’m doing right now. I’m not sure I’m ready to do anything else just yet.  I guess I’m just so busy with my day job that I have a hard time committing to other clients on the side. I don’t think that’s such a bad thing, since I like my day job a lot. I don’t know that I’ll love it forever, and if I do stop loving it maybe that will be when I should start pushing for more. You know?
I do dislike the business casual dress. I’d been feeling, like, super uncomfortable in so many of the clothes I bought for this job when I found out I was hired. I stuck with a lot of polo shirts, or button down shirts and none of them felt very me.
Now that I’ve been working there for almost a year now, I’ve been getting more of a feel for what I can wear. I ended up going shopping with Tara yesterday and I picked up a lot of nice shirts that have a boho flair to them that are perfect for work. I feel like I’m ready to walk in tomorrow with a nice fresh wardrobe that fits my personality better. I’m really happy about it!  I got some pants too, and they’re boring big girl office job pants, but I don’t care about that.
I even went shoe shopping. I dragged James along with me for that adventure, since he needed sandals for the summer. Payless had their BOGO sale going on, so I made quite a haul. I hate shoe shopping, I know I’ve mentioned that I don’t shoe. But in this case, I really needed to shoe. Here’s how I handle shoes… it’s unlike most girls that are interested in the fashion world:
I don’t have a pair of shoes to match every outfit. I don’t have a separate closet that houses about a billion dozen and a half different pairs of shoes. I HATE shoe shopping. I have a type of shoe for every occasion and that’s the end of that. Although I probably have more shoes that go with specific costumes than I’m willing to admit, that’s cosplay for ya. But that’s besides the point. The point is, when I buy a pair of shoes, I’m super picky because I know it has to go with everything I own and it has to last a long time. Unfortunately, I started to realize that all of the types of shoes I have needed to be replaced. So, that’s why I walked out of Payless with 5 pairs of shoes. I needed new sandals, new everyday shoes, new dress shoes, and new work shoes. Plus I wanted a pair of gym shoes as well. Because I want to get serious about working out and I’m having knee problems so I figured something with a nice padding might help.  If you want to see a haul post, I can do that but to be honest I find shoes to be quite a bore. Actually, I’m a little amazed I talked about them for so long… Next subject! (But see, what a little wardrobe update can do for your mood sometimes!)

I’m pretty proud of myself though. Before going and buying all that stuff, I did get rid of clothes I don’t wear anymore. I’ve been trying to get better about stuff like that, cleaning and what not. I’m lazy, so I hate doing it all. But I feel so much more accomplished and even less anxious when I do it.

I think that’s all the updates I have for now. Back to the sporadic postings after this…

Although seriously, I have a few ideas. I have a cool and geeky DIY coaster thing to show you, and I’ve been thinking about posting my wig collection too. Plus, I’ve joined a book club so I’m toying with the idea of talking about books as well. I haven’t decided about that but stay tuned for the other stuff.

Thanks for reading. If you liked my post hit follow to geek out with me every week! And you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram at softlysaturated!
-J

 

Linkworthy

I did another post like this in the past and I really wanted to do it again. I think I’m going to try and get better at collecting articles and things so I can do something like this at the end of each year. But here’s a couple of things I’ve collected.


 

Animal Rescue Site

Who doesn’t love animals? Seriously, get out if you don’t. The page I linked to is their merch page,  but they post adorable videos and other things too. And if  you buy their merch, it goes to a great cause – feeding animals in shelters. Gotta love the cause. ♥

Why Does Music Give Us Chills?

This super awesome article explains the brain chemistry behind people who get chills when listening to music? Did you know that 50% of people get chills while listening to music? I didn’t! I thought I was like, the only one. But apparently not. This is super cool to me! Check it out.

El Goonish Shive 

This is a web comic. It’s pretty interesting, and gets increasingly better as the artist ages. I haven’t read it all the way through, but James is on the current panels. I don’t know that it would be everyone’s cup of tea, as it’s pure fuckery. Gender-swapping. Gender-swapping everywhere.

Broken Light Collective

This is a website right here on WordPress featuring photographers all over the place. Submissions are sent in from people with various mental illnesses who’ve used photography to get through hard times. I think this is an absolutely beautiful concept, dealing with anxiety myself. The only thing I dislike is that submissions are not allowed to be graphic or triggering. I totally understand why, I really do. But some beautiful art comes from deep uncensored pain. But really a fantastic site. I even changed them to my AmazonSmile charity. (If you’re not  using that, what are you waiting for? You don’t have to spend any extra money to donate to your favorite charity! Get on board! 😀 )

9 Things I Wish People Understood About Anxiety

This. This article could not have put it more perfectly. I agree wholeheartedly with everything posted here, apart from number 8. I mean number 8 is true to a point, but ultimately I wish I could just get rid of it. Great read, especially for people who really can’t understand what a person with anxiety is feeling.

The Princess in Training

This last one is my good friend Tiffany’s blog! I owe my recent interest in style all to her which ultimately lead to my decision to pursue fashion photography! She’s taking a little break right now, but there’s some good reads so check it out! 🙂


 

And those are my linkworthy articles of 2014! I know there’s not that many of them… I started collecting them later in the year. Next year will be better!

Thanks for reading. If you liked my post hit follow to geek out with me every week! And you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram at softlysaturated!
-J

What’s In My Camera Bag?

What’s that? The much awaited and long promised “What’s in my Camera Bag?” post? It can’t be!

I really didn’t want to shoot the whole thing, so I’m going to list what I have. Not as exciting, I know. I would link to everything as well, but I have a strong feeling WordPress would flag it as spam (as it has before when I was working on a project at school which required me to post multiple links in one post) so I’m not going to do that. Here we go. *Ventures onward*

♥Canon EOS Rebel T3
♥Canon Zoom Lens 18-55mm (the kit lens)
♥Canon 50 mm f1.8
♥Canon Telephoto 75-300mm
♥Lensbaby Composer
♥Lensbaby Apeture Disks f2.8-f22
♥Lensbaby Creative Apeture Disks
♥NEEWER Wireless Shutter Release
♥Canon Speedlite 430EXII
♥Gary Fong Sphere Diffuser
♥Cowboy Studio 4 Channel Receiver and Remote Radio Slaves
♥Studio Systems Lighting Studio (2 Light stands, 2 Shoot-through umbrellas, 2 Reflective umbrellas)
♥Targus Tripod
♥Mini-D Mini Tripod
♥Vivitar Filter Kit (UV Filter, Circular Polarizer, FLC +1 Close Up, +2 Close Up, +4 Close Up, x10 Close Up)
♥Ynatran Background Support (this one belongs to my sister-in-law but is in my possession for now)

AND a Canon backpack to carry mostly everything in. A carrying case for both tripods, for the lighting stuff, and the background support.
And for days where I don’t need everything, just a few things, my Adorama Sling bag.

And once work picks back up again for me, I will be saving up for the Canon 70D.

I think that’s it. My gear. My babies.

Thanks for reading. If you liked my post hit follow to geek out with me every week! And you can follow me on Twitter: @softlysaturated
-J

Other Snippets – Stuff I Like

Hey everyone.

As much as I like to blog, I love to read blogs as well. I like to collect and save things to read later.  So I have a few to share today.

I’ll start with the geeky one.  This is something I thought was super cute, being a huge Pokemon fan. This guy made up his own words to the Pokemon theme song as a marriage proposal to his girlfriend. He then pulled out a pokeball with a ring and said “I choose you, will you marry me?”
He posted his song lyrics in this article…
Some of you may know already but my name is Jessi and my boyfriend is James. And together we are Team Rocket. So this is simply fantastic to me!

Pokemon Proposal

Next some photography related stuff! Of course.

This one has a tutorial on how to make cinemagraphs. I LOVE these and I really want to make one. I’ve read this but haven’t evolved to following the steps just yet. One day I’ll make them. And I’ll show you!

How To Make Cinemagraphs

The next one is something Tiffany sent me. It has tips for self-portraits, particularly for outfit of the day shots and things like that. I’m super excited that I’ve picked up some tricks that I can use in my own photography. And I can definitely use the help with future Outfit of the Day posts!

Outfit Photo Tips

The next one is a post from a favorite charity of mine called “To Write Love on Her Arms” and it’s a photographer who jumped out of his comfort zone to get some truly stunning self-portraits! I love this because he showed me that even if you struggle with anxiety issues you can still achieve your goals! It’s definitely something I have a hard time with when it comes to photographing people. I’m always afraid to put myself out there because failure is a devastating idea to me. Sometimes it’s nice to know about people who are just like me.

Kyle Thompson

On a similar note, it’s on to the introvert posts. I found a couple articles about people,  like myself, with introverted personalities. The first one is kind of about identifying yourself as an introvert.
23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert

And the other one is about common misconceptions about people with introverted personalities.
10 Myths About Introverts

I really liked these, especially the first one because I can completely relate to them. I felt that a very large percentage of things on that list of 23 applied to me. It’s pretty dead on, so check it out if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

Lastly I just have a few YouTube videos to show.  This first one is from Animalist. I first started watching because one of my favorite YouTubers, Catie Wayne, is a host on this channel. But I went through some of the older videos from before she started there. I was super interested in this one, which talks about that crazy song, What Does the Fox Say… and tells you what the fox legitimately says. I love it!

Last I wanted to share another one of my favorite YouTubers and that is grav3yardgirl. I’ve been watching a lot of her videos for the past few months and realized she has a similar taste in style to me. And after watching more and more of her videos I learned she started her channel because of anxiety issues and to give herself an outlet. So I love learning about clothes and make up from her and also getting that feeling that I’m not alone.

So those are some of the things I stumbled upon that I really like. Hope you enjoy them too.

I wanted to get started on shooting my giant loot from my shopping spree with Tiffany the other day. But my dog Bonnie, who’s afraid of cameras, has been acting really strange and scared today and I don’t want to freak her out.  I do plan on doing that though, if I can keep her out of my room.

Anyway, til then…

Thanks for reading. If you liked my post hit follow to geek out with me every week! And you can follow me on Twitter: @softlysaturated

-J

P.S. Please take a second  to make a donation to the Nerdy Neehigh Ninjas in their fight for Futures Without Violence, if you can! We’d really appreciate it!

Amateur Advice

I’m not going to claim to be an expert in photography. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and have been learning a lot about it over the last few years. I have noticed I’ve come a long way since starting out and as with anything, that’s something to be proud of. One thing that I’ve seen a lot of, and I know you notice it too, is people who get their first DSLR and suddenly they’re a professional. Out of the blue that person will have a Facebook page devoted to their “photography” and they’ll even go so far as to have business cards and indiscreet watermarks.

Before I accidentally lump myself into the “wannabe” category I must emphasize the fact that I know I am not a professional. But I am trying to work my way up. I understand this doesn’t happen overnight which I feel separates me from those who decide that they’re a photographer they open their new camera from the box.

But I do know what it’s like to be starting off and I think to myself that maybe those people haven’t been lucky enough to receive some of the advice that I’ve picked up along the way.

So here are some things I’ve learned in the past couple of years. And if you’re just starting out, like me, just keep these tips in mind before shamelessly promoting your Facebook page to all your friends.

1. Invest in a Flash. They’re almost as expensive as a lower end DSLR but they will make your low light situations much easier. You don’t want to use the pop-up flash on your camera unless you have NO other option because it makes your photo look like… well, you used a flash. Off camera lighting does make a hell of a difference.

2. Don’t Be A Post-Snob. You don’t need to edit the absolute crap out of the photos- in fact that would be advised against. But just touch them up. There is no reason to only upload your photos as is. They really don’t look as great as you think they do.

3. No Photo Vomit. If you’re shooting an event, you don’t need to produce every single shot you have. Chances are you’re going to have several shots that look exactly the same. Narrow that down to the best one. If you have a photo that can’t be fixed, dump it and move on. Your end result should not be hundreds of photos unless that is what is explicitly requested of you. Nobody is going to sit there and look at that many photos.

4. That Cliche Thing About the Photographer Making the Photo and Not the Camera.  They always say that it’s not about the equipment, it’s about how well you use it. And I’ve always been curious about it… but it really is true. Sure better equipment is required to do the job you need and I’m not saying you shouldn’t save for it. But I have a lower end DSLR at the moment and still can make good compositions with it. A great shot is a great shot, keep that in mind.

5. Be Smart About Your Watermark. I hate watermarks. But I also hate seeing my photo on someone else’s page and not seeing my name anywhere near it. So if you’re going to make a watermark… make it subtle, make it legible, and move on. It doesn’t need to be fancy and it should certainly not be obnoxious. So just be careful with your watermark.

6. Don’t Go Off The Cheap End. Photography is an expensive hobby. It just is. If you want to get the most of your gear do look for deals, but DO NOT buy cheap gear. I bought a lighting set for super cheap thinking I was getting a great deal once. You know what happened? The shoot-through umbrella already has a hole in it and the light stand has toppled over, breaking one of my remote flash receivers. I’m honestly lucky I didn’t break the flash. Invest in better gear… just do it.

7. Cut the Cliche. If something is overdone it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try it. Dear God have I experimented with the done and overdone. But don’t stick to it. It’s tacky. Stop.

8. Use Your “Lunch Time Counter Voice”.  I work at a fast food restaurant. And often times when it is crowded I will perch myself at my register and shout “may I help who’s next in line?” This is something I am actually still having trouble applying to MY photography, but do practice it for yourself. Speak up, don’t be shy.

So far this is what I’ve learned. And I shall continue posting my advice as I pick it up.

Thanks for reading. If you liked my post hit follow to geek out with me every week!

-J

Meeting My New Baby

 

Did I scare you? Hehe. No I didn’t have a secret baby. On Saturday I got to play with my new baby, (which isn’t fully mine until Christmas) my Canon EOS Rebel T3.
James and I were supposed to go downtown to shoot pictures and visit the Planetarium. We heard it would rain on and off all day so we ended up staying close to home and shot a forest preserve instead. The weather ended up holding up so we could have gone.  RAAAGE.  But oh well, I still got to play around with the camera.  We’re gonna try for this Saturday for our downtown trip and I can’t wait.  I love goin on dates, especially shooting dates, with my love.
And I get to see my  baby one more time before she goes back into the box to be wrapped up for Christmas.
So anyway the rest are here… hope you like.

♥Jessi Michelle