My top 3 social media writing tools

With social media being one of the main ways for people to share and keep in touch with others, now more than ever creators need to learn how to write engaging content.

As a content creator myself I know that having tools can be tremendously helpful when it comes to creating content. Having strong social media tools can help cut down on time and create high-quality content that will aid in creating a strong online presence for you.

So without further ado, here are my top 3 social media writing tools that can be super helpful in the content creation process:

Grammarly

One of the most important aspects of creating engaging copy for social media is to make sure that your grammar and spelling are correct. Grammarly is a free online writing assistant that helps you write clearly and effectively by pointing out areas of improvement within your copy.

And if you upgrade to their premium plan you The best part is that Grammarly can be used across all devices to help you with text messages, emails, and blog or social posts. It’s such a great resource that I’m even using it to write this very blog post!

Planoly

Not only is creating high-quality copy that is free of grammatical errors important, but it’s also important to know when and where your copy is going to go. This is why I love Planoly as it helps with exactly that.

Planoly is a web dashboard that allows you to view your content, organize your posts, and schedule for the future. Planoly is also an official partner of Instagram and Pinterest so you know your content is safe and sound!

Plagiarism Checker

In the world of writing and blog posts, we can’t be consciously or subconsciously take the work of other creators and pass it off as our own without proper citations. This is why having a plagiarism checker can be very helpful for social media writing.

Being able to run your final copy through this checker can help you create unique and engaging content that comes from you and only you!

And there you have it friends, my top 3 favorite tools for creating engaging copy on social media. I hope that you get a chance to check out these wonderful resources and that they can help you create an easy and seamless social media writing experience!

Do you have a go-to tool for using social media? Share about it in the comments below!

Reviving the world of analog with a good hit

If you’re an 80’s baby or even a 90’s baby like me, your childhood is filled with all the nostalgic memories of Polly pockets, power rangers, and playing Pacman at your local pizza place.

But one of the most prevalent memories that you might have is how technology developed so quickly when we were kids, especially with entertainment. Sometimes I reminisce on the good old days when we used to stay up late playing Super Mario Brothers on our Super Nintendo and getting frustrated when I couldn’t get Mario flying for longer than a couple of seconds.

One thing that hasn’t changed with technology is its ability to go wonky on us at times. Back in the day, whenever our old television would start to get weird lines running through it, all it took was a good wack across the top to make it right as rain. And I know you all remember blowing on all those old Super Nintendo or Gameboy cartridges when your game was acting up!

Maker:S,Date:2017-8-22,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-ve

Nowadays, it seems with how sleek and thin our electronics have become, giving them a nice good thwap is out of the question. I can’t even imagine trying to slap my phone or blow into the charging port without cringing. I might as well toss my phone off a bridge because I’m sure it would have a better chance of surviving.

Now, you’re probably wondering why we’ve taken a trip down memory lane to remember how we use to slap around our electronics. And that’s because sometimes, while not always recommended, all your old antique electronics need is a nice thwap to survive and keep up in our modern-day world.

As film photographers, we are constantly using old cameras that have long been out of production. And this can get tricky as our access to purchasing and refurbishing older cameras is getting scarce. A few years ago I found myself stumbling upon a goldmine when I found a collection of film cameras, film stocks, and lenses at a garage sale near my home. Like any film fanatic, I purchased everything within a heartbeat and rushed home to test out my new exciting purchase.

I sat in the middle of my office floor, unpacking all of the old lenses and cameras that I had just scored. Everything was covered in dust, showcasing that it all had been sitting on a shelf for ages. I was going to be the one to give these babies a second chance at life!

I quickly devoured the instruction manual and pulled out a fresh roll of film, loading it into the camera. I pulled the camera up to my face, focused my lens, and pressed the butter button… only to have it jam into place. I tried to press the stick shutter button again with no luck. I couldn’t believe it. This camera had such a good future ahead of it, how dare it give out on me before I could even have a chance to let it shine!

It was in a flurry of frustration, obscenities launching from my mouth that I aggressively slapped the camera into my palm. And I didn’t just slap it once… oh no. This rusty camera got a good couple of wacks just like my mom gave me when I was a kid and stuck a moth in my sister’s hair as payback for stealing my clothes.

And magically, as if beating it against my hand was enough to revive this ancient camera back to life, the shutter clicked into place with a loud mechanical noise. I sat there dumbfounded for a second before pressing the shutter button repeatedly, grinning like a fool as the shutter coughed and sputtered back to life. I had done it, I had revived this camera and it was now my very own monster and I was Frankenstein.

Fast forward a few years and despite the tumultuous start to our relationship, this camera has remained my tried and true. You can even read my review on the Pentax A3000 here! I am its number one fan, sticky shutter and all. Despite this film camera hiccup, it’s still a reminder of how much I adore shooting film. The world of analog might be covered in dust but all it needs is to be pulled from the shelf and given a good hard wack to bring it back to life!

Have you ever had a wonky experience with a film camera before? Share your story in the comments below!

3 reasons why every photographer should try analog

Like most artists, one of the greatest aspects of your work is the medium that you choose to create it on. In the photography community, it seems like over the past several years there has been a surge of photographers who have started shooting with film. Whether going 100% to film or finding a hybrid approach, there is no denying that film photography is making a strong comeback and could be here to stay.

Over the past 10 years of being a photographer, I can confidently say that using film has been a pivotal area of growth for me as a business owner and an artist. Shooting film made me a better photographer! Because of how much it impacted my life, I strongly believe that anyone who calls themselves a photographer should attempt to shoot with film at least once during their artistic journey!

In this post, I am sharing my top three reasons why I firmly believe every photographer should venture into the magical world of film and refine their artistic craft by learning analog photography. Now. let’s jump into the top three reasons!


Reason 1: Create strong images straight from the camera

This can be one of the scariest parts of starting film photography. If you’re a digital camera user, it can be shocking to go from checking your images on the camera screen after every shot to shooting “blindly” with film. But I will stand by my thoughts that using film can help you become a more confident photographer as it teaches you to get your images right in camera as opposed to relying on the digital back of your DSLR. This process of learning to master your images in-camera helps with shooting digital too, making for an easier editing experience during post-process!

Reason 2: Better image highlights and shadows

One of my favorite aspects of analog photography is the beautiful way that film retains highlights and shadows. So often when shooting with a digital camera, I find that I lose the beautiful details within my client’s facial expressions and clothing. But with film, it is much more forgiving when shooting in high contrast or high sun situations, making film a great choice to try when keeping small minute details is important! No more being afraid to shoot in the afternoon bright sunlight!

Reason 3: Minimal post-processing

And lastly, my third reason for why every photographer should try film at least once is for the minimal amount of post-processing that comes with shooting film photography. Most digital photographers know the process of importing all their images into Photoshop or Lightroom after a shoot and the various amount of hours it can take to perfect your images. With film, all you need is a few tweaks to your contrast and brightness to perfect your image. No more hours spent in Lightroom are needed with film. And the fun part is every film stock gives you a different look so there is a lot of room for experimentation!

I hope this post was helpful and convinces all my photographer friends to give film a try!

Have you shot with film photography before? Share your experiences in the comments below so we can all learn from one another!

Pentax A3000 Camera Review

I first stumbled on this camera at a yard sale last autumn. It was in a big bag with several other lenses, just sitting on top of a table. I ended up buying the camera and three lenses to go with it for only $30!

Technical Details

Pentax released the A3000 SLR camera in 1984. The camera features a K mount for its lenses and weighs in at 18.7 ounces. It takes two AA batteries and operates with manual focusing. (“Pentax A3”)

Currently, it looks like you can easily find the camera on eBay for around $75 to $90. When I purchased this camera, it came with the Pentax-A lens and a Tamron Macro lens.

As far as my photographing has gone, the original Pentax-A lens has stayed on the camera 100% of the time. In my opinion, the Pentax-A is so universal it’s the only lens you need with this camera.

Loading & Using the Camera

Like many other 35mm cameras, when you put a film roll into the film chamber, you line the film into the proper sprockets, close the back, press the shutter button, and the camera will do the rest.

However, once you’re finished shooting, you need to manually wind the film back into its canister by using the crank on the top of the camera. 

This camera’s main shooting mode is Aperture Priority (AE). This means that once you set the film’s ISO and the aperture on the lens, your camera will automatically find the correct shutter speed for proper exposure. (Cox, Spencer. “Everything You Need to Know about Aperture Priority Mode”) 

While some cameras have an unreliable internal light meter, I’ve found that this camera does a great job of getting the right exposure! Because this camera has a reliable light meter, it makes shooting fast-paced images effortless. I’ve found that photography sports or running children are easy and fun!

Pros & Cons

One of my favorite positives about this camera is how light it is to hold. I frequently will have a camera with me during every family gathering, trip, or activity. I can’t stand having things hang around my neck so I prefer to handhold all my cameras. This can get tiring, especially with the heavy film cameras in my collection like the Pentax 645N.

This hand-holding inevitably leads to my hands getting tired and then me stuffing my camera in a bag and forgetting about it, leading to a ton of missed pictures and opportunities. Because of how light the Pentax A3000 is, I have issues with letting it swing around my neck while I am out and about. It’s made for all my family events and everyday activities to be captured easily and effortlessly.

Now let’s get into the cons of this camera. Like most older film cameras, they don’t always work the way they should. When I first bought this camera, I had to mess around with it and warm it up to get some life into it again.

Even so, a lot of my first rolls of film would come back with random images where the camera’s shutter speed malfunctioned or went off on its own. It’s an older camera, and it will inevitably come with some wear and tear.

Summary

Overall, because of this camera’s easy functions and shooting mode, the Pentax A3000 would be a fantastic camera for beginners on their film journey. If you are searching for a simple and light 35mm film camera, I can’t recommend this camera enough! It’s been, my sidekick for the past few years.

What’s your favorite film camera? Tell me all about it in the comments below!

Why I shoot film photography

The first time I discovered film photography was my junior year in high school. I enrolled in a design and illustration class in Burlington, Vermont during the Autumn of 2006. I sat in the classroom with so many young artists as we were all handed old Minolta SRT 35mm film cameras and two rolls of black and white film. It was there in that big art room, surrounded by used art supplies, that I learned how to take pictures with a film camera.

Continue reading “Why I shoot film photography”
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