Is Bartending School a Waste of Time and Money?

At twenty three years old, I have held more than my fair share of jobs. Among these, however, the best has, without a doubt, been my career as a bartender. I love being a bartender. It is an extremely fun job that allows me to meet myriads of interesting people and get to know all about their fascinating lives. These are just some of the reasons that bartending is such a rewarding career. This is why when people ask me if they should start a career in bartending, I always encourage them. I love this job and I want other people to have the chance to love it too. However, when people begin asking me about going to Bartending School, I am less enthusiastic.

Some people think that in order to be successful, they need to take some bartending courses at a bar school. Here, they will shell out a large chunk of change to bartending schools in exchange for few classes about the difference between rum and gin. There are some schools for bartending that make it seem like these bartending classes are absolutely essential to getting hired by a bar. I am here to tell you not to buy into it. When you come across an enticing ad placed by a bar school, just walk away. Going to bartending school is simply waste of money ninety percent of the time. I did not attend a bartending school and my career is flourishing.

Most vendors will not require you to attend a bartending school. Typically, taking bartending classes is only required by large hotels or casinos. If the job you are applying for does not require a bar course, then you should not spend your hard earned money to attend bartending school. Some places of business may only require a bartending license, while others only require that the bartenders be at least twenty one.

It is important to do your research when trying to get a job as a bartender. Knowing what is required of you ahead of time looks professional to the bar manager and makes you appear like a reliable hire. All it takes is five minutes to look up your states required bartending laws on an internet search engine. Then you will know if you need to attend a bartending school or get a state issued license.

Not everything a bartender needs to know can be acquired through bartending schools. Aside from possessing knowledge about alcohol and being able to work in a fast pace environment, a bartender needs to have good people skills. One of the bartender’s main responsibilities is to communicate with the patrons. Some of this involves more knowledge on the bartender’s side than what can be taught in a bar school. One needs to know all of the relevant information pertaining to the best entertainment spots in town, the nearest hotel or knowing the number for the taxi cab company. Being able to entertain is also vital and every bartender should have a few jokes or anecdotes in their back pocket at all time to be able to recite at the drop of a hat. If working in a sports bar, always be up to date on the goings on in the athletic world.

Even more important than knowing how to communicate with patrons is knowing how to listen to them. Listening without interjecting is perhaps the most important skill that a bartender can possess. There is not a bar course, or any course for that matter, that can teach a person how to be a good listener.

Starting out in the world of bartending may be difficult. It is not the easiest industry to break into. This discourages some people into thinking that schools for bartending are their only option if they want to get ahead. Bartending schools thrive off of this kind of attitude and push the belief that in order to get hired, a bar course, if not several bartending classes should be taken. The even try to push refresher bartending courses on bartending veterans who know better.

The best way to start out in the bartending field is not going to Bartending School. Instead, networking is crucial. The most proactive first step is to apply to places that constantly cycle through their bar staff. Many restaurants and smaller hotel bars have a regular rotation of bartenders and bar backs. It would be best to start off as a bar back and eventually work your way up the ladder.

Another good step is to look into the bars that you, personally, frequent as a customer. Become one of their regular patrons and build a relationship with the other bartenders, the managers or even the bar owner. If you hit it off well, eventually mention that you would like to begin bartending and ask if they need any help. Because they are familiar with you, they may feel better about hiring you. This is also a good way to find out about the requirements for the job beforehand directly from people who work there. Find out if you need to attend Bartending School. This may change your mind about working there. Why waste money on bartending courses just to work at one particular place?

What you will come to learn is that most small bars work like families and everyone becomes very close. Like families, they take care of one another. I should know. After all, I am a bar manager. I worked my way from bar back to running the bar and not once did I think to attend Bartending School. I learned early on that networking and relationships were the key to success and the schools for bartending only wanted my money.

Photo Birth Announcements

The birth of a baby is a joyous event in a family, and proud parents are eager to inform their near and dear ones about the arrival of a new family member. This is generally done through the conventional media as well as digital networks. The announcement includes a photograph of the newborn. Parents merely send a photograph to the company, choose from the alternatives presented, and will be given an email proof in a few days.

Several companies incorporate the photographs in envelopes; others forward them by email. Some photo birth declarations are magnetic, and smaller in size. If a baby’s birth corresponds to a holiday, parents may combine a holiday card and birth announcement. It could, for instance, proclaim a baby’s birth as “our Christmas blessing.”

Most photo birth declaration companies give one an option between parchment, linen or textured cardstock. An individual can procure matte or gloss polishes for the photo, and can opt for a portrait or a full-body photograph. Several companies will also change the color photo to black and white, if it is the desired preference.

Prices differ considerably, depending on the alternatives one decides upon. A number of companies will devise the card, but one must take it to a photo lab to have it printed.

Parents ought to preserve digital pictures in the maximum resolution that their camera supports and transmit them to the photo birth proclamation company in .jpg or .tif format. A copyright announcement form endorsed by the photographer must supplement photographs clicked by an expert birth photographer.

Interested individuals must evaluate choices and estimates among the scores of companies offering photo birth declaration services on the Internet.

Maternity Portrait Photography

Maternity portrait photography is a wonderful way to document your journey into motherhood photographs, especially when you choose a photography package that includes both maternity and newborn portrait photos. Most parents have hundreds of photos of their little ones, but few have a set of professional pregnancy portraits, despite those nine months being such an important time in any mother and father’s life. Some women don’t feel confident enough to have a photos taken when they’re pregnant, or simply don’t think about having a maternity photoshoot until it’s too late! But no matter how shy or nervous you are about getting in front of the camera with your baby bump, an experienced portrait photographer will be able to put your fears at rest and coax a beautiful, natural pose out of you!

Your maternity photographer will help you to try a variety of poses to really show off your blooming and blossoming figure, and there are many different post-production effects that can be applied to your images to make your photos truly unique. You don’t have to pose alone, either! Why not include your partner or your other children, if you have them, for a family photoshoot before and after your birth? Props, accessories and different clothing can also be used to give a variety of textures and colours, and if you’re feeling really brave, why not try a semi-nude maternity photoshoot?

The lovely thing about maternity photography is that you can replicate your poses once baby is here in a newborn shoot, replacing your bump with your gorgeous new baby! The continuity of using the same photographer means you can come away with a set of portrait photographs that match and complement each other in their style and setup. Many photographers offer special deals for expecting mothers, which include a maternity photoshoot, a newborn photoshoot and even the option of further sittings to document your growing baby’s journey.

The best way to approach your pregnancy portrait photography is to dress comfortably, ensure you’re well hydrated and make sure you find poses and positions that feel natural for you. Bring along your partner or a friend who is sure to make you laugh and smile – a good portrait photographer will also do their best to make you feel at ease and often it’s the unposed, candid photos that really capture your natural beauty and happiness.

When looking for a¬†maternity photographer, word-of-mouth recommendation is always the best way to judge, and make sure you look through a photographer’s portfolio or website so that you can get an idea of their style and approach. It’s also a pertinent idea to check exactly how many prints you will receive with your photoshoot, and how much extra prints and frames will cost, so you are able to budget accordingly. Celebrate your pregnancy as well as your baby’s arrival with a maternity photoshoot and flaunt that bump!

Secrets In Choosing The Right Style Of Wedding Photography On Your Wedding Day

What is Wedding Photography?

For most couples, this may sound an odd question to ask, most would answer that wedding photography is the kind of photography done during weddings. That is partly correct. But that over simplifies the meaning of wedding photography. The art of wedding photography has change tremendously in the past twenty years. Today it may even have a different meaning for each couple.

In the past, wedding photographers are technicians behind a black box almost mystical that very few would even try to operate it. Back then, wedding couples are hiring wedding photographers to produce wedding pictures of their big day. It is to simply record the event. And the one they chose might be doing six weddings a day.

In 2010, almost all wedding guests have their own digital camera that could produce well-exposed pictures at very minimal cost. What it means is that the professional wedding photographers must have something more to offer to their wedding couples. At the same time, the digital revolution also allowed wedding photographers the new technologies to offer something different. This is one of the reasons why wedding photography has improved compared to what it was years ago. It also attracted people who would never venture into wedding photography if not for the new technology of digital photography. Wedding photographers who at their prime offer beautiful and stunning photos that record the wedding in an artistic and narrative, sometimes evocative and most of the time in a flattering manner.

But it also means that being a wedding photographer today; one has to be able to offer something not seen before. True to the complexities of wedding photography today, it would not be true anymore that all wedding photographers are the same and that all wedding couples desire the same kind of photography.

Here is a Guide to Photographic Methods

The good thing about the Internet is it makes it easy to research the work of a big number of wedding photographers. Check some photographers’ website and you will be amazed by the different photographic styles.

Reportage photography is also known as documentary or photojournalism photography; it is best described to have an approach which simply covers and document the event without directing the wedding couple or its guests. Instead it tries to capture the event as it happens in the most natural and creative way possible.

Traditional wedding photography is use to describe the old fashioned way of lining up the wedding couple, their guests and family for traditional photos.

Contemporary wedding photography can be described as glossy which can be trendier than traditional wedding photography.

My humble advice is to look beyond the labels of wedding photography. It can be more confusing than being helpful in deciding which kind of wedding photography suites you as a wedding couple. Another reason is that the style often times is a combination of several photography styles anyway. Third, it implies that wedding photographers offer just one style of photography during their wedding coverage.

In reality, weddings offer a chance for wedding photographers to show different photography styles. Wedding photographers sometimes just can’t ask the couple to move to a spot where there is a better light during the wedding ceremony. Also, it is quite often that couples expect to have formal photographs which show them at their best. Even the most modern weddings will require having traditional and formal family shots.

Many photographers excel in one style of wedding photography and emphasize their skill and it may even be part of their marketing strategy. Some would describe their kind of wedding photography as a mix of classical and modern. It may be a mix of reportage and contemporary. It is quite necessary to have a time with the wedding couple wherein they will be directed to be at their best. It will give them the kind of photographs that can be described as fine art. The limited time of weddings make it important for wedding photographer to be a good director.

Choosing Your Photographer

For couples, the best way would be to decide which wedding photographer is right for you is to decide together what kind of wedding pictures you expect You may want something traditional which means you like a professional account of the wedding day without having too much interruptions.

You may be a photography enthusiast as well, and desire to have a creative set of wedding pictures. You may be looking at high end and contemporary photography style.

Once you both as a couple decide on what type of wedding photographs you desire, you can start examining different galleries of photography for quality. Be warned that galleries represent the best work of photographers, so it is quite important to see a sample of a whole wedding to be sure of consistency.

Awards of excellence can help you decide which photographer could be best suited for your wedding. A membership to well know professional body is also something to consider.

It is of utmost importance that you as a wedding couple can communicate with the photographer and have the rapport to be able to share your wedding photography goals. As much as photography style is an important factor, you and your wedding guests would expect to have a high level of professionalism, organization and experience on your wedding day. Finally you need to consider the wedding packages being offered by the photographer.

Budgeting For Photography

There is no such thing as an appropriate budget for weddings. What can be more helpful is the percentage in terms of value to the total wedding cost.

Professional wedding photography will be what will define the memories of your wedding day. You are going to entrust a photographer to use his skills to document your wedding as if it was taken through your eyes. Discuss with your wedding planner what you think is the best budget for your wedding photography. A good wedding planner would be able to help you with the right budget and if you need to allocate more to get the kind of photography you desire.

The price of a good wedding photographer sometimes comes as a surprise to wedding couples. But quality wedding photography comes at a price. The better skilled a photographer is the higher the fees he can command. One should note that it is not a one day event for wedding photographers but it takes days to plan, shoot the wedding, and spend time on post processing the images and designing the wedding album Ultimately you as a couple must have to make the final decision on how important having a high quality of wedding photographer and if it the price is worth paying for.

SEO Ripoff and How to Avoid Getting Ripped Off

You want SEO services but who can you trust to provide quality services?

How do you avoid getting ripped off?

We have seen it all with SEO and the truth is scary. There are big SEO companies all over like a plague and many are fly by night operations with little or no real world SEO experience. There is also an abundance of inexperienced individual scammers out there that have no real world SEO experience or knowledge in SEO but they have fooled many people and businesses that don’t know any better.

We have had businesses come to us, after being ripped off by so called SEO experts, seeking help.

One example is a new client that hired us and contacted us on a 3 way phone call so we could listen to what the BIG SEO company was offering to do. The SEO firm promised to make my client #1 on organic Google searches and stated they have special and secret relationship with Google. OK this sounds amazing but the fact of the matter is THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE and this SEO firm tried to rip another company off.

To make things more interesting I called the SEO firm on my own and spoke to the same salesman I spoke to earlier via a 3 way phone call and picked his brain to see where the conversation would go. This so called Web Master told me each SEO expert they employ is responsible for managing the SEO for over 100 client websites because they are so awesome!

I also asked them about Google AdWords which is something I also have extensive knowledge and experience with. I wanted to know how much do they charge to manage a small & simple Google AdWords accountant and they told me they charge per click instead of a flat rate to just manage the online marketing campaign. Not that I would ever consider outsourcing anything to them or anybody else, I was curious. I know and believe in the old saying if you want something done right do it yourself but that’s not so easy in these types of situations for people with no background or understanding of how SEO and the internet work.

OK that’s just another way they choose to bill for a specific service and there is nothing wrong with that but when I asked how much do they charge for every click and they said $50. I researched the specific key words involved and Google wasn’t charging more than $5, yes five bucks, for the specific keywords we talked about.

Talk about serious price gouging! And what is really sad, is many businesses fall for these types of scams because they don’t know any better or don’t know who to turn to for quality and sound advice.

Not only did this SEO firm promise things that are impossible to guarantee, they demonstrated they are not capable of delivering the one on one attention to detail that is necessary to deliver quality SEO services, and their prices for shoddy work is way over priced. Now I am not saying good SEO comes cheap, because good SEO is very time consuming and requireds a lot of hard work, dedication, knowledge and, most importantly, real world SEO experience.

So how do you find a good SEO consultant anyways?

That’s a tough question to answer because good SEO expert marketing consultants are usually very busy catering to their clients and know firsthand that good SEO requires paying serious attention to detail, and managing the SEO for 100 websites is a bad idea for just one SEO consultant.

PICK UP THE PHONE and call him or her.

The first thing you should be asking for is to meet the SEO consultant in person – face to face for a consultation. If they are not willing to meet you in person then STOP and keep looking.

What if the SEO consultant is not near you, IE another state?

Now things are different and meeting them in person is not so reasonable, but that’s ok.

You can have a phone consultation and ask important questions.

Not every SEO consultant will meet you in person for free, and there may be good reason for this. They are very talented individuals and their time is very valuable and most don’t want to deal with tire kickers – you know, the potential clients that ask endless questions seeking free advice, then never spend a dime.

After you get that out of the way, ask to see some websites that the SEO consultant is responsible for. Ask to see natural – organic searches that bring up the websites. If the SEO guru can show you this and demonstrate their talent then you are on the right track to SEO success.

Other questions to ask are how much do they charge? And what will they do for X amount of dollars? If the SEO consultant tells you they have special connections with Google or they own thousands of websites that can drive traffic to your website then WALK AWAY NOW!

Other things to verify which you can do yourself are.

Is the SEO consultant a real business?

How long have they been in business?

Do they have any professional references?

Do they have their phone number on their own website? Or do they only communicate via email?

MOST IMPORTANTLY, are they located within the United States?

NEVER EVER under any circumstances hire a SEO consultant that does not reside in the United States for obvious reasons. Lack of communication skills, lack of legal – laws to protect you as a consumer, lack of quality support. Nothing is worse than being transferred to India when you need help fast.

At the lease try to use common sense when in doubt and understand good SEO isn’t cheap.

The old catch phrase I live by is cheap is not good and good is not cheap.

This doesn’t mean just because the SEO consultant isn’t cheap that he or she is good.

Now before you sign any contract or agree to a deal, find and pay a good business lawyer to review the contract to make sure you completely understand what the contract states and ask the business lawyer to clarify anything you may not understand. Spending a few hundred dollars to have a business lawyer review and edit the contract if necessary may save you thousands of dollars and prevent you from signing a bad contract.

In conclusion you now know what to look for, what to ask and how to weed out the SEO scammers that are out there.

GOOD LUCK with your quest for high quality SEO services!

We Treat You Fairly When We Buy Houses

Let’s face it: investors have a reputation sometimes for being predatory in their selling methodologies and in the way they approach people. Perhaps this is because investors have a quota for sales to meet regularly, so they feel pressured to sell homes and other real estate properties as quick as they can to the nearest available buyer. But what if the investor approaches you with this offer: “we treat you fairly when we buy houses”? Would you be startled? Of course! What a switch, we might say – they not only want to buy your home, but they promise to treat you fairly!

Well, believe it or not, there are really investors who promise fair treatment to all who listen to their marketing spiel “we buy houses for quick cash” which as of late has been transformed to “we treat you fairly when we buy houses”. Not only will such investors offer to buy your home regardless of the amount of equity remaining in it, or the condition it is in, but they promise to make the process of selling your home as painless as possible, because “we buy houses for quick cash”. Cash money talks and it talks big in the real estate industry, where homes can be put up on the market for a long time yet merit no more than a few cursory visits by tepid potential buyers. If your investor tells you “we buy houses for quick cash“, that is nothing to laugh at. That is actually a boon for you – particularly if you need cash money badly.

Some investors will even go as far as finding the appropriate financing for future buyers of the homes that they have on their roster. So “we buy houses for quick cash” later turns into ads stating “we sell affordable homes, and may even provide financing for you”. Appropriate financing is a must for people who are on a fixed income, are starting out in their respective careers, who must juggle other financial responsibilities (like car payments) in addition to buying a new house; or are still getting their education. These investors who tell you “we buy houses for quick cash” will later tell the public “we sell homes at affordable prices” – because basically that is how they make a living. If you are looking for an affordable home, consider buying a second-hand home (meaning one that has been lived in by another family or couple before) because it costs less, and may have the features that you are looking for.

It is always hard finding someone you can trust (in any business actually.) But don’t go around thinking that all investors are out to get you. There are still good eggs in the bunch who will grant you a good deal (whether you are buying or selling a piece of property.) So look for investors who will not only tell you “we buy houses for quick cash” but also follow up that statement with “and we will treat you fairly when we buy houses”.

Emergency Garage Door Repair Services

Don’t underestimate the importance of an operating garage door – that is why you will most likely need to contact a garage door repair service as soon as possible when your garage is not working as expected. After all, garages are also entrances to our homes and at the same time they make up half of the house’s structure.

Every time a garage breaks down, it is important that homeowners recognize the importance of garage door repairs. Garage door repairs should not be chosen haphazardly. Locating a company that offers a garage service is actually easy- the tricky thing is selecting one that can provide you with the best professional service. After all, not everyone can do the repair.

The best resource to find garage door repair companies and also reviews about their craft is by browsing on the internet. You will find all of the contact information you need as well as reviews from customers. If you don’t have the internet, the phone book is one way to get by. You will see that some local garage repair companies do not have websites to market their services but have cheaper costs instead.

When selecting the right company for you, you may want to check out the company’s size and manpower. This can also include the company’s ability to do round the clock emergency checks – this is important especially since unexpected situations can arise. If your door will need a lot of work, you might want to consider package deals or tune ups.

When shopping for repair service, check if the company also sends technicians and a service truck. You might not have the adequate tools in your shed and this will also help avoid further delays. Also, take in to consideration the knowledge of the technician. You should look for businesses that have certified technicians. The technicians should also have the experience required to properly repair a garage.

Choosing a licensed and insured garage door repair service will be a sensible choice. This will give you quick and good repairs as well as great workmanship. You also want to make sure the company provides a warranty on their repairs and parts. This will make sure that your fixes are covered. If your garage fails a short time after the repair, the company will come back and fix it at no cost; or if they replace your damaged garage door part with another damaged part, they will bring you a new part and replace the damaged one at no cost.

For Arlington TX garage door repair click here.

Top Tips on Choosing the Best Chiropractor

Before starting chiropractic treatment, it is a good idea to arrange a telephone interview or ask for an in-office consultation to learn more about the chiropractor, the clinic, and the techniques offered. Sometimes, the chiropractor will request a personal consultation to discuss such details.

For most people seeking chiropractic care, it is important to feel comfortable and have a good relationship with the chiropractor and the clinic. This can go a long way in gaining a positive treatment experience. Consider the things that would make you feel most comfortable and use these as part of your judgment. This may mean how long you have to wait for appointments, how easy it is to get hold of your chiropractor or the location of the clinic.

Answering your own questions is also a crucial part in the decision process. Some things you may want to consider asking include:
Is the chiropractor friendly and polite?
Do you feel comfortable talking with the chiropractor?
Does the chiropractor fully answer all of your questions?
Does the chiropractor listen to your explanation of symptoms and treatment preferences?
How many years has the chiropractor been in practice?

If it makes you feel more comfortable, you may also want to conduct some background research on the chiropractor. It is your body; you can take as long as you need to decide on which chiropractor will be treating you.

Selecting a health care professional is something that should be done with care. Do not feel under any obligation to be treated by the first chiropractor you interview – some patients speak to several chiropractors before finding one best suited to treat their problems.

Remember that the chiropractor’s role is to recommend the recommended course of care for you, and it is your decision whether or not to accept those recommendations. You should never feel like a chiropractor is pressuring you into a treatment or payment decision.

Before selecting a chiropractor, you should be aware that there are many different chiropractic techniques. Some chiropractors perform joint manipulation with their hands only, while others use various instruments. Also, some chiropractors use quick but firm manipulation, while others have a lighter technique. Think about the kind of techniques you prefer. Do you like the immediate feeling of relief after the “joint popping” type of spinal manipulation or do you prefer something a little more subtle?

The more you know your own requirements, the better you will be able to choose a suitable chiropractor.

Some questions you may want to ask include:

Which chiropractic techniques does the chiropractor use and why? Most chiropractors are experienced in a range of techniques and will choose the one or ones best suited to the patient and his or her condition.

Does the chiropractor use his or her hands or an instrument for the chiropractic manipulation?

Will the chiropractor listen to your preferred techniques and work a treatment plan around that?

When choosing an Austin, TX chiropractor, the bottom line is that the better the relationship between you both, the better the outcome of the treatment. So take your time, absorb the facts, and make sure you are happy with the decisions you make.

Photography Poses – The Missing Ingredient

You’ve read all the “best digital camera” articles, got the best price on your first digital camera, and even glanced at its owner’s manual. Are you itching to take some shots of your family, or what?

Slow down, soldier. Before you take 200 shots that seem great at the time, but then upon review of the final picture are less than what you expected, let’s prepare. Prepare?!?! I’ll bet you thought charging the battery was the hardest part of taking great photos, didn’t you? Sorry to disappoint you, but if you want to improve your photo results 50% in 2 minutes, let’s review some basic advice of the pros.

There are two categories of GENERAL ADVICE which applies, regardless of whether you’re using a digital camera to take family portrait poses, baby pictures, pet portraits, group pictures, funny photos, or even maternity portraits. The first category is…

“Good Planning” Advice for Photography Poses

1) Prepare For The Event

Prepare for the event by thinking about every photograph you want to take and what kind of photography pose or poses you would like to capture. Consider who, where, how, and the type of environment.

2) Take Multiple Photographs

Take multiple shots of each pose (remember, digital memory is reusable, a.k.a. “free”). Regardless of what you say or do, people will blink. And don’t count on spotting small problems on the tiny camera LCD screen (even on full magnification); which leads to…

3) Check LCD Screen

Check the digital camera’s LCD screen for general framing of the picture, any movement, visibility of faces, and the histogram. Note that you can think up a fantastic family photography poses; arrange everyone perfectly; and, have the photograph “frozen” (no blinking, and no shaking of the camera)…but, when you check it out in the LCD, you see 2 drunks fighting in the background! And, my favorite…

4) Funny Phrases

Have some funny phrases handy to use just before you take the photo. Don’t use it when setting up for the shot. And, don’t use the same phrase all the time. Throw in funny anecdotes, phrases, names, words that you know your family will find more amusing than “cheese.” A natural smile looks four times better than a fake one. The second category is…

“Location” Advice for Photography Poses

Taking indoor family photography, is very different than outdoor family photograph (duh!). For INDOOR pictures…

1) Wide Angle

You will tend to use the wide angle more often than your telephoto setting. Pay particular attention to your “end people” (those farthest to the right and the left in your viewfinder), and verify there is enough space in picture, so that if cropping is required, the end people don’t have to lose a limb.

2) The Flash

Flash considerations are critical. Do not be outside your “flash range.” For example, if at ISO 100, your flash can properly illuminate 12 feet, don’t attempt any photography pose that requires anyone to stand at 14 feet (unless, of course, it’s evil cousin Ira who you want to appear in darkness).

3) Plan “B”

If you need to be further away than your flash allows, here are 2 things you can try…First, increase the ISO setting (but not so much as to produce to much noise), or second, move to a significantly brighter location.

4) Watch Your Background

If there are distracting features, change your settings to blur the background (see the Techniques page). The best photography pose in the world won’t look right with a distracting background. And finally…

5) Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall

If there are mirrors or reflective surfaces in the background and you can’t find a different location, only take the picture in such a way that the flash is not perpendicularto the surface, but at an angle (unless you want a nice photo of your flash).

Outdoor family photography has completely different issues. For OUTDOOR photography…

6) The Sun

Avoid photographing in direct sunlight, or in mixed light and shade, especially faces. Optimal lighting results from a slightly overcast sky.

7) Shade

When photographing in shade, use fill-flash (see terms) when necessary. And, really finally…

8) Beauty

If practical, take the picture at one of the beautiful natural settings near you. Imagine the result of a creative photography pose captured in a stunning environment. Can you say: “Over the mantle!”?

Saunas and Infrared Saunas

When I think of a sauna, I think of luxury resorts, hotels, gyms and holidays abroad. Now, with the help of new technology, you can have an infrared saunas in your very own home, bringing this luxury pastime into your dwelling abode. The Finns have long made saunas a tradition and continue to uphold this culture where there is one sauna to every 2.6 people: that’s 2,000,000 saunas for a population of 5,255,580 (2005). Considering the number of televisions the Finns have is 1.92 million (1995 est.) and the number of telephones is 2.5 million (1995 est.), saunas certainly have their place in the Finnish culture. Saunas are extremely relaxing, they’re good for the health and they are a place for families, that’s why they have become such a big part in Finnish culture.

Pre-cut or Pre-assembled Infrared Sauna

Infrared saunas are manufactured in all shapes and sizes for the tastes and styles of all customers. The infrared sauna can arrive at your house pre-built in the form of sauna kits and they can also come in panel form, bespoke for your room requirements. The ease of installation of the infrared sauna kits has made it a popular choice amongst sauna buyers. Installation of an infrared sauna from a kit is just a matter of slotting the sides together, putting the roof on and plugging it in. One can go from infrared sauna parts in a box to a fully built infrared sauna in 20 minutes!

Indoor or Outdoor Infrared Sauna

After you have decided what type of infrared sauna you want, the next step is to decide the location. First it is important to use a shower to rinse off after using the infrared sauna therefore it is useful to have one near the infrared sauna. You also have the option of having the infrared sauna inside or outside. Outside infrared saunas are constructed and treated differently to indoor infrared saunas.

Infrared Sauna Woods

Another choice you may have to face, depending on the infrared sauna company you use is the type of wood you want for your infrared sauna. Infrared sauna wood can come in many varieties including hemlock, spruce, cedar, redwood and aspen. Each of these woods are available in different varieties and colours, leaving the sauna buyer with a healthy selection to choose from. These woods absorb the steam from the evaporated water in the saunas and the temperature of the sauna wood remains relatively cool, giving the bather a relaxing experience, not getting burnt in the infrared sauna. Cedar wood is hardy, resistant to decay, good in harsh weather conditions, aromatic and is pleasing to the eye. Traditional Finnish saunas are made from Nordic white spruce which has a white tone and small knots. Pine and domestic spruce are not of the same quality as Nordic white spruce as the woods have knots which are larger and more susceptible to drying and fall out over time.


Infrared saunas are a long term addition to your home. When making a purchasing decision, take into consideration all the factors previously mentioned. The worst thing that could happen is to buy an infrared sauna which you are not pleased with. Make sure what you’re buying is what you want; after all, infrared saunas are for relaxing.

For infrared sauna parts in Canada click here.