Instagram Influencer + Confidence

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Laura Luna

While I was very much aware of the world of Instagram models and the active influencers on the app, I never really paid much attention to it. I thought of Instagram as a place to post aspects of your life and occasionally, if you got lucky, you could even gain a few hundred or thousand followers. For a while I had the thought of Instagram as nothing more than just another app shoved into a folder on my homescreen just because everyone else had it too. What I didn’t know at the time, though, was that Instagram was way more than just a waste of time and with my love of fashion, I found out it was more than I gave it credit for. It would be an understatement to say I adore fashion. I love wearing clothes, shopping for it, making different combinations of outfits. I find clothes as a way to express yourself, your creativity, or even where you come from. Fashion can really say a lot about a person, I believe. Although fashion is what you would call my “thing”, I wasn’t as comfortable with it until I finally got into Instagram.

Yes, I did wear things that I liked and I did still see fashion and clothes as a form of expressing yourself but I wasn’t as confident in what I wore until recently. I used to be scared of wearing anything that could be deemed as different. I couldn’t bring myself to step outside of the box and actually wear something that I liked. Don’t get me wrong, I was still happy. But I wished I had more options in what I wore without being judged and my confidence overruled my fashion decisions. As I plunged into self consciousness, I discovered the different side of Instagram.

I saw people wearing the things that as I said were “different”. These people had confidence in what they did and wore. I wanted to become more like them and made my Instagram account. Although I still haven’t found enough confidence to wear more the edgier clothes, I’m slowly getting to it by gradually throwing in some spice to my everyday outfits. Through my discovery of the influencing part of Instagram, I was able to gain back some confidence and find out that the app isn’t just another app, but it’s also a career opportunity or a place to influence other and spread positivity. Hopefully, as my page continues to grow, I will send these messages of self confidence to other people who were once like me and they can see the good side of things.

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Gardening Indoors

As I’ve grown older I’ve realized 2 things: I don’t like sports, and I love gardening.  I simply realized this because I grew tired of sports, and then grew tired of being bored. Out of that boredom sprouted a new love! My love for gardening. My fiance was the first to interest me in it. My mother had always gardened, but probably thought it was too “girly” for her to even try to get me interested. I digress; my excitement at the discovery of my new passion was soon to be squelched by my own geography. the-village-green-covered-with-snow-woodstock-vermont-new-england-BG0704

yes the beautiful destructive power of winter killed my defenseless plants. Those who could survive in pots live on, but the rest alas… did not. But then an idea struck me. I didn’t really care all that much WHERE I grew my plants. So i decided to move my little operation into an indoor grow tent stocked with a 1500 Watt LED Light and a fan to keep my babies nice and cool from such a powerful light. Check this out to learn more about Indoor gardening! https://www.planetnatural.com/growing-indoors/

Growing plants indoors is not only a fun hobby for me, but it may also revolutionize the way we produce food, and possibly help end world hunger. With plants growing faster, stronger, and healthier without the unknown elements of the wild, the energy efficient LED growing system may change the world as we know it.

Winter Photgraphy’s Beauty

Post and Photo by Eric McMahon

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February 2, 2016

Photography has many things a person can do with it, so any pictures that can be taken and so many ways they can be portrayed. Just like any hobby, all people have a preference for what kind of photos they take. Wheather it would be with people, of animals, plants, the ocean, buildings and there are countless ways each picture can turn out. The photographer could take a picture of a building at dusk than at night and each would look good based off of when it was taken. The lights could be illuminating that building when the photographer took the picture at night and the sun could be glistening behind the building if it was taken during dusk. For me, I most enjoy taking pictures of nature and it varies from season to season. My favorite season to take pictures is in the Winter time and that is where I will begin.

I enjoy photography, even though I do not always find the passion to take photos all the time. But when it starts to snow, something just comes over me and I have to go out there. The best pictures are taken after a fresh snow storm or after an icy rain. Everything glistens in the sunlight, everything refracts and everything looks beautiful. It has been a tradition for me to take a montage of pictures right after the first blanket of snow for the season but for some reason, I did not do that this year. I can’t explain why I was so…uninspired to do this? Maybe I got sick of it? Or maybe I was waiting, waiting for the perfect opportunity…and that I was. With the biggest stroke of luck, we got a blizzard and those are prime targets for Winter photography!

One moment everything is lush, green, and full color and then things start to change. Everything is white and everything stops. All life is suddenly equal but completely different. Every snowflake has its own personality and ever surface another story. I love to capture those stories. Stories the Earth is telling us through the snow, it is as if nature itself wants equality. I love winter photography so much I can go on forever, I can think of thousands of ways to describe why I love snow photos so much but I do not want this to drone on too much longer.

My favorite part of photography is finding the perfect angle and perfect position to take the photo. I  love the challenge shooting in the Winter gives me because I have to bury myself in the snow sometimes to get the perfect photo. It is worth it every time though, I always love how the pictures turn out. Sometimes I use photoshop to edit them and turn this beautiful photo into a piece of art. I did not always know how to edit in photoshop though, I was taught in high school and on campus but it has been so long for me I almost forget how. So, I enjoy watching tutorials to make things fresh in my head again. Combining the perfect position and the best editing makes for the best picture anybody can offer.

There are so many things that inspire me to take bigger and better photos. I look at blogs, videos, anything that shows someone else finding new angles and amazing shots to get the most out of Winter’s beauty…Steve Wilder is my biggest inspiration I look at all the time. His photos are elegant and beautiful and tell so much story in just a simple photo. I absolutely love photography in the Winter. There is so many people can do and so many different images that can turn into the most beautiful of photos.

Steve Winter’s Blog:

(https://www.stevewinterphoto.com/Photography/Living-with-Leopards/1)

 

 

Top 5 Reasons That I Wish Mardi Gras Was Year Round!!

Mardi Gras… It is once again that time of year.  What is technically a one day celebration becomes 2 months of bliss when you are a Louisiana Native.

I looked forward to Mardi Gras each year, so moving to Massachusetts has definitely made the heart of summer dull and COLD!!!  While I jealously watch my friends enjoying all of the festivities, one thing catches my eye each time.  My reason #1

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KING CAKE.  If you have never had it, you are truly missing out! It should definitely be available all year round! Other than it’s pure deliciousness, King cake actually has a pretty cool history.

Reason #2 comes as no surprise if you have any slight knowledge of Mardi Gras.  The parades.  The are months of parades in all regions of Louisiana.  Ranging from crazy topless people to families to people chasing chickens… yes chickens.

I think that the biggest draw in of Mardi Gras is the family element.  My entire extended family gets together and has tons of fun in the process!!!  It is surely a bonding experience for everyone, no matter how old or young!

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Let’s not forget the Mardi Gras Balls!!!  I was raised in the Lafayette area and we have quite a few.  I actually have a close friend of mine that runs what is considered the “fun” ball because of it’s laid back, party heavy atmosphere!

If you haven’t gathered the common theme here through all of these things, I will use it as reason #5.  THE PARTY.  When I think party I think of all of the different elements dished out throughout Mardi Gras season.  Great FOOD, MUSIC, CULTURE, & PEOPLE.  Alcohol or no alcohol, you are guaranteed to have a great time!

So, If you are considering doing Mardi Gras in Louisiana…. DO IT!  Don’t reconsider.  Any area you visit is so rich in culture and surely won’t disappoint!

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Added Bonus…. It’s Crawfish Season too!

“Enjoy life and live the Adventure”

Quote by Louis Cole

     Your twenties are the prime age for experiencing life. Whether that means traveling, finding yourself, meeting new people or trying something different, living your best life should begin now. With balancing a minimum wage job and going to school, my days off used to consist of never leaving my bedroom. You can say that my social life was pretty nonexistent. A 21 year old college student with no social life? Something wasn’t adding up. Thankfully, after limiting my online shopping addiction, the only thing that was able to add up was money! This meant that the days of watching other people live their lives (while trying to live vicariously through their Instagram posts) were over! Or at least toned down quite a bit.

     Once I turned 21 earlier this year, I knew that something had to change. I needed excitement in my life, I needed to be spontaneous and start living. I mean, life is too short to be trying to live someone else’s life. This meant that I needed to tone down on binge watching Youtube and Netflix. Although it was hard, I think what inspired me the most was seeing all these video influencers documenting their life and travels. In particular, videos of people around my age experiencing the world made me want to do the same. I stumbled upon this video and listened to her personal experience abroad. Not only did I attempt to journal because of it, I also realized there was a world out there waiting to be explored and experiences out there to help shape us as a person. Continue reading ““Enjoy life and live the Adventure””

Rihanna! Taking Over the Makeup industry?

When I first heard about Rihanna’s makeup line coming out I was ecstatic! Rihanna, the fashion icon, singer, and actor? I knew 100% that I would make sure I would get my hands on at least one of her products. I (guiltily) ended up spending around $130 on her products even after I said I’d only get one.

Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty caters to a large amount of people with different skin tones and undertones. As a women of color she understands the struggle of limited makeup selections and committed her brand to diversity and inclusiveness.

The foundation comes in a # of shades from pale paper white skin tones, to the deepest shade of chocolate.

It’s believed that companies don’t typically cater to different skin tones because they believe they’ll profit more off lighter skin tones, but with the release of Fenty Beauty, this belief was proved incorrect. Black women, and deeper skin tones are a great market and makeup companies cannot ignore this!

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The foundation shades managed to sell out in online Sephora stores. This is important because it sends out a message to other brand that they need to step up their game. After the release of Fenty Beauty and the positive reaction the line received for the large selection of foundation shades (40 shades) with more to come, companies attempted to compensate and remind people that their companies also have a large range of foundation shades.

Makeup Forever is an example of one of these brands and Rihanna went so far as to comment saying their shades are “still ashy.” I’ve purchased a Makeup Forever foundation before, and I’ll say this quietly, but I have to agree with Rihanna on the ashiness!

Before buying my foundation I made sure to watch plenty of Youtube videos and reviews on the foundation. My favorite beauty influencer, Jackie Aina, did a full review on all the Fenty Beauty products. She gives a very honest review with some entertainment so if you were interested on learning about the products she is a great person to watch! You can watch the video here: 

Here is the link of Rihanna commenting on Makeup Forever’s Instagram post: https://www.instagram.com/p/BZhP6z6l2Kw/

Blog Analysis: Film Babble

Overview

The blog I chose to analyze is the blogging site Film Babble. The specific use of the blog is to review indie films and Hollywood blockbusters by Daniel Cook Johnson. The first post that will appear is the author Daniel Cook Johnson’s latest review of the movie Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017).                                                                                        The web address is here: http://filmbabble.blogspot.com

 

Analysis

The header is a nice custom picture for the blog which makes clear your reading the Film Babble Blog. The first title is straight forward and gives you an idea of what exactly the author will be covering. The tagline of the first post “Now playing at multiplexes from here to the off-world colonies,” catches the reader’s eye to excite them for the blog post. Other than inside the post the bio for the author is “Film Babble Blog is written, produced and directed by: Daniel Cook Johnson – A Triangle area, N.C. based writer. His work has appeared in The Chapel Hill News, The Raleigh News & Observer, and Independent Weekly.” The menu is halfway down the page on the right hand side of the page which reads as the Film Babble Blog Archive. The widgets can be found almost at the bottom on the right that only include a widget for PayPal to support the blog and a widget to bookmark the blog. At the top right below the bio there is a Twitter link to follow the blog on Twitter. There is also a link to email the author under that one. After that there is a link to follow the blog on Facebook. The footer consists of a copyright and the theme type which is simple. The “About Me,” is found after clicking the hyperlink of “by Daniel Cook Johnson.”

 

Content

The blog consists of simple theme of a white backdrop and black lettering. It is a straight forward display with not too much distraction. Though there could be improvement for a sleeker theme that incorporates more intriguing features. There are photos on almost every post which ties into each post topic. These photos seem to be of film stills not personal taken photos. There does not seem to be to many videos or trailers.

The titles are well comprised. They are well thought through and compelling to click on and not confusing. There doesn’t seem to be a portion of titles that are most popular. There should be a section of popular posts the audience think are Mr. Cook Johnson’s best so new members can get an idea of his best work.

The “About Me” section includes his photo, name, gender, and location which is Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Introduction which is the same as the bio. There is information on how long he has been blogging which is since May 2002 and profile views which is 5,766. Lastly it includes Mr. Cook Jonson’s favorite movies, music and books.

There are sponsors for the blog which enables the audience to see different companies that support the blog. There is also a section on other blogs that are friends of the author. This enables the audience to be able find blogs that might be of similar interest to them easier.

The Audience Interaction could be improved greatly. There could be a poll to see which movies the audience they would like to see reviewed along with the others Mr. Cook Johnson intends to already review. There are very little comments even with the comment section. This could be changed by encouraging readers to give their thoughts below whether in agreement or opposition. The blog does have social media links. Though the blog posts do not have any sharing buttons to be able to share each post. This is a negative because if you enjoy the blog post or want others to read it there is no way to share it. Also, there does not seem to be any other encouragement to subscribe to the blog.

 

Conclusion

         In conclusion, the blogging site Film Babble has a straightforward theme. This theme could be improved for a sleeker theme that incorporates more intriguing features. There are social media links and sponsors. The author’s bio is clear and easily viewed at the top right. The blog posts have intriguing titles that make you click. When you do click you are met with the post accompanied with a film still within. Though there is no trailer from the film which is a drawback because you may not have heard of the film being released or anything about it at all. Another thing that could be improved is the Audience Interaction. There could be a weekly poll to see which film the audience would like for Mr. Cook Johnson to review. Also, the site should include encouraging readers to give their thoughts below whether in agreement or opposition. The blog site should add sharing buttons for the blog posts. Another thing is there does not seem to be any other encouragement to subscribe to the blog. The blog is intriguing with informative posts on the which movies to see next yet lacks Audience Interaction that could grow the audience.