Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Email Format


Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category

Sign up for USPS Informed Delivery Daily and save yourself headaches! [Life Hack]

November 18th, 2020 Comments off

Sign up for USPS Informed Delivery Daily and save yourself headaches!

The US Post Office has a service that sends you a preview of whatever paper mail is scheduled to arrive each day. In the past this has helped us catch the infrequent times when a temporary mail carrier uses our old mail slot instead of the mailbox on the end of our porch, but today it helped us prevent an even larger problem.

Sign up for USPS Informed Delivery Daily and save yourself headaches! [Life Hack]I

had noticed that we were supposed to receive a DMV Renewal form a few days ago, but we didn’t know where it was. We did remember seeing other mail which arrived on the same day, so it was very likely the notice had been misplaced in the house somewhere.

Sure enough, we found it in the small recycle bin in the house. Without Informed Delivery we wouldn’t have known that something was missing  and it could have been quite costly.

Help make your life just a little bit easier.

Sign up for Informed Delivery Today!

After COVID-19 – 5 in a series – A single reason why

April 24th, 2020 Comments off

As a rather pessimistic person myself, it has helped me recognize pessimism — and fear — in others. This pessimism can lead us to become stalled in life and frozen by fear. Like a deer in the headlights, we can’t decide what to do and are ultimately run over by the approaching car.

In the real world, it functions more like this. When faced with a challenge, we can find a million reasons why we can’t or shouldn’t take some action. I see this whether I am talking to friends informally or consulting with a client. Whenever we are faced with a difficult situation or looking for a new area of business, the negatives flow like water. We can’t do this because…They won’t allow that because… We don’t have the money to do that because.., This can go on for hours and leads us exactly…nowhere.

After COVID-19 - 5 in a series - A single reason why

Photo: Alev Takil

Partially this happens because we are approaching the situation from the wrong direction. We focus on the status quo. We focus on the problems. We focus on the can’t, shouldn’t, won’t of the situation. We can easily find a million reasons NOT to do something when, instead, we should be looking for the ONE reason we CAN do something. By turning the conversation on its head we can find the useful and productive things we CAN do and leave the problems behind. We have to break free of the pessimism that holds us in place. I am not asking, nor dreaming, that you will suddenly become a great optimist. I know this hasn’t happened for me. Rather, you and I need to work to change pessimistic inaction into realistic action.

Whenever I am faced with my own million reasons why not, I think of this quote…

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

No matter how dark the world becomes — no matter the adversity — no matter the roadblock — we can persevere. It is rare for us to find ourselves completely out of options, although sometimes it can feel that way. We find ourselves and our minds buried beneath the million reasons why not and can’t see the one reason why.

Part of what I do in my work is helping people find that one reason why. Sometimes, outside eyes can see things more clearly. I know that is true for myself. I often need the fresh vision of a friend or family member to help me clear the fog of my own thinking. It is simply a fact of human nature. We get locked into a single way of thinking. We also underestimate our own skills and intelligence just when we need it most.

So, take some time today and think about one of your most pressing issues. There are certainly more than enough issues these days, so picking one shouldn’t be a problem. Then, put aside the million reasons why NOT and start looking for the one reason, the one idea, the one change, the one single reason WHY you CAN and SHOULD do something different.

Once you find that reason, start working on making it happen. Take action. Then, as shampoo bottles everywhere advise — Rinse, and Repeat. Make this part of your everyday thinking and action. Take the next issue and find the next WHY and HOW, over and over. 

It matters little whether you are “running, walking, or crawling.” All that matters is the forward movement towards the next great step in your life and career.


How to Keep Your Photographic Muscles Flexing During the Times of Isolation via Digital Photography School

April 23rd, 2020 Comments off

We’re currently facing challenges that most of us haven’t faced before. How do you keep photographing when you can’t visit interesting locations or meet your models? Here are some ideas for you to exercise your photographic muscles during this time of isolation.

According to where you live, you may be more or less constrained regarding your travel distances. Maybe the problem is not even reaching an adventurous place but you can’t even get to your studio. Whichever is your case, these ideas are meant for you to keep photographing with minimum resources.

Home School: New Year’s Resolutions for Creative Photographers via Digital Photography School

April 13th, 2020 Comments off

Take some time to review the photos that you’ve taken during the past year. Pick out the ones that you like the most and try to think about why they make you feel that way. Are they perhaps full of happy memories? Or did they mark a moment when you understood a new technique?

Consider turning your favorite photos from the year into a photo book to permanently make a record of what you achieved. Think of it as being like a journal of your hobby that you can look back on in the future to see how much your approach to taking photographs has changed.

Read New Year’s Resolutions for Creative Photographers via Digital Photography School

An interesting link found among my daily reading

After COVID-19 – 3 in a series – The Great Reset 2020 and You!

April 5th, 2020 Comments off


After COVID-19 - 3 in a series - The Great Reset 2020

Aleksandar Cvetanovic

As with all global or national calamities, COVID-019 is going to cause a huge “reset” in its wake. Like 9/11, the 1918 Pandemic, Hurricanes, Tornados and more, people take stock in their lives and, in some cases, discover there is something more important than what they were doing before the crisis. It is only natural when faced with your mortality to reevaluate your life. What would people say about you had you died at that moment? How would your obituary read?

Alfred Nobel had a similar, personal, epiphany when he awoke one morning to find his obituary in place of his brother’s, who had died the day before. The newspapers obituary was scathing. It called him the “mercchant of death” and said “Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday.” Alfred created the Nobel Prize as a way of recovering his reputation, and perhaps, purging himself of a small bit of his guilt over all the harm his creations had caused.

While I don’t believe that any of us carry the guilt the Nobel did, we can still take a good example from his horrible experience.

  • Are you accomplishing what you want in life?
  • Are you affecting the world, both your small, local, world and the world at large?
  • What small concrete actions can you take to have that effect?
  • What long postponed change do you need to make NOW?
  • What is stopping you?
  • Why?

The world is being turned upside down in the wake of COVID-19 and instead of worrying about it, perhaps we can imagine how we can use this Great Reset to craft a new day, a new life and a new world for everyone!


After COVID-19 – 2 in a series – Don’t Wait! Start Planning Today!

April 5th, 2020 Comments off

<a style=
You X Ventures

Things that will be in large supply once this is over…

  • Retail/Restaurant/Commercial Real Estate
  • Talent — in all fields
  • Stimulus Money
  • Businesses looking to grow again

What can you build from these? Is it time to start your own business? Is it time to move to a better career?

You want to start your plans now so you are ready to move as soon as the opportunity provides itself. It will be the first movers that benefit the most because they will have access to the best unemployed/underemployed talent in their fields and, hopefully, stimulus money before it runs out.

Don’t Wait! Start Planning Today!

Improve Your Composition by Changing Your Point of View via Digital Photography School

February 19th, 2020 Comments off

There are many rules, guidelines, suggestions, and ideas around what makes a good photographic composition. Every person has their own particular aesthetic and way of seeing, and it can be difficult to find your way through all the information to a concept that works for you.

However, there is one simple tip that may be the easiest and quickest way for you to improve your images. It’s free and doesn’t usually require you to buy anything. All you need to do is stop, think, and make a different choice. What is that choice? The choice of changing your point of view.

Read Improve Your Composition by Changing Your Point of View via Digital Photography School

An interesting link found among my daily reading

Into 2020: California’s New Laws Starting Jan. 1, 2020 via LAist

December 27th, 2019 Comments off

How to Work a Location to Get More Great Photos via Digital Photography School

December 13th, 2018 Comments off
I’m always looking for good tips to improve my photography and Digital Photography School always seems to provide the most useful and timely articles. — Douglas
I wouldn’t be able to count the number of potentially great photos I’ve missed because I visited a location with only one image in mind. It’s easy to fall for the temptation to set up, get your shot, then pack up and leave. I’ve done it countless times, and I’m sure you have too.

What to Photograph on Vacation When You’re Feeling Uninspired via Digital Photography School

August 25th, 2018 Comments off
My problem is that I tend to take too many photos when on vacation, but there have been times when I have been frustrated by a particular location or day. I really want to share it with my friends when I get home but I can’t seem to find an “in” that helps me produce great photos. I’m checking out these tips as I prepare a trip to Milan, Italy in a few weeks. — Douglas

Vacation is a great time not only to recharge and relax but also to practice your travel photography skills. Whether you’re a pro with lots of gear, or a hobbyist with your first camera, there are plenty of photo opportunities in a new place. In fact, there can be so many that you can easily get overwhelmed or uninspired to shoot anything at all.

If you hit a wall and don’t know what to photograph while traveling, here are some ways to fire up your creativity.

Read What to Photograph on Vacation When You’re Feeling Uninspired via Digital Photography School

Learn more about photography with these books

* A portion of each sale from directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

An interesting link found among my daily reading