Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Creating Great Christmas Photos and Videos

“You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” Ansel Adams

Creating a great photograph or video

It’s that time of year again when it seems we all take more pictures of family and friends.  Many people ask me how to get that perfect photograph or capture that once in a life time video.  I tell them you have to practice.  You have to take photos and shoot video year round to get better at doing it.  However, with that said there are a few tips I always like to share that will help make your photographs and video standout.

Tips for creating great photographs or videos

Below are five tips to remember when taking photographs or shooting video this Christmas Season.

1.  Take pictures or shoot videos – you have to take the pictures or shoot the video in order to have them as memories.  So don’t be lazy start snapping the photos and creating the videos.
2.  Timing  is everything.  Anticipate a moment and capture it as it happens.  The idea is to capture a moment in time - be patient and you will be rewarded.
3.   Lighting – did you know that photography means “painting with light”?  Lighting sets the mood of what you capture.  You can take a photograph in the morning light and take the same picture in the evening twilight and you will create two photos of the same thing but both portray completely different feelings.  Light is the biggest contributor in conveying the story in your photograph or video.
4.  Subject The subject of your photograph or video captures the spirit.  It tells a clear story which is undeniable.  Keep it simple.  Capturing a sense of motion or emotion provides a powerful message.
5.   Composition – make sure what you capture feels balanced and doesn’t give the feeling of falling off the page or give that awkward feeling when looking at it.  Your photographs and videos should be pleasing to the eye. Use the “Rule of Thirds” – (not sure what the “Rule of Thirds” is check it out here ).

Links to more information

The following are five links to information about photography I thought you would find interesting.

Light Painting Light Sabers – a technique for taking amazing light painting shots
Painting with Light - light painting tutorial
GPP Group Shot = Pressure that Can Make Diamonds – a cool way to create a group photo
Black and White Conversion: Channel Mixer Recipes – creating a Black and White photo
The Real Secret to Taking Spectacular Photos – 10 tips on creating stunning photograph

Go create great photographs or awesome videos.  If you feel brave enough, share what you create with your family and friends.  Most importantly remember tip #1 above - you have to take the pictures or shoot the video in order to have them as memories.  So don’t be lazy start snapping the photos and creating the videos.  

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

What does success in business mean?

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” 
Albert Einstein

What is Success?

Many of us have a strong desire to be a success in business but cannot define what that means or how to achieve it.  How do you define success?  Many people I have spoken with define success as monetary rewards while others define it as owning the market, having the most customers while others define it as having a positive impact on people and the market.  John Lee Dumas, founder and host of business podcast Entrepreneur On Fire defined success as “the gradual realization of a worthy goal. To me, the key word here is worthy. Ask yourself this ... if you reach your goal, will you look at it as a goal worth attaining."

My definition for success and as I believe, it is for other entrepreneurs such as me can be defined as the great satisfaction that comes from the process of creating – starting with an idea then working through the process of building something that lasts or has a positive impact on others.  Deep and lasting satisfaction can be realized when successfully facing steep challenges that result in developing new skills, new strengths and new ideas that impact others in a positive manner.

For most, success is defined as the positive results of an intention.  Each time you move towards achieving a goal, objective or target you are realizing some form of success.  In other words, it can be said a business is successful if it is expanding its market share and increasing its profits.

A few young men with an idea

Yesterday morning, I spent time with Jose Espejo who I have known for many years and the business team he has built.  I was there to photograph one of their product rollouts however, for me it became much more.  For several years this young man was on my team.  He was a hard charger and desired so much more than what he was doing or that could be offered.  He set out on his own and with a few of his close friends formed the company named Quatro Solutions Consulting Group, LLC.  This and of itself is not that unique or uncommon however what they are achieving is.  He and his team recognized a need for affordable yet functional tools that all students would be able to use in obtaining a 21st Century education. 

The Quatro Solutions team took the lead in manufacturing affordable computer tablets designed specifically for the education industry.  What the team developed is called the eBOLT tablet.  The eBOLT tablet is now enhancing the learning experiences of students across the United States.

Success by example

What is important about this story is not the fact that the Quatro Solutions team designed and is delivering a computer tablet specifically for the education industry rather, it is much more.  It has much to do with being successful in business.  First and for most, these young men are having fun as they make a positive impact on the lives of others.  As I watched the team present their eBOLT tablet to a third grade class yesterday, it became obvious that they are on to something big.  Guiding adults through a tablet setup and then instructing them how to use it is one thing but doing the same with a class full of third graders was simply amazing.

What has made this team successful when others have come and gone attempting to achieve the same result?  This team is motivated to make a difference.  They have a clear set of goals that each team member understands and can relate to.  A vision was set from the very beginning of what they want their company to become and continues to guide the team.  They are leading the community by example, not accepting no for an answer.  Most schools cannot afford teachers let alone tablets for students; as a result the Quatro Solutions team is partnering with various community groups who are finding sponsors to cover the cost of the tablets.  Brighthouse Networks sponsored the tablets the third grade class received yesterday.  The team took pride in teaching the third graders about their tablet. 

How well a business is doing can be measured by the respect and recognition the business receives from the community, other businesses, government and its customers.  Yesterday, the smiles, the twinkle in the eyes and the overall sense of wanting to learn by each of the third grade students was all I needed to recognize something special – a successful business that had an idea which is now making a positive impact on the lives of others.