Tips And Tricks On How To Take A Successful Instagram Shot shot above is the most successful Instagram post I have had since I opened my Instagram account. How do I know this? Well, I got more than 100 likes on this picture, even though my account has a very modest amount of followers. Also, it got re-posted by Primitive and Proper, and, it got a comment from Erica Reitman. Very, very smooth, I must say.

It was a shot of an eagle bookend that I found in a thrift store some months ago. I think it is very cute. I know people on Instagram like vintage items and good thrift store finds as much as I do, so I tried taking a good picture of it to post.

The road to get a good Instagram shot is not easy, and, more than that,  it is kind of ridiculous. It requires a lot of takes, and trials and errors. Also, what it seems perfect from up close, might look horrendous from a little further away. In this shot, for example,  you can’t see how my living room had been kidnapped by alien children’s toys.

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A Photography Workshop With Joel Sartore

One of my 2016 goals is to learn more about photography and, hopefully, get better at it. Now that I am accountable to the millions of people that read this blog, I decided to attend a photography workshop in January and start the year on the right track.

On Saturday, I took a photography workshop with Joel Sartore at the LA Zoo. He is a national geographic photographer that is the author of, among other things, the Photo Ark, a photograph project is trying to help animals in extinction.

Goals: attend a photography workshop, done; join a book club, done (I will write more about this later); exercise at least one time this year, NOT DONE. I need encouragement, people! I can’t get it together. Can somebody create a day with 60 hours, please? 20 of which should be dedicated to reading a book or binge watching Netflix’s series like “Master of None,” which is HILARIOUS, in case you are wondering what to watch next.

Back to the real topic of this post: as you might imagine, photographing animals requires a lens with a good zoom. I don’t have a lens with a good zoom. The closest I have to a zoom is a lens that shoots 50mm, which is the same perspective that humans see through their eyeballs.  Bad news, right?

The good news is that at the beginning of the workshop we got to photograph animals that were really close to us, so I had no problem doing that (see below), but the animals that came afterwards were a different story.

With this challenge in mind, I realized that I needed to be creative about how to take my pictures, and, as I am a people person anyway, I decided to take pictures of the people taking pictures. I am SOcreative (and SO humble), am I not? Cuek.

Here are some of the results: sartore sartre

The workshop was a delight. I enjoyed being surrounded by people that had my same interests. Conversations flowed easily and I learned a lot by looking at the work of others. Joel Sartore was very nice and approachable, and the whole experience was a great way of spending a Saturday afternoon. New 2016 goal: sign up for another photography workshop.

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Let Us Be Inspired By Hideaki Hamada Hamada3Hideaki Hamada, photographer

When I got pregnant with Max, my second child, I started wondering about Victor and his role as an older sibling. I shared my thoughts with a wise friend that told me to “be prepared to witness truelove.” When she said this, I was suspicious. I have heard of so many parents having to deal with sibling rivalry and jealousy that I was preparing for the worst instead of the best.

Victor was only 2 years and three months when Max was born, so I didn’t think he would understand what was going on, but I was so wrong. When I arrived home with Max (we had him at a birthing center so I was home 6 hours after giving birth), Victor opened the door and run to “his” baby to give him kisses and say: “I love you,” repeatedly. It was so moving to see.

At that moment, all my fears disappeared, and I understood immediately what my friend was talking about. Since the very day they met, Victor and Max have created their own little world filled with love, kisses, hugs, games, fights and punches, because savagery is part of it, isn’t? It is true camaraderie.

In the midst of this, I found Hideaki Hamada, a Japanese photographer that, among other things, has been documenting the lives of his two little boys. The siblings’ pictures visually encapsulate what I was just trying to explain in words: a world of mystery and intimacy where the brothers are the only inhabitants. Everybody else is an outsider. This family and my family live so far away, yet, our lives are so similar. The children’s picture with the super heroes down below, for example, could have been my children at the mall yesterday afternoon!

Hideki Hamada’s webpage is here, and his Instagram account is here, in case you fall in love with these little ones and want to follow. The photos are perfect and made me wish I had similar ones of my boys.

You are about to witness true complicity. Please, press play to the music below to walk you through the pictures. Enjoy! Hamada2 Hamada4 Hamada6 Hamada7 Hamada8 Hamada9 Hamada10 Hamada11 Hamada12 Hamada13 Hamada14 Hamada15 Hamada16 Hamada18 Hamada19 Hamada20 Hamada21 Hamada23 Hamada24 Hamada25 Hamada26 Hamada28 Hamada29 Hamada30 Hamada31 Hamada32 Hamada33 Hamada34 Hamada35 Hamada36 Hamada37 Hamada38 Hamada39 Hamada40 Hamada41 Hamada42 Hamada43 Hamada44 Hamada45 Hamada46 Hamada47 Hamada48 Hamada49 Hamada50 Hamada51 Hamada52 Hamada53 Hamada54 Hamada55 Hamada56 Hamada 57

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Let Us Be Inspired By A Wedding In Iceland

The pictures of the wedding in Iceland you are about to see, touched me for a lot of reasons. The first one, obviously, is that they are beautiful; dauntingly beautiful I must say. They convey love, and leave you wanting to know more about the people getting married. Their wedding is so honest and intimate, it makes you feel like an intruder when glimpsing at these images. But, what moved me the most about these pictures, was how they transported me to a different world that was overwhelming and breathtaking.

With Iceland in the background these pictures, taken by Alex Mazurov and Anastasia Glebova, carried me into an alternate world where humans are insignificant and nature is dire and strong.

This is the wedding of Dima and Tanya, and it seems to take place in a world where there are hardly other inhabitants. The landscape reminds me to where I was born, Magallanes, Chile; it is a gorgeous, vast, dramatic, and lonely landscape. Why did they decide to make this scenery their wedding’s bridesmaid? I wish to ask.

I also wish to ask who are their friends, where do they live, and, more importantly, why did they decide to have a wedding on their own, surrounded only by nature, with no friends nor family. Probably, the answers are less glamorous than what I imagine, but I don’t care. Right now I am enjoying dwelling on these images and envisioning a world that is far, far away from mine, wishing that some day I belong to it too, or, at least, visit. There is so much beauty in this earth, isn’t?

If you want to follow these amazing photographers on Instagram, Alex’s Mazurov account is here, and Anastasia’s Glebova account is here.

And, before you go ahead and immerse yourself into this alternate universe, please, press play to the song right below. It will make your trip much better. Enjoy!

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Let Us Be Inspired By Elize Strydom

I discovered photography when studying journalism in Chile. My whole family took my grandmother’s ashes to the ocean, and I took pictures of that trip. The pictures were in black and white and they turned out good. After that, I did photography occasionally, but traded my film camera for a video camera when I moved to the US. Here, I did documentaries and worked “in the industry” and left my film camera forgotten in my closet. Now, many years, two careers, and a family later, I feel like taking pictures again.

In my search for inspiration, I have discovered many photographers that do wonderful work around the world. I am very lucky to live in this era that has so much access to inspiration. Isn’t Internet a marvelous thing?

In my searches around the web, I found Elize Styrdom, a documentary photographer based in Sydney, Australia. What captivated me about her work was the intimacy of her pictures, and her subject matter, she documents, among other things, girls around the world. Her pictures are beautiful and poetic. They show fragility and, in my opinion, the transparency of youth. Even if you don’t care about her subjects, her use of color and eye for composition creates beautiful and simple images that are inspiring to look at.

She still uses a film camera. Wouldn’t you say that shooting photography with a film camera is like being a writer of  poetry? It is the hardest craft. Slower and thoughtful, but extremely rewarding.

Here is her website. You can find some of her pictures from her “Hey, girl” series down below. I would love to hear your opinion on them. - Elize Strydom- hey,,,,,,,,,,,,


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