There are always horror stories out there of people who’s gear gets completely ruined by the extreme elements of another country. To help you come home from over seas travel with not only your camera gear in full working order, but also some damn incredible photos, here are some helpful hints!

  1. Never underestimate the light. This is a big one, and I can tell you from experience, it’s one you need to know. Lighting varies dramatically from country to country, it’s not the same in Australia as apposed to the USA or China. It is completely different everywhere! As photographers, you’ll see it as soon as you arrive, or maybe you’ll see it as the midnight sun keeps you up in Iceland. Contributing factors include, pollution, snow reflection, position relative to the equator and the ozone layer hole. All make a difference. Your options are as follows. Research where your going for the specific time of year and pack accordingly (filters, reflectors), or pack for everything!54c9747317a53_-_silica_packet_0410-lg
  2. Moisture. Every locations air has a different moisture content that you will want toconsider, especially if your planning on spending a considerable amount of time in a very wet location. This can create the perfect situation for mould like amebas to grow in your gear. To help reduce the chances of this, clean your gear regularly and put those little moisture packets that come in your shoe boxes, throughout your camera bag.
  3. Seaspray. If you’re near the ocean or waterfalls Seaspray can ruin your equipment faster than you would think. Buy a rain sleeve. They’re cheap, disposable and indispensable in that sort of situation.
  4. Think locations. I cannot stress this enough! Spend some time finding out here you’re likely to be shooting and assess weather you’ll need ND filters, Polaroids, or a good hiking pack gear carrier to keep your equipment safe as houses.

That’s it guys! A simple few. Stick to them and you’ll create your own insurance policy. But make sure you have one of those still too!

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Have you been Mummy Dumped by a bestie?Salt and Pepper Stories Mummy Dumped1  

It’s time. Time to talk about that oh so taboo topic of being ‘Mummy Dumped’. If you’re not the first girl in your friends group (or family) to have kids then the chances are pretty high you know what I’m talking about already.

Ever noticed that your old bff that had kids before you, only wants to hang out with other mums? Only catches up with other pregnant chicks or ladies with babies? Yeah, you’ve been ‘Mummy Dumped’. Get used to it. It happens a lot. After 4 sisters and plenty of friends only able to talk about their kids for years, I’m somewhat of an expert.


How to deal with being Mummy Dumped.Salt and Pepper Stories Mummy Dumped4

  • Know that its not you. You could be the most incredible paediatric nurse or kids and baby photographer in the world and its still not going to make a difference. You could have 13 nephews and nieces and babysit every 2 days but no… you still ‘don’t get it’ in their eyes because you don’t have kids yourself yet. How could you possibly understand sleep deprivation and smelling like spew everyday. You work night shift? “Its not the same.”
  • Accept your life. Don’t try and make them know you get it. Don’t bother acting up with excess sympathy. Just a bit is enough. When you do see your Mummy Dumper, just be yourself. Yes some mummies will look at you like you have no idea what you’re missing, and maybe you don’t yet, but this is your life, your journey and you’ll have kids (or not) in your own time. Enjoy life and accept how you are. It helps 🙂
  • Salt and Pepper Stories Mummy Dumped2Don’t push to catch up. If your Mummy Dumper is not trying to catch up all the time like you used to, just relax and go with it. Its fine, you have plenty of other friends out there to catch up with or new ones to make. Just let her immerse herself in her world for now. Even when you notice the thousands of Facebook or Instagram photos of her and her bub out and about with other mothers. Relax, thats what zone she’s in right now and she’s getting support from that. Its no biggy, you’re still a legend. You’re just not on the same track right now.
  • Don’t feel the need to feel the need. Your Mummy Dumpers are gonna ask, “do you want kids?” or “doesn’t this just make you want one?” Well my answer for years has been no. Thats okay! You don’t have to try to feel like you should be a mum right now! Don’t get pressured into thinking it should be your path too. A great line for this one is always the fall back, “Your baby’s enough for me to love and spoil right now.” That’ll put the smile back on their faces 😉
  • Be patient. When your friend starts chatting away to their baby when you’re mid sentence on the phone, just wait. Their baby is new and comes before all else so all you can do is smile, say “how cute” and wait until they’re ready for you to continue that conversation. Its normal. Don’t sweat it.
  • Salt and Pepper Stories Mummy Dumped3Be there later. Now here’s the big one. There will come a time, usually when the kids about 2yo, when your Mummy will need you. She’ll need a night out with her girls again. She’ll need to feel the real things in life again outside of being a super mum. She’ll finally want a shopping trip or a weekend hiking without the baby. And that my friend is your moment to shine. Keep the animosity at bay and just be there for the time your old bestie reemerges.
  • Remember, first babies are the hardest. The second and third time around your Mummy Dumper will be clinging to you for sanity, so just enjoy this time with them 🙂

Oh and if your partner ever tells you to “get over it” when you’re complaining about being “Mummy Dumped”, just remind him of the time his best mate got a new girlfriend and hardly ever hung out with him or grabbed a beer after work… works a charm 😉

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