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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We all get stuck sometimes, even in our most inspiring life moments. However, we also know that if we obsess over feelings of apathy, we’ll just end in a vibrational purgatory that produces more of the same! Here are some quick but powerful ways to get unstuck and back on top of life.

Find The Source

If you don’t already know, figure out the real origin of your feeling of being stuck. Is it do with relationships, your career, your finances, your living situation, or your social life? Perhaps it’s a combination of multiple things.

For each area where you feel stuck, write a sentence describing why you feel stuck. Solutions often naturally fall out of this process.

Deliberately Leave Your Comfort Zone

Often, feeling stuck has a lot to do with getting too comfortable and avoiding risk—you might tell yourself you’re avoiding pain, but you’re also preventing personal growth. Challenge yourself to come up with 3-5 new things you want to do but haven’t yet tried.

Change Your Surroundings

Our environment impacts on our hearts and minds, so adapting the world around you can give you the shift in perspective that you need in order to get unstuck. You could make a big change (such as redecorating), but even smaller changes like moving the furniture or eating at new restaurants can start to make you think differently.

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Work On Accepting All Emotions

Paradoxically, fighting against the feeling of stuck will sometimes keep you in that place or make you feel even worse (like struggling in quicksand). You may find what you need is to learn to accept how it feels to be stuck, acknowledging that it is temporary and releasing your resistance. A daily mindfulness practice can help with this.

Get Physical

Just as adapting your home can jog something loose in your thinking, so too can adopting a more physical life. You may find that running, swimming, dancing or even walking helps you get into the proactive mindset you need to make major changes. This is a quick fix for passing feelings of being stuck, and also a longer term solution that brings new energy to your life.

Give Yourself Permission To Dream

We often impose arbitrary limits on our thoughts, to the extent that we don’t even always allow our brains to fantasize freely. Strike a deal with yourself, letting your mind go wherever it wants—don’t shut it down if it goes somewhere unfamiliar or uncomfortable. You may just find that your subconscious already knows how to get you out of your rut.

Identify Patterns

Finally, ask yourself when in life you’ve previously felt this way. What was causing that stuck feeling, and are there similarities to your present situation? What helped you, and what (if anything) seemed to make things worse? This quick exercise can reacquaint you with dormant skills and help you to see how you can avoid some of the most commonly repeating triggers for stuckness.


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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