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Everyone's thinking of resigning and I'm here contemplating whether I should attend interviews and try to get an offer at least. I updated my Jobstreet profile and browsed a couple of postings two nights ago, applying to this one company which I really like, sounds really good, and is basically just a couple of buildings away from where I work. So far I've had 4 calls, including the one I applied to (yey) and even an overseas opportunity (omg). So yeah. Time to think.

My preferred company (the one I applied to) doesn't really have any open position that's fit for my current experience. But the HR said I have enough experience for this and this post so they're inviting me for an exam. Which is the problem. Cos I already tried their exam 5 years ago and failed miserably. I don't think I have enough braincells for their test. And chances are they'll make me code the Fibonacci in C or Java, on paper. Just like 5 years ago. And I frkn can't. Never in my (short) programming experience did a business requirement needed a similar algorithm anyway. But I know, I know, it's really just to test me out. Waaaah Lord.

The other opportunity, the one that got me really excited, is an overseas one. This time the position is for something I have current experience in. Something I'm more confident in. During the call they told me about the country (it's in Malaysia), their client budget (which sounds like an offer already but wtv), the cost of living there, how long I'll be staying (1 year), and some other stuff. They told me to wait for an email but I haven't received one, so I'm tryna get my hopes down. In any case, HOW COOL IS THAT?! :D I told myself I had to wait until I get married before applying to other companies because I can't afford to have a downtime. But damn, times are hard. And being at the edge of the fence makes me want to leave for greener pastures.

Anyway. I have three things going on: 3 pending articles, 2 logo concepts, and my regular job (that I don't even wanna count anymore cos I'm just out of mojos for it). In fairness, God has been truly gracious. I never had an ongoing writing job since 2009 (oDesk) so I'm really thankful I landed one! Next, I've never worked on a design project via organic leads so again. Thank you Lord!

Lastly, someone finally bought the Delonghi Multicooker I won from a blogging contest, so yeah. It's been 3 months and I'm afraid the warranty will expire so yey for getting a buyer. It's my first time to ship via bus cargo too so I'm kinda scared, but buyer paid first so I just gotta try it out. I didn't even know it was possible to ship items via cargo. Well buyer has to pick it up at the terminal but that's already plenty of savings given that I'm sending something too big and heavy.

So there. Wish my luck in a lot of things!
Long time no life latelyyyy
So, what's up?

Waist training

You'd think it's some special program you enroll in to slim down your waist area but it's really just wearing these expensive binders that flatten your tummy. I'm wearing one right now. I bought it on Instagram and it's called 9-boned latex hook and eye. What can I say, it's pretty effective in tightening my core. But then all my fats spill over to my upper body, enlarging my boobs, and the sides. I look terrible. On the plus side, I can't slouch. This thing is too stiffly wrapped around my waist it's uncomfortable so slouch. Isn't that good? It really takes some getting used to, now I get why it's called 'training'. Hehe

Okay I just took it off. No way I'm enjoying my revel bar and blueberry tea with this on.

Writing

So. Remember I told you my last writing gig was a scam? Looks like it's legit after all. I got paid around a week after I kept emailing the guy. He apologized too, saying he hardly communicates with his writers via email, and finally invited me to be part of his team, and his slack group (which is pretty neat!). Damn. I feel so bad for hating him. I even went as far as contacting his "client" (the link I used in one of my articles) to say he's a scammer who doesn't pay his writers. ARGH. Stupid girl. I retracted the complaint immediately, but still.

I've written seven articles for him now, and I'm getting paid. Why, Lord. This is embarrassing.

Designing

There was a styling gig I agreed to a few weeks back but there aren't any projects yet so I'm pretty chill. Today, however, I was contacted to create a logo by a client from the states who paid agad agad the upfront down I asked for. It's the first time I got a client who is not a referral and who came from my site, so thank you Lord for organic leads! It's pretty flattering! Also, it's the first time I'm working on writing and designing at the same time, so, uhm. LET'S PANIC.

Wedding preps and keeping the expenses down

I realized that if I really wanted to have a budget wedding, I have to let go of all these nice-to-have things brides rave about at w@w (it's a facebook support group for soon to be married couples. it's pretty enlightening). And they are:
  • Bridal robe - so overrated, but I'm probably gonna get a pretty one too HAHA #PeerPressure
  • Gift to your partner - we have our entire lives for this
  • Thank you cards - don't the souvenirs count already?
  • Videographers - same day edits and aerials are the bomb right now, but I don't think we need it. I think I'll be fine with just pictures (NICE PICTURES), but yeah we already booked one. It kinda puts pressure on the couple too, cos they have to shoot too many places to get more (and beautiful) footage.
  • And a lot other favors you give the guests - like heyyy I just treated you buffet lunch what else do you want? Actually, nothing. Guests are pretty inexpectant when it comes to weddings. They won't even notice the table centerpieces you bitched about to the caterer, and the additional 100/head you paid just to put their asses on rustic champagne tiffany chairs with burlap ribbons.
You see, there's a price for aesthetics. Once you book an acclaimed supplier, the rest have to follow. Why is there this kind of pressure? But you see, I think a really good photographer can fix all my aesthetic needs HAHA.

For instance, I didn't think Microtel was pretty, but this photographer, with his bright and natural shooting skills made it look so poooosh! Now, I'm set to booking Microtel for our preps haha. How I wish I could afford photogs like that.

Okay, I'm blabbing. Back to writing about phone systems and how to choose one.

Have a happy weekend!
I've been tinkering with Adobe Lightroom for the past few months, thinking I could learn how to edit our wedding pictures if needed, because honestly I'm worried about the output of the editing hehe. Since we're on a budget and couldn't afford to hire photographers who are experts in my preferred style, I decided to learn.

And learn, I did!


I'm definitely not there yet but I'm so excited to learn.

Here are a couple of my edits. The original photos are all taken from Unsplash. I would've preferred getting unedited samples but I couldn't find a bunch of raw wedding photos! So yeah, these will do.

Here's the before and after of the photo above:


I brightened the photo, warmed it up, desaturated the greens, and made the trees pop out from the background a little more. This is definitely closer to the output I have in mind, and I didn't have to use a preset!



The original photos are already great on their own, they're clear and are frkn stock quality. I just wanted to get some good photos for practice hehe.

I think I have a problem with exposure though. I want to brighten the picture without losing the details of the subject. Tips are much appreciated!

The goal is to produce photos similar to what these photographers do. Long shot, but willing to learn! What do you think?
As usual, I didn't have a preferred style until I started looking into various portfolios. Then I began collecting ideas and building my preferences, after which I concluded that my dream output is one with bright and natural feels to it, who doesn't?!


To be specific, and nit picky:
  • I want photos that are properly composed, especially if it has people in it.
  • Photos that are bright and happy, but not saturated. In fact I want bright, balanced photos, with slightly de-saturated backgrounds. No popping colors, just pure neutral and organic goodness.
  • I wouldn't check your camera settings (woah there) but I would want raw photos that are well lit. When I say raw, I mean unedited. Please don't piss me off with RAW files haha. I mean I'd ask for them immediately after our event so it helps if the photographer already has a bunch of no-filter good quality shots! Does it help that we're having a morning wedding? Haha Is it too much to ask? Do most photographers shoot RAW? Can't I get my JPEGs immediately? hehe
  • Styled - cos I'm a sucker for aesthetics but couldn't flat-lay properly. For what it's worth, I have fake grass, wooden clothespins, and jute strings for props, yeah?
  • Stock quality - yes I'm arte like that! I want stock quality photos. Char but not quite.
Finally, shempre di pa ko tapos, post-processing matters a lot to me because this is where the final output is getting brewed. I want photos that don't look filtered. There are photographers who churn out albums that look like they've been slapped with just a preset, and boom, done. No further effort made balancing each photo. Presets are great, they're the first things I learned when I started tinkering with Lightroom and I thought they're magic. But they're not everything. Vignettes, HDR, and dark and grainy cinematic effects are not my thing too. At least not for a wedding.

So with all these demands, I'm proud to present to you my 10 favorite local wedding photographers - based on their portfolios, as I haven't been blessed with the opportunity (and budget) to work with them. Also, they're responsible for turning me into this nit picky ass. But I swear if I get to work with any of them, they wouldn't hear a word from me, just tears of joy and snorts of laughter ('cos I hear they're a delight to work with as well).

In no particular order:
Disclaimer: All photos are from the photographers' respective online portfolios and rates are for 2017

1. Daniel Talavera Photography
Investment: ₱35,000 to ₱75,000
www.danieltalavera.com
photo@danieltalavera.com

2. Mara and Mike Photography

Investment: ₱25,000 to ₱70,000
www.mmphotoph.com
inquire@mmphotoph.com
facebook.com/M.MPhotoVideo

Aaaargh! I'm so tempted to get them!

3. Chestknots Studios
Investment: ₱78,800 to ₱136,800
www.chestknots.com
chestknots@gmail.com
instagram.com/chestknots
facebook.com/chestknots

4. The Perfect Grey Photography
Investment: ₱30,000 to ₱80,000
www.theperfectgreyphotography.com
theperfectgreyphoto@gmail.com

5. Foreveryday Photography
Investment: ₱75,000 to ₱120,000
www.foreverydayphoto.com

6. Law Tapalla Photography
Investment₱35,000 to ₱70,000
www.lawtapalla.com
www.facebook.com/LawTapallaPhotography

7. Team Benitez Photo
Investment: ₱70,000 to ₱110,000
www.teambenitezphoto.com
www.facebook.com/teambenitez
www.instagram.com/teambenitezphoto

8. CamZar Photography
Investment: ₱50,000 to ₱155,000 (with video tie-up)
www.camzarphoto.com

9. Dave Sarabia Photography

Investment: ₱22,000 to 57,000 (with video tie-up)
davesarabia@hotmail.com
facebook.com/davesarabiaphotography

10. Bob and Zab Photography
Investment: ₱40,000 to ₱80,000
www.bobandzab.com
www.facebook.com/bobandzabphotography

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That's it! I had fun curating this list, and layouting them as well. It was suuuuch a dreamy experience going through each of their portfolios. 

Did I miss anyone? I'm aware there are still tons of great photographers out there who's forte is this style so if you think there are more who deserve to be on the list, feel free to comment and let me know! Who knows a part 2 is coming? ;)