Want to Become a Better Photographer? Here’s What You Can Start Doing Today!

A photographer is only as great as his tools and his vision. If you can improve both of these areas, you’re on your way to becoming a renowned photographer. Your techniques are very important, just as in any skilled trade. The more you practice, the more you’ll learn about methods that can improve your snapshots. If you’re new to the world of photographer and would like to become better, then you can use the following tips to help transform your skills into pro status in no time!

Take Photos During the Golden Hour

This happens to be one of the best times of day to shoot a photo. Think of a couple kissing in front of a beautiful golden setting sun or a mountain range with the same scene. It’s hard to go wrong when you take photos during this time of day, which is right before dusk sets in. The light in these scenes really bring out the subjects in your photos, making them look like a picture out of a magazine.

Try the Four Corner Trick

This is a simple trick to help expand your vision for your subjects. All you have to do is put the camera to your eye (or look at the digital screen) and place the subject in each of the four corners. A lot of beginners opt to put their subjects in the middle of the shot each and every time. This kills your creativity. Give this a try to see if one of the four corners would add spice to your snapshots.

Use a Film Camera

Digital cameras have spoiled us rotten. We can take as many photos as we want without penalty. Once it’s full, we can delete hundreds of photos at the push of a button. With a film camera, you’re not so lucky. You only get 24 or 36 shots, which means you have to plan each one more carefully than the last. Once you’re out, you have to put in another. Using a film camera helps you to become more careful about the photographs you take before you push the button. If you don’t have one, you can use your digital camera, but try not to take more than 24 shots.

Teach Others How to Photograph

Sometimes, explaining a topic to someone else helps to bring clarity for yourself. As you’re teaching others about photography, you will come up with methods, tricks and concepts that better help them to understand. This can in turn make you realize how well you understand the art of photography.

Use Models

This can be professional or amateur models. You have to get used to taking photos of people who are moving and posing for the shot. You can practice with family and friends, or even get a job at a photo studio, where models are posing in clothing from Talbots and other department stores for magazines.

Whatever you do to improve your photography skills, don’t give up! One day, you’ll be the photography you’ve always imagined yourself to be.

How to spot a good mortgage broker from a bad one

How can you decide if a mortgage broker is a good one or a bad one? The best way is to learn the answers to the following questions:

How Does the Broker Obtain New Business?

A good mortgage broker is very likely to be someone who obtains new business mainly through referrals. If you received your broker’s name from a friend, family member or your realtor, you may have a good broker. Brokers who obtain your name from a purchased list, most likely, will not work in your best interests because they do not necessarily have a steady stream of clients.

Can the Broker Answer Your Questions?

A good mortgage broker will learn what your goals are and will answer pertinent questions to ensure that the action you are about to take is the correct one. The mortgage broker, who does this, wishes to make sure that you can actually afford the loan. For example, before you move forward with a loan, you may wish to ask your broker these questions:

• What kind of mortgage is best for me?
• How much of a down payment should I offer?
• Would it benefit me to pay points?

A good mortgage broker will inform you that the answers to these and all questions will depend on what you would like to accomplish. If the broker has a specific calculator that can help you answer them, this is even better. A sign that you need to run is if the broker can immediately answer these personalized questions without probing further.

Is It Possible to Lock In Your Interest Rate?

In some cases, you can lock in a desirable interest rate. If you are working with a good mortgage broker, he or she will make sure to explain the entire process so that you understand exactly what this will mean for you. A good broker will inform you of the advantages and disadvantages of locking in a rate for a long or a short period of time.

If your mortgage broker never mentions the fact that there are longer and shorter locking periods, you may have a bad broker. If you decide to lock in your rate and do not receive confirmation from the lender right away, this may be because your mortgage broker did not ask to lock in the rate. This would mean that he is working in his own best interests rather than yours.

Most importantly, good mortgage brokers listen to you.

Student Loans and the Options You Have

Once upon a time a student only needed their bachelor’s degree to guarantee themselves a job after graduation. But employers are increasingly looking for a master’s degree or PhD and the bar has risen for students everywhere, as has the cost of education.

What students often don’t realize is the amount of debt they find themselves trapped in upon graduation. And forget about paying off those loans in any respectable time if you don’t find a job straight out of school. While payday loan services like Wonga offer temporary solutions to recent graduates that find themselves flailing, their solutions are only temporary and if borrowers use them for more than emergency solutions, they’re likely to find themselves in over their heads.

Many students have resigned themselves to the fact that they will be paying off loans well into the future. But by acknowledging their debt and setting a clear plan of action, students can be sure not to let themselves fall too far behind.

The first thing students should do upon finishing school (and ideally even before) is determine what amount is owed to whom. Federal loans may come from a variety of different lenders and it’s important to know where your money will be going. Make a list of the loans that will be facing repayment and the dates that repayment begins.

If your life is still a jumble by the time repayment rolls around, look into deferment options. Deferring your loans means that your repayment date will be pushed back; but be careful when resorting to this as you may still be responsible for the interest that accrues while your loan is waiting to be repaid. Students can also consider consolidation, or the combining of loans into one large sum for repayment. Sometimes consolidation can make your life a lot easier, but again consider all options before making the decision. Consolidating loans can erase some of the debt forgiveness options out there and the last thing you want to realize ten years down the line is you could have knocked off a quarter of your debt but now don’t have that option.

If the mountains of debt seem insurmountable to you and you’ve weighed all your options, check to see if you’re eligible for income contingent loans, loans where your monthly payments are decided not on the amount you owe but the amount of money you’re making. In the end, you may be better off paying smaller amounts on a monthly basis and dealing with earning more interest while you pay.

But the best way to avoid student loan debt is to simply be smart when borrowing. While it seems commonsense that what you accept from the government you’ll have to pay back, it may be hard to put down the debit card when you see the money sitting so enticingly in your bank account. By only taking what you need and returning the rest, you’ll be saving yourself a lot of headache and worries down the line.