Monthly Archives: October 2012

Guest Post: From Military Boots to Tactical Gear!

Professions that involve risk often require commitment of the mind and body. Having been in the army for three years I know I cannot have equipment or gear I cannot fully rely on. Given the nature of the job, your gear has quite a lot of rough use to last through and investing in clothes and boots that last through some hard physical activities and terrains is very vital. One of my favorite choices to shop for combat boots is definitely Afmo.com. You can find that they have a variety of boots along with many other great products I have reviewed below.

Amazing tactical gear from chest and thigh rigs to sniper gear to tactical belts, they offer great variety and amazing quality. You can find a range of products that are geared for all kinds of terrains and work with the existing army camouflage colors. All products are waterproof and follow army guidelines.

Uniform. All uniforms are designed to provide maximum coverage and protection, while being extremely comfortable to wear. From fire fighter uniforms to tactical shirts and pants to digital battle jackets, there is hardly anything you cannot find here. All uniforms are designed with snag free pockets and run from an extra small size to 3 times extra-large.

Bags and Packs. You can find extremely spacious and durable backpacks and bags here, from shoulder packs to day packs to messenger bags to ammo bags; there are a number of options you can choose from, depending on your activity. For hikes and exercises there are tactical bags that offer a lot of space for water, food, ammo and communication equipment. The gear slingers are also very popular since they provide great space but distribute the carrying weight effectively, making carrying it about less of a hassle.

Footwear. The footwear is definitely remarkable. Not only can you can find all the top brands here, you can also find shoes that are extremely low priced! Just some of the reasons to shop for your military footwear here:

The shoes are 100% waterproof and breathable and have lining that keeps your feet dry even when the shoes are wet! The material used to make the shoes is easily cleanable, extremely long lasting and resistant to rough elements. The shoes are also designed to provide stability and grip.So visit their website today and shop for some long lasting, amazing gear at incredibly low prices.

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Disclosure: Sponsored guest post by AFMO

Police Uniform Shirts

It’s important that police officers have all the necessary equipment to do their jobs properly. And while most people may think of equipment like ballistic vests or firearms, the clothes that officers wear to get their jobs done is no less important. In fact, it may be even more important, since the main way you identify a police officer is by his or her uniform. That’s why all great police uniform shirts need to strictly abide by the NFPA 1994 requirements, and all of the updates that have been added to them since.

What Are NFPA Requirements?

These requirements, which have been regularly updated as a standard, list out the rules and regulations regarding the uniforms worn when responding to terrorism. This includes protection from chemical and biological agents, as well as more traditional forms of attack. While it would seem that these standards focus more on equipment like gas masks, full body chemical suits or ballistic vests, even the standard issue shirt is not exempt from scrutiny. And to make sure that officers are following all the rules, it’s important to buy shirts that meet all of the requirements listed.

Modern Materials, Up To Date Rules

When uniform requirements are shifted for police officers, it’s always done for a reason. And much like the armed forces, these rules have to be applied uniformly across departments in order to make sure that they have the necessary and desired effect. And for officers to make sure they’re properly following the requirements, they also have to go to reliable merchants that are equally familiar with these rules and regulations.

These regulations can have multiple, positive impacts. They promote uniformity and protective standards, which is important. They also make certain that old, outdated materials and equipment are not being relied upon to keep officers safe in a pinch. When your life can depend on the equipment you’re wearing, from the weave of your ballistic vest down to the material of your work shirt, it’s important that you buy in accordance with the standards that have been put forth for you, your fellow officers and all other police in the country.
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Disclosure: Sponsored guest post.

Beach Weddings Disadvantages

We all know that beach weddings, just like beach wedding venues, are extremely popular nowadays and one of the reasons for that is that planning and making such kind if wedding costs less money in comparison with a traditional one. Surely, it makes a beach wedding a very attractive and great option, especially if your budget is limited. One more thing is that such event can be less formal and if you have got such friends who don’t like formal clothes, they will be happy to attend your wedding. There will always be some guests who would love a less formal event and in such a case, a beach wedding will be a brilliant option.

Now you know, that there are more than enough advantages of making a beach wedding. Yet, there are also some disadvantages, and following they can be found.
The first problem that comes to beach weddings is the weather. Actually, weather will influence outdoor weddings anyway and in this regard, you have to consider it carefully. Certainly, there will be absolutely no problem if the day is sunny but who can guarantee this? It can occur that there will be a heavy rain all your wedding day long. Of course, this will significantly affect all your plans.

Thus, couples should consider what to do in such case. For example, you can find a venue which will provide an indoor space as well. But the rain is not the only thing that may occur, as it can be also windy can also affect your wedding planning. It can be very windy on the beach and it can blow the sand on the beach which can cover the food and also affect the photographer because sand is camera’s worst enemy.
Therefore, you will need to cover the food really well in order to protect it from wind and bugs before being serving to the guests. Besides, advise your photographer to take precautions against the issues of sand. This advice will help make absolutely sure that there will be no problem about your wedding photos.
You see, safety issue is the greatest disadvantage about beach weddings. Thus, you will have to think that the beach will can become dangerous for the older couples to walk on the beach and you will need to take extra measures to ensure that there will not be any danger.
But although there are some disadvantages and weak points of beach weddings, people still love them, make and attend them, so if you think, that’s a perfect option for you, then here you go and have fun!

Sponsored By: The Breakers Palm Beach.

Interview with Fitness/Commercial Photographer James Patrick

James Patrick is a highly published fitness and commercial photographer based in Tucson, Arizona. He is a very talented and passionate photographer. James takes pride in his work and his team. His work has appeared in the following magazines: Oxygen, Scottsdale Health, Fitness Plus, Max Sports & Fitness, Physique, World Physique, Las Vegas Sports & Fitness, Tucson Lifestyle, College Affair, Entrepreneur, FHM, Maxim, The New Southwest, Tucson Green Times, Model Scene, eGirls News, So Scottsdale, 944, Campus, RedBlue, Latino y Style, Perfectify, SW Style & Living, Tombstone Epitaph, Oro Valley|Marana, Top Pair, Tucson Women’s, Young Money, Teeze, theScast, Petite Styles, Mobscene, Tucson Foothills, Biz Tucson, Iron Man, Muscle & Performance, M Fitness, CitiScapes, Fit and Firm and many more. Additionally, James works as a marketing professional, website strategist, and a public speaker covering a variety of topics including photography, marketing, and business development.

I really feel that this interview with James has given me a great insight into fitness photography and fitness modeling. If you are interested in being in the industry, I think that you will find James’ responses highly useful.

AVIVA: How long have you been a photographer?
JAMES PATRICK:
I was literally tossed into the photography industry about nine years ago. I say “tossed in” because at the time I was a journalist for a small newspaper. As I was working late one night and about to head out to interview someone for a feature story my editor tossed a camera in my hands. Apparently there were no staff photographers in the office that night and I had to play double-duty of both writer and photographer. I fell in love with it instantly. From that point I had to figure out how to actually take a quality photo. I took only one photo class in college so a large portion of my development in the industry (pardon the pun) came from interning for various photographers as well as from making a lot of mistakes and learning along the way. I spent a few years working on the editorial side as a photo editor for both a newspaper and a magazine. In that field I had to manage a small staff of photographers, divvy out projects, select images for print, post process them and so on. In my mid-20s is when I really started to push myself into the freelance editorial and commercial markets.

AVIVA: Do you pre-visualize your photos or do you put all the components together as you go?
JP:
That would completely depend on the project. With a lot of my editorial clients, I will have either a sit down meeting with the Art Director or Creative Director – or at least chat through the phone. We will discuss the project in detail regarding who or what the photos are of, what the article is about, what is important to incorporate into the images. We share inspirational images back and forth and determine what we hope to achieve during the upcoming shoot. Then during the shoot we always keep our eyes open for on-the-spot creative ideas. Often times commercial shoots are also very precise in the planning stages. Many times as a photographer bidding or proposing on a job, we have to type up a fairly detailed project approach in our bid package that we send into the client. In that we state our “creative vision” for the shoot. That is exactly why any artist, including photographers, will live and die based upon their style. Their style will get them hired just as much as their style will get them overlooked. It is not about having a style that everyone likes. It is about having a style that your key niche or target client connects with. On the flip side of things, there are times where my team and I have to play the role of photographer and creative director right on set. We had that a few nights ago were we were hired to photograph a rock band at a small concert venue. We show up and the band and their manager tells us “we are open to whatever you think will look good.” Over the new few hours, my assistant and I had to fire on all creative cylinders. It worked out beautifully and the band received a variety of creative images and setups.

AVIVA: What achievement(s) in your career are you most proud of?
JP:
That is a difficult question because I look at each project my team and I take on as an opportunity to do something new, something different and something exciting. I would say what I am most proud of is that I can do what I do for a living. That I am fortunate enough to have built such a great team to work with, that I have such fantastic clients, that I can spend endless hours building something I am truly passionate about. No award, publication cover, or big budget assignment can compare to knowing that I am doing the right thing.

AVIVA: We have heard the statement: “Success in photography is 90% business and 10% photography skill”. Do you agree or disagree and why?
JP:
I may push it as far as success is 99% business and 1% photography. A photographer needs the skills, but just being able to take great images is not nearly enough. One of my favorite authors Daniel H. Pink stated “Persistence trumps talent.” I could not believe that more. I see brilliant photographers get passed up by those who, although may not be as talented, had a little more grit and will and drive to succeed. It surprises me that more art schools are not teaching basic business courses for their students. Standard things like how to do book-keeping, how to do taxes, understanding local laws and regulations (if there are any), and most importantly – how to market yourself. Every year I am privileged to return to my alma mater to speak to college photographers on what it takes to define their brand and then how they can go about marketing that brand to build their business. If one were to look at my bookshelf, they will see a bevy of books on photography for sure. However they will see three times as many books on marketing and business. That goes back to me being insanely curious. I love to learn and marketing is a universal language that can be applied to so many ventures.

AVIVA: Which photographers (if any) inspire you?
JP:
There are two that immediately come to mind. One was a professor I had in college. He was one of the first people who gave me the opportunity to sink or swim with my abilities. Over a few years I worked alongside him and learned as much as I could from him, not necessarily about how to take a great photo, but how to develop a great professional life. Another is a fantastic commercial photographer here in town. We go to lunch fairly regularly and are able to act as a sounding board to one another – helping each other out. I am also inspired by those that work as part of my team. My lead assistant is growing a fantastic business as a photographer and it is so exciting to see his journey along the way. My production manager has developed a fantastic business for herself as well. Watching their success pushes me to improve as well.

But in full disclosure, I am actually inspired by more than just photographers. I find inspiration from great videographers, visionary directors, thought-provoking writers, captivating public speakers and more.

One thing about me is that I am endlessly curious. So I am always seeking out new avenues for inspiration and education.

AVIVA: Since many aspiring models have asked this in online modeling forums, I’m going to ask you the same question and hopefully help them out: How important is breast size as a factor in getting published in fitness magazines?
JP:
I had to give a bit of thought to this question as my original response was simply just “no” – however after thinking it through I feel it really just depends on the goals of the model. Specifically it relates to what type of market is the model attempting to pursue. I’m sure there are probably markets out there that it may matter.

When it comes to fitness, the industry I work in, augmentations can actually sometimes be a deterrent that prevents a talent from being hired. I’ve been on sets where the stylists and wardrobe manager have to ask the talent to wear clothing that hides or minimizes the size of their bust. When looked at some athletic based publications – it is very rare that you will see augmentations at all.

I am not an advocate, nor am I against augmented talents. It all really comes back to what are the talent’s goals and where do they want to market themselves towards.

AVIVA: What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to models (ie. what are some things that models do that you feel they shouldn’t)?
JP:
Another hard question. For the most part I work with some truly amazing, driven and energetic talents. I would say the only time it becomes frustrating is when there is a lack of drive and passion behind what they are doing. If a talent shows up on set and is not loving what they do, the photographer will notice, the art director will notice, the photo editor will notice. The same can be said for when a photographer shows up without being invested into what they are doing. Making the effort to try and have every project your best project will go a long way.

AVIVA: What do you feel is the biggest mistake that new models make?
JP:
Perhaps the same mistake a lot of new photographers make. Simply being able to take great images is not enough as a model, just as it is not enough as a photographer. Starting an online profile or throwing them up on a social media channel is not enough either.

It is about doing research to learn as much as you can about the market you want to be in. It is about developing a marketable portfolio that is going to resonate with your target clients. It is about taking the endless hours it requires to build quality relationships with the decision makers for your target clients. It is about super delivering on projects. It is about always staying in touch with your clients. And it is about doing that all over and over and over again.

A good friend of mine began their career as a talent about a year and a half ago. Through that time they’ve worked relentlessly to build up their brand, market what they do, connect to the right people, build quality relationships and more. They are starting to book some high profile jobs right now and commented to me recently “I never would have imagined how much investment this takes.” And it is true. It was an investment of finances, time and emotions. They then said, “I would not change a thing.” Their success, like the success of most, is earned, not given.

AVIVA: Do you have any upcoming projects that we should be on the lookout for (if you’re allowed to talk about them)?
JP: The team and I always have a few things in the fire at once. We are in the process of launching our second season of The Pro Exposure podcast which is available for free at www.theproexposure.com – there you can hear our interviews with various professionals in the talent industry sharing tips and insights on how they made their own journey.

I’m presently working with my videographer on some creative projects. We are in pre-production right now, but hope to have more details available this coming fall.

This fall I will be speaking as well as photographer at Fitness & Sports Network’s FMI 2012 conference in Los Angeles, California. At the same event I will be working with Max Sports & Fitness Magazine as we will be casting the January 2013 cover model or models at the event.

Also my lead assistant and I are launching a new site before the end of the year that will share some of our more creative projects in a different format.

AVIVA: Do you have any additional comments?
JP: Just wanted to thank you for the opportunity to share these thoughts with the readers. If they are interested they can subscribe to my blog – as I post a new article each week. Also feel free to connect with me via my Facebook page.

I would like to thank James for the interview, and I wish him continued success.

Aviva 🙂