February Playlist

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Howdy folks!

I am back with another playlist. I don’t know if I said this in my January playlist or not, but I tend to repeat songs from 2016 in the first two or three playlists of the new year. Most of the time it’s my own fault because I’m so damn picky but finding new music in the US from other countries is what I sort of live for and I had like three bands that I actually like and listen to release their albums on the 27th of January, so now I’m on the search for something else and there’s a 99% chance I won’t find a solution in February.

Of course, there are a few new singles here and there! I mean, I’m not that of a scrooge! I also went on an “oldies” spree one afternoon and I went through my other playlists and ransacked a few of my followers’ playlists too! Somedays, if you’re really bored or in need of “new” music, you will do some strange things.

My friend Carolee, you might’ve heard of her, I’ve written about her artwork on here before. She’s also got an awesome selection of music too! We swapped favorites in the first week of the month. I gave her the new albums of both Akoma and Xandria, and she suggested Starset’s new album “Vessels” and I am loving “Monsters” lately, so I said I would check it out! She also gave me an artist by the name of TeZaTalks. I had never heard of but was eager to learn more about her and I got hooked to her song “STFD (sit the f*ck down)” and I thought it would be a great song to select for the song of the month!

February seemed like a slow month, which is why I had less than 100 songs in this playlist. I wasn’t acting like I had about two hours to place them into the playlist before I’d never hear them again. Almost every song on it, I heard every other day and that’s just unheard of with me!

There’s a lot of dance tracks on this playlist, I mostly go back and forth between Sirius XM BPM, Pop2K, and Hits 1 so everything was coming out in these stations and I was just collecting whatever I liked and couldn’t get enough of, which again, was mainly in the EDM genre. So there’s Party Favor, The Chainsmokers, Marshmello, and Bassnectar. The rest is mostly pop and heavy metal. It’s a fairly good mix of music, I’ll just say that! Hope you enjoy!

Here is my February playlist. What song(s) were you obsessed with this past month?

snowflake

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Album Review: “Theater Of Dimensions” by Xandria

15578479_10154323610840889_4576199446702677479_nToday’s album review is from a band called Xandria. I’ve been a fan of theirs since the end of 2011 I believe, so I’ve seen a lot of people come and go and heard a lot of amazing music for the last six years!

Xandria is a German symphonic metal band and they are made up of five members: Marco Heubaum and Philip Resemeier on guitars, Steven Wussow is on bass, Gerit Lamm plays the drums and Dianne van Giersbergen is the main vocalist. They released their new album called “Theater Of Dimensions” on January 27th, that day was a just good day of releases. I had a total of four albums and this won the chance to be review!

I’m basing my review off what it is Spotify, and they have both the Deluxe and Standard editions, but I’m only discussing the standard issue. Now let’s finally get into this, shall we?

If you’ve never heard a symphonic metal album, most of the bands will create a story within the actual album, so each song will contain a different section of the plot. I don’t think this is a concept album, but there is some kind of story telling throughout the record that I am still searching to figure out. The language that seems to be used in this album is what I’d call Old English, almost Shakespearean, hence the title of the album in general perhaps?

The first track has a soft introduction, the song is actually very beautiful! It is called “Where The Heart Is Home” and when I hear it, I think it has a good balance of soft and dramatic  notes. I think Dianne’s voice just sounds angelic in this song! I can always get behind a song that is about seven minutes long! I think it’s a great, fairly tame start to the album.

Next is “Death To The Holy” and this was the song that reassured me that this album would be heavier than the last two albums. I’m not saying I didn’t like them, I do! I love them wholeheartedly, but I also love a heavier metal track too! I love the drum intro! I love the whimsical vibe you get throughout the song! It’s easy to stay on the beat as they arranged it, very catchy too! Dianne even sounds almost playful. I think that’s sort of unique to her because she has such a strong, powerful voice! The choirs sound amazing as always! I’m a sucker for choirs I really am! I am usually drawn to these types of songs for some odd reason! They just remind me of sailors, I know that probably sounds weird, but once you’ve heard multiple symphonic metal albums, you’ll understand why I say that!

I love the introduction of “Forsaken Love” it starts out with the villean pipes, which really bring out my interest in it. I love to hear anything with pipes, flutes, fiddles, and violins. Anyways, it’s a beautiful ballad. The next track is “Call Of Destiny” and when this was released at the beginning of January, I was secretly attached to it. I couldn’t get enough of it. Despite this, I find it a tad bit tame compared to their first single, “We Are Murders (We All)” when I heard this, I felt bummed, but now I like it and so much so that I included it into my Vikings Playlist on Spotify! I thought it fits in parts of the verses! There is a featured singer in that song, it is a Swedish singer Björn Strid of Soilwork.

The sixth track is “Dark Night For The Soul” and I really love the piano of this one. I think with someone like Dianne, been classically trained, this is where she really shines. Sometimes going simple can be a glorious thing, especially as a metal band in general. We’re so used to our heavy bangers and normal ballads, that some of us can’t appreciate softer ballads such as this one. It does have a guitar solo in it, but thankfully it isn’t obnoxious! I don’t normally care for guitar solos myself, but I think this one was very good! Marco and Philip have created some very gorgeous solos in the past I will say, so I do make exceptions every once in a while!

And then we have “When The Walls Come Down (Heartache Was Born)” and this one is a heavy track, the introduction has this ominous feel and then you suddenly hear the choirs and it’s very good! The next is “Ship Of Doom” and it has another soft beginning, but it very good. It’s another fantasy-like song, would probably be good on my Vikings playlist too, but I have like four of their tracks about sailing, so I’m going to hold out including it for now! Ninth is an instrumental called “Ceilí” and I was a bit shocked to see this, because they are not known to put this kind of track on an album mostly because they do not have a touring keyboardist. If they ever play it live, it would mostly likely turn up during intermission. It is a whimsical tune, very playful but also heavy in the guitars, so it’s a good mix.

The last four of the standard edition are next. We have “Song For Sorrow and Woe” and it is another slow start, but once the tempo increases you can kind of hear the horns, which can be sort of hard to decipher, but not here. Unfortunately I don’t really care for it, and even I’m surprised! It has everything that I usually look for, but it is an interesting song! Next we have “Burn Me” and this also features another singer, it is Zaher Zorgati of Myrath and this is another very tame song. I do like the duet between Dianne and Zaher, I think it is interesting dynamic since she’s so high and he seems to be more of a baritone.

I have a thing for unique introductions, I have a weakness for an acoustic guitar I think every person does, they just don’t want to admit it out loud. “Queen Of Hearts Reborn” has a quiet, but epic beginning and then it just erupts of sounds between the drums and guitars, they cut into Dianne’s high notes and she almost sounds evil in parts. I swear, I mean that in a good way! It brings out a new character for her. I could see this one becoming a favorite of mine! Lastly, we have the title track “A Theater Of Dimensions” and they are known for their final songs to be the longest of all the rest; this one does not disappoint, it is 14 minutes and 22 seconds long! The only bad part about it is the fact that it is really slow! Thankfully, it does gradually get better and becomes more intense as it goes on. It’s pretty good!

I love Xandria, I really do! I always look forward to their albums but I have to say, I just sort of felt let down in a way. I think it might’ve been the ballads or the way of speaking, sometimes that can be an issue with me. I do think it’s interesting and different, so I definitely can’t say I hate it, but rating wise I would give it a eight out of 10. I think the album is great, but not as amazing as “Sacrificium” but you can’t like everything.

Have you listened to Xandria’s “Theater Of Dimensions” yet? What did you think?

snowflake

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OOTD: Oh, Deer!

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Howdy!

Today I have another outfit of the day, but I wanted to mention that I wore it on Friday, I just wasn’t able to get the pictures right away to publish it over the weekend.

As I mentioned in my V-Day OOTD I went shopping and managed to buy more colorful clothes, mostly in the T-shirt department. I really love my black clothing and everything, but unfortunately most of the tops I own doesn’t go with my bright and crazy leggings so somehow I managed to buy probably seven tops that do not have a shade of black on them! I did buy one gray and two black and white tops, but you’ll see soon the only reason I bought those last two were because they go with my personality really well!

I guess since we’re already on the subject, we can start on the shirt which is a simple tee in a pale shade of yellow. I don’t really care for pastel colors, but I do like a mint and nice yellow like this. The day I wore this, my mom wore her pink top, and we looked like a couple of Easter eggs! I think it’s a nice color though, it’s not in your face yellow, it’s a very sweet and gentle color.

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I think since because this is just a basic top, it was cheaper than the “Love” shirt I put up last week. They were also on sale too, which was the real reason why I came home with five different shirts. I’m pretty sure they were all $3 each and that is really good. I originally had another shirt that I wanted to wear with these pants I’m about to talk about in a minute, but I lost to both my mom and sister. My dad was on my side but beer was involved so his answer was invalided.

Anyways, the leggings were the first thing I saw when we got into the section and I fell in love with them instantly. You guys know I love my Aztec designs, so this one is no different except it has little deer and birdcage images with the normal shapes throughout, but the background is a solid black and it has a rainbow ombre of bold colors from the waist to the ankles.

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Everybody that I was around that day, seemed to really like them and think they were from another brand that has become sort of popular recently, called LaRue but they’re from Wal-Mart instead. These were just $4 and that is a LOT better than some places especially LaRue’s prices as I was told! I know a lot of people have opinions about Wal-Mart’s leggings that they have a little bit of a history of tearing while in the wash, but I’ve never had any issues with them and majority of the leggings in my drawer is from there!

I also wore my shawl that morning since I had an early day at physical therapy and it was pretty chilly! I even had to wear a pair of socks, they weren’t anything fancy though! Just plan black socks that I feel shrunk while in the washer because my mom was having issues putting them on me and my nana almost took off my left foot trying to remove it when I got to her house!

So what do you think of this outfit? Yay or nay? 

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snowflake

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Album Review: “Cinematic Songs Vol. 1” by Tommee Profitt

15977274_1352323748142203_8790681019734235473_nToday, I have something a little different for you. This isn’t your regular album review. No, this is totally unique  I think in the way that it all came together. I hope you like what you read in my review below and if you decide to listen or purchase the album digitally, as that’s the only way it is released right now, please tell me your thoughts on it as well.

If you are familiar with my music tastes, you know how much I love anything epic cinematic, it can mean “trailer music” as a lot of people seem to categorize it like that. I think my infatuation with it started while I was finding more and more symphonic metal bands. Epic cinematic music is more like alternative pop to me, as it’s not entirely pop nor symphonic either. It’s a nice medium and I just love it to pieces because it too, can tell a deeper story than a normal pop song can in my opinion.

The album is produced by Tommee Profitt. He is also a composer and songwriter. You might have heard of his music on different networks like Freeform, ABC and the CW. In the “Cinematic Songs Vol. 1” he has a mixture of both instrumentals and tracks that feature different artists.

The track that starts us off is “No Escape (Genesis)” and it is an instrumental and if you know me well enough, you know I like a good, powerful beginning and just as epic end to it all. This track is no different. It’s a perfect beginning to the album. I like the air-y dreamscape it delivers. Despite it having a clear, war scene type of image in your mind, it also has a beautiful body of various emotions you can hear within as you would be able to see if it was a movie. The second is “Caught In The Fire” featuring the first singer of the album, it is Sam Tinnesz, who is a singer/songwriter from Nashville and he is also the lead vocalist of Wave & Rome.  I think this one is fairly quiet compared to the first, it does built once the chorus begins; that’s what is so interesting with cinematic music, you might have a peaceful introduction but by the ending, it has erupted into this glorious fire of sounds. No pun intended.

Third is called “Who Side Are You On” and it features one of my favorite pop-cinematic artists, the main reason why I’ve been so interested in the genre in the first place: Ruelle! She has the power to make a song like this, choosing a side between right and wrong, and twisting it on its head a little. I really love the synth drums and strings throughout the end of the choruses, it gives a sense of chaos I think of figuring out which side you believe. I think the best part of this is at the end, I love the last two high octaves the choir gives before finishing the song completely. I like paying attention to details, especially in music. It always leaves me curious and wanting more!

Next is a track called “Free” that is performed by singer Svrcina, unfortunately I couldn’t find a lot about her on her Facebook page like I could with the others, so I’m just going to have to wing it. Sorry! This one has a different sound compared to the first 3 songs, which is always nice. Svrcina has a nice deep voice, she kind of reminds me of Birdy in a way. I think they should play this for the Pretty Little Liars finale. I don’t watch the show, but I think it would be perfect for the main characters! Anyways, the fifth track, we’re back with the instrumentals! It is called “Insurrection” and I love the ominous feeling in the intro, best thing ever! I love the sounds that horns tend to give off in these types of tracks, a sense of war on the way, so they’re preparing, getting their strategies just right, and eventually fighting with one another. Those are always my favorite sections and let’s be honest, they usually have the best music sequences too!

Afterwards, we have a slightly softer sound by an artist Wondra, for the track “I’m Not Afraid” but again, it builds as she begins to sing, because at first all you hear is Wondra vocalization, it doesn’t sound like the previous tracks. I like the soft piano at the beginning and end. It’s very beautiful! It has a pop atmosphere but I actually like it though. Next we have Sam Tinnesz back with a second song called “Glass Heart” and we have another piano introduction with Sam’s gorgeous, questionable voice. I like the chorus section mostly because of the zigzag sounds you hear with the high-pitched notes of the piano with subtle low, sort of deep drums give it a dramatic feel. Surprisingly, I thought it could do without the string section at the end.

This one is called “Soldier” and it is performed by Fleurie, she’s another artist that is featured on our favorite television shows like The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. This is very pretty. I like the soft beginning that her voice brings to the table. It’s not too much or too little. The song is also very catchy, so it’s an ideal pop cinematic track. The ninth track is another instrumental, it is called “Rising Tombs” which explains a lot, because within the first seconds of it, it’s very quiet and then you start to hear these sounds like somebody walking up stairs. All the while the orchestra’s power grows and it becomes very energetic. I want to say, this one has more of an electronic sound to it, which I know sounds weird but it does!

We are on the last four songs, starting “Sleeping With A Ghost” and this one definitely has an electronica vibe to it, probably a little more than the last one. The singer featured in this is CAPPA and she is an indie-pop singer from Nashville. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say most of the artists on this installment are from the country music capital of Nashville. I love the diversity though! Next is a track called “I’m Seeing Red” and I’m in love with the title! You know it’s going to be badass with that kind of title and it is! So creepy but light and air-y with Aron Wright’s voice, but of course everything needs to grow and become a massive beast and that’s the best way to describe how this sucker concludes. It’s pretty unique!

We have our last single to feature Fleurie and it is “Hurts Like Hell” and I have to say both this track and the other are both featured on her EP “Love And War” that came out in November. This is a very beautiful track, I love her soft, almost quiet voice and a piano together. I’m only just discovering her and she just takes me away from the pain in my daily life and that’s what I love about cinematic music the most, it has the power to do that to you. Anyways, my favorite section is the bridges, you still have this eternal sound but like a bubble pops and the sounds intensifies but then it calms back down again. The last track is a bonus, it’s “Carol Of The Bells” and this makes me think of Christmas when I first heard it, I’ll be honest, but it’s a classic. Everyone has heard of it in their lifetime. I certainly have, I’ve just never known the title of it. It’s so beautiful though and the perfect finish!

I will be honest, I found this whole album on accident one night. I had been listening to Ruelle and was on her “Related Artists” on Spotify and found Fleurie and I have been curious to check out her music for about a year and I finally did and this was included at the bottom of her overview. So I thought I would do a review of what I thought of it as a whole and this is the result. I think Tommee has a fantastic group of tracks and featured musicians, everybody did a great job! All I have to do is wait for Volume #2 now!

What do you think of cinematic music? Are you lover or unsure about the entire genre? 

snowflake

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New Apartment!

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Howdy!

Don’t get too happy, I didn’t move out or anything! My sister and future brother-in-law did in fact move out of their first apartment and into this massive beast! It’s become a tradition now to blog about their new whereabouts and so that’s what I’m doing today!

If I remember correctly, Blondie has said back in the summer that their lease for their first apartment was up in November, but they had been looking for a new place I think towards the end of July or beginning of August. They needed to find a place that allowed all of their fur babies. When they moved into their first apartment, they only had two cats: Gru (grew) and Tonif (tone-if) and by the start of the winter, mom had to give up her only orange kitty Otis because he was pretty scrawny. By the start of 2016, they had adopted a new cat Samuel and then at the end of March, they grabbed a pit bull puppy from our neighbors and named him Chipper.

They managed to find a nice place just outside of town where they live, it’s close to where she works at now. One of the joys about this new apartment is that it’s all one level, whereas the other place was upstairs and I never got to visit. I was really bummed about it, because it was my sister’s first real place away from our parents that wasn’t a dorm and I couldn’t come and sleep over. Now I can because there is a ramp into the sidewalk! It’s a little exciting for all of us, not just me!

Now for the reason why I called it a “massive beast”. The living room itself is the biggest space I’ve seen in a while! It remains me of a house we used to live in when we were kids, because the living room was both large and it had wooden floors too! You should see Chipper running on it, it’s actually pretty hilarious! He just slides all over the place! They have an entertainment center, their couch and coffee table but it all still leaves a chunk of space left over; they could build another room that’s how much room they have still in their living room!

Unfortunately, these pictures don’t really give it justice.

Even after getting all of their furniture into the place, it still very space-y! However, if we stay around the part where we live for Blondie’s bachelorette party, at least we’d all have a place to crash for the night. We’d just need more beds because I’m betting nobody wants to sleep on a hard wood floor! I definitely don’t want to!

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One the opposite side is their TV and entertainment center plus the doors for the already built-in rooms. Their bedroom is on the left, where Brandon’s “man cave” is on the right side. When we came over a few days after they finished settled in, he told us of his plans for this room and I thought it was pretty funny and a little adorable! I’d share pictures of both rooms, but the two that my sister had posted were messy as crap, so that’s why I’ve left them out of this post!

When you fist “enter” this next section of their apartment. You have two doors that are a fair distance from each other. One is where the radiator is located and the other is the bathroom. The bathroom is an accessible bathroom as it has rails on the back of the head and side of the toilet, which is another plus for my sister and I!

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Next let’s move on to their kitchen. When my mom showed me the pictures of the inside, I thought the kitchen was really big too, but it’s honestly not that large compared to the living room. I think it was the flooring that gave you the illusion that it’s a little bigger, but when we came over, I realized it’s more like a kitchenette as there’s not that much space between the stove to the fridge!

As you can see, there is a door in between the cabinets in the back of the pictures, that is their pantry, which is fairly nice small room itself! They’re probably happy to have such a place to hide all of the cat and dog food!

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There you have it! The twin’s house tour is complete! Now I can officially talk about the day my mom and I went to go visit them for her birthday!

I have never been around their cats for a whole year, almost 2 years! I also haven’t met Samuel before, so I had memories of our old inside cat Oliver, running away from strangers entering the house, but these cats didn’t do that! They’re used to mom, because when Blondie and Brandon leave for a week, she and dad would go to the apartment and check up on them. So they all know about them, but again, they hadn’t been around me yet. I was expecting them to run away, not come up to me, but Samuel was the first one to come up to me. He is known as the “biter” according to dad, so the fact he was being a sweetie pie was really freaking me out!

It’s actually been a long time for me to be around inside cats. I almost ran over three out of four of them! Samuel isn’t like the others, Toni, Gru, and Otis are familiar with my wheelchairs because they were from our liters. Otis is Tavis’ brother, which explains the smallness in body size, but Gru and Toni are Bootsie’s kittens I think!

I was told that Otis is their cuddler, and he is just that considering mom and I weren’t in that apartment that long and she had scooped him up and proceeded to hold him most of the time. We came bearing pizza (sorry Uncle David) as a birthday present and she had to put him down, but he thought my lap would be a good alternative so he just climbed aboard and crashed on my legs for a bit! After getting Coke spilled on his head he decided my lap wasn’t working out very well and moved to my chest. He climbed up my armrests and left elbow and rubbed himself all over my face and I’ve never felt more loved by an animal until that moment! My own boys (Tavis and Stormy) haven’t done that before! 😦

Chipper is normally berserk whenever he comes over to the house, so to see him actually calm was a strange thing to witness! I mean, he wasn’t like totally zone out from us, because he kept trying to lick my face and give me hugs but whenever he would go for this, my wheelchair would move backwards and freak all of us out! And I had broken my seat belt a few days before so I wasn’t buckled in and that didn’t make us feel good! So next time, I’m just going to get on the floor so he can get his lovings too!

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What do you think of the new place? Do you have any suggestions they can do with the extra space in their living room?

snowflake

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Photography 101 | How To Hold Your Camera

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Howdy!

I am pretty open about my life on the internet. I honestly like educating people about my condition Arthrogryposis and figure out how to adapt to my surroundings. I don’t really remember the day I picked up my fork to feed myself or put the pencil in between my toes to write, it just happened. I love being able to do things for myself. I love not having to depend on a family member or one of my friends to do something for me. I’ve always been resilient and I don’t like to give up easily.

I’ve always tried to post my own pictures on here. Unfortunately, when I first started blogging, I think I was too afraid to show the world that I was real. There is a face to this disability, she has a name and a story. One day I just started including my own pictures from my phone every once in a while. I was really inspired to edit and use filters on the pictures but also being able to make up a complete blog post with a photo was pretty fun!

Last year, I hosted a blog chat and our theme was photography and what kind of props we like to use for our posts. I was very proud of myself for just thinking of it off the top of my head! I gave you a sense of what I liked to use but I never shared on how exactly I do any of my photography for my blog!


I would say from the end of 2015 to now, I’ve hit a new level of photography. I still don’t consider myself a “master” at it or anything, but as far as getting a certain angle, I try my best to get it on my own.

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One of my beloved angles is from the ground view. It’s a simple way to take a photo of anything with a flat surface, but in my case it’s my most popular pose to snap a picture at our cats!

I have learned to go slow, don’t rush the experience. I know with dealing with cats, they are not interested in getting their pictures taken. Okay, maybe Nelson and Bear-Bear like it, but that’s about it. Everybody else just tolerates it I think. I know for a fact that Midget and Bootsie absolutely hate it because I can rarely get them to stay put to capture them on camera.

And sadly, sometimes they will be laying on something high up like dad’s grill or sitting on the post at the back door and I can’t get to them no matter how hard I try. It’s at those times where I holler at my mom to come outside and get them all around so I can take photos of them. Sometimes they lay in certain positions or on my lap and I’m not able to get the shot myself so she’ll take the reins and the ending result is something adorable like this!

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The rest of the time, I do everything else. The pictures are taken by me. I do everything on my blog, nobody does it unless I’ve granted them access but I haven’t been asked by Blondie or anybody else in a few years so, everything that you’ve read on here that doesn’t say “Guest Post” in the front is by me.

I don’t use that Dragon software. I actually hate it. I don’t like the easy road and when we got to try it out in my computer class freshman year, I could have cared less, especially when everybody kept coming up to me saying, “Meghan, this would be perfect for you!” No, thank you. I have enough trouble trying to speak, I can’t imagine how many issues I’d have with that. However, if it works for you. That’s fine.

The Simple Forward:

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I think this is the second simplest way to hold a camera of any size with your feet. I’m naturally a left footer, so this works really well for me!

I know it’s a little hard to tell, but both of my feet are deformed and my right foot is called a clubfoot. A good chunk of it is pointed to the far right where my heel is headed to the left. I have a section of my bones on the left side of the foot and it makes for a slight flat surface. If I were to lay my foot out straight without twisting the leg at all, I can hold a fairly large book or notebook on top and balance it and move to one side of the room. It takes a lot of practice and I still spill things, but it works.

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As far as holding my camera though, I put the camera at the edge of the bones so that it standing flat on the area of the foot. Thankfully, there is just enough room for a small camera to stand straight for a good even-leveled photo. For some added security, I place my left foot on top where the “palm” of it is keeping it from tipping over and using my big toe to push the button to finally get the shot. This is my nana’s camera, so hers is lighter and kind of smaller in width, so it doesn’t fit as well in the space on my right foot as much as mine!

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I’m still doing the pose here, but the difference is that whenever I’m sitting higher up whether it’s on my bed or in the wheelchair, I will naturally tilt my camera forward to get a closer look at whatever I am wanting to take.

Example:

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This was taken at the side of my bones because of the entire angle of the colored pencils. Whenever I take pictures on the side of my right foot, the item will ultimately be at a horizontal line. I try my best not to do this but I do feel the most comfortable with this technique!

I also have a second way to hold it, especially for those closer or low takes. It’s the same method I’ve explained above, the only difference is instead of putting the camera on my bones on the side. My camera is in the middle of my foot, directly behind my toes and I do have to keep my foot straight throughout the whole time. It’s a good pose but I feel better with the first

Example:

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If you ever see things straight like this, this means I have used the second technique as it would be easier to everything in one shot.

Going Vertical:

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This one is actually pretty easy to do, you just have to work on keeping steady because it is an awkward pose to do.

The best way to describe this angle is like grasping something, like you would hold a bowl of cereal or warm soup with both of your hands. However, the difference with using your feet is that, especially with mine, I’m not able to basically wrap my feet around my camera fully. I’m only able to hold in a small enough space in between both feet. I usually try to go high enough so I can reach the buttons, but I’ve learned that if I get my right foot too high then I’m not able to see the screen very well, kind of like in this picture above!

Example:

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The Downward Spiral:

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This one requires both practice and patience in the beginning, mostly because in this pose you moving the camera to face down on the floor, not straight ahead, so if you are not paying attention to what you are doing on all sides, you will drop and might possibility break your camera!

The way I hold my camera for this pose is like the forward, because I am depending on my right foot a little more stability while my left is around the buttons. For this, the camera is mostly between the “mountain” of bones and the side of my heel. One side is resting on the bones where the rest is in the space in the middle of that area. My left foot on top of it, but I’ve flipped my foot to the side and the upper part of the camera is in between the arch of the foot. Sometimes I can click the keys with both my big and “index” toes, it just depends on how far over I’ve got the camera in the dip.

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There is another bad part about this pose. Since you are placing your camera directly on top of what you want to take a picture of, you are also cutting off a bit of your light that would be helpful to brighten up the product or whatever. Everybody says, “don’t use your flash” because sometimes it is too bright and can reflect a glare if it’s plastic or glass, but my advice for that is if all you can use a simple digital camera and can’t afford Photoshop, use the flash! Sometimes it can be your best friend, you never know!

Example:

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As you can see, to be able to get everything in one shot, you have to lift the camera as high as you can. For those of us in wheelchairs, this can get pretty tricky because sometimes you can’t hold the camera up that high and still be able to see what you are shooting in the first place!

The reason why I’m calling this the “downward spiral” is because of the many times I’ve dropped it from this position and the batteries would end up on one side than the actual camera, so it had spun around as it hit the ground! And I’ll be honest, I just wing it while I hold it up in the air. I check it after I’ve taken a couple every time to make sure I’m at least in the right direction! This was a lucky shot! You may not be able to read all of the labels of the bottles but you do see everything and that’s the whole idea!

How do you take your pictures? What is your go-to position to get the perfect shot?

snowflake

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Photography 101 | How To Sit In Your Wheelchair

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Howdy!

This year I want to show you more of myself. You know that I can do things with my feet, like mix and decorate cakes and write with my “magical” toes, but you don’t see a lot of what goes on behind the scenes. You haven’t been able to see how much work goes into this blogging lifestyle. I mean, it’s one thing to constantly talk about it but I’ve never shown you what all I really do in general.

I also wanted to write these posts for people like me that may not know how to hold a camera with their feet yet, but if you’re a blogger with some kind of a disability my advice for you is to try to do things on your own. Afterwards, do a blog post about it. Whether you’ve succeed in that goal or failed at it, at least you can tell yourself “okay, that doesn’t work. How can I fix this?” You will learn more about yourself creating that post and you might get more ideas of how to make it better!


So let’s start discussing placement. I think it’s important to talk about how you’re going to place your body to get a certain image. For an able bodied person, they can walk over and stay standing up to get a photo of something, but for us handling a camera with both their feet and sitting in a wheelchair, we’re very limited on where we want to go! However, if things are placed low to the ground, then we have an extra advantage because we don’t have to crouch down like others do.

As you’ll read in tomorrow’s post about how I hold my camera in each position. This one focuses on how I am sitting whenever I want to capture an image. I have three positions I do in my wheelchair. I also do two of these poses while sitting up in bed if I am at home, but I have done all three out in public.

The Simple Forward:

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So this pose is the simple forward for a reason, because I’m just simple sitting in my chair. This is my second popular pose because it is probably the easiest out of the three and doesn’t necessarily require a lot of strength in your upper body.

There is two ways to use this pose, you can do it like how I’m showing you above, so if you are taking photos of children, animals, or anything that’s not too high up or low to the ground. I tend to do this one a lot; mostly because if you were to drop your camera it wouldn’t hurt it as much because there’s not that much of a distance between the floor and where you’re shooting!

You may not be able to see it as good in this picture but I am sitting with my feet, just an inch of two, up in the air.

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Going Vertical:

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I have to say, despite literally rotating your camera on it’s side, this is technically an easy pose! Well, compared to the last one, it is a lot easier! This one requires a lot of patience and in the first few times you go to hold your camera like this, you will lose your grip and drop the camera.

In a way, this is like the one I explained above, but the only difference is that you can get a good vertical shot, like say you’re doing an outfit of the day (OOTD) post, this could be a good angle because you will be able to get everything, your feet, hair, and wheelchair in general. However, as I say that I rather use the simple forward because you can get more of the background in the shot than using this way, but that’s just me!

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The Downward Spiral:

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Now this will be the one where holding your breath may be needed! And no, I’m not kidding!

For this position, you’re initially attempting to do the infamous flat lay photography. If you’re a blogger, you know what that means already, but if you don’t. You mainly only use this pose whenever you’re taking pictures of products, like whenever I post about nail polishes, I’m literally in this god forsaken position! However, if you’re as mischievous as I am, doing this to freak out your family and friends is an added bonus, just don’t get cocky or else you will be the one to end up on the floor too!

Anyways, you will need a lot of strength in your upper body, because whenever I use this position I tend to shake–almost shiver–in the middle of doing it. If you don’t do this a lot, (which you won’t after the first time you go for it, trust me), you will strain your neck. The muscles in my neck have never been good, especially after having my surgeries and I became depended on my headrest; what still gets me though is that I don’t use my electric wheelchair as much anymore so I don’t use a headrest and I still have issues with my neck!

A dangerous factor that you need to realize is that you could also slide right out of your wheelchair while trying to do this. So as you can see in this next photo, I have my feet raised pretty high to be able to get one notebook in the shot.

I am still learning how to place; I tend to arrange things vertical than horizontally, like a regular person would, but it also has to do with the placement of my feet too! I can’t get everything in one take while holding onto the button at the same time! To be able to even attempt a flat lay portrait, you need a lot of room so that the product(s) don’t look crowded. You also need to be able to read everything as well!

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I will say that when you’re doing this pose, I’d check your seatbelt and watch how much room you have in your seat, because half the time when you are in this position you are leaning back in your chair but you have your butt on the edge. However, if you have great balance and can lift your feet up higher without tipping backwards then you won’t have to worry about being at the end of the seat.

What do you think of my positions? Could you imagine taking pictures with your feet? 

snowflake

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