The Internet Will Wait, Flowers Won't



Four Fab Photo Apps

Science World in Vancouver edited with Picfx
Spacey Science World edited with Picfx

Photography has been a passion of mine for a long time. I’ve played around in a dark room, manipulated Polaroid emulsion transfers and I bought a digital camera when 4 mega pixels was a big deal. One thing I was not quick to embrace was cell phones with cameras. I saw it as a useful tool to capture data, but I was not open to the artistic merit angle. I usually carried a camera with me, so I never relied on capturing essential images with a phone. Well, that all changed when I switched from a Blackberry to the iPhone4S last year. It finally dawned on me that it was not the technical specs that was the key feature of using the camera on smartphones (though finally it was on par with point-and-shoots) it was the share-ability of the images captured. Rather than waiting to download scores of images to my laptop (usually late at night) and then finally getting around to putting them up on Facebook, I could instantly share what I was seeing with friends, family and all my social networks. Over the last year I’ve gotten more creative with the images I share and here are the top four iPhone apps that I have used the most:


Victoria Cityscape edited with Instagram
Victoria Cityscape edited with Instagram

I started using Instagram mostly as a way to share images with Facebook, Flickr and Twitter and I played around with the filters, frames and blurs. Lately, I’ve been more interested in Instagram as a social network as there are some amazingly talented and creative people who share their creations through Instagram. I’ve started using more hashtags on my photos under @juliaaustine and I’ve seen the number of likes and comments go up as well (also the amount of spam, but I figured out how to delete those comments).


Powerful Sky edited with Picfx

After using Instagram for a while, I noticed that people’s images were going beyond the manipulations offered there and so I started looking for ways to add more effects to create more dramatic images. I downloaded Picfx (paying a whopping $1.99) and haven’t looked back. With over 100 effects and the ability to layer effects and control the intensity, there are a mind-boggling amount of combinations that can be created.


Sun Forest edited with Picfx, Bokehful & Instagram

One of my favourite effects from Picfx was the different bokeh light layers. The only problem was that it was static, you could adjust the intensity but not the placement. Enter Bokehful. For 99 cents, I could not only control the intensity and placement, there were colour palettes and shapes literally at my fingertips! I keep reminding myself that less is more so that I don’t go overboard.


Diner Desires edited with PicFrame & Instagram

A photo may say a thousand words, but sometimes that’s not enough! From the same designers as Bokehful, ActiveDevelopment, I turned to PicFrame to solve this dilemma. By dropping another 99 cents, I’m able to put multiple images together with a variety of frames and labels that I haven’t tired of yet.

Though I mostly use Instagram to share the final images, I’m finding that to create the effect that I want I sometimes use ALL of the above apps to tweak the original shot before sharing it. So get creative and take a boring pic that anyone could capture and make it your own!

Please let me know what your favourite photo app is as I’m always looking to add to my image arsenal.

On The Same Page

When starting a new business or developing a new project, it’s paramount that all the parties involved are speaking the same language. One person’s “cutting edge” is somebody else’s “yesterday’s news”. A well thought out communications plan can help keep messages consistent and on point. Right after a solid business plan, the best way to share and define your vision is through a document that clearly states the target audience and the image that will be projected to them.

While taking courses at BCIT, I have put together partial and complete Integrated Marketing and Communications Plans for businesses both real and imaginary. This past summer I had an opportunity to build one from scratch for a brand new company that my husband was starting with two business partners. The concept for the business, a high end confectionery business, came about from my own online and real world research. So I was involved from before day one.

The target market and how the products were to be marketed were very clear in my head and it was truly helpful to have a template, such as a Communications Plan, to give order and clarity to the bright images in my brain. It also created talking points for the principals of the business and gave us a starting point for conversations and decision making.

As the business evolved and issues such as locations came up, I was able to tweak and clarify the communications plan and start putting it into action. While the original document was all my own ideas and words, later incarnations were more of a team effort and had input from everyone involved. While it is sometimes hard to have your vision diluted, it is much more gratifying to see it begin to take shape and become something tangible. The word on the page never translate perfectly when shared with the real world.