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Creating Family Films is My Favorite

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I love creating. That’s the bottom line. There is something incredibly fulfilling about seeing a creative project come together and express the emotion or message you set out to convey. That is why I love the visual medium.

But there are some types projects that give me more joy and pleasure than any other.

Capturing and crafting special family moments is my favorite. I consider it a privilege to create a memory and visual keepsake for a family. It is like the ability to pause a season of life and capture a glimpse of the joy that the family is experiencing at that moment. Pretty soon the kids will be moving on to learning new things or expressing themselves in different ways, but I get to freeze them where they are at that moment.

I don’t even know how to fully articulate how happy it makes me.

Here are two of those types of films I created to share two special family announcements with our family and friends.

Good Taste & The Gap

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This video is a great visual representation of an interview with Ira Glass of This American Life from several years ago. Ira Glass’ wisdom is quite profound and has been a source of motivation for me over the last few years.

Here is the takeaway: keep doing it. If you are passionate about creating, create a lot. The more you do, the closer your work will resemble the clear vision you have and will close the gap between what you know is good and the work itself.

Photojournalist Icon’s First Experience with Digital Photography

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This is an amazing short documentary produced by Canon. It follow photojournalist legend Don McCullin as we learns how to use a digital camera for the first time with the help of Canon Ambassador Jeff Ascough.

The thing that I found so fascinating was hearing how a seasoned professional approaches photography and seeing some of the amazing results. In the film, you are able to follow him through various scenarios and see some of the results from each.

After you take a few minutes to watch the film, stop by Canon’s site to view some of the showcase images from both Don and Jeff.

Inspiration: Starbucks Summer Commercial

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One discipline that I have been trying to develop is cataloging ideas or saving things I like so that I can draw on them for inspiration at a later time. I believe this is crucial part of cultivating creativity. And when you are in a creative profession, it is even more important.

This was one of the items that I recently cataloged.

I was watching some late night TV when this Starbucks commercial come on. The concept is pretty simple, but very effective. In 15 seconds, you get that there are great things to drink during the summer at Starbucks. They drinks look good and it has a great summer vibe to it.

It probably didn’t take long to shoot and produce the commercial because of how simple it was. This is the sort of thing I need to remember when we start working on next summer’s promotions at Portland Christian Center.

Switcher: From an iPhone to a Windows Phone – Part 1

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Switcher: iOS to Windows Phone

I recently was eligible for a cell phone upgrade and I decided to do something drastic—leave my iPhone for a Nokia Lumia 920 running Windows Phone 8. And I thought others might benefit from my experience.

Preface

Let me start by saying that I am an Apple user. I’ve used Macs for more than 9 years. We have an iPad at home and my wife has an iPhone 5. I am also an IT manager at work and I work in both the Windows and OS X world.

All that to say, I really like my Apple experience for the most part, but I’m not a fan boy by any means. I understand every platform has their advantages.

Why I Decided To Leave iOS

After 5 years since I got my first iPod Touch and almost two years with my iPhone 4, I was a little bored with iOS. To be honest, that was a big reason for my switch. I didn’t really want to pay $199 for just a little bigger and (a lot) faster phone. I wanted something new and different.

The interface for iOS is fine, but it was kinda stale. In my opinion, iOS hadn’t had any significant innovations in it’s user interface. Apple had solved lots of problems and refined experience (Folders, Notification Center, etc.), but the UX hadn’t remained much the same since 2007.

What I Considered Before Switching

There were several things that I was worried about when switching platforms and a few things that I had to have in a new phone.

  1. Apps: One of the things I worried about were the apps that I had accumulated in the iOS ecosystem. Over there years I had downloaded hundreds of apps. But after looking at what I had used on a semi-regular basis, there were very few that I used all the time and maybe one or two that I paid for.On an Android phone, I new I could easily match all the apps I used. In the Windows ecosystem, I thought most of the apps would be relatively easy to replace, there were quite a few a doubted would be available.
  2. Camera: With a 2.5 year old, there are a ton of special moments all the time. So I needed a phone that could capture those quickly and with great quality.
  3. Hardware: One of my requirements for a new phone was that it had to be fast and one of the top-tier phones, like  Samsung Galaxy  phone. I wasn’t going to settle for a half-baked experience. I wanted speed.

Why I Decided On The Nokia Lumia 920

When looking at my considerations you might think an Android phone like the Samsung Galaxy S III or IV would be the best choice. However, I had been really impressed with what Microsoft was doing with their Windows Surface tablets and Windows 8 and thought it might be worth looking into their Windows Phone 8 devices.

I then stumbled upon Engadget’s Readers Choice Awards and the Nokia Lumia 920 was the smartphone of the year. And then when looking into the best smartphone cameras, Gizmodo rated it the best overall out of the current crop of cameras in February 2013. Obviously, others thought the hardware and the camera of the Lumia 920 were top of the line.

I went to the Microsoft Store at the local mall and played with the Lumia. It was quick and it’s user interface was a nice change from iOS. After playing, I knew I would be happy risking an underdeveloped app ecosystem for the nice hardware, camera, and user interface. It would only be less than two years until I could upgrade again if I hated it.

The Switching Experience

I’ll tell you this: I’m really happy with the Nokia Lumia 920. In the coming weeks I’ll post a few more articles about the experience, including what I love, what I miss about iOS, some great WP8 (Windows Phone 8) apps, and what I hope Microsoft does to make Windows Phone a real player in the smartphone market.

Together is Better

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If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

Tonight, I was reminded that we are meant to do life together.

There is something powerful about sharing life with other individuals who are moving in the same direction in life—not necessarily with the same expertise or the same interests, but willing to invest in each other and help each other be better.

And I want to be better tomorrow than I am today.

Do you have people you can invest in or others investing in you? Don’t do life alone, do it together.