How to Make Your Relocation Smooth

If you’re in the early stages of relocating to a new community you probably have many questions. It can be hard to know where to begin. That’s why I’ve compiled a short list of tips that can help you remember key steps to a successful relocation.

Relocation

Tip#1: Start Early

While time constraints are often beyond your control, it’s critical to get the ball rolling as soon as you become aware of the future move. If you currently own a home, you should begin the selling process. If renting, you need to check with your landlord regarding the status of your lease and potential penalties you may incur by moving. And of course you will need to look for a home in your new city. If pressed for time it might be more appropriate to search for a rental before committing to the purchase of a home. A trained real estate professional can be of great assistance in all of these areas.

Tip#2: Clear Clutter

Arrange a garage sale, give unwanted items to friends, or donate them to charity. Start organizing for your move and purchase boxes and other moving supplies.

Tip#3: Details, Details, Details

File change of address forms and make the necessary arrangements for your children at school. Call all your utility companies and schedule the cancellation of service for at least 1-2 days after your planned move date. Remember, many utility companies will charge you an extra billing cycle if not given enough notice.

Tip#4: Pick the Right Moving Company

Decide how much involvement you need from your moving company (packing, unpacking, etc.) and investigate moving companies. Your real estate agent can provide suggestions. Get a full estimate and ask the moving company representative any questions you may have. Consider the benefits of moving insurance and check with your insurance provider to see what protection they recommend.

Tip#5: Don’t Forget the Kids

Moving can be very hard on your children, but there are steps you can take to help alleviate your children’s fears. Communicate with them as to exactly what’s going on, and get them involved in the moving process and the search for a new home. If they have a favorite toy, pack it last.

Tip#6: Moving Your Pet

Maintain your pet’s daily routine until the day of the move. Take your pet for a routine veterinary appointment and obtain all necessary records. Moving by car is the least upsetting for the animal, but if flying is the only option be sure to plan early. Space for pets on commercial airliners is often limited. You may wish to consider a pet transportation service, which can greatly help your pet with the transition.

Tip#7: What About Your Car(s)?

Your moving company may be able to accommodate your car, but it can be costly given the fact that most general moving companies charge based on gross weight. There are companies that specialize in car shipping. Other services can have your car driven to its destination. Check with your auto insurance company about coverage during transport.

Tip#8: Get Settled

Make a move-in shopping list, check all smoke and security alarms, set up utilities, and start unpacking!

These are just a few pointers to help you organize your relocation. My website has additional resources available, and I’d be happy to help you with any and all aspects of your relocation. Please call me and let me know how I can be of assistance.

Four common photography mistakes to avoid


Four%20common%20photography%20mistakes%20to%20avoid
If your photos seem too bright, cluttered or ordinary, you can take simple steps to avoid these and other common photography mistakes.”Photographers know it takes a good eye, practice and patience to make the most out of every moment,” says Bill Robbins, an award-winning advertising photographer, commercial film director and current program chair of professional photography at Brooks Institute, a leading provider of higher education for film, graphic design, and photography. “Whether you’re a professional or amateur photographer, it’s also about trying new techniques and experimenting with everything from lighting to composition.”

Robbins offers these tips for overcoming four common photography errors and turning any good photo into a great photo:

* No focal point. Ask yourself this simple question before you snap a picture: What are you taking a photo of and why? Your answer will ensure you capture the right elements for the viewer to easily understand the photograph’s subject and purpose. Less is usually more when it comes to photo composition. For example, if you’re taking a photo of a beautiful landscape, what’s the main focal point – is it the rock formation, sunset or covered bridge? You may need to move in closer to fill the frame with your subject and eliminate any distractions in the background or foreground. In addition, consider turning around to see if there’s a more interesting image or focal point in that direction.

* Too much or too little light. Getting the right exposure – the amount of light that passes through your camera lens – is critical to capturing the sharpest photos. If you’re shooting in a dimly lit space or standing too far away from your subject, your photo may be underexposed or appear too dark. Quick fixes: Add extra light if you’re indoors, move closer to your subject, or manually adjust your camera’s shutter speed to be slower or the aperture to a wider lens opening, thus allowing in more light. When there’s too much natural or indoor light, your photos may look washed out or have unwanted shadows. Consider using a flash to even out the lighting, moving the subject (or yourself) out of the brighter light, or waiting for a time of day when the lighting is better. For outdoor pictures, overcast days work well. When you get in the habit of focusing on the light, you’ll find the best places and times to use light to your advantage.

* Centered subject. The best photos may not be perfectly centered in your frame. When eyeing any photo opportunity, consider the tried-and-true “rule of thirds.” As you’re framing your photo, imagine two vertical and two horizontal lines spaced evenly, creating a grid of nine rectangular boxes. Try placing the main subject near the points along these lines or where the lines intersect.  This creates more visual interest than centering the subject. In a landscape shot, for example, it prevents the horizon from appearing to divide the picture in half. Instead, the horizon might appear in the lower third of the photo. You can also consider framing the image from a different position rather than always shooting at eye level. With digital cameras, it’s easy to experiment and be creative with your composition.

* Red-eye. This is one of the most common – and annoying – issues with photos. Red-eye is caused by the flash reflecting off the person’s retina, in which blood vessels cause the red glow. The easiest solution is to turn off the flash. You can also activate the red-eye reduction feature on many digital cameras, or, if a flash is necessary, ask the subject to avoid looking directly into the camera lens.

Courtesy of BPT