Friday, February 16, 2018

Looking for Ways to Improve Your Infographics? Check Out The Great Tips Offered Here

Clipart image of an infographics template
For over two decades I worked in journalism. I came away with a lot of information from those years, but none perhaps so pronounced as the fact that a picture is assuredly worth a thousand words.

Whether it was adding a graphic element to a story or to an advertisement, it was well-known that the right one would increase interest. Done well,  the visual after getting your attention, clarifies the words that might accompany it. A writer might paint a picture with his prose, but an artist or photographer leave nothing to the imagination. The images they produce draw the viewer in to the story they paint or photograph.

There's no better way to get people to notice your message than by adding visual elements to facts and information.

This is the purpose of infographics, where text and images combine to present data in a clear, concise manner. Together they educate, build awareness and market strategically everything from products to people.  Studies have shown that a good infographic is up to 30 times more likely to be read than a text article.

The trick is putting this into action. Simply slapping together some cool fun graphics with some interesting tidbits isn't going to achieve the result you hope for. To get the most from them,  to understand the potential and realize it for yourself,  here are some wonderful sites with tips for what to do and what not to do:

Clipart image of an ingraphics template
Once you know how,  the next step will be sourcing out some wonderful graphics to highlight your project. There are a number of online resources, such as  and where, with a subscription,  you are able to access a huge variety of images safely.

Then, armed with perfect graphics and the knowledge of how to grab attention with your infographic, the only thing left is to find the firght tool to create it.  Here are some excellent options:

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

When Good Friends Gather It's Time to Bring Out the Camera. These Tips will Help You Get the Best Results

Photo of three happy friends with their heads together looking up at the camera
"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy. They are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." — Marcel Proust

The blessing of friendships is one that should never be taken for granted. Friends listen when we need them, keep us honest, support us and love us — warts and all.  Time spent in their company can be energizing and cathartic.

I'm extremely grateful for the 'charming gardeners' in my life, those who I feel very fortunate to count as friends. Unfortunately, however, many of them are not as geographically close as I would like, thus resulting in our times together being far more infrequent than I would like.  One particular group of cherished old gal pals and I have been trying to get together for an outing for several months. As is often the case, of course, life has found ways to alter our plans and we've faced postponement after postponement. 

One of the realities around which we must schedule our gatherings is employment, of course. While the other four are retired,  I'm still slaving away at the 9-5 grind, which certainly limits options. And, with kids and grandchildren still thankfully needing all of us, for this and that, we have to shift even the opportunity for time with good friends a little further down the priority list.

Photo of three women singing at a party
On the plus side, we all feel the the same dedication to making something work out. Friendships are too important to let go and the long history attached to ours means it's even more worthy of preserving. We first met through our mutual love of singing, as members of a chorale group, some four decades ago.  It didn't take us long to discover that we actually had many things in common, while we also admired each other's unique traits.

When the chorus eventually disbanded,  we suddenly found ourselves in the position of no longer seeing each other on a regular basis. It took us a while to build a routine that would keep us in touch, but we've managed.

When we do get together now, making the most of the day or evening isn't something we have to work at. Our friendship spans decades, has seen us through everything from worrying about our kids to grieving the loss of our parents.  We have seen each other at our worst and really don't care.  We share a dirty sense of humour, strong family values and that love of music.

There are gregarious personalities among us that complements the more introverted.  They are outgoing, charming and full of life, meaning that time spent with them is an always an excellent reminder to the rest of us to smile and let go.  Conversely, we know that we keep the others more grounded. (Sometimes, there's one in particular who probably should be.)

Photo of two smiling woman looking at a tablet
Over the years, of course, our times together have been chronicled photographically. Though perhaps there were a few that might have been better not preserved for posterity. Regardless, when there have been too many days between our visits, it's a treat to take a look back and remember the fun of a particular outing.

Also, as it is any time I think about the pictures I've taken over the years, I find myself wondering what could have improved the photographic results. Here are some tips that might help answer that question:

Master Taking Candid Photos of Your Friends

How to Photograph Your Friends

Fun Best Friend Photo Ideas