WEEK 8 Instafun Summer Camp



Last night I took a run and saw leaves on the ground! Kids are back in school and I have been fighting the urge to buy every new pen and notebook from store isles chocked full of school supplies. This week get outside and run with wild abandonment. Summer is almost over. 

Canoe, SUP, Kayak

I spent this spring getting my American Canoe Association SUP Instructor Certification. I became an instructor so I could introduce people to the fun and relaxation of SUP. SUP stands for Stand Up Paddleboard and it’s not as hard as people think it is. The first time I ever stepped foot on a SUP I was terrified. I’m here to tell you, it’s pretty easy. 

You don't need fancy equipment or neoprene to get out on the water. For $11.50 you can try SUP for an hour, and you might even see a Blue Heron. Try these rental locations or hit your favorite canoe, kayak spot. 

Winton Woods

Miami Whitewater

Sharon Woods

Here are some tips:

I find it easier to SUP barefoot. However, if you are going to be in water that you are unfamiliar with, and you will also be walking in your own board, wear water shoes for protection. 

If you rent a board from one of the links provided above, the harbor folks will get the board in the water for you. (So, no need to know how to do a proper carry.) If you are on shore, they are going to drop the board nose toward them. Which means you are going to climb on the board facing them. Then paddle to turn around. The reason they do this is so the fin that hangs on the bottom of the board doesn't get damaged. If they put the board in the water dockside you’ll be faced the proper way to start paddling. 

You won’t stand at first, you will get on the board on your knees. You can paddle on your knees until you are comfortable. When you stand, put your hands down on the board and one foot at a time stand up. You can wiggle a tiny bit to get your sea legs—think of your top and bottom half as disconnected (the bottom staying stable and the top able to stay loose and fluid.)

You may have heard SUP is a great core workout. That’s because when you paddle, you twist the top of your torso and hips (like a wound up rubber band) and then unwind, using the top half of your body to paddle (instead of putting all the work in your arms.) 

Always, always, no exception— wear a PFD (personal floatation device.) Wear your lifejacket.

Things to bring—water, cash or CC to pay for rental, a zipper pocket or location to put your car key and cc. Leave your phone and all other possessions in your car unless you have a wet bag. You probably won’t fall in but just in case. 


This week we are going to review how to take the best photos for Instagram with your phone, and how to edit them. This may sound simple, but there are some real goodies below! 

Let's start with some tips on getting a good photo...

At the restaurant we often have to photograph new menu rollouts for social. It's a habit to look at a big, low hanging, heat lamp and think that it's the best place to take a photo. However, lamps are not a good light source. The issues is that the photo is covered in a warm, orange light that is really hard to edit. It makes the food monochromatic. The best way to photograph food, (or anything!) is to use natural light. Open the curtains and get closer to the window. If you're doing a lot of selfies for makeup or another business (or just for fun!) try a beauty light

If your dreams are to produce a series of videos get yourself a diva ring. Ever watched a video and noticed light rings in the eyes of the speaker? That lady has a diva ring light. 

Another tip we don't normally think of, wipe off your phone's camera lens before taking a photo. 

Instagram offers a good selection of filters and editing tools to make your photos stand out and take them to the next level, or even rescue bad ones from the trash. If you’re feeling like going even more in depth, there are also plenty of photo-editing apps like VSCOFilmbornSnapseedAviary, and Adobe’s Photoshop Express and Spark Post (iOS versions linked, but you can also find them in the Google Play store). VSCO is particularly well known for its film-like presets, whereas something like Spark Post lets you make collages, add text and graphics, and more.

I also like Color Story, and other apps where you can buy your own presents. (If your'e a photo editing beginner, color story is awesome!)

What are presents? 'Presets' are kind of like another word for 'filters.' Presents are made in Lightroom and can be applied to all of your photos to get a consistent look and feel. Ever wonder how someone's instagram feed looks so curated? This is one of the tools! You can buy presents from makers on Instagram or use Lightroom to make your own. There are presents for foodies, beach goers, traveler and all sorts of lifestyles! 

A photo of a special taken by our Garmache, Olivia, with an iPhone  at Commonwealth.

A photo of a special taken by our Garmache, Olivia, with an iPhone  at Commonwealth.

An example of a present pack from Etsy. 

An example of a present pack from Etsy. 

What a present looks like when it is applied to a photo. 

What a present looks like when it is applied to a photo. 

Color Story App

Color Story App