I love going to walks by myself and I especially love walking at night. For me, walking is my chance to relax and think without any distractions, when I can unwind from the day and clear my head.
Unfortunately, walking alone at night is a big no-no. Especially if you’re a girl.
In 2005, the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that approximately 3.4 million people 18 and over were victims of stalking. Unsurprisingly, females are at more risk than males, however, people between the age of 18 to 24 are also the highest risk. So basically most college aged people. Yikes.
They also found that 38% of nonfatal violent crimes in 2010 (ex. rape, robbery, physical violence) are committed by strangers, 62% occurring in public places such as parking lots, streets, and public parks. Double yikes.
The town where I go to school is considered one of the safest college towns in the US (Safewise, a home security company, used data from the FBI and ranked it as 3rd), but even though I live in a safe place, walking at night still isn’t the best idea for anyone. I personally know some girls who have been followed and even grabbed.
I would absolutely never walk alone at night outside of Rexburg if I could avoid it, but things happen, and Rexburg isn’t as safe as people would like to think. So if you’re stubborn like me, or are just worried about getting stuck in a crappy situation, here are a few tips to help you stay safe.
10 Ways to Stay Safe When Walking Alone at Night
- Stay on the sidewalks and under street lights. Those areas are generally more populated and are more visible to people who might be driving by.
- Dress in bright colors. Just like with staying in lighted areas, you’re safer if you can be seen.
- Know when to make eye contact. In many cases, you don’t want to draw attention to yourself but if you’re already a target, making eye contact can be a good idea. Someone is less likely to attack you if you know what they look like and could describe or identify them to authorities.
- Let people know when/where you’re going. Even better, let people add you to Find My Friend or other tracking apps. If something happens, you’ll have someone or a group of someones who will notice first, and if for some reason someone needs to find you, they’ll know where to start. Also, make sure your phone is charged before you leave. My battery has died when I was walking before and it was horrible.
- Have an escape route or know safe areas to go. Know your route! The best kind of routes are ones with multiple opportunities to cut it short or turn around. It’s also a good idea to know where nearby businesses are or if you have any friends who live close to your route.
- Change your route. Routine is great most of the time, but it puts you at greater risk of being followed. A lot of attacks are planned and you can increase your risk of being a victim by being predictable.
- Turn off your music so you can be more fully aware of whats going on around you. This is especially important if you’re in a questionable area.
- Listen to the spirit (or if you’re not religious, your gut). There’s nothing wrong with being cautious, even if it’s likely that nothing it wrong. Better safe than sorry, right?
- Carry defensive tools like pepper spray, mace, a taser, a rape whistle or whatever is legal and convenient. Check out these awesome tools called D.A.D. They’re pepper spray, a flashlight, and a GPS tracker all in one.
- Learn to defend yourself. You don’t need to be a blackbelt, but you should know some basic self defense strategies like an attacker’s weak spots (eyes, ears) or S.I.N.G. (Thank you Miss Congeniality!). There are plenty of YouTube videos that also demonstrate some basic skills.
I would tell everyone to never go out alone at night, but I would be a hypocrite. Although I’ve been trying to get out for my walks earlier (and it’ll be easier in the summer), I still frequently find myself walking alone at night. It happens. But when it does, make sure you’re prepared the best you can.
Don’t be stupid.
My Pinterest feed is filled with collages of amazing portrait sessions. The collage format is great to see an entire collection in one shot, however, when that collage is part of the actual post, it’s kind of looks tacky. But that’s just me. It’s similar with graphics that contain the title of the post, but they’re not as bad.
In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to have great pinable images attached to your blog posts, without it showing up in the post itself.
How to Create Invisible Pinable Images
(OR How to make sure your awesome Pinterest-optimized graphics don’t clutter your blog post)
Create the image
Depending on the type of post, you’ll want to create an image that sums up what that post is about. If it’s a collection of photos from a shoot, generally a collage is a good idea. If it’s a tutorial or information based post, a simple image with the title on it will work. I generally use Photoshop but there are some free programs online (like Pixlr) that will work.
Add it to your post
Don’t worry if it looks odd. The entire point is to make it disappear. I recommend adding it to the bottom of your post. I’ve found that the last image ends up the first image when you hit the Pin button.
Go to your text editor and find the image
Most blogging sites should have an option to edit basic HTML and/or CSS. On WordPress, it’s on the top right, below the title.
Add this code around the image
<div style=”display:none;”> </div>
Don’t forget to close it!
I like to go back to the visual editor to make sure it worked properly.
Publish or update your post!
It’s that easy! Now when you go to hit the Pin button it’s right there!
If you have any questions, post a comment down below!
One of my best friends graduated from BYUI last spring. In honor of her graduation, we drove out to a really pretty spot not too far outside of Rexburg to take some senior pictures. She was an amazing model and it was a blast!
Everyone has a brand, whether they know it not. Their brand is their reputation with clients, or their impression on employers. Their brand could even be when someone looks at a design or photograph and thinks “That looks like something so-and-so would do!”. Having a brand isn’t too hard. Having a good brand, well, that’s a bit more tricky.
This semester, I’m taking an Advanced Visual Media class and one of our first assignments is to create some logos, pick a color and font scheme, and present it in a professional way.
A logo is something that defines a brand and allows you to take ownership of it, so logos are a big deal. I’ve always had a difficult time creating and committing to logos so I thought I would share my process to help anyone else who might be struggling.
How I Designed My Personal Logo
And How You Can Too!
Ask yourself: What am I selling?
You might be thinking to yourself, “This doesn’t apply to me. I’m not selling anything.”. Okay, well, that’s not true. You’re selling your time and talents, and in order to develop your personal brand, you need to identify what you’re working for.
The very first logo I created was for ‘Kelsea Cherie Photodesign’. At that point, I was strictly working with photography. It eventually changed to ‘Kelsea Cherie Photo & Design’ to signify that I was going beyond photography and had added design (print design, more specifically) to my skills. For this project, I knew I needed a new business name. I’m still best at photography and print design, but that’s not all I want to do. I’m also passionate about social media and writing, and this semester I’m focusing on improving my skills in graphic design and videography. That’s why I’ve changed my name to ‘Kelsea Cherie Creative’. A simple change in my branding signifies a big change in what I do.
Look for inspiration
Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest! If you don’t already have an account, you need to get one asap! It’s the easiest way to search for inspiration, and save it for future reference.
At this point, I was mostly looking for ideas for my logo. I was able to find a ton of professional and personal logos that people have created. I also did a quick search for color schemes and I ended up finding one that I really life.
Please note: Inspiration and plagiarism are completely different things. You can use ideas from other people without directly copying their work. Make sure you know the difference.
Brainstorm and Sketch
I started by gathering words and concepts that I felt described my ideal aesthetic. I was looking to create something clean and simple, but with a unique spin. I originally was going to use ‘Kelsea Cherie Creative Co.’ so I was playing off the number 3 (my favorite number). I eventually eliminated the ‘Co.’ but I realized I like triangles and other shapes, clean and simple.
Even though I had an idea of what I liked, I tried a few different ideas that I normally wouldn’t think of. I was inspired by this logo by Lindsey LeFevre, and so I started to play with fruit and other objects. Basically, I came up with a bunch of things I like and tried to make a logo out of it.
Ask for feedback
My roommates were invaluable through this process. I asked for their opinion on the whole ‘Co.’ thing and also for ideas of words or objects that could work for me. It was through feedback from my roommates that I actually ended up with one of my favorite designs.
Even though feedback is important, trust your gut! This is YOUR brand so you need to be true to yourself. Not every idea is a good one.
Narrow down your ideas and create a few drafts
For this assignment, I was supposed to pick my 2 favorite and create a vector version of each but I ended up with 3 I really like. I created a few variations of each by trying different colors from my chosen color scheme. I ended up using 2 of my favorite fonts: Lato (Kelsea Cherie) and Tienne (Creative). If I had to choose one right this second, I would probably go with the very first one, but I’m still deciding which one is the best fit.
Try it out
One thing that’s really helpful is to add your logo to a mock up. I used this one by Paulo Canabarro. When it comes to design, visualization is everything!
And don’t be afraid to try again!
When it comes to branding, especially my own, I tend to go a completely different direction than I originally planned. What worked in my head looked horrible on paper, and sometimes what worked on paper didn’t work in vector.
Although the triangle wasn’t my favorite, I got a lot of feedback on it and decided to play with it and see what would happen. I ended up with a lot of different versions and got feedback on those too. I ended up really liking one that I didn’t even sketch so I started to play with my color scheme and I ended up with even more logo options.
I think my biggest struggle was trying to be creative with my sketches. I wanted to branch out from what I usually do, but at the same time, I didn’t want to copy someone else’s design from Pinterest. The 30 sketches definitely helped with that. It’s kind of like when I first started with photography. I was still learning so I took a ridiculous amount of pictures. My theory was the more photos I took, the more good ones I’d end up with.
Even when I started creating my logos in Adobe Illustrator, I stopped half way through some of them and started over. And over. And over. And do you know what? That’s totally okay.
If you’re working on defining your personal brand, I hope this was helpful for you. If you tried any of these tips, let me know how it worked for you! Please link to your work, I would love to see it!
Ahhhh! I did it! I finally finished my entries for the Photoshop World Guru Contest! This has been months in the making and I have spent hours editing and stressing and losing my files. In the end, it all paid off. Thank goodness.
My first category is Retouching! I used to spend hours playing around on Photoshop but I’ve been so busy that I haven’t been able to do it in a while. I had a blast play with some old techniques that I knew, as well as learning some new ones. Plus, I’ve always wanted to be a ginger.
My other two are both going into the Photography category.
This first one is of my friend, Cali. We went out to Egin Lake (near St. Anthony, Idaho) to take some photos just for fun. I got this beautiful shot of her, and I enhanced it a bit with photoshop by adding fog and more depth.
This is probably my most used photo. I got this picture of my dad earlier this year. I originally wasn’t going to use it but it’s my favorite all time photo so I figured I might as well.
As much fun as I have trying crazy new shooting or editing techniques, I always tend to go back to a more simple style. I like photos that are authentic and real, and that’s what I wanted to show with my personal style series.
I haven’t really narrowed down my personal style, but this semester I ended up getting a lot of these black and white shots. Although this isn’t my personal style, these photos fit in to whatever that may be.
I have several different size prints of my tree picture, and I had to print another for this project. It’s probably over done by now, but it’s my favorite. I wanted that to be the main focus of my project.