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How to Take Awesome Photos on Your Android Phone

HOW TO TAKE AWESOME PHOTOS ON AN ANDROID

Instagram is – by far – my favourite social media platform. I love to take and share daily snaps and shamelessly stalk others who do the same. It’s the one social network that I visit and don’t instantly feel like people are just trying to sell me something!

While I’m well aware that there have been a lot of articles about how to take great phone pictures written in the past, this one is different…

As a die hard Android fan, I figured there must be others out there who, like me, want to know how to take and edit great photos, but don’t want to convert to the dark (ahem, iPhone) side. So here are my top tips for taking great phone photos alongside a comprehensive list of all my favourite photo editing apps for Android users!

Take lots of photos

I never take my photos with Instagram’s built-in camera. The way to make sure you’re sharing only the very best shots is to take lot of snaps using your phone’s camera and then pick your favourites to edit and post. Just make sure you delete any duffers or your phone’s memory will fill up faster than you can say “wanna take a selfie?”

Use A Better Camera app

The eight mega-pixel camera on my Samsung Note 2 is awesome but when I downloaded the A Better Camera app my photos got a million times better. It has loads of useful functions such being able to adjust the ISO (just like on a SLR), a HDR option and settings for panoramas. The night mode is particularly great, and means that even if the light is a bit gloomy you can still take a pretty decent snap.

SHOOT IN GOOD LIGHT1

Don’t use your phone’s camera at all…

I recently invested in a Samsung NX3000 camera and it might just be the best thing I’ve ever bought (no really!) It has lots of amazingly snazzy features, but my favourite has got to be it’s build-it wifi which means I can take a snap on the camera and then instantly transfer it to my Samsung phone with just a few clicks. WHOA, the future is awesome!

A lot of my most recent Instagrams have been taken in this way, but still edited on my phone. Is it cheating? Maybe a little… but when you get such an awesome tool in your life it would be crazy not to use it.

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Help! My Fiancé & I Have Very Different Tastes – How Can We Style Our Wedding to Reflect Us Both?

Photography Credit: Sweet Caroline Photography (full wedding here)

Last week I received the following email from bride-to-be Tiffany…

Dear Rock n Roll Queen,

My name is Tiffany and I’ve been a quiet reader for a while. Reading your blog has always gotten me excited for my own wedding and I’m happy to say, that after 8 years, me and my fiance are going to get married. It’ll definitely be diverse since his parents are Scottish, mine are American and he is Canadian.

But, I digress.

You see, I have a problem. I look at weddings on your blog, admire how unique they are and can’t help but want mine the same way. After all, I’m a weird, unique dork. I wanted my colors to be neon green and hot pink, with glow sticks in my bouquet, splatter paint tablecloths, video game favors, lego bride and groom toppers and so much more. But my fiancé is so old-fashioned and ORDINARY. He doesn’t want our wedding to stand out and be memorable.

So I toned down EVERYTHING. Ordinary favors, ordinary toppers, light green and light pink… nothing unique. The problem? I don’t wanna be upset at my own wedding because there is nothing of me there. Me and my fiancé both LOVE video games but he’d rather decorate our wedding with flowers?! He said that weddings should be approached with maturity, but when I look at your pictures, it’s obvious that people are fine with letting your inner child out.

Anyway, I’m getting married in September and I wanted your advice. How should I approach Ian again? I already talked about compromising. I just figured, with your expertise, you would understand and know how to handle it.

Much love, Tiffany

So I mulled this over and emailed Tiffany back to ask if it was OK to share her email and offer some advice via a blog post. I figure that way, if any more of you are having similar woes you can benefit from this too.

I actually got chatting to the ever wise Roo about this topic as she’s had some experience with feeling like her wedding ideas were being stifled too, and so we decided that she’d address this subject. She’s good at that is our Roo…

♥  ♥  ♥

Dear Tiffany,

When Kat forwarded your message to me, my interest (and empathy) was immediately piqued. You see, I too am stifling my inner child for the sake of my wedding – for the most part, anyway. Like you, this blog has long been bookmarked as a constant source of fantasy wedding inspiration, and when Lamb and I got engaged I was beyond excited at the prospect of all my scrapbooking coming to life. I figured that our dreamy dream wedding would soon be a reality, but as luck (well, yours and mine) would have it, I was mistaken. Like you (again), there have been aspects of our wedding planning that I would say have been – for lack of a better word – hindered. Unlike you, however, the culprit isn’t my husband to be; the culprits are our parents.

We have had to compromise on a lot of decision-making surrounding our wedding – from what part of the country it’ll be in, to what kind of venue we’d like, what type(s) of entertainment we could have on offer – even down to the cake. As frustrating as it is, it’s important to remember that there are solutions; it just takes a certain amount of patience and a lot of forward thinking.

 Photography Credit: The Rogue Magnolia (full wedding here)

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What Makes a Good Wife…and Am I a Bad One?

Photography Credit: Dan Busta

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a wife…or more specially a ‘good’ wife. I guess with the new year kicking in and all, I started a-pondering about where I am in my life and what I’m supposed to be doing next…

Anyway, Gareth & I often joke that I’m a bad wife (at least I hope he’s joking). The roles are anything but traditional in our house. As many of you will already know, Rock n Roll Bride is the sole source of income in our household and most of the work that goes into it is on my end – that’s not to say that the things Gareth does aren’t extremely valuable and important – just that he doesn’t spend 12 hours a day glued to a computer screen is all!

Photography Credit: Home Works by Miles Aldridge for Vogue

So because of this, I hardly do any housework. I put off food shopping until we have literally nothing in the fridge but mayonnaise and gin, having long haired kitties means our carpets are almost always covered in a thick layer of white fur, and my floordrobe has got so huge that we might as well get rid of my wardrobe because there’s nothing in it anymore (although in my defense, it does provide a comfy snoozy spot for those kitties of ours).

I joked on facebook and twitter last week, “Our house is not messy, its just like a museum…everything we own is out on display” and baby I wasn’t kidding.

Oh yeah and I can’t remember the last time I properly cooked!

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Post It Notes – 16th December 2011: Staying Inspired, Coming Up with New Ideas & Blogging Regularly

Photography Credit: Laura Ferreira

One of the questions I’m most often asked when I meet people is how on earth I’m able to blog so often.

Well firstly and most obviously, I’m in a very lucky position that the majoroty of my content (i.e. the weddings I feature) is submitted to me. Every morning my inbox greets me with a plethora of potential blog content. Brilliant!

However, as much as I adore featuring these weddings, if the only content I wrote was other people’s work, I think I’d quickly get a bit bored. After all I’m not really stretching myself as a writer with the real wedding features. Anyway, my point being that I love looking at the glorious wedding photos and sharing them with you, but writing the blog posts around them doesn’t massively challenge me as a professional writer.

I currently publish approximately 16 blog posts a week, 11 of those being real weddings or photo shoots. However I’m fanatical about challenging myself to come up with new new ideas for the other 5 posts. So, today I thought I’d share some of the techniques I use for saying motivated & inspired, for coming up with new content ideas and for making sure I blog regularly.

Keep a Notebook

This is something I’ve mentioned on the blog before, but I always carry a notebook and pen around in my handbag, and when I’m at my desk it sits in front of me just in case a flash of inspiration strikes. You can’t dictate when a genius idea may hit you (for example it’s currently 12.37am on Sunday night as I write this, go figure!) so having a place to jot down ideas and musings is invaluable.

I write down anything and everything that comes to my mind that could potentially be used in a future article, no matter how random or stupid. In fact sometimes the stupid ideas turn out to be the best ones. Remember this blog post? Well the idea for it came to me as I was sat in the hairdressers flipping through magazines and looking at the poses of the models in the fashion section. If I hadn’t had my notebook to quickly jot down ‘how do models come up with their poses?’ I might have forgotten about it by the time I got back to my desk.

Building up and flipping through a collection of these little brain farts is also a fantastic way for getting those creative juices flowing if you’re in an uninspired mood.

Photography Credit: Laura Ferreira

‘Easy’ Posts are Sometimes OK

I once read that you should never publish anything that you aren’t desperate to share as soon as you’ve completed writing it, meaning all your content should be worthwhile and incredible. While I do believe this to be true (if you’re lackluster about your content how do you expect your readers to get excited over it?) I’m also a regular worshiper at the church of ‘giving yourself a break’.

I like to update Rock n Roll Bride at least once a day, even on the weekends and yes, even when I’m on ‘holiday’. However on some days my traffic is lower than usual (at weekends, on national holidays etc) so I kinda don’t want to ‘waste’ a post I spent hours working on when not as many people will see it.

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Post It Notes: 16th December 2011: Let’s Hear it for the Boys!

This week’s wedding Post It Note was submitted by Carina of the fabulous Love Me Do Photography. I loved reading the ideas she presented in her article, some of which I’d never even thought of. We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas for getting those boys involved in the comments section too so get those thinking caps on!

…and as a side note, if you’d like to submit an idea for a Post It Note article, feel free to drop me an email, I’m always looking for new ideas for this series.

Let’s face it, weddings are very ‘bride heavy’. We gush about the bride’s dress, hair, shoes, and everything else feminine that goes into a wedding. But really, the wedding (and marriage) is about two people coming together; most often being a bride and a groom ( I’ve haven’t noticed this problem in same sex weddings so kudos to you!)

I’m not looking into getting in a debate over men vs. women here. We can have a whole talk about equality, but that’s not what I’m getting at. I just think that it would be pretty cool if we make a little room for the guys to express themselves through the styling of the wedding. I’m talking about your wedding and how much more awesome it can be if the groom is celebrated as much as the bride. In a sea of frilly decor, I can barely see the groom and I silently say to myself, “Where has your manhood gone?”

Maybe most guys aren’t into picking out the flowers, and they don’t need things like their hair and make up done, so that’s understandable. But most of the grooms I’ve interacted with have a great sense of style and are quirky and fun. Also most grooms I’ve met are so in love with their brides, that they’ll agree to anything as far as the wedding planning goes, and that’s where I want people to stop and take a breath.

Times are changing and the metaphor of the bride as a present for the groom is being outgrown. Nowadays, instead of the bride’s parents throwing a wedding for her to be sent off to the groom, couples are planning and paying for their wedding themselves. Let’s make sure there’s room for some male and female style here!

If you’re the bride and you’re trying to figure out the planning, I’m sure you run things by your fiance for his opinion, but maybe have him be responsible for a few factors. Maybe you pick the flowers and he picks the DJ. Or better yet, pick everything out together and make sure you’re allowing him to weigh in any opinions, tastes or responses. Don’t just allow yourself to get what you want if he might want something a little different.

If he just doesn’t have time, or doesn’t have any desire to do any of the planning, how about planning something special that he could really nerd out on? Allowing your groom to get into the planning will not only get him more excited about the day, but also it helps fuel equality in your relationship and will be good experience in the two of you working together.

Now really, you can do anything with the styling. I mean, it’s your (both of you) wedding day, and do what you want, have fun with it! But making sure it’s about both of you and your relationship together will make it even more special.

Here are some great ideas I’ve seen which highlight the groom on the wedding day:

Signature Drinks

signaturedrink

The bride’s favorite and the groom’s favorite!

Homebrew

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Post It Notes: 9th December 2011: Positive Influence

Image Credit: Zsazsa Bellagio

In many working environments there is a undulating undercurrent of moans and groans from disgruntled employees. For example, when I worked at the shopping channel we bitched about the length of our shifts, the amount of product we were expected to flog sell, the quality of said product, the air conditioning (or lack thereof), the mess in the green room… you get the picture! In fact I got so used to the daily moans and groans that I’d think nothing of it. I’d never stop to think how it affected my overall mood or attitude to the job. It just felt normal.

I’ve spent a lot of my life being depressed. I spent a lot of my life being sad. I spent a lot of my life wishing I was someone else and complaining about my terrible luck. It was easy to make excuses as to why I felt so bad, but you know what, there were many things I was doing that didn’t help. I was drawn to the negative, the dark, the desolate. I read books about it, I joined internet forums about it, I made friends with similarly minded people. In essence I did nothing to make myself feel better.

I don’t want to be that person anymore. I want to surround myself with positive people, and be the kind of person that is a positive influence on others.

Sounds obvious right? I do have a point, I promise…

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