Life Style

Everything you need to know about Instagram marketing

[vc_row][vc_column][tm_heading tag=”h5″ custom_google_font=”” font_weight=”500″ text=”I did this post for my personal photography blog, but I figured this is an important subject that I hope the Fstoppers community will benefit from. By all means add to this list in the comments below if you have any suggestions! I get this email all the time: “I’m a new/aspiring/struggling/young photographer and I want to know what advice you have for me?“ ” font_size=”lg:18″ line_height=”1.94″][tm_spacer size=”lg:45″][tm_heading tag=”div” custom_google_font=”” text=”I literally get this email or tweet or facebook message daily. I suppose that’s what I get for teaching at conferences and offering whatever possibly wisdom that I can share publicly. For a long time, I considered just making a form letter, but then thought that would also be very impersonal…so those emails and messages were placed in a folder awaiting a time I could give my personal input. “][tm_spacer size=”lg:50″][tm_image image_size=”custom” align=”center” image=”107″ image_size_width=”770″ image_size_height=”510″][tm_spacer size=”lg:46″][tm_heading tag=”div” custom_google_font=”” text=”So here you are. You’ve chosen one of the most challenging and highly competitive careers in the marketplace today. Are you crazy? Ah, that’s ok if you are because it is also supremely rewarding if you find your own success with it (I wrote an old blog post on my personal take on life as a workoholic photographer). Although, be prepared. It is HARD work. Most photographers statistically make poverty income if you consider the high expense of gear, insurance, and personal marketing. “][tm_blockquote text=”We point past each other with our words, arguing as though we are looking at the same facts and experiences.”][tm_heading tag=”div” custom_google_font=”” text=”Not all of you will succeed as shooters in the end… and that’s ok because you are going to give it your best and if it’s not for you, there are a bunch of other related jobs you can do with your photography knowledge (retouchers, producers, agents, creative directors, photo editors, etc). In the end, the odds are against you, but if you are willing to work, plan, be strategic, and be true to yourself creatively…you may have a fighting chance to really make it! (Source: fstoppers.com)”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Life Style

5 Signs That It Is Time to Cut Out Your Menu Item

[vc_row][vc_column][tm_heading tag=”h5″ custom_google_font=”” font_weight=”500″ text=”A restaurant menu has a huge impact on customer psychology and can single-handedly improve your restaurant’s overall performance.
Here are 5 signs according to which you need to redesign your restaurant menu.” font_size=”lg:18″ line_height=”1.94″][tm_spacer size=”lg:45″][tm_heading tag=”div” custom_google_font=”” text=”Low Profits
Even if the sales are pretty high at your restaurant, and you are still not making a decent profit, it is time to review your reports. This time, however, look at the sales reports of the high-profit items. Chances are, the menu items that have a high-profit margin are not being sold enough. It means that the menu design has not been well thought of in terms of placing the items. Neither the soft-spots in your menu nor your decoys or highlights have been effectively used. All this makes visual aid through pictures or graphics (if present in a menu) redundant.
This is a tell-tale sign that you should repurpose your restaurant menu design. It is especially true when your restaurant is always full but still fails to generate enough revenue.

The unpopularity of Some Items
Contrary to the point mentioned above a sign that you need to change your menu design is also linked to the popularity of some specific items. While you may think there is no harm in having certain items in the menu that are not sold enough, over time it can potentially damage the business. For one, if certain menu items are not ordered, their ingredients may expire and you’d have to re-stock the ingredients only to have them wasted again. Also, you’d be losing out on the sale that a different menu item could be bringing in. You should always be on the lookout for new food trends and introduce innovations in your menu to attract customers.
If some items of your menu are unpopular to the limit that they are not ordered at all, you need to do some serious thinking about the way you have engineered your menu.”][tm_spacer size=”lg:50″][tm_image image_size=”custom” align=”center” image=”107″ image_size_width=”770″ image_size_height=”510″][tm_spacer size=”lg:46″][tm_heading tag=”div” custom_google_font=”” text=”Poor Customer Feedback
Even if you have scrutinized your reports carefully, you still may not reach the conclusion why certain menu items are not selling enough. To gain this understanding, you should take your customers’ feedback. The best way to do this is through a digital feedback form that asks specific questions about the dishes that have been ordered by the customer. For instance, someone who ordered a pizza is prompted to review the pizza. The digitized feedback form documents the response, and over a period of time, if you get consistent poor ratings of the particular item, you can either look into the preparation method or consider taking it off the menu completely.

Wait-Staff Having to Play Interpreter
Your wait staff is what holds your restaurant’s performance together. If they are not as efficient because they have been spending more time at customer tables solving their orders, they are basically doing the menu’s job and this situation is nothing less than a time bomb waiting to explode. If your customers cannot decide what to order from the menu itself it means that the menu is not explanatory enough. It could be due to the fact that your menu lacks basic food descriptions, it is carelessly set and is chaotic and crumpled in the very least. A vast and complicated menu can also be a turnoff for customers making them choose the least priced items, or constantly asking the wait staff for recommendations. “][tm_blockquote text=”There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for. ― Milton Glaser”][tm_heading tag=”div” custom_google_font=”” text=”High Food Costs
If your food costs are alarmingly high then it is time that you consider changing your restaurant menu. It is not just the high input cost that leads to escalating food costs. If a lot of food wastage is happening at your restaurant then you should cut down or replace certain items in your menu. It is always better to have menu items that have common ingredients that can be sourced locally and easily. Also, if the food cost is still high and the item is not selling that much, it is better to either change the placement of the item in the menu or remove it completely.
The purpose of a menu is to make sure that your customers can decide what they want and guiding them to the best dishes that you have got. If your menu is failing at this, these are the sure signs that you will most likely see. Our suggestion is, if 3 out of these 5 signs are a regular feature in your restaurant, it is time that you up your menu game!
(Source: www.posist.com)”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Life Style

5 Unexpected Food Trends For This Summer

[vc_row][vc_column][tm_heading tag=”h5″ custom_google_font=”” font_weight=”500″ text=”Every year, summertime brings new experiences and trends worth getting excited about. Whether it’s an ephemeral fidget spinner or the latest summer blockbuster, keeping up with fads is a fun way to remember the summer, especially when it comes to delicious and photogenic food trends.” font_size=”lg:18″ line_height=”1.94″][tm_spacer size=”lg:45″][tm_heading tag=”div” custom_google_font=”” text=”Frozen Rose
Rose is still the reigning queen of all the summer wines, but this year the drink gets even more summery in frozen form. Like a sophisticated slushie, frozen rose, or frose is the perfect way to cool down with class this summer.
It’s a little work-intensive to make at home, but, luckily, this trend has spread far and wide, and you should be able to find it at one of your local restaurants.

Cloud Eggs
If you plan on a summer of endless brunches, consider digging into a beautiful dish of cloud eggs. Based on a centuries-old recipe, this fluffy food fad has emerged anew and is taking over breakfast. Making it at home is easy, and the recipe takes a little more work than your basic sunny-side-up. There are also plenty of restaurants serving different variations if you don’t feel like making it yourself, such as AlMar in Brooklyn, which calls its version “Eggs in a Cloud.””][tm_spacer size=”lg:50″][tm_image image_size=”custom” align=”center” image=”107″ image_size_width=”770″ image_size_height=”510″][tm_spacer size=”lg:46″][tm_heading tag=”div” custom_google_font=”” text=”Savory Ice Cream
It’s not summer unless there’s ice cream. But this year, skip the chocolate and vanilla and go for something a little more adventurous. In ice cream shops around the country, patrons are cleansing their palates with flavors like avocado, blue cheese, rosemary, basil, and garlic. You’ll find savory ice cream varieties ranging from pizza-flavored ice cream at Little Baby’s in Philadelphia to the foie gras specialty ice cream at Odd Fellows in New York City.

Buddha Bowls
Like acai bowls, Buddha bowls are a healthy alternative to the heavy and high-carb food that usually saturates the summer food scene. Buddha bowls are popular vegetarian dishes, usually involving some kind of combination of veggies, fruits, grains, and proteins like tofu or chickpeas. It’s a little bit of everything, thrown together and arranged so artfully that just looking at a photo of one might make you feel a little bit healthier. There are many different Buddha bowl recipes you can try at home, as well as numerous restaurants serving up these light, nutritious meals.”][tm_blockquote text=”There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for. ― Milton Glaser”][tm_heading tag=”div” custom_google_font=”” text=”Sour Beer
In the ever-changing scene that is the craft beer world, summer shandies are out and sour beers are in. These highly acidic brews are tart but often fruity, which makes them a perfect refresher on a hot summer day. So next time you find yourself at the bar, ask if it has any sour beers on tap.

Source: www.smartertravel.com”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Life Style

Healthy Eating With Fruit And Vegetables

[vc_row][vc_column][tm_heading tag=”h5″ custom_google_font=”” font_weight=”500″ text=”Fruit and vegetables are low in calories and nutrient dense, which means they are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Focus on eating the recommended daily amount of at least five servings of fruit and vegetables and it will naturally fill you up and help you cut back on unhealthy foods. A serving is half a cup of raw fruit or veg or a small apple or banana, for example. Most of us need to double the amount we currently eat.” font_size=”lg:18″ line_height=”1.94″][tm_spacer size=”lg:45″][tm_heading tag=”div” custom_google_font=”” text=”To increase your intake:

– Add antioxidant-rich berries to your favorite breakfast cereal
– Eat a medley of sweet fruit—oranges, mangos, pineapple, grapes—for dessert
– Swap your usual rice or pasta side dish for a colorful salad
– Instead of eating processed snack foods, snack on vegetables such as carrots, snow peas, or cherry tomatoes along with a spicy hummus dip or peanut butter”][tm_spacer size=”lg:50″][tm_image image_size=”custom” align=”center” image=”107″ image_size_width=”770″ image_size_height=”510″][tm_spacer size=”lg:46″][tm_heading tag=”div” custom_google_font=”” text=”How to make vegetables tasty

While plain salads and steamed veggies can quickly become bland, there are plenty of ways to add taste to your vegetable dishes.”][tm_blockquote text=”There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for. ― Milton Glaser”][tm_heading tag=”div” custom_google_font=”” text=”Add color. Not only do brighter, deeper colored vegetables contain higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, but they can vary the flavor and make meals more visually appealing. Add color using fresh or sundried tomatoes, glazed carrots or beets, roasted red cabbage wedges, yellow squash, or sweet, colorful peppers.

Liven up salad greens. Branch out beyond lettuce. Kale, arugula, spinach, mustard greens, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage are all packed with nutrients. To add flavor to your salad greens, try drizzling with olive oil, adding a spicy dressing, or sprinkling with almond slices, chickpeas, a little bacon, parmesan, or goat cheese.

Satisfy your sweet tooth. Naturally sweet vegetables—such as carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, yams, onions, bell peppers, and squash—add sweetness to your meals and reduce your cravings for added sugar. Add them to soups, stews, or pasta sauces for a satisfying sweet kick.

Cook green beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus in new ways. Instead of boiling or steaming”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Life Style

An AI can now write indie music

[vc_row][vc_column][tm_heading tag=”h5″ custom_google_font=”” font_weight=”500″ text=”Jun Inoue, Gyo Kitagawa and Taishi Fukuyama created Amadeus Code and all have experience in music and music production. Inoue is a renowned Japanese music producer and he has sold 10 million singles. Fukuyama worked at Echo Next and launched the first Music Hack Day in Tokyo. Fukuyama is the director of the Hit Song Research Lab and went to Berklee College of Music.” font_size=”lg:18″ line_height=”1.94″][tm_spacer size=”lg:45″][tm_heading tag=”div” custom_google_font=”” text=”“We have analyzed decades of contemporary songs and classical music, songs of economic and/or social impact, and have created a proprietary songwriting technology that is specialized to create top line melodies of songs. We have recently released Harmony Library, which gives users direct access to the songs that power the songwriting AI for Amadeus Code,” said Inoue. When asked if AI will ever replace his favorite musicians, folks like Michael and Janet Jackson or George Gershwin, Inoue laughed.”][tm_spacer size=”lg:50″][tm_image image_size=”custom” align=”center” image=”107″ image_size_width=”770″ image_size_height=”510″][tm_spacer size=”lg:46″][tm_heading tag=”div” custom_google_font=”” text=”Absolutely not. This AI will not tell you about its struggles and illuminate your inner worlds through real human storytelling, which is ultimately what makes music so intimate and compelling. Similarly to how the sampler, drum machine, multitrack recorder and many other creative technologies have done in the past, we see AI to be a creative tool for artists to push the boundaries of popular music.”][tm_blockquote text=”One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain. ― Bob Marley”][tm_heading tag=”div” custom_google_font=”” text=”We want to prove our words are the right ones, instead of learning to look at what the other’s words are pointing at. Words are seductive, and for all their undeniable usefulness, they also can lead us away from understanding when we focus on them, when we make them more important than the truth they are meant to point at. (Source: techcrunch.com)”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Life Style

The 3 Best Indie-rock Bands of All Time

[vc_row][vc_column][tm_heading tag=”h5″ custom_google_font=”” font_weight=”500″ text=”What is indie rock? Since evolving out of the American punk scene in the mid-’80s, the term has been applied to everything from aggressive noise bands to pastoral folk singer-songwriters to quirky synthpop producers. For this list, we’ve loosely defined the genre as “guitar music made by people who came out of the rock underground and aren’t afraid to seem brainy or challenging”—indie-rock bands like Dinosaur Jr., Sleater-Kinney, and Pavement.” font_size=”lg:18″ line_height=”1.94″][tm_spacer size=”lg:45″][tm_heading tag=”div” custom_google_font=”” text=”The most ineffably indie-rock band of all time, and not just because pretty much every indie band that picked up a guitar after 1992’s Slanted and Enchanted was copying them on some level. Frontman Stephen Malkmus is like the walking embodiment of indie attitude, wrapping a formidable intellect in a slacker facade and peppering his songs with secret-handshake references to obscure records and snarky commentary about more popular bands.”][tm_spacer size=”lg:50″][tm_image image_size=”custom” align=”center” image=”107″ image_size_width=”770″ image_size_height=”510″][tm_spacer size=”lg:46″][tm_heading tag=”div” custom_google_font=”” text=”Sonic Youth was the coolest band when it emerged out of the noisy New York art-rock scene in the early ’80s—and it still was when the group broke up three decades later. In between the band engineered the ’90s alternative rock boom, inspired Kurt Cobain and recorded a vast body of music that touched on hardcore punk and psychedelic folk and elevated guitar abuse to an art form. Classic albums like 1988’s Daydream Nation stand out, but really everything they did was revolutionary.”][tm_blockquote text=”If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music. – Albert Einstein”][tm_heading tag=”div” custom_google_font=”” text=”With their aggressively angular sound, grad-student looks, and frequent lyrical references to conspiracy theories and surrealist art films from the silent movie era, the Pixies were never going to be rock stars in their own time. That didn’t stop them from recording such near-flawless albums as 1989’s Doolittle, which laid out a blueprint that the entire alternative rock movement would borrow from. Their loud-quiet-loud structure would go from a unique songwriting quirk to a rock staple after Nirvana borrowed it for “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” (Source: timeout.com)”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Life Style

Indie Rock Music Genre Overview

[vc_row][vc_column][tm_heading tag=”h5″ custom_google_font=”” font_weight=”500″ text=”Indie rock takes its name from “independent,“ which describes both the do-it-yourself attitudes of its bands and the small, lower-budget nature of the labels that release the music. The biggest indie labels might strike distribution deals with major corporate labels, but their decision-making processes remain autonomous. As such, indie rock is free to explore sounds, emotions, and lyrical subjects that don’t appeal to large, mainstream audiences — profit isn’t as much of a concern as personal taste (though the labels do, after all, want to stay in business).” font_size=”lg:18″ line_height=”1.94″][tm_spacer size=”lg:45″][tm_heading tag=”div” custom_google_font=”” text=”It’s very much rooted in the sound and sensibility of American underground and alternative rock of the ’80s, albeit with a few differences that account for the changes in underground rock since then. In the sense that the term is most widely used, indie rock truly separated itself from alternative rock around the time that Nirvana hit the mainstream. Mainstream tastes gradually reshaped alternative into a new form of serious-minded hard rock, in the process making it more predictable and testosterone-driven.”][tm_spacer size=”lg:50″][tm_image image_size=”custom” align=”center” image=”107″ image_size_width=”770″ image_size_height=”510″][tm_spacer size=”lg:46″][tm_heading tag=”div” custom_google_font=”” text=”Indie rock was a reaction against that phenomenon; not all strains of alternative rock crossed over in Nirvana’s wake, and not all of them wanted to, either. Yet while indie rock definitely shares the punk community’s concerns about commercialism, it isn’t as particular about whether bands remain independent or “sell out“; the general assumption is that it’s virtually impossible to make indie rock’s varying musical approaches compatible with mainstream tastes in the first place.”][tm_blockquote text=”If music be the food of love, play on, Give me excess of it; that surfeiting, The appetite may sicken, and so die. ― William Shakespeare”][tm_heading tag=”div” custom_google_font=”” text=”There are almost as many reasons for that incompatibility as there are indie-rock bands, but following are some of the most common: the music may be too whimsical and innocent; too weird; too sensitive and melancholy; too soft and delicate; too dreamy and hypnotic; too personal and intimately revealing in its lyrics; too low-fidelity and low-budget in its production; too angular in its melodies and riffs; too raw, skronky and abrasive; wrapped in too many sheets of Sonic Youth/Dinosaur Jr./Pixies/Jesus & Mary Chain-style guitar noise. (Source: allmusic.com)”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Life Style

Niche Blogs for Rising Metal Bands

[vc_row][vc_column][tm_heading tag=”h5″ custom_google_font=”” font_weight=”500″ text=”Invisible Oranges: The staff knows what’s cool before it’s cool. Their endorsement can make a band blow up. Their name refers to the clutching gesture you make when the mighty force of metal flows through you. When they’re not too busy throwing the metal horns or making said clutching gesture, the team has their fingers on the pulse of the underground, all the while covering important and established acts, too. They lean extreme, but never with that pretentious, too-cool-for-the-room vibe. ” font_size=”lg:18″ line_height=”1.94″][tm_spacer size=”lg:45″][tm_heading tag=”div” custom_google_font=”” text=”Metal Riot: Metal Riot covers a wide range of bands, including news, interviews, and reviews. The staff personally curates the content – you cannot create or upload a profile page yourself – and that means that the team believed in the band enough to get behind it, create the profile, and offer coverage. It’s a true labor of love performed by informed people.”][tm_spacer size=”lg:50″][tm_image image_size=”custom” align=”center” image=”107″ image_size_width=”770″ image_size_height=”510″][tm_spacer size=”lg:46″][tm_heading tag=”div” custom_google_font=”” text=”Cryptic Rock: Because it mixes horror film/TV coverage and rock music. Duh. The site is becoming more and more all-encompassing, and has expanded to feature more mainstream-leaning acts. There’s really a wide-reaching, yet well-managed depth of content on the site. The Cryptic Rock crew is pretty comprehensive with its coverage and interviews, and prides itself on getting behind an act early.”][tm_blockquote text=”Music, once admitted to the soul, becomes a sort of spirit, and never dies. ― Edward Bulwer-Lytton”][tm_heading tag=”div” custom_google_font=”” text=”Sonic Cathedral: Both of these sites have a narrow but critical focus – they each specialize in coverage on women in hard rock and heavy metal. They’re covering the niche of a niche, beautifully so; Sonic Cathedral takes it a step further, as it focuses on the vocalists. These sites spotlight the females who make this genre great. Who runs the world? Girls, of course. (Source: http://blog.sonicbids.com)”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Life Style

1950s up to now Pop Music Defined

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]What is pop music? The definition of pop music is deliberately flexible. It accommodates the fact that the specific music identified as pop is continually changing. At any particular point in time, it may be most straightforward to identify pop music as that which is successful on the pop music charts.

For the past 50 years, the most successful musical styles on the pop charts have continually changed and evolved. However, there are some consistent patterns in what we know as pop music. It is tempting to confuse pop music with popular music. The New Grove Dictionary Of Music and Musicians, the musicologist’s ultimate reference resource, identifies popular music as the music since industrialization in the 1800’s that is most in line with the tastes and interests of the urban middle class.

A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence. ― Leopold Stokowski

This would include a vast range of music from vaudeville and minstrel shows to heavy metal. Pop music, as a phrase with the shortened first word, has primarily come into usage to describe the music that evolved out of the rock and roll revolution of the mid-1950s and continues on a definable path today. (Source: thoughtco.com)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Life Style

Small Changes for The Rest of This Year

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]This post could also be called “Goals For The Rest Of The Year”, but honestly I don’t want to make these goals into a big, dramatic production. Whenever I do that, I end up putting too much pressure on myself and have a hard time following through with what I want to accomplish.

It’s all good for the beginning of the year, but these aren’t so much “goals” as they are lifestyle changes that I’m wanting to make for the long haul. So, with that in mind, this is kind of a letter to myself that I can look back on throughout these next few months while I work on some self-improvement.

Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I did a bit of soul-searching during my blog break. One of the reasons I took a break in the first place was because I was feeling really unhappy and kind of stuck in a lot of areas in my life. The time off allowed me to reflect on where I was, and it occurred to me that I was not spending near enough time and effort on my relationship with Christ. (Source: agirlobsessedblog.com)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]