Fan Fest Portland: Day 1

I’ll have to admit, writing this post is both daunting and incredibly exciting, because I get to relive the most epic weekend ever (I’m still not over it).

In case you missed my last several posts, I flew to Portland, OR, last weekend to attend the Walker Stalker Con / Heroes & Villains combined event Fan Fest Portland for my birthday (which was the Saturday). I’m a huge fan of conventions – a place where you can unite with likeminded individuals all there to celebrate the same fandoms.

Rather than typing up a typical recap, this entire post (and the one following it for Day 2) is going to be an online diary entry of the day combined with NEW tips and tricks I learned, as well as a review not only of FFPortland as a whole, but also the Platinum Pass product that they offer. I know many people – myself included – were curious about the pass itself (and whether it’s worth what you pay) so I hope this gives everyone some food for thought. Some of my tips will be repeated from the convention guide posts I made, but seeing situations in real time just proved my points further so I have to reiterate them.

My general convention tips will be reiterated in blue, while any comments or feedback I have about the Platinum experience will be noted in red.

Are you ready to join me while I relive the epicness? Sweet. Here we go.

Read More »

What’re You Packin’? – Travel Photography Edition

We (briefly) disrupt our travel programming for this first in my series entitled What’re You Packin’? I love seeing what y’all carry around with you for travel, whether it’s tech, clothing, makeup, or whatever else you need on the go. I hope you enjoy mine!

what're you packin'?

Though I am by no means a professional photographer, I do love taking photos, and I do take pride in the photos I share! This does mean that over the years, I’ve upped my game – especially when it comes to travel photography. Less is more, of course, and I know for sure that some of the elements I’m bringing are more novel and niche as opposed to mainstream, but I hope you pick up a few tips and tricks when you pack for travel!

A few key factors to travel photography:

  • Weight, or lack thereof: If you’re going to carry something around all day (or, in fact, carry several things around all day, make sure it won’t break your back! Unless you’re a pro, lugging around a giant tripod, an SLR and huge lenses, and a whole host of tech and equipment is a bit silly – not to mention a (literal) pain. Pack everything you want to bring in your day bag and carry it around all day here at home. If you end up complaining about the weight, you need to scale back.
  • Are You Really Gonna Use It? Tied into the first factor above, there’s nothing worse than hauling things around that you end up never using (this doesn’t just go for photography gear, but perhaps packing in general). So ask yourself as you look through your itinerary: am I going to use this? Is it worth me carrying it around for 2 weeks/1 month/the weekend if I’m possibly/maybe/unlikely going to use it? It’s great if you finally have that thingamajig that does epic panning shots of landscapes but if it’s in your luggage taking up valuable souvenir / clothing / what-have-you space… then think twice.
  • Where Are You Going? Consider your itinerary. If you’re hitting up major tourist destinations in cities (such as museums), keep in mind that several (specifically special exhibits) ban photography completely, and, in fact, some ban you from bringing items such as tripods, monopods, or selfie sticks altogether! You will either not be allowed to enter, or they’ll ask you to leave it at coatcheck, where it could be damaged or lost. If you’re going to Hadrian’s Wall or Santorini or the Grand Canyon, that monopod will probably come in handy for some epic shots. But if you’re hitting up indoor museums all day, you may want to leave it back at the hotel (or, in fact, at home).
  • What Are You Gonna Do With The Pics/Vids? Are you a vlogger? If you are, then the rig/stabilizer, mic, lighting gear (or the GoPro with all its trimmings) are a worthwhile thing to carry. Are you just posting stuff on Instagram? Maybe you don’t need the $900+++ SLR. Consider the output of your media, and you’ll better determine the quality (and amount) of things you need to bring.

With all the above being said, let me show you everything I’ll be bringing on my upcoming trip – much of which was also brought on my trip to LA/NY (and even last year’s trip to the UK, too).

Read More »

#JKTravel2015: Los Angeles – Where We Went

Each day Karrie and I spent in the Los Angeles area was filled with a lot of sun and a hell of a lot of fun. No matter what your budget is, there’s something fun for you to see or do in Los Angeles! Other than paying for our Uber rides, we spent very little on these excursions (save for the very last one), so I’ve gotta say, they were all definitely worthwhile!

We’re skipping (most of) the tourist hotspots such as the Chinese Theatre and tourist traps like Madame Toussaud’s… so follow us and learn about…

Everywhere we went in LA

I want to thank Karrie for taking a good majority of these photos with her camera (or my phone). Girl’s got mad skills. From the cheapest (free!) to splurgiest – see what works best for your next trip!

Read More »