Overcoming Instant Gratification

We live in a world in which we are constantly receiving instant gratification. Everything that we want or need is at our finger tips. Need to buy something? Order it online, and it’ll come within a few days. Need a new TV show or a movie to watch? There are so many different internet streaming services that are available, the entertainment options are endless. Need research information? The internet is literally accessible on smartphones. All of these options above don’t even require you to leave your house.

 Isn’t that crazy? We live in a day of age in which you can literally get prepared meals and groceries delivered to your house. When I was a kid, I never would’ve thought that this would be possible!

Now to be clear, I am not saying that this is a bad thing. Things are supposed to change overtime, and the fact that so much information and tools are easily accessible is beyond amazing and it helps a lot of people. However, the downside to this is it’s changing our mindset on other things that cannot happen instantly.

For instance, losing weight doesn’t happen immediately. That takes time, patience, and a lot of hard work. People may try diet fads or nutrition supplements to “speed” up the process, but that process alone is not instant what-so-ever. So what does that do to a person’s mindset that is used to instant gratification in almost all aspects of their lives? It puts them down, and might make them feel like they’re doing something wrong.

The same goes to success in any field or profession. Success does not happen overnight, and neither does building a business. One of the biggest struggles Jesse and I have had to overcome is to remind ourselves that it does not happen overnight. Having a widely successful business does not happen in the blink of an eye, it can sometimes take years.

On set with Ratatouille & Co. - August 2018

On set with Ratatouille & Co. - August 2018

Jesse and I started Little Tree Farm Productions in the December of 2017, and we’ve been steadily growing since the beginning. When we started we were scared because we were jumping into the unknown. All we knew for sure is that we just had to work hard and to never give up.

For instance, we didn’t have clients right away. In fact, our first big production day took two months to happen, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t try. Landing a first client is so difficult, and you have to get used to hearing the word “no”. Yes, we had experience working for someone else. We had the resume, but as a company what did we have as proof?

Any professional goal you set for yourself does not happen overnight, but we live in an age in which people receive instant gratification in almost all aspects of our lives. How did that make us feel? Terrible. There’s nothing worse than hearing a thousand “no’s” before landing the first client. Is that normal?

Abso-freakin-lutely.

When we landed our first client, it was the best feeling in the world. The whole project itself was a huge success. Then after that, we had more clients, and all of those projects were successful. In the summer of 2018, just seven months after starting the business, Jesse and I went to Uganda to film a documentary.

Heidi & Jesse in Uganda - July 2018

Heidi & Jesse in Uganda - July 2018

Jesse Manning at an event in Scarsdale, NY - May 2019

Jesse Manning at an event in Scarsdale, NY - May 2019

Now? We have numerous clients, we were mentioned on the news, we have a studio space, we’re teaming up with other professionals in our field, and we’re finishing editing our first full feature documentary. If someone told me these facts when we first started that this is where we would be now, I would say they’re crazy.

It’s not that I didn’t expect for us to grow, but the way we have grown in the past two years is completely unpredictable. In the beginning, all we heard was the word “no”, but we kept pushing forward and kept learning. Instant gratification doesn’t exist with everything in your life. Many things still require hard work, perseverance, and drive. Sometimes, I still remind myself this fact.

So the moral of all this? If you have a dream, do not give up. I know you might hear this from so many people, but really… never give up. Whether it’s landing a new job, starting a business, or reaching that personal goal of yours, hearing the word “no” is preparing you for the moments in which you’ll hear “yes”.

The Key to New Adventures

“Taking a risk, living life to the fullest, no plans, ‘don't think just do’. To be spontaneous is to be the most relaxed go with the flow and have fun person; you would never get mad if plans changed, you would get excited because then it would become spontaneous.” – Urban Dictionary

In my life I find it important to remain spontaneous. Which can be difficult sometimes because life can get a little repetitive and that’s when it can get boring. We’ve all been there! For me, it usually happens when things get too planned out or if I’ve remained in the same place for a long period of time. For example, I don’t travel much in the winter, and sometimes driving down the same street to work can really get boring. How do I spice it up?

Random Highway somewhere in Texas 2017 - Heidi Reinprecht

Random Highway somewhere in Texas 2017 - Heidi Reinprecht

I take a different road.
I don’t think too much on it, I just act and find another way.

And honestly, that can be a weird metaphor for life. When life gets a little boring, just take a different road. You can use this concept anywhere in your daily life.

When a job gets repetitive and dry, switch up your commute and look at your work through a different lens. This can help you branch out from the pack and make you think in a creative way. Act on those initial ideas and thoughts; don’t think too much into it! In writing, we call this concept “word vomit”. Scared it’s not a good idea? No first draft is perfect, but what happens after the first draft can be amazing. By acting on your ideas without fear, this can lead you to coming up with concepts that you may have overlooked before or make you discover something about yourself that you didn’t know existed. You may even conquer a hidden fear you may have had.

If you exercise often and that gets boring, switch up your workout routine. See what happens and push yourself. You may discover a new technique that benefits you or you may even overcome a fear you had and surprise yourself.  

Bored in the kitchen? Branch away from your comfort zone and just try different kinds of foods, recipes, and cultural styles. Don’t think too much into this, just do it and see what happens! This is honestly how I became such a fan of Indian and Lebanese cuisine, which I used to be afraid of trying because I was scared I wouldn’t like it.

Why did I choose these three examples?

Most people need to work to survive in this modern world; to provide for ourselves and our loved ones.
According to healthcare professionals, exercising is essential to a healthy way of life and diet.
And… we need some form of nutrition to survive, which in most cases come from eating food.

In all these examples, one common outcome from being spontaneous is overcoming fear. Being spontaneous is about not overthinking the situation, it’s just acting on natural impulse. Feeling bored? Just change it. Do it. Do not think too much into, just try a different route.  When you don’t live life to the “plan” amazing things can happen.

In my life, there are plans and then there are the actual outcomes. For me, I often just use plans as an outline. If everything happens according to the plan and nothing else but the plan happens… then that was a boring day for me. So, when I plan, I just make goals, and I leave room for the spontaneous adventure that I hope happens.

On one of my most recent trips, an amazing adventure happened. In my previous post, I talked about how Jesse and I went to New Mexico to train for our work trip to Africa. While in New Mexico, we did an insane amount of hiking and tried to see some natural wonders on the way. One of those natural wonders was the Chimney Rock at Ghost Ranch. We didn’t research the area beforehand, we just knew that this area had some amazing trails and some beautiful sites. To our amazement, just outside of Ghost Ranch was this beautiful lake, Abiquiu Lake.

Abiquiu Lake, New Mexico

Abiquiu Lake, New Mexico

We ended up spending a lot of time there and it was gorgeous. It was everything that we didn’t know we needed. It made us take time to relax, de-stress, and spend some time at the lake to go swimming and have lunch. When you truly be spontaneous, life gives you things that you didn’t know you needed, and you overcome some sort of fear.

What was our fear in that situation? Overworking ourselves and over stressing about being fit for our upcoming work trip. Abiquiu Lake was our opportunity to sit back and to reflect; to realize we were as prepared as we could be for our trip to Africa.

So, when life gets boring or when you plan every second… let yourself be spontaneous. You never know what fear you can overcome, what adventure you’ll find, or the people you could meet along the way.

Does Your Lens Matter?

Arguably one of the most important aspects in Photography (other than the camera) is the lens. To many new photographers or those wanting to learn more about photography this topic can be quite daunting.

Today I will share with you a budget guide and lens comparison test to help get you started on photography! Choosing the right lens comes down to the right situation, and the look that you want to go for. Each lens is unique with different characteristics.

To keep this budget friendly for all new photographers I will keep this under $1000 for one camera body and one lens. The links to buy the gear will be at the end of the blog post!

In 100% Fairness I will be keeping all photos 50mm f/5.6 Take a look below. You can also click and zoom on each picture.

Rokinon Cine DS 50mm f/5.6

Canon Stock 18-55mm f/5.6

Sigma 18-250mm f/5.6

Vintage 49mm f/5.6

Hard to tell huh? I thought so when I was starting out too, but if you click on each image you will begin to see each lens has a subtle difference.

Painting Photo Taken With Rokinon Cine DS

We’ll start with the Rokinon, the most expensive lens on this list. Keep in mind these lenses are designed with video on the mind and I will be doing a lens test for video next month! This lens has a very sharp characteristic to whatever you want in focus, but the more shallow your depth of field, you can see a nice soft flow to the background. You may also notice that the edges have a bit of a sharpness falloff, which can be good for creating a softer look on your subjects face. I use this lens a lot for video, but also for artwork photography because it is one of the sharpest lenses that I own and can really capture the detail the artist wants you to see.

Going down the line we take a look at the Sigma. This lens is our workhorse lens. It has been to Africa, and on so many hikes, and because of its 18-250mm range, it is in my mind, the perfect travel lens if you are looking to travel light. The bokeh characteristics as you can see in the background are wonderfully swirly and can give quite a dreamy image if that is what you are going after. It has pretty good sharpness around the edges although you can notice some of that sharpness falloff around really jagged edges.

Photo Taken In Colorado with the Sigma 18-250mm

Photo Taken With Canon Stock Lens

The next lens we’ll look at is what will probably come with your T5i (or any Canon Rebel) and that what I lovingly refer to as the Canon stock lens. Now this lens has a very fine focus, although it can be hard to control if you are shooting manual (unlike the Sigma and Rokinon before which has a very smooth and easy focus to control). I will say this lens keeps its subjects very sharp, however, nothing particularly stands out other than that. It is a great lens to start out using, but the purpose of this blog post is for you to see that you can find some great characteristics if you experiment with new lenses. I haven’t used this lens in a professional setting so there isn’t a recent photo other than the test photo to show.

Photo Taken With The Vintage 49mm Lens

 Last but not least is one of my favorite photography lenses. I do not know the official name of this lens, but it is a lens that I found off of a Vivitar v4000s that I found at Goodwill. Finding these old lenses are super easy and honestly a ton of fun to shoot with, however you will need to get a lens adapter if you want to use any of these older lenses on modern cameras. This lens has quite a unique look to it, with its hexagon shaped bokeh, but it also has a nice soft quality to it, giving it quite a dreamy vibe. If you also look at this other image I took with this lens you can see that it has some interesting swirls with it’s bokeh in certain lighting situations.

 Overall, your lens does matter, but if you are just starting out there is no need to buy that $2,000 lens. Practice with more budget friendly lens solutions and learn to appreciate the characteristics. Don’t be afraid to use something other than your stock lens, photography is an art form, one that you can play around with and create some really interesting visuals with. Experiment, have fun, and learn to love your lens and go outside of the box. When you start to feel comfortable with what you have then you can start upgrading your gear and really seeing what the world has to offer in the world of photography. (I can’t wait to get my hands on some Zeiss lenses to try those out). The next lens test will be strictly for video, and we will be using the Canon C300 with the lenses listed down below!

‘Till next time!

 - Jesse

 

The gear I used in this test are:

Canon T5i - ON SALE Amazon $485 : https://amzn.to/2IptUxf

Rokinon 50mm Cine DS - ON SALE Amazon $499 : https://amzn.to/2SYGh7z

Sigma 18-250mm - Amazon $269 : https://amzn.to/2twfwss

Canon Stock Lens 18-55mm - Amazon $199 : https://amzn.to/2GNHDvk

Vivitar v4000 Vintage Lens - Found At Goodwill