Tips on How to Buy UPVC Or Rigid Vinyl Windows

Anyone who has looked into installing uPVC windows in their house will know that it is not a simple matter. It is virtually impossible to find an internet site belonging to a reputable dealer of uPVC windows that will give you even a rough idea of how much their product costs. Those sites that do offer online quotations will invariably ask for your phone number and address along with your uPVC window requirements. The reason is simple: they want to subject you to the wiles of a sales rep that will try and boost up the price. Below, I give a few tips on what type of specifications you want in your uPVC windows, and how you should handle uPVC or rigid vinyl windows sales reps that pay you a visit.

When buying uPVC or rigid vinyl windows it is important to be sure of the energy saving aspects of the windows in question. Everyone knows that uPVC will save you money in heating bills compared to timber frame windows, but not all uPVC windows do the job equally as well. There are two key considerations. The first is R-Value. This is a measure of thermal resistance. The higher the number, the more heat the windows will trap and the lower your heating costs will be during the winter. R-value is affected by the number of panes of glass the uPVC windows contain. Thus, triple glazing is better than double glazing. Single glaze reflective or tinted glass provides some thermal resistance but reduces the light the window lets in and is not as good as double, triple or insulated glass units. The other consideration is the amount of heat the windows leak into a room. During the summer cooling bills can be reduced if the uPVC or rigid vinyl widows have a thin layer of metallic oxide on them. This is called a low-e coating. A low-e coating reflects the heat from outside at an angle into the cool air gaps between the panes of glass, and thus prevents more of the heat entering the room.

For information on sash windows in London click here.

On top of these two key specifications for uPVC windows is the issue of security. You want to buy a rigid vinyl window with a multiple locking system. The best is when the locking system is fitted within the frame work of the window. If you live in a neighborhood with high crime you might want to consider having hardened aluminum or galvanized steel reinforcements fitted within the hollows of the window which can bolt the uPVC window to the wall.

Next is the issue of getting a good deal. There are some simple rules for dealing with uPVC reps. Never agree to anything at the first meeting. Get more than one quote. Always refuse the first offer and apologize for having wasted the reps time. If you are good at continually refusing an offer you will be amazed at how much the first price is reduced. Often by over 50% the price will drop. Each drop in price will be accompanied by some bogus reason for a discount. These reason are too numerous to mention here. You will be amazed at the amount of phone calls and calculator tapping the rep will go through before you get a reasonable offer.

When you get an offer you like, don’t rush in. Check that the price includes installation and at least a 10 year warranty. If you go for financing then make sure you get a copy of the financing deal to study at your leisure. Often the interest is massive and the penalty clause for paying the debt off early is absurd.

Only after you have had three quotes and are satisfied with the specs of the uPVC windows, the warranty, the financing, the reputation of the company and the price should you go ahead and put pen to paper.

5 Must Use Top SEO Tools For Analyzing Your Website

Website analysis is a key part of Search Engine Optimization or SEO. The main aim of the SEO process is to propel your website towards the top of Google’s search engine results page. But more often than not, SEO professionals experience the analysis part of the process as one that is extremely slow and time consuming.

For this reason, SEO experts have started using some top SEO tools to help them with their work. In the fiercely competitive world of the internet, the best SEO tools are much in demand. These tools make life much easier for SEO professionals with their whole host of features that are incredibly handy for ensuring successful SEO campaigns.

For information on a SEO expert in London click here.

Let’s take a look at five of the best SEO tools!

Web CEO

Whether it’s managing PPC or SEO campaigns, Web CEO can handle it all. This comprehensive suite packs a lot of punch and it is not merely SEO that Web CEO deals with. This top SEO software has received a lot of plaudits for its sleek user interface. Is your SEO process full of mundane and repetitive tasks? Don’t worry, through its emphasis on automation, Web CEO can take care of those tasks, and much faster too. Get your website ranked in no time with its effective keyword analysis feature, which suggests the optimum keywords for making your site the success it deserves to be.

IBP

iBusiness Promoter or IBP is yet another top SEO software that has garnered a lot of acclaim for itself in the world of SEO. IBP’s software suite aims to perform three major tasks of the SEO process; optimization, promotion, and tracking. IBP’s unique feature is its regular updates, which keeps it in line with changes in search engine algorithms. IBP ensures that your website reaches the pinnacle of various search engines such as Bing, Google, and Yahoo. Has a website that’s just not cutting it? Let IBP tell you the necessary adjustments you have to make.

SEMrush

SEMrush comes to mind whenever there is any discussion regarding the top SEO tools. SEMrush is a favorite tool for SEO analysts. Its analytics reports carry information from various fields of research, such as organic research, advertising research, display advertising, backlinks, video advertising research, and keyword research. Used and approved by over 500,000 users, SEMrush is ideal if you want in-depth information regarding your business’ SEO campaign.

SEO Powersuite

SEO Powersuite is a highly talked about SEO software that combines a ton of user-friendly tools for the entire SEO process. SEO Powersuite is the ideal software for those who are comparatively new to the SEO field. You don’t need a lot of experience or know how to handle SEO Power Suite. It is a cross-platform software and consistently adheres to the changes in search engine algorithm changes. Numerous Fortune 500 companies have been benefited by SEO Power Suite over the years.

SEOProfiler

SEPProfiler packs in tools related to link analysis and building, webpage audits, competitive intelligence, keyword research, web page optimization and social media for outperforming all your competitors to get a prime ranking on search engines. SEOProfiler is a dream software for SEO teams due to its support for multi-user accounts. Well-designed PDF reports can be created using the software too.

When You Opt for Limo Services

Have a plan in mind to enjoy a luxurious and stylish ride? No matter what kind of travel you are looking for, the first thing that strikes in mind for such a ride is a Limousine. Hiring a Limo is a difficult task. Sometimes people misjudge in choosing the right Limo service and may end up compromising with what they have got. There are many aspects that need to be considered while selecting a Limo service. Right from the type of event to the type of Limo you are looking for. Below are some of the procedures you may want to follow while choosing the right Limo service.

Type of event
Selecting the right Limo generally depends on the type of event. Limo services quote prices depending on the events. No matter what type of event it is, Limo service is there to give you joyful ride. For each event, Limos are customized as per the occasion. Some Limos also offer discount packages depending on the event you are looking for, so don’t hesitate to ask for it.

Hourly charges
Decide for how many hours Limo service is required. Most of the Limo services charge on an hourly basis. If you are looking out for a party bus to go for a long trip, then plan for the number of hours required.

Number of people
It’s important to decide how many people will be enjoying the ride. Some Limos can accommodate four to five passengers and some up to 20 passengers. If you are looking for a luxurious and high-class ride, then opt for a best one and ask your friends if they would like to share.

Type of Limo
Decide what type of vehicle you would like to hire for. Most of the Limo services offer vehicles like Sedans (4 passengers), 10 passenger Limousine, 12 passenger Limousine, 14 passenger Limousine, 14-20 passenger Limousine, coach bus, classic Limousine, etc. Decide which is comfortable for you depending upon the number of passengers and packages you are looking out for.

Go for Best service
Determine your budget and choose the best service out of it. Don’t look out for only prices, but also the service they are offering. Beware of the brokers if you are booking online or through a telephone call.

Plan your travel
Decide what kind of experience would like to get on a joyful service and share the same with the Limo service. Whether it’s alcohol or smoking, pickups or drops, regular route or some other route, share all your plans with the service provider so that they will help you meet your needs.

Discounts and packages
Do not forget to ask for the discounts and offers on the Limos. Check if everything you wanted is included in the package and also ask if the gratuity is also included.

Book as early as possible
In season, most of the Limo services get busy. If you are planning for big events like proms, concerts, or weddings, reserve the required Limo as early as possible.

Check the Limo
Don’t assume things. It’s better to visit the Limo service and check the Limo you have hired. Check if the Limo is comfortable or not. When the event is nearing, call the service and confirm your reservation.

Last but not least, whatever you asked for, get everything in writing before you use your credit card. A contract should be made including all the details you asked for and what they would be providing.

For information on car service in Toronto click here.

An Executive Chair Can Help You and Your Home Office

A lot of emphasis has recently been placed on office ergonomics, and it is about time. For years, people wondered why their backs hurt after spending a full day at work sitting in an office chair. Now we know exactly what happens to our frames when we sit too long in an uncomfortable chair. Designers have been working on differing approaches to fix the issues and have come up with some interesting concepts and designs over the last few years that help strengthen our inner core and hold us in balance while we sit and work.

Some of the design features that have become common place that would have been hard to find a few years ago are plastic contoured molding, lumbar supports and gas filled levers that allow chair tilting in multiple increments. Height adjustments along with total control of the back support and even the tilt angle of the chair when at rest is available now.

The covering fabric and insulation materials have also changed to include high density foam or memory foam and name brand fabrics that resist stains and clean up easily with warm soapy water. Print patterns and colors are endless and can be ordered without additional costs, giving the office decorator many more possibilities than the old traditional leather coverings.

Combining all of these features into an ergonomic package that looks good and makes your office complete is what designers have been working on. Some manufacturers have gone far above and beyond the rest providing extra features like heat, low frequency vibration and moving massage rollers for soothing aching tired muscles.

So, how does all of this help you? It starts by allowing your focus to remain on the solutions to problems that you are solving for people, not the aching back and how you need to constantly move and adjust to remain comfortable where you are sitting. Next it allows you more time in the seat, and everyone is more productive when they can sit for longer periods of time without getting up and changing positions.

Having a great chair in your home office is crucial if you are going to survive eight to sixteen hours a day working. If you are working in a chair that is old and is falling apart or one that leaves you tired and sore at the end of a long work day, then you should consider looking into a modern executive chair. Current designs have lots of features that help you survive your daily office experience and keep you feeling fresh and ready to go at the end of a long day sitting.

For information on vibrating foam rollers click here.

What is Massage Therapy – Healing Practice of Touch and Movement

What is massage therapy anyway? One thing we can say for sure is that it has become a fast growing profession. A couple of decades ago, you never even heard of massage therapy. But since then interest has grown tremendously. Even insurance companies understand and recognize the benefits of a skilled massage therapist.

The term massage therapy is used when talking about health and healing practices that involve touch and movement. It is a profession in which the therapist applies some manual techniques, and may apply at adjunctive therapies. These techniques when applied have the sole intention of trying to positively affect the health and well-being of the client.

So where did massage therapy come from?

The word massage is most likely to have emerged from the Greek word ‘Massein’, meaning ‘to knead’ or the Arabic word ‘mash’ meaning ‘to press softly’. Massage is really the oldest form of physical medicine known to man. It can be traced all the way back to the early Chinese medical manuscripts around 400BC. Hippocrates was known to advocate massage. And he was born in the fifth century and was also known as “the father of medicine”. It was used and written about in Roman times, with history recording Julius Caesar had received massage to help relieve neuralgia!

Massage therapy dates back thousands of years. Ancient writings of many cultures have referenced the term massage.

They included:

  • ancient Greek
  • ancient Rome
  • China
  • Japan
  • Egypt
  • Indian subcontinent

In the United States massage therapy became popular for a variety of health purposes in about that mid 1800’s. Around the 1930s and 1940s massage therapy fell out of favor. This was because of scientific and technological advances in medical treatments. Massage therapy interest was revived in the 1970s. Athletes were the one who mainly used this form of therapy back then.

There are over 80 types of massage therapy. Most of the time what happens is when people find a method or two that they like, they will usually stick with their practitioner who use this form of therapy. Then there are times when people find a particular massage therapist that makes them feel comfortable and that individual will remain a loyal customer to this particular massage therapist.

The first thing that will happen is the massage therapist will review your symptoms and neeeds. They will then ask you questions about your problem and conditions.

There are a variety of massage techniques that are used to help with the following:

  • reduce tension and pain
  • improve blood flow
  • relax muscles and provide a sense of well-being and relaxation

Massage therapy is really a hands-on manipulation of soft tissues and joints of the body. The soft tissues include:

  • muscle
  • skin
  • tendon
  • associated fascia
  • ligaments
  • joint capsules

Although it largely affects those muscles just under the skin, massage therapies benefits may also reach the deeper layers of muscle and possibly even the organs themselves. Massage also stimulates blood circulation and assists the lymphatic system (which runs parallel to the circulatory system), this helps to eliminate waste thoughtout the body.

The purpose of massage therapy is to prevent, develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment physical function or relieve pain. It is also a clinically oriented health option with undeniable result in relief from an array of discomforts that include stress, muscular overuse and many other chronic pain syndromes. If employed early enough after accidents involving trauma and injury, massage therapy can greatly reduce the development of painful muscular patterning.

What the massage therapist will do is press, stroke, rub to try and manipulate the muscles and other soft tissue with particular focus on muscles and pressure points. Pressing and kneading different areas of the body to relieve pain, relax, stimulate, and tone the body. This will often happen using various pressure and movement. The therapist use their hands, fingers, forms, elbows, and sometimes feet.

With the goal to relax the soft tissues, help to increase the delivery of blood and oxygen to the massaged areas, reduce tension, relax muscles, decrease pain and provide a sense of well-being and relaxation.

Some of the popular types of massage are:

  • Swedish
  • Deep tissue
  • Trigger point
  • Reflexology

With the popularity in “massage” today, you should only get your massage from someone who uses the title “massage” (MT). This person has completed a diploma program at a recognized school and has passed an examination. When you are out looking for a qualified therapist look for someone who uses a massage therapist (MT) or registered massage therapist (RMT) as their title.

When is a time when massage therapy is not the right treatment?

If you suffer from certain circulatory ailments (such as phlebitis), infectious diseases, certain forms of cancer, cardiac problems, certain skin conditions, or any inflamed or infected tissues, be sure to consult your physician before initiating any massage program. An experienced massage therapist will also be able to tell you when massage is not indicated.

Family Photography Tips – The Good Group Photo

Probably the hardest picture to set up and pull off is the group family photograph. These pictures only really work when everyone is on the same page, looking at the camera and smiling at the same time. Synchronizing by getting everyone to say “cheese” is the typical way to get everyone smiling. But it doesn’t always work.

Here are some things to think about when trying to snap that lovely family portrait to make everyone happy:

Put the Group at Ease – It is essential that all participants in the photo are at ease and comfortable with each other as well as the photographer. If the photographer also happens to be a family member then being at ease should not be a problem. With no strangers in the midst, relaxing before the camera is not a problem.

Move into Scene – Don’t be afraid to move into the scene, cutting out the background and focusing just on the people. Crop off the top of the head of the taller people, in order to emphasize a connection among family members. Allow the drama of kinship and love to play out before the camera. Let the family members interact before snapping the picture. Saying “cheese” while always listed as one of the most important family photography tips, is not always a good one, and will make people go rigid and become less candid, so sit them down and let them get comfortable. The good shot will follow as you watch.

Blur the Background – Blurring out the background makes the people aspect more dramatic. It makes the family the focus of attention, because, after all, the family unit is what you’re shooting.

Candid within the Group – There is always someone in the family at a gathering who doesn’t want to sit for a picture. Today’s small compact cameras make it simple to get candid shots without have to pose everyone. Keep the camera in your pocket as you work the room. Find your shot and compose it and shoot quickly. It takes practice, but grab-shots do come out well with a little thought and focus.

Taking Multiple Shots – When trying to capture everyone in one group, the only real successful way to do it is to take many shots, and quickly. Shooting in rapid bursts of three or four shots at a time will get the good shot for which you’re looking. The first shot is usually a throwaway shot. However, the second or third will probably be the keeper. Shoot some shots before everyone is ready. Some of the best pictures are of the actual organizing to sit part of the activity.

Timing is Everything – Choosing your timing carefully will make or break the shot. However, true timing can only be learned with practice. Another of the suggestions that tops the list of family photography tips is that the quicker you learn to compose or to know what you want in composition the better will be your timing. Try to work taking of the picture within the natural flow of events, when the family is naturally together rather than artificially posed making them more rigid.

Lighting – No matter what type of photography, lighting is probably the most important element. In most instances a small flash will be sufficient. However, bigger family groups may require more lighting. Taking the photograph outside in natural light makes for an easier, less stressful shot.

Taking Control – It is paramount for the family photographer to maintain control of the situation and communication is the key. Keep talking to your subjects making them understand what you want to do and need for them to do to make for a happy situation. If you have a really large group to photograph, then use a tripod and have someone act as your assistant.

Smile – Finally, there is nothing worse than a grumpy old photographer, so smile. That will put everyone else who has to take part, at ease. Have fun, act like you’re enjoying the process. It’s okay to crack a joke or two in order to get everyone to loosen up. And don’t be afraid to be creative. Think outside the box. The group can be a group without sitting down next to one another with another row standing at attention behind. Emphasize other items of “family-ness.” Play with it. Enjoy!

Top Tips For Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

Getting married is an amazing experience. It is a day filled with emotion, joy, happiness and sometimes a little sadness when a family member or friend who is no longer with us is not there to share our special day.

As professional wedding photographers we know how stressful arranging your wedding day can be. With so many photographers around, where do you start? What do you need to know when looking for a wedding photographer? With prices ranging from a few hundred pounds to many thousands, how do you know if they are right for you?

It is a simple fact of life that with the arrival of digital cameras, many people now call themselves a “photographer”. Over recent years there has been an explosion of people offering their services as wedding photographers, many of who have never received any training, have no insurance, do not use professional equipment and do not have sufficient backups in place to cater for any eventuality.

A professional photographer will have all of the above and this post is a quick “Help Guide” to the things to look for and the questions we recommend you ask when choosing a wedding photographer. Grab yourself a cuppa and get comfy. This is not a definitive guide, merely a general overview of what to look for.

Looking for a Photographer:

Personal Recommendations: Have you been to a wedding recently? What did your friends think of their photographer? As a Yorkshire wedding photographer the majority of our clients come from personal recommendations from either Bride and Grooms who have used us, or from Venues that know the quality of the work we produce and the fantastic value for money we offer.

Google And Other Search Engines:

A quick search on any of the major search engines will produce a mind numbing amount of choices. For example, if you type into Google the search terms “Wedding Photographer” it will return millions results. Simply going through each result would take you years, so as a general rule of thumb, stick with those on page 1 or page 2. The reason for this is simple: If they are on page 1 or 2 then they have taken the time to ensure that their website is well designed, optimised and placed, to ensure that their products or services are easy to find for prospective Bride and Grooms.

Choosing A Photographer

As soon as you have decided on a date, have booked your wedding venue and received confirmation then book all other services required for your wedding day as quickly as possible. Leaving it to the last minute to book your wedding photographer is not a good idea.

Many Bride and Grooms start looking for their photographer the day they get engaged.

Websites:

The first thing to do is look at a photographers website but do NOT be fooled into thinking this is the be all and end all. Always concentrate on the images and not the website design. These days for a few hundred pounds you can have a real classy looking website designed. Never forget that a website only shows the content that the photographer WANTS you to see. You will only generally see the best images, the ones they want to use to showcase their abilities so take a good look around the website. Have a look and see how many different weddings you can see. If there is only one or two, have they only photographed a few weddings? Also how much information does the photographer give you? Are they up front about their prices or do you have to go in and see them to find out how much they charge? Do they give you specific detailed information about their services?

Also be VERY wary if they say they are a member of a “Professional Trade Organisation”. Some trade organisations only require photographers to pay an annual subscription fee to join then allow the photographer to use the Organisations logos on their website. Indeed some organisations have absolutely no joining requirements, you do not even have to own a camera and your Granny, who has no idea about photography, could join if she wanted. Do your homework and check out Trade Organisations carefully as they are not all the same.

Some are for full time professionals only and Members are required to undergo evaluation, inspection and have insurance documents checked, others simply let you pay a nominal amount and declare you to be a “Professional Photographer”. Remember that the photography industry is not regulated and anyone can claim to be a “photographer”.

Price:

If it seems too good to be true, chances are it is! Many photographers just starting out tend to charge really low prices and only cover their costs. Many see your wedding as a way of building a portfolio of wedding images. Now this will not apply to all budget priced photographers but as a general rule of thumb, if the price seems really low, then there is a reason for it, so try and find out what it is.

For many Bride and Grooms, price ends up being the determining factor. You spend hundreds, if not thousands on the dress, the venue charges a small fortune, then there are the cars, the Grooms attire, Bridesmaids dresses, the cake, the flowers – cutting costs on your wedding photography can result in poor wedding photographs resulting in huge disappointment and photographs of the day that you simply do not want to look at.

Remember it is a one shot event – to get everyone back to retake the photographs will be time consuming and very expensive.

Make An Appointment:

Until you go meet the photographer, you will not be fully informed if they are the right person for the job. At the meeting ask to see photographs from AT LEAST five recent weddings. Ask if the photographer has worked at your venue before and if so ask if you can see some images from that wedding. Ask to see the demo albums – is there a good range to choose from? Does the photographer have letters of recommendation from previous clients, if so ask to see them. Does the photographer work from home or from a Studio?

During this meeting there are some really important questions to ask, a few are detailed below:

Q. How long have you been trading and how many weddings have you photographed? If the answer is “6 months and 2 weddings, both of them friends of the family who I did not charge because I need the experience and the images for my portfolio” – is this the right photographer for you?

Q. Are you insured?

All professional photographers should carry Professional Indemnity and Public Liability insurance. If they do not then tread carefully.

Q. What are your prices, and what do I get in my package?

Seems a silly question to ask right? Well no! There is nothing worse than handing over your hard earned cash only to find that after the wedding you are not getting what you thought you were. Is there an album in the package? How many hours coverage do you get? What additional products are included in the price? Does the price include image editing? Do you have an overtime fee if we run over?

Q. Do you contract out your wedding photography service?

Picture this scene….. you spend months researching photographers, finally decide on one, get them booked then on the wedding day, someone you have never met before turns up to photograph your big day. How are you going to feel? Angry?

Make sure that the person you book with is the person who will attend and take your wedding photographs. Sounds simple I know but you will be surprised just how many photographers sub contract out their work to other, often inexperienced and uninsured, photographers.

Q. Is this your full time job?

Many photographers have full time jobs and photograph weddings on a part time basis so may not necessarily be available to answer your questions or emails during normal working hours. If you have a last minute question, it may take some time to get a response or you may not be able to schedule meeting times that are convenient to you.

Q. Do you provide a written contract?

It is absolutely critical that you receive a written contract detailing your exact expenditure and what products/services you are getting.

Q. How many weddings do you cover per day?

If the answer is anything other than ONE – be careful. Many photographers will cover more than one wedding a day and this can lead to problems at YOUR wedding. What if the first wedding runs late? This will mean that the photographer may be late to yours.

Q. Can I see some of your work / view the demo albums?

Make sure you have a good look at the photographers work. Look at image quality, look at album quality. Looking at images of babies, sunsets, buildings or family portraits will not give you any idea of their abilities as a wedding photographer. Also ask the question “Is this from a real wedding?”. You will be amazed just how many photographers use images taken on training days in their portfolios. They attend a training session where a Trainer sets up the shot then tells the photographer how to take it. The image may be amazing but can they reproduce it during a real wedding with all the pressure and stresses involved?

Q. What backup equipment do you bring to the wedding?

It never fails to amaze me that photographers still attend a wedding with only ONE camera! If that camera breaks down what are they going to do? Pop out their mobile phone and carry on shooting?

Q. Do you do a pre-wedding site visit?

Have you ever been to a wedding and when it comes to having the photographs taken, it is absolute chaos? Uncle John has gone to check in, Aunty Flo has nipped to the loo, your Best Man has popped to the bar. Surely the Bride and Groom should have been a bit more organised shouldn’t they? Well actually no!

This is down to the photographer and not the happy couple. Site visits allows photographers to create a plan for the day and are a critical component to the overall planning of the day.

Q. What “style” do you photograph in?

There are different styles such as Traditional, Reportage, Photojournalistic, Fashion, Glamour – does the photographer photograph in the style YOU are wanting? Do they do it weekend in, weekend out, or are they trying to photograph in a way they may not necessarily do on a regular basis. Get this bit right and you will love your wedding photographs as you will receive what you expected. Get it wrong and you could end up hating them.

Q. Will you put my wedding photographs online for our guests to see?

The majority of photographers now do this as standard though some still do charge extra for it. Check if there any additional costs involved.

Q. Do you do a pre-wedding meeting?

A professional photographer will prefer to sit down with each and every Bride and Groom at some point before the big day to discuss the day itself. Topics covered may include things like what photographs are to be taken and where, any special requests by the Bride and Groom etc. This helps ensure that the day runs as smoothly as possible.

Q. What will you wear when photographing my wedding?

Again seems a silly question right? You will be surprised how many “professional” photographers turn up to photograph a wedding dressed in jeans, t-shirts and trainers. Smart business attire is the norm but do check!

Booking Your Photographer:

As soon as you have decided on the photographer who is going to cover your big day… PHONE THEM! It is not unusual for photographers to work on a “first come, first served” basis and there is nothing worse than doing all the hard work only to find that someone booked your date 2 hours earlier.

Many photographers will require you to pay a retainer to secure the date. This will be either a fixed amount or a percentage of the total package price and will be deducted from your total photography costs.

Remember: Make sure you get a written contract which details the amount you are paying and what you are getting.

One final thing to think about: Personality. Chances are that your wedding photographer will spend more time with you than any of your other suppliers. Can you spend a whole day with them? Can you work with them for an extended period of time? This is a point that is often forgotten about!

Hope this has helped and if you are getting married in the near future, I hope you have a wonderful day!

Children’s Photography and Family Photography

Children’s Photography and Family Photography have been occupying my time, my mind and my passion of late. The last few days while it’s been raining, and I have reminisced of times gone by, our unique rural heritage, our southern values, the local flavors that make us distinctive.

Have you ever noticed how your son has your daddy’s swagger when he walks? Sweet Susie has your mother’s loving smile, or Rancorous Randy has that twinkle of mischief your favorite uncle possessed? Why not, show your kids how things were back then?

The natural beauty found only in the southern gulf along the bayous, beaches, rivers, prairies and forests of Louisiana and Texas is an integral part of life in our area of the world. Remember your momma’s description of putting up jelly? Dad talking about fishing, running free with a single shot rifle and a one-eyed dog?

I have worked producing beautiful vintage children photographs. Things that bring me, and you back to our favorite memories;, kids playing with things that stimulate their imagination, running while rolling a tire, crawling under a wheel barrow, smelling the flowers, studying a grasshopper and stretching their imagination and not playing a video game.

The true key in capturing your child in a great photo,put them in a natural setting and just watch!. Don’t force them to pose or say cheese. But rather give them something to do that grabs their attention and bring them joy and laughter. Now get down on their level and find the shot. You will be very surprise what you get in the camera when the day is done. The true trick to being a good photographer is being a bit of a storyteller. Just let the events unfold and be ready.

I have enjoyed taking my work to the next level with creating a unique look to images. Using tints, edges, overlaying of textures, we can help your children remember what it was like when granddad and grandma were their age. That freedom of running into the wind, the sensation of mud between your toes. Just imagine the smile on your child’s face as he or she relieves that time gone by.

I love the soft ethereal effects its give to children’s photos. Being able to catch this time in their young life’s the true innocence that is but a feeding moment in today’s world. To catch to true joy and the love of a family.

Why Most SEO Strategies Fail to Deliver

There are many reasons why a SEO strategy fails to deliver.

In this article I ponder over 10 primary reasons why your SEO strategy could miss its mark.

1. No long term perspective

Most SEO action plans are defined for a limited period of time like 6 months to a year. Many clients feel post that period there will be no SEO needed, or at max, some maintenance to keep up the rankings. It’s this short term thinking that gets website owners caught up in a wrong SEO tactics with little results. The right SEO strategy needs to create “value” throughout the life time of your online business. Is your SEO plan the right strategy?

2. Shooting in the dark

Most SEO experts don’t have a proper strategy in place to secure your rankings. What’s amazing is that the client feels SEO is not something they will understand, and don’t feel they need too. This means your SEO tactics could be shooting darts in the dark hoping to hit the bull’s eye. Are you aware of the SEO strategies being used on your website and do you understand them?

3. Lack of alignment

Most SEO action plans are not consistent, lack participation and deep perspective into search engines. Many SEO experts build random links (from relevant sites) to your website which eventually does push the rankings, sometimes temporarily. But if you want to build a strong link reputation and earn life time traffic, then proper alignment is a must. Is your SEO plan in alignment with the new link variables – consistency, relevancy, diversity, progression, participation and age of links?

4. Playing follow the leader

Most SEO action plans play follow the leader i.e. your competitors. Most clients worry too much about the competitors (and their rankings) and lesser about the “value” they are creating. A SEO tactic that focuses on chasing competitors is like a dog trying to catch its own tail. It’s always seems close, but yet the dog can never catch it. Is your SEO plan chasing its own tail?

5. Wrong expectations

Most SEO action plans make high claims and ranking guarantees. Most clients buy into this. The clients who buy into quick or cheap SEO schemes need to understand the expectations and deliverables properly. If you do not understand your SEO tactic, how it works and why it works, then good luck for the same. Is your SEO strategy based on wrong expectations on either side?

6. Chasing a dream

Most SEO action plans present the dream of tons of traffic that will come to your website. Yes, there is business that will come, but the reality is getting business online is not always easy. It involves creating value, building a brand, communicating that brand, making the brand visible, understanding your target markets and your customer, and a long term vision. And this takes time. Is your SEO plan chasing a dream, or is it grounded in reality following real world business principles?

7. The bigger the better

Most SEO action plans aim to target maximum number of web, user and social communities while link building. And many clients get impressed with the big numbers. What to be kept in mind is that it’s not possible to participate in so many communities at the same time, and over a period of time. So bigger is not always better! Do you have a SEO plan in place that focuses on “value and participation” rather than numbers?

8. Forgetting the customer

Most SEO action plans are not focused on the customer. If your potential customers are not getting any “value” from your SEO strategy then you are on the path to failure. Create value – make that value visible – leads to conversions. Is your SEO plan creating value for your potential customers?

9. Are all SEO Strategies the same?

All SEO experts follow the same guidelines; however, all SEO’s don’t have the right SEO strategy in place to get you closer to your online business goals. So take your time to understand the SEO strategy you plan to implement and why you are choosing that SEO plan over others.

10. The wrong SEO strategy

I believe there are no wrong SEO experts, but there are SEO experts with the wrong SEO strategies. So hire the expert SEO with the right SEO strategy today!

For information on SEO service online click here.

I Buy Houses – Tips For Selling Your Home to Private Real Estate Investors

Many of the “We Buy Houses” signs you see posted on street corners and in front of homes belong to private real estate investors. In today’s recessed economy, a large percentage of homeowners are struggling to attract buyers. When property owners need to sell their house quick they oftentimes turn to individuals or organizations that specialize in buying houses for cash.  

Before calling the number on “I Buy Houses” signs, it is important to engage in due diligence and determine the source. Unfortunately, there are many scammers in the world and currently the real estate market is a prime target.  

Thanks to the Internet it is relatively easy to locate information about anyone. Business owners are required to register in each state they wish to conduct business. In most states, the Department of Revenue oversees business registrations. Other states utilize the Secretary of State office.  

The Attorney General’s office handles consumer complaints; as does the Better Business Bureau. Realtors and brokers are licensed through the Real Estate Commission.  

To locate any of the sources above via the Internet, type in your state plus the name of the organization, e.g; California Real Estate Commission. These agencies can help to ensure you are working with a licensed, legitimate, complaint-free business or real estate investor.  

I buy houses in southern California and work with a group of nationwide investors. Nearly all of us have heard horror stories of innocent homeowners losing their property to foreclosure scams. Mortgage financier, Freddie Mac, offers an article on how to avoid foreclosure rescue schemes.  

As an investor, people call me nearly every day, begging me to buy their house. The biggest problem I encounter is the fact that people wait too long before they take action. By the time they call me they are panic-stricken and desperate. It shouldn’t be that way.  

I’ll give you the same advice I give to everyone else. If you are delinquent on your mortgage, you need to call your lender now. I realize you might believe your lender is the devil incarnate, but most banks will work with you if you don’t ignore their requests. Once a house falls into foreclosure there is little room for negotiation.  

If there is no hope of getting back on track, ask your lender to engage in a short sale. Lenders agree to accept less than is owed on the loan if the borrower can sell their home within a certain time frame. Short sales are relatively complex and require time and patience.  

Short sale real estate is typically priced around ten percent under market value. In some areas, short sale properties are being sold up to 50-percent under market value. It’s best to work with a real estate investor who possesses short sale experience and understands the process.  

Selling your home to a private real estate investor is no different than selling to any other buyer. The exception is that investors are experienced and know what needs to be done and when to do it. Working with an experienced investor can simplify and expedite the process.  

In closing, be certain to read and thoroughly understand any legal documents prior to signing them. It’s always a good idea to have a real estate lawyer review the documents to ensure they are legally-binding and will stand up in a court of law if necessary.