ComLuv CommentLuv authors show their wares Fri, 15 Aug 2014 10:29:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Tips for New Businesses – How Not to Step on Your Own Toes Thu, 14 Aug 2014 07:06:17 +0000 business

When people search for tips on how to successfully start a business, they are actually asking how to start up a business without the risk of it going on pause permanently. Unfortunately, there is no bulletproof way to start a new entrepreneurship, meaning that there is always a risk that your investment can go down […]

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Ten tips for selling your travel photos to the tourism industry Tue, 12 Aug 2014 07:05:21 +0000 L'Ile Rousse, Corsica

Are you a travel blogger who enjoys photography? While travelling have you built-up a huge collection  of beautiful images from around the world. Have you ever thought of selling your photographs to the tourism industry through a photographic library or by approaching the tour operators themselves? And if you already have tried this, but without much success, are you wondering why your photographs aren’t selling?

Having worked within the industry for many years, as a photographer and a photographic editor, I would like to share some hints and tips on how photographs are selected and how you can improve your chances of selling your photographs to the tourism industry. And don’t forget the small independent tour operators who specialise in specific destinations. The Association of Independent Tour Operators has a useful list of UK companies.

1. Blue skies and sunshine

It may seem obvious but the aim here is to sell holidays and tour operators will want their brochures full of glorious sunshine and clear blue skies (maybe with just a few fluffy white clouds). Even a skiing brochure is full of photographs with brilliant blue skies. A moody sky with interesting cloud formations may create a much more artistic image that would look superb hanging in a gallery but in the main it won’t sell holidays.

2. Shoot a variety of subjects

Don’t just limit your photography to landscapes, cityscapes and the obvious iconic symbols of a destination but extend your collection to all the things that represent that destination. Images of traditional cuisine, flower stalls, shop window displays, smiling locals, interesting architectural details and so forth all make useful supplementary images. That doesn’t mean you should not take images of say, crumbling buildings if they are evocative and beautiful, but keep in mind that the aim is to sell the destination.


Apples, rue Montorgueil, Paris

Fish Benechin, The Gambia

Tour operators often send photographers on assignment to not only capture destination shots but also images of properties such as hotels, villas, swimming pools and interiors so if this is something you would like to do, build up a selection of appropriate images for your portfolio and then approach companies directly. Perhaps they would like to hire you to photograph some holiday homes in an area you are about to visit.

3. Create space for copy

L'Ile Rousse with text

When a designer is laying out a page they will sometimes want to use an image that has large uncluttered areas of uniform colour where they can lay text over the top so that it will still be clearly legible. This is common on front covers of magazines and brochures but also on internal spreads. So remember to take some extra shots of that stunning view that intentionally allow for this.

4. Take both portrait and landscape orientation shots

Taking this one step further, where possible shoot both portrait (vertically) and landscape (horizontally) orientated photographs to give the designer the greatest choice of layout.

5. Leave space for cropping

Don’t crop in too tight to your subject. Designers are often working with fixed templates where the photographs are a certain shape and size so you should leave space around the main subject in your photograph to allow for it to be used in a variety of picture box shapes.

Holiday Apartments, Corsica

6. Wide angle lenses

Using a wide angle lens is great for capturing interiors or making swimming pools look large but be careful to not overdo this so that a pool looks Olympic sized when it is no more than a splash pool. For interiors don’t use a lens that is so wide that it creates distortions.

7. Photo enhancement

Most photographs can be improved upon after they have been taken by tweaking the levels, sharpening etc. The best software is Adobe Photoshop and even Photoshop Elements, which isn’t too expensive, will allow you to do basic enhancements. Lightroom is another popular choice by professionals. The tourism industry generally likes bright, saturated colours but, as with the sharpening, don’t overdo it; keep things looking natural.

8. When to use digital manipulation

While it is perfectly permissible to alter images for fine art purposes, photographs that are to be used within the tourism industry do need to be an accurate representation of the subject. By all means remove unwanted items from a photograph, such as rubbish on a beach, or even the odd person or two to make it look a little less crowded but never remove an object that is a permanent feature. While it is fine to remove something that is temporary such as a crane, scaffolding or a car, it is not OK to remove overhead cables or telegraph poles that are permanent structures.

9. Model and property release forms

The rules vary slightly from country to country and even from state to state within the USA but if possible always get a signed model release form from anyone that is recognisable in a photograph and this doesn’t just apply to professional models. For minors the form must be signed by a parent or legal guardian.

Likewise it is advisable where possible to obtain a signed property release form stating that the owner of a certain property, such as a building or even a pet, has given you consent to take the photograph of that property and to use it.

Sometimes this just isn’t possible but not having a release form will limit the saleability of an image to editorial purposes only and will entirely exclude some uses including advertising.

More information on property/model release forms can be found on various stock photography websites. Sample forms can be found on Shutterstock. Some photographic libraries require model release forms for ALL images in which a person is recognisable even if you cannot see their face.

10. Less is more

It has been said many times before but it is so often overlooked that I felt I should include this point; it is possibly the most important and applies to all areas of photography; be selective and super critical. When choosing images for submission or for an online gallery only show your very best work and only show a few variations of the same subject (see points 4 and 5). You may have many superb photographs but these will be hard to spot among a sea of mediocre images and even just a few poorly selected images can ruin an otherwise first rate collection.

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4 Tips To Land Your Dream Job Thu, 07 Aug 2014 09:01:46 +0000 looking-for-a-job-68958_640

This article is going to be a little different. I know a lot of the content in ComLuv deals with internet marketing, generating traffic, making money online, establishing your own online business(s), etc. But what if you’re not interested in leaving the “rat race” to earn a living online? What if you much rather work […]

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Science Behind Spontaneous Human Combustion Tue, 05 Aug 2014 08:59:27 +0000 Spontaneous Human Combustion

Spontaneous human combustion is something most people will roll their eyes or laugh about when brought up in a conversation. Of course now you’re probably thinking, “well that’s a subject normally not brought about in everyday conversation.” And you’re right… In fact spontaneous human combustion is not a phenomenon that is widely recognized by science. […]

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5 Essential Repairs to Do around the Home before Selling Sun, 03 Aug 2014 07:42:22 +0000 Lucky-Star-Home-Improvement-and-Handyman-Services

Selling your old house is much more complicated than selling a car or an old piece of furniture. The potential buyers will be investing quite a bit of money, and this house will possibly become their new home, so it is only fair that they have plenty of concerns going into deal. They also may […]

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7 Hacks To Get the Most Out of Your 24 Hours Fri, 01 Aug 2014 10:20:52 +0000 getmoretime-featured

Each person is unique in countless ways, but we are all alike in one way. No matter the status of our births, our heights, our weights, our experiences, our hopes, our dreams, we all have one thing in common. We will have it common from the day we’re born until the day we die. We […]

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Godaddy coupons and vouchers for .com and .hosting Wed, 30 Jul 2014 15:00:31 +0000 godaddy_promo_code

Either kind of client can use a GoDaddy voucher to help bring down their prices.

For example, use coupon code 199luv

or click for $1.99 domain here

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5 Ugly Blogs in the World Mon, 28 Jul 2014 07:55:03 +0000 5 Ugly Blogs in the World

As to whether you guys love it or not, I do find myself here as well with my turn of writing on the great site. I do love the last three letters ending the and obviously it hasn’t got to do with the .com but instead the ‘luv’. That means me too can […]

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3 Free Tools That Make a Freelancer’s Life Easier (Plus Bonus Free Tools!) Sat, 26 Jul 2014 07:50:54 +0000 Freelancer at home

If you’re not a freelance worker now, you very well might be in the near future. While full-time work has become scarcer, freelance work has grown in the last few years. Not only that, but according to a recent Elance report (PDF link), freelance wages are on the rise, too.

Sounds great, right?

Freelancer wages

Not so fast.

Yes, freelancing comes with many benefits. In almost all instances you can work flexible hours. You can work from home, which opens up more opportunities for people lacking the ability to drive. If you have the drive you can find more than one gig and earn even more income.

The catches? For starters, you have to find and pay for your own health insurance plan. In a system that still ties health insurance to employment, this becomes an increasing burden. There is also little job security. When a company hires you full-time, they make an investment. It costs them money if they fire you. Companies can hire and terminate freelancers with few added costs. Companies also don’t pay half of freelancers’ Social Security tax. No one realizes this until they’re no longer full-time employees.

So yes, freelance wages might be on the rise. But that’s only to correct for all the added costs freelancers have to bear.

Then there’s the other grim reality for freelancers: getting paid. No, even a half-decent company won’t stiff you. But there might be a gap between project completion and payment. So even if you’re earning a quality wage, you might run into financial troubles while you wait for a check.

As you might imagine, even with rising wages freelancers still need to be frugal. At the same time, they need certain tools to operate. A computer is a given, but there are plenty of applications that make a freelancing life possible. You can pay a fortune for these tools if you’re not careful. Or you can check out this list of free tools to keep costs down while your bank account builds.

Google Drive

Google Drive

If you don’t already have Microsoft Office on your computer, you probably know how much it costs. You’ve been to the sales page, seen the price, and decided that it’s just a bit too rich for your blood. I imagine that companies, not individuals, pay for the great majority of Office installations. The company that hires you as a freelancer won’t pay for Office.

Even with Microsoft’s new plans, which cost $150 per year, the cost proves prohibitive. Two years’ worth of payments is more than a single Office license. Meanwhile, plenty of people get by just fine with Office 2010. Open Office is one free alternative, but it might not provide everything you need.

Google Drive, formerly Google Docs, provides a viable alternative. You can open Office files within it — you can even upload Office docs and spreadsheets. It’s not quite as powerful, particularly the spreadsheets application. But it gets the job done with a simple interface. Combine that with gigabytes upon gigabytes of file storage, plus a quality suite of mobile apps, and you have a free solution.

You will even find many companies use Google Drive themselves to collaborate. Doing some freelance work for BuzzFeed? They use Google Drive for Work to coordinate and collaborate. But even if they don’t, you can get plenty of use out of it and avoid the high cost of MS Office.



One task freelancers will become familiar with that is foreign to full-time workers: invoicing. In most freelancing situations, if you want to get paid you have to send an invoice. It doesn’t end there, either. In many situations you’ll have to follow up and pester the accounting department to pay you. It’s not that they don’t want to pay you. It’s that they’re disorganized like the rest of us.

To take this one step further: freelancers likely need a total accounting solution. Full-time employees have it easy. They get a paycheck tat gets deposited into their checking accounts. Many companies still pay their freelancers with paper checks. Sent through the mail. Imagine the horrors.

Think you can process your checks on a simple spreadsheet? Then consider the tax implications of freelancing. When a company sends you a check, it doesn’t deduct any taxes. That burden is on you. You have to pay the IRS every April 15, though they prefer you pay them every quarter.

FreshBooks offers a free tier solution that can work well for freelancers. It works best for freelancers working for a single company, since the free tier allows you to manage one client. If you need to manage multiple clients, the first paid tier is just $20/month.

Still think you can handle your accounts on a spreadsheet? You can still take care of your invoices using FreshBooks’s free invoice template. It lets you send and monitor your invoices. It even notifies you when the recipient has opened it, so you know when to follow up. Just as a heads up, you will get emails selling you on FreshBooks services. That’s the price of free, I guess.



When you work from home, you become a topic of conversation among friends. They’re curious about what that life is like. Most of them can’t imagine life outside an office. At some point, someone will say, “I could never do that. I’m just not disciplined enough.”

Let me tell you: when I started freelancing in 2007 I was the least disciplined person I knew. Instead of doing my work I’d hang out on baseball blogs and look up statistics. Then came deadline, when I’d have to go to the library just to block out distractions. Work that I could have spread over a 40-hour workweek I did in 20 hours over three days (Friday-Saturday-Sunday). You can imagine that this affected the quality of my work.

Most of the time when we’re distracted we don’t even realize it. Just a little bit of awareness can give us that jolt we need. Though I’m much more disciplined these days, there’s always room for improvement. I recently installed RescueTime on my machine, just to see my actual productivity levels.

If I didn’t know better, I’d have thought I was back in 2007!

RescueTime requires some setup. It doesn’t always know which websites are distracting and which are research. (For example, I never visit the Huffington Post unless I’m looking for information. RescueTime by default classifies it as distracting.) But once it knows your habits, it is brutally honest in its assessment of your behavior. Spending too much time on Twitter? Down goes your productivity score.

Perhaps the greatest aspect of Rescue Time: It lets you know how much time you’ve actually logged. It’s amazing how much time in a typical eight-hour workday is idle. It might not be totally idle, since everyone has some offline work to do. But seeing only six active hours during an eight-hour day might give you the jolt you need. As will seeing a productivity score in the 70s. No one wants to be a C student.

Bonus Free Tools!

These tools are the three I’ve found most helpful in my freelance career. Creation is key, so Google Drive becomes essential absent MS Office. Financial management is more complex as a freelancer than as a full-time employee, so FreshBooks and Free Invoice Creator give you the necessary tools. Discipline? Many full-time workers have never heard of it. RescueTime makes you aware and will turn around your behavior.

Plenty of other free tools make life as a freelancer easy. Here’s a quick list of my absolute favorites.

Evernote. I would have included this above, but everyone knows about Evernote at this point. Right? Read this Lifehacker article if you’re not already hooked on Evernote. You will be once you’re through.

Workflowy. To-do lists don’t work. The mere act of creating a to-do list gives you a sense of accomplishment. That’s pretty much the opposite of what you want. Then there’s the flip side: those to-dos are basically failures. They’re unaccomplished goals. Workflowy is a bit different. Instead of creating to-do lists, you create workflows. You can do this in dozens of different ways — any way that fits your style.

IFTTTThis is another tool that people have raved about. Set a trigger, using the dozens of integrated apps, and get automated tasks done. It can be a real life saver if you use it to its fullest.

Xmind. The only thing missing from this is a good mind mapper. Freelancers need a constant stream of ideas. The most effective way to come up with new ideas? Mind map them. Pen and paper work fine, which is why paying for mind mapping software is only worthwhile if you know it provides advantages. Xmind is free for the basic version.

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5 Simple Diet Tips for a Healthier and Slimmer Body Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:28:28 +0000 olive-oil

A new fad diet comes out literally every year, right in time for summer when people start feeling very self-conscious about the way their body looks. These diets prey on people who are in a very vulnerable state and strive to dramatically cut calories or even whole food groups, valuing weight loss over health. What […]

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