2017 HOW TO IMPROVE LIGHTING FOR YOUR IPHONE VIDEOS | Ztylus LED Ring Light

Hey Y’all,

The Ztylus LED Ring Light is my new secret addiction. I spend almost all of my free time trying to better understand how these lights can improve my video and photos for my social media channels.


The system is so simple, yet provides you with a host of opportunities to create many different kinds of shots. That said, let me just give you the quick and dirty of why you should think about adding this LED ring light to your iphone vlogging set up:

-The price point is very affordable for the quality of this light at only $55, which includes the case, if you purchase the system the way that I did on Amazon.

-You receive 3 different light filters (warm, natural, and cool)

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-You also have the ability to adjust the amount of light to create the perfect shot.

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-It attaches to any tripod mount, and it mounts directly to the back of the Ztylus iPhone Case. I attach mine to my spider mount.


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I love that the light can be mounted to the light, or to a tripod in case I have one of the other lenses attached to the phone. For example, I may one of the 4 in 1 Revolver Lenses attached to the case to capture a wide angle shot, but I may still need to improve the lighting. With this system, I can simply use the Ztylus Revolver Lenses, mounted to the phone, and then connect the LED ring light to any tripod. This is just such a nice option to have while filming in varying types of conditions.

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End of the day, this system has excellent build quality, options, convenience, and a price point that it undeniably good considering how much value it can bring to your iphone videos and pictures.

If you want to see this lighting set up on the phone, and to see how bright it is, then you can check out my youtube review here below.

I hope you guys found this helpful. Thanks for spending a few minutes with me. See you in my next post.

Gratefully,

Raphaela ❤

 

2017 HOW TO STABILIZE IPHONE VIDEOS WHILE FILMING | Reticam Hand Grip Stabilizer

Ok guys, we have all been there. You film something and think that it’s a great shot, only to realize that the footage is so shakey that you can’t even stand to watch it.

That’s a bad place to be, but I have a reasonably priced solution for all my fellow vloggers out there. Well, actually, you don’t even need to be a vlogger, just someone with a phone, who shoots videos, and wants them to look smooth and be enjoyable to watch.

 

Enter the Reticam Hand Grip Monopod. This piece of gear is a definite must have for any vlogger. You can secure the stabilizing stick to the camera mounted Reticam clip, as pictured below:

 

 

You may also attach the Reticam Handle directly to the Rosewood Handle from Ztylus, if you have that mounted to your phone case. This is a nice option for quick on and off mounting of the Reticam Handle.

 

(**Sorry about how blurry this photo is. It is the only one I took of this.)
This excellent piece of gear also screws right into the Foneso Selfie Stick Tripod Mount to create an on the go, super sturdy tripod.

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What else can I say? If you want sturdy video, a great way to hold your camera, and something that can convert into a mobile tripod that you can fit into your pocket, you should probably have this in your iphone vlogging arsenal.

Bonus, it comes with a wonderful little carrying case that you can store all of your mobile vlogging tools in. Reticam has excellent build quality, and you will certainly have this tool for many, many years to come.

 

If you want to see me attach this handle to the iphone case, and show you what it actually looks like, then you can check out my youtube review here below.

I hope you guys found this helpful. Thanks for spending a few minutes with me. See you in my next post.

Gratefully,

Raphaela ❤

 

 

2017 HOW TO MAKE YOUR IPHONE LOOK VINTAGE | Ztylus Rosewood Hand Grip

Hey Everyone,

This post is for the hipsters, the vintage lovers, the ones who long for days of old when things looked ‘cool’. I am personally in love with the way that this Rosewood Hand Grip by Ztylus instantly transforms my iphone into a Vintage Chic version of a very modern phone. Maybe it’s just me, but it really adds to my enjoyment of using my iphone while vlogging or taking pictures.


This mount attaches directly to the Ztylus case and provides an instant ‘grip’ for you to hold onto while using the iphone for pictures or video. This really helps to stabilize the iphone during this kind of use.

It also attaches to a tripod through the little 1/4 ” mount at the bottom. This works perfectly with the Foneso Selfie Stick that I recently blogged about. Click here to watch my YouTube review of the Foneso Selfie Stick.

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This Rosewood Hand Grip mount is a simple product, at an affordable price point, that provides a lot of value to you.

If you already have the Ztylus case, you may purchase the grip by itself, as pictured below.

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If you don’t have any of these, but would like the set up, I know that Amazon is running a special where you can purchase the phone case, the Rosewood handle and this 4 in 1 lens kit for only $89.95, which is about $30 less than I paid for mine individually, so it’s a great price point if you want this set up. 13

They do also have this system available in Blush Pink if the vintage look is not your thing.

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If you want to see me attach this handle to the iphone case, and show you what it actually looks like, then you can check out my youtube review here below.

I hope you guys found this helpful. Thanks for spending a few minutes with me. See you in my next post.

Gratefully,

Raphaela ❤

2017 BEST LENSES FOR iPHONE PHOTOS AND VIDEO | Ztylus Revolver Lens 4 in 1

Hey guys. I’m back today with another one of the products that I reviewed in my YouTube Series ‘2017 Best Of iPhone Vlogging Accessories’. Today, I am going to introduce you to one of my personal favorites from that series, the Ztylus 4 in 1 Revolver Lens.

I could go on for an hour about the things that I love about this system, but here is a really quick summary;

-4 lenses in one spinning wheel that mount to your iphone case (aka..convenience)

-It looks great on the iPhone, which is a silly benefit to list, unless you care about it, which I do.

-Versatility; wide angle lens for your iphone, macro lens for your iphone, fisheye lens for your iphone, and a circular polarizing lens for your iphone.

-High quality product that you will have for years and years.

Ok, so let me give you some examples of what this little system can do. It should be said that I know NOTHING about photography, and I do mean nothing, and I am already taking better shots with this system. It is just so simple to use.

Here is the same photo, with and without the wide angle lens:

Without

With


Here is the same photo, with and without the macro lens:

Without

With

Here is the same photo, with and without the fisheye lens:

Without

With

Here is the same photo, with and without the circular polarizing filter lens:

Without


 

With


I know that Amazon is running a special where you can purchase the phone case, the Rosewood handle and this 4 in 1 lens kit for only $89.95, which is about $30 less than I paid for mine individually, so it’s a great price point if you want this set up. 13

They do also have this system available in Blush Pink if the vintage look is not your thing.

If you want to see me unbox this system, and show you what it actually looks like, then you can check out my youtube review here below.

I hope you guys found this helpful. Thanks for spending a few minutes with me. See you in my next post.

Gratefully,

Raphaela ❤

2017 MOST USEFUL iPHONE CASE FOR VLOGGING AND PHOTOS | Ztylus iPhone Case

Hey Guys,

I apologize for posting all of these back to back, but I want to make sure to get them up before the holidays. These are all such high quality products for anyone who does any kind of videos on their iphone or takes pictures.

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These tools basically transform a generic smartphone into a phone that it capable of capturing HD (high definition) videos and stunning photos.

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Today’s post is about the phone case that you need to make all of the other items work together. Again, I am not being paid to say any of this. These products were purchased with my money. I just love them and want to share them with the people that I know.

Click Here To See This Product On Amazon.

Here is the video about the case:

Please subscribe to my channel, and share it with anyone you know who would find this kind of information interesting. Thanks for spending a few minutes with my everyone.

Gratefully,

Raphaela ❤

Winged Eyeliner for The Makeup Challenged: How To Make It Easy

Hey Everyone,

If you are like me, then you always look at those girls with the perfect winged eyeliner and think, “Girl, don’t step in front of my car.” 🙂

OK, maybe that’s a bit extreme, but it seems totally unfair sometimes that these girls have the ‘perfect’ winged eyeliner. I watched every video I could find and asked every person that I knew how to get this right, and I was still awful at it. Like, if there was a medal for p*ss poor winged eyeliner, I would be sporting gold.

Anywho, over the years, I have developed what I like to refer to as ‘make up coping skills’. These are the tips and tricks that I have finally mastered to make myself appear much better at make up than I really am. I figure that I could not possibly be the only makeup challenged person out there, so I made this video about applying winged eyeliner.

Seriously, if you can mess this two step process up, then you are beyond hope. I kid, I kid. 🙂 I hope this helps you to rock that winged eyeliner this weekend!

Gratefully,

Raphaela Laurean

Choosing Your Blog or Business Name: Why I Am Changing Mine

Run, To, The, Bikini

Was RunToTheBikini.Com. Now It’s RaphaelaLaurean.com

Ok, so, I finally did it. Did what you ask? Simple. I decided to simplify my life and change the name of my blog. I chose the name Run To The Bikini when I started this blog last year. I did so as a way to document my progress towards my bikini bodybuilding goals. However, over the course of the last year, I have also decided that I have a lot more to share than just that.

I frequently found myself wanting to share things, and then trying to massage the subject matter so that it fit onto my blog, formerly known as ‘Run To The Bikini’. I still really love that name and the concept, but for me, it was and is just too narrow of a topic to continue to be interesting to me, much less my readers. I know that this is going to sound crazy, but I literally spent months agonizing over the decision about which ‘identity’ to write my ideas under. If you have ever tried to pick a business name, then you know what I am talking about. I thank God for flash cards, or I would have to start donating to Green Peace to apologize for the amount of paper that I would have used sorting this out.

There are so many areas of my life where I want to share what I have learned, but I also have a very strong business rule about not casting the net too wide (aka, being really good at what you do, and not trying to cover everything). But that’s when it hit me. I am not writing this blog as a business. I am writing it for me, and for you, and for whatever comes of it down the road, so I should just be me. So, that’s why I am changing my blog name to http://www.raphaelalaurean.com.

Pros: 

Reason # 1: It’s Just Plain Easier

Easy to find me and all of my other social media profiles, because it’s all the same name. I will list the links at the bottom of this page, as an example of what I am talking about, and as a guide for you to follow when setting up your own ‘identity’. If you type my name into Google (the people who really run the world ), you will find my youtube channel, blog, twitter account, etc.

Reason # 2: Sky’s the Limit.

I can write about pretty much anything now. I mean, I have it organized now so that the reader can find what they are interested in, but it gives me the freedom to share all of the areas of my life, not just one. This is something that I am really going to enjoy. A perfect example is this very post. I could never have done this post on my former blog. Well, I could have, no internet police would have come for me, but it may have caused Botox inducing wrinkles on my face (and I promised myself that I would wait until 40 🙂 ), because I would have felt anxiety about the fact that it didn’t belong on that kind of a blog, or that I was not providing my readers with the content that they were looking for.

Reason # 3″ Consistency is Key.

I am far more likely to post regularly because I don’t have to try to ‘package’ the information a certain way to fit the blog topic. I read a really important article on this, and I wish I could remember where so that I could give them credit. Basically, the writer said that your audience is smart enough to figure out how to read the information that they want, and ignore the other stuff, so long as you organize it properly. Shout out to you, whoever wrote that article….what what..you Rock!

Cons:

Reason # 1: 30 Seconds To Get Their Attention

I have to be so lovable and interesting that people will read my blog, because I have no catchy phrase or brand to hook them with. For example, if your into fitness, and you land upon a blog that called ‘Run to the Bikini’, you are far more likely to keep reading, then if you land on one called ‘Raphaela Laurean’. WTH is Raphaela Laurean, right? Anywho, once I let go of that fear, it didn’t really matter to me. I am not trying to take over the world with my blog, just share my life. There are some that will find that interesting, and there are some that will say, um, no thanks. I am ok with either.

Reason # 2: Lack of Anonymity

I will say that I have been the kind of person that has really gone out of my way to preserve and protect my anonymity pretty much my whole life. I was raised in business that you must keep your business and personal life separate to maintain some status quo. I think that I really believed that for a very long time, because I think that it was true up until a few years ago.

Today’s consumers want to know more about who they are doing business with. It wasn’t always that way. People used to associate big brands and corporations with credibility and trust. Enter Twitter, Facebook and the like, and now customers want a more personal connection with the people and companies that they let into their lives.

I am just at a point in my life where I don’t want to be the magician behind the curtain anymore, and me writing this blog is sort of my way of removing that thought process from my life. I want people to know who I am now. I want them to see who is running the company that they choose to spend their money with, and how hard I work for them. I also want them to know that I am a real person, just like them, with a family, hopes, dreams, etc.

Reason # 3: Ability to Grow

For me, I love the thought that I can develop and grow with my blog, and that my readers will enjoy that. If I had chosen RunToTheBikini, and then decided to give up bikini bodybuilding, I would have lost a lot of readers in that transition. This way, my readers will read my blog because they want to see what I am up to, not just to look at one subject. I hope that makes sense.

 

Small Business Tip Summary

So, as you can see, there are pros and cons, big surprise, not! What am I really saying here? I suppose if I had to summarize from a business perspective, I would say it like this;

Niche Topic: Examples; Weight Loss for Women Who Just Gave Birth, Golfing for Divorced Guys over 40, Raising Triplets on Less Than 36K Per Year

If you are writing with one specific topic that you think that you can find enough about to consistently engage your readers and yourself, then go with that. It will be very easy to monetize (aka…make money with) because the subject matter will be so narrow that you could become a very credible source for that subject.  People would trust your product recommendations (please keep it real people, don’t do sponsored reviews for crap products). You could evaluate all of the events in your niche topic, associations, trade shows, new product releases, best places to buy, etc. If you love one subject like that, then get in there and get to work.

Lifestlye Versus Topic Blogging; ABeautifulMess.comIGoByKatie.com,

These blogs, as well as my own, are more of a candid look at the lives of these people, which can not be compartmentalized so easily. If you visit their blog, what you are sticking around for is them, sort of a blog celebrity reality show. They will tell all and you can read what you want and ignore the rest. These kinds of blogs can also be monetized as they grow, if you are interested in that. You can do exactly the same thing as the niche blog, but you just have to be very careful to organize everything really well, because your readers are busy, and they want what they want. It’s your job to make sure that they don’t have to search for it for very long.

As promised-

Disclaimer: This is not a shameless plug, it is meant for you to see how nice, clean, and easy it would be for your followers if you did something like this for your business.

♥ MY VLOG CHANNEL
http://www.youtube.com/raphaelalaurean
♥ TWITTER!
http://twitter.com/raphaelalaurean
♥ FACEBOOK
http://www.facebook.com/raphaelalaurean
♥ PINTEREST

♥ INSTAGRAM
http://instagram.com/raphaelalaurean
♥ BLOG
http://www.raphaelalaurean.com
♥ EMAIL
info@raphaelalaurean.com

I hope you found this helpful. If you take one lesson from this post, it should be that you should just get started. You can change on the fly, so just stop stressing out about it and start writing. More often than not, this will be the true test of how you decide what your blog will really be about.

Gratefully,

Raphaela Laurean

I am ‘Under Construction’ with Team Bombshell

Ok, I’m in. I received my email yesterday from Team Bombshell, officially welcoming me to join their ‘Under Construction’ team, which is great, because that is the one that I applied for. They have several different levels at which you can join, and being honest with myself, I had to start from the beginning.

The ‘Under Construction’ part of things means that you are now working with their nutritionists, trainers, and exclusively using their advice to move up to the ‘Bikini Competition Team’. I have really given this a lot of thought, and I would estimate that it will take me roughly 4-5 months of solid training to move up to this next level.

I am very eager to try their nutrition, training programs, etc. After years and years of working out every day with minimal gains at best, it’s time to admit to myself that I simply do not know what I am doing. I know how to drive to a gym, lift weights, get on and off of a treadmill, take supplements, etc. However, that doesn’t mean that I personally possess the knowledge to make all of those elements work together correctly. There is no shame in admitting that you are not the best person for the job. There is only shame in admitting that you waited too many years to have that little chat with yourself. C’est la vie.

I am hoping to attend their weekend camp this weekend to meet the girls, staff, learn the ‘trade’ and come out of it with my program for success. As for the details of the training, nutrition, etc, I will have to be pretty vague on here about all of that. As a business owner myself, I can appreciate completely that they want to protect their intellectual property (methods/techniques) and their business model. It’s not like they swear you to secrecy, but they do ask you not to divulge what you are learning, as that is proprietary to Team Bombshell Fitness, and I totally agree with that.

I am so ready to get there and get fit! For the first time in I don’t know  how many years, I am actually excited about bikini season. I have a lot of work to do, and a short time frame to complete it in. Let’s get this party started Team Bombshell!

If you would like to learn more about Team Bombshell Fitness, click here. I will not lie to you, it’s a little pricey, but what is it worth to you to not have to hide in your clothing anymore?

For me, the answer is, priceless!

Gratefully,

Raphaela Laurean