Why Wedding Videographers Should Move to Corporate Video

My main focus in the video production business is to figure out how I can use my talents as a video producer to make the most money with the least amount of effort… all while building a business asset that will someday allow me to retire and travel the world while I’m still young enough to actually enjoy it!

My personal income has increased by about 750% since I started my video production business back in 2000 and the gross sales revenue for the company has grown by over 1200% in the same period of time.

I’m not anywhere close to my definition of wealthy but I’m a heck of a lot closer now than I was 9 years ago when i started this journey as a video business owner. The point I’m trying to make in this article is that the turning point for my wealth and the success of my video business was when I decided to stop pursuing wedding video business and to focus 100% of my efforts on selling, producing and delivering corporate video presentations.

The fact of the matter is that when you sell a wedding video, you are asking a family to give you money out of their personal checking account. When you sell a corporate video, you are asking someone to write you a check out of their business checking account.

The difference is that businesses typically have thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions or even billions of dollars they can tap into in order to purchase your services whereas a family (wedding client) usually has to go into debt to purchase your services.

Which group of people do you think provides the most opportunity for your video business?

Based on my experience, I’d vote corporate every time. Assuming you agree or at least that you are interested in exploring it further, here’s some insight on making the transition from wedding videography to corporate video production.

Please keep in mind that I have nothing against wedding videography and I know that many of you choose to produce wedding videos because you do not enjoy corporate video production. This article isn’t for you.

My uncle Grayson, also an entrepreneur, told me when I first started my video production business that I should always try to sell services that would enable me to make the most money possible with the equipment/software I had invested in.

He added that to sell services that were any less than the most your equipment could produce was not good business and would someday lead to trouble. I must admit that at the time I didn’t really understand what he meant. However, after all the lessons I’ve learned by having my feet in the fire, I know without a shadow of doubt that he was and is absolutely right!

Your $5,000 video camera can be used to produce a $2,000 wedding video. It can also be used to produce a $20,000 training video. The same goes for your editing system, software, etc. Assuming you are a fairly competent editor, you can probably edit the wedding video in about 40-60 hours which means if you work a normal work week of say 50 hours, you’ll be able to produce about $10,000 per month in revenue for your business.

And that’s humping it… not leaving you much time to do anything else to build or run your video production business.

You can plan, shoot and edit the training video in the same one month period of time and due to the nature of the training video market segment, you can command anywhere from $4,000 to $20,000 in fees per video. See where I’m going?

Producing corporate videos will generate you anywhere from twice to five times the income in one month than wedding videos will produce and you can do all or most of it with the same production equipment and software you have now.

So, you can dispel the myth that you have to have more gear to produce corporate videos. It simply isn’t true. You can rent what you don’t own and pass the costs through to the client.

Assuming that you are on the same page with what I’ve mentioned above, doesn’t it make sense to start to gradually shift your thinking to figure out how to get any or a lot of the corporate video business in your area? Yes it does!

Even a small share of the corporate market will dramatically increase your revenue and therefore result in a fatter wallet.

I could write a book on moving from weddings to corporate (and some day I probably will!) but for the sake of my time and yours, I’ll limit this article to a small handful of tips.

1. Pay attention to what the families of the bride and groom do for a living.

Expensive weddings usually mean there is someone on either the bride or groom’s side that has money. Many of these people are either executives for major companies or entrepreneurs of some sort. Target the fathers of the bride and groom to chat with when you are standing in line at the buffet and simply ask them what they do.

(The mother of the bride and groom will still be crazy over the details of the wedding/reception so approach them after the dust has settled on the event.)

If they work for a business or own a business, briefly pitch your corporate services and ask if they mind if you contact them after you have delivered the wedding video to further discuss potential opportunities with their business. Don’t think for a second that they will be offended by talking business at their son or daughter’s wedding.

Trust me, they will be dying for a conversation that doesn’t involve decisions related to the wedding. Plus, if they are affluent, odds are good that many of their clients or executive co-workers are at the wedding anyway and you know that they have already been talking shop because that’s what like minded people do… even at their own son or daughter’s wedding!

CAUTION: I don’t suggest this tactic if the target in this case is the groom. As you know, his mind is scrambled and he won’t remember any conversation he has at the wedding. Call him after you deliver the wedding video and set up the meeting to discuss your corporate services then.

2. When the wedding season is over, look for opportunities to cover important civic events in the community that are sponsored by major businesses.

You simply call the organization and offer to produce a short highlight video of the event or gavel-to-gavel coverage (whatever makes sense for the event) in exchange for a high-level sponsorship package. This will put your logo and exposure on the same level as other major businesses. I’ve done this at about 50 events which has resulted in my video production business being exposed to thousands of corporate prospects.

Not every person in the room or who will watch the video are legitimate prospects for you, but the mass exposure will dramatically increase your corporate video production opportunities and it won’t cost you anything other than your time and the cost of distribution (blank media, hosting, etc). I set up a website that has since been taken down that I used to post the community videos we produced. You can always use a free service like YouTube, Facebook or Vimeo if you don’t want to pay anything to host the videos.

This was a great way to keep our brand top of mind. Be careful though, it will be tempting to think you can make more money by monetizing this event coverage service you are providing. Although you can make a little money charging for this service, keep your eye on the prize.

You want to use this free community service to open the door for larger, high paying projects.

3. Promote yourself as a freelance camera operator or production assistant to local/regional corporate video production companies.

This will help you make extra money in the off-season and will also help you learn the dynamics of corporate video production. Be willing to do anything no matter what the pay is to get your foot in the door. Then, as you build your reputation, you’ll be able to steadily increase your rates over time.

Do your best to present yourself as an ally and not as a person trying to compete with them. You don’t want other producers or videographers to think that you will contact their clients once you’ve left the set of their project.

And, no matter how tempting it will be for you to do so. DON’T! It’s unethical and will damage your reputation. It’s not worth it.

There’s plenty of business for you to get without sharking someone else’s waters. What you’ll find by doing great work and by being an ethical freelance videographer, they’ll start throwing scraps your way – the projects that aren’t worth their time but they still want to handle in order to maintain a positive client relationship.

You’ll get the call to produce it under their umbrella. This not only is an outstanding source of revenue, but also a great way to slowly and profitably break your way into the corporate video production business.

When ran properly and when focused on the right target market, wedding videography can be profitable. However, my experience has shown that much more money can be made with less effort in corporate video production.

I hope you’ll consider making the transition in your own video business or at least that you’ll find ways to expand your service offering to represent business video services. Your success rides on it!

Scoliosis Treatment Shows Promising Results Without Bracing Or Surgery

I have been a practicing chiropractor for over 10 years here in Green Bay, Wisconsin. I have certifications in spinal biomechanics, neurology, and spine rehabilitation accumulating over 700 post graduate hours of study in these fields. My practice philosophy has always been a corrective structural approach utilizing pre and post x-rays to determine the outcome of care along with the obvious symptom reduction and functional improvements that follow. I have often found it ironic that most chiropractic colleges teach future chiropractors that “your spine is your lifeline, poor spine function creates ill-health,” but yet colleges instruct their students that changing spinal structure and measuring it using post x-rays is not the goal of care. Does not structure dictate function? This philosophy is most apparent with their hands off, non-corrective approach to scoliosis. I have had great success in my practice correcting structural alignment of the spine demonstrated by post x-ray, not by following the pack, but rather by searching outside the dogmatic segmental adjusting approach that the colleges still encourage. In fact, the majority of my patients with smaller spine curvatures, under 30 degrees, have typically reduced nicely using standard clinical protocols taught to me by Dr. Pettibon and Dr. Harrison respectively.

The most challenging cases for me in the past have been scoliosis curvatures over 30 degrees. For some unknown reason these curvature patterns did not respond well to my standard corrective procedures, meaning they didn’t reduce much when measured with post treatment x-rays. The typical outcome with a scoliosis case over 30 degrees was generally limited to symptom reduction and some functional improvement. Correction or even stabilization of the larger scoliosis cases was rare. Accepting this outcome was difficult because most of my patients with larger scoliotic curvatures had to deal with progression and most likely the traditional medical intervention that would follow. If not properly reduced and stabilized, patients with scoliotic spines would have significant future health issues and a potentially reduced lifespan.

Traditional methods of scoliosis treatment like bracing or surgery come with significant drawbacks. According to published medical studies, bracing is not an effective long term solution for reducing or stabilizing scoliosis. In addition, the more commonly used hard braces are not user friendly, are extremely uncomfortable, limiting, and ugly. When a child is confined to one of these contraptions a normal childhood, unfortunately, is out of the question. Surgery on the other hand is invasive, traumatic, and creates permanent limitations along with a whole list of additional problems that didn’t exist prior to having the surgical rods fused to their spine. The flexible braces which promote more comfort and functionality, in my opinion, are a complete waste of time for scoliotic curves over 30 degrees. My inability to effectively correct, reduce, and stabilize scoliosis using non-traditional methods was simply not acceptable, therefore a new approach was definitely needed.

C.L.E.A.R. Institute, a research clinic focusing primarily on scoliosis correction, reduction, and stabilization without the use of braces or surgery, is certainly filling this much needed void. Dr. Dennis Woggon, founder of C.L.E.A.R. Institute, is one of my mentors. Prior to starting my practice in Green Bay I attended many lectures and workshops taught by Dr. Woggon. In 1997 I went to Dr. Woggon’s clinic in St. Cloud, Minnesota. While in St. Cloud, I observed daily clinical rounds and learned that measured structural changes of the spine were in fact possible and in most cases predictable. Again something contrary to what I was taught at Palmer College of Chiropractic. At that time about 11 years ago, Dr. Woggon did not have any of the new technology used for advanced scoliosis treatment. It wasn’t until about 2 years ago when I attended the scoliosis training sessions that I was exposed to this new approach regarding scoliosis correction. While working with patients using this specialized equipment, I realized this remarkable new treatment protocol was definitely a breakthrough in scoliosis treatment.

When correcting scoliosis, one of the key strategies needed to consistently reduce and stabilize larger curves is the ability to apply traction, derotation(unwinding of the scoliosis), and vibration all at one time. This is accomplished by a unique scoliosis traction vibration chair developed by scoliosis researchers. The other very important concept, which I have been using for years to reduce smaller curvatures, is to properly restore the normal cervical and lumbar “lordosis” (side view curves of the spine) prior to derotation. This clearly demonstrates why bracing and surgery are not effective long term solutions. Both fail to take into consideration these key biomechanical components of scoliosis.

In one of my previous articles I talked about initiating events as the cause of poor spinal alignment and why standard chiropractic adjustments and exercises prescribed by physical therapists were ineffective solutions for correcting poor alignment. In more than 95% of scoliosis patients examined by there is a significant loss of the normal lordotic curve in the neck, low back, or both. This clinical finding appears to be an initiating event in the body’s production of scoliosis. When the spine loses these curves it compensates through the addition of more curve elsewhere. The spine is a master of compensation innately reorganizing to protect the delicate spinal cord that it houses. When abnormal tension builds in the spinal cord due to loss of cervical and lumbar lordosis, the spine innately changes its normally straight front to back view to a curved position to decrease adverse mechanical forces placed on the central nervous system.

When doctors force the patient’s scoliosis to reduce by rigid bracing or surgical rods, according to this new theory, they are going against nature. If the body innately put the scoliotic curves in due to the loss of lordosis, then we can not force the reduction without creating damaging health consequences long term. This biomechanical reasoning also demonstrates the power of nature when a great majority of patients with rods in their spines, shockingly, have their scoliosis return to pre-surgery measurement and in some cases a patient’s scoliosis even progresses to higher than pre-surgery numbers. WOW!

This breakthrough thinking to effectively reduce and stabilize scoliosis consists of a three step process called “MIX” “FIX” “SET”. Step one “MIX” involves unlocking the spine using motorized traction while derotating the curvature and applying vibration to soften ligaments. Specialized equipment is used to provide accurate traction and low frequency vibration to the appropriate ligaments. Step two “FIX” involves restoring the cervical and lumbar lordosis as well as decreasing angulation above and below the primary curvature utilizing a specific biomechanical adjustment protocol. This protocol is a combination of instrument and manual chiropractic adjusting in combination with reactive neuromuscular reeducation. By adding specific weights to the head, shoulders, and hips, your body compensates and induces a reactive posture correction. This reactive therapy also utilizes the visual righting reflexes by having the patient wear specialized glasses to further enhance corrective learning. The Vibe, a whole body vibration platform is then utilized while wearing weights and glasses to stimulate slow twitch muscle receptors responsible for coordinating spinal alignment. Step three “SET” is actually a combination of fixing and stabilizing using a specialized scoliosis traction chair. this chair effectively reduces the primary curvature by applying traction and derotation as well as vibration programmed for neuromuscular reeducation. By teaching the spine rather than forcing correction you are able to use nature rather than going against it.

This new scoliosis protocol also focuses on home exercise therapy to assist the doctor in correcting the muscle and ligament imbalances. The home care program is a vital component to long term success. In some cases a home scoliosis traction chair is prescribed. In addition patients have access to a mentorship program for scoliosis patients and educational materials to help understand this new approach.

The theories behind this program of scoliosis correction make sense and agree with the natural laws of spinal biomechanics. By first restoring the lordosis you are creating space and reducing adverse mechanical stress on the central nervous system. Then doctors can begin reducing the compensatory twisting effects created by the patient’s nervous system due to loss of lordosis, starting above and below the primary scoliotic curves. Last we can then gradually retrain the spine letting it feel what its like to be without the scoliosis by placing the patient in the specialized chair. Once the nervous system learns through repetition that the scoliosis is not necessary to protect the body it will then gradually correct and accept life without it.

Many patients with scoliotic curves over 30 degrees have seen reduction and stabilization of their scoliosis using this new protocol. In addition many patients experience symptom relief and measurable functional improvements as well. The program has been utilized with varying age groups with excellent clinical outcomes. There are very few problems with patient comfort and patient satisfaction has been consistently high. I will continue to research this disease in order to better serve patients with scoliosis. By continuing to develop new technology doctors can effectively provide a better, less invasive treatment option for patients with scoliosis.

What to Look For in an Air Duct Cleaner

Air duct cleaning is a relatively new industry that has exploded as a $4 Billion a year industry in the United States alone, in the 21st century. Some people have embraced air duct cleaning as a beneficial service, while others have criticized the service and view the service as a waste of time and money. More than likely though, people who have their varying view points for and against the service are both correct on this issue in one way or another and in this article I will address why I think that both sides raise interesting and very good points that you as a consumer should consider. In this article I will address different air duct cleaning methods and explain what those methods are, I will explain credentials so that you can better understand who the organizations are and who they represent and last I will address the common scams that are out there so that you as a consumer can avoid being caught up into such scams to increase the possibilities of receiving a good service performed correctly, should you ever schedule an air duct cleaning service in the future with a local service provider.

The two most common air duct cleaning methods are the “contact cleaning” method and the “Power vacuum air wash” method in air duct cleaning. The contact cleaning method in air duct cleaning involves the use of shop vac style equipment to keep constant contact between the vacuum hose and duct work surface during the cleaning process. Generally speaking the companies that employ this form of cleaning charges less money for their services, because they know that they are limited in what dirt, dust and debris that they can actually pull out of the air ducts and are typically in your home to perform the service for 30 minutes to 1 hour. There is usually no benefit to an air duct cleaning service when this method of cleaning is performed, however it may be beneficial if the actual vent boots were full of construction debris or dog food or whatever and you did not feel like cleaning the vent boots and preferred to just get a cheap service provider out to do that work for you instead. Now, the power vacuum air wash method in air duct cleaning involves the use of expensive powerful equipment to allow a technician to deep clean the entire HVAC system. The vacuum hose is usually 8-12″ in diameter and is installed in the main trunk line to put the entire air duct system under a deep and powerful vacuum.

No kidding, every vent in the house will have a powerful vacuum pulling hard off of every vent in the house for a perfect negative air containment, which disallows any cross contamination of dirt discharges in your home to occur during the cleaning process! The vacuum machines could be 220 volt HEPA rated negative air machines, gas powered or diesel powered machines to generate a powerful enough vacuum to perform the service properly. Compressed air tools are used to air wash all of the dirt, dust and debris to the power vacuum hose installed in the main duct, trunk line. When the power vacuum air wash form of air duct cleaning is performed correctly the service usually takes anywhere from 2-4 hours to perform the service in an average sized home. Reputable companies will clean all supply boots, adjoining supply branch lines, supply trunk line(s), supply plenum, return boots, return channels, return trunk line(s) and return plenum, virtually 100% of the entire HVAC system.

It is vital that the entire air duct system is cleaned, because if any debris and or contamination is left in the system, then that missed debris and or contamination will just recirculate again to recontaminate the air duct system as if nothing was even done, once the furnace is turned on again after the air duct cleaning is complete. A typical forced air ventilation is a circulatory system of constant air in and air out when a furnace is in operation. Companies that are licensed for HVAC will also thoroughly clean the furnace and evaporator coil (indoor coil that is often above the furnace).

The benefits can be tremendous with this method of cleaning, such as increased air flow, increased HVAC system efficiency, reduced dust in the home, reduction in unpleasant odors deriving from the air ducts and increased life expectancy of working HVAC parts such as surface igniters, blower motors, limit switches and capacitors that dirt, dust and debris destroys over time. A reputable company that pays their technicians well, maintains their tools & machinery and possesses all of the proper credentials such as ACCA membership status, EPA certified technicians to handle refrigeration and carries proper insurance(s) will charge anywhere from $425.00-$1000.00 per HVAC system for about half a days work to properly clean each HVAC system.

The price swing is also factored by different cost of living standards depending on where you live in the country and varying overhead costs that each company carries. Some one in Manhattan New York would probably be near the $1000.00 price per HVAC system cleaned, whereas someone in Austin Texas would be near the $425.00 per HVAC system cleaned. The cost of living is much higher in Manhattan New York than in Austin Texas, so logically air duct cleaning in Manhattan New York would cost more than in Austin Texas.

Credentials are very important! Beware of companies that have no credentials at all, because an in experienced service provider can cause a lot of expensive damage to your HVAC system, if they don’t know what they are doing and you surely don’t want to be stuck with an expensive repair bill as a result. The best credentials that a service provider can have is the ACCA membership status.

The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) HVAC system cleaning standards is the only air duct cleaning standard accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). ANSI is a reputable international organization that creates rigid tough standards to improve products and services for the better good of the consumer to ensure that the product or service is safe and effective. If an organization lacks ANSI accreditation, then they lack validity to their product or service(s) in the HVAC, Heating, ventilation and air conditioning field.

A prime example of that would be NADCA, which stands for the National Air Duct Cleaning Association. NADCA has raised some good guidelines to follow in an air duct cleaning procedure, however they lack knowledge in having much HVAC technical knowledge to deliver the best procedures in cleaning your furnace or evaporator coil, which is at the heart of the entire air duct system. Very often NADCA member companies are not licensed for HVAC, which increases your risk when hiring them to clean and HVAC system. These vital working components needs to be cleaned as well, which means in my opinion NADCA will leave you in the dust pertaining to HVAC system cleaning. The safe approach to take is to shop around with ACCA member companies to ensure that your HVAC system is cleaned correctly by a licensed HVAC contractor or company rather than hiring an under trained carpet cleaner or air duct cleaner.

Air duct cleaning is a good service to have performed if it is done properly by an ACCA member company, however many companies have exploited the good service that many homeowners and building owners desire by delivering bait and switch tactics or blow and go air duct cleaning procedures that leaves the system contaminated after the service has been performed. 9 times out of 10 you should discredit ads that state air duct cleanings start at $59.00-$199.00 for up to 10 vent lines cleaned. Only two results will derive from these forms of advertising such as Company “A” arrived for $79.00 and in fact cleaned 10 vent lines with a shop vac type machine and left within 1 hour leaving your system contaminated or Company “B” arrived to clean 10 vent lines for $69.00 and their technician explained that the returns are very dirty too and they can be cleaned for $25.00 each.

Now your ticket has turned to $144.00 with 3 return lines cleaned. While the technician is still cleaning he realizes that your trunk lines are dirty too and up sells you on that to clean a supply trunk line for $100.00 and to clean a return trunk line for another $100.00, which now turns the ticket into $344.00. You’re done with receiving the up selling, right? No, think again, because the technician explained to you that he had to cut out accesses into the ductwork to clean it right, he of coarse now has to sell you clean out doors to install so that all of your air doesn’t escape out of the system, so he quotes you at $75.00 for each clean out door installed to make the ticket $494.00 from an additional $150.00 for two doors sold.

If the job was performed correctly that would be fine, however the guy is in your house with a shop vac type machine, which means he received $494.00 from you to leave your HVAC system contaminated. After he leaves once the air duct cleaning service has been performed, you realize that dust is blowing out of all of the vents when the furnace cycles, because he disturbed a lot of dust during the air duct cleaning, because shop vac style machinery are in effective in performing a thorough air duct cleaning service. You could have called a reputable company that is an ACCA member company utilizing the most powerful equipment in the industry to give you an “up front” price quote right in the same ball park for price as the bait and switch company eventually got out of you, to get the job done thoroughly and correctly. If it is too good to be true, that is because it is. Buyer beware, these bait and switch tactics have been going on for years and usually the companies that follow these price structures are the very companies leaving the majority of dirt, dust and debris in your ventilation system that they were paid good money by the customer to clean out.

When shopping around for a service provider that offers air duct cleaning as a service, make sure that they are an ACCA member company, which tells you that they are licensed for HVAC and check their record at the BBB. If they have a few complaints that is fine, so long as all of the complaints have been resolved. You know there is a huge difference with 5 complaints all quickly resolved and 112 complaints unresolved. These contractors and companies deal with the general public, which means they deal with all different walks of life of different personalities and characters on a daily basis. It is almost impossible if a company has done enough volume of work to keep a perfect record with the BBB. Usually the companies that are small and have not done too many jobs are the only companies that have the perfect score with the BBB. No less, the BBB is still a good reference though, to safe guard yourself from blatant scamming companies and it would be wise to reference companies there if you are unsure of the companies over all reputation.

The conclusion of this article is if a company is licensed for HVAC, uses the most powerful air duct cleaning machinery in the industry, performs air duct cleanings by the power vacuum air wash method and has a good reputation with the BBB and other reporting institutions, then air duct cleaning will more than likely be performed thoroughly and properly in most instances, so that you can realize positive results such as increased air flow coming out of vents, odor reductions deriving from the vents, increased HVAC system efficiency and increased furnace and air conditioning part life.

Are High Efficiency Filters Killing Your Air Conditioner?

With all of the information circulating on the internet today concerning indoor air quality one primary way to control what we breathe in our house is to filter our air very well. Most air-conditioning systems installed today in new homes use standard disposable filters unless the homeowner has specified a higher grade of filtration at the time of the air-conditioners installation and paid for this feature. Well-meaning consumers having learned of the value of better air filtration on indoor air quality flock to home improvement centers to buy better quality filters for use in their heating and cooling system. The problem is these filters may be killing both your air-conditioning and your electric bill!

Air-conditioning systems are designed in an ideal environment on a set of blue prints by an engineer who calculates the exact CFM or cubic feet per minute of air that is required to enter a room to maintain it at a set temperature and encourage air movement. This design of the air distribution or duct system is perhaps the most understated aspect of having a comfortable and healthy home. The design of the engineer in an office rarely if ever translates from the drawing to the reality of the actual installation in the field due to a multitude of variables. In residential homes the space in an attics, between floors, and crawl spaces is often filled with electrical wiring, gas piping, plumbing, ventilation systems, and structural supports that require all trades to reroute their materials to deal either with the preceding trade that worked on the home or the design of the structure that may not have been accurately reflected in the blue prints.

Most air-conditioning contractors understand this dilemma will be faced in the field by their installers and so they have a tendency to over design the duct system for maximum performance if the installation varies from the drawn prints. The problem occurs in that many homes built throughout the years have never had their air distribution system tested to see if they fell within the parameters of the design by the engineer. Even though engineers make over design to compensate for installation issues the installers may also have to make compensation for not being able to run the duct work as originally designed.

This creates even more air friction which reduces the efficiency of air delivery into various areas of the home. Poor installation techniques along with damage done to the air distribution after the inspection by the municipal authorities overseeing the construction of a home may lead to leakage in the ductwork that also creates problems with the air distribution system. Air distribution systems that are not delivering the proper CFM throughout the home typically indicate an inadequate airflow through the blower assembly, leaks or restrictions within the air distribution system, or a compromise of the initial design. Sadly however, most homeowners will never know whether their duct system functions as designed by the engineer.

Now what you may ask does this have to do with the type of filter that I choose for my home improvement center to install on my heating and air-conditioning system? It has an enormous impact! If in their distribution system the blower is not moving the proper amount of air then there is a strong probability that on the air-conditioning side the system is not charged properly with refrigerant. Almost all charging charts from the manufacturers for refrigerants are based on the assumption that the blower unit is moving a specific CFM within a given tolerance of error. If this is not the case then the charging recommendations from the manufacturers are never correct.

If the air distribution system was already operating with a cheap disposable filter at a marginal design level, then the introduction of a higher quality filter, which while possibly improving the air quality may also reduce the airflow, will exacerbate the problem creating even a greater challenge for a service technician to properly balance the refrigerant charge in and air-conditioning system. Improper refrigerant charge in an air-conditioning system is the leading cause of premature compressor failure, excessively high utility bills, and an uncomfortable environment within the house due to the poor performance of the air-conditioning system.

Many tract homes were built with a single central air conditioning and heating return. In this case adding a higher filtration filter can dramatically impede the airflow as the filter surface loads between the times that it is changed by the consumer or the air-conditioning contractor. Surface loading is where the face of a filter loads with dust and as it does airflow across the filter drops creating even less air for the blower unit to move to other portions of the home even though the efficiency of the filter increases because of the increased surface area that the air has to pass through.

Since higher quality air filters, not air cleaners, reduced to varying degrees the amount of air flow through a heating and air-conditioning system it is imperative that you understand the impact of utilizing a higher efficiency filter such as a pleated filter, electrostatic filter, or even in some cases a bag filter before you go to a home improvement center purchase one and then added to your air-conditioning or heating system. Filters that are advertised as HEPA filters typically have a much higher impact on airflow than other types.

To understand the impact of a higher quality filter on an air distribution system think of what happens if you apply a sheet of paper across the back grill of a floor fan. The airflow coming out of the fan will be dramatically reduced thus creating a greater load on the fan motor which increases its electric consumption and at the same time creates unneeded wear that will reduce its operational life. At the same time since the fan is designed to move a specific amount of air in attempts to draw air from any available area to get around the blockage. In a duct system this means that areas of leakage in the duct system that were previously considered small will now be increased in magnitude as the system tries to pull as much air as possible past or around the higher efficiency air filter. In some cases air quality in the home drops as particulates are sucked into the duct system downstream from the filter through duct leakage due to the high resistance of the new air filter.

Custom-built homes that utilize multiple returns throughout the house may suffer a lower incidence of duct leakage, excessive utility bills, and premature compressor failure with the addition of higher quality filtration, but it still requires good judgment and the knowledge of whether or not you’re air distribution system is functioning as designed.

Many well-meaning air conditioning contractors recommend higher quality filtration system to be added onto an air conditioner or heating system at the time that the system is replaced without giving adequate consideration to the duct work that already exists in the home. If you are considering changing your air-conditioning system then you should insist that your contractor provide a test and balance of the air distribution system after the installation of the replacement heating and cooling unit. This procedure ensures that the air delivery across the blower unit as well as into each condition space within the home meets the design requirements of the engineer.

So how to I increase the quality of filtration in my home without sacrificing all my utility bills, or risking future damage to my air-conditioning or heating system? The answer lies in having qualified Service Company test and balance your air distribution for your home so that it meets not only the manufacturer’s requirements but also the design of the original air-conditioning design. During this process additional return air ducts may need to be added if necessary to see that increased filtration does not reduce the amount of air flow required across the heating or cooling unit. In some cases your home may be too old for the original design to even be available. In this case a reputable air conditioning and heating contractor can create a design based on the parameters of your home and then match your air distribution systems performance to that design. This may require changes in duct work, sealing of leaks that have occurred over the years in your duct system, and even weatherization of your home in order to ensure that the air distribution system is functioning properly.

Even though it may sound attractive to purchase a higher quality filter and put it in our air-conditioning system to improve the air that we breathe in our home, due to the competitive nature of home building the design of an enormous amount of air-conditioning systems in use today is marginal at best. Adding a restrictive device to the airflow straight will create problems in the future that may far surpass the perceived health value of a better filter.

Higher quality filtration is indeed a necessity to improve air quality in your home. But before running out to your nearest retailer or home improvement center, or even asking your air-conditioning contractor to provide you with better filters, make sure that your duct system is designed to handle the increased load that a higher efficiency filter will put on it. Doing so may save not only your air conditioner, but your wallet as well by avoiding unnecessary utility consumption and breakdowns.

J Lowe is a 20 year veteran of the field of indoor air quality and HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) as it relates to homes and offices. Related to no commercial ventures he shares his experience in indoor air quality evaluation and mitigation with all.

Currently working as a service operations consultant for the home service industries including, HVAC, Pool, Plumbing, and others he writes articles on improving business profits and customer satisfaction.

Hints and Warnings When Looking for a New Home to Buy

Buying any home at any time, no matter how many times you have done it, is always an emotional experience. If you’re in the marketplace now as a first-time buyer, then the stress factor can be even more significant. It’s not only as they may say in the novels, a romantic and adventurous leap into your future, and yes it’s is exciting, but it also involves making a decision that probably concerns one of the most important investments you’ll make in your lifetime.

In various respects, this first challenge can be the experience that opens doors of opportunity for you; depending on how you play the proverbial cards you are given. The decisions you make during this episode in your life will either see you gain in business and financial stature and confidence, or land you with a financial burden. Therefore, take some time to gain some knowledge about the market and the investment you are about to launch yourself into, especially concerning what you need when buying your new home, and what is involved in getting that all important mortgage? It could be the difference between having a winning hand and being just another loser in the property market stakes.

Property dream or a nightmare!

It is the desire or dream of most people to have their own home! However, despite this highly influencing factor, a primary question first-time home buyers should ask, is whether realistically owning your own home is logically and financially the right investment for your particular circumstances? Looking at the situation rationally and removing the romantic and ingrained influences of home ownership, it is not an ideal decision that benefits all people always!

Your next question will probably be something like, OK wise guy, so how do you make this crucial decision about a commitment that could significantly affect your life? Well, the first part of the answer is easy and it relates to affordability! Laying it on the line, it’s very easy to buy something on credit that is going to be used and paid for relatively quickly, but it’s another story when you need to commit to making payments for something that is going to take a significant number of years of your life.

Carrying on with the doom and gloom part, but without apologies for spoiling any moonlight and roses pictures you may have; we are living in volatile times and economies. There are many financial experts worldwide, who are basically making guesses about how things are going to be in the future! If you have a few million dollars in the bank, then fine; knock yourself out with a luxury new condo launch, otherwise, look at any property investment logically and how it befits you!

The first-time buyer challenges

When you are a first-time buyer, you’re entering a world cluttered with real estate agents or realtors, depending on where you are located. Keep one thing at the forefront of your mind; their primary interest is in filling their bank accounts, not yours, or the sellers! Another crucial aspect you must consider is that this investment is not only about how much you wish to spend on your new home but the deposit sum you can initially put down. In addition, there are various and associated hidden costs that accrue with buying your new home. If you intend making some major renovations, then you can increase the cost by more than 15%, so be careful and get professional advice before signing anything! What you definitely need on the bottom line of your financial report is a healthy credit rating. In addition, your budget should be organized with a predetermined affordability regarding the deposit and any other financial commitments.

Where do you want to buy your new home?

This is naturally a critical decision with a variety of influencing factors associated with it, including available finance, which is usually determined by the amount of the deposit and mortgage obtainable. This can have an influence on your decision regarding the area in which you would like to purchase your home.

For the new homeowner, the excitement mounts when they find their ideal home at the right price and it’s now at a stage where an offer to purchase is presented to the owners by way of your realtor or estate agent. However, you must be completely satisfied that all your finances related to the purchase are in order and have been appropriately approved by any financial institution involved. You should now be in a strong position that can get your offer accepted by a seller, having discussed with your realtor or agent, the worth of the property to you, including fixtures and fittings.

When determining the offer, it’s wise to give yourself some financial room for negotiations, keeping in mind that the seller is primarily concerned with their interests in the transaction and not yours! If an agreement is reached with the seller, your realtor will; arrange all legal aspects related to the sale on your behalf.

Your estate agent will usually instruct a lawyer versed in conveyance procedures to act your behalf, regarding the legal aspects in transferring ownership of the property to you. As you should have had all financially related aspects in order before making an offer to the seller, you now only need to re-approach your mortgage company and present them with the accepted offer and the process will be completed. In the event of your finances not being in order, then you must rectify the situation with all possible speed, to prevent the seller losing patience. This is a crucial factor that applies if you are a new buyer or one who is selling a property and buying another.

Logic before emotion

Looking at this new property investment from another angle; presume you’re already a proud homeowner, but who is, however, for various reasons needing to determine whether it’s in your best interests to put your present home on the market and sell it before you invest in a new one? Although it involves some risk in a rising marketplace, there are positive factors associated with it. They include for example; an established negotiating scenario, with the advantage of being able to act quickly, by your having a readily available mortgage facility, in the event of your finding the ideal new home!

Other advantages include you being fully aware of the related market price structures, in which you can concentrate your search for the right property! Furthermore, and importantly, you can save not only your time but also that of a seller, which in turn provides significant motivation for a seller to consider accepting an extremely favourable offer. This article is designed to give potential new home buyers a few guidelines for their journey into the property market.

Best wishes and enjoy your new home; but, remember to remain aware during the buying process!

How To Choose Lights For Your Children’s Rooms

Your child’s bedroom should be a safe haven, a place where fun flows along with creativity and productive thoughts. Lighting a room with so many purposes can be challenging. However before you start buying and putting the lights in their room, wait and spend some time in understanding your child’s needs, personality and other small things. Children’s have slightly different lighting needs from us, adults. Also you should take decorating your child’s room as a great opportunity to illustrate off your playful side, do some personal bonding, and allow your children to be creative. Use your as many ideas and imaginations for decorating but, please keep one thing in mind, it should reflect your child’s personality and needs, not yourswhere we as parents make a mistake.

Understand the basics

Planning lighting needs for your child’s room is a great opportunity for you to show off your playful side, do some personal bonding, and will also allow your children to be creative. Use all your imaginative ideas in the process but the important thing to remember here is itshould reflect your child’s personality, not yours. Talk to your child while making them part of your design work. Be interactive and if needed take them along with you while buying the lighting things. In any kid room you need to consider three types of lighting; ambient light which fills the whole room, Task lighting is the kind of lighting that brightens a particular area and finally accent lighting that adds a novelty touch to your child’s room.

The key factors to consider

Your kid’s age, whether a baby, early school years or teenagers. Age makes real difference in selecting and adjusting proper lighting ideas. As your child matures as do their rooms lighting needs. For example, babies need low-level lighting so you can see during those frequent trips in the night to feed, change and comfort. As you will spend a considerable amount of time in your baby’s room it’s important that you have a ceiling mounted bedroom light with a dimmer if possible would be ideal since it allows you to brighten the room when required and then lower the light at bedtime.

Also a kid room decorative lamp or two at proper light that gives off sufficient light is important when it coming to changing your baby or reading stories. Instead of kid lamps, one can also opt for a track lighting which are quiet adjustable to lighten while changing babies nappies or reading bed time stories. Also track lighting can be adjusted, rotated to specific areas as the child grows. Older, school going children and teenagers may have slightly different lighting needs. For example, some older children may get scared in the night if the room is dark, which in that case installing a night light opposite corner of the room and not shining in your child’s face to make them sleep is a good idea. Also growing children needs a balance of natural light and artificial lighting so operable skylights and windows will add charm to the room.

Your child’s personality and interests will also play a substantial role in understanding the lighting needs. If it is a small baby, try to understand what kind of interests or personality they can have by seeing their reaction on showing or displaying certain things. For example, babies will react very happily or enjoys certain types of pictures or colours or any objects, keep this in mind while planning the lighting. Like some babies may enjoy Airplane or other objects around a central ceiling fixture or pendant light. Bright red balloon wall light may also entertain your small ones. Generally, all most kids small or growing, love bright colors and novelty items like cartoon characters or any other funny animal characters.

Some children’s may like certain colours which in that case colorful catchy lights can be a good option. Well lighting your child’s room should co-ordinate with the overall decor but having that one wild lighting idea which excites your boy or girl is a must. Choose atleast one novelty theme to add a vibrant mood to your child room that compliments their hobbies and personality. Afterwards try to understand what kind of activities will be taking place in the room. Like sleeping, doing home work, entertainment, computer activities and many more such things. Parents should select task lighting that is most conducive to the different activities children pursue in their room. This will make the job of selecting and fixing task lighting to brighten up specific area used for an activity much easier.

If your child has a computer in the room, you’ll want to ensure a ambient soothing computer place. The trick here is to use task lighting to illuminate what is on the monitor and use an ambient light source to eliminate any contrast. If your child does all their home work on a desk table, try for safe table lamp or the best wall lights that lines up with your child’s shoulder when sitting up ready to read. Lighting that comes from behind her shoulder and slightly to the side will be the best for their eyes with out causing any damage to their vision. If your child likes to read in bed consider an adjustable kid room lamp or track lighting rotated to the bedpost. Reading will become more tempting to your child if you make the experience as comfortable as possible. If your children watch television in their rooms, don’t let them watch it in total darkness. It’s better for their eyes to use low-level light, either from a dimmed light or from a side light with the beam directed at the ceiling.

Never forget the safety of your children

While planning and designing your child’s room lighting needs, there are safety issues to consider first. The safest kinds of lighting fixtures to use in your child’s room are central ceiling fixtures, child wall lights and track lighting. The advantage here is that these types of fixtures won’t get damaged if your kids start playing around the room. Try to keep any light sources out of your child’s reach is always a good way to prevent light burns. In any case if you can’t avoid it then any light that their little hands can reach should preferably be fitted with compact fluorescent bulbs which are cool to touch Use track lighting or wall lights instead of table lamps since they always get knocked over and believe us, always us. When installing electrical wall socket, see that there are no loose cords hanging around and cover the empty sockets to ensure prying fingers can’t put it inside. Also avoid low pendant lights. They can be a hazard during pillow fights or when jumping on the bed.

Using the above provided information along with your imagination you can do wonders to your children’s room lighting and the way it will nurture their personality. Just remember, have fun and make it a team work with your child as your expert partner.

Home Decorative Lighting – Things You Should Know

Lighting plan is of vital Importance to your home decoration project. Indoor lighting complements different moods, feelings and every-day shades, practically telling the art of living. With shades of light, you can change the ambiance from special to occasional and even extravagant, and create magic with special lighting effects.

Lighting – Making Your Home Look Brilliant

The decisions you make about home lighting can dramatically influence the feel of a room, making it warm and inviting, cozy and comfortable, or cold and distant at the flip of a switch. If chosen correctly, it can have just as much influence on the look and feel of a room as your best piece of furniture.

See some of the functions the lighting performs:

Focus Pocus:

Put lighting to work creating focal points. Add lights to direct the eye in a new direction by focusing on a piece of art, furniture or the mantel.

Dim Some:

Dimmers are an inexpensive trick-of-the-trade. They help set a special mood in the home by allowing you to manipulate the light. Install them at the wall for ceiling fixtures and even buy them for table lamps.

Space Case:

Add more drama to a space with accent lighting. By illuminating the top of a bookcase, adding under-cabinet lighting or hanging a colored pendant over the kitchen island, you can create islands of light that bring the grain of the wood, the print of the wallpaper or the color of a wall to life.

Showing Personalized Taste:

Every home is special. So is every individual, with his peculiar taste for shapes, patterns and inherent aesthetic sense. With all the decorative options out there today, you can use them to introduce your neighbors and guests to your taste when they are introduced into your home.

Entwining the Lighting with a Room’s Interior Design

How a room is lit can dramatically alter its look and feel. Entwining the lighting with a room’s interior design is pivotal in achieving the desired look whether it is minimalist, shabby chic or glamorous. Here we showcase some lighting ideas as follows:

Artwork features

Make a feature of your artwork with these rod lights. They come down from the ceiling and distribute an even light to the artwork – much like in a gallery. Choose a subtle color so the light blends in with the rest of the room.

Porcelain pendants

Pendants made from a natural finish such as porcelain work well with the earthy natural colors that are popular in interiors, as opposed to chrome or white fittings, which tend to clash with natural furnishings. Aluminum also matches well with natural interiors and isn’t as pricey.

Entertaining areas

The emerging trend of indoor/outdoor living has led to the integration of indoor/outdoor lighting. A flick of a switch will light up the water feature and deck as well as the indoor eating area, forcing the fusion of indoors and outdoors. Create this effect by automating.

Feature pendants

Feature pendants are great because they are a good light source as well as being aesthetically pleasing. Aligning three in a row creates a focal point for the room and distributes decent light to all corners. Try using feature pendants in the living room where good light is needed for entertaining, reading and television viewing.

Chandeliers

Chandeliers are the perfect way to add a bit of glamour to your home. One thing to remember is that they are a feature art-piece rather than the sole light source. If there is a feature chandelier in the room, the main light will come from down lights and up lights distributed subtly throughout the room.

Innovative Home Lighting Ideas – Mood Light

Mood Light is the innovative lighting device, which allows you to control your own light scenarios. With the remote control you can change colors, functions and light sequences. It can create personalized lighting scenarios, changing atmosphere blue, red, yellow, intense, soft, warm, cool…

They spotlight your most precious possessions, they allow you to see your flat screen television better and they let you set the mood for the music that you like to listen to. This lamp can be wall or ceiling mounted, or set on a table.

Market Potential for Home Lighting Fixtures

Lighting fixtures complement a home’s architectural design; there is an ever-rising demand for them in the market now. For example, there’s been a growth in the availability of taller fixtures because homes being built today have higher ceilings. Eight feet used to be the standard. Today it’s more like nine or ten feet and you need to find ways to fill the space.”

The materials of choice for those fixtures also have changed. People are moving away from the plastic and resin look that used to be so popular in newer homes, and preferring the old world look — brass and copper, crystal chandeliers, and things like that.

The drive for the change is due to consumer interest, utility initiatives, and regulations encouraging energy-efficient devices.

Don’t Wait: To buy lighting fixtures, it is important to plan earlier than other decorating ideas because there are frequently decisions that need to be made relative to the location and type of electrical outlet installation during construction. These decorative fixtures often are built according to individual order, so it needs time. For the purchase on line, You can choose from the china manufacturer directory.

Lighting With Energy Efficiency In Mind

The lighting industry as a whole is putting a lot of emphasis on that right now. A lot of companies have brand-new decorative chandeliers, pendant lights and table lamps out this year that take fluorescent bulbs rather than incandescent one. Fluorescents last longer and are dimmable so they use less energy than your everyday incandescent.

Simple changes in the lighting can improve lighting quality and optimize energy efficiency.

Reduce light levels where there are no visual tasks.

Reduce glare and brightness contrast.

Use daylight where possible and practical.

A little planning and willingness to think differently about your lighting can provide significant savings.

Lighting Quality

Quality Counts: No matter what your budget, opt for timeless materials like bronze and glass over their plastic counterparts. Timeless designs in top materials will always look right and can become family heirlooms.

Test It: Try before you buy. In most instances, you can take a lamp home, try it and bring it back if it doesn’t work.

Take Your Time: Give lighting as much consideration as other decorating decisions like flooring, wall covering, and furniture. Create a master plan of how you want the finished house to look, and work at it over a year or two. Use your camera. Bring a digital image of the room and see what is not working. Make the lighting fixtures the statement to complement the room.

Design Trend for the Decorative Lighting

Casual elegance: The creation of warm, relaxed and comfortable environments with casual lighting that is a little more upscale in design.

Simplified traditional: Remove the excess and simplify. Decorative lighting here may be solid brass, but stripped down and rich with antique patina.

Soft contemporary: Clean, modern and simple in style. While architectural in design, these fixtures are no longer cold.

Treatment Order and Why for Best Results on Neck Pain

If you are to think logically about how the body needs to heal itself (because to be sure we don’t “heal”), then you should be looking at a treatment order. If you accurately assess what structures are dysfunctional or not doing what they are designed to do, then you can apply the relevant techniques to return the structures to better function. It is effective to look at the nervous system first and then treat to correct muscle imbalance which can lead to joint capsular changes. However, if you are in the belief that the issue is nerve then joint as the primary problem then your treatment order will be mobilisation first and the soft tissue secondarily and this is the views of chiropractic. Various techniques including muscle energy and myofascial release are amazingly effective in returning normal resting tone to both the superficial and deeper muscles and try to include both strategies to the region of the head, neck and upper shoulders. Lastly, don’t forget the power of the stretch to lock the structural alignment at the completion of your session; effective and long lasting and a reminder for your clients’ to apply active and passive self-stretching throughout the day.

The anatomy of the neck is comprised of 7 cervical bones, various soft tissues and many nerves. These include the spinal cord with its exiting nerve complexes, one of the most affected in soft tissue dysfunctions, being the Brachial Plexus. The cervical spine is both sturdy and amazingly flexible with the greatest range of movement of the entire spine. This is partly due the type of vertebrae, but also to the many muscles (via the tendons) that attach to the head, neck and upper body. These muscles run both superficially and deep, twisting and attaching, according to relevance to any number of vertebrae, and/or the skull and the tiny muscles of the sub-occipital group that produce all of our smallest of head movements.

The area of the head and neck have always been of importance to the practitioner due to the volume of clients that come in complaining of a range of issues including chronic neck pain and stiffness, to headaches in various areas of the skull.

With the complex and intricate nature of the region, and the many stresses and forces that can be placed on it through a trauma, gravity or simply active daily living, the cervical spine is at risk of developing a number of painful conditions. You see these broken down into two groups:

Acute neck pain, caused by:

  • sprains of the ligaments,
  • strains of the muscles which can occur due to positional awkwardness,
  • prolonged static posture,
  • sudden trauma to the head and neck or
  • simply carrying heavy unilateral weight on the shoulder.

Chronic Neck Pain

By definition greater than 3 months, most commonly emanating from:

  • The facet joints which often present with the same types of positional symptoms as a knee or elbow, this is due to their synovial makeup.
  • Tears of the annulus fibrosus and leakage of the Nucleus Pulposus into the outer 1/3 or 2/3’s of the fibrous rim which houses nerves fibers. (The Nucleus Pulposus contains inflammatory proteins that irritate the nerve fibers).

Often these two bony/joint conditions will cause the muscles in that vertebral region to spasm and reduce their normal length and motility.

What you see in the clinic

So the presenting picture of neck dysfunction is usually local pain in the neck which is commonly related to range of movement.

  1. Look for a head tilted, rotated or generally misaligned both with the client standing and sitting; is it coming from muscle spasm or facet joint sprain?
  2. Shoulder may be elevated if Levator Scapular or Upper Trapezius is involved Shoulder may be depressed if either the Latissimus Dorsi or the Lumbo-Sacral fascia is tight and shortened.
  3. A keen eye will see bony and soft tissue contours, evidence of ischemia in the upper limbs, changes to normal skin integrity including shininess, pallor, dryness, redness or swelling and facial expressions with certain movements.

What you hear in the clinic

This is as important as what you see – the complaints that are voiced by your clients are the things that are HIGH on their agenda and should be seen as their “wish list” of positive outcomes following the treatment. So this means that you need to communicate very effectively as to whether you believe that the pain is originating from the area they feel or whether it is a secondary dysfunction referring from a primary area elsewhere in the body.

  1. Acute neck pain with history of insult or mechanical overload generally means you can look at treating within the region to provide relief.
  2. The client complaining of chronic neck pain has more than likely many more regions to be considered in your treatment guidelines. The body will set up groups of synergistic muscles to take on the primary muscles’ actions; left long enough, tertiary muscles will also be recruited to aid in “normal” movement patterns.
  3. Headaches in the occipital, sub-occipital, frontal temporal or parietal regions, depending on the location, will depend on where the primary dysfunction originates.

What you test for in the clinic

So the effective therapist will look at each person entering their practice in the same fashion. By keeping your assessments uniform you “practice” your skills often and this makes you very good at what you are looking for: feeling, hearing and sensing. You get quicker and don’t miss warning signs and potential dangers that may require referring to a more suitable practitioner.

ACTIVE MOVEMENTS

Flexion, extension, lateral flexion right and left, rotation right and left done by the client let us look for quality and quantity of movements and reproduction of the pain that they are experiencing.

a) Increased pain, rotating or laterally flexing on the same side, indicates jamming of that side, and look for relief by focusing on the joints primarily, and soft tissue secondarily.

b) Increased pain rotating or laterally flexing on the opposite side indicates muscles, tendons and ligaments being our ultimate line of attack.

c) Increased pain going into extension speaks joint, bony jamming, with the possibility of compression of the deep stabilizing muscles i.e. rotatores, multifidii, intertransversii, or possibly the larger posterior longitudinal ligament. Don’t forget to see if the soft tissue of the front of the neck is reducing the movement; the Platysma can get super tight in some instances and the throat muscles such as the Infrahyoid group release well with treatment.

d) Increased pain going into flexion can be from the superficial and/or deep muscles of the back of the neck and attachments to the shoulders. A taut posterior longitudinal ligament and any stiff facet joints can also produce pain in this movement.

PASSIVE MOVEMENTS

Repeating the same movements is easier in the supine position and you can check the end feel of the passive movements, is there a capsular pattern suggesting joint conditions such as arthritis, bursitis, disc herniation, nerve impingement and/or facet joint dysfunction either of which may be forced in open or closed positions. Part of the passive movements’ assessment is to garner information regarding the strength and stability of the ligaments within the neck. Assessing passive range and quality of motion takes in the anterior and posterior long ligaments and then each individual ligament whose role is to fixate one bone and joint to the next.

RESISTIVE MOVEMENTS

These are often excluded due to time constraints but suggestions to any therapist worth their weight that if you have lots of positive symptoms from the previous tests then you should test for the strength of the neck muscles and the nerves that supply them. Myotome testing is used to confirm or refute serious nerve root impingement/lesions. Loss of strength in neck flexion = C1 and C2, lateral neck flexion = C3, shoulder elevation = C4, shoulder abduction = C5, elbow flexion & wrist extension = C6, elbow extension & wrist flexion = C7, thumb extension & ulnar deviation = C8 and abduction/adduction of hand intrinsics T1. Positive tests mean off to further tests from their chosen physician.

SPECIAL TESTS

Once you have gone through the basics above you should have an idea of what kind of structures are damaged or in need of balance or alignment. This then leads you to assess further to get more information as to exactly where your focus should be and the order of treatment.

a)Vertebral artery test – tests for vertebral blood flow to the brain and will indicate how to position the head during treatments and for further investigation.

b) Compression or Spurlings Test – tests nerve root symptoms, facet joint sprain, osteophytes, stenosis, and disc herniation, and is best done in the seated position.

c) Distraction test – tests for nerve root and/or disc bulge, where the test reduces or removes the symptoms. Be sure to do this test in supine as, if it proves positive, then you can brace the neck and refer.

d) Shoulder abduction test – this is another positive test when pain symptoms are reducing or removed and occurs when the shoulder elevates and takes the stretch off the nerve root. This test is best done in seated position.

WHERE TO GO NEXT

Once you have gathered the necessary information and then cross referenced that there is no reason why you shouldn’t commence treatment, it is time to formulate exactly the ‘how’ of the session to get best outcomes. In the second part of this article will look specifically on some common complaints and what techniques’ and treatment order for best outcomes.

Your Musculoskeletal Specialist Paula Nutting lectures both Nationally in Australia and overseas in Canada on conditions affecting the muscles, nerves and fascia.

These courses will improve the way you look at AND how to treat your clients as a whole.

Writer of 6 eBooks specialising on all facets of neck, shoulder, thorax, lower back, hip and pelvis. These are all hyperlinked with video’s showing exactly what treatment choices may make your life easier. eBook on Reducing neck pain with exam options for CEC points available to assist with your education. Also the two manuals on Chapman’s reflexes and the exercise compendium which is the educational material for the weekend courses run through-out Australia.

101 Steps to Perfect Wedding Photographs

So much will be happening on your big day (and it often goes by so fast) that the photographs you have of the event will be something you’ll treasure and look back on for the rest of your lives. It’s important to prepare properly, to get the best out of your day and your photographer.

Here are my 101 steps to perfect wedding photography:

1) Look at all the photographers in your area (use the internet for this)

2) Ask your friends for recommendations

3) Look at friend’s wedding albums

4) Bookmark the photographers you like (don’t think about money at this stage)

5) After getting a feel for the photographers, decide on your budget (you’ll now have a good idea of who you can afford)

6) Create a shortlist of photographers

7) Call each photographer to check availability (we often book up fast, so call early to ensure you end up with a list of available photographers!)

8) Check out reviews of these photographers through Google / other online review sites

9) If you’re looking for other services (like a band / caterer etc…) ask your photographer, they often can get you discounts with other vendors in the industry

10) Decide on what kind of style of photography you would like for your wedding

11) Compare that style to your shortlist

12) Collect some images that really resonated with you. Create a mini gallery of what it is you’d like your photographs to look like

13) You can keep this gallery electronically, or print it out.

14) Meet with the photographers (if possible)

15) Show them the images you’ve collected

16) Discuss how to achieve your goals

17) Consider doing the main Bride and Groom shoot the day before / morning of / day after the wedding (many couples are now choosing to do this to allow time for many impeccably lit studio-style shots with zero pressure)

18) Discuss your other photographic needs (how many formal shots will you need?)

19) How many locations will you want to shoot in?

20) How long do you want to be apart from your guests after the wedding?

21) Ask them about their strengths (film / black and white / photographic styles)

22) Ask them what style of photography they prefer

23) Do they work with another photographer?

24) Do they work with an assistant?

25) Consider meeting their assistant or fellow photographer

26) Ask them if they’re flexible on changing styles to meet your needs

27) Inquire about their re-touching skills (can they cover up any blemishes that may appear on your big day)?

28) Ask them how long they will spend on re-touching each one of your images? (good photographers will often take 5 – 45 minutes on EACH image they create for you. I often say 40% of the work is in taking the image, 60% is in post-production.

29) Ask for references

30) Ask for a discount!!! (if you’re willing to make a decision quickly, many photographers will offer you 10% – 15% discount for booking early)

31) Create another list of your photographers (in the order in which you like them)

32) Sleep on it for a few days

33) Think a lot about which photographer you like as a person

34) Choosing the right person for the job is about choosing a person you’re going to want to spend a fair amount of time being close to on the big day – so make sure that the person doesn’t annoy you!!

35) Watch how photographers work at weddings you attend – or remember ones you particularly liked, what is it about them that you liked – do these photographers have the same qualities?

36) Compare quality of your top 2 / 3 photographers, versus price

37) Make your final decision

38) Ask for a contract

39) Read the contract carefully

40) Ensure the contract has the correct date

41) Check that the contract ensures you’ll be getting the photographer you expect (and that they can’t change the photographer for anyone else at the last minute)

42) Check that there is a “Statement of work” or something to that effect in the contract (detailing how many hours will be spent on photography / how many images to expect from the day) etc…

43) Some photographers include a model release as part of their contract – decide whether you’re willing to sign one

44) Discuss copyright with your photographer (this can be a complex issue, and one worth reading up about)

45) You’ll only need to buy the copyright from the photographer if you’ll be selling on the images from your big day. If you think you’ll want to do this at some point, discuss how much it would cost to buy the copyright from the photographer.

46) Ensure any copyright agreements are entered into the contract

47) Feel free to ask for changes to the contract if there’s something you’re not happy with

48) Sign the contract

49) Give the retainer to the photographer (often 15% – 50% of the total cost)

50) Ask for a receipt

51) Have your photographer estimate when you will be getting the post-production photographs. You may be anxious to see them quickly, but good photographs take time to produce.

52) Will the photographs be in digital format only or will prints be included in the price of the package. Ask for samples of their printed books to see if you like the style.

53) Begin to create a shot list (Bride with Mum, Bride with Cousins, Groom with best men etc…)

54) Assign a groomsman or bridesmaid to liaise with the photographer on the big day

55) Make sure the groomsmen and bridesmaids are informed on what to organize for the photographer – this ensures you don’t have to worry about a thing (like gathering family members for photographs) on the day. You can focus on looking wonderful and being happy!

56) Begin thinking about makeup

57) Start practicing your smile

58) If you’re still thinking about a makeup artist – ask the photographer for a recommendation – professional wedding photographers will normally recommend wonderful wedding makeup artists – ones that help make you and their photographs look even better

59) Practice your smile

60) If you’re camera shy, practice your smile in front of a point and shoot camera with your other half behind the lens (this could be fun for the both of you!!).

61) When you think you can’t smile any more, practice again

62) Think about which of the details of the day your planning you’d like your photographer to focus on (I once shot a wedding where the bride, groom and priest were all drummers. “Please get some fun shots of the drums Chris”)

63) Consider having an engagement shoot with your photographer

64) You can use the photos from the engagement shoot for the invitations – or use them online / with Facebook etc… to remind people of the up-coming event!

65) Use the time at the engagement shoot to get to know your photographer

66) Consider the photographs as you look at venues for your wedding

67) Think of the areas of the venue you really like

68) Communicate these preferences with your photographer

69) Ask your photographer whether he’s willing to go to the venue with you to discuss the photographs

70) Ask whether he’s planning to use ambient light or artificial lighting

71) Consider what the weather is likely to be (in Arizona, you’re likely to have Sun, if your wedding is in the West Country in England, you’re probably in for rain)

72) How will adverse weather affect your plans (and therefore your photographs?)

73) Practice your smile again

74) Decide (with the photographer) how much time you’d like to spend on each part of the day

75) Decide whether you’d like to get shots of the preparations on the day (getting dressed / makeup / champagne breakfast etc…)

76) Decide time what time the photographer will arrive on the day of the wedding.

77) Assign someone in the wedding party to meet and greet the photographer.

78) Has the photographer scouted the location before the wedding day or will he/she simply arrive early on the big day?

79) Is this time factored into the total cost of the wedding package?

80) Make sure a member of your wedding party has given the shot list to the photographer either electronically or in person.

81) If you are not ready to start being photographed when he/she arrives, have the photographer start doing shots of the venue, details of the wedding rings, flowers, etc.

82) If you decide to take all of your pictures before the wedding ceremony make sure to schedule the photo shoot long before guests start arriving. You probably won’t want your guests seeing you in your wedding dress before the ceremony!

83) If you insist on only seeing each other after the ceremony choose two private locations in the venue for both sides of the bridal party to be photographed. This way you can avoid an accidental encounter!

84) Tell the photographer how much time you have for the photographs – this way they can help keep you on schedule.

85) Have fun! This is your big day so be relaxed and enjoy all the flashing lights and attention.

86) Keep an open communication with the photographer. Be polite, but don’t be afraid to express what you need. They are working for you.

87) After the photography session, factor in some time to rest and refresh yourself before the ceremony begins.

88) Be very clear with the photographer what photographs will be taken during the ceremony. You want the most sacred part of your day documented, but not intruded upon. You’ll probably want to remember the look in your lovers eyes, rather than the filter the photographer had on his 24-105 L Lens

89) A tip for photographing a beautiful kiss (To have an elegant looking neck line): The Bride should not strain her neck allowing the Groom to do most of the work. Both should turn slightly towards the camera. You can practice this one a lot at home! (especially useful for couples with a height difference)

90) You’re married! Smile and look at the camera. These moments are often printed and framed so be conscious of your facial expression. This is where all of your practicing comes in useful!

91) Gather your shot list to either finish the family pictures or to begin the Bridal Party photo shoot.

92) Be silly and have fun. People often like the less posed pictures so just let loose.

93) Decide how important it is for you to stay on schedule. This is a once in a lifetime event so don’t be afraid to take that extra half and hour to get what you actually want. However, dinner is waiting on you, so have a member of the bridal party watch the clock so you can just enjoy yourself.

94) The most public part is over! Give your partner a kiss.

95) Set your photographer free! Now it is time to get those fun candid shots that can be so memorable and fun.

96) Feed the people working for you – they’re often there for the whole day. From the photographer to the band, a well fed worker is a happy worker (and it will show in their performance)

97) Will there be a first dance? Give the photographer a heads up if anything unusual is going to happen (like dancing on roller skates) so they can prepare and get the best pictures possible.

98) Once you’ve eaten and had a glass of champagne it’s hard to remember the details including how long your photographer has been on duty. Just make sure you have the toast, speeches, and the cutting of the cake whilst your photographer is still on duty.

99) After your honeymoon, you’ll be able to work with the photographer to choose your favorite photographs from the big day. You’ll receive your printed images soon after.

100) Share the online link of your wedding photographs with your friends and family.

101) Now simply enjoy your photos and your new life together!

Choosing a Wedding Videographer

Where do I start? I receive numerous inquiries requesting information. First, I understand that the average person is gathering information to try and make an educated decision that is right for them. I’m sure many people only know what they’ve read in numerous wedding magazine articles about wedding videography and wedding photography. I’ve read most of these articles and they range from generic to sheer nonsense- especially those articles with the checklist of important questions to ask a videographer. What one has to understand is that the person writing the article is not an expert on wedding videography. Until they were hired to write an article about wedding videography or photography to fill the spaces between advertisers looking for business, they probably knew little more than anyone else on the subject. So, in short, take what you read as a starting point and go from there.

The first question many people ask – What is the cost for a wedding video
The short answer is, most good videographers will start at around $2,000.00. Unfortunately the wedding industry is full of people with the “get rich quick” attitude that brides are a captive audience. This ranges from the person who went out and bought some video equipment along with some videos and books on how to make money shooting wedding videos to those “wedding companies” who make a lot of money booking scores of budget conscious brides with great prices, “one stop shopping” with photos, video, and a DJ! A significant portion of the wedding industry is marketing to a predictable consumer mentality. They realize a significant number of people will shop only by price, regardless of value, esthetic quality, and long term enjoyment they would have gotten by choosing someone who’s life depends on the quality of their work.

For those who tend to be more discriminate and place a little more value on quality, you will have some decisions to make an you’ll be glad you did. The reality is, if you’ve looked carefully at finding the right photographer, you probably won’t be impressed with the plethora of people offering the cheap wedding videos.

Cost and Value:

Unfortunately, objectivity and art are not as easy as choosing between Wal-Mart and Kmart to buy a DVD player or some other exact same item. In many cases, your investment to hire a really good videographer is almost intangible when comparing the talent, expertise, and investment in time required to produce a video that’s worth watching and in some cases, the costs will be very comparable. One can’t begin to compare the end result of the stereotypical and photo companies cashing in on the “Wedding Industry” and those a truly talented videographers and photographers who love their work and work hard to provide couples with something beyond the ordinary.

A full time videographer, who’s life depends on the quality of their work will be able to provide much more value in the finished video. The budget videographers who book scores of brides at “great prices” absolutely can’t afford to invest anywhere near the required amount of editing time and detail to create a video that compares with what I, and other talented videographers will provide.

Doing anything above the all-too-common, mediocre wedding and event videography requires a real skill, a creative eye, excellent editing capabilities, and talent. You don’t study and watch videos to be a talented videographer or photographer. It’s like the musician playing a concert in front of a couple hundred people – either you have it or you don’t!

Shooting the video is only the beginning of the process 
Creating a finished product that is cinemagraphic, emotional, romantic, and yet relaxed is an art and consideration should be placed on its long term value. You wouldn’t hire a band that can’t play.

Style – the most important question

As you investigate the more talented videographers it will become evident the the individual personality of the videographer, the quality of their work, and their editing style will be a major part in your decision process. The more talented videographers will have a wider range of style.

When I create a video for a client, I consider the person, the venue, and their event as a whole as part of my editing style. Each person is different. By working with a more limited number of weddings per year, I can afford to be objective in setting the mode for the video

Generally, my work is more of a detailed cinematic documentary. Most of the events are “in real time”.

To produce a video that tells a story in real life requires a full time job just in editing. The video must have life and it must provide a full overview of the event. I like to shoot in a relaxed photojournalistic style.

This allows me ample footage to create a dramatic video with precise detail, and still keep the storyline moving. I also offer “short form” contemporary style videos, that are focused on a more romantic style. Many clients like to have both the documentary style along with the 15 minute romantic highlight video to share with friends. Unfortunately, I see just about everyone now uses “documentary” and “photojournalism” buzz words in their advertising. Hopefully, they aren’t just throwing out words people want to hear and really understand the concept!

Spectacular audio quality

Audio quality is the most overlooked and often the most noticeable shortcoming in wedding video. Your videographer should be able to provide at least four wireless microphones for any event. Concentrate on listening for more than the vows. Demand to hear examples of readers, instrumentalists, vocalists, and string quartets. Your wedding will be a beautiful experience. Don’t allow on-camera microphones to record your event. Make sure your videographer understands the principles of acquiring good audio for your video.

Natural, Comfortable, Relaxed

I like to refer to myself as a photojournalist with a video camera. When you think about it, this is the key to how I get great footage. When we think of the “Life Magazine Photos”, we think of drama, good composition, and telling the story as seen through the lens.

Molesting the Guests

This also means that I do not “molest guests” at weddings… Frankly, my clients certainly don’t want me sticking a bright light and a microphone in their guests’ faces and asking them to “say something to the bride and groom”, having them to do interviews, or having the bride and groom pretend they are doing “this or that” for the video. Too many people including myself and my wife have “been there, done that” with this type of videographer at a wedding. Frankly there are much better things to do with a video camera and my talent would be wasted chasing people around doing interviews.

People look their best when they are acting naturally. By staying in the background, yet always there, I tend to go relatively unnoticed, but still get great footage. I am a minimalist when it comes to lighting and attracting attention. Most of my work relies only on ambient room lighting. Many photographers I work with have even commented on my ability to get great candid shots. These are the shots that really make a great video, people in real life, being who they really are. Most people are not actors, everyone looks best when you let them be themselves.

Good Camera Skills 
This is the key to being a good videographer. To have a good video, you really have to display excellent camera skills and composition. This is the primary key to having a video that is dynamic, exciting, and realistic. My professional background consists of music, photojournalism, industrial photography, and television production. Now well into my second decade specializing in wedding, event, and corporate videography , you can be assured that I come with both the necessary experience and the appropriate background.

The internet and Bridal Magazines are literally full of new faces doing wedding video every year. However, their ads would make it look like they’ve been doing wedding videography for years. In case you’re wondering, there are numerous images taken directly from tape on this site that are over ten years old!

Anyone who buys a camera and takes out an ad in a wedding magazine instantly considers themselves a wedding videographer. The same holds true for some photographers and other companies in the wedding industry that buy video equipment and hire weekend people to shoot video. Anyone can pick up a camera and point it and take a video. Unfortunately, the end results often look like it too!. Don’t be fooled by dazzling special effects and computer animation. Many people tout these capabilities in their advertising, but all of the effects usually seen in wedding video are usually just a substitute for good editing and the ability to build a story line.

State of the art equipment

I come to a job prepared for just about anything. This includes multiple cameras, an extra broadcast lens and 8 professional wireless microphone systems for capturing audio from all sources at both the ceremony and reception. I have the availability to record at least 6 channels of independent audio simultaneously.

I use the Sony DSR-390L, a completely digital camera shooting on the larger DVCAM digital format. It features three newly designed 1/2 in., 410,000-element Power HAD CCD imaging devices that provide an unbelievable picture quality with an unprecedented lowlight sensitivity of 0.4 lux minimum illumination – in other words, the camera will see in the dark. The major advantages I offer with this latest camera is that in many situations, absolutely no additional lighting other than normal room light is required. The camera sees what we see! This is a significant advantage when trying to maintain a low sense of visibility around guests.

By processing video signal data at three levels — brightness, hue, and saturation — the TruEye process assists in the reproduction of natural skin tones and basically sees what the human eye sees at any given light level.

Several fellow videographers in the area are using the Sony DSR-300, a fantastic camera also. It has the larger imaging devices, same audio capabilities and uses the larger DVCAM tape. Basically the only differences are minor and the new cameras will have a slight edge in low light performance.

Some videographers will use the Sony DSR 250 which is one in a class of stripped down cameras offered by most of the manufacturers geared specifically for the “wedding event market”. This camera still offers a significant improvement over the older SVHS video cameras, but it only has small 1/3″ imaging devices resulting in much less resolution and poor low light performance when compared to cameras with larger imaging devices.

The highest majority of typical wedding videographers use the smaller, much less expensive “handycam” style of video cameras. While these cameras do a nice job for their size and relatively low cost, they have very small 1/4″ CCD imaging devices, offering relatively poor low light performance and less image quality. Other serious limitations are the lack of a professional lens, the ability to adjust exposures, and limited audio functions. These cameras do have their place. For situations where there is plenty of light, like a garden wedding or daylight situations, the picture is pretty good and their smaller size makes them easier to use over longer periods of time. I keep one in my collection to use when ever I feel that the lighting conditions and shooting situation is just right. 
All editing is done on professional Media-100 systems and over 500 gigabytes of disk storage. This system allows editing at very high data rates for optimum picture quality. Don’t let computer editing be confused with the idea of special effects and animations. I do not do the stereotypical wedding video with pictures popping out of hearts and tacky special effects. My work is clean and dramatic.

Video is mastered to DVD and backups are kept for a limited time on full sized DVCAM digital tape. We can still provide VHS to those clients who require it, but the cost of DVD players today can be well under $100.00 so it makes no sense to use tape.

Unless you choose wisely, your wedding video could be a haunting disappointment.

Remember, your videographer will be with you throughout your wedding day! Choose someone you feel confident will interact well with both you and your guests. You will find that your photo album and video will compliment each other. You should arrange to reserve your photographer and videographer as soon as you secure your reception site. Some dates can be in reservation over a year in advance. Seek out the highest quality and hire the best photographer and videographer that you can afford.