Welcome to my writing portfolio page!Thanks for visiting!
You must be here to see some writing - I'm for hire!I write content and copy for busy people who know how much Google loves words, but alas,
who has the time or energy to start a blog or update their website?I do! - Let me write it for you.Not only will you be able to cement yourself as an industry leader, but you'll get
people noticing - and visiting your website.You'll see I write about a few different but closely linked topics, together they could be defined as
Environmental Science Communication.Go for it, Click Here to jump to the writing!Or stick around and learn a little more about me.My background is in natural science and that's what I do most days -
science naturally.Oof, I managed to make it sound like I work for a cult - I promise I do real science!Outside of the day job, I'm an awesome solo mum, a writer and a seller of ethical homewares
through my eCommerce store - Strangers Collective.Ghostwriting has proven to be a good time, creating an environment that requires learning and understanding a bunch of widely varied and fresh ideas.This work keeps me writing daily, constantly improving my skills and creating a
super versatile writing capability.Enjoy my writing samples and thank you for visiting my site!
Note: Testimonials refer to articles I have produced as a ghostwriter - I don't have publishing rightsThey are not rating any of the articles below, which I have rights to publish because I wrote them for me (and you!)
Take Amazing Photo's of Pre-Loved Clothes to Sell & Get on Board the Slow Fashion ExpressFrom the blog: Eco-life
If you’ve ever tried selling your second-hand clothes online before, you might have realised that taking appealing photos of the outfit is more difficult than expected. Here are some tips and advice for taking great photos that get you the sale!"So right now maybe you’re thinking, ‘awesome, lots of lighting, ok.. I’ll just go hire some of those huge expensive photography lights…’ No need! We are DIY-ing here and more importantly - trying to make money, not spend it!"
One For The Dudes : Hold The Ticks PleaseFrom the blog: StrangeBlog
(eCommerce Store Blog)
It's been stuck in our heads for too long now that women spend a lot of time and effort finding and using good skincare, while men have been taught to just - grab a bar of soap."Slap on the day stuff to own the day, the award-winning night stuff before bed, and you’ll sleep like a baby - just one more way that looking after your skin improves your health."www.strangerscollective.co.nz
The Hidden Costs of Recycling in New ZealandFrom the blog: NZ Environment
The recycling industry in New Zealand is booming. With more and more people wanting to do their bit for the environment, recycling has become a popular way to reduce waste. However, recycling comes with its own set of hidden costs that many people are unaware of. It's important to understand NZ's recycling process and the difference between recyclable products."You won’t find many that disagree plastic is freaking confusing, the numbers with the triangles, the ‘you can recycle this one but not this other one that looks exactly the same’, huh? Yeah, it feels easier to just uhh…landfill."
Women and The Smutty Language of Flowers
From the blog: Botany For Humans
__________Once upon a time, it was considered unsavoury for women to learn botany. Given that Linneaus made popular sexual classification, it was appropriate he ultimately put a stop to comparing humans and flowers.Not before the King's Botanist had expressed his outrage at the idea of women - with their delicate dispositions - learning the smutty language of flowers.
Take Amazing Photo's of Pre-Loved Clothes to Sell & Get on Board the Slow Fashion ExpressFrom the blog: Eco-life
How do I take awesome photos of my clothes to sell?If you’ve ever tried selling your second-hand clothes online before, you might have realised that taking appealing photos of the outfit is more difficult than expected. Here are some tips and advice for taking great photos that get you the sale!Make sure your clothes look like they are living their best life!Firstly, always ensure your clothes are in their best condition, pulling them out of storage and throwing them on a table is going to bring down the outfit and the photo. People notice these details in a photo, and no, a photo doesn’t smell - but guaranteed, people can smell that musty, unwashed, ‘been-in-storage’ vibe, from one look at a lazily prepared item.Give your clothes a wash, iron them, get them looking amazing - straighten that collar, and adjust those seams. Use a lint roller to get the bits of dust or fur off the item, and brush your classic suede jacket with a stiff brush.Give your clothes a good once-over to inspect for any flaws that can be easily fixed. Could you snip that bit of thread, sew a button on, spend some time removing a stain or fix up that hem a little? These things will make your item look so much more appealing and might fetch you more money.Make sure you prepare your work area and your equipmentGather all your things together and create a time that is dedicated to doing the photoshoot (so don’t try to do it in between cooking dinner or writing that essay). This will help you be more productive and avoid running around looking for things in the middle of your shoot.If you have your space, tools, and time slot sorted out, you can get into the flow easily, and with a good playlist or Netflix show on, you’ll be done in no time.You don’t need all the fancy tools or a professional photographer, but here are some items you can use to get started.A camera - your phone suits this purpose perfectly, if photography is not your hobby (then you probably won't be reading this), but you also don’t need a super flash camera. Actually, if you have a smartphone, you do have one! You will be surprised how simple smartphones can take amazing photos.A tripod - can be super helpful to keep the photo from coming out blurry, and if you have one with a remote control, then you pretty much remove the risk of shaking while taking the photo.A backdrop - depending on the type of shoot you are doing, your backdrop will vary. A flat lay will require a table or flat surface, a mannequin may require a nice wall, and modeling the photos will require deeper thought into what is in the background. Will you go outside and let nature be your backdrop? Could you use a wall or hang up a sheet? Is your bedroom and mirror reflection cluttered and showing some awkward items or mess? Your best bet is to make sure the background is not too busy and is consistent (all one colour and texture) - ensuring the focus can be on your item.Pins/pegs/safety pins/invisible tape - these are great for holding your item in place and showing off all the best features. If you want to hold that label down, show the printing, or pull the excess fabric back, these are going to be tremendously helpful.Do I need to model the clothes?Short answer = No.
For the photo shoot, there are a few choices you can make depending on the time and resources available to you. We will start with a flat lay because it requires the least amount of planning and equipment.Flat Lays
The most basic requirement is a flat, consistently coloured, clean surface. You would want to use a light background, like white or off-white. However, if you have a white T-shirt for example, then try a light grey or go with a contrasting colour. The materials you use for the background vary. You could use a huge piece of white paper, a sheet, or a clean, clear area of carpet.Lay your item out showing as much as possible in the full image, for long sleeves, fold them over at the elbow or knee, to show more of the item and different sides (imagine the shirt is holding one hand on its hip, so it’s not just laid flat with the arms out). You can use a piece of cardboard inside to keep the garment looking flat and bring out the best qualities. Now, go in for the detailed shots - take a picture of the folds, it helps show some of the texture.Another variation of a flat lay is using a plain, clean wall. Pop up a command hook and use a coat hanger to hold the item in position. This has similar difficulties to using mannequins, where sleeves will hang and it may be hard to get the entire outfit sitting how you want it.Trial hanging your outfits, check out how they look, and sit on a hanger, and if it's not showing it in the best position, try laying it flat.Mannequins
Using a mannequin helps give your clothes shape and shows off how it sits on a human form. It gives your buyers a more realistic idea of how the garment looks filled out.If there is too much fabric, use some fasteners (tape or pegs) to hold excess fabric at the back of the mannequin and manipulate it to fit the shape. If you want to fill out the bust, try using a padded bra or stuff a bra with socks (yes, how it may or may not have been done during the awkward tween years…). Just try to make it as smooth and natural as possible.Models and Modelling
The best way to get a feel for what a piece of clothing looks like on, is to see it on an actual human being. If you can’t get a human, a mannequin is the next best thing, people love to be able to imagine an item on themselves and when they get to, they’re more likely to buy it.Selfies are awesome for your social media, they’re not the best choice for trying to sell clothes - for a better picture, get a friend to take shots of you wearing the outfit. Be aware of and prepare the background thoughtfully.If you don’t have someone available (or like many mums, the only people available are still learning to hold their cutlery properly), try using a tripod that has a remote attached. These are excellent because you can get the entire outfit in, and you can discreetly hold the remote and click away until you get a good shot.Photos of yourself wearing the garment in a mirror, with the background of a messy room or bathroom is a no-no. These backgrounds are just too distracting, the golden rule is clear, consistent, and clean.If you have no access to a tripod, or another person to take the photo, doing a flat lay or hanging it from a coat hanger is the best option.Photography techniques - uh what’s aperture?Don’t know and don’t need to know, we're taking photos with a phone to sell second-hand stuff, not for a magazine or eCommerce store. That doesn’t mean you can’t learn a few basics to take clear, good-looking photos though.As mentioned, you want your photos to have minimal blurriness, so give a tripod a go, or stand your phone on something solid and try not to bump it when you click the button.(Pixc) suggests to avoid zooming in, since it decreases the quality of your photos, so just move the camera or your tripod instead of zooming.Make sure your item or mannequin/model is the main focus, buyers want to see what is actually being sold. Having a person modelling a top, in the ocean, with beach stuff, holding flowers, and sipping a coffee, is more than a little confusing.Get that top centre stage and devote the entire photo to that one item, you can definitely add accessories to enhance the product, but make sure what you are selling is the focus.
In addition to this, ensure that you have a fair bit of space around the edge of your product. You want it to take up the frame, but you don’t want it to look all squished in. Try to find the right balance between, squished in the frame and so far zoomed out that it's like looking at a white page.LightingUse light! We don’t want it dark and dingy, it gives the impression that it's hanging in a sullen teenager's smelly, dank room - think light, bright, clean, shiny! This is why the white background is suggested, it reflects the light and brightens up the entire shot.The right lighting also shows the colours and details accurately and ensures the buyer doesn't get any surprises. If your image is not well lit, the subtle differences show, you can see shadows and the colour looks off. Hmmm, is it supposed to be multi-coloured? Unlikely, but the different shades bring down the quality, and a poor quality photo, gives the appearance of a poor quality item.So right now maybe you’re thinking, ‘awesome, lots of lighting, ok.. I’ll just go hire some of those huge expensive photography lights…’ No need! We are DIY-ing here and more importantly, trying to make money, not spend it!Use natural lighting first, work in the brightest room in your house, you want light but not direct sunlight. Find some lamps and point them at your scene, it doesn’t have to be expensive to get some light in your photos.Try using a white foam board opposite the light source, to bounce the light back and get rid of the side shadows. Move the garment, not the camera. Keep the camera nice and still, move your piece around to show all the different sides, this way you get a consistent range of photos.Let's get detailedWell not with this post but definitely with your garment, make sure you show off all the little things. Humans are more convinced they need to have something when they can imagine it on themselves and see every detail.What does not go down well is the realisation of; ‘oh no, the dress I bought has a huge feature zip at the back and it was so not shown like that!’ Get the front, back, fastenings, seams, labels, anything you can think of in the photo, don’t be afraid to take a bunch of photos.Add them all, the more detailed, the higher chance of a sale, and a happy fellow Strader, you know everyone strives for that sweet positive feedback.Sweet, photos done - back in the bottom of the closet then?After taking photos, place them in a clean spot ready to go to their new home. Fold them nicely - they have just been ironed, so it's easy to make them look tidy. Next, label a paper sandwich bag and pop them in with a bit of tape to close.Try using the title you have it listed under when you label the bag - zero confusion! This is not only a great way to save space and be organised while you wait for them to sell but it keeps them clean and tidy for your buyer.The great thing about paper bags (aside from the price) is that you can also use them to post your item. All you need to do is seal the bag properly, print out a label, stick it on the bag, and away you go.So now you have the know-how, what about putting some time aside to prep your pre-loved clothes, and give them a ride on the slow fashion merry-go-round.
One For The Dudes - Hold The Ticks PleaseFrom the blog: StrangeBlog
It's been stuck in our heads for too long now that women spend a lot of time and effort finding and using good skincare, while men have been taught to just - grab a bar of soap.In the past, it wasn’t seen as 'manly' to muck around with lotions and potions. Let’s leave that mindset in the past where it belongs, times have changed and we all know that good skin care and good hygiene for male-identified people are as important to health as exercise and eating properly.Genetic DatingReality is, and here's the biologist coming out - genetic fitness (Frontiers in Eco+Evo) is often determined by what we can see. If a male bird has the bright, clean plumage and their bro has the dull, ripped feathers, which one is going to get the attention?Absolutely, it’s the dude with the bright feathers - they are declaring their ability to obtain resources or food, their good health, their superior genetic fitness, and their lack of ticks. Isn't that what all potential mates want? I mean, yeah I'm pretty solid on the 'no ticks' criteria.When you take care of your skin and look after your hair, other people take note. We don’t walk up to a potential partner and say, hey babe - wanna show me your 23andMe results? Nay nay, we advertise those results by showing off our fabulous skin, that sweet scent, and our shiny, healthy hair.Hay-loIt’s not just the dating world where looking healthy matters, at work, school, with family, even random encounters - like doctor's visits or interviews - basically, any time you’re meeting another human, you’re subject to the Halo Effect.The Halo Effect is a phenomenon where people that look good, get a free pass to pretty much screw up at everything else and still leave an amazing impression.Simply Psychology explains how this cognitive bias influences others’ perceptions of attractiveness, intelligence, and even personality traits.You don’t have to be Zoolander either, being attractive isn’t just for the really, really good-looking. Looking good (as we know) is mostly down to looking healthy.When you put in a little spark of effort, it can totally change your appearance - and apparently, your intelligence, trustworthiness, friendly-ness and hey maybe the tax bracket too.Is it all in the mind?Think about the last time you felt incredibly confident and powerful, we can safely say it’s unlikely you were having a bad hair day or your face was breaking out.Feeling attractive boosts confidence and confident people are generally more successful in the thing they’re trying to do.Fix Up, Look Sharp get it, that’s why they fund an outfit for male-identified people who need to make a good first impression at an important life event.They know the value of giving access to not only the free high-quality clothes but to a stylist with the fashion knowledge - someone who knows whats appropriate for which event.Yup, they will have you looking sharp and putting your best foot forward to succeed in no time! If you or someone you’re thinking of could do with the Fix Up, Look Sharp treatment, fill in a referral on their website.This is just one of the important not for profits that Two Dudes partner with, they donate 10% of all product purchases to their partner charities on your behalf.With Two Dudes - “it’s not only about looking after yourself but looking out for the dude beside you too.” Dude, thanks.Speaking of the mindMen's skin and hair care are more important than ever, not only does having healthy skin and hair show off your 'no tick status', it feels damn good. But, when discussing health, mental health is top of the list of talking points.Male-identified people in Aotearoa are notoriously prone to the mantra “outta sight, outta mind”, not only is that dangerous for reproductive health (read. ya balls dude). It’s also incredibly scary for men's mental health - NZ men's suicide rate is 3 to 4 times higher than women's (Fact Sheet).A skincare routine may not sound like the way to beat depression, but studies have shown, that practising self-care, (looking after your body and doing things for yourself), can decrease depressive symptoms and motivate lifestyle changes.Yeah that’s cool and everything but no one’s got time for skincareTwo minutes a day to get that face looking younger, a few minutes in the shower to give your hair all the bounce and you’re done. Like all habits, once you do it enough you can switch on the autopilot and get yourself Zoolander good-looking without even thinking about it.Start with a wash and some face cream, Two Dudes have simplified it, because yeah - no one wants to spend all day fluffing around with skincare.Slap on the day stuff to own the day, the award-winning night stuff before bed, and you’ll sleep like a baby - just one more way that looking after your skin improves your health.Now there's no excuse to invest in your skincare routine and in doing so your health (and dating prospects, intelligence, confidence, happiness, credibility - the list goes on).Once you get a good routine in place, it’ll slip right in next to brushing your teeth and everyone will be saying how healthy you’re looking lately.You don’t need to have skin issues, be the super suave fella, the running late dude or the noob - just like the guys at Two Dudes say - “If you’ve got a face, you qualify.”(Watch their explainer video, it’s 3 minutes you won’t regret).To celebrate our collab with these awesome dudes, Strangers Collective is offering a launch special - put together your own kit and knock 20% off the price.Buy 2 x Two Dudes products and save 20%.If you are struggling, there are people who can help you.
They don’t judge and they keep it to themselves. Please Call.Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757 | Mensline - 0800 636 754
The Hidden Costs of Recycling in New ZealandFrom the blog: NZ Environment
The recycling industry in New Zealand is booming. With more and more people wanting to do their bit for the environment, recycling has become a popular way to reduce waste.However, recycling comes with its own set of hidden costs that many people are unaware of. It's important to understand NZ's recycling process and the difference between recyclable products.This article will explore what recycling is, why it matters, what can be recycled, our capacity to recycle and how we do it and the true costs of recycling in New Zealand.What is Recycling Anyway?When we talk about recycling, we’re not talking about reusing that bathwater to water your plants (although if you haven’t used harmful chemicals or products, it’s not a bad idea!).We’re talking large scale, picking up the waste materials from the community that can be broken down and made into a new product. We’re thinking about Aucklanders and the 100,000 tonnes of material that they’re sending for recycling annually.Our councils recycle paper, glass, plastic, aluminium, Tetra Pak cartons and tin/steel, with the option of recycling soft plastics at private companies (find them here).Ugh Plastics, Nope Way Too HardYou won’t find many that disagree plastic is freaking confusing, the numbers with the triangles, the ‘you can recycle this one but not this other one that looks exactly the same’, huh? Yeah, it feels easier to just uhh…landfill.No, don’t! We can get to the bottom of this, read on because I’ve done the hard work, figuring this stuff out and simplified it just for you! Keep this super mini guide on you (or on your bin maybe) because this plastic business isn’t easy to memorise.The rest is coming soon, hold tight!