When a Good Old Fashioned F-Bomb is the RIGHT Answer…

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Imagine this. For only a moment.

You work your ass off for years. Slowly building a brand. You didn’t buy your 100K likes on Facebook. There was none of that “Political Facebook-ing.”  You didn’t join the “viral” universe to make a name for yourself. You worked your ass off. Poured your blood, sweat and tears into making something you can be proud of, something you can whole heartily say…. “I DID THIS.”

I forgot to mention. You’re also a mother, a wife and most importantly; a human being.

One morning you wake up only to find out an entire website has been created about you. On that website are hundreds of comments calling you “fat,” “cunt,” “bitch,” etc…

Let’s press pause for a minute. I was one of those unfortunate souls who fell into the vat of ickiness and listened to the rumors. That was until I got to know some of the people who were being attacked. One in particular really changed my viewpoint on how I see those in “photographic” positions of assumed power. I will forever be in her debt.

Press play.

Now lets add in a few FB groups dedicated to ripping you, your lifestyle and your life’s work apart. Sprinkle on a few sneaky bastards that gather groups of people do a “buy-in” into your workshops (with the purpose of recording them and sharing them on file sharing sites), and add a dash of action makers who try to get into your editing workshops for the sole purpose of creating action sets THEY can sell.

That’s just breakfast.

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For lunch you get to have a few hundred people on Facebook telling you each and everyday how to run your business. A few who think your work is porn, some who question your ability to keep your clients safe and at least one or two who feel the need to declare their immediate action to unfollow you.

By now you are probably getting at least a little flustered. Remember, you are also running a full time business, raising a few kids, having a normal life and on top of that…adminning a Facebook page.

Dinner rolls around and you have received at least two fake emails telling you about more internet articles being written about you, more web pages being created to bash you and at least one telling you what an evil bitch you are and that you should die.

Let’s not forget dessert.

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For dessert you get to watch your entire portfolio being re-created in your newsfeed and watch other people take credit for your imagination, your creativity and your unmistaken style. Then you get to be told to basically take it up the ass like a good photographer and just smile and nod. You’re a professional remember?

FUCK THAT

When did it become OK to be a constant victim? When did it become OK to show people how to take it up the ass? That’s what is going on. By sitting by and doing nothing and just smiling and deleting hundreds of comments a day….you’re taking it up the ass and telling others who look up to you, to do the same. Wasting HOURS of your time….sitting there moderating each and every hateful comment because you’re suppose to bend over and take it. GRAB THOSE ANKLES!!!! Because not only are you supposed to just take it, there is ZERO lube involved.

Stressed out. Upset. Angry. Sad. Humiliated. Devastated. Depressed.

But your supposed to smile…..?

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YAY FOR ME!!!!

This is where it is perfectly OK to drop the f-bomb. Tell those people to STFU. Fuck you and shut the fuck up. Those who stand up for themselves often find themselves standing alone. It’s not popular to stand up for yourself. It’s not “politically correct.” Some of us are just sick and tired of being ramrodded in the ass… at least grab the lube next time.

Halo and Blending videos….

The Videos….

Please be warned. Some adult language is used. (oh and you might not want to eat beforehand either…)  :P

Halo….

 

Blending….

I can see your halo………No really I can.

Halo-ing.

What the “f” is that you might ask? It’s when you edit and end up with a halo around the head of your subject. The majority of the time I see it when a sky is added to a pic or perhaps a background is blurred in post and especially when a lot of color is added.

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My EXACT face when I see it…

How do you NOT get a halo? This literally takes messing up over and over again to master.  You have to either blend your added awesomeness via the “Blending Options” panel or get really f-ing good at feathering your selection (subject selected via lasso tool) then zooming in and brushing off all that background fake-ness in an epic masking mastery frenzy. There are a lot of ways to do it, these were just mine. I do try to avoid shooting people’s heads in the blown out sky; however, when it can’t be avoided I typically try to add a little sky or at least a color.

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Blended… Fake sky.

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NOT ONE ounce of real sunset was here. It was a craptastic overcast day… This was done using the Blending Option panel… and some serious masking….. and EW look at the fudged up watermark…. oh well.

How do you know if your Halo-ing the hell outta your pics? Stand back away from your screen. Usually I spot it right away, but it can take time to notice it going on. It’s most common around people’s heads. Maybe we are all just angels? Now you might be asking, how the heck do I NOT do this then? Well it’s too much to explain here without you dying of boredom and ending up in a swamp of confusion. I will have to shoot a video to explain so stay tuned. :D

The Clone Wars…

Are you wookin’ kidding me? (tee-hee)

This is not an ill referenced version of Star Wars nor is it a pun on the popular Photoshop tool.

Picture this, you come up with an amazing concept. You pour your heart and soul into it. Eagerly and with slight anticipation, you post your new image to Facebook or other social media site. It’s a hit! Everyone loves it! Then it starts… the clones. Not two days later you see similar images popping up in your newsfeed. Those people are taking credit for YOUR concept. If that’s not bad enough…. soon they start offering webinars, workshops and classes making MONEY off of YOUR ideas. How does that feel? ……..Like shit.

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Hard at work….

When this question of “is this OK?” is posted to social media, most people say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. While that may be the case, for an artist…. it hurts. This is not a famous artist using the works of his equally famous predecessors as inspiration. People have copied art for centuries. The issue here is that people are doing it in the same moment. The very same week! With zero regard for the original idealist. Zero credit given, but yet all credit taken without the blink of an eye. These are not ‘inspired images’, they are point blank down to the color of the dress and the type of model used, copied.

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Can I try?

What does this do to the “artist?”

To the original, it can feel as though all of your hard work is for nothing. Your inspiration is for nothing, your talent is for nothing. You did all the hard work and now the rest just reap the rewards. We have all scrolled our newsfeed and seen a beautiful image, and then the “same” image will pop up over and over and over again on different pages for weeks to come.  It takes away from the beauty of the original because it’s now a common sight.  When it’s in your everyday, you just don’t appreciate it as much anymore.

Now, what does that do to the copier? It actually damages them. You might ask…”How so?” Well,  they no longer have to “create” and just like with any talent, creativity must be earned through practice, insight and soul searching. If you don’t constantly push yourself, then you’ll eventually lose out on so many opportunities of personal growth and creativity. Those who build entire portfolios off of another artists work (for example basically an entire portfolio of similar models, similar outfits and similar poses along with editing style), cheat themselves. We don’t remember Picasso’s copycats do we? We remember the original. The greats are the ones who get their place in history. The copy cats might get some viral praise and acclaim, but just like those popular viral videos….they too are eventually…. forgotten.

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The great divide… who was the original?

What is the answer?

Look through your body of work. Did you basically adopt another person’s editing style? Can you objectively look at your work and see yourself represented, or is your work full of other people’s ideas and creativity?

Ask yourself… “If I were to put my portfolio side by side with another artist, will people be able recognize MY work… or recognize the other artist in my own?”

If the answer is yes, then it’s time to step back and re-evaluate. Stop following those people you know influence you for a little bit, or better yet, step away from the computer for a week. Go out and shoot for yourself, edit…for yourself and see what you come up with. Step away from the action sets and try your own thing. In the end you might just find yourself. <3

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The Whole “Self”

Such a Great Read

I read this article and thought it made so many wonderful points.

Original link.  by Sydney McBride

1. Stop showing and telling everything to everyone.

The world does not need to know your every move; leave some things to the imagination. Mystery is good.


2. Stop comparing yourself to others.

What you see is NOT what you get, or even what the true reality of a situation is. We all spend way too much of our time comparing our lives to others; yet, we all forget that the pictures we see of others on Instagram and Facebook are simply highlights of their lives.

They aren’t the everyday; they aren’t the struggle; they aren’t the bad hair day. They are the edited, Photoshopped and posed highlight reel of a momentary highlight of someone else’s life.


3. Stop worrying about what others think of you.

People will judge you regardless of what you do, so do what you want. There’s nothing wrong with walking your own journey on a path you create.

You don’t have to do, like or want the things that other people try, love or desire. Start that blog, write that article or wear that outfit about which you’ve been hesitant. In the great words of Kid Cudi, “They gon’ judge me anyway, so whatever.”


4. Stop waiting.

If you don’t take the chance or risk it all now… when will you? Time will always be hard to find. Start now and go after what you want, or wait for later and hope that later isn’t too late.


5. Stop doubting.

If you have an idea or feeling that keeps coming back to you, make it happen. When an idea keeps coming back, it’s for a reason. Take action and follow the ideas that flood your mind. Million-dollar ideas are a dime a dozen, but it’s only one in a million who follow through with their ideas.


6. Stop being a stranger.

We’re all in this together. When you give the world the best you have, the best comes back to you. Be good to people. Popularity fades, kindness does not.


7. Stop feeling sorry for yourself.

You are not a victim; it’s time to get out of your own way. If you find yourself constantly surrounded by drama, you are the one enabling it.

You will never be able to control what others do; however, you are in full control of how you react. Realize that you can overcome hard times. Instead of attending your own pity party, you can accept the fact that only you can change your thoughts and experiences.

You have the power to control your feelings.


8. Stop standing in your own way.

The thoughts in your head about yourself and your situation really do affect your life. Make sure your worst enemy doesn’t reside in-between your own ears.

Follow your intuition and learn that nothing that lasts is started through force. If you have to force it, leave it behind.


9. Stop feeling guilty.

There is a difference between moving on and quitting. Understand that it’s okay to grow out of things. You don’t have to want the same things you wanted when you were 16, 18, 21 or 25…

Life changes, and so do we. Staying where you are and living with guilt or fear is a guaranteed trip to nowhere. You’re allowed to move on and miss it at the same time. Missing something or someone doesn’t make you weak; it makes you real.


10. Stop thinking money creates value.

Don’t overvalue short-term benefits. Higher pay doesn’t equate to a job that will make you feel complete. A significant other with a nice car doesn’t equal a lifetime of happiness.

Choose a job that will give you experience, more opportunities and tons of room for professional and personal growth. Choose a relationship based on someone’s heart, not bank account.


11. Stop feeling obligated.

Don’t make decisions based on what you think you SHOULD do.

Don’t take advice from people who don’t have to live with the result of the decision. Make decisions based on what you WANT to do. It’s your life and you’ll have to live with the choices you make. You don’t need to choose the mediocre when greatness exists.


12. Stop saying “yes” all the time.

No is a complete sentence. You owe no one an explanation for not wanting to go out, not wanting to take a drink, not wanting to stay over, not wanting to go to the reunion.


13. Stop thinking everything is a competition.

The true definition of power is how much you can give back, and not just monetarily. Being powerful is like being classy: If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.


14. Stop trying to be like everyone else.

Once and for all, own who you are, own where you’ve been, and don’t be afraid to tell your story.


15. Stop thinking you have to get it right on the first try.

No one else has it figured out, either. There is no guidebook or perfect formula, and often, life works much more as a process of elimination to figure out what we want.

We learn more and more about ourselves and the things that truly make us happy every day — and more importantly, the things that don’t. There are moments in life when everything is blurry and moments everything seems to be in focus.

Just like the lens of a camera, you have the power to adjust your vision. And, even on the darkness days, where you can’t see anything, just keep moving forward. It’s the only constant and forever the direction in which we all must go.