How can I as a white person stop racism?

It is my firm belief that George Floyd would still be alive today if one of those cops had the stones to step up against the cop on his neck. The only way these deaths will end is for good people; at least one good person to step up and say stop.

How can I as a white person stop racism? Be the change.

1. Treat each person as an individual worthy of respect
2. Listen to and respect another point of view
3. Refuse to stand idly by when I witness acts against my moral code
4. Train myself to walk in someone else’s shoes
5. Have the strength of will to stand against my friends or colleagues if they break from what is morally right
6. Help the man or woman who has fallen to stand on their own two feet
7. Hold myself accountable when I screw up, and recognize that it will happen
8. Forgive someone when they make a mistake, and recognize that it will happen
9. Treat all mistakes as an opportunity to learn
10. Show grace to all and malice to none

#blacklivesmatter #blacklivestampa #black_lives_have_always_mattered #endhatred #bethechange

Highly survivable? Tell that to the thousands of people who have died? And explain to their families why your right to go out and party is more important than the lives of their loved ones.

You people are like drunks who get behind the wheel because you’ve done it before and no one got hurt. Previously. That last time.

This stuff is just common sense.

 

Fight abuse

So, I was catching up on my recordings of All Rise. If you get a chance, you should watch this show. The episode I watched included a plot line where one of the defense attorneys who had been abused by her husband was in this episode forced to defend an abuser.

I watched this woman spiral into depression and flashback.

I was struck by how powerful this episode was. How amazing an actress she is. I also felt shame as a man because this happens is happening on my watch. The things men do to women around the world is just wrong.

It’s not about being a hero. They don’t need us to be heroes. But they do need us to step up and say that’s not right. We should be their partners and just say enough is enough. They are our sisters, aunts, nieces and cousins.

Right now, there are men out there who know someone who is being abused. And if you just stand by and do nothing, then you are enabling the abuse.

SEE SOMETHING. SAY SOMETHING. DO SOMETHING. BE THE SOLUTION.

#reportabuse #realmen #respectforall

How to Start In Fashion Photography

There are many paths to being a Fashion photographer. As one other person recommended you can travel to one of the market cities and start by assisting another photographer. That is the traditional method and usually works best if you’re looking to start a career in professional fashion photography. In the US, that’s NY, LA and Miami.

Another is education. There are several schools that offer a formal education in photographic arts. Syracuse University springs to mind as they have a good photo curriculum. Stay away from the technical schools as they only want to separate you from your money.

Another way is to become a sponge and soak up as much education as you can. Online resources such as creativelive.com and free youtube videos are a great resource.

If you’re looking for inspiration, then focus on people out there doing what you want to do.

Online mentors such as
Matthew Jordan Smith – http://matthewjordansmith.com/
Lindsay Adler – https://www.lindsayadlerphotography.com

You can also find local people who want to market their creative fashions as well. Work with your friends and look at places like etsy.com for inexpensive clothes to photograph.

When I lived in Syracuse, I Started a fashion photography group. I had a studio and we held meetups that brought in multiple models, photographers, and MUA’s/stylists. That will probably happen again sometime this year here in Tampa when we find a studio space.

Either way you go, good luck.

EMPLOYERS SHOULD TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO TRAIN THEIR STAFF.

 
Earlier this week I commented that people who are laid off should seek training. Well the same idea goes for employers. Instead of laying people off, now is the time to invest in your staff and get them training.
Every company has people who are newer or lack some proper training. It’s also a great time to devote to OSHA standards and other industry related training.
In normal times the workload gets in the way of getting people the training they need. When things are quiet, you need to work at plugging the knowledge gaps.

Well-trained employees work faster better and more efficiently.

For managers, it’s a great time to mentor someone. Train the people below you so that they can do their jobs better and improve employee retention. It’s also a great time to train on soft skills such as customer service and self improvement. Get people’s minds in the right place and their work ethic will follow.
Also, if managers attend the classes with their staff, it builds a team oriented environment and shows that your focus is from the top down.

IF YOU’RE OUT OF WORK, DON’T JUST SIT AT HOME COLLECTING UNEMPLOYMENT

If you’re not taking advantage of this lull to polish or build new skills, then you’re a fool. Many people assume that when the stay at home order changes, they will get their old job back. In some cases, this will happen. But in a great many other cases it will not.
Companies will use the excuse to reduce their staff, and if you’re a less than stellar employee, they will use it to reduce their dead weight.
All this extra money floating around isn’t an excuse to party it up and buy new stuff. You should be taking online classes where possible to improve your skills. Also, use online resources to network with your boss so they don’t forget you when they start bringing people back. Ask them if there are any classes they would recommend you can take while at home.

If you’re working, pay down your debt. TIP: Don’t pay a small amount to each credit card. Pay 1 chunk to 1 card.

Save the money for bills in lean times, because when unemployment runs out, you still have to live. And whining about not having any money to your landlord while wearing $200.00 Reeboks is not going to help you. Don’t be like all these idiots walking out of Walmart with Big screen TV’s. Stay off Amazon.com. Don’t buy a new car.
Finally, if you’re still working, use your stimulus money to pay down your debt. See my article on how to pay off your credit cards.

PHOTOGRAPHERS. ANSWERING THE QUESTION – WHY YOUR PHOTOS SUCK?

We’ve all seen the photographs of photographers who lack skill. They post blah photos of girls that are distorted, out of focus, have flat lighting and mediocre poses. Most of these models have an expression that says they would rather be anywhere else.

There is a very good reason for that. The photographer didn’t have a plan. Piss poor planning leads to piss poor performance. Want to shoot better? Here’s how.

1. Train your artistic eye to recognize what is working.
a. Learn to read the light – direction, intensity
b. Learn to read the pose – does it work and is it flattering to the subject
c. You can’t fix shitty lighting in Photoshop
2. Refrain from trying to make the model look sexy
a. Ass shots are crass shots
b. No crotch shots
c. Models squatting look like they are taking a dump
d. Duck face – I’m not sure who thought that was sexy, but no
3. Learn how to use your frigging camera.
a. ISO, fstop, Camera speed all go together to make the shot
b. Learn about exposure
4. Look at the whole scene, not just the hot girl
a. Check for tree limbs and other junk coming out of her head in the shot.
b. Is the composition correct?
c. If her chest is in focus, but her face is blurry, then get your head out of the gutter.
d. look for bright spots in the background that will pull your eye away from the subject.

Other things to look at
Wardrobe – does it look stupid or demeaning
Hair & makeup – these can make or break a photo shoot
Environment – Don’t let it distract from the subject

I spend hours doing a dry run for a photo shoot on paper. I collect photos of poses to show the model or give direction. I look at the lighting in photos and figure out what I like and don’t like.

Off topic & political rant

So today, it kind of struck me exactly what the President is trying to do with raising minimum wage.  It started about 5-6 years ago with a little bill called the Affordable Care Act(ObamaCare)  One of the provisions of this law provide what is called a Full Time Equivalency(30) for people who qualify for health care.  It says that if a company with x number of employees works on average 30 or more hours the company MUST provide healthcare to employees working over 30 hours.

You can guess what happened.  Those companies reduced hours to less than 30 on average for their employees and simply hired more warm bodies to fill their labor gap.  Wow, guess what, reduced unemployment!  So instead of 1 person working 35 hours, the company now has 2 employees working 17 1/2 hours.  But hey, we’ve reduced the unemployment rate – those people are working MAN.

Suddenly the president realizes all those people need to make more money somehow.  The employer can’t boost their hours or they would have to provide health care.  So, here comes the push for raising the minimum wage.

Here’s what’s coming next.  Retailers will need to raise their prices in order to pay the employees and still generate a profit for their shareholders.  So, now the cost for goods and services goes up.

I’m sorry – what is that called?  Oh oh yeah Inflation.

Guess what, the raise you want to give to minimum wage earners would be worthless because they would have to pay more for everything.  But hey, in 3 years it will fall in someone elses lap.

No wonder he reminds me of Alfred E. Newman.  What Me Worry?

Why I trust Scott Kelby

So I was catching up on my photo podcasts and I came across an episode of The GRID from Scott Kelby. It was shot in October and talked about a scandal in the photography community. I won’t go into names, but there were some photographers who were found to be using blog postings from other sources without attributing the original source.

No doubt about it, the messed up. I’m sure they didn’t mean any harm – they probably got a little lazy.

Scott’s podcast centered upon the aftermath of what happened. He was disappointed in the people who were involved in the scandal. But the thing that sets Scott apart was he was also upset with the response. I think it says a lot about Scott’s character that he was motivated to speak to his audience about what people do to trash each others reputation.

Let’s face it, when someone screws up there are tons of trolls who pile on and want to beat someone down. They don’t just express anger at the act – they have to go far and wide to tare people down.

The reason I respect Scott is he went against the mob and said wait a minute – nothing these people did really deserves this kind of public flogging.

Talk about it, be angry the scandal happened, but also learn from it.

And when someone makes a mistake, help them past it. I don’t think anyone was born to tare people down. We should be lifting them up.

A glimpse at how I create my ideas and art.

Get organized.
I use Microsoft One Note. If you have an ipad you can download and link between your pc and the ipad. I capture photos and other items of interest.

In the photo below you’ll see a page from my notebook. A photo I found on the internet and my impressions of the photo. Some positive and some negative.

Train your eye.
I look at these photos in a critical way. What’s good, what’s bad? And why? It’s an artistic review of the elements in the photo and what I notice about them. All of the photos are of pretty girls wearing pretty clothes. But if you can’t look beyond that then you’ll never grow as a artist.

Be critical of your own work.
I look at my own photos and try to figure out what works and what doesn’t. You have to consider all aspects. Lighting, pose, setting. Everything. Do the shoes work? Consider it all.

How this applies to Models
Don’t just look at your photos and pat yourself on the back. Train yourself to notice the details. Some questions you should ask
– Is this your best Angle
– Does the angle flatter your figure
– Does the pose look comfortable or awkward
– Do you have the same expression in every photo

 

Notebook

Bad attitude = bad customer service = bad for business

So, I was recently talking to a friend about a recent purchase she made.  She was excited about what she had bought, but was pretty upset about the service she received.  It seems the person she bought from has a real arrogant attitude about him and is EXTREMELY condescending.  Well, I know this particular sales person and I know this particular store pretty well.  I’ve bought merchandise from them in the past.

To be honest, I recognized what she was saying about the sales person because I have seen him do the same thing myself.  In all honesty I took it to be him just “breaking my balls.”  I’m a guy and after being in the military, being a fire fighter for 4 years and having 2 other brothers, I know when someone is busting my chops.  For the most part it never bothered me.

Until now.

See what he failed to do was read his audience and learn to curb his sarcastic nature when it was necessary.  His comments to her were mean and insulting.  To be honest, I was horrified that he would talk to her that way.  You need to understand that for me to even use the word horrified means it was really horrific.  I tend to understate things and I hate drama.  But during his conversation he insulted her professionalism and her knowledge.  She tried to ask questions and instead of being helpful, he insulted her by commenting,”I thought you are a professional.”  He acted like she should know the answer to her own question.  To add insult to injury, she had just spent over $400.00 in this shop.  The object she was asking about would have cost another $300-$400 which she was actually willing to buy on the spot – even after he had been insulting her since she walked in the door.

It was a lost sale & a lost customer.

Finally, don’t ask me what store.  I won’t even mention the type of business.  Nor will I mention the names involved.  I’m not the kind of person who will try to hurt them with mentioning their names.  I’ll just take my dollars somewhere else.

There’s another lost customer.

I was slapped around today and I deserved it

I was slapped around today and I deserved it

I headed out to my first job this morning and I received a facebook message from a contact.  She was upset with me for not responding to her previous messages.  She called me an ungentleman for ignoring her and told me she was leaving the group.  WHAP!  I took that to mean the fashion 315 group.

My first reaction was to respond with one my typical arrogant sarcastic responses and say something really smart ass and inflammatory. ” I didn’t realize this was a timed test.  I usually do better on tests – Sorry, Epic Fail.”

After thinking for a while I did respond with a comment of “I didn’t realize this was a timed exercise”, but I wished her well and told her good luck – No sarcasm intended – I was being honest in wishing her well.

Then as I always tend to do when I receive criticism, I took a look in the mirror and I realized that she was right.  I DO SUCK at follow through/followup.  Here I am trying to start/run a business and someone sends me a message and I don’t even have the courtesy to respond.  Well, I’m not a person who accepts excuses in other people and I try to hold myself to a higher standard, so I had to realize that the answer is “Yeah, I screwed up.”  The truth is, I suck at following up with people, and there’s really no reason for it.

So, tonight, I’m going to get off my fat ass, and make sure I update everyone that I’ve missed over the last several days.

Oh, I removed the model from my friends list.  I can’t work with her.  I won’t out her by mentioning her name and I won’t ever tell who she is because I don’t work that way.  See, I like people to give me head shots and tell me to get off my ass, but when we go from 0-witchy in 30 seconds I only see drama queen.  Male or female.

Why Pinterest isn’t the best option for organizing anymore.

Okay so I’ve previously talked about using Pinterest to organize your inspirational photos from the internet.  I still think that’s a good way to start, but my biggest gripe about you is that it’s not slideshow friendly.  What I mean is that the I want to use the photos in a slideshow, however Pinterest doesn’t have anything build in for that.  That totally screws up my organizational plans and doesn’t allow me to quickly view photos during an actual shoot.

My solution to this is to use Microsoft one note which comes with Microsoft Office 2010.  I really like the notebook approach.  Think of a scrapbook and One Note is perfect for this.  A cool feature is that you can actually drag and drop photos into the application.  Another words, drag a photo from a web page you like right into the application.

The other part is the ipad app for one note allows you to sync between the ipad and PC so your images are right there.   You can add your photos to a table and then add notes about what you like or don’t like.

Today I’m organizing photos that I’m actually had on my computer and I’m putting them into one note so that they are in better categories as well.  I’ve been wadding through all the photos that I have collected over the last few years and I’ve been picking and choosing the best to keep and organize.  I’ve got all kinds of different categories including dance, lingerie, glamour, and bit of boudoir.

Of the photos I’m keeping, I LOVE the beauty and elegance of the images.  I’m not into raunchy stuff.  When I work with a model, I want her to leave my studio feeling beautiful and powerful!

Here’s a screenshot of my notepad.  The categories are along the top.  The subcategories are on the right

 

The Situation with Paula Dean

My understanding of the situation.  As I understand it, 2 things have happened.  1 she used the N word sometime in her past.  2.  She tried to plan a wedding with a slave theme.

My take on the situation.
1.  The N word.  White people have no right to use this word in any way shape or form.  That being said neither should an African American.  Racism is about inequality.  All things being equal, that word should not be said by anyone.  If you have 1 group of people where something is acceptable and another group that it is not acceptable then you have racism and inequality.  You can’t have it both ways.  The word is derogatory.  Don’t talk to me about balancing the scales.  Barriers exist in the world today because stupid people on both sides refuse to admit what is right and wrong.

2.  Wedding with a slave theme.  What the hell was she thinking?  You don’t dig up the past by glorifying the subjugation of a people.  There was nothing good or beautiful about slavery.  It’s good that people remember slavery for the lessons it teaches us, but making a joke out of an institution that reduces another human being to servitude is kind of horrid to me.

What I take away from this.  Perhaps the biggest lesson to be learned is when this happens instead of getting angry, it’s best to sit down and talk about it.  I think the best thing we can do as a society is to continue to talk about it and think about it.  The best thing Paula Dean could do is say yeah, I screwed up.  I made a mistake.  I regret what I did, I regret that people were truly hurt.  All she can do now is to remember that words hurt.  Intentions or not, words do hurt.  Find a better way to react and better words to use.