different

Body and Self Image - A Very Serious Issue

What do you see when you look at YOURSELF in the mirror? Do you see beauty? Do you like what you see? Or do you see FAT, UGLY…DIRTY?

We all deal with self and body image concerns but that seed of self-doubt and negativity had to be planted at some time in our lives and sometimes these things take a bit of time to emerge. This isn’t even isolated to adults and is happening with our children more and more.

We need to deal with this incredibly serious matter early on, nip it in the bud! It’s imperative we start with our children and youth. There are many contributing factors and I don’t think it can be attributed to just one. Bullying, lack of parenting, mentorship at school and responsibility in the media are most likely at the root of this controversy.

We all live in a day and age where we are literally and constantly bombarded with imagery, sound bites, texts, tweets and information, or in a lot of cases misinformation, every minute of every day. It is next to impossible to filter out all this noise. All of this information is accessible with such ease and speed that was never possible before.

I am not here to blame anybody for what seems to have become a pandemic in society, rather offer some suggestion as to how we can all pitch in and do our part to confront the problem as a collective so we can at least begin to unravel this quandary. We need to educate our kids at home! We need to talk to them! Let them know it’s not the norm to look like these super skinny models they see on TV, in magazines and on the web. Dads tell your daughters that you like curves on a woman! Moms tell your daughters what you like about yourself! It’s not easy but we have to ask what kind of example are we setting? Are we pushing what we want our body image to be on our children? We spend so much time teaching our children manners and how to share but did we forget to teach our children to love themselves!? Do you make comments about people when you see them on TV or in the street?

It is perfectly alright to look different, to be different. Learn to love yourself for who and the way YOU are! We need to stop hurting other people, whether it be physically or verbally! It is not ok and will not and should not be tolerated under any circumstance. Teach them there will be consequences for their actions. Words can do more damage than the physical can.

This problem is not going to disappear over-night nor will it fix itself or go away all on its own. I truly believe we can make a noticeable difference. After all, the children and youth of today are the future of our world tomorrow. What do you want your children’s tomorrow to be like?

 

Signed,

A concerned parent.

 

Image courtesy of teenagebodyimageandselfesteem.weebly.com

A Different Perspective - Through The Eyes of a Photographer

The other day I had uploaded some images onto a photo site where people vote on them and you can win awards for your images based on this voting system they have in place. I had received a notification from the site telling me I had acquired a new follower. I looked into who it was and it just so happened to be a very good friend of mine who ISN’T a photographer. I was quite surprised at this and at the same time incredibly curious as to why he had joined the site to begin with.

I reached out to him later that same day and asked him. He stated in a very matter of fact way, he was curious to see the world through the photographer’s eyes. He continued to explain to me, he loves the way photographers see the world, it’s so different from everybody else and incredibly fascinating. He proceeded to tell me how photographers have the ability to capture a particular moment in time which can NEVER be captured again in the same fashion and preserve that moment. This fact both intrigued and captivated him.

What he said really got me thinking because I have never really thought about it however we as photographers see the world in a completely different light and it that statement couldn’t be more truthful. We see the world through the eye of our camera, our camera lens. This is a very unique way to view things and give people an alternate view or different perspective on an otherwise everyday subject.

It was a very interesting conversation which made me pause and think about the impact of what we see, show to the world and the affect that it has on people.

Image courtesy of ttgphoto.com

Making Changes - Shaking Things Up

As artists we should always be looking for fresh new ideas and ways of creating our art differently and expressing ourselves. Some people like to go drastic with the changes and completely re-invent the wheel others like to make minor tweaks, that’s more my speed. Creating the same thing over and over could become quite boring and cause us, as well as others to lose interest in our creations.

I myself have recently decided to take this advice and apply it to my own work and methods. I was out on a shoot a few weeks ago and usually I rush home after I have been out shooting and load my images from the day’s adventure onto my computer and get right down to editing. Well this time I did indeed load them onto my computer and briefly looked though them to see what I had captured and then I decided to shut my computer down. I figured I would let them sit for a bit and walk away instead of jumping right into the post production process. I wanted to let the images set into my brain and think about them and the shoot. I wanted to think carefully about how to approach the images and edits. I sat on the images for a week or so and finally decided to sit down at my computer and begin working on them.

As I began to edit I decided I wanted to try on a new look for my work nothing major, just to create a bit of a different look and feel to the images. Try to pull the viewer into the images a bit more, engage them a bit more and make them really think and want to be taken to these beautifully decrepit places which I photograph. I want the viewer to create THEIR own story in their heads from what they see in the work. After all it is our job as artists to pull the viewer in and make them part of the art, to engage and peak their interest. If you can capture your audience in that manner, I would say you are doing pretty well.

I would urge and encourage you and artists alike to try something different. Break out of your comfort zone, and break all the rules. You may be pleasantly surprised with the outcome and even pick up a few new admirers in the process. The reward could very well be worth the risk.