Category: Social Media

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A while ago I heard about a new Social Media site called Steller. To be honest I can’t quite remember how I heard about it, but I joined up, got the app for my phone and then forgot all about it. Typical of me sometimes. Then the other day my friend Chris put it up on her site and I said, “hey what is it”. She told me about it and when I went to get it I realised I already had it.
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Finding yourself here on Social Media can be a puzzle. There are so many rules and ideas about what you should or shouldn’t be doing. So I thought I might talk about one aspect today.  Your profile picture.

I’ve been told that I should have a photo of myself as my profile picture, and I thought I would share with you why I a6ef7eb3d6189d54c1280122137c142bdon’t.

My husband says I don’t have one because I am embarrassed about the way I look, and perhaps there is an aspect of that, but for me it has more to do with stereotypes and what people tend to think about when they see a woman of my age and size.

So let’s start with what is a stereotype.

According to Wikipedia “a stereotype is a thought that can be adopted about specific types of individuals or certain ways of doing things.”

That is a basic definition, but basically it means that you judge people on a preconceived idea of what or how they should act. It doesn’t mean it is correct, but you have that idea. We have a stereotype that pedophiles are creepy men, ones who look a certain way, when in reality they can look incredibly ordinary, otherwise why would you trust them with your children.

How is it relevant to me

My problem is that I am, first of all, a woman. Then I am older, I’m over 50 now, and thirdly overweight. I have three things against me when it comes to photography. We know that the world likes beautiful things, it is no secret, so what happens if you aren’t one them?

I have experienced the stereotype first hand. When I have been out and met people for the first time, people who don’t know me, I’ve seen how they look at me and you can tell they don’t think I’m a very good photographer.  They aren’t interested in me at all, as in the photography aspect. They are happy to to talk at me about themselves, but they don’t ask me any questions. It is almost rude.

When I am with a friend who looks more like the stereotype I am ignored completely. Believe it is true, my friends have noticed as well.

I got this from a site that looked at Stereotypes for overweight people:

According to the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, sizeism is the fourth-most prevalent form of discrimination in the U.S. Yet only six cities (plus Michigan) have laws protecting against it.

While stereotypes exist regarding all different body types — short, skinny, tall and so forth — those reserved for larger body sizes are particularly vicious. Fatness is often associated with laziness, poor hygiene and stupidity, assumptions that can have serious consequences on both a personal and societal level.

Profile Photo

So I have to question whether it is a good idea to put up a photo of me.

For me this is a no brainer. If people have these stereotypes of what a photographer is, or what a woman photographer should be and I don’t fit the profile, then I am going to be judged as soon as they see that photo and my work becomes irrelevant. Whereas, if I just have my avatar then it is doesn’t matter who I am and what I do, people fall in love with the work first, well I hope they do.

I know so many are thinking I’m being silly, but it seems to be something that only women who are similar to me understand. When I explain it to them, they totally get it and agree. It is sad to think it happens, but there is no point pretending it isn’t a problem.

My view is use the avatar that I have on all social media, if people love my work and then we meet then hopefully by that stage they don’t care what I look like. I use the same avatar on everything, it is me. I don’t see the point of the face, or the camera in front of the face, or just the camera, there is a sea of those images out there. I like that my avatar stands out and as people get to know me they recognise it.

Hopefully they are silly enough to think that I have to have a photo of me for them to understand I am a real person. You all know that I’m real, right?

What do you think of stereotypes and how people view some groups of people?

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We hear about inspiration everywhere and to do what we do, we have to have some kind of inspiration. What I think is inspiring won’t be the same for you, and vice versa. If we know what truly inspires us it can make our work so much easier.

One of things that I get a lot of inspiration from is movies. There are films that I find really visually appealing. Perhaps the actual story may not be great but how it looks and what they have done to it is fantastic, to me. I can name a few movies that I find inspiring, The Matrix trilogy, Lemony Snicket, and The Day After Tomorrow. Do you have some favourite films that give you inspiration?

Social Media this week

As usual I have some of the photos that have been on Social Media this week.

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This was taken on top of a cliff near Anglesea.  I took it earlier in the year. I’ve been finding some older photos to show on Instagram.

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A long exposure of a small pier near Watson’s Bay. I took this just after I first got my filters from Formatt Hitech. I was playing around with them to see what I could get.

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This has been my most popular photo on Instagram ever. It was shared on a couple of other sites which was nice. It has also had more likes than any other image I’ve ever put up. One could say it is one of my most successful images. I’ve even sold it.

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This is a new image that I did yesterday for Social Media. I made the blacks darker to give it a silouette look. Normally I hate people in my photos, but they do seem to work in this one. We were at the Golden Gate Bridge in Crissy Field trying to get a sunset, we didn’t get much, but I liked this.

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I did this image today. It is a very popular place to take photos in Melbourne, well with some of us. Part of a beautiful building. I like this walkway which is beside it.

There were other photos, but I have already shown those to you in other blog posts.