Full Figured Beauty

This is one of my older portraits, but full figured beauty is timeless! (Model: Josie)

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Branded

On Father’s Day 2016, my wonderful and talented daughter (straight A, actress, Junior Air Force ROTC, artist, writer, speaks sign language) designed this icon for me. It is beautiful. I must admit, I took the paper and art pencil original and tweaked the colors, added the dramatic border and put in the contact info email. Kalena signed off on it and was only to proud that I loved it.

A photographer loves their photos. And likes nothing more than letting the world, near and far, know “Yeah, I shot that.” So, you start watermarking your work. You begin with the usual suspects; a simple line of text, the fancy Photoshop creation, or a dedicated watermark program. I have used all, as I am sure you have and are.

Here’s the point: whatever you do to brand (advertise and protect) your work, do it. I even put a simple line of text on family photos least they find themselves in a soft drink ad courtesy of a certain social media giant.

I was teaching a class at the library when the subject turned to watermarks and copyrights. One of my students defiantly proclaimed that there was no need to watermark her pictures because the law states that at the moment of creation your photograph is in your legal ownership. Well, here is a short and simple answer to her claim. Yes, she is 100% correct. It goes further to state that you do not have to register an image or even place a watermark on said image. However, I belong to the camp that believes placing some sort of watermark on your images does two things: 1) It warns a would be borrower that they should not be taking the image and 2) if they do decide to use it anyway they are faced with some work in Photoshop to remove the watermark from the image, making it not really worth it.

I like watermarks and never needed much convincing. Even if I wasn’t a watermark type of person, I would want to show off my daughter’s beautiful work. I guess my work is the virtual refrigerator door.

Social Media, by the Numbers

Since I have posted a photo and I am writing this entry, obviously I have decided to returned to WordPress. I truly love WordPress, always have. It is pretty straightforward, allowing the writer and the post to actually do the work rather than the platform being pretty wrapping for an uninteresting gift. I feel WordPress is for writers. I view it like The New York Times. No spin or polish, just great words and relevant images by talented writers.

Okay, so like most people I have multiple social media accounts. I have Tumblr, the bad boy of the blogging world. I have (the now politically tinted) Twitter, though constraining a writer to limited characters seems more like a class exercise than literary freedom. And of course, being a photographer first and foremost, I have the powerhouse Instagram. Of those three, I am truly not impressed by what I can do and what I get from any of them. Then introduce the overwhelming ads, and I am just… Done.

This is my flow: I always start with Instagram. I create a post (which auto reposts itself to Facebook), recreate it on Tumblr, then recreate it again on Twitter. On IG, I get quite a response of likes and comments. Oh happy day! I usually wait until the post gets at least twenty-five likes and/or two or three days before posting a new photo to give that post time in the spotlight.

Now, here’s the sour point. In the area of likes and comments, Tumblr gives next to nothing and Twitter gives absolutely nothing from their respective communities. Same post, same photos, same words. Bummer. However, on WordPress, I recently recreated a simple post from way back in my IG stream and I get a couple of quick likes, on Thanksgiving of all days! So, by the numbers, weighing the return on investment, WordPress wins out.

Never one to apply a permanent solution to a temporary problem, I have decided to simply hang a Gone Fishing sign on my Tumblr and Twitter. No, I would never close/delete those accounts but putting in fruitless work is a waste of time.

Now comes the task of recreating the IG posts on WordPress, to bring it up to speed. No problem, I truly don’t mind. This is The New York Times.