Tag Archives: Culture

Am I Beautiful or do I look like a Bobble Head?

I’ve been branching out in my photography business to include Beauty Portraits. Last week, I had booked a portfolio building session, and when my friend forgot to come, I decided to step in front of the camera myself…

Here is what I look like on a normal morning:

SelfPortraitsbyHolliMargell 1

Here is what I look like after some make up, brushing my hair, putting on a vintage dress and posing in a flattering way:

SelfPortraitsbyHolliMargell 3

I love this one above, because I secretly wish I was a movie star back in the 40’s when women wore amazing dresses that left room for the imagination. The only thing I wish I had done differently was to put my hair up and wear long satin gloves ala Audrey Hepburn.

Here is what I look like in my favorite dress:

SelfPortraitsbyHolliMargell 2{Above} My arms can’t be nearly that thin, and my head that big, but I love this dress and the background color. So, I’ll keep it:) The reason my arms look so tiny and my head so big is not because of Photoshop (which I’m still saving up to buy), but because I used a 35mm lens which warps an image slightly into a wider angle. This can be very flattering on some people who want to appear thinner than they are. But for me, I’ve got the Bobble head!

Overall, it is fun to have these photos that help me see myself as prettier, but I struggle with this idea of Beauty Portraits. I’m in favor of natural beauty, but a part of my heart loves glamour and pretty dresses. I want to help women (especially Moms) to feel beautiful, and do portraits in a way that does this without a bunch of Photoshopping to make them look fake. So, personally, I can say proper posing and a pretty dress with a dash of red lipstick did the trick for me. I can look the part of a model. But. There’s still a but tugging at my soul.

We have this culture in America that divides women: those who feel they need to “put their face on” before leaving the house and those who rebel against this, and wear their husband’s old Band Tees and jeans that don’t fit anymore. I think I want the freedom to dress how I want and not be judged, but I’d have to live in a utopia to experience that.

I think the tugging comes from this altruistic desire for all of us to feel beautiful in our natural skin. To capture that spark from the soul that makes a person beautiful. And, that doesn’t require make up or a pretty dress. But, I think sometimes putting on those things gives a person the costume they need to feel safe to shine.

 What would you think if you saw me in the polka dot dress at the grocery store?  Would I be trying too hard? Or just plain cute? Do I look like a Bobble Head?





eBook Review: Digital Dominatrix

Love books in all forms

Please, don’t let the title fool or confuse you. It did me. I didn’t quite get what it was about. Now that I have read it, I can tell you it has everything to do with digital survival. If I were to name it, I’d call it something like Online Reputation Handbook, or Online Identity Mastery.  If you have any sort of online profile, you need to read The Digital Dominatrix.

I learn best when I get to share what I’ve learned. So, please allow me to share the information that stood out to me.

Have you sworn off Facebook, MySpace or other networking sites in an attempt to protect your identity? The bad news is that even if you don’t engage in building an online profile, other people are already doing it.

Facebook, for example, makes it super easy to share photos. I might take photos at a family gathering and tag everyone in them. If one person is not on Facebook, I have already started a digital profile for them.

Kinda creepy, yes? The reality is that with ease sites like Twitter and Facebook provide to share information and photos, we are culturally evolving them into our daily lives. And it’s not just what all our friends are doing. Newspapers, tax records, and local organizations are all going online. If you’re mentioned in any of them, your online profile has begun. Just Google your name and see what comes up.

The Digital Dominatrix provides an overview of the two main theories for the evolving future of the internet as it integrates into our culture. But it doesn’t bore you. Dusti writes with fervor and honesty.  It’s like a friend passionately telling you something you need to know. I ate up the whole 65 page eBook in one hour. I think everyone should read it.

Confession 1: I have to admit that even though I loved Dusti Arab’s previous eBook, The Minimalist Mom, I was leery to read this. I didn’t get past the sensual symbolism she was going for in her new design and branding. But, now I am glad I got past that because it was worth it.

The book doesn’t bore you with endless philosophizing about the future of the internet, or tell you how things will turn out. It simply shows you how to take control of your digital reputation and use it for your own good.

Confession 2: I was slow to join Facebook. Once I did, all those applications my dear friends and family used would junk up my news-feed and  made me frustrated. But, I have discovered how to delete those. I really enjoy the ease it provides me for sharing photos with distant but dear relatives and friends.

I know others, like my friend Staci, who have found Facebook to be a big time suck in their lives (she’s making changes). I am only now figuring out my personal guidelines for using it. For example, I won’t post a photo if someone in it looks awful; frankly we all take bad photos sometimes. Also, I won’t tag someone if they aren’t already on Facebook.

So, I am still trying to sort out a balance with these cool tools. But now, I am more aware than ever that I need to be in control of my online reputation. And, I have some idea of how to start doing just that.

The Digital Dominatrix is free once you sign up for Dusti’s new venture – Undefinable You‘s newsletter. If you don’t like what she’s sharing in her regular emails, unsubscribe, but read the eBook first.

Have you read the book already? If so, what did you think?