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Should Photoshopped ‘Beauty’ be Banned?

What does beauty mean to you?

Before I dive right into this topic, quick disclaimer. I sometimes use Lightroom and Photoshop to edit my photos. I never alter my figure or features. All I do with these photo editing tools is to improve the lightening in my photos. So I play around with the exposure, contrast, vibrance and saturation tools in Lightroom. And I mainly use Photoshop to delete names, numbers and other personal information I don’t want showing in my photos. I never use these tools to alter my body and any of my features. Having said that, I do like playing around with filters for dun, especially those on Snapchat.

 

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It’s getting increasingly difficult to tell what real beauty actually means. Women are getting carried away with the by-products of filters and photo editing apps that they’ve lost touch with the beauty that they already are. And by “beauty” I mean the real, unedited, no-filter kind of beauty.

You hardly see pictures on the internet or in your favourite glossy magazines that don’t go through some level of editing or the other. Editing your picture immediately after taking them has turned into second nature for many of us.

 

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More women have had their self-esteem bruised when they see edited pictures of other women online. They no longer see themselves worthy because of the beauty that came through a filter. It sounds ridiculous when you think of it, but it has been causing a lot of damage to women and young girls today.

More women think that they have to go under the knife, get on extreme diets and buy expensive products just to attain that perfect flawless look that they see on social media. They rather put their lives in danger than to learn to love themselves for who they really are.

Fortunately a lot of women are being more conscious of the black hole Photoshop and other photo editing apps and filters are sucking us into. Such women saw that if they didn’t speak up, more women will be in danger. Consequently, they became advocates of banning photoshopped ‘beauty’.

 

Recognizing the true beauty behind the filter

The idea behind photo editing apps may have been a good one – to enhance one’s beauty. But the overdependence on those apps is creating a misconception of what real beauty is.

No one is born with the perfect skin, the perfect figure or the perfect complexion. And beauty is far beyond all those. You are beautiful for simply being you. You are a true beauty and you need to embrace it. The minute you recognize that you’re more beautiful than what any filter will make you, that’s when you’ll be able regain the self-esteem you lost to the pressure that comes from viewing airbrushed or edited photos.

 

 

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So should photoshopped ‘beauty’ be banned?

I don’t believe it should be banned. I don’t think photo editing apps and filters will ever go away for good. But I think we should take these perfect photos we see on social media and on the pages of magazines with a pinch of salt. Don’t take them too seriously because 99.9% of the time, most of these photos have been seriously edited to look perfect.

Many women are being misled and now teenage girls are being affected. It’s disheartening that we are slowly losing our sense of true beauty – the one that is authentic and the one that embraces our imperfections. Instead, women are going through complex and oftentimes life threatening cosmetic procedures just to measure up with the mirage they see when they pop on a filter or have their photos airbrushed.

There’s nothing wrong with imperfection or blemishes. It shows that we are human. We need to learn to fall in love with ourselves and truly appreciate the awesome person that we are. That’s what should shine through every picture we upload. This is how you can become more self-confident and self-assured.

That’s why you need to take a stand and be you. You’re truly a beauty.

 

What do you think of filters and photo editing apps?

 

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5 Ways to Take Stunning Photos

I fell hopelessly in love with photography when I started blogging in 2012. I knew I had to make Fashion and Style Police stand out, and I knew one way to stand out was to take stunning photos. Photos are usually the first thing blog readers notice, so I knew I had to brush my photography skills up.

 

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I have come a long way from the girl with the Fujifilm point and shoot camera to where I am today. I am not quite where I want to be as far as my blog photos are concerned but I am gradually getting to that sweet spot. It has taken a lot of practice, many trials and errors, many props and lighting and many cameras to get to where I am now in 2017. So I thought to share some tips and tricks I picked up along the way. And some photography tools that help create these photos.

 

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Camera

I currently use a Canon EOS 1200D, and it is the best camera I have ever used. It is my first Canon, and first DSLR. I got an extra 50mm lens to go with it, and together we are magical. I really couldn’t ask for a better camera.

The camera plays a major role in how the photos look in the end, so pay attention when selecting one. I would strongly recommend a Canon DSLR above all others because my experience with mine has been amazing. The fact that I can take stunning photos regardless of the time of the day with no flash, says it all.

Pro Tip: Go for a DSLR and get a 50mm Lens.

 

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Lightning

I recently got these 2 Continuous Lighting Kit 50 x70cm Softbox Photo Studio Set Light Bulbs Lamp 500K from Amazon, and it has literally changed my photography game. I can take photos any time in the day, even at night, which is amazing especially for this winter season with darkness starting at 3pm sometimes.

They brighten my photos leaving room for little or no editing. They are a must-have photography tool for every blogger.

Pro Tip: Get a Lightning Kit.

 

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Natural Lighting

Natural lighting is the best if you have enough of it. I get all my outfit photos taken outside, I think they would appear best with natural lighting.

Pro Tip: Take as many photos as you can take in the natural light especially the outfit photos.

 

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Location/Props

The right location/props could make the photos very beautiful. I am not as adventurous as I should be with my outfit photos. I just take my photos when and where is convenient. I am hoping to step it up a little this year, and go fishing for amazing locations around me.

As for my photo props, I have a few wall paper samples I go from B&Q, and a white fluffy rug from IKEA that does the trick. I also make use of magazine pages, worktops, regular tables, and the couch sometimes. It all depends on what I am photographing and where I am.

Pro Tip: Pay attention to the location and props you use.

 

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Editing

For my photo editing, I make use of Lightroom and Photoshop. I do minimal editing, so I may play around with the exposure, contrast, vibrance and saturation of the photo on Lightroom. I usually just crop and save on Photoshop. I am currently taking an online Lightroom course too. I am learning so much and I am enjoying it.

Pro Tip: The more amazing the photos are, the less editing you have to do. Pay attention to the photographing.

 

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Do you have any photography tips or tricks to share?

 

 

How to Make Your Blog Stand Out

I read hundreds of blogs a week.. So trust me when I say I have seen them all. The good, the not so good, the bad, the ugly, and the very ugly. My blog isn’t perfect. In fact it is nowhere near perfect. I still have a lot of work to do on it, but it is where I need it to be for now. I go on so many blogs on a daily basis, many of them I won’t visit again unless I have to. So I thought I should share some tips on how to make your blog stand out from the rest.

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Here are some features my favourite blogs have:

 

Have a Sleek Design

My definition of a sleek design is simple, chic, easy to navigate, and not overloaded with ads or unnecessary widgets in the sidebar. I like to be able to comment on a blog post easily and quickly too.

 

Mobile Friendly & Quick to Load

I like mobile friendly blogs and I like blogs that are quick to load, because I usually browse through my favourite blogs on my iPhone. Some blogs are painfully slow, it takes ages for a post to load, and I find it so frustrating. You having a mobile friendly quick to load blog is an easy way to stand out as a blogger.

 

Regular Posting

I like blogs that are updated regularly, and by regularly I mean daily. I hate it when I read a post or 2 that I really like, only for the blogger to not post a new blog post for a week. That puts me right off. I hate waiting.

 

Pretty Pictures

I am a very visual person, and if you read my blog regularly, you would know that. I enjoy taking photos. I have been playing around with my Canon camera, and I am also currently taking a Lightroom course to improve my editing skills, so I am still a work-in-progress. But I am not where I used to be 3 years ago or even 6 months ago. The quality of my photos have improved massively and that is because I pay special attention to them.

Paying attention to your photography is one of the easiest ways to stand out as a blogger. Take it from me. Many blogs have not so good photos, and that is me putting it mildly. You will stand out easily by having amazing outfit or product shots, with the right props, pose and lightening. Go the extra mile, it is never crowded.

 

Have a Search Box

Make sure the theme of your blog layout comes with a search box. It is a very useful tool to have. It makes it easy for brands, PRs, and You to find old blog posts. As a blogger outreach consultant, I may sometimes have to dig into your blog to find relevant blog posts before contacting a blogger.  A blog not having a search box means I have to go through the entire archives or rely on Google to find the relevant blog posts. Most times I just move on to the next blog.

 

Categorise your Blog Posts

I see so many blog posts listed as ‘uncategorized’. That is a big no-no in my eyes. I am an organised freak so all my blog posts have to fall into a category. You not categorising your blog posts is off-putting. For example, I may just want to read your fashion posts, but you may also blog about pets sometimes, if you have your posts categorised, it will be so easy for me to find the fashion posts that interest me.

 

How do you make your blog pop? How do you make your blog stand out?

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