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“A portrait is not a likeness. The moment an emotion or fact is transformed into a photograph it is no longer a fact but an opinion. There is no such thing as inaccuracy in a photograph. All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth. ”
― Richard Avedon

Part of creating and selling this wonderful jewelry and accessories that I make is taking fabulous photos of the items up for sale. Being that I am so far from being a professional photographer, I am never satisfied with the pictures that I take of the stuff I make. One day I hope to make fabulous money from my endeavors that I will be able to hire a photographer to take pictures of my stuff.  But until then this is what I am stuck with right here:

Okay please explain the expression on my face, what is going on in my head. I think this is in the bathroom, coincidentally where I take most of my photos. It’s all me taking these photos, with the mirror used to see how I look and with my arm elongated with the camera at the end. I tried some lipstick on with this one. I do think that my pictures look a little better when I put on some face enhancement. Look at the second picture where my lips look dry as h-e-double hockey sticks.

mad

Why you mad?

The top picture one I really thought I was being artistic and stuff with the staunch and unimpressed  look. Now I look at it like “Who you mad at? But my hair is pretty though:)

And when I first started taking pictures I  would mostly take profiles, and still mostly do, because I don’t think I take too good of full-on shots. Look at my chubby cheek in this one.

Styling and profiling

Styling and profiling

Now see how better the picture is when somebody else does it. These picture were taken by my sister, I was tired of taking pictures at this point. The woman is my second-cousin. I think this is one of my favorite pictures featuring the stuff that I make. She prepared herself for this photo shoot too.

The picture in the top right picture is like those Cover Girl shoots right, except the only thing is that it does not show the earring very well

The picture in the top right picture is like those Cover Girl shoots right, except the only thing is that it does not show the earring very well

And then after looking at some of the pictures that people took, I noticed that the pictures looked good, in my opinion, with the subject was smiling and so began my quest to smile in all the picture I took:

Say cheese

Say cheese, and I watch too much ANTM because I tried to pose hard in the last picture

But one day I’m going to do my makeup some of the pictures on my pinterest board here: http://pinterest.com/qweent/makeup-for-performances/. I am pretty sure there is a Youtube video out there that would show me how to do it.

So then I discovered MS Publisher and that you can add an array of pictures to one picture so they bring a little more, how do you say?, umpf to the picture. Check it out:

col4

me, myself and I

cowcow5ank1

And then its some pictures I look at like hmm what was I thinking? I think I was trying to “smize” in the first pic. Yes I watch way too much ANTM, and if you don’t know what ANTM is, then you are just a disaster!!!

Is these my come hither looks

Are these my come hither looks?

And then I discover this other program on my android phone (picsart) that you can make an array of pictures in frames and add all kinds of cool stuff to the pictures. Look at those stars that just make the picture look jazzy:

loc3

Cool effects

loc2

And you can add numbers so that you can post this on etsy and give the people a choice, instead of positing for different pictures.

Sparkly, Sparkly

Sparkly, Sparkly, my items looks like “SUPA-STARS”(in my voice from that lady on SNL)

And then y’all I tried to go full make-up on that ass check me out:

Somebody called me in the middle of my session on the top left and thought it would be a good posing opportunity and what in the heck am I looking at in the picture in the bottom left?

Somebody called me in the middle of my “session” on the top left and I thought it would be a good posing opportunity and what in the heck am I looking at in the picture in the bottom left?

And then I try to be brave and do a whole frontal view.  Me no likely.

I had a pimple in the top picture so I colored it black so it could look like a mole. That seems to happen a lot.

I had a pimple in the top picture so I colored it black so it could look like a mole. That seems to happen a lot.

I realize that presentation helps when selling you jewelry. With that being said, I have these pieces on my Etsy page, but notice how depressing the pictures are. I really need to re-do these pictures:

Dismal display, blah!

Dismal display, blah!

And then you have the pictures despite everything you just love every element of the picture. With the next set, I love the color, my hair and my skin look great in these photographs. I need to take more picture of my stuff when I get my hair done, I think it makes a big difference:

I'm beautiful, I'm beautiful, I'm beautiful dammit!! (remember that song?)

I’m beautiful, I’m beautiful, I’m beautiful dammit!! (remember that song?)

And the little ‘ole camera that took this lovely pictures. I’ve had this camera for about four years now.

Nikon Coolpix

Nikon Coolpix

One day I dream to own a camera like this one:

One day I shall own something similar.

One day I shall own something similar

When I get a camera like the one above, I am going to make sure I have a stand to go with it so that I can add full body shots and  do boody “touches” as well (another ANTM term).

But all in all, I think I do a pretty good job to be the person behind and in front of the camera. What do you think?

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Last week I embarked on another journey in items that I make. I started making waist beads. I was real hesitant with making waist beads because I fully understand the spirituality that comes along with making and wearing waist beads. Waist beads are traditionally worn around the waist and only are supposed to be seen by an intimate partner. People wear them for many different personal and spiritual reasons. I fully understood they are not just to be made and worn to be cute (which is nothing wrong with that), however there are many different deeper and spiritual reasons for wearing waist beads. The first pair I was asked to make the first pair many times. Actually this individual wanted some waist beads made by my girlfriend; however she never got around making them for her. So just because this individual asked me to make some several times, I decided to make some. Once I made hers I became overwhelmed with wanting to make more and then some more. Two other individuals asked me to make some and I did. I now really, really, really enjoy making waist beads. I find some kind of release of peace in a completed waist bead. I thoroughly enjoy every bit of what I call myself doing “crafting”. Not saying I made up the word or anything but that just what I call myself doing. But anyway here are a couple of pictures of some of the waist beads I have made so far

Some of these are available at my online store @http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/studio/EclecticSoul where most of my items are 10 bucks or less.


Okay I must admit, this on-line stuff I take too  personal. So here’s the story. I’m doing my thang trying to promote my on-line shop (http://www.eclecticsoul1975.com) on Tumblr (as seen on the bottom of this post).  Okay so I am promoting my “African Dance Belt” cause I’m trying to sell those thangs right. So someone blasted me and said there is no such thing as an “African Dance” belt and Africa is not a country but a continent. Okay I know this much if I don’t know anything else “AFRICA IS A DAMN CONTINENT” but anyway I digress. Let me copy this person’s (http://thisisnotafrica.tumblr.com/) comment here:

There is no such thing as the ‘African Dance’ belt :/

Africa is not a nationality nor a country

You can opt for calling your stuff some thing else

At first I was like “Beotch” don’t tell me what the f*ck to call my creation. If you are into Love and Hip-Hop the original Mama Jones hook part of the song was playing in my head, you know the one she wrote about Chrissy.  I was like don’t effing tell me what I should opt to call my shit that I effing make.  “Say it my face, say it to my face”. It was during a time when we were evacuating because of Hurricane Issac so I could not leave that response because I was working with a cell phone with a thoroughly cracked screen. So I just put I will respond to this after the evacuation. I’m glad I did because I had time to think out my answer and not be so reactionary. In her or his own little way they were trying to teach me something I guess.

So after about a week or so I responded with:

Okay let me start off by saying I was totally on the defensive when I saw your response. Now that I had days to think about it (because of hurricane Isaac I was not able to write a concise response using my phone)  I have to say that if I did have the computer access that I have now my response probably would have been ignant(spelled that way on purpose). So to this I say I am going to respond as if I am not behind a computer screen and if I was face to face with whom ever made this comment. First the reason I was offended by the way you blasted me because I felt, like many others that post on the social network , you had no regard for my feelings as a human being. If you are teaching me something approach as a student that needs to learn, not like some know it all who thinks they are better than me. I am a person whom seeks knowledge and understanding of all things. I do not mind someone correcting me when needed, but it is all the in the approach. I felt sooooo stupid with your response. Not only that you then tell me to call it something different, like you matter to me in my life. Approach is everything to me. Okay I’ll admit I did not know that what I was making was called an Indlamu as pointed out by another Tumblr user (http://datsyrup.tumblr.com). All I know is that I African Dance—-specifically West African Dance and more specifically West African Ballet. Out of all the things I know for the least bit I know Africa is not a country. The belt that I made and make is primarily used as I have witnessed many times, is for West African Dance. Now I see I was wrong by calling it an African Dance Belt.  I called an African Dance Belt because when someone is searching for such a belt that is what they are going to search for. Now in the future and on my online shop I will put the correct name for it for people to know, but at this time I am not changing the name of the belt. I’ve had a conversation with the Ancestors and they said it is okay, and until otherwise I am lead so I will label what I make an African Dance belt with a side note. So in the future I suggest you respond to people how you would respond to them in their face. That’s all. And trust me I do thank you for blasting me, it only makes me better:)

Source: qweent (my tumblr)

I also followed up with a name change to the belt as well just because I thought this probably was the right thing to do to make sure my ancestors are always honored:

Okay so I have been trying to figure out a name that would be suitable for these belts I have been making for some time now. I have been called out on-line so I think it is important when you become informed, you act like it. So with that being said and with consultation from many sources (including the ancestors) I have opted to change the name of the belts that I make to “Mama Africa” Dance Belt. Why Mama Africa you say? It is a belt and I wanted to keep that part of it in the name, and my purpose for the belt as well as others is used for dance and the dance we used it for is dances from the continent of Africa. I consider the continent the Motherland and so you have it Mama Africa Dance Belts. That is about the just of it at this time.

Well anyway after doing some research (on-line only I may add) I have come across belts/skirts what have you, that are similar to the ones I make. The seed planted by (http://datsyrup.tumblr.com) lead me to research the Reed Dance that is performed by maidens, preferably virgins that occupy the regions populated by Zulus. Once a year maidens take part in this cultural festival “The Royal Reed Dance” festival or Umkhosi woMhlanga in the Zulu language. This dance has been performed by many generations. This dance symbolizes a preparation for womanhood. “According to Zulu tradition, only virgins are permitted to take part in the festival to ensure they are ritually pure”(www.zulu.org.za). In Zulu mythology if a woman is not a virgin her reed will break in front of the crowd and she will be embarrassed because of this. Traditionally during the ceremony the King may choose a bride from the maidens participating.

Also I researched Indlamu in which another tumblr user (http://datsyrup.tumblr.com) pointed out the name of the belt and it seems to me that Indlamu is a dance and not what the belt is called. Please if I am wrong or misunderstood your reblog, again do not hesitate to correct me.

But anyway, I will continue to research and become knowledgeable about this item I choose to make so that I will represent the true spirit of what it is.

So after that I keep asking myself why did I care so much about this call-out on-line from someone I don’t know and will possibly never know. Why was I soooooo offended. I think it may of had something to do with I see myself a smart, intelligent, educated, seeker of knowledge and I felt like this person called me dumb as hell in so many words. I just saw someone on a high horse waving their smart ass little finger at me.  When I am wrong I do like for someone to tell me I’m wrong so that I will not continue to look at like a fool, but like I said I guess it was the approach. And know that I think about it, she/he whoever is probably young and does not know the value of constructive criticism. And on top of all that I sit here rubbing my palms waiting for a reply—none whatsoever. But any who I ask myself “Why do I care”? If you have any information about these belts or can guide me in any direction to find out more information about them please inbox or leave a link in the comments.

 

————————-> “LIKE” & “FOLLOW” ME<————————————-

MY Online SHOP:   http://www.eclecticsoul1975.com
FACEBOOK—-> https://www.facebook.com/EclecticSoul1975

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/eclecticsoul75

PINTEREST—-> http://pinterest.com/qweent/
TUMBLR ——-> http://eclecticsoul1975.tumblr.com/

YOUTUBE——> http://www.youtube.com/user/Eclecticsoul1975

ETSY————–>http://www.etsy.com/shop/Eclecticsoul1975

GOOGLE+—>https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/117653557080013032448/117653557080013032448/posts
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Example of the Belts I Make

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