Bad Girl, Good Business

Route 66 Installment #11: You Oughta Be in Pictures (or Not)

Reading Time: 4 minutes

When this song was first recorded by Rudy Vallée in 1934, he never imagined TikToks, Reels, and reality TV.

Warning: You may not be able to get this tune out of your head once you hear it. In fact, you may want to turn it into a TikTok dance.

And I would have never imagined investing in monthly photoshoots to fuel the social media sites for my personal brand marketing.

And yet…here we are.

Even every day Joes and Josephines have their own equivalent of IMDB profiles and fan bases. Influencers are posing with and gushing over free stuff. And life coaches and other “helpers” are posting non-stop about how wonderful their own lives are, rather than how they can help others. 

40 billion photos have been uploaded to Instagram since its inception.

Am I Beating Them or Joining Them?

I guess the short answer is “a little of both.” Although I try to remain humble, the stats don’t lie.

When I put up posts like the one at the right, my social media engagement skyrockets.

Credit: Jenna Karwoski

Yet, when I post something intelligent about a trend, historical movement, or business facts…crickets.

We are living in a highly visual world. Information conveyed in images is remembered WAY more often than that in texts.

So, I have invested the past two months in several photoshoots.

Femforce is a cool new business concept that makes that easier. I make-up. I show up (with props) at a designated location. They shoot. I’m out in 60 minutes. And I have at least 15 great images to use in creative ways on social media.

PLUS, I get to meet other local social media savvy businesswomen, most of whom are at least half my age and can teach me tons about digital marketing. In fact, I’m having happy hour with one of them — Dr. Jess — in April.

And, I have some great new shots to promote my new publication about dating >50! Here’s my fave:

Although I love playing a model for a day, I still feel a little dirty that I’m leading with my face and body rather than my brain.

(See below for some of my recent shots from a range of photographers and just regular folks.)

The Good and the Not-So-Good of the Selfie Boom

First, the upside:

  • It’s keeping photographers and companies that make photo technology and related apps employed.
  • “Normal” people who don’t live in Hollywood have a platform to show their talents and faces, which might boost self-esteem (or not…see the downside).
  • Social media, if used properly, can connect us to people who may hire or otherwise spend with us, woo us, teach us, inspire us, entertain us, or make us less lonely.

But every face can have an ugly angle:

  • We are more obsessed than ever with appearance. Especially as we age, this can be damaging. Body dysmorphia is real and it hurts both young and old people.
  • Pretty pictures can mask what’s going on inside someone’s mind and life and FOMO can eat away at people. Social media has been tied directly to depression.
  • We haven’t yet seen the crash after the boom. Today’s influencers and “stars” may be unable to sustain their image and, like aging actors, may struggle when they’re no longer in the limelight.

What’s Old…What’s New…What Holds True

When I was growing up, photos needed to be developed in a lab. When cleaning out my late mother’s house, we found home movies, hundreds of prints, photo albums, and even slide carousels. Then, of course, we had those school pix in various sizes. (Ironically, that tradition has survived.)

Now, everyone seems to have a smartphone, tripod, ring light, and filter apps. Everyone can be a star (at least in their own head.)

Some people shoot other people and beautiful moments in nature and life. Others shoot themselves.

But whenever you pick up that device and start to focus, ask yourself:

“Am I merely ‘capturing the moment’ or am I living in it?”

The photo finish…

BGGB.OkeyDokey-fred Stop taking selfies and expand your knowledge of history.

Here’s how photography evolved.

BGGB_ShakingHands Taking pix with a friend? Here are 50 tips.
BGGB_Thumbs-Down-fred The selfie boom can even be deadly!

41% of the population risks their lives to get a shot.

BGGB_Pointer Body dysmorphia (BDD) and the social media boom.





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