Free Presets and More for Network Members

Teen Identity Network partners Jules Bianchi and Kubota Image Tools have some great news for all you network members…

Jules Cafe is a great resource of inspiration and education from some of the top photographers in the nation. Jules also has a full set of training products and presets for sale. But if you’re a Teen Identity Network member, for the next few months you’ll have access to her presets for FREE. Jules is offering her set of Presets and Textures as June, July and August’s free digital goodies. For June, Network members will get her set of Practical Presets. That’s an $89 value! (The yearly membership alone is only $99.) Subsequent month’s will offer her Creative Collection as well as her collection of textures. See samples of her presets in action by clicking here.

Kubota Image Tools is a leading provider of Adobe and Lightroom resources. They are practically synonymous with “Actions” (thus their Action Hero mascot/logo). Now Teen Identity Network members can get some serious KIT “action”:

  • A 15% discount on all KIT products (we’re working with them to finish up the discount product page)
  • KIT presets and actions offered as digital goodies in the coming months
  • KIT’s full creative pack as part of the grand prize for the Teen Identity True Beauty Media & Model Competition (an $899 value)
  • Plus another surprise or two

Membership Has Its Benefits

If you are already a Network member, you should have received an email with a link to download June’s digital goodie. If you’re not a member, what are you waiting for? In addition to these great gifts, you’ll get all the future digital goodies, other partner discounts, listing on the Teen Identity Mag photographers directory, plus access to coaching at discounted rates. Join today and start improving your craft, building your business, and making a difference.

DSLR Filmmaking – This Month’s Digital Goodie

Every month we give Teen Identity Network members a digital goodie to help them in their business. Last month is was part 1 of my Art & Business of DSLR Filmmaking recorded webinar. This month is part 2, which covers the business side of the equation. It’s a 90 minute video recording which also includes an audio mp3 for listening on the go, and the Keynote pdf. This is a great resource if you’re considering adding DSLR video production to your repertoire.

In addition to these monthly goodies, Network members have free or discounted coaching access to so amazing photographers including the likes of Jeremy Cowart, Scott and Adina Hayne, and Liana Lehman-Hall just to name a few. Click here to learn more about the Network.

A New Film About Women in the Media

We were excited to see there was a feature film documentary at Sundance this year that addresses the issue of women in the media. It’s called “Miss Representation.” The kind of issues they address in this film is exactly the kind of things the Teen Identity Network is addressing. Visit their website to learn more.

Pink’s “Perfect” Proves Our Point

Pink is a singer who is no stranger to controversy. Her “rough around the edges,” bad-girl look and style I’m sure would scare many parents. But, there’s a theme running though much of her work, that although may ruffle some feathers, also has a powerful message.

Her latest single “F**kin’ Perfect” is a powerfully moving video about a girls journey to learn how to love who she is. In four minutes you can see the whole gamut of emotions and situations teen girls go through, starting from very little. Bullying. Self-esteem. Comparison. Self-loathing. Rebellion. And it deals with another serious issue, cutting and teen suicide. I was moved to tears watching it. Here’s an excerpt from Teen Identity team member Imahni who wrote about the video for TeenIdentityMag.com.

P!nk thinks you are perfect. Everyone here at Teen Identity thinks you are perfect. We love you. Yes, you who are are reading this right now. Can you think the same about yourself? Can you change the way you view yourself so that the first adjectives that come to your mind when describing yourself are- “Beautiful, Wonderful, Special, Loved, and Perfect.”

This is the message we’re trying to get to teen girls through the work we’re doing. To change how they see themselves. With sexually degrading videos by Lady GaGa, Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, and others getting millions of views, we’re happy (and encouraged) to see a video like this get millions of views too.

Here’s the clean version of the video. Enjoy. Be moved. And go make a difference.

Teen Identity Mag Launches New Show

We’re excited to announce the launch of a new show on TeenIdentityMag.com. It’s called “2 Minutes with Taylor.” It’s a kind of variety show starring one of our Teen Identity team members, Taylor Smith. For months we’ve been planning to create original content for the online magazine that will get teen girls coming back again and again. This benefits them (a positive and entertaining alternative to what’s currently being marketed to teen girls) and it will benefit our Network members as traffic to the site increases.

At first glance, the show may not seem like much. Just a girl talking to the camera with a colorful background. However, based on our research of shows that have huge followings on YouTube, we think this has great potential. Shows like juicystar07, iJustine, kevjumba, and perhaps the most popular YouTube channel of all NigaHiga . Three key essentials we’ve noticed are

  1. Relatability
  2. Simplicity
  3. Comedy

We should state that it is not our goal to become an uber-Tuber. It would be great if we ended up with hundreds of thousands (or even tens of thousands) of views. But, we’re doing this because we sincerely want to create a slate of shows for teen girls that is truly a positive alternative.

Keep up to date with all the Teen Identity shows at our YouTube channel or subscribe to them in iTunes.

ABC News – Too Sexy Too Soon Video

ABC ran a very insightful, eye-opening, and educational piece on the role of the fashion industry on tween girls (ages 8-12). More and more fashion trends are become extremely provocative and girls younger and younger are wanting to wear clothes covering less and less. The video says that some critics are calling it Corporate Pedophilia. But when you consider that the tween market represents $43 billion, it’s no wonder companies are doing all they can to reach that market.

We’re doing our best to affect change, but I must admit, it does seem daunting. We are thankful for those of you who have joined us in this ongoing battle for the hearts and minds of our teen (and tween) girls.

Click the image below to watch the video on ABCs site. It’s definitely worth it! (Or click here to watch it).

Celebrity Photographer Jeremy Cowart TI Coach and Partner

We’re pleased and excited to announce world renown celebrity, fashion and commercial photographer Jeremy Cowart has joined the ranks of Teen Identity Network coaches and partners. Jeremy does not typically offer personalized one-on-one coaching, so the coaching arrangement of Jeremy’s participation is slightly different than our other arrangements.  We think all Lifetime and Network members will still be thrilled with what we were able to work out with Jeremy. E-mail coaching@teenidentity.com for more details.

Jeremy has also agreed to offer his soon to be released Lifefinder DVD at a discount to Network members. We’re just working out the logistics of how to make it work. So stay tuned.

As the founder of Help-Portrait, Jeremy is a photographer who’s always been committed to using his talents to better his community. Teen Identity’s mission to raise the confidence and self-esteem of teen girls across America fits right in line with Jeremy’s overall belief in giving back.

About Jeremy:

Jeremy Cowart is a professional photographer from Nashville, Tennessee. Beginning his photography career in 2005, Jeremy quickly became a respected artistic voice in the industry. Having shot numerous musicians, entertainers and celebrities, Jeremy is also the founder of Help Portrait, a worldwide movement of photographers giving free portraits to those less fortunate. As his list of clients continues to grow, so does Jeremy’s desire to improve, share, teach, and give back to those around him.

Anatomy of a Model Program Promo Video

One of the most popular strategies used by senior portrait photographers to get their word out is to use a “model” rep program. This is where you encourage your teen clients to be your evangelists at school and other programs. Some studios call it a “street” program. Whatever you call it, when used effectively, it can be a big boost for your business.

The Power of Video

Video is by far the most powerful tool you can use to promote your studio. We plan to offer posts and tutorials on how you can make your videos really stand out and be used effectively in your marketing. I wanted to share a quick break down of the promo video we created to promote our model program. Comments about the video are below.

Key aspects of this video:

  • It’s short (less than 2.5 minutes)
  • Shows girls having fun
  • You hear from the girls what the experience was like
  • Fun, upbeat music
  • You get an idea of what it’s like to work with the photographer
  • URL at the end

This particular video was shot with a traditional HD camcorder, but you can do the same with our HDSLR. (Although, I wouldn’t likely have the quick zooms I have here if I shot this with a DSLR).

Distribution

You’ll notice this is a YouTube video. Blip.tv and Vimeo are also popular video sharing sites. We use all three, and so should you. The more places you can put your video, the better. Blip.tv is great if you want a video podcast that people can download into iTunes. We have a Teen Identity iTunes channel that we use for all of our model videos. Girls can subscribe to it to download our latest and greatest.

If you have any questions about the video or distribution, feel free to place them in the comments section below. I’ll reply to them as quickly as possible, and then everyone will have the benefit of the answer.

This Month’s Gift to Network Members – Power Pricing MP3

One of the ways we will provide value to our network members is by giving free digital goodies that are worth at least as much, if not more than the already low monthly membership fee of $10. This month we’re giving all of our network members a free download of Ron’s “Power Pricing Strategies” mp3 (a $30 value!). This is a 75 minute coaching call session where Ron goes in-depth into pricing your services. The download also comes with the pdf “Building Your Business with Blogging.” The free download will only last during the month of December. It expires on December 31, so take advantage of it now. If you’re already a Network member, you should have received an e-mail with the link. If you’re not already member, then what are you waiting for? Join now and help us change a generation. (After signing up, we’ll send you a welcome e-mail with a link to the download, as well as instructions on how to take advantage of off the other Network benefits).

The Sexual Objectification of Women in Media

I don’t know who discovered water, but it certainly wasn’t a fish!” ~ Marshal Mcluhan

The point Mcluhan makes here is that some things are so common place to us, that we don’t even recognize they’re there. That is what the over-sexualization and objectification of women in media has become.

Our goal with the Teen Identity Network is to encourage professional photographers and filmmakers to help change the way females are portrayed in the media. We want to educate professionals and get them to think twice about the kind of photos or video they take of teen girls. We all are so bombarded by sexualized and objectified images of women every day, that it is easy for any of us to not even realize we could be contributing to the problem, instead of fixing it.

Example of Objectification

We will continue to provide education to help Network members understand and evaluate how the sexualization of girls and women happens in media. Our hope is that you can take away real and concrete ideas to implement into your studio.

The education and information we’re providing is being based on industry experts who have completed years (and in some cases, decades) of research on the topic. For instance, here were some findings recently reported at the S.P.A.R.K. Summit (Sexualization Protest: Action Resistance Knowledge). This was for a period of study from June 2006 to June 2010 and it dealt with the coding of sexualization in music video:

  • provocative dance
  • male gaze
  • close ups on body parts (most common)
  • provocative dress – sexual stereotype, sexy school girl, body glove, dominatrix, etc.
  • 92.8% of music videos contained at least one measure of sexualization
  • race differences: black artists twice as likely to be portrayed with provocative dress, similar in other 3 areas
  • genre differences: country less than pop and r&b

As noted above, one of the key ways objectification happens is when you take a photograph that accentuates or focuses on just one body part, rather than the whole girl. The sexualization of the girl is worse if that body part is one of the five that are inherently the most sexual: legs/hips, buttocks, crotch, mid-drift, and bust. Any time any of these areas are accentuated or exclusively highlighted in a photograph, you run the risk of objectifying in a sexual way, that teen girl. (Especially if the body part is completely bare).

I know that some people will read this and think “How prude.” I don’t think it’s about being prude. It’s about addressing a real problem and issue in this country that has very REAL ramifications on the lives and esteem of teen girls. (We’ll blog a little later about those ramifications).

Killing Us Softly

Jean Kilbourne is a celebrated speaker and advocate for female self esteem and health issues. The objectification of women in media is a topic she has addressed, studied, and fought against for forty years. Much of the education and work we do with Teen Identity is inspired by her work. Take a look at this short excerpt from her latest DVD series, “Killing Us Softly.” After watching it, think about the kind of photos you’re taking of teen girls, and ask how much your work is influenced (in a positive or negative way) by the media.