NJ BOUDOIR & GLAMOUR PHOTOGRAPHY | FAREWELL TO SUMMER
My business is called Life As Fine Art. ...It seems appropriate to honor someone who portrayed a life as a fine art form as much as the great Robin Williams. And, notably the others you may have never even heard of...
It's a day later and, I found myself leaving the Starbucks this morning in slow motion. My household cherished him like a joyous icon; He has lived on my mantle for over 10 years, as seen in this picture of a NBC-TV news interview my husband Chris did with Robin in 2003. He is one of the only non-family members we were proud enough to put up on our pedestal.
I sipped my morning iced coffee, like I do every single day...but today I felt the sting of tears just at mere thoughts of a man I'd never met. I think it's because there is a little Robin Williams in all of us than we want to believe.
The pain was brought on as I began to think about another funny, kindhearted and adventurous guy... a family member, who also lived a brilliant life. Silently, and in desperation. We lost him 2 years ago to the same fate.
I emailed his sister to let her know I was thinking of him today. And her too.
My mind then wandered over to one of my oldest and closest friends, who also lost a relative around that same time to suicide.
I messaged my friend. And I was right...She was feeling the exact same way I was, at the exact same time.
And then it hit me... how enormous and ominously impossible it must have been for all of them...The perception that one is left without options. Here we stay behind, guilt ridden and confused for not recognizing their infinite depths. Not soon enough...or as it may be, not even at all. Simply just too late.
We both began to ponder the fact about WHY some of the funniest, most successful people and intelligent are prisoners to depression. It's a disease that is so common, so invisible... a silent killer, often wrapped in humor and a sense of adventure.
It's like a cancer, but it afflicts the soul.
That might sound like a good articulation of it, but there is a reason both of us could define it so easily... we'd both felt it too, in years past.
I used to be ashamed to admit this, it was both a burden and a horrific embarrassment that I carried for about a year or two. It was brought on by forces I really felt I had no control over. But the only way to gain control of it was to stop feeling ashamed about it. One of my doctors actually thanked me when I finally admitted the burden of what felt like a slow moving freight train. The doctor admitted also to have lived these feelings in the past.
And then, in my Facebook news feed, tweets, etc, suddenly seemed like a microcosm, and I could decipher who also has lived with this burden. They were exposed by their all too obvious empathy of the situation. Their articulation of it was just all too perfect. And, it was way more people than I thought... speaking a secret language and separation between those who knew how it feels, and those who did not.
Rather than focus on the means of how we lost a man who brought us so much joy, I like to think this tragedy opens a door to a dark room...
Just removing some of this shame depressed people bear lets some light into that dark room, and begins a first step to healing.
We all know the feeling, at some point or another, personally or by proxy.
It's a blind situation where many of the people you know, right in front of you, may be living with depression:
"In the United States, a person dies by suicide every 13.7 minutes, claiming more than 38,000 lives each year. It is estimated that an attempt is made every minute, with close to one million people attempting suicide annually. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. among adults 18-65, the second leading cause of death among teens and young adults, and individuals ages 65 and older account for 16 percent of all suicide deaths. This is a public health issue that does not discriminate by age, gender, ethnicity, or socio-economic status."
Get help. Or, look a little harder at someone you know. They might just be the one who is laughing just a little bit louder than everyone else.
My cousin Tara, in the wake of her brother's death has become a fundraiser for Out of the Darkness, a charity dedicated bringing awareness and suicide prevention. If you choose, please support her efforts and donate in the name of Timothy J. Larkin.
"...The funniest people I know seem to be the ones surrounded by darkness. And that’s probably why they’re the funniest. The deeper the pit, the more humor you need to dig yourself out of it.
Years ago, I was told that one of the most important attributes humans don’t have is the ability to see themselves the way others do. This is normally what I think of when people behave like an ass and don’t realize it, or think they’re smarter than they actually are. It’s rare that I think of it in the terms I have been after hearing about Robin."
CASTING CALL: BRIDAL MODELS WANTED. GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR A WEDDING MAKEUP TRIAL | HEADSHOTS AVAILABLE FOR PARTICIPANTS
Our wonderful collaborator, Makeup Artistry by Miranda Richards is now casting female (pro and non-professional models welcome), ages 20-40, for a Bridal-styled shoot by Cate Scaglione. All looks, sizes, and ethnicities are most welcomed for consideration.
This is a great opportunity for upcoming brides to do a makeup trial and mini-photo session all in one!
As part of this opportunity, you will be provided with:
- Hair, makeup, and some wardrobe styling.
- High res-Digital file of your bridal look(s)
- A complimentary professional headshot session (with no session/nor styling fees) for professional or social media use; If you choose, and you may also purchase the file or print.
Candidates will be chosen by MakeupArtistry by Miranda Richards exclusively. To be considered, please message "LIKE" her Facebook page and message Miranda on her page. Only selected model applicants will be contacted by Miranda. Scheduling to take place August through September in NJ locations. You must be available to shoot on scheduled shoot days to be considered. (Dates are currently TBC.)
ARE WE ALL REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW JERSEY: CAN ADULTS BULLY TOO?
With a massive awareness campaign throughout our schools and communities, there's a zero tolerance level when it comes to bullying a child. But what about when adults bully another adult?
In last week's episode (which I finally got to watch on DVR!), Amber was completely ambushed by at least three other women verbally. Then, I watched her get attacked physically. Her husband Jim, also misunderstood, was confronted by a mob due to a rather a smart business decision he made (IMHO).
Watching people that I know to be kindhearted, honest and forthright was gut-wrenching. Sure, I understand that a program like the Real Housewives of New Jersey has an entertainment value. But it's never entertaining for me to watch people I care about get bullied by other adults.
So this brings up the topic... Why do adults think it's acceptable to bully when they would never tolerate this for their children? Some housewives are bullies and some are the target of them.
A show like RHONJ might seem extreme, but it's really not.
Earlier this year an NFL player, Jonathan Martin, filed a formal complaint and suit with the NFL for the extreme bullying he endured from teammates. Some dismissed it as trivial, but it has destroyed his livelihood and reputation, even though he was the target.
As an active and professional blogger, witness this often in the online world too. Across Facebook forums, industry blogs, Instagram and Twitter, people go on personal attacks and belittle others who oppose an opinion or reel from misunderstood intentions. Expression morphs to Game of Thrones-caliber proportions. Has the digital age's e-facade made it easier for these types of people to be confrontational? Do "less confrontational" people find it easier to go on attack in the online space? Live and let live, even in the virtual world, I say.
Being the nonfiction junkie that I am, I did a little research.
According to Bullystatistics.org:
The goal of an adult bully is to gain power over another person, and make himself or herself the dominant adult. They try to humiliate victims, and "show them who is boss."
Adult bullies were often either bullies as children, or bullied as children. Understanding this about them may be able to help you cope with the behavior. But there is little you can do about it beyond doing your best to ignore the bully, report his or her behavior to the proper authorities, and document the instances of bullying so that you can take legal action down the road if necessary.
There are several different types of adult bullies, and it helps to know how they operate:
Narcissistic Adult Bully: This type of adult bully is self-centered and does not share empathy with others. Additionally, there is little anxiety about consequences. He or she seems to feel good about him or herself, but in reality has a brittle narcissism that requires putting others down.
Impulsive Adult Bully: Adult bullies in this category are more spontaneous and plan their bullying out less. Even if consequences are likely, this adult bully has a hard time restraining his or her behavior. In some cases, this type of bullying may be unintentional, resulting in periods of stress, or when the bully is actually upset or concerned about something unconnected with the victim.
Physical Bully: While adult bullying rarely turns to physical confrontation, there are, nonetheless, bullies that use physicality. In some cases, the adult bully may not actually physically harm the victim, but may use the threat of harm, or physical domination through looming. Additionally, a physical bully may damage or steal a victim's property, rather than physically confronting the victim.
Verbal Adult Bully: Words can be quite damaging. Adult bullies who use this type of tactic may start rumors about the victim, or use sarcastic or demeaning language to dominate or humiliate another person. This subtle type of bullying also has the advantage - to the bully - of being difficult to document. However, the emotional and psychological impacts of verbal bullying can be felt quite keenly and can result in reduced job performance and even depression.
Secondary Adult Bully: This is someone who does not initiate the bullying, but joins in so that he or she does not actually become a victim down the road. Secondary bullies may feel bad about what they are doing, but are more concerned about protecting themselves.
Workplace bullying can make life quite miserable and difficult. Supervisors should be made aware of adult bullies, since they can disrupt productivity, create a hostile work environment (opening the company to the risk of a law suit) and reduce morale.
It is important to note, though, that there is little you can do about an adult bully, other than ignore and try to avoid, after reporting the abuse to a supervisor (or moderator). This is because adult bullies are often in a set pattern. They are not interested in working things out and they are not interested in compromise. Rather, adult bullies are more interested in power and domination. They want to feel as though they are important and preferred, and they accomplish this by bringing others down. There is very little you can do to change an adult bully, beyond working within the confines of laws and company regulations that are set up. The good news is that, if you can document the bullying, there are legal and civil remedies for harassment, abuse and other forms of bullying. But you have to be able to document the case.
...The reality is we cannot change chosen behaviors of grown adults. But knowing how to deal with and identify them is beneficial to all. Even if you're not the victim of adult bullying, do have the guts to stand up for someone who is. Let's be adults now! Now, back to my regularly scheduled Sunday programming with The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Nervous to see what happens next. I'll be the lady in the #TeamAmber jersey popping antacids for the hour.
(Tune in to Real Housewives on Bravo Network, 8PM EST)
To read more, visit bullystatistics.org
YESTERDAYS ARE GONE, BUT TOMORROW WILL GO ON | LIFE AS FINE ART BY CATE SCAGLIONE
How many of us spend our lives saying, "someday"...
Someday I'll go to Iceland...
Someday I'll learn to speak Italian...
Someday, we'll rent a villa in Tuscany...
Someday, I'll learn to cook...
As a working mother, my life is full of "somedays". As a parent, I came across this video and it moved me to tears. This teaches us about the fickle nature of life, the idea that loved ones can leave us. The notion that hopes don't have to die after we do. This reminds me to always teach my children to seize the day and live life with joy and wonder.
Take a watch and I'm sure you'll feel the same.
LIFE AS FINE ART by CATE SCAGLIONE: A Makeup Artist dishes her views about life with and without makeup
So much debate about makeup these days. A few days ago, I blogged about the growing "no Makeup Trend" and the Colbie video. It is definitely something that is starting to take root in the photography industry as well. Many of my colleagues are exploring this as a line of their business.
My stylist, Makeup Artistry by Miranda Richards, has her own spin on things:
"I find it such a shame that many women can't appreciate their natural face and unique features for what they are. Insecurities keep them prisoner behind their makeup mask, when it's really something that's meant to be enjoyed.
I remember a time when I couldn't leave my house without a full face of makeup. I would carry all of my essentials with me _everywhere_ I went. Sweating, humidity, and rain would give me anxiety, out of fear that my makeup would run off. Thinking back on it now, that's absolute insanity. It's a burden, and I hate when I see clients suffering from it.
I'm not sure what changed, but there are days now when I'm out all day running around with nothing on my face but moisturizer. On those days, there are moments when I do feel guilty about not wearing makeup, but not because I want to cover up and hide my face. Makeup has grown to be such a close and dear friend to me that I genuinely just love to apply, wear, experiment and grow with it.
Yes, it does make me feel more beautiful; but only in the sense that I'm enhancing the natural beauty in the features I already have, not crafting and contouring myself a new nose. Nothing makes me sadder than when I see a client scrutinizing their face because there "isn't enough" makeup on. It makes me want to shake them!"
Makeup Artistry by Miranda Richards is a stylist to my many award-winning photo sessions, celebrity clients, models and making everyday people look their very best. Miranda is available for private styling sessions. To contact Miranda, contact her at 973.510.4865 or visit her site here.