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Dullards 63: Law School Participation Trophy


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23 minutes ago, artdecades said:

This is very true. Hell, you can be an excellent homemaker and terrible blogger. Blogging is all about image. I’m sure half of those picture perfect dishes taste awful. Even queen Martha Stewart struggled with her food pictures on social media until she got a team. 

https://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelzarrell/someone-needs-to-tell-martha-stewart-her-food-tweets-are-dis

Hahaha Gross, Martha! Turn your flash off, girl!

So, at the risk of sounding like DGayle or one of her many socks, I actually know a professional food photographer. She's worked for Martha Stewart at least once before, I believe. I've seen the level of production and attention to detail that goes into her photography and it definitely isn't as simple as taking the lid off the crockpot and snapping a photo. There is lighting, and staging, and angles, and props involved! When you see a photo that looks really delicious you can bet someone worked hard to make it look that good. 

An eye for photography is both a talent and a learned skill, and it is pretty crucial to bloggers and social media influencers because, like you said, it is all about image. Jill doesn't have a good eye. Maybe she could learn, but I really don't think she has any passion or drive to do so. She's just doing this half-assed mommy vlogger thing because she's not allowed to pursue a career in medicine. 

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Taking good pictures is hard. Taking decent pictures is easy. Use the lines that come up on Instagram, and tweak. 

For food, get a pretty bowl, some light, and some color/contrasts. 

For me, the Duggars are beige. The house, the interior, the skin. An unhealthy greigeish beige. And Jills pictures reflects that. 

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9 minutes ago, Thorns said:

Taking good pictures is hard. Taking decent pictures is easy. Use the lines that come up on Instagram, and tweak. 

For food, get a pretty bowl, some light, and some color/contrasts. 

For me, the Duggars are beige. The house, the interior, the skin. An unhealthy greigeish beige. And Jills pictures reflects that. 

Very true. The fact that Jill can't even do that much is why I say she's just not cut out for it. 

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@finnlassie, you win FJ today, your Derdic drawing, complete with braces and shorts, has me in tears! You are very talented. Bravo!

Edited by SilverBeach
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I think we can all agree that there's nothing inherently wrong with the actual food Jill is cooking, regardless of our own personal tastes, but her presentation is just godawful. I'm not a professional food photographer- but I do post my tasty concoctions on Instagram for all to drool over. 3/4 angle or top-down, no flash, natural light, up the brightness, sharpness, and saturation, maybe pop a filter on there. This is this weekend's chicken soup. It's clearly not professional quality- should have removed the ladle for the picture. But I'll be damned if it doesn't look tasty. See, Jill? Not that hard. Just put an ounce of thought and effort into your photos.

Spoiler

IMG_20180315_223345_328.thumb.jpg.ddefce5a5a207b5dcb079654d558e913.jpg

 

Edited by MargaretElliott
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20 minutes ago, MargaretElliott said:

I think we can all agree that there's nothing inherently wrong with the actual food Jill is cooking

I think tastelessness is inherently wrong, and her presentation is worse.

Edited by SilverBeach
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5 minutes ago, SilverBeach said:

I think tastelessness is inherently wrong, and her presentation is worse.

Well perhaps, but everyone's taste is different. I don't think that Jill's food sounds tasty, personally, and I think she could make something much more delicious with fresh ingredients and more seasoning. But she grew up in an environment where canned food and low seasoning was the norm, and it's what she appears to cook now. My grandmother and my mother grew up eating similar food because they grew up without much money- food was designed to be cooked up quick and to feed a Catholic-sized family of kids on a shoestring budget, not necessarily to taste the best it could taste. And while nowadays, I won't eat those foods, I appreciate their history and the role they took in keeping my family fed.

I suppose my definition of "wrong" and "bad" are different here. I may think Jill's food would taste bad, but if she and her family enjoys it, then there's nothing wrong with it. What is "wrong" is her social media use, posting unflattering pictures of unimpressive, underseasoned food. The presentation is really, really awful, no matter what the food actually tastes like.

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On 8/8/2018 at 1:37 AM, MargaretElliott said:

Well perhaps, but everyone's taste is different.

Yep, and while tastelessness may be inherently wrong for me, apparently it isn't for her.

I do get tired of people talking about how she was raised with bland food being the reason she cooks that way now. I was raised by a Southern born mom with fried everything and gravy on everything. It was good tasting (I still love southern food), but not good for my waistline. In my twenties I got a couple of basic cookbooks and learned how to bake and broil meat, and cook vegetables without killing them. How I was raised did not stop me from learning new things. It's Jill's lack of curiosity that is her problem in the kitchen, not how she was raised. Somebody send her a link to Penzey's.com, stat!

On 8/8/2018 at 1:37 AM, MargaretElliott said:

What is "wrong" is her social media use, posting unflattering pictures of unimpressive, underseasoned food.

Why? That's just bad too. She posts honest pictures of the stuff she makes. There must be an audience for it. I wouldn't make her recipes, and I wouldn't post her pictures, because I think they both are bad. But that doesn't make any of it wrong, I suppose. Not for her. Just for me.

Edited by Jellybean
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@finnlassie You win everything today! I wish you could bring all my thread titles to life like that. They wouldn’t look so lame then.  

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I do think that Jill could stand to be more culinarily curious, but I suppose that kind of cooking is so dreadfully common among my family that I see it as a normal (if unpalatable) part of life. I have an aunt that insists on cooking spaghetti for 20 minutes. My uncle refused to try my pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving because it was made from scratch, not a can. Most of my family is wary of whatever I cook because I make it too "weird." What I see in Jill's food posts is what I see all around me, and its roots in poverty and hardship. It's familiar. And while it's unappetizing, it's not morally reprehensible.

I suppose I called her social media use "wrong" because she is not nearly as successful as any of her sisters with it. She could, in theory, make these bland, boring recipes at least seem appealing to a broad audience- which, I assume, was her goal when posting them on a public blog. But she fails in that, because very few of her recipes have any curb appeal, regardless of their taste. And while it might be fairly easy to try new cooking techniques and recipes, it's even easier to make your picture of the food you already made look appetizing.

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11 hours ago, PennySycamore said:

Looking at Jill's gagworthy pot roast anew, it doesn't look cooked at all.

At least no one is sitting on the roast.  

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4 minutes ago, MargaretElliott said:

I do think that Jill could stand to be more culinarily curious, but I suppose that kind of cooking is so dreadfully common among my family that I see it as a normal (if unpalatable) part of life. I have an aunt that insists on cooking spaghetti for 20 minutes. My uncle refused to try my pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving because it was made from scratch, not a can. Most of my family is wary of whatever I cook because I make it too "weird." What I see in Jill's food posts is what I see all around me, and its roots in poverty and hardship. It's familiar. And while it's unappetizing, it's not morally reprehensible.

I sure never said it was morally reprehensible! Or even not normal. It's food! Not that serious. Some of the other things they do are morally reprehensible, but not this.

I appreciate your perspective. I grew up poor, not in a deprived way but for sure no extras. We lived in a six flat city building with a concrete back yard, and played in the alley. But we still seasoned our simple food. My mom was from Arkansas, just like the Duggars, but we're black so maybe that's why our food tastes different.  It's interesting that Jill is not presently suffering poverty or hardship, but still clings to this way of cooking/eating.

9 minutes ago, MargaretElliott said:

I suppose I called her social media use "wrong" because she is not nearly as successful as any of her sisters with it.

That's why I would call it bad, as in ineffective.

7 minutes ago, MarblesMom said:

At least no one is sitting on the roast.  

I see what you did there and I need the vomit emoji.

13 minutes ago, MargaretElliott said:

And while it might be fairly easy to try new cooking techniques and recipes, it's even easier to make your picture of the food you already made look appetizing.

I agree. She's a bad food photographer. The pictures me and my DD send each other of our most recent culinary creation, or even dinner, look far better. Presentation is important.

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47 minutes ago, SilverBeach said:

It's interesting that Jill is not presently suffering poverty or hardship, but still clings to this way of cooking/eating.

I still eat that way - it's my "comfort" food. But not as much as I did. I'm working very hard at being more cognizant of healthier choices. When I was her age? I cooked shit like that, too - because that's what little I "knew" of cooking.

 

 

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10 hours ago, lizzybee said:

Jill could also benefit by buying some daylight bulbs for her kitchen if she wants to take  pictures of her food. She may not be a photographer but it would help every picture not come out yellow. 

She should do this regardless.   Their lighting is really depressing.   There's I'm cooking lighting and I'm eating with kids lighting and I'm chillin' lighting....etc.   Their lighting is somehow always creepy basement lighting. 

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@SilverBeach  I totally get you on the " our people's poor food is delicious " thing.  Italians are like that.  Cheap cuts of meat slow cooking in sauce and seasoning generations grew whether they could afford otherwise or not.  They like their edible gardens.  We love with food.  There are plenty of non meat dishes, too poor.  My grandfather would tell me how they stuffed ravioli with more pasta often and it was good cause herbs, garlic and sauce.  

 

@MarblesMom  That was hand down the best sneaky mention of the MMS that will ever be!  Bravo!

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6 hours ago, Hashtag Blessed said:

So, at the risk of sounding like DGayle or one of her many socks, I actually know a professional food photographer. She's worked for Martha Stewart at least once before, I believe. I've seen the level of production and attention to detail that goes into her photography and it definitely isn't as simple as taking the lid off the crockpot and snapping a photo. There is lighting, and staging, and angles, and props involved! When you see a photo that looks really delicious you can bet someone worked hard to make it look that good

I'm not a sock either, but I also know a professional food photographer.  He has done photo shoots for Paula Deen and has had his photos on many magazine covers and has them displayed in grocery stores.  He is very interesting to talk to about his unusual profession.  Not sure I'd want to eat dinner with Jill and Derek.

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7 hours ago, Thorns said:

Taking good pictures is hard. Taking decent pictures is easy. Use the lines that come up on Instagram, and tweak. 

I disagree - some people don't have a natural eye for photos, but others don't, and it takes years of practice, and I think it's really important to remember that Jill wasn't allowed even a smartphone until relatively recently, let alone apps like instagram.  So while other young women her age will have been learning this since they were around 13-5, Jill has had to picked up the skill as an adult.   And given the fact she didn't have a phone as a kid, she probably took any photos as a teen on a DSLR (we know Jinger did), and I know I found it weird transitioning from DSLR to phones, especially if she doesn't have one with a good camera. 

I can never decide if she just can't tell the difference between a bad photo and a good one (and lots of people can't, just like lots of people are tone deaf, or colour blind.  I know that art is subjective, but I've got family members who take terrible photos of people, but really love them, because they're (bad) pictures of people/places they love) or if she just doesn't care - like maybe she knows that a bit of cropping and spending 5 minutes choosing the right filter  won't make that much of a difference, and it's not what she wants to spend her time on.

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Those Martha Stewart Food Photos though ! Seriously should be part of some sort of required training on “ people who seem like they do everything better than you online still suck at something “ Would seriously boost everybody’s self-esteem and ease anxiety 

Even Jill could feel super great after looking at those.

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I work as an art director at a magazine where we often ask people we interview to send in photos of themselves and I can tell you that many, many people have no knowledge at all about thechnology or photos. They will send in photos that are so small they are impossible to print or so blury you can’t see what they look like. Or a photo of themselves at a party, for a serious interview in a workrelated setting that all of their colleauges will read. :pb_rollseyes:

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@finnlassie I so needed a good laugh and that drawing has me cracking up! Bravo!

It is still unbelievable to me that Dwreck gave up a job in a secure field for one of the most well known companies in the US to do the shit he has.  

If he was still with Walmart they probably could have made some ad deal with Jill posting meal/receipes made entirely out of ingredients she bought in their stores. Now Walmart is also in the meal kit business, they could be advertising those as their stay at home #morebangforyourbuck date night meals. 

At the very least they would be getting a discount on clothes, food, diapers, and oh yeah, a paycheck.

 

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I'm trying to figure out how "JB made a couple million!" translates to one of his NINETEEN kids being upper middle class. 

Edited by RainbowSky
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3 hours ago, bella8050 said:

At the very least they would be getting a discount on clothes, food, diapers, and oh yeah, a paycheck.

Silly @bella8050, you don’t need a paycheck when you have Jesus. :pb_rollseyes:

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12 hours ago, VaSportsMom said:

@finnlassie You win everything today! I wish you could bring all my thread titles to life like that. They wouldn’t look so lame then.  

Good idea, good idea... :giggle:

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7 hours ago, Iamtheway said:

I work as an art director at a magazine where we often ask people we interview to send in photos of themselves and I can tell you that many, many people have no knowledge at all about thechnology or photos. They will send in photos that are so small they are impossible to print or so blury you can’t see what they look like. Or a photo of themselves at a party, for a serious interview in a workrelated setting that all of their colleauges will read. :pb_rollseyes:

I'm a graphic designer at a printer. I see a LOT of the same sort of thing. For some reason builders and real estate people like to put their photos on their business cards. Luckily, business cards are small so resolution is not usually a huge problem, but the quality of the images often is! A guy drunk at his sister's wedding, red faced and blurry. Backlit silhouettes where you can barely tell the person has a face. One woman "retouched" her own photo, to the point that only her eyes are sharp. Barbie has more natural looking skin than this woman's photo does, it's one big smear. And then there are the people who want a tiny Facebook photo blown up to wall poster size...

Today I'm working on a yearly project that involves head shots of a large number of people. It took a couple years of "giving advice" to get them to turn off the flash and have the guys step away from the wall so it didn't look like a mugshot. Now they've got a hobbyist photographer taking the photos, and they're... OK. Not great. Resolution is very good, no terrible shadows, the lighting is all over the place, but they're a definite improvement over the first few years! If I get to talk to their photographer I'll suggest they switch to RAW files, and that will help a lot too.

Jill may not have a photographer's eye, but she can learn a few basics. Natural light, make it look inviting, if it's just a quick snap then say so.

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