The Weekly Wrap: Creative & Freelance News

Beyonce helps photographer make history. The bloggers who went too far. New apps. The social media platform that was hacked...AND MORE

Vogue Cover to be Shot By Black Photographer for the 1st Time

By Jen Keys [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

Beyonce is helping a black photographer make history.

In over a century, Vogue has reportedly never allowed a black photographer to shoot the cover. But this year, editor Anna Wintour, reportedly gave Beyonce “unprecedented control” of the September issue’s cover and she hired a 23-year-old black photographer named Tyler Mitchell to shoot her.

Mitchell attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. And his work has appeared in publications such as Teen Vogue, Vogue US, The Fader,  and Office Magazine. His client list has also included Mercedes Benz, Marc Jacobs, Nike, Converse, and Ray-Ban, says PetaPixel.

Sometimes it’s a shame the things we have to celebrate. If it’s true that Vogue hasn’t worked with any black photographers for covers to date, Conde’ Naste, Vogue execs and Anna Wintour should be very ashamed.

Top Vogue Staffers Going Freelance

Tonne Goodman, Vogue’s fashion director, and Phyllis Posnick, the executive fashion editor will give up their staff positions and become contributing editors, the New York Times reported.

“It was just time,” according to Posnick . “Tonne and I were the only two fashion editors in the world who couldn’t do other work,” she says. But with their new freelance positions they’ll have that liberty.

It’s said that little else will change, at least to outsiders. Goodman and Posnick will continue shooting for the magazine and will attend fashion shows with Vogue.

But the change is also likely to be good for Conde’ Nast’s budget. A former top executive said the two ladies’ total compensation combined is likely in the ballpark  of a million-dollars. And Condé Nast is facing declining revenue as they face the reality of the shift from print to digital.

Blogger Loses Followers for Period Pic

UK blogger Gracie Francesca, who calls herself “the Internet’s big sister,” thinks it’s “wild” that she got a negative response for posting a picture of herself laying next to a period stain.

She says she lost 150 followers after the post.

Afterward, she created another post saying, “2018 and people are still grossed out over period blood. We are still full of shame and embarrassment over something so so so natural,” she continued.

“I knew it was bad but I didn’t realize it was THIS bad. Still inspired to create more conversations though,” she added.

In a Cosmopolitan article, writer Catriona Harvey-Jenner says “We need people like Grace, though, who are willing to go out of their comfort zone to start conversations like this, if we want anything to change.”

Why? Why in the hell is it a “need” for people to post images of period leaking.
And call me a little slow, but I’m not sure what the “conversation” is here. As a  grown woman I don’t need to see another woman’s stains to know that periods are normal. Nor do I believe that people who don’t care to share or see bloody pics are suffering from shame or embarrassment.


Reddit Was Hacked

On Wednesday, Reddit announced the company was hacked in June. The company says only a small number of users were affected and they are being notified.

The hackers gained access to a variety of data, including user emails, source code, internal files. Logs related to email digests were compromised for dates between June 3  and June 17, 2018. According to Wired, that info allows the hacker to connect the username to the associated email address.

“All Reddit data from 2007 and before” was also compromised through a database backup. Wired says if you were using Reddit back then, details such as your email address, username, and password has been exposed. So, if you haven’t already changed your password, now is the time.

This attack was reportedly possible because some high-level administrative accounts were using SMS-based two-factor authentication, which is known in the tech community to be risky.

But  Reddit’s chief technology officer Christopher Slowe must not be among the in-crowd because he said, “We learned that SMS-based authentication is not nearly as secure as we would hope, and the main attack was via SMS intercept.”

If your email address was one of those affected, Reddit encourages you “think about whether there’s anything on your Reddit account that you wouldn’t want associated back to that address.”

Blogger Faces Backlash Over Bleach Bath

Carmie Sellitto, aka Touchdalight on YouTube, faced backlash from some of his followers for sharing a video of him bathing in bleach. He even dunks his face in it.  This stunt caused his skin to start peeling off, he says in the video, which ends with him allegedly heading to the hospital.

It got at least 1.8 million views on YouTube. But after he posted  to Twitter, with the caption “This is the dumbest shit I ever done,” that’s when it seems the outrage started.

According to Mirror, in addition to believing it was irresponsible, many worried about young copy cats turning  bleach baths into a trend.

The video has been deleted. But if you just can’t live without seeing it for yourself, here’s a condensed version posted on Tom Stockdale’s YouTube page.

Actress Launches App For Creatives

Maisie Williams, who starred in Game of Thrones, launched Daisie, an app she co-created to offer networking opportunities for creatives.

Currently, people in film, fashion, music, photography, art and literature can share content and connect. But Williams hopes to expand it to include other industries and languages.

She hopes people are able to use organic connections and skill development to move up.

By removing the incentive to market their personal lives for popularity, our users will not be drowned out by the noise of snack-snaps and selfies, she tweeted.

The app is currently only available for iOS. The Android version is coming. And there’s a desktop version slated for 2019, says CNET.

Proxy Pics Creating On-Demand Freelance Photography

A startup called Proxy Pics has launched an app that matches people who need location-specific photos with those who can take them right away.

Say, a realtor needs to see a particular property. She would post a request through Proxy Pics and users within a 10-mile radius are notified of the address.

When a person claims a job, the pictures must be taken within 30 minutes. Pictures are sold to the client for $5 each and the on-demand photographer gets $3.25 of that.

Since the app launched in April, its use has been expanding.

“The initial idea was to provide photos for the real estate industry, but we’ve also seen interest from insurance companies, news stations and even individuals,” says CEO and founder Luke Tomaszewski . “We’ve had people request photos of cars they’re interested in buying, and even a street cleaning sign,” he told Built In Chicago.

Although the service is available nationwide, it’s reportedly getting the most play from users in Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston and Dallas.

Proxy Pics has its sights set on expanding to Spain, and then eventually being used for education. The company is also working on narrowing the radius, enabling video and having users who can take interior real estate photos, says BIC.

Company Launching Short-term Disability for Freelancers

This week, Trupo announced its arrival. Trupo is an insurance company that offers short-term disability to freelancers and the self-employed.

The company is launching its service in Georgia later this summer but says they plan to expand to other markets. Freelancers in Georgia can request an invitation now and they’ll be notified when the service comes online.

According to MarketWatch, the insurance will cost $20 – $50 a month and cover up to 50% of lost income that results from illness or injury. Benefits will be available for up to 12 weeks.

Trupo is a joint venture between the Freelancers Union and Sequoia Capital, a Silicon Valley -based venture capital firm.

Huda Beauty Blasted for Stealing Photo

Em Ford, the face behind the My Pale Skin Blog on Instagram, put Huda Beauty on blast for taking one of her pictures.

Ford suffers from acne and uses her platforms to promote skin positivity.  But her picture was shown on Huda Beauty’s Facebook page promoting an article about acne scars. The post said “The only thing worse than a breakout, is the little scars they leave behind.”

Ford lashed out via Instagram saying:

Dear @Hudabeauty, I wanted to say thank you for using my #skinpositivity images to tell the world that my face full of scars is worse than active breakouts…“Since 2015, I have used my platforms and voice to talk about hate online, and why perpetuating beauty standards has very real, and very serious consequences.”

She finished her post by saying: “So @Hudabeauty… I’ll leave you with one question. “Do you want to be part of the problem? Or part of the solution?”

The Sun says it’s believed that a Huda Beauty employee was responsible, but founder Huda Kattan accepted responsibility and apologized to Ford on her Instagram story. The post with Ford’s picture has been removed.

Kuwati Social Media Star Loses Corporate Sponsors

Sondos al-Qattan’s, a Kuwaiti beauty blogger with 2.3 million Instagram followers, made some comments that her corporate sponsors weren’t feeling.

She was responding to a law that expanded the rights of Filipino domestic workers, including allowing them to have time off and keep their own passports.

In a video Al-Qattan asked if domestic workers keep their own passports and run off who will reimburse her. She said they shouldn’t be able to travel without their employers permission. “What’s worse is they have one day off every week,” she also said, pointing out that that totals four days a month that they won’t be working.

Following the backlash, as she continued to push her entitled positions, she said “No one bring it up to me, because it is not important. There are more important things in life. Like Botox.”

Max Factor Arabia, MAC cosmetics, Anastasia Beverly Hills and several European boutique cosmetic brands severed ties with her, meaning she will no longer be paid to endorse them and use their products in her videos, reported Quartzy.

See: Who Is Getting Paid Mega-Bucks For Instagram Posts

In response, Al-Qattan allegedly threatened to rally her followers to boycott the brands and declared that the action was an attack on hijab-wearers, Muslims and Gulf nationals.

See the nonsense in this video posted by the Middle East Eye:

Writer Finds Herself in Ads Around The World

Author, freelance writer and artist Shubnum Khan found out her face was being used to promote Canadian immigration because a friend informed her. She didn’t mind that too much, she said on Twitter.

But then, her face turned up in a McDonald’s ad in China. And that wasn’t all.

When she reversed Googled  herself, she found out she was the face of dental sedation in Virginia Beach. She discovered that she often took on  new personalities, and her name was Seng Bonny when she was leading tours in Cambodia. She was Chandra from California. She was on  magazines and books, and the list goes on.

How did it happen?

On Twitter, she explained that six or seven years ago she participated in a free  photo shoot and didn’t read the release that she signed. In addition to giving the photographer rights to the photos, she also consented to “distortion of character including false names.”

The photographer later started selling the photos through a stock image site, and apparently there was demand from Shubnum’s face.

She says she never received any money for any of the ads. Initially when she complained to the photographer, he told her everything was legal. But when she complained that as an author she could be recognized, he removed the pictures, says the quint.

Massachusetts Artists Are Struggling

A new report found that only 17% of creatives in Massachusetts can support themselves solely on their creative work.

“2018 By Artist, For Artists” looked at 846 creative entrepreneurs, including visual artists, writers, new media, filmmakers, and more, says WBUR. It found that, on average, the participants were highly educated yet in most cases they were brought in less than $40,000 a year.

Half of the participants also reported suffering a business loss from their creative ventures.

The report’s lead writer and project manager Kathleen Bitetti says artists circumstances haven’t improved over the past decade. “There has been really no movement upward economically for artists. It’s not a pretty picture,” she says.

3 Russian Freelancers Killed In Central African Republic

Three seasoned war reporters were ambushed in Central Africa Republic while working on a freelance assignment for the Investigation Control Center (ICC), an investigative journalism project sponsored by exiled former tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

They were supposedly digging into reports that Russian mercenaries from private military firm the Wagner Group were fighting in the country.

According to reports, war correspondent Orkhan Dzhemal, documentary filmmaker Alexander Rastorguyev, and cameraman Kirill Radchenko spent weeks trying to find a Russian-speaking interpreter and finding security advisers was more challenging, so they were working without security guards.

On Monday night, they were headed from the capital to the northern town of Bangui although they were warned against traveling at night says the BBC.

Nine men wearing turbans and speaking Arabic reportedly stopped the freelancers at a roadblock and shot them. The killers haven’t been identified and there isn’t a clear motive yet. It was reported that they had expensive camera equipment and over $8,000 that disappeared.

The Briefs

This week, a video surfaced with a man pleading to be rescued. That man is believed to Japanese journalist Jumpei Yasuda, who went missing in Syria in 2015.

In the video, there are two masked men with guns standing behind him. He claims he’s Koren and his name is Umaru but he’s speaking Japanese. The Japanese government believes it’s Yasuda and has vowed to do what’s necessary to rescue him, reported the Toronto Star. found that 86% of freelancers prefer to receive digital payments and 41% require them. Customers who pay electronically tend to pay on time, the majority of the freelancers and contractors surveyed say.

But over half of them say they are still paid by check. And two problems with that is it takes too long to get paid and many clients don’t pay when they’re supposed to, reported Citizen Tribune. acquired iAfrica, a respected South African news source that focuses on local and global topics. is media holding company . The chairman and CEO, Teresa Clarke says combining the editorial, technology, and marketing resources of the two  will bring more original content and better site performance to both. iAfrica will get a South African version of top 10 news and will feature more creative content forms, such as creative content in the form of slideshows, videos, and infographics, reported Ventures.

Best Buy will offer photography workshops via their new Camera Experience Shop. Two-hour Beginner workshops will be offered on a monthly basis. Over the next three months the workshops will cover back to school photography, concert photography and Halloween photography. And they’re free.

Half-day intermediate workshops will also be held. Currently, they’re slated for  Atlanta, Houston, San Diego, Tampa, Seattle, Minneapolis, and New York. The next two topics are “Travel & Exploring” and “Social Sharing & Storytelling.” These cost $50 and include transportation, lunch and a snack, says PetaPixel.

So folks, that’s your Weekly Wrap. If happy hour calls, please answer responsibly!

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