Author Archives: Ally

Mental Illness and Suicide is NOT A JOKE Logan Paul

Mental illness is a horrible, terrible, soul stealing  illness that can get bad enough to think the only way out is to die. There is nothing funny about it.   Logan Paul has a long way to go to show he’s sorry for joking & using video and photos of a suicide victim for clickbait. Is his apology for real?

I am not associated with Logan Paul or his Brand. I do not approve of his actions, nor do I support him or the content he makes.  He is all about diss tracks,  being rude, hurtful and even hateful to others, when my entire platform has always been to Treat People With Kindness.  Its what I have been saying from the very beginning.  That, and to #BeBrave and Stand Up to bullying and talking honestly and candidly about mental illness, because I believe that it’s the best way to help #EndTheStigma.

Recently, I had become aware of the stomach turning video, ‘I found a dead body in the suicide forest’. At first I had thought it was a really poor and cruel joke- but the thing was, it absolutely wasn’t.

Logan Paul and a small group of his friends had gone out to  Aokigahara, or ‘Japanese Suicide forest’. The forest is a common place where people unfortunately end their lives, and there are hundreds of deaths each year. I do not know what he was ‘expecting’, but when he found the body of a victim, he decided to show it.

That’s right. He filmed the man’s body, poorly blurring out his face but giving clear view of the rest of him. He proceeded to laugh a little and make jokes with his friends, and while he claims that was a coping tactic, there was a way to avoid that even being seen- by NOT filming there at all. Or even better, not visiting the site where people end their lives because they’re in so much misery they’d rather die than keep going. To me? That doesn’t sound like a good idea at all -let alone to try and get some Adsense money from YouTube, knowing it would grab quick views., especially having the poor taste to put the body on the thumbnails.

Not only did it cause pain to the victim and his family, it made his young and impressionable viewers have a view of suicide that wasn’t accurate. They had no idea of what happens beforehand, the things that can cause you to get to that point.

As someone who has attempted suicide myself, it haunted me for a while after I watched it.  It still bothers me. How can someone take light of it? The point of the video was obviously not to show the real effects of suicide. It was for shock value.

I will never forget the feeling that there was no other way to end the pain that I was in , other than to die.  I honestly thought the world would be better off without me.  This wasn’t a joke, or funny. It was the very depths of despair.

So now, a few weeks later he puts up an “apology” video.  I will say that the video was a good start but it is NOT enough  Its a small start to what needs to be bg changes if Logan wants to prove that he’s truly sorry and understands his mistakes.  I think he needs to continue to show support to suicide victims, spread awareness, and make sure his young viewers do not view it as something funny. It’s something that so many people have to deal with, and I am one of them.  Mental illness and Suicide have a ripple effect that  touched many people, especially  the families involved. I know what pain my illness and attempt caused my family. and I’m thankful I have people to support me. My Mom has always been my rock and I know upset she was about his videos.  Her pain is shared by loved ones everywhere of people with mental illness.

Logan used a screenshot of an article I was in.  USA Today in 2013 wrote about my story, and it was able to showcase how I came through my difficult times. However, Logan or whoever made the video never asked for my contacted me, and  I would have said NO. I was only even aware  that my photo was in his video was that  a friend told me.

To his fans- I want you to learn and recognize that your idols can make mistakes. But they have to truly show you they’ve changed through actions. Not just one single video, or a large donation. That’s a start -but continuing to show that you learned and were able to grow is how you can tell.  Let’s see how long Logan  continue to work to help the mental health community, and if he will continue his outreach, or will he stop as soon as the furor dies down?

The way to bringing awareness to Mental Illness isn’t by making a joke out of it. Mental illness is real, terrible disease and suicide is just one symptom of it.  It can steal all the joy from peoples lives, in fact, it can steal people lives away from them.  That someone would use  this type of pain as click bait say a lot about the type of person that he is, and the type of society we have become. Maybe it’s just me, but  I’d love to see a world where kindness and positivity  is more valued than meanness and hate.

I think that the world will be watching Logan Paul to see if he has indeed, changed, or if was a media ploy. I’ll be listening, and continuing on my mission to help End The Stigma of Mental Illness.

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If you need help, please reach out. 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Call 1-800-273-8255

Crisis Textline, Free 24/7 Support: Text 741741


How To Get Amazing Concert Photos Without a Pro Camera

I have been taking photos at concerts I go to for about 4 years now, and the main question I get asked is

How do I get good photos without a professional camera?

Now, I am not really a professional. I’m just an avid concert goer who has learned a lot through trial and error, and I’ve had some good luck with photos I’ve taken. Some have gone viral, others are my own personal pride and joy. I have decided to share some ways to get good concert photos using a point and shoot camera.

First of all, choosing a camera does make a lot of difference. Luckily as time goes on, cameras are able to fit more and more into smaller bodies. An issue I had this year was smaller venues I was going to for Harry Styles had rules about the size of the camera, as most venues do. It is almost common practice for any venue to ban cameras with detachable lenses or lenses that extend from a powered off camera. My original go to was a Kodak Z990. It is an older camera, but it hadn’t failed me from 2014 and on. Unfortunately, though it is a point and shoot, it would not be allowed into the venues I was going for. My best bet was a pocket sized camera.

The camera I used to collect these shots was the Canon Powershot SX730. I personally love the camera and the fact it has 40x optical zoom. It also had built in stabilization. I will also link other cameras I have found to work well in concert settings.

Nikon Coolpix A900 –  35x Zoom

Nikon Coolpix S9700– 30x zoom

Panasonic DMC-ZS50K LUMIX – 30x zoom

  1. PRACTICE – Obviously, practice makes perfect. But in this case, it is important to get to know your camera a bit beforehand. I suggest buying your camera a month or at the least, a week beforehand so you can play around with settings and lighting.  Another tip is before the artist you wish to picture comes on, test out the zoom and take a few photos of the stage area so you can get used to the general angles and direction you’ll be shooting in. Think of photos you want to take and try your best to make them a reality!  TAKE PHOTOS OF THE OPENING ACT! Practice on them, enjoy the music while you get the best settings for lighting as the house lights will most likely be down.
  2. Expect Blurry Shots – As you’ll most likely read with other photographer advice, you may take 200 photos and only find 20 you like, if that. The person I was photographing, Harry Styles, is like a jumping bean on stage during certain songs. It was difficult sometimes to get a good shot, and while it was frustrating for a moment, taking a moment to realize It was just one shot out of many made me feel better. Try and shoot slower songs, songs where the artist may not be moving around too much. For example, some of my best shots came from Just a Little Bit of Your Heart cover, Meet Me in the Hallway, and Sign of the Times. I knew from watching videos beforehand that he stayed a bit more still during these songs. I got one of my favorite shots during sign of the times, a good shot of his jawline along with the flag in the background.
  3. LIGHTS – Concerts most of the time have a lot of interesting lighting. It can either be your camera’s best friend, or worst enemy. My suggestion is to play with the light, take some more ‘Artsy’ than normal photos. Harry had a lot of different colors, and when I realized with this lighting set up that i could n0t get a good facial photo, I played with the angles and light the best I could to get these.
  4. Have FUN-  Ok, getting to the cheesy part. But make sure you take some time to put the camera down. Enjoy the music, live in the moment. Its easier said than done, but you most likely have waited for a long time for that night, so take time to enjoy it. I sometimes need to take this advice myself. I get overly excited because photography is my passion and I do adore Mr. Styles, and he very kind to my camera. Taking a few songs to just listen and watch will help the experience.

If anyone has any other questions, feel free to DM my Instagram, @allydelmonte, and I will do my best to help!

 

This post contains some affiliate links- which  give me a tiny commission if you were to purchase something from mylinks…

5 Ways To Get Ready for a New Year

Let’s face it- so many people plan on working on new goals once January 1 comes around, and many of those goals  revolve around losing weight and getting healthier.   Everyone spends time figuring out a “diet plan” when they also need to learn about how to go about eating properly!

  1. Drink plenty of water
    If you stay hydrated you will be less likely to confuse thirst with hunger and reach for a snacks instead of a glass of water.  It is important to be drinking anywhere from 2-3 liters off water a day!  Just remember that eggnog does not count, you may feel that you are getting enough liquid but it is extremely important to be getting just water!  So remember to throw in a glass of water between those holiday cocktails!
  2. Knowing when to eat and not to eat
    Do you know when you’re hungry?  Many people don’t, and it can take a long time- 6-8 hours for our body to tell us we need to eat!  There are lots of times we THINK we are hungry, however- when we smell good smells,  see something yummy, or even being asked if we want something to eat!  Its hard to learn to recognize when you are truly hungry, but  its important to know if it’s real hunger or just a craving.  Also,  when you ARE ready to eat eat slowly and wait a bit before grabbing seconds. It can take your body up to 20 minutes to realize that we are full!  
  3. Don’t skip meals
    Holiday DAYS seem to run  together- and it’s easy to skip a meal here and there (Especially after sleeping late after a late night!) The trick is NOT to skip meals then  play catch up later with  a huge meal- you need to eat small amounts all day.  With the stress of the holidays and  not getting enough calories, your  body can enter starvation mode, holding on to what it does have (calories)  for when it needs it!  When you do eat, your body will hold onto as many calories as it can for when it needs it next.   Plan for small meals- an apple and some peanut butter, some cheese and crackers,  nuts and fruit, instead of a full sit down meal once a day!
  4. Use the right Supplements
    Even when you try to eat right, you can miss some important nutrients!   I love to have a smoothie in the morning with fruits, Whey Advantage protein powder, and  almond milk.  Since I have  autoimmune disease (Diabetes and Lymes Disease) I also  use a Joint Supplement for my tendons and ligaments. and I always use a complete multivitamin.   Also be sure to research and use a trusted brand of supplements. They are not all created equal!
  5. Get enough sleep
    The Holiday season takes a lot out of us, and we don’t realize it!  One of the first things to go is sleep, and yet, it’s on of the most important.  Once we get run down, it’s hard to regroup and  we the worse we fill, we can turn to  sugar and carbs to keep us going.  Fill up  on the right things– including SLEEP!

Following these tips, a healthy meal plan (no  fad diets!) and  a sensible exercise plan is what you need to get started! Its nice to make goals and plans, but its also nice to love and take care of yourself while doing it!