Decorative Traditions

In 2007 my mother moved to a new house with lake front property. The house was around thirty years old and desperately needed renovation. Over the next five years rooms were stripped down to the bones, or studs, and built anew. As we moved walls, raised floors, and wired sockets, we had the vision of making this house our own. Our last name is Fisher and we wanted to make that well known that this was our work.

Fish themed salt and pepper shakers.

Over the past two years we collected various fish and aquatic decorations to adorn the walls and shelves of our home. In 2010 I married my beautiful wife after which we started a home of our own. My mother had full intentions of continuing this fish themed tradition with her children and the generations to come. She obtained various aquatic themed kitchenware for my wife including our entire dish set. Since then we have carried on the tradition by expanding our assortment of marine life through out our home.

We expanded our fish theme by implementing other aquatic life.

A tradition is something that gets passed from generation to generation, but it has to start somewhere. Our family’s decorative tradition is still at the very beginning. Most people wouldn’t even consider it a tradition at this stage, and neither did I until the other day my mother brought home a large bag of fish related nursery decorations for our first child who hasn’t even been conceived yet.

I hope this tradition of aquatic decorating lives on through our family line. It is a fun and lively way for our family to express our individuality and family pride.

Can you have decorations in your own home that relate to your family’s name?  Reply in the comments below…if you are having trouble see if your last name means something in a different language.
My family loves to make desserts. Whenever the women of the family get together you always know that something delightful will pop out of the oven. For a family gathering you can make cookies that ressemble your family name. I will show you how to make sugar cookies, fish shaped ones in this case.

How to Make Fish Cookies!

Step 1

Set the oven to 375 degrees.

Step 2

Dump contents of dry sugar cookie mix into mixer.

Step 3

Add one egg.

Step 4

Add 2 tablespoons of milk.

Step 5

…and one stick of butter (4 ounces).

Step 6

Mix it all up!

Step 7

Spread flour onto parchment paper.

Step 8

Flatten cookie batter onto parchment paper.

Step 9

Choose your fish cookie cutter.

Step 10

Cut out the cookies.

Step 11

Place on baking sheet. (line baking sheet with parchment paper for day removal).

Step 12

Bake for 10 minutes and let cool.

Final Step!








Perspective of a Local Immigrant

Brenda is proud to be an American citizen

Brenda is a legal immigrant from Canada. Work was hard to find for her husband, so they moved to Silicon Valley in California. After a long process of visas and permanent residency she was able to apply for US citizenship. She believes that her immigration is not like those from other countries. Canada and the United States are so similar that she felt that she didn’t have to perserve and old culture or adapt to a new one. Being in America has and will give her five children the opportunities and resources to be successful in their education and occupations. Brenda is proud to be part of and contribute to such a great nation.

Kelli Connell and Gender Roles


Kelli Connell uses composite images to question gender roles.

In her work Double Life, Kelli Connell uses Photoshop to composite two images of the same model into one photograph. She uses the technique to recreate believable relationships that never occured. She has the model play both the female and male gender roles to expose the view of the self. By combining the two images of the same model she can show a inner conflict within a person or couple. Kelli Connell is able to demonstrate two alternate roles that a person may take in a relationship.

Kitchen Tension

The use of clothing helps Kelli Connell to enrich the perspective of the gender roles.

Kelli Connell has said that the purpose of her work is not only to show a point of view, but to gain a reaction and to analyze the social constructs of others. As part of this post I have created two photographs as a rebuttal to her work. Kelli’s photographs use one person playing two gender roles in a relationship that is not real. My photographs are perhaps the opposite of her technique, but similar in concept.


Both husband and wife are the breadwinners.

The first photograph shows both the husband and wife as the breadwinners of the family. Dressed in the same color showing that they can both take on this traditional gender role because of their marriage. The second photograph shows the couple folding laundry and preparing meals, which are the roles typically associated with the homemaker.  The use of identical colors in clothing in the images also resembles the married couple coming together as a family.


A husband and wife performing household chores together. A real photograph of a relationship that may seem unbelievable to some.

My two images show the self in a real relationship, a marriage to be exact. Through the relationship the couple is able to be a part of both gender roles, while maintaining gender identity. Because of the husband and wife’s relationship with each other, their choices are expanded rather than diminished; unlike Kelli Connell’s constructions where the subject must chose between one role or the other, because the model can not in reality be both people  in the photograph. Both Kelli Connell’s and my work show the differences between relationships. They examine how some relationships can be one sided, some 50/50, and others (particularly the one portrayed in my photographs) two people giving 100% of themselves together to create one great whole. Both sets of photographs should help to question the inner self and examine personal relationships and the quality thereof.

Both my images were digitally unaltered except for increasing the entire image’s exposure value through the use of computer software. This was done to provide clarity and to compensate for poor set lighting, insomuch that more can now be seen in the shadows of the image.


Maybe It’s Maybelline, Maybe It’s Photoshop

This commercial isn’t real and neither are society’s standards of beauty.

I’ve known plenty of girls throughout my life who have had low self-esteem because of the way they look. The beauty industry has been telling them since they were born that they aren’t pretty enough. They are constantly bombarded by photography of women that are more beautiful, more flawless, and less fat. The industry has used digital manipulation to make their models achieve an impossible perfection. Women are held to a standard of beauty that is literally unobtainable. Models and celebrities are also starving their bodies to drop dress sizes to the point of it being a health risk.


Somebody get those ladies a cheeseburger!

Top 3 Problems with the Beauty Industry:

  1. Beauty products show unrealistic and unobtainable results.
  2. Models are so skinny that a regular person who is in shape is considered a plus size!
  3. Women and girls are bombarded by “you don’t look this good” advertising.
The average girl gets 180 minutes of media exposure every day. All of the advertisements from the beauty industry tell her that she is too fat, has complexion problems, and don’t even make me mention what they say about her hair. She is a victim of their advertising. Even though she buys all of their products she can never seem to look as the girl in the commercial. She plummets into a depression and leaves her self-esteem in the mirror on the bathroom sink. She tells herself “No matter how hard I try, I will never be beautiful.”
The Industry however gets what they want. They get her dollar. Even though the young girl is depressed she will pour thousands of dollars into makeup, hair products, and possibly elective surgeries throughout her life. Something has to be done to protect young girls and women from failing into this self-destructive trap. There is a place for makeup and hairspray. That place is where cosmetics help to enhance individuality and self-worth. Makeup was not meant to be running down the face of a distraught thirteen year old girl in the corner.

Some sites to help girls with self-esteem issues concerning beauty

Click here to sign the petition to pass the Media and Public Health Act

Sources: -Video and awareness of topic – Supporting statistics – Supporting Statisics


Hi, I’m Brent and this is my blog for social change. I am a photography student at West Valley College. This blog was created for a class called New Media and Social Change. The class has an emphasis on photography and which images can be trusted. Digital Manipulation runs rampant throughout our society today. I will be blogging about when it is appropriate and when it has dire consequences. Many would consider me to be blogging from a conservative view, but I will simply be trying to display the facts as they are. I hope this blog will inspire you to change something in the world around you.