Mary Vail, MBA Publicist


"The Philanthropic Publicist (TM)"


Commentary on Public Relations, Philanthrophy, Social Media, Water Safety and Photography, among other topics.

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Natural Photography, sans photoshopping

Posted on April 6, 2016 at 6:00 PM

Natural Photography™

Often the essence of photography can be lost in post-production. There is an array of tools to “enhance” an image, but frequently those filters and applications are overused to create the “perfect” picture and scene, almost something make-believe.

A great example is @KerryWashington post today on Instagram regarding her #photoshopped image on the cover of @AdWeek, and her remark “we have become a society of picture adjusters”, hits the mark.

It’s not just magazine editors and graphic artists doing all the retouching, but also everyday people using their smart phone apps and Photoshop to apply filters and special effects before posting their images to social media.

Apps to whiten teeth, even out skin tone, remove blemishes, perform some slimming techniques, add muscles, and even make them taller. But, has the retouching become so prevalent that it’s more of a standard rather than the exception.

Pictures are the way we tell our life story, posting everything that happens on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and google, as well as creating our “wish list” with images on Pinterest and Houzz.

As an old-school photographer who started with film and darkrooms, I love to capture the moment – I hate, even despise the post-production work! I enjoy the challenge of catching the natural image, the pure, raw, original essence of the moment in time.

It is true, we don’t always have the most desirable background or lighting but part of the challenge is trying to find the angle or exposure that brings out the most unique aspects of the shoot.

While vacationing/working in CABO with my family, I photographed my daughter, Ashley for a series of lifestyle images. Yes, she is a natural beauty, she was a former model, and was a dancer/performer in Vegas production shows. She is mindful of her health, and what she eats. She turned 30 in February.

These images are taken over multiple days in various settings with natural lighting. No make-up (face or body), no post-production. Yes, there are those who will pick at details; suggest removing this or that, to enhance the coloration or minimize the shadows, retouch her skin tones, etc.

My goal was to capture the scene with natural photography™.

#photography #overphotoshopped #photoshop #natural


???If an individual does not have a presence on the internet- did they ever exist????

Posted on April 6, 2016 at 6:00 PM

“If an individual does not have a presence on the internet- did they ever exist?”

We are familiar with the philosophical question, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it - does it make a sound?” The inquiry stimulates one to ponder perception, reality, observation and existence.

Now take into consideration the following, “If an individual does not have a presence on the internet- did they ever exist?”

We have become ultra-dependent on the internet. We turn to it for all types of information, data and trivia. Our personal devices allow us immediate access to the latest news and trending topics across the globe, how to navigate from point A to point B, or the ability to Google a company or future employee.

We are immersed in our social media worlds constantly checking the status of “friends” or posting our own updates.

Experts tell us to be mindful about what we post- because it will live on the internet forever. But, what about the decades and centuries of people who were never a part of the internet age. Those who passed before the launch of LinkedIn (Dec 2002), Myspace (Aug 2003), Facebook (February 2004), Twitter (March 2006), or those who never had a website or a blog.

How does their legacy or history survive – did they ever exist?

Social media gives us the sense of importance, worth, and value. We rank our status on the number of followers and friends. Some say if you’re not on social media you are irrelevant.

Now take a moment to think beyond our familiar circles, consider the millions around the world who do not have computers, smart phones or the internet; are their lives any less relevant than our own?

Have you ever Googled someone you loved, admired, or a mentor and received the statement “No results matching…” or found over a thousand “matches” but nothing specifically on the person.

In the not too distant future the internet will completely replace traditional media, therefore unless an individual has (or had) a presence via a website, blog or social media site their existence may go unnoted, forgotten or even become extinct.

I was despondent to imagine that someone dear to me, someone who had made a significant mark in his community, an individual who was a respected leader, and community activist might become forgotten or extinct. I created a Fan page to honor his legacy, so that he too may live forever - on the internet.

Mary B. Vail, MBA is an award-winning author, publicist and philanthropist in Las Vegas, NV. In her role as a public relations representative, she has created a multitude of social media identities, blogs, on-line news stories and websites for individuals and businesses. Her father, Dr. Fred G. Leon, II was a mentor to youths and adults alike. He demonstrated the importance of community activism through his own actions and love. He passed on July 8, 1999.


Water Safety is NOT a Passive Process

Posted on April 6, 2016 at 4:55 PM

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Water Safety is NOT a Passive Process

A favorite summer pastime is to take the kids and grand-kids to enjoy the community pool, beach or lake, or even to play in one's backyard pool. Water safety is a key element to ensuring a safe and fun experience.

But, Water safety is NOT a passive process, PARENTS and ADULTS must take ACTION and be the leader by implementing and following the ABCD's of water safety. Duckie the Float Like A Duck water safety mascot shares his checklist and water safety video.

#watersafety #drowningprevention #goodparenting #FloatLikeADuck #ParagonPools