Customers above Brands!

I have recently had an unpleasant taste with the United Parcel Service (aka UPS) based on a escalating cases and experiences with them.

Based on the 2013 mission statement of UPS: What We Seek to Achieve: Grow our global business by serving the logistics needs of customers, offering excellence and value in all that we do. Maintain a financially strong company-with broad employee ownership-that provides a long-term competitive return to our share owners.

Let's break their mission statement down with respect to the mistakes and fails I have experienced with them and how a company with such unprofessional operations should actually file a Chapter 11 as opposed to grow.

1) SERVING THE LOGISTICS NEEDS OF CUSTOMERS - FAILED!

I have recently moved from Boston to Los Angeles with my fiance to embark on this beautiful and exciting new life only to be annoyed by the inefficient business structure of UPS.

The main purpose and function of UPS, as stated on their mission statement, is to serve to the logistics needs of their customers. Get one package from Destination A to Destination B within the requested time. Well, guess what, UPS screwed up big time with that expected main function.

I have created 19 labels for 19 boxes late August, before we left Boston, to be delivered to Los Angeles. Measured the box sizes and weighed each of them and paid about $1940 total. Aside from the fact that their website is a huge chaos, I was informed by Customer Service that with an app they call "MyChoice" we can reschedule the delivery date so that we can receive all of our 19 boxes on that desired date.

After hauling the boxes downstairs one by one and getting them picked up by the UPS driver, who showed up at 7:30pm, I got on MyChoice to change the delivery dates. ($5 extra cost per box if you want to change the delivery date)

With much struggle and stress with their system and interface, I have managed to receive written confirmation that all 19 boxes will be delivered on September 8th. 

Today, September 8th; as I am writing this blog in full frustration, our boxes have not been delivered. Sooooooo that is Fail #1

2) OFFERING EXCELLENCE AND VALUE IN ALL THAT WE DO - FAIL!

For a business to be successful, the brand has to focus on its main stakeholder also known as the CUSTOMER! 

Customers seek promises to be fulfilled in the best demanded and promised quality. In UPS's case, within the right time and right communication. Below I will be listing down all the fails in quality I had to face with UPS since day 1 till even now.

a) Lack of user friendly interface on web and app: While creating the 19 labels for the boxes I ran into an obstacle of not being able to create 19 requests at once. I called the Customer Service and was informed that I should start an account to create at most 20 labels. So I created my account as I was informed and began creating the 19 shipping labels. 

Once I submitted the weight and size information for the labels, I was asked to pick a delivery date and the most I was allowed to pick was September 5th. My plane to Los Angeles was on September 7th so there wouldn't be anyone to receive the delivery if they had attempted to deliver on September 5th. I called the Customer Service once more and with much struggle mentioned below, I got my answer from the last person on the phone, MyChoice.

MyChoice is an "APP" (so they say) that allows you to manage your delivery dates, alerts, and delivery details. It can be accessed from a smartphone or via browsers on your devices. With my detailed research from endless phone conversations with UPS, I learned that your packages have to be picked up first in order for you to view them on your MyChoice. 

Once my packages were picked up, I gave a day for the system to refresh so that I could go on to MyChoice and change the delivery date. After several failed attempts across different platforms, I called the Customer Service again! I kept on receiving an error that said I could not change the delivery date and that I should contact UPS for further information. I spoke to 3-4 people across different departments and I was told that I had to activate my MyChoice with an authorization code. When I asked them for the authorization code, expecting that it would be sent to me via email, they said the most outrageous thing possible. At a highly digital age we live in, UPS sends one thing in hard copy mail format, your authorization code! On top of that, they sent it to my delivery address that I haven't even moved into yet. 

So when I ask why they can't send a code by the email I submitted and that all other delivery and retail places contact digitally, the answer I get is "because we are UPS". Well, because you are UPS I should not be working with you!

By some miracle, someone corrected her coworker and said I wouldn't need an authorization code to change the delivery date and that from their end they can't manually change the date for me. HELPLESS! 

After a few days, a miracle happened and all of a sudden I was able to change the delivery dates. I paid $5 per box ($95 in total) to set the new delivery date to be September 8th since my flight would get to LA on September 7th. I have received 19 confirmation emails on top of an extra 19 confirmation emails followed by the next day stating that the boxes will be delivered on September 8th. That failed miserably!

b) Lack of internal communication: As I reached out and spent endless hours with the Customer Service of UPS I can't tell you how many times I had to repeat myself with my logistics story and how I needed to get the delivery date changed. I spoke with more than 6 individuals across 3-4 different departments and spent countless hours on the phone damaging my brain with their lack of intellect and skills.

UPS does not have efficient understanding of Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Regular businesses, in order to have a strong relationship with their customers, use CRM software to deliver information within their firm and make sure they are on the same page with their customer. I was never assigned a case number to begin with and even if I were not told that case number, the details were never put in the case itself probably, and even if they were put, the person who should have read them did not. So I ended up having to repeat myself to each person multiple times because they just DO NOT get it!

c) Lack of external communication: MyChoice allows you to receive alerts via email and/or text and you need to set it up with your contact information in order to enroll in this service. After I have enrolled in this, however, I was not contacted in a detailed or frequent way for me to be well informed about the mistakes and delays in my shipments. I and my fiance ended up waiting at our apartment for 4 consecutive hours because we were told that the delivery time period would be on September 8th between 4:15pm and 7:00pm. No text alerts whatsoever were sent until I called the customer service and she said "ohhhh i think only one of your boxes is in the truck, the other 18 is not going to be delivered." 

When I asked why, I only got the answer "I don't know!" well that makes the two of us then lady! Coming back to my original point, however, if I hadn't called god knows who would have informed me about this lack of efficiency.

d) No management on board: Every time I called customer service to get answers, the floor level staff would only give me the answers that they are given but couldn't elaborate. I had to ask for the management and I always got the answer, after holding on the phone for 20 minutes, that there is no management on the floor. It takes you 20 minutes to get to say "sorry there is no manager"? BS!

e) No ownership of mistake: From day 1 of us choosing UPS there has been countless mistakes done by UPS and there is no responsible ownership from UPS for their mistakes and making up for it. When our delivery was not made today, the customer service says "oh the driver is running out of time so we can't make your delivery." why am I the one to pay the burden for that? If the driver is running out of time, you pay extra for his time and make up for your mistake. I should not be the one to pay for your lack of efficiency.

When I called them to speak about the miserable MyChoice, they just couldn't help me in any way and kept on trying to guide me to the same page as if I was not capable of guiding myself to the links I needed to go on. When I told them about the errors, they never took ownership and handled the situation. Shoving it under the rug is definitely not professional because you leave your customer alone with the problem you have created!

3) Maintain a financially strong company-with broad employee ownership-that provides a long-term competitive return to our share owners. - FAIL!

If every customer acted like I did, the companies would be more careful in their operations and be customer centric as opposed to money centric. I will be pursuing my request for a full refund from UPS after our boxes are properly delivered because I did not receive the service I was expecting to receive in exchange for my payment.

You can only be financially strong if you actually EARN it the promised way and not screw people over with your mistakes and unprofessional excuses.

DO NOT USE BRANDS THAT DO NOT RESPECT YOU!

Where do you draw the line? - Ethical Business Conduct.

I am a photographer who uses Instagram heavily on networking with other people in the community and exchanging ideas together. This never stops me from supporting Instagram on the feasible ideas that I perceive as for the good of the community compared to me critiquing their unfit ideas that I seem to find unethical. 

Let me start by saying this "Instagram is a SHARK!" - meaning that they want %100 and will not let anyone have a piece of the pie. We have all seen the Vine kingdom fall because Instagram was able to create the video function and also add more value to it by increasing the time limit for videos. All it took them, other than the enhancements, was to get the Vinefamous people on board for Instagram. (as if they are switching sports teams). BOOM there you have it, NO MORE VINE.

Graph from Tech Crunch from June 20, 2013: https://techcrunch.com/2013/06/20/instagram-video-vs-vine-whats-the-difference/

Graph from Tech Crunch from June 20, 2013: https://techcrunch.com/2013/06/20/instagram-video-vs-vine-whats-the-difference/

What you can view from the table above is that Instagram just offered a better or enhance service to users who wanted to switch and started that strategy with the famous Viners to influence other users on the competing platform. "Was this ethical?" you may ask to yourself. I don't believe so but because there is considerable enhancement to the features it may be shoved under the rug I guess.

Play forward a few years later and now we have Snapchat vs Instagram. Facebook offered $3 billion cash acquisition to Snapchat which, accorindg to Wall Street Journal, Snapchat ended up refusing it. The Snapchat CEO, Evan Spiegel indicated that he is not interested in short-term gains since it took so much to build such a company. 

Take a look at Snapchat CEO Reveals Why He Rejected Facebook's $3 Billion Offer: http://mashable.com/2014/01/06/snapchat-facebook-acquisition-2/#gCwbBzio5iqq

So because the offer was rejected, Facebook had to develop every resource they could have acquired from Snapchat in house now. Is that a big deal? Is it costlier? It definitely took them some time to build and develop as opposed to just acquiring Snapchat but today we are look at a Facebook/Instagram that is a full on shark to major competitors. "Is it ethical?" and/or "Is it legal?" may be the questions running through your head because Samsung and Apple, two tech giants in the mobile device industry, clashed legally to solve their disputes in the past.

Samsung vs Apple: https://www.macrumors.com/2017/01/13/apple-vs-samsung-reopened/

So what is stopping Snapchat from suing Instagram or parent company Facebook for "copying" their idea? To begin with, as Fast Company indicates, copyright law does not protect ideas. Kevin Systrom, the CEO of Instagram, even gave full credit to Snapchat for Instagram's Stories feature! WTF?!?! Again, comes the enhancement part, Instagram may have taken the idea from Snapchat but further developed it to their userbase. Legally there is no obstacle from doing this but is it ethical? 

Fast Company: https://www.fastcompany.com/3062593/clone-wars-why-instagram-will-legally-get-away-with-copying-snapchat-stories

Let's say to you it is ethical because you don't even care as long as you can get to still share your hipster cafe shots. You are one of 600 million or so to express your opinion. I socially believe that companies should further innovate rather than "get inspired" from each other because that is not true competition. That is just playing dirty. 

I am not a Snapchat user at all so Instagram's features benefit me but I still do not approve of the work Instagram is doing because I see no real progress.

2017 Seems to Begin Pretty Good!!!

From a national radio appearance to an interview in Turkey and many more brand partnerships on the way, 2017 seems to begin pretty strong for my social media! (feeling blessed!)

For those who have missed my 10 minute talk on 103.3 AMP Radio's TJ Show please check out the following link to listen. http://1033ampradio.cbslocal.com/2017/01/04/photographer-can-ahtam-in-studio/

Yesterday, I was on the TJ show talking about @portraitmeet and how it was established as well as the most recent event we are going to hold soon. With a little bit of hard time given and some informative conversation, I left the station with another excitement to know that I made the day count thanks to my buddy TJ, his cohost Lauren, and Producer Matt!

Today, I have received the news from Tugce Durak from Renerald in Turkey regarding my interview on "Influencer Marketing in 11 Questions" being published on their website. For those who can read Turkish and possibly get it translated here is the link for that: http://renerald.com/blog/tr/11-soruda-can-ahtam-ile-influcerlik-uzerine-samimi-bir-soylesi/

Knock on wood and watch me from those evil eyes because I am starting this year stronger and joyful! Let's rock ;)

Back in Facebook...AGAIN!

Here I am once more with a Facebook Page/Profile! Although I am still not allowed to obtain my extension URL for my FB Page I am still trying to function with it. Most of my friends happen to see great use from Facebook and claim that their ads feature is worthwhile. As I would like to expand my operations via Instagram, I sort of believe that Facebook might indeed be useful for my goals but I guess time will tell.

I Just Hate Photo Theft!

READ THIS AND STOP PHOTO THEFT!!! Remember when I was talking about this one "prick" that can ruin the whole Instagram experience for you? Well this morning I woke up to notifications about this ignorant user (@kapilgarrix) who stole 18 photos of mine to the caption and not even bothered to give me the single most deserved credit!

Kapil and many other people like him, my message is to you all low life individuals! I do not go around the world, spend money out of my budget, and shoot all of these photos I dearly love and cherish so that you can steal them and act like you have taken them. If you want to steal my photos come and do that in person and let's see how it goes!

To the wonderful community of Instagram, please be on the look out for each other's photos and always notify one another. Instagram has a wonderful Copyright Infrigement Report that you can use and the only thing they are really responsive of is this system. (Thank God) 
I might be making this a huge deal but today who thinks stealing a photo is okay and has no consequences might try to steal larger in the future, like your identity or any other possession you have! So let's all put an end to people like @kapilgarrix and start reporting!!! NO MORE PHOTO THEFT

Instagram's Copyright Infringement Form: https://help.instagram.com/contact/539946876093520

 

The Beauty of Traveling for Work!

Wow it has been a while since I typed my words on this thing. I'd like to start this blog post by apologizing for lacking my time on here. I am not really a numbers driven person so I don't care how many people read this since I am only focused on reflecting on my own thoughts and my own life here. Just like a diary!

I have been around quite sometime both for work and for photography. From New York Fashion Week to a nice 2 week trip around Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago and Minneapolis for work. On this post, as can be understood from the title, that is what I will write about; my work trip. 

For those who do not know about what I do for a living, I work in Graduate Admissions at Bentley University as a Senior Assistant Director. I am primarily in charge of our 2-year Full Time Emerging Leaders MBA Program which is also the program I have earned my degree from in 2013. Nowadays, I am focusing on various domestic trips to recruit students for the institution and actually find people that can be fit for this program. From the 4 cities I've had the chance of visiting it was my first time ever to see Seattle, Chicago, and Minneapolis whereas I have countless visits to the good old San Fran.

Seattle to me was a lot more like a good mix of Boston and San Francisco in which all three major cities have major coffee lords' headquarters there: Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and Peets. On top of that, Seattle also has their own Duck Tour aaaaand their own Beacon Hill. I once walked into a bar and they kept on saying "Cheers!" as if they are Cheers! (nobody knew my name there) Overall, Seattle has a really nice, relaxed, and friendly vibe that I think I would never get tired of. On my first day, I an my coworker decided to pay a visit to the Space Needle and while we were waiting in the line to purchase our tickets (worth $22 per person) this one elderly lady approached us and asked us if we were looking for tickets. She gave us her CityPass booklet that had one ticket to Space Needle each and told us that she and her husband used the first one already and didn't need the second tickets. Such a nice help from a total stranger!!!! She has definitely made my Seattle experience better.

So from Seattle we moved to our next destination, San Francisco, the land of the bread bowl chowder and Peets Coffee LOL. Despite the steep hills and expensive aura of the city, San Francisco has a desirable vibe to spend a life there. Luckily, I was able to experience the hot days of the good old San Francisco upon this visit compared to the freezing cold and windy times over the course of an average summer. I was fortunate enough to pay a visit to one of my missed destinations from my previous visit, the Coit Tower. Didn't even have to wait to long in a line for the tower, I witnessed a gorgeous view of SF.

After the beautiful San Francisco, I fell into the arms of the Windy City, Chicago, which at the time of my visit was not even windy. One thing I learned from my trip to Chicago is actually about the Cloud Gate (aka the Bean). Before I was in Chicago I always thought that this amazing piece of art was legitimately called "The Bean" and always questioned why Boston was called "The Beantown" because Chicago has "The Bean". My whole life changed when I woke up at 5:00AM in the morning to walk over to what happens to be actually called "The Cloud Gate" by Anish Kapoor. It was only nicknamed "The Bean" because it looks like a bean...duh! In any case, I am really glad to have woken up at 5:00AM to avoid the influx of crazy tourist groups.  FYI: Boston is called "The Beantown" because back in colonial days, a favorite Boston food was baked beans!

When in San Francisco...

I can confidently say that I have conquered the uphill roads of San Francisco! Rather than constantly waiting for the cable car line, I have preferred to put my legs to a good use. Within the ever changing weather of San Francisco you might want to be prepared with a thin outwear like NorthFace or Patagonia. Trust me, it is not a pleasant trip if you are busy with feeling cold.

My last visit to San Francisco was 6 years ago before the present one. In 6 years not much has changed that I would notice but I bet the locals would have plenty to count. My hotel was located by Union Square and I was easily able to commute between destinations from there. Couldn't really figure out the barely existing subway system of SF which is called BART. 

I have wanted to visit the Painted Ladies of San Francisco a lot and, happily, it happened this year. There was only one exception to this visit, the renovation of the park! I tried to capture the best out of the Painted Ladies but have limited photos of the venue there due to the renovation of the park.

I am hoping to pay another visit to San Francisco later this year with the hopes for finishing up what I couldn't do during this visit. (Alcatraz?) 

Please feel free to view the photos from the trip below and I hope you enjoy them.

 

 

My New Watch from JORD

Few weeks ago I have received an amazing wooden watch from JORD! (www.woodwatches.com)

Ran by artists, designers, marketers, and minders; JORD spends their days creating, considering, arguing, and hopefully agreeing. Their journey consists of such fun and joyful moments. Focusing on sustainability and creating modern lifestyle oriented look gives JORD the unique standing of their brand. As I have written for and introduced you different watches, I have always focused on the main purpose of a watch, telling the time, of which JORD does well too along with providing the date. JORD makes the time count.

The Dark Sandalwood, worth about $159 on their website, is hand finished and pretreated with tung oils. Along side of it being splash-proof, I love the concept of a wooden watch because to me it is out of the ordinary. Being used to plastic or metal watches with plastic or leather bands, having a wooden watch is a breath of fresh air and it is much lighter. It almost makes you feel like you are not wearing a watch.

From my coworkers to my social circle outside of the office space, my JORD watch is definitely an accessory that constantly receives questions and compliments for. If you are planning to keep your watch at a mint condition I would strongly suggest you to visit JORD's website provided above to read more on how to preserve your watches.

Captain America: Civil War Review (SPOILER ALERT!)

Yesterday I and my girlfriend went to Apple Cinemas (small local cinema) to watch Captain America: Civil War. As an all time Marvel fan, I was stoked to see this movie; especially after reading such wonderful reviews being made and how this movie is Marvel's best so far. Well, buckle up because I am going to do some nitpicking and tell you why it is not the best movie so far and why it is the best movie so far.

PROS: 

1) You get to see Marvel doing the best in creativity!

From the new characters such as Spider-man to Black Panther, Marvel does it again with the fun and action packed creativity. We first got seeds planted in our brain for Spider-man, Ant-Man, and Black Panther in Ant-Man's movie with small references. Most of us have especially been curious about how Marvel was going to portray their flagship character, Spider-man after so many Sony attempts. This time, Spider-man is being played by a younger fellow, Mr. Thomas Holland, and not some late 20 year old guy who is trying to be a high school/college student. So hats off to Marvel for straightening things out for us. You gave us the "Friendly Neighborhood" Spider-man.

In the movie, Tony and Steve are not on the same page with being tied to the Government with their future actions since for Steve, this would be giving your freedom to the 117 governments who signed on this accord. Tony, on the other hand, believes that they should be put to check so that it would be the responsible act for both future moves and for PR. After all, they sort of collapsed buildings on to innocent people without knowing (collateral damage?) I guess the mother figure made real sense to this billionaire, genius, playboy, philanthropist to act sensible and responsible. Once the major heroes set their ways apart, they begin recruiting for their teams. Iron Man gets the spider boi whereas Cap gets our good old Scott Lang (aka Ant-Man). 

In the movie, you sort of see Black Panther floating around and he is definitely the weight bringer in the movie to balance things out in the righteous way. The guy is not interested in our Avengers, he is just trying to avenge his own dad for being murdered. He is after Bucky so Captain has to protect his old friend from being torn apart by Black Panther. 

Spider-Man's humor wins our hearts more in this movie because he has the humor of a teen. Being fan struck with all the major league heroes and trying to impress "Mr. Stark" with his performance. Spidey really really wants to be a part of this elite squad. He takes down a lot of the guys too, starting with taking over Captain's shield. His fight with Bucky and Falcon was truly magnificent with the extensive talk Spider-Man put in. 

From one insect to another, Ant-Man plays it big in this movie with being "Giant-Man". He has tried it in the lab and fainted but what the hell, he will still give it a try for some good distraction. Right at that moment, Tony wanted to know if anyone was hiding anything in his team that should be put to show LOL. Making me also feel old, Spider-Man reminds us the Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back scene with the AT AT and how you get to destroy them with the string shooters and takes care of Giant-Man. (impressive kid!) 

2) EASTER EGGS!!! EASTER EGGS!!! EASTER EGGS!!!

Where to begin?!?! So many Easter Eggs were in this movie that it was head spinning!

Stark family returns - as holograms! At an MIT Alumni Event, Tony Stark is the keynote speaker talking about how innovation and his past were making him who he is right now. He supported every student sitting there with limitless funding for their research and encouraged them to pursue further into the future. We see Tony revisiting the day his parents died so you could already tell that this scene has to do with something in the movie.

Where is Pepper Potts? I truly wished to see Gwyneth Paltrow in this movie but it didn't happen. With all that has happened in the movie, it was kind of challenging to focus on what happened between her and Tony. I guess she just couldn't take on the stress of losing Tony during a fight.

Spider-Man gets an upgrade from Tony Stark after Tony's visit to Spidey's house. Just like our friend Deadpool, we can see the animated eyes of Spider-Man and read emotions better. The post-credits scene also gives us the Spider Signal designed by Tony Stark for Peter Parker. Speaking of Spider-Man, let's visit how attractive and young Aunt May is in this movie. The shapes, forms, and sizes have always been mentioned in this movie for the characters played by different actors/actresses. This played a huge part for Marisa Tomei's Aunt May and how Tony Stark was flirty with her (although he didn't really like the cookies) 

Starting with the "Sokovia Accords" you get a glimpse of #tbt moments in Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, this time from the casualties' point of view. It hasn't been an easy task to manage all these without a single error. The heroes probably had no idea about the death toll they had of innocent souls while they were fighting for their battles. To them, they were just saving the world; which they did. You can see the split of ideas appearing more with such tangible examples being given to our heroes to either empathize with or just perceive it as collateral damage. 

So long Peggy Carter! I was expecting to see somebody die in this movie but never knew that it was going to be Peggy Carter, one of the founding members of SHIELD and Steve's sweetheart. Steve receives a text message saying "She is gone in her sleep" and the scene takes us to London with Steve taking the lead in carrying Peggy's coffin at the funeral. We then learn that Sharon Carter, Steve's "nurse neighbor" from Winter Soldier (actually a SHIELD agent) is related to Peggy Carter and that she learned from the best. We also see Steve being influenced and inspired by Sharon's talk and I guess his feelings about the accords get stronger with such an unplanned tragedy.

Hello Thunderbolt Ross! We see General Ross appear as the Secretary of State in front of our team of mighty heroes to give them a spiel on the accords. Ross does not miss out on Banner and Thor and asks Captain if he knows where they are. With no answer given to Ross, I guess the Avengers are clueless like we are about Thor: Ragnarok. 

I have already written about Ant-Man turning into Giant-Man above so that is covered LOL

Redwing takes a mechanical form in this movie. In the comic book, the Falcon shares a telepathic connection with a live falcon which he calls "Redwing" I guess it was easier to digest for the viewers to see a drone rather than a live falcon but the name kept the same! 

Stairwells are the recent trend for Marvel after the limbs being cut off. From Daredevil to Deadpool we have been seeing fighting scenes in limited corridors and stairwells and Civil War also had a cool multiple level stairwell fight for us.

Hawkeye & Ant-Man Team Up! Most of us know from the comic book (Avengers #223) that Ant-Man has this strategy with Hawkeye to be bolted out from his bow into the air. Seeing this iconic scene was definitely amazing!

Will Bucky ever be the new Captain America? Steve Rogers does not die in this movie since Crossbones (Brock Rumlow) dies and Sharon Carter shares a hot kiss with Steve. We see Bucky take a hold of the shield multiple times while fighting side by side with Captain America. With Bucky being frozen again, this time in Wakanda, I do not think Steve Rogers will be killed off anytime soon. The viewers got too familiar and close to Steve Rogers and killing him this early would not result well.

Vision and Wanda Maximov - the love story? Although we do not see Wanda and Vision get hitched like in the comic book, we see them get closer in this movie. From Vision getting dressed in human outfits to him trying to cook food for Wanda, we see small flirts between the two.

Bucky kills Tony's parents! - I knew from the Winter Soldier movie that Bucky was the one who murdered Tony's parents because Zola said "Accidents Happen" showing newspaper articles about Howard Stark's Car Crash and Nicholas J. Fury's "Death". As striking and emotional as it may seem, Tony should have taken a step back and thought about this before acting so recklessly on it like he did with Iron Man 3 and Mandarin. I guess Tony has real issues on controlling his emotions. Way to go Zemo on manipulating with one single video footage.

The iconic fight between Tony Stark and Steve Rogers happens in Siberia (not on top of corpses) and the Civil War comic book cover is recreated in one scene where Captain America and Iron Man clash with the shield deflecting the rays of Iron Man. 

"The Great Futurist" is here! These were the words Hawkeye yelled when Tony Stark walked into "Prison 42" but takes more inspiration from the "Raft" In the middle of nowhere, under the ocean, Tony Stark does his commute with his "Stark Industries" chopper that is equipped with an Iron-Man suit he puts on with the push of a button.

"Never trust a Stark!" Hank Pym said to Scott Lang in Ant-Man the movie and we see that repeated in the Raft by Scott to Tony within a few seconds of screen time.

Stan Lee and Tony Stank! The father of Marvel is always a fun cameo to spot in almost every Marvel movie. In every movie theater I watch a Marvel movie, Stan Lee always gets applauded by the viewers. This time it was Stan Lee as a FedEx Delivery man who pays a visit to the Avengers Facility. Asking for "Tony Stank" he delivers a letter and a cellphone to Tony Stark from Captain America. We will never forget about Tony Stank for sure!

Black Panther and Wakanda - After seeing Bucky frozen again with his metal arm not replaced. We get a glimpse of the might Wakanda. From waterfalls to large Black Panther statues, Wakanda definitely looks like a land with a lot to offer for a stand alone movie.

CONS:

1) Why the hell are you even fighting each other? After we left the movie, I got this disturbing feeling of constantly asking why they were fighting. We all saw so many deep movies out there such as Winter Soldier, Iron Man 3, and Avengers with such complicated plans that the mighty team should have learned their lesson by now and actually should have done some detective work. If it weren't for Zemo to give the hotel service a call for breakfast we wouldn't have known about the dead guy in the bath tub and wouldn't have learned about the mask of Bucky. So all of a sudden, was it worth fighting each other? It was, probably because we wanted to see them in action LOL but it just didn't sit right with me after the movie ended.

2) The only one to complain - Rhodes aka War Machine! After the airport battle between our heroes, we see Rhodes get a misfire by the Vision and fall drastically almost to his death since both Iron Man and the Falcon try to save him but can't get there in time. Luckily, Rhodes did not die on us but he got paralyzed. He informs Tony that after 138 flight operations he did he never faced anything like this and he fights for the common good. After this incident Rhodes said he still doesn't regret it. Well I guess it sucks for you but you are the only one who has a serious damage to complain about out of this meaningless fighting. Hopefully that Stark tech will give you incredible leg strength.

3) Zemo was under sold. I don't know if it was because of Inglorious Bastards or not but I saw a lot of similarities between the two and it sort of didn't give me that Zemo vibe from the comics. It was a very simple character who, somehow, happened to succeed in ruining things that easily but there was no character to him. I was expecting something like Loki who had tons of character to read from.

4) Worries me for the future movies! With all these characters around you almost have a mouth watering experience but it is head spinning. On top of all these heroes e still have Guardians of the Galaxy to interact with the Avengers and I do not know how Marvel is planning to balance that one out. Don't get me wrong I am stoked for the Infinity War movies but I am also scared that it won't be as good as the earlier movies. Luckily the Civil War was definitely not a Batman vs. Superman LMFAO!!!

5) CGI is sometimes too unreal! During some of the scenes of the movie you could pick up on the CGI effects really well because they are too apparent. From a car in a chase scene to Ant-Man in the group scene some CGI effects were not as good as the previous ones.

6) Marvel movies are known for their amazing soundtracks and the creative composers they work with. Although I enjoy listening to Henry Jackman's music, this movie's soundtrack lacked the spirit of Captain America and other heroes and did not really stick with me. Normally if I listen to soundtracks I can re-imagine the scenes from the movies that are connected to the soundtrack but with this movie it really didn't sit right.

CONCLUSION!

I strongly believe Winter Soldier was the best Marvel movie still but Civil War is a great offering by Marvel with plenty of fun action packed scenes and new faces to enjoy. Looking forward to all of the near future movies such as Doctor Strange of whom I haven't even seen any easter eggs of. Stoked to know that Spider-Man is getting his own movie with the creative vision of Marvel, Spider-Man the Homecoming! 

Have you seen the movie yet? If so, what did you think about it? Comment your thoughts and more easters eggs you have seen down below! 

Hello @imshootingwith!

There has been numerous video channels out there that have documented photography adventures or photographers but never to an extent that made it feel like real. I just wanted to commit my spare moment to shooting genuine videos of myself and my friends when we are shooting photos together just to show the others that there are other communities out there they can know about. From our infamous @portraitmeet to just a small group shoot, I find it deeply important to document such happenings so that people who are interested but have always been hesitant to join can see how amazing and fun these meet ups are and join us in the future.

Along with the YouTube Channel, I have also created an Instagram account (@imshootingwith) dedicated to this channel. Please feel free to follow/subscribe and share the video with your friends! ENJOY :)

My Weekend Trip to NYC

April 22-24, 2016 - The weekend I have been waiting for to meet up with good old New Yorker Instagram community! Instagram has announced the #WWIM13 for the global community to meet up that weekend and celebrate the Earth Day together. 

Weeks before the weekend; my good friend, Martin Tadashi, has asked Keen and I to see if we can host an instameet together again, just like the #BushwickMeet we have done back in the day for another worldwide instameet. Without any hesitation, I said "YES!" and got my ticket to NYC. 

The day came by and our new instameet, #LESMeet, took place at Projective at Freemans. Crashing at Martin's place in New Jersey, we woke up at 5AM to hit the road and find a parking spot in the city that would be both convenient and affordable for us. We have hosted a delicious breakfast composed of giant donuts and coffee for a total of 45 people. As we filled the venue and enjoyed our tasty bites, we had the chance to also network and enjoy the first instameet morning together. Followed by our lovely breakfast, we have put together the group to have a productive discussion going on regarding today's instagram community, photography, and growth opportunities along with some tiny gossips LOL

After the nice indoor activities, we have decided to take our path towards the Williamsburg Bridge and a bit of Brooklyn while shooting photos on the way. Met plenty of amazing individuals and shot great photos around that day. Next stop was another Instameet at Greenpoint hosted by Eduardo. We joined a small group of amazing people and enjoyed a gorgeous sunset. We have finalized our day at Eduardo's house with tasty homemade pasta and made it back home around 1:00AM. WHAT A DAY!

The next day, we got to the city early as usually and met up with some friends to shoot with around the city. We have finalized our tour in Central Park to join the @pursuitofportraits #WWIM13POP. With more than 150 creative faces coming together it was an insanely crowded and happy group of people.

At the end, NYC was a WIN for sure and I always appreciate the friendly community there. Until next time Big Apple!

The Best #BostonPortraitMeet Yet! Thank You!

Yesterday, we had another #BostonPortraitMeet, this time held atArnold Arboretum with over 70 attendees. The passion and interest in portrait photography is growing everyday and I sincerely hope that it facilitates people getting to know each other more while capturing each moment.

I have been to Arnold Arboretum about 4 times and couldn't finish the area in any of my visits! I always hear about this awesome peak called Peters Hill from which you can spot a gorgeous cityscape of Boston glancing at your from the distance with trees guiding the way towards it. Managed by Harvard University, the Arnold Arboretum is a house for about 15,000 plants that characterize about 4,000 kinds of woody plants, which consist of trees, shrubs, and vines. (http://cambridge.com/visiting-cambridge/museums-sites/arnold-arboretum/) 

FYI: There is barely a cafe or restroom facility at the arboretum so make sure to take care of your needs by the entrance and then enjoy the park LOL!

The Arboretum is located at 125 Arborway in Boston, surrounded by Jamaica Plain, Dorchester, Hyde Park.. etc so it is both a very central location as well as a distant location for most to commute. Despite the street parking, it is really not an easy location to commute to compared to a Beacon Hill or Boston Common. The Orange Line also gets there via Forest Hill so if you are a subway commuter you can definitely use that option too.

Please enjoy the photos I have taken at the latest #BostonPortraitMeet at Arnold Arboretum below and thank you very much to those who have shared their lovely Sunday with us! I truly hope that you have enjoyed this experience as much as I did.

 

 

 

Facing Death! - Tired of Ignorant Drivers!

I am writing these fresh words out of my shocked heart and brain which have just experienced almost an incident that could have ended with almost a tragedy. As I was walking back to my car from the dinner I and my girlfriend had with my family in Harvard Square I have encountered one of the most careless and ignorant drivers in Massachusetts (literally a MassHole) We were crossing the street from the crosswalk located on the entrance of Ash Street via Mt. Auburn Street in Cambridge and right when we were in the middle of the crosswalk this blue car stops by Mt. Auburn, flashes its blinker, and after waiting for a second or two starts to accelerate on to us! Then, thank God, she realizes that we are on the crosswalk she immediately hit her break and made a sudden stop to see our shocked faces in her headlights. I have always had the utmost hatred and disgust in such reckless drivers in this state so I just yelled "DO YOU NOT SEE US? COME ON!!!" and the driver's reaction was just pure ignorance. My only wish is to have filmed her stupid driving so that I could report her to the authorities with her license plate.

I truly believe that such reckless and ignorant drivers should be banned from the roads and their licenses should be taken away for good. They are literally operating to endanger! The mixed feeling I have had over this few seconds of an experience are not only priceless but also indescribable by words. I hope she feel really bad about that experience and can't sleep today because I do not show the simplest mercy to such people who do not care about our lives. If that car would have hit us we could have maybe had a simple injury or even something as complex as paralysis or internal injuries that could lead to death! 

I had so much more to say to her face if she had stopped even more at least to apologize but she didn't even bother to apologize. So in summary "FUCK YOU BITCH ASS MOTHERFUCKER!"

Hello Ursula! - Boston Snow in April

It is April yet we still get snow in Boston! What realm is this? Ever since I moved to Boston, I have been exposed to harsh winters that required some shoveling and stockpiling. Frankly, it was the first time I had to experience such snow storms in my entire life. Nemo, at the time, has definitely made its name in my life as well as others' in Boston. Do we not get snow in Istanbul? We sure do but probably not as much as we get it here in Boston. I have never opened my door in Istanbul to find an imprint of a door on a large pile of snow. 

What is so striking about such snow storms is that people do not really care. I stock piled so much and tried to do so much to survive yet to most people it is just a usual thing to take care of. The only attractive activity I could find during such storms, other than building an igloo, is taking photos around the city and witness the white scenes first hand. For the most part, the city tends to be deserted with rare footprints on the ground covered in mere seconds. Occasionally you would run into someone struggling with their umbrella or walking on the road in that slippery floor or the slushy snow. 

With all the colors and tones Boston has to offer with the beautiful and historic architecture, snow is definitely a perfect match for the city until it all starts melting and getting filthy. 

Storms get interesting names; from Nemo to Mars somehow someone finds the inspiration to name them. Some are good fits whereas some are just jokes. In a way, if you are lucky enough, you can even see a trend of the Greek squad switch over to a more Disney theme later on. I think this is where Ursula meets and becomes a perfect fit name for a snowstorm. The evil freezing claws of Ursula definitely stopped the gorgeous blossoms we were about to have.

How did you spend your day with Ursula?

Dear @instagram

Dear @instagram

The world is going through a lot and it is difficult to keep a track of everything while keeping a good spirit. 

I am extremely saddened by the recent tragedies happening around the world but what makes me even more upset is the apparent disregard of what has been going on in Turkey, my home country. I believe in equality and I’d like to think that we all believe in equality. Unfortunately, it is hard to believe when support is only given to selected events. Turkey has been a victim of terrorism numerous times within the past few months and I have yet to see a symbol of hope and support made for Turkey shared on your profile. I am sad for the lives that were lost unnoticed. I wish they could have gotten the support that we all give to so many others.

Instagram started with the principle of#communityfirst. Where is the community? I am disappointed that community is everything BUT Turkey although Turkey is even within your Top 5 most active countries. I applaud you for sharing your thoughts and prayers with Paris and Brussels, as we all should, but would it hurt to share them with Turkey too? EVERYBODY NEEDS LOVE! 🙏🏼❤️✌🏼️ /

Breather? Barely!

As you probably might have seen through my profile or every other Boston Instagrammers' profile, winters are horrible in the city. The #PortraitMeet attemps we have made are always challenging in terms of attendance and energy due to the sharp cold weather. What have we decided to do then? Possibly locate indoor space to do our shoots. There has been several doubts I've had over whether this would be called a #PortraitMeet because I do not prefer to have a limit over attendance. My instameets are open to everybody who is friendly and interested in photography/film making/modeling. I don't care if you shoot with your phone or with a top notch camera as long as you share the similar interest with the group, portraits!

So I looked into some indoor options and the first that came into my mind was AirBnB. The only disadvantage with AirBnBs in Boston, however, is that most houses are old and the modern, large, and well lit houses are extremely costly. In order to get a decent size with a decent cost I have decided to approach a small company called Breather which rents out space for hourly rates around several cities of the USA. As they had some scattered around Boston as well, I have decided to invite 17 people (mix of photographers/models/and film makers) to join me in a 4 hour session and share the cost. One Instagrammer from the group pointed out that I should reach out to Breather and ask for a free rental for the 4 hour time rather than us paying for it. Imagine, just 17 Instagrammers mentioning Breather in their profile. How awesome would that be for a company that is relatively new in the field and new to the Instagram world? So I received that advise and reached out to the General Manager of the Boston branch of Breather. As I told him about our plans, I have seen the slightest interest in his emails with a bit of snob built in to it. I was informed that they were shying away from giving away space for free and that they would still charge us and perhaps add refreshments to the room. Actually at that moment, I should have just said "you know what, keep it. Good bye!" but I didn't and instead decided on paying the full amount and not even promoting their services to us. After all, why should we promote you if you are treating us this rudely?!? 

When the day comes for us to go in and shoot the photos at the venue, I received another email from the GM of Breather this time asking us to extend the hour a bit because they got into a bet with one of their coworkers and if we extend it they will give us cupcakes. WTF dude?!?! Are you serious?! Are you high?! I am telling you all here to never get a Breather space because the treatment I have seen from them is just pure unprofessional manner. Shame on you! Your loss!

@danielwellington - The Social Watch

With 2 million followers on Instagram, Daniel Wellington has definitely made its name to our daily life. I think I can confidently say that it almost became a must for every "influencer" Instagrammers out there to either have a Daniel Wellington or see photos of this beautiful brand on their feed via other Instagrammers. How did Daniel Wellington became who they are today and outdid a prestigious global brand such as Omega in the Social Media field? 

I always say that classics never die and am a huge supporter of simple thinking. No need to over-complicate things in life while there are so much more complicated deals going around us everyday.  What strikes most people the first time with Daniel Wellington is their minimalist and elegant design. I don't need fancy watches such as Apple Watch to tell me what time it is when I can clearly get the same direct service out of a Daniel Wellington and my iPhone (duh) You have to keep it simple and classic at least through some perspective and why not do this in a stylish social way with Daniel Wellington rather than a Star Trek way of living. (also Apple Watch is nothing but a modern day beeper)

I've ready the article on Bloomberg.com by Stephen Pulvirent about how Daniel Wellington made a $200 Million business out of cheap "Chinese made" watches, relying almost entirely on social media. (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-14/how-daniel-wellington-made-a-200-million-business-out-of-cheap-watches)

A Swedish watch brand producing in China. Does it really matter where it was produced from? I basically see this as an attempt to damage the brand attribute but let's face it, what is not produced in China these days? Every now and then, I see a few grocery store items that are "Made in the USA" and possibly some outfits from H&M or GAP that say "Made in Turkey" Those who try to demean the brand, however, most likely are forgetting that Apple's iPhones especially say "Designed by Apple in California - Assembled in China" (shocked?)

The goal is to spread the word out in the least costly and the quickest way possible. How do you do that? Via SOCIAL MEDIA!!! HELLOOO!! Just email hundreds of leading Instagrammers out there and say "Hey! You want a free watch with a discount code? Just share a few photos of our watch!" There you have it, taking initiative and partnering with "influencers" pays off. Now some of you will say "I don't work for free product/service. I pay for my equipment, can't eat a Daniel Wellington or pay my rent or college loans with it" You know what, I agree with those peeps out there but it has almost come to such a stage in life that it is almost like a game achievement to own a Daniel Wellington for free. Almost jumping up multiple levels and saying "I've made it!" I believe in  3 levels on Instagram:

1) Becoming a Suggested User by Instagram

2) Getting a Daniel Wellington watch for free

3) Being featured on accounts/magazines/blogs...etc

Daniel Wellington doesn't need Instagram's direct support with an S.U. since many other influencers are featuring them already with their product. They have already made their name in various accounts/magazines/blogs...etc so there you have it all they have to do to get to such different levels is to give free watches to people which by Bloomberg's article does not cost much. As Borat would say "GREAT SUCCESS!" :D

If you can hold on to a quality product and create a living story for a brand, a lifestyle, then I say go for it! Daniel Wellington's exceptional Social Media campaign helped this giant brand to come to where it is right now. I love the simple face design as well as the comfortable straps. Does it tell the time? YES! So what else should I look for that sets Daniel Wellington apart from others. Does it fit my simple and classic style? YES! Do I need an Armani or some other brand that I can't pronounce to show how "unique" and "classy" I am like those male fashion blogs or Instagram? NO! (frankly you should see behind-the-scenes of each shot those folks have lol)

I applaud Daniel Wellington for all the creative work they have put and for them to lead the way to other watch brands who are emailing tons of Instagrammers for product placements now. I also would like to thank them for providing me with my 2nd-3rd DW watch. Everyone should have a Daniel Wellington if they choose to live the simple and elegant life.