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Trying Not to Blend In

My whole life I have tried hard to not fit in, well maybe that isn’t the right way of saying it, but I didn’t want to be someone that people overlooked because I didn’t stand out.  I would wear clothes that would make people notice me, don’t worry I didn’t wear anything over the top, well only once or twice.  I don’t know why I was like that, perhaps something to do with the family I grew up in and the feeling of never being good enough.  Not something I need to discuss here, but you get the idea.

LeanneCole-yvette-20130922-5620So today I thought I would talk about that idea as an artist and how hard we try to stand out from what is around us.  Last week, was it last week, I said something about how someone had said nothing was original anymore, it had all been done before.  It is a fairly true statement, there are always going to be differences between people’s work, but I know there are many people doing the same sorts of portraits that I am doing, but I have to find a way to make mine stand out.

It is a strange idea, I know, but at the same time, the idea that nothing is original is also quite a freeing idea, if that makes any sense.  It means, I can just do what I like without the worry of treading on someone else’s shoes.  I used to get so depressed when I saw someone working the same as me, and then I would think, damn, now I have to change what I am doing.  Well, I don’t think like that anymore.  If other people are doing the same, well that is fine, I just have to be better.

So now how do I make myself stand out from what everyone else is doing with portraits.  I don’t want to do images that are the same as what everyone else is doing, like all the baby photos where all the babies are in baskets, or naked on lovely blankets and quilts.  Don’t get me wrong, they are great shots, but I would want something different, so am I the photographer for those people? That sounds really catty, but I don’t mean it like that, I just mean, that I want to be able to give clients images that are not the usual of what you find everywhere.

These are ideas I am still working on, I know this post is probably confusing, but I think what I am trying to say is that while I know that nothing I do is going to be so original that no one else is doing it, that doesn’t mean I have to do what everyone else is doing as well, that I can still find something that is mine.  Well that is the plan.

I am going to show you some of my favourite portraits that I have taken now.

I am so surprised at how many there are, I didn’t realise I had taken so many, this is just some of my favourites.

Business Cards

I wanted to also give a little update on so new business cards that I have ordered.  We had that discussion a couple of weeks ago about how I can be a architectural photographer and a fine art portrait photographer, how to make them connect but also be different.  I went to the Moo website, they do fantastic business cards and stuff.  I saw that they do like a portfolio pack, which is basically just getting a few different cards with different photos on each one.  So I got 250 cards, 5 different photos, so 50 of each.  They are plain and simple, and when I get them I will show them to you.  Some have architectural images and some have portrait photos.  I think I will slowly add more so I can carry a mini folio around with me.

Because I ordered them, I was emailed a special offer for you, well I hope it is.  It is about referring a friend, or referring me.  So have a look if you need business cards, they do a great deal and their cards are really good.  Here is the link, Refer a Friend.

117 Comments
  1. Your photographs remind me of paintings. You do have a unique style and beauty to your pictures.

    October 24, 2013
    • Thank you, I like the idea of them being like paintings and it is great to hear you think I have a unique style, I think it is something I need to keep working on.

      October 24, 2013
  2. It’s cool to see that photography has similarities to other art forms with the idea of standing out. I know for writing, especially poetry, it’s important to try to make your writing different than anything else out there.

    October 24, 2013
    • I think there are certainly similarities between photography, and yes, I think you do have to find something that makes you stand out. I can see how it would be for writing. We both need to find that something that will make us stand out, so good luck to you in your quest.

      October 24, 2013
      • Thanks, same to you! It looks like you have a lot of creative inspirations to make your photographs stand out. 🙂

        October 24, 2013
      • Thank you Rebecca, I think I do, it is important to me that they do, and hopefully that will happen more and more.

        October 24, 2013
      • Yes, I think with experience it seems to become easier to know how to make your art stand out. When you learn and study your art form, you know what “the greats” in your art field have done, and then you can use your knowledge and experience to branch out.

        October 24, 2013
      • I hope so Rebecca, I would love it to stand out a lot. I do know what the greats have done and I should study them a lot more. Thank you so much for the encouragement Rebecca, it really means a lot.

        October 24, 2013
      • You’re welcome! Good luck, and I look forward to seeing more of your photography. 🙂

        October 24, 2013
      • Thank you again. 🙂

        October 24, 2013
      • 🙂

        October 24, 2013
  3. Love Moo Cards! Portfolio in a pocket.

    October 24, 2013
    • I have only had a sample pack but I was so pleased with them. I love the idea of the portfolio in a pocket, such a great way to show off your work, though I suspect people will just take them, does that happen to you?

      October 24, 2013
  4. I pretty much love this entire post, Leanne. 🙂 Your portraiture is definitely different… defined by who you are and very lovely. Thanks so much for the link to the percentage off!

    October 24, 2013
    • That is such a relief Carolyn, I was so worried about publishing it. Thank you so much, I am working on that concept now and seeing what I can do. You are welcome to the percentage off, I hope it works for you.

      October 24, 2013
      • I won’t tell you to not worry, because we always will when it’s something so personal to our being. 🙂 I’m sorry that someone ever made you feel as though you didn’t fit in, but I’m hoping you feel more confident with each passing day that you DO! I’ve been following your work, and not only do you fit in… you rise above. Keep on keeping on! 😀

        October 24, 2013
      • Oh Carolyn what a beautiful thing to say, thank you so much, this means a lot to me. I do feel more confident each day, my confidence has grown so much over the last few years, but guess there will always be those doubts. Thank you again, many times over.

        October 24, 2013
  5. well, i hear ya. i have often wanted to be like someone else – photographically and otherwise. after shooting for some time and seeing other club members’ work, i realize that my work is the result of seeing the way i see and marks the moment where i am today. i’ve had compliments on some images and i think we are all our own worst critics. anyway, what makes each person’s work unique is their vision and sense of cohesion, which translates into the way their images are captured and how work is presented. now, i wouldn’t want to be like anyone else because that would make one of us redundant. Oscar Wilde said – be yourself, everyone else is already taken.
    Now i work to expand my horizons & learn to make better images – my way.
    So, i like your work and appreciate your sharing your learning experiences and the other artists that influence you. this takes time and does help those who take the time to read.
    carry on !!!

    October 24, 2013
    • I like that Oscar Wilde quote, I really do, be yourself.
      I have to admit that I have stayed away from the whole club scene, I found it so competitive and it was really hard to work out who was being really good to me and who was trying to bring me down. We are also our own worse enemies, you are so right there.
      I am glad you don’t mind my waffle, I can go on sometimes. Thank you so much, I will carry on.

      October 24, 2013
  6. Love the feel of these photos!

    October 24, 2013
    • That is great to hear RoSy, thank you so much.

      October 24, 2013
  7. The photo with the pumpkins… awesome!

    October 24, 2013
  8. Huge fan of your work and I agree with Helen. Your work definitely reminds me of paintings and you know what that’s your thing and you do it quite well. I admire all different styles of portrait photography and I think you will find success because you do stand out. Some people may not like style but I think that is far more memorable than what you typically seen out there. Example when I go to someone else’s blog post and see that you liked their work. I think oh LC liked it and I instantly remember a few photos that you blogged at some point this year :-)..

    October 24, 2013
    • Thank you Marcus, that is great to hear. I like that idea that my images look like paintings could be my thing and maybe I just need to go with that. I have to remember to not worry about those that don’t like my style, it can be hard, but I am getting better at it. I think many people need encouragement and I think liking posts is a great way to do it. Lots of likes gives people that extra something to try more and go for it. I have to admit that I have done work in the past that has been kind of ordinary, but I am happy with where they are going, of course comments like this always helps, thank you again.

      October 24, 2013
  9. I love your style of gritty dreamlike photography. It is unique because there’s only one you! x

    October 24, 2013
    • What a lovely think to say Amanda, thank you so much. I should write that down and look at it often.

      October 24, 2013
      • Leanne, I know how you feel, as Im sure everyone who creates does, its a confidence thing. But your work is simply stunning hun, & from what I can see I’m not on my own for thinking so! So believe your followers and believe in yourself. 🙂 x

        October 24, 2013
      • It does seem to be a popular problem with artists, it can so frustrating. Thank you so much Amanda, I do need to remember this.

        October 24, 2013
  10. I appreciate your sharing thoughts in such a personal way. Your images are outstanding. You will find a way to satisfy your creative ideas – definitely not babies in baskets.

    October 24, 2013
    • That is good to hear Susan, I was a bit worried about this post. I will continue to find my way and I am sure I will continue to share my thoughts and feelings about this, I hope will won’t mind. So glad to hear that my work isn’t babies in baskets, thank you so much.

      October 24, 2013
  11. I appreciate your images and thoughts. Definitely avoid babies in baskets or babies dressed like carrots.

    October 24, 2013
    • No need to worry about the babies as carrots, I will never, never go there. Thanks again.

      October 24, 2013
  12. Your portraits remind me of faerie tales or of fantasy tales or something very much out of the ordinary. Brilliant work.

    October 24, 2013
    • Thank you, that is great to hear.

      October 24, 2013
  13. saundrafox #

    Reblogged this on Saundra Fox: Author and commented:
    True words if ever I had heard them: “Well, I don’t think like that anymore. If other people are doing the same, well that is fine, I just have to be better.”

    October 24, 2013
  14. I’ve seen a lot of your photos. I think a number of these are your very best work. Cheers.

    October 24, 2013
    • That is fantastic to hear, thank you.

      October 24, 2013
  15. Hi Leanne. Great post. I use MOO all the time and have ordered the portfolio pack. I can def vouch for it. I believe you can upload as many as 50 photos for one 50 card set. I usually just upload about 10. The quality is good. I use their regular, extra rigid stock.

    October 24, 2013
    • Thanks for the feedback, that is great. So how do you do that, I could only work out how to do one at a time, very time consuming. Maybe I should chat with you on facebook and you can help me, or not, up to you. I love the idea of having a small folio with me to show people.

      October 24, 2013
      • Okay, well, there is a section that the site will bring you to that will let you upload a photo into a biz card template, then you scroll to the next template and upload another photo, etc. I believe you must use the PRINTFINITY cards. That is the one that lets you upload more than one photo to your set. I would love to help you more on a chat, but I don’t know what more help I can give. If you have all the photos lined up to go on your desktop or folder, then the uploading should be fairly quick. Why don’t you try again, make sure you are ordering the PRINTFINITY set and if you still can’t get it to work, then PM me on FB and we can try and work it out.

        October 24, 2013
      • Thanks, I will check that out and see if I can work out. I just did each one individually, I ordered 5, so I am excited to see them. Though I didn’t do what you did and got them on the green paper, I imagine that is the recycled paper, I like that you can choose what paper you want to use. Thanks for your help.

        October 24, 2013
      • No problem. It was not an easy call for me to choose that paper. You will have to let me know how they come out. Here is an idea that I am experimenting with. I decided to frame about 10 of the photo sides of the biz cards and they look great. I will try to take a pic of one and post it to FB in the next day or two so you can see how it looks. I want to sell them for $10 a piece out the door.

        October 24, 2013
      • I will, I don’t know when they will arrive. That is an interesting idea, I look forward to seeing the photo on FB. Good luck with it.

        October 24, 2013
      • Thanks–yes, please report back on how the cards came out. You might want to frame them as well and perhaps try to sell them as back-of-the-room items at an exhibit or something. You can sign your name on the bottom of each card before framing…

        October 24, 2013
      • I will, it sounds like an interesting idea.

        October 24, 2013
      • Thanks…I just took the photo of the photo lol. So I will post it to FB within the next 24 hours. Feel free to leave feedback on the post, What you will be looking at is the biz card–photo side–in an inexpensive frame that included matting. Take care…..

        October 24, 2013
      • I will look for it on FB. I have to cut some mats today, not looking forward to it, but i has to be done.

        October 25, 2013
      • I hear you. All we want to do is take and edit the photos. No grunt work :}

        October 25, 2013
      • Sounds ideal. 🙂

        October 25, 2013
  16. Wishing you massive success. I know what you mean about wanting to be different…MM

    October 24, 2013
    • It is something that is important to me, I will just have to keep trying I think, thanks MM.

      October 24, 2013
  17. Great post! I really love your portraits, very distinctive and definitely something I would prefer over the “babies in a basket” style pic you mentioned. Writers often talk about findining their voice and I think this is a similar thing to what you are discussing. Everything has been done before but the challenge is finding your take on the world and always letting that shine through in your work, be that photography, music or writing.

    October 24, 2013
    • Thank you, glad you like them. I am going to skip to the last part of your comment, that is just brilliant, I love that, and that is exactly what I mean. I will have to write that down, thank you so much for that. Wonderful.

      October 24, 2013
  18. Some really beautiful shots there, Leanne. You’re certainly developing a certain look for your portraiture which I’m sure will pay off. Good stuff.

    October 24, 2013
    • Thank you Distan, I love where they are going, my biggest problem is working how to find a clientele, I am working on it, I am sure they are out there.

      October 24, 2013
  19. Fantastic photos … Thank you for sharing …

    October 24, 2013
    • You are very welcome, and thank you too.

      October 24, 2013
  20. you, and your work, which is a reflection of your creative spirit, do stand out in a wonderful way.

    October 24, 2013
    • What a fantastic thing to say, thank you so much ksbeth.

      October 24, 2013
  21. I am not a professional photographer or artist. I enjoy taking pictures as a hobby. I do love looking at the work of others. Your work is especially interesting to me because it is so unique and different from anything else I have seen

    October 24, 2013
    • It seems to be different when you take that next step, I think. I am glad you like my work and always appreciate hearing what you think, thank you Nora.

      October 24, 2013
  22. If you don’t wear anything over the top, and go out in public, you will definitely get noticed.
    Kidding aside, Thanks so much for your persistance, your effort, and your good work.

    October 24, 2013
    • Yes, but I would get noticed by the wrong people, hahaha.
      You don’t need to thank me for that, it is something I have to do, I just hope you don’t get bored with it. Thank you.

      October 24, 2013
  23. I love your work so much! Especially what you do with the pictures afterwards, they look like something out of a classy fantasy novel/film, or lovely gothic paintings. If I could afford the flight to Australia I would so want to come and get some photos taken by you!

    October 24, 2013
    • Thank you so much, now wouldn’t that be wonderful if I could shoot your, well take photos of you I mean.

      October 24, 2013
  24. IDA #

    Wow! I love the concept and post processing in your work. Thanks for sharing Leanne.

    October 24, 2013
    • You are very welcome, and thank you as well.

      October 24, 2013
  25. Maggie Beck #

    Leanne, I have grown with age (I am quite sure I am older than you are !) to believe that ony two things matter when considering our craft, whatever it may be. I am an educator, and these principles hold as true in adulthood as they did in middle school.

    1. We must continually challenge ourselves to grow by looking where we once were – not where others may be at this time. We look outside ourselves for inspiration, but challenges must come from within. 2. In sharing our journey, learning, and craft, and in teaching others, we continue to strengthen and evolve. It is a recursive process: general curiosity -> purposeful inquiry -> experimentation/practice -> discovery . . . Which prompts more curiosity.

    In the time that I have been following your blog, I have seen this process in action. May it continue, with joy.
    Best,
    Maggie

    October 24, 2013
    • Wow Maggie, that is brilliant. I love it, it seems to be something with artists that teaching is important. I didn’t really realise that until recently. I always thought artist taught because they needed money, which they do, but it is also a great thing to do. I really love teaching, which surprised me.
      Thank you so much Maggie, I really appreciate this.

      October 25, 2013
  26. Thank goodness for no naked baby shots. Yours are much more classy.

    October 24, 2013
    • I think there are enough people doing them, I don’t want to do them. I hope mine are more romantic, if that is the right word. Thank you Carol.

      October 25, 2013
  27. I understand completely – while there have always been dog photographs we (as artists) are looking for our William Wegman moment of capturing a Weimaraner on roller skates – so that with one look people know who shot it.

    October 24, 2013
    • I can’t stop laughing, a dog on roller skates, yes that would certainly set you apart. Thank you Robert, love this.

      October 25, 2013
  28. Unique and beautiful!!

    October 24, 2013
  29. That, my friend, is a life-altering realization…if we all shape our work so it reflects US, then we ARE original, no matter where the inspiration came from 🙂
    I stumbled upon a bed of delicate-looking ferns back in the woods last week, that were just beginning to turn gold…first thing I thought of was what a great setting they would make for one of your portraits. The second was, “How do I get my granddaughter to play along, so *I* can try it?” 😉

    October 25, 2013
    • Thank you Marie, I know I can develop a style that will be mine.
      I love the idea of the ferns, maybe you could take a photo for me and I could try putting someone in it. We could collaborate. Though I am sure if put some dress ups on Angel she might let you take a photo of her there. Please try, would love to see what you get.

      October 25, 2013
  30. Wow, Leanne, breathe! 🙂 For what it’s worth, you are already different and stand out from the pack of portrait photographers. I think your images are gorgeous.

    October 25, 2013
    • Thank you Matt, that is great to hear, something I need to hear from time to time. I am going to try and step it up a bit soon, so that will be fun.

      October 25, 2013
  31. Not wearing anything over the top is BOUND to get you noticed! (Sorry, couldn’t resist it!) 🙂
    Your style is certainly fresh and distinctive.

    October 25, 2013
    • I like your sense of humour, so please don’t feel you need to apologise.
      Thank you, I still need to work on some things, but I feel like I am getting there.

      October 25, 2013
  32. I love your candidness. You are not confusing. I understand what you are saying. When you are good, people will copy. The one thing that you have that is different from everyone else is YOU! The you in you is what’s going to put that little touch of something different in everything you do, as long as you keep your integrity in yourself. Anyways that’s the way I see it. I am new to this world of photography and I’ve seen so many wonderful images from the many talented and creative photographers, you included, that I am in awe of. Sometimes it’s hard not to be influenced by the imaginative works that some possess. But I am trying to find my own direction and I know I have a long way to go but I feel as long as I keep my own integrity in whatever I do I know I will be ok.

    October 25, 2013
    • Growth is key, and taking baby steps, finding your own way is always important. I was just saying to someone who is trying to do something, or work a certain way that some important photographer works, that you have to find your own way of doing things. Sure, try what they do but if you find it hard, then don’t do it. I know that I do things that other professionals say is wrong, but it works for me. Thank you so much Cindy, I love your comment and what you have said, it has been wonderful to get the support from so many people. It really is wonderful. I will keep doing it my way.

      October 25, 2013
      • Thank you Leanne! You are very encouraging. Your journey has also been my journey in that when I read your posts I learn so much from your experiences which you write with such honesty, realism and clarity. Thank you and keep doing it your way as only you can do!

        October 25, 2013
      • That is so good to hear, I often wonder why people like my blog, but this makes a lot of sense, and so I will continue to do it my way, thank you again Cindy.

        October 25, 2013
  33. Beautiful images!!!! You are very creative…

    October 25, 2013
    • Thank you, that is great to hear. I sometimes think I am just kidding myself, but I think all artists feel that way.

      October 25, 2013
  34. This is amazing. It’s more like painting than photographing, so pure, so colorful I can even smell each picture, wonderfull. I’m truly amazed! And honoured with your like on my amateur blog 😉

    October 25, 2013
    • That used to bother me that people thought that, but it doesn’t anymore, I take it to be a great compliment,so thank you very much. You know we are all amateurs, just at different stages of our journey. 🙂

      October 25, 2013
  35. Jen #

    This is an interesting post, Leanne, one I think artists of every stripe understand. We want to stand out for our own style—it is *so* encouraging when someone sees one of my photos and says, “I recognized it as your work right away because of your style”—and at the same time satisfy people’s desires and needs.

    In the end, I think it comes down to our deciding why we’re doing what we’re doing and what we want it to say. Once we have that (which often changes from subject to subject!), the “how”, I think, comes along to us pretty easily. The hardest part for me, and possibly others, is that time weighs upon me and I always feel I must hurry! hurry! hurry! and get it done to move on to the next photograph. It’s really important to *think* about and consider what we’re doing and why we’re shooting it.

    Really like your bride (? the woman in the white dress) on the steps, and the last photo. Enjoy your Moo cards! I’ve used them for years and years now, they’re always a hit, plus it’s nice to be able to feature new work so easily. 🙂

    October 25, 2013
    • Glad you liked the post Jen, must admit I was a little worried about it. Thought people might think I didn’t know what I was talking about. I am the same when someone says they recognise my work. It is such a great feeling.

      Maybe I need to think about that more, maybe I should get back to you on that one. I just know I love taking photos and I love seeing what I can do to them. Though there is a lot more to it, and maybe that is the problem I have really worked that out yet.

      I love the bride too, I like the idea of the bride. I can’t wait for my cards, such a great idea, I can just keep adding to them. Thank you so much Jen, I really appreciate this.

      October 25, 2013
  36. CitraGran Cibubur #

    Reblogged this on CitraGran Cibubur.

    October 25, 2013
  37. Leanne, these images are so very beautiful ! You are so creative and talented. My favourites are the Princess dreaming after the ball and Getting closer to shelter.
    I totally get what you talk about on this post, we all want to stand out, but it’s not always easy… Especially when you can see what everybody is creating all over the planet ! 🙂

    October 25, 2013
    • Thank you, wonderful to hear which images you like, I love both of those too.
      It really is hard to stand out, but maybe we shouldn’t concentrate on that, and just create. 🙂

      October 25, 2013
  38. We need different and unique styles, we need different types of photography, we need variety, we need you to stand out! Keep finding and sharing your style of art, it seems very unique to me, like nothing I have ever seen, so I quite enjoy seeing what you are up to. My daughter does the soft creamy dreamy whites in her baby photography because that is her style, that is what people seek her out for, and that is what she is good at. And it is beautiful and I love it. But it is not necessarily my own natural style. I like whimsical and dramatic and dark sometimes, so I follow you! There is room for all of the differences on our wonderful planet. I like to see them all. I like the variety. Keep up the good work, it’s fun to see, and I hope you become very successful at it.

    October 26, 2013
    • I couldn’t agree more Tricia, we do need different types. There are trends out there for photography, and I am sure I am part of one, but hopefully not one that lots of photographers are doing. I love those words, and the reasons why you follow me Tricia, thank you so much, all the comments for this have been so positive and really helped me.

      October 26, 2013
  39. Your pictures must be part of a fairytale 😎
    I find romance, adventure and drama in your imaginative images that arouse the curiosity of the viewer. The colors are magnificent.
    All the best,
    Hanna

    October 26, 2013
    • Well fairy tales have been an influence, and I certainly started off thinking about them a lot, but that doesn’t always work, so now I am looking at other sources for inspiration. I am so happy to hear you say you find romance, adventure and drama, all the things that I try to get into my images. Thank you so much Hanna.

      October 26, 2013
  40. That banner is a stunner!!

    I may yet ask you to use that photo at some stage!! As the cover of something I’m writing what can be loosely called a ‘historical literary novella’… the period drama of that photo instantly takes me deep into my own mind and the story… titillatingly enchanting!! 😉

    October 27, 2013
    • Thank you.
      A few people have said I should try and do book covers, not really sure how to go about it, but it seems it should be something I try to figure out. Great idea. Thanks. 🙂

      October 27, 2013
  41. I get what you’re trying to say. It’s the eternal struggle for every artist and photographer who doesn’t just want to paint flowers or do school portraits. I’ve always felt that once you find something that clicks, you should probably run with that. I’m still waiting.

    October 27, 2013
    • I am starting to see that it is, and it is great to find so many people who feel the same way. I agree totally. I could do what everyone else is doing, make money that way, but I know I wouldn’t be happy, I have to like what I am doing. So I think I have found that something that clicks, so I am running with it, will let you know how it turns out. I hope you find yours soon, good luck. Thank you.

      October 27, 2013
  42. Di' #

    You are indeed standing out from the crowd. Kudos to you!

    October 27, 2013
    • Fantastic to hear, thank you.

      October 27, 2013
  43. I love your portrait style – it seems so natural – like it found you. Can’t see any reason why you can’t apply it to other kinds of photographs (even babies). Moo are great aren’t they?

    October 27, 2013
    • I feel that way about it as well, I just can’t stop it, and I just found a new source of costumes, so I can’t wait to stop doing more. So lots of new ones soon I hope. Thank you Richard, I haven’t got my cards yet, but yes, I think they are going to be fantastic.

      October 27, 2013
  44. LOVE LOVE LOVE those portraits!!!

    October 27, 2013
    • Thank you, love comments like this, 🙂

      October 27, 2013
  45. Wow look at all of these beautiful portraits! You capture these great moments! I want you to do pictures of my husband and I, I can’t stand traditional portraits and yours are amazing!

    October 28, 2013
    • Thank you Amanda, I tell you what, if we are ever in the same country I will do some of the two of you for sure. Wait till you see the wedding photos I did.

      October 28, 2013
  46. Thanks for sharing!!

    October 30, 2013

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