What are Personal Branding Films??

Screen Shot 2018-12-04 at 7.42.52 AMScreen Shot 2018-12-04 at 7.43.11 AMScreen Shot 2018-12-04 at 7.43.25 AMOK–so ’round these parts this is *kind of* a new concept. Well, at least the way we do this is kinda new.

If you’re an entrepreneur of a small business then you know how difficult it is to get your name out there. I know a lot of you “pay to play” with paid advertising and Google Ads and the sort. But I’m about to drop a bit of wisdom on you here so pay attention…

Consistency beats anything else you can do any day of the week.

Yep! If you can be consistent in your marketing, you will not need advertising. Yes, that means Instagram, Facebook, blogging and any other platform that is relevant to your business. Here’s why: search engines CRAVE fresh, new material because they know that is what people want. So their little bots are crawling all over the place 24 hours a day looking for material that is new to keep pushing to the top of searches. Wouldn’t you LOVE to be the one pushed to the top? Guess what? You can be. All you have to do is consistently put new material out and you will get pushed to the top. That’s how I topped off Google organically for YEARS for my boudoir photography. I have never once paid for placement. All I did was feed the bots exactly what they wanted allllll the time.

Here’s another tidbit for you:

Facebook and Instagram (IGTV), with Twitter pushing this more and more, are going to try and go to all video within the next 2 years to compete with Youtube.

What does this mean? This means you are going to have to rearrange your thought process when it comes to priorities on your sites and social media. Everyone believes that photography is the number one thing needed for a site, but in fact, video is quickly surpassing that. What does that mean? That means you need to invest in video.

Yes–I know what you’re thinking but hear me out.  You want to tell me that either you or someone you know invested THOUSANDS of dollars for a super-overly-curated film that you posted one time and it did nothing for you.

I’m not surprised and here’s why: because posting one thing, whether $1 or $10,000 in cost, will not bring anyone to you. Once they find you somehow and end up on your site they may watch your super duper expensive film, but the point is to GET THEM TO YOU with your social media and branding.

This brings me back to my original point: consistency. Can you do this with photography? Yes, you can. Ideally, you want to do it with both photography and films but remember I just told you the future is films.

So, how does Elizabeth Craig Media get you consistency without breaking your bank? First off, you should know that we approach our pricing and our style in a more blue-collar kind of way. We don’t mind getting our hands dirty, so we are super hands-on with our clients. We are team players and it’s really the brainstorming, creativity and the running and gunning that does it for us, so we’re in it to win it with you. Most desirable to you, I suspect, is that our pricing is blue collar as well. Just got interesting, right?

So, our approach obviously has to center around the tips I just mentioned above: video and video consistency. We know you don’t have $10,000/mo for us to curate 2 to 4 films a month for you, but you do need 2 to 4 films a month in order to blast social media and search engines consistently so that you not only get up in searches, but you also start to gain followers. Followers = audience. Audience = more visibility and more sharing. This all translates into money for you by way of picking up new customers and clients. So, although we definitely do hit and runs with one-film-and-done if that’s what you want, our desire is to help you build an archive of films for you to be able to pull from, repost and use in multiple ways on multiple platforms over a 6 month to year-long relationship. We typically take clients that hire us for 2 to 4, 1 to 2-minute films per month. Once you have your arsenal films it’s then up to you whether you need to keep us in your pocket or fly free for a while.

Does this work? Well, yeah…it works or we would be out of business. Look at those numbers:

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I can’t quote you a price right now without knowing what you need and how much you need, but if you’re interested, give us a shout. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Want to see more films? Go here and take a peek!

His Gift. Their Experience.

Elizabeth Craig Boudoir Photography-7He emailed me and wanted to know more about my sessions. At the time I had packages; he bought my 2nd from the top package. He emailed not too long after and upgraded to my top package.

She was so excited for this session. She followed all of my guidance carefully and thoroughly. She communicated with me regularly and the feeling of anticipation was palpable. She was ready.

The energy that day in the studio was sweet, electric and even a bit euphoric. It had been a while since I had someone so so so ready to make her session every inch, every nook, every cranny, every teensy eensy weensy bit and ounce what she knew it could be.

THAT is a good feeling to have in my studio.

We glided through her session with ease and laughter, ohhhhhhing and awwwwwwwing all the way. She glowed.

On her reveal day she brought him with her. I set up the slideshow and walked all the way to the back of my studio to give them space. Watching him take in her photos was such an experience. He kept shaking his head, but in that “YES!” kind of way. In that, “I just have no words” kind of way. He teared up. No I’m not kidding–he teared up as he watched his lovely, beautiful and sexy wife float from one slide to the next and he was so overcome he couldn’t help it. It was so romantic and so intimate.

Admit it. You want one. You want one just like him.

So he did buy her the gift of the session, but it truly was an experience for both of them. Not only did they both get to experience seeing her photos for the first time together, but every time they look at them they will be transported right back to that day.

I’d say that was a worthy investment…and he just bought her session #2…and I just can’t wait…Elizabeth Craig Boudoir Photography-8Elizabeth Craig Boudoir Photography-9Elizabeth Craig Boudoir Photography-10Elizabeth Craig Boudoir Photography-11Elizabeth Craig Boudoir Photography-12Elizabeth Craig Boudoir Photography-13Makeover by AtHome Beauty.

Givers. Takers. Fakers.

Elizabeth Craig Photography-3Do you know the difference? Do you know which is the hardest to spot? I didn’t for a long, long time but I’m happy to say that I can spot each pretty easily now.

Listen, this is important to hash out. I never really thought about any of this until I was utterly exhausted due to giving all of my time and energy to the Takers and Fakers. So much so that I had no time left to give to the Givers. That is seriously unbalanced. My last post was on Personal Responsibility and this post goes in tandem with that one.

Why is this a new theme for me? Because, for a long time I wrote about self-love, self-care, and self-appreciation and you all know how important those topics are for me. I think one of the most complex, joyous, disappointing, nurturing, careless and extraordinary relationships you’ll ever have in your life is the one you have with your Self. Goddess knows it takes time, so much hard work and tenderness to even remotely begin to unravel that kind of love, trust, and self-guidance. A HUGE, GINORMOUS part of working all of that out is understanding the dynamics of how infinitely intertwined the behaviors of others towards you play a role in the journey of Self. As you get to know your Self, it’s so important to then understand the role others play in that reflection.

Givers. There is likely nothing I can say here that you don’t already know, but let me give it a go. You know the Givers. They are the folks that share a reciprocal relationship of giving and taking. The balance is clear in everything they do. They take when they need, but they balance that with giving when they are needed. We cannot go through this life without needing help, so don’t be disappointed when a Giver needs to be given to. Think about your closest circle right now. You’ll know who these friends and family members are, instantly. They’ve always been there for you. They raise you up when you’re down and knock you down when you need it. They are honest, forthcoming, givers of love and also givers of tough love. These are the ones you keep close to your heart and protect with everything you have. If you don’t have any of these, get them. Get them now. No one can make it without them. Remember to always lift up a Giver when you can. They don’t get lifted up nearly as much as they should. Typically, they are the ones that never get recognized because their deeds are small. However, those deeds are consistent and the people they surround themselves with are consistently taken care of and lifted up by them. Today, I want you to think of a Giver in your life and thank them. Thank them deeply with true love. I can promise you they don’t get it enough. Recognition is not their goal, but it sure makes a person feel damn good.

Takers. These folks are pretty easy to spot as well. You know them. Always needing something. Always taking from others without appreciation or regard for what someone had to give up financially, emotionally, spiritually or mentally to give to them. They have distinct targets; the Givers that just can’t, for whatever reason, say no to a Taker. They don’t even realize that by giving to them, not only are they dramatically taking away from themselves, but they are instigating and stoking the fires of the Taker they are giving to, encouraging and enabling them to continue to take, take, take, with no responsibility for the aftermath. Another side effect of giving to a Taker is the it doesn’t just effect you; it effects everyone around you too. As an observer of this twisted relationship, it’s maddening because you typically sit on the sidelines, helpless to break those chains between a Taker and a Giver. If you are a Giver that has glued to a Taker, I highly recommend that you figure out a way to break that bond. I know that’s easier said than done, but you are doing the Taker a disservice, to say the least, but the true misfortune of this relationship is what it does and will continue to do to you. I’m not telling you to cut this person out of your life, but you need to ask yourself an important question here: What have you got to lose by saying No? They will be angry? So what?? They will not talk to you?? Awesome! Then you don’t have to put yourself out all the time for their selfishness and mistakes. I guarantee this:  your happiness and lightness of dropping such a load after the initial reaction will be soooooooo worth it.

Fakers. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh…..Fakers. These are the tough ones. GAH! Oh my Goddess you guys…Fakers are the WORST! Fakers can be super hard to spot because they come off as Givers. They come off as kind, helpful and they actually do give, occasionally. But if you peel back the layers of the moments they give, you will see that there is ALWAYS an ulterior motive that was calculated to truly only benefit them. It takes a keen eye and if you’re not super observative or have the ability to think like a Faker, they are sooooo easy to miss, and before you know it, you’re giving and giving and giving while you sit and wait for the Faker to give back to you the things they promised if you gave of yourself to them. It still happens to me occasionally, but I am so happy to say that my eye has become quite sharp in spotting a Faker. So, how do you spot a Faker? Think about the people in your life, and consider who has asked for things of you. This can be professionally and personally. Did they ask something of you, and then promise something in return but never quite got to that part for you? Oh and sometimes there is a good reason why they never quite got there for you. But how many times has this happened? Now think of this: does this person or people have a track record of leaving others in the dust as well? Believe me, if they are a Faker, they absolutely leave a trail of broken promises behind them.

What makes it so tough to spot a Faker is their ability to either be so kind and sweet or their ability to make you think they are actually going out of their way to help you. But the truth is, you either walk away burdened with tasks to help them, or you walk away feeling bad about yourself because in their “effort” to help you, all they’re really doing is pointing out what they believe your weaknesses are and what you “should” be doing, because what you are doing is either wrong or not enough. Ahhhhh….yessss…it’s starting to sink, right?? The kind and sweet are a bit easier to spot because they just simply don’t deliver on their promises. Eventually you’ll catch on and then hopefully you’ll decide to cut that off at the neck. But the other kind is so much harder because it comes as the Faker helping you. But each time you walk away from hanging out with them you feel awful about yourself, but you just can’t explain why. Then you go home and spiral down a path of self-loathing for a while, get back up and move on…until you meet with this person again…and then it the spiral starts all over again.

These are the people you just cut off at the neck. You don’t even have to tell them if you don’t want to, but yes, the Giver always feels they need to be honest and open. However, I caution you on this because there is a greater chance of you walking away blaming yourself, specifically because of the grand ability of a Faker to spin everything back onto their side. If you must communicate to walk away, do it by email, then block them and walk away from their response. I’ve done both talking and email and the feeling is one that I cannot explain. It. Feels. So. Damn. Good.

Lastly, be careful not to assume you are a Giver all of the time. Every person in your life brings out something in you. Some bring out kindness, some anger, some irritation, some an eyeroll, some a giving nature or humor. But make no mistake: I guarantee you’ve been a Taker and/or Faker at some point. So, as hard as this is, try not to judge. The point in all of this is to protect your Self and your own journey, making sure you don’t get derailed away from the path you’re supposed to walking and the life you’re supposed to be living.

Ok–so lastly lastly: give the Takers and Fakers the middle finger and walk away. You’re too special, precious and extraordinary to waste your time on them.

#youreworthitElizabeth Craig Photography-1Elizabeth Craig Photography-5Elizabeth Craig Photography-4Elizabeth Craig Photography-6Elizabeth Craig Photography-2Elizabeth Craig Photography-7Makeover: Jamie Newhouse
Muse: Jamie Newhouse
Location: Hip at the Flashlight Factory

Boudoir Photography Workshop Wrap-Up

Pittsburgh Boudoir Photography Workshop -2So happy to finally be able to give you my Boudoir Photography Workshop wrap-up from my time in Estes Park, CO!

So let me say this: it was awesome. I think what I loved most about being a part of the Photo Rehab 2018 Workshop was that it was immersive. There was no separation from the instructors and the attendees and we all spent all of our time together. Does that sound weird? It shouldn’t; being able to have total access to everyone at pretty much anytime was seriously cool. I had so much fun teaching and getting to know everyone there. Also–there were 8 of us there, all teaching something different. Talk about getting some bang for your buck!

I had the pleasure of teaching a live posing workshop, providing two muses for the attendees to photograph. Krystle Coll flew all the way out from Pittsburgh to help me out with that and Paige Joelson drove 2 hours for her part as well. I can’t thank either one of them enough for agreeing to lay around half naked and let 20 people photograph them. And a GIANT thank you to Evans Stowers for the incredible hairstyling and Sameera Ahmed for the killer makeup on both muses. Thank you both for bringing it all to life for me! I rounded it all out with a styled shoot of Krystle, and invited all of the attendees to come and photograph if they wanted to. Take a peek at the film. It’s a good recap of our time there (plus you’ll get to see our special guest, Sven the Elk, make his debut).

Special thanks to Chad Braithwaite, the organizer and grand poobah of the event. I’m not typically a kumbaya kinda gal, but this was absolutely wonderful.

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