This. Is. Your. Year.

Screen Shot 2019-01-01 at 1.30.08 PMI know you’ve been dreaming of that one thing. That thing that has kept you awake thinking “If I could do this…just this one thing…I would be so proud, so happy and so content. I would be living my dream.”

This is the year.

Why? Because this year you gather up all the chutzpah you have ever stored away in your heart of all hearts. This is the year you make the decision that the risk is worth it. This is the year that the fear of never living your dream is bigger than the fear of failing if you tried.

This is the year of YES.

Whatever “that” is for you, here it is. This moment is yours. This year is yours. You’ve stepped up to the plate, you’ve gathered all of your courage and you are now baring your soul, ready for whatever mountains you have to climb to get to the top.

Lather-rinse-repeat, baby.

#youvegotthis

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!

To BARE Oneself

Love Yourself-1-2Ahhhhhhhh……this shoot. This shoot. This shoot. This shoot was so special to me. When I hooked up with Amanda over at GRLPWRPGH to collaborate on some fab group photo sessions aimed at woman-focused spotlighting on such things as body positivity, self acceptance/love and community, I knew we were getting into some special things, but this is my heartbeat right here.

We have covered some really lovely topics, and we have a lot more to go, but when I mentioned to Amanda that this theme was something I had been thinking about for a while, she agreed we were onto something.

And so BARE was born. It was important to me to convey a deep relationship between a woman’s perception of herself, just as she is (bare) and the difficulty in keeping that a positive journey. Very little makeup, very little hairstyling. This represented a deliberate coming out of accepting oneself as-is, with reverence, respect and honor. Does this mean that these women have bested the reckoning they’ve had with themselves, coming to a place of complete self love? No. But it does show that these women have openly begun this very important journey of loving themselves just a little more, each and every day.

Make no mistake, that’s not easy and it’s so very brave. Every single one of us: big, small, stretch marks, wobbly bits, tall, short….you name it…we are each a walking daily reminder of what the magazines and television like to point out as “flawed”. From head to toe we are exactly what billions of dollars are invested into every year to make us believe we are not what we should be, but could be if we drink their juice.

But lately, there’s been a tribal reckoning with us women. We women, we’re taking it back. Ladies: we are taking FLAWED back and we are reveling in it, we are reimagining it, we are reclaiming it, we are revolutionizing the concept and taking back what we were always told that definition meant and we are REDEFINING it.

Yessssss……my lovely sisters. That word belongs to us. It’s all ours and we can do with it what we please. Each and every day I see a woman or group of women that are stepping up and out and boldly proclaiming what beauty REALLY is.

And guess what? Beauty is FLAWED…and the more flaws…the more beautiful it is.

So get out there. Revolutionize beauty, ladies. Reclaim and proclaim.

HUGE shout out to AtHome Beauty for the fab hair & makeup styling! And don’t miss John’s behind-the-scenes film!

Ta’lor: Being a part of this BARE shoot meant so much to me because I have been wanting to be a part of something like this for a long time. I was addicted to wearing some form of makeup when I was in high school. When I was in college, I gained the “freshman fifteen” and lost my confidence in my body. I then got pregnant a few months before I graduated and after I had my daughter, my stretch marks and cellulite enhanced greatly. I was ashamed of my body in many ways and by becoming a Self-love Coach and journeying through my own path of self-love, I have truly found acceptance in my body. I am loving my body in a way that I never did, like going braless more and hosting #nomakeupmondays every other month as a challenge for women on social media. I have found my joy in being BARE and I am so thankful to Elizabeth Craig and GRLPWRPGH for allowing me to be a part of this BARE + BOPO Shoot.

And this is a poem that Ta’lor wrote for her blog, which I thought you might like. She has so many that I think would speak right to your heart, but I thought this one was perfect for our day:

“I am here for the women who have cellulite.

I am here for the women who have belly rolls.

I am here for the women with back fat.

I am here for the women with a double chin.

I am here for the women with flabby arms.

I am here for the women with chunky knees.

I am here for the women with stretch marks.

I AM HERE FOR EVERY WOMAN”

Love Yourself-34Love Yourself-3

 

Sophia: Before coming into the BARE shoot I felt very much like I wasn’t at all photoshoot ready! I had a very rough weekend full of heavy emotions and lack of sleep and I just thought it would show right through the images. I was unhappy with my eyebrows I had gotten threaded the day before and my hair was not cooperating per usual. Coming out of the shoot I felt the complete opposite I did coming in. I felt like I was 10 feet tall. Literally. I listened to that song by Afrojack the whole way home and reminisced with myself about how the people you surround yourself with should make you feel like that no matter how you yourself feel! The BARE shoot did just that for me. It lifted my spirits and made me feel supported and beautiful like I was a candidate on America’s next top. Everything I was unhappy with about myself coming in was complimented and through that came a love and gratitude for those things on my way out. I felt like I left that photoshoot with a brand new girl squad of superheroes ready to take on the world together.Love Yourself-18Love Yourself-17

 

Julia: Empowered women, empower women. Through every “Damn girl!”, “You look amazing!”, “Your hair is to die for!”, “Your skin looks amazing!”, “You are so beautiful!” this quote was felt full heartedly at the BARE shoot. Empowering, connecting, and supporting women is what it is all about here at GRL PWR PGHLove Yourself-14Love Yourself-13

 

Tori: I had an absolutely fantastic experience being BARE. After a slight dental mishap right before the shoot, all of the girls rallied behind me made me feel even more beautiful. It made me realize that makeup and great hair doesn’t make you beautiful; it’s your laugh, and smile, and ways you connect with those surrounding you that make you powerful and beautiful. Love Yourself-10Love Yourself-9

 

Victoria: Here’s my few sentences on pre & post shoot feels. Floating into the 2nd floor studio of Elizabeth Craig photography, greeted by GRLPWRPGH founder, Amanda Cowan with Champagne to toast, I was instantly comfortable. Amanda’s email instructions were clear and welcoming, putting the group of woman at ease from the start. The company was fabulous and each woman was instructed to wear no make-up and neutral clothing. We lounge around Elizabeth’s pose, plush studio where we ordered Postmates and took turns getting our hair and make-up done by Lee Ann of At Home Beauty, talk about a happy Monday! The theme of BARE felt so fitting in this comfortable place of supportive women. We all laugh and celebrated each other’s beauty, as we share our passions and work purpose. One woman even lost the cap of her tooth and instead of tears it was all laughter, if that doesn’t convey a loving environment on photoshoot day, nothing does! When it was my turn in Lee Ann’s make-up chair it was a quick application of concealer and lip gloss and a messy bun up-doe, which everyone dotted really highlighted my bone structure (giving me a great confidence boost). In front of Elizabeth’s lens was a breeze, she give specific directions and positive, fun feedback. We saved the group shots for last, all giggling and giving fierce poses, it was the icing on the cake for the afternoon. Leave the shoot and exiting the street I felt fabulous and light, at home in my own skin. Love Yourself-16Love Yourself-15

 

Aryanna: As the mother of three, two of which are daughters, I tell them all the time it is who they are that is beautiful and what people see is the manifestation of that beauty. Yet, I showed up to this photo shoot scared to show my bare face and my hair in its natural state – afraid of being judged. The gut punch of love and energy from all the women who participated showed me that I must take more time absorbing my own advice so that my daughters realize the manifestation and not just the rhetoric.Love Yourself-6Love Yourself-7

 

Jordan: Before: Going into this shoot, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. While I live my life as an open book through Listen, Lucy, I still get butterflies in my stomach when I am in a vulnerable position. I am a public speaker, not a model. I am also SUPER awkward in front of the camera and not being able to do my hair or use make up to cover physical flaws scared. But, I left there feeling empowered and beautiful. I not only felt like Beyonce, but had the opportunity to meet and hang with group of fierce women who are making their marks on the world and came to slay.Love Yourself-4Love Yourself-5

 

Hilary: I’ve never done a photoshoot before, and I was undoubtedly nervous walking into a room of strangers without mascara on! My nerves quickly dissipated after meeting such an incredible group of women. Everyone lifted each other up and made going “bare” easier than I thought it would be. It felt great to put my rawest self on display. Since I was a little girl, my body had been failing me. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, Endometriosis, Psoriasis and a list of conditions that go along with them. My body might fail me, but that doesn’t mean that my mind has to. Going bare for me was about overcoming my personal obstacles (both mental and physical) and laying exactly who I am out on the table – a boss a$$ b*tch who no longer will let anything, even illness, bring me down. The photoshoot made me feel empowered. It made me feel loved. And it reminded me that if we can make all women feel like this – we can conquer the world.
Love Yourself-12Love Yourself-11

 

AmandaLove Yourself-19Love Yourself-20

Social Media Workshop You Do NOT Want to Miss!!

Screen Shot 2018-08-07 at 10.05.51 AMHey all! So so so excited to share with you that I will be teaching a workshop on “How to take a FAB Selfie” in this upcoming workshop being masterly thrown by GRLPWRPGH! Read on for more info…

GRLPWRPGH is SO excited to announce their first workshop, focused on all things social media!

Join us for a one-day workshop filled with speakers, panels, mini break out sessions, great food, ever better cocktails, interactive activities + so much more. Spend the day being both entertained and informed, create relationships with other creative women in the ‘burgh and discuss current social media trends + how to get your brand noticed.

Whether you are planning to launch a new business or blog, looking to spark some inspiration for new content or inquire more about the behind-the-scenes strategy of successful social media, GRLPWRPGH’s Social Media Workshop is a one-stop shop for all creative + entrepreneurial ladies in Pittsburgh.

Early bird tickets on sale Monday, July 30th @ 10am EST.
Q3 MEMBERS: No ticket needed
NON-MEMBERS: Ticket available via Eventbrite

Interested in being a vendor or event sponsor? Email info@afayepr.com for more information.

Meet me there with these other 2 beauties and as we speak, teach and preach you into building a real, organic and engaged audience and following!Screen Shot 2018-08-23 at 8.07.22 AMScreen Shot 2018-08-23 at 8.06.53 AMScreen Shot 2018-08-23 at 8.07.12 AM

 

 

Let’s All Give a Big Welcome to ELIZABETH CRAIG MEDIA!

Screen Shot 2018-08-20 at 8.12.44 AMYes, yes, yes, yes, YES!!! Can you feel the excitement?? Read on my friends…

I know you’ve seen me A LOT in films on Instagram and Facebook (I’m so fancy…) and I know you’ve seen films within my social media that encompass a wide range of subjects and content. But did you know that they were all mastered by John Craig, my number one, my go-to-guy, my uber-talented, super-special BEST sherpa in the entire world??

Maybe you did know that, but you guys, did you know he’s been my secret weapon all along? Yes, you see my face, my personality, my writings and my goings-on, but behind the scenes has always been a magical wizard of business, future-building, strategic planning and, of course, content building. You never see him, really, but he’s there.

John has been doing social media management and films for lots of folks and businesses for a while, but we’ve never made it official…until now! We have officially launched Elizabeth Craig Media, under the Elizabeth Craig Photography umbrella. Now you get BOTH of us as your personal curating, copywriting, creative directing, producing, filming and photographing cheerleading team and fan club!

So let’s have a quick discussion on how we do what we do, because listen up folks: we DO NOT do what most film, photography, social media companies do. Pay attention here. Over the last few years, we have found that our #1 customer is people and businesses coming to us after paying thousands of dollars to some other film company for one, super-edited boring film that got them nothing in return. Here’s why: because one-hit wonders have no lasting effect on sustainability, future-building or audience/customer-building. And most of those “one-hit-wonders” are never even a hit from the start. And here is the reason why:

Because consistency beats absolutely everything else out EVERY SINGLE TIME.

One super duper expensive 10 minute film is going to get you nothing because you cannot gain a massive following or get your name one everyone’s lips with just one film. On average, it will take 12-18 months of consistent content output to get a groove going, a following happening and real return pouring in. Every single successful online presence I have ever seen for any successful brand all have this in common. Yes, there are the unicorns in this bunch, but are you going to bank your business’s future success on that?So, we at ECM believe in this model and this is what we do. We offer a variety of totally affordable packages that will not only give you a bucket full of consistent content, but we do all the handholding all the way through it. We will help you from the very beginning establish a plan of attack and a schedule to consistently keep you in the eyes of your audience and on the lips of your customers.

Having doubts?? Well let me just end it with this: most photography businesses fail within the first 3 years. We are now heading into our 14th year.

‘Nuff said there…Screen Shot 2018-08-20 at 8.12.09 AMScreen Shot 2018-08-20 at 8.11.20 AM