Personal Branding Gold

Personal Branding Head Shots | Pittsburgh-8That’s how you have to think about a personal branding session. It has to be gold. That means it has to be the absolute most best and pristine representation of who you are and then being able to convey that within 3 seconds of a glance in photographs. Yes, 3 seconds. That’s how long it takes someone to identify and connect with you and know if they want to know more about you and your services. That should reallllllly make you think about what photographer you want to work with when considering that little tidbit of information.

And let’s make a note of this once again: personal branding is a totally different beast than head shots. Head shots are for business cards and lectures. It’s to put a face with a name. Personal branding is conveying with photographs, color palettes, aesthetic and design an immediate connection with the viewer and allowing them to get a taste of your own style and personality in what you have to offer.  It’s a little more work than a head shot. You can see one traditional head shot in this grouping of photos. I don’t think I need to point out which one it is. In the other photographs, you can immediately pick up her personality, her position on her team, and that she is a straight-to-the-point, no BS kinda gal with all the clean lines, no patterns, and black and white clothing. Her poses are power poses and that was not a coincidence. You can also see a few relaxed poses so that you identify with her casual and more easy going, laid-back side of herself. Also not a coincidence.

Let’s talk about those clothes. I had her tell me her style, send photos of her style and then I went out and shopped for her. I had about 10 outfits in my studio for her to choose from and she chose these 2 and then we mixed and matched. Yes, I do that. Why? Because I will push you outside of your comfort zone a bit. I will take your style and I will bump it up a notch or 10. I will make sure that you look exactly as you want to look, but better. Over the years I’ve developed an eye for dressing all body types and I just had the epiphany in the last year or so that I should use it to assist my clientele is representing the best of themselves. And ladies…it’s fun. If you think you’re excited for the session, imagine walking into a closet full of clothes, just for your delight. This service is not free, but yes, I do that. My favorite for Gina was that white blazer and the black pants and shirt. Killer.

It’s been a lot of fun exploring personal branding in my photography and coming up with new ideas has been a blast. My favorite is when we scout different locations for specific looks. I love my studio but I also love getting out it for a bit and pushing myself out of my own comfort zone.

After all, comfort zones are so comfortable…and boring.Personal Branding Head Shots | Pittsburgh-3Personal Branding Head Shots | Pittsburgh-7Personal Branding Head Shots | Pittsburgh-1Personal Branding Head Shots | Pittsburgh-5Personal Branding Head Shots | Pittsburgh-6Personal Branding Head Shots | Pittsburgh-4Makeover by At Home Beauty.

Such Elegance

Pittsburgh Beauty Photographer-1-2She loves Downton Abby, singing, dancing and acting. She adores all the glamour of Hollywood and knows the difference between being an actress and a star. She wanted a day to shine and feel what it would be like to be under the lights, adored and made to look like a genuine screen siren. Mission. Accomplished.

Meet Michelle Flynn. A mover and shaker in Pittsburgh, always on the go and onto the next thing in her career. Right now she’s preparing to record her first album, which I can’t wait to hear. We found ourselves getting pretty excited one afternoon talking about beauty and glamour and before we knew it, this shoot was in the works. I found these gowns and had to have them for her. This post only shows 2 and we have 3 more to show you. She poured herself into each as if they were all made just for her and as you can see, they kinda were. Our collective favorite is this beaded number by Mac Duggal. It was just sooooooo elegant.

Be sure to watch the behind the scenes film. With so much glitz and sparkles I just couldn’t help myself but make sure to capture all the little details on film.

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In This Journey Called Life…

Santa Fe NM Beauty Boudoir Photographer-3…you just never know what to expect, who you will meet or what serendipitous and coincidental situations you will find yourself in, but after my time in New Mexico I can firmly say: I’m all in.

Let me briefly start at the beginning. The last year has been filled with blocks and missteps with regards to my photography and I really just did not know how to get over them. I couldn’t see them, but I could absolutely *feel* them. I felt heavy, restless and seriously distracted. I found myself being less and less motivated, which really played heavily on my creativity. I can tell you, in my work, creativity is what drives me, fuels me, gets me up in the morning and keeps me awake all night. My brain is flooded by the hour with new ideas, spins on old ideas and the working, re-working and flipping of someone else’s idea till it bends and folds into my own creation. Anyway, I was stuck.

Then, an out-of-nowhere reuniting with 2 friends of mine introduced me to the practice of reiki. One of my blasts from the past has spent the last year or so getting certified in reiki and she spoke about her instructor and practitioner so highly I just felt compelled to give it a try. You guys…I’m so glad I did. I “met” Sharna, owner of Seek Spark Shine, over the phone by way of distance reiki sessions that I booked with her. Before you crinkle your nose, yes, you can do reiki over the phone. It’s connecting and moving energy and if you’re lucky enough to get hooked up with a super talented practitioner, distance reiki is just as beneficial in person or not. Sharna is also an intuitive so she is able to connect with your energy even deeper than most and let me tell you….it’s been absolutely amazing. I have never felt more clear and more determined to continue on the path and journey that she has helped me with during our time together. I **highly** recommend her to you. In fact, I have had one friend take me up on my recommendation and I can tell you, she was more than pleased with her session.

So, after my 3rd session with Sharna, I felt like I needed a respite and Sharna was actually the one that recommended it. The minute I knew in my mind that I was on board, I instantly saw cacti, sand and dry weather. I’m not sure why as I haven’t really spent much time at all in the midwest or southwest states. But I followed my nose and wound up renting the most adorable little casita in the hills of the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque, NM. I emailed Sharna to tell her, all this time thinking for some reason she lived in San Diego and worked mostly there. I thought she had a satellite office in NM but never considered it beyond a fleeting thought. Once I told her where I was going she immediately responded, “You know I live in Santa Fe, NM, right??” I was FLOORED. I could not believe that out of all the places in the world I chose for my respite, I chose a place 60 minutes from the woman that helped me on this journey in the first place. Holy. Serendipity.

I’m trying so hard to keep this brief so let me just say, I traveled. I rested. I meditated. I yoga-d. I hiked. I took myself out on dates. I wrote. I pondered. Mostly, I just did whatever I wanted to do and did not do anything I did not want to do. I woke up each morning and took about 30 – 45 minutes to drink my cup of coffee and think about what I wanted to do with my day. I meditated for about 30 minutes and then wrote in my journal for another 45 minutes. Made breakfast and got ready for my day. I either did yoga or hiked on the Tramway Trail. So, basically I gave myself about 5 hours every single morning to just….be. I could do that because I made it a point to stay on east coast time. So I was up each morning around 4:30am local time, giving me so much time to myself and so much peace and quiet because I was up at least 2 to 3 hours before the rest of world near me. It was a pure delight.

It was absolutely perfect and I have decided that I will not only do this every year, but every year it will get longer. I had 6 days and it was way too short. No, I did not have any grand epiphanies. No I did not see “the light” and float on air. Yes, I did begin a wonderful practice of taking time for myself and being good to myself. It’s not perfect, but it’s a journey and I’m so thrilled to have one those right now.

Lastly, Sharna needed some new photos for her business and really how could I resist?? Here she is in all her beautiful glory (I know…I’m posting so many but I couldn’t help myself), along with a video that I stumbled through at the conclusion of our shoot, which will help you get to know Sharna so much better. Enjoy!

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Newsletter Porn

What is newsletter porn, you ask? It’s a made up click-bate term I am using to get you to read this blog post. BUT WAIT! Don’t click off! I promise it will be worth it!! I also reallllly dislike the term “newsletter” so I’m officially changing it to Fab List. Yeah yeah yeah…if you’re on my blog then you have already gotten that super duper annoying pop up asking you to join my “newsletter”. Sorry. Sorry for the damn pop up and sorry for the damn term “newsletter”. I hate it too.

TIP: If you don’t want to read through all of my clever quips (whaaaaaaat?) discussing my Fab List, skip to the last paragraph because there’s a real sweet deal in there for you. 

But here’s the thing: if you sign up for my Fab List, then you will get to be in the know with everything “ECP”…that’s street talk for Elizabeth Craig Photography, for those of you not in the know…but now you are in the know…’cuz I just explained it to you…so…welcome to the cool gang.

If you think alllll you’re going to get is bombarded with annoying spam from me, think again. First, I hate annoying spam so I’m not going to do that to you. Second, I have no interest in sending anything out to you that is (a). boring, uninteresting or…yeah…annoying. And (b). I have no interest in sending you anything more than once a month. Frankly I just don’t even have time. But you WILL get the first announcement for all my deals, steals, tricks AND treats before anyone else gets the scoop. I have a lot planned for this year so you juuuuuust might want to be in the cool kids gang for this.

Third…and I love this one: if you sign up for my Fab List, you will instantly receive an email with a link to my Successful Selfie Posing Guide. WOOT! This can be used for everyday posing AND for entrepreneurs that need to keep their social media feeds fresh. And just a bit more of a shout out here: I’m now offering in-person tutorials on selfie posing, styling and wardrobe for entrepreneurs. So whether you want me to teach you one-on-one, or if you have a group that you’ve put together, yeah…I do that. So far so good too! Peeps seem to like it!

Oh….I guess I should talk about that video. Well, I’m not going to. Just click play and enjoy. 😉