Why Do You Need Personal Branding?

Pittsburgh Personal Branding Headshots Photographer-10That’s a great question that I find myself answering to potential clients all the time. Most the of the time, clients come to me thinking they only need a head shot or maybe 2 at the most. However, I love helping my clients have a few of those “lightbulb moments” when considering their professional photos and I thought I’d share a few with you.

What is the difference between head shots and personal branding? Easy. Head shots are exactly what you think they are: very simple, uncluttered professional photos of the subject, approximately from the belly button up to the head, sometimes just a shoulder-to-head shot. Do I do this? Yes, but I do it my way and it definitely does not look like your mom’s corporate photo. Personal branding, on the other hand, is just that: personal. It also aligns with the brand you are trying to attach to yourself. For Jennifer Lopez, it’s sexy, musical, fashion and cool. For Martha Stewart it’s cooking, baking and home and hearth. When you think of those 2 names you have an instant “personality” that comes to mind. That’s their personal brand. If you’re an entrepreneur, that’s an incredibly important element to have in your daily messages and visuals.

Personal branding helps potential clients connect with you emotionally before they even meet you. That’s dollars in the bank, my friend.

Yes, I do this. In fact, I do this about 95% of the time over head shots. I have clients that come in once, some that come in one time a year and others that hire me to be their personal branding photographer all year long. That last type of client is the smartest, by the way. They get it. They know you have to stay current and relevant and in order to do that, you have to keep up with your visuals. It’s do or die.

I really only need one head shot for my site. What am I supposed to do with all of these other photos?? OK–come closer to me. Closer….clooooooooser….*slap*! That’s me giving you a cyber slap on your head. Number one, you can never have too many photos of yourself when it comes to your business. No, you don’t just need a photo for your website. You need to change that photo out regularly. You need to have several photos of yourself doing different things relating to what you’re selling throughout your website so people think they are getting to know you. You need to have photos for your blog, Facebook page, Instagram and all the other social media sites you connect your business to like Linkedin. Do you send out newsletters? Holiday newsletters? Do you have digital or hardcopy brochures? Do you send out holiday cards? Are you placing an ad digitally or in hard copy format? Do you have events that you host during the year? If you answered yes to even 3 of these things then you need a variety of photos of yourself in a personal way to get your clients to connect with you. Period.

Have you ever changed your Facebook profile photo? What happens when you do that? For me, I get inundated with comments and “likes”. So, every once in a while when my engagement is starting to dip, I change my profile photo and instantly I’m famous. Try it. You’ll see exactly what I’m talking about. And this is just one example of what you should be doing to keep yourself relevant and on everyone’s lips.

How do I know what my brand is? You think about what you’re trying to sell and if you were your own client, what would you want the person selling that product or service to you to be like or look like? What personality or character traits would you want that person to have? What hobbies would that person have and what would her business and personal life look like? Nine times out of 10 that’s going to be your personality and character traits anyway. I mean, if you love building cars you are likely not going to open a bakery. Get what I’m saying? So it’s not nearly as confusing as you think to figure out your brand.

How do I know how to bring out my brand in my personal branding photography? You may have terrific ideas on how to do that, you may not. If you do, we collaborate and come up with a brilliant plan that works for you. If you don’t, I work that out with you and we go from there. Either way, I’m on your team and I know how to nail this stuff down, and I’m good at it. I got your back.

How do I find out more information or set up a session with you? You can contact me at elizabethcraig@me.com and we will make magic.

Personal Branding is what they say about you when you leave the room. What will they say about you?Pittsburgh Personal Branding Headshots Photographer-2Pittsburgh Personal Branding Headshots Photographer-11Pittsburgh Personal Branding Headshots Photographer-6Pittsburgh Personal Branding Headshots Photographer-5Pittsburgh Personal Branding Headshots Photographer-3Pittsburgh Personal Branding Headshots Photographer-4Pittsburgh Personal Branding Headshots Photographer-8Pittsburgh Personal Branding Headshots Photographer-7Makeover by At Home Beauty.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Coachella Photographer | Palm Springs | Elizabeth Craig Photography-1That’s what this series reminds me of. Or, Brigitte Bardot on set in a film playing some seemingly damsel in distress before she reveals she’s a badass double agent…or, maybe it reminds me of a lost scene from Mad Men. In any case, it’s freackin’ hot, and I don’t just mean the scorching 116 degree heat that day.

I saw this whole set instantly, with only having a few photos of the airbnb I rented. Sleek, hot, retro, trailer trash, sexy, magazine, story; these were the words I wrote down when I considered my planning. It worked out exactly the way I wanted it to. We had to work quickly (I wasn’t lying about the heat) but this set was like butter; we just slipped right through the poses I had in mind and headed for the air conditioning to get to the next set (red dress, made by me, in the open desert coming soon…)

This is probably one of my favorite sets from Palm Springs. I think the reason is that it tells a story. That story could be any story you make up, but the point is, when you see the photographs, you feel like there is a story about her, and that is what makes me feel like I nailed this one.Coachella Photographer | Palm Springs | Elizabeth Craig Photography-2Coachella Photographer | Palm Springs | Elizabeth Craig Photography-3Coachella Photographer | Palm Springs | Elizabeth Craig Photography-4Coachella Photographer | Palm Springs | Elizabeth Craig Photography-5Coachella Photographer | Palm Springs | Elizabeth Craig Photography-6Coachella Photographer | Palm Springs | Elizabeth Craig Photography-7Coachella Photographer | Palm Springs | Elizabeth Craig Photography-8Makeover by At Home Beauty.


Not Your Typical 21st Birthday…

Pittsburgh Beauty Photographer-6I don’t know if you remember your 21st birthday, but can I tell you that it looked absolutely nothing like Moriah’s? I’m sure you have certain ideas in your head about what mine looked like, and I bet those images look pretty similar to yours.

Can I also tell you that I think Moriah is one smart cookie?

She decided to ring in her 21st birthday with a legacy photo session with me to commemorate such a big milestone in her life. I mean….wow…I just…what an incredibly mature, fun and super duper brilliant decision to make!

These photos are just from one set. I’ll be blogging the rest in time but isn’t she just simply beautiful?? Thanks, Moriah, for spending such an important day with me, and for recognizing that creating something beautiful for yourself is far more fun and important than…you know…the way most spend that birthday. Well done.Pittsburgh Beauty Photographer-2Pittsburgh Beauty Photographer-4Pittsburgh Beauty Photographer-5Pittsburgh Beauty Photographer-1Pittsburgh Beauty Photographer-3Makeover by At Home Beauty.


The Best Christmas Gift…Like…Ever…

SafehouseStill looking for a Christmas gift that will BLOW your budding photographer wife/husband/friend/partner/next door neighbor/that guy at the baseball game that is the official unofficial photographer away? Well, well, well, I just so happen to know of an INCREDIBLE workshop that will include EIGHT awesome photographers coming together to pull off one h-e-double-hockey-sticks of an educational experience that juuuuuust may make you the BEST Christmas gifter….like….ever. You’re welcome.

If you or someone you know has been looking for a fun and intensive workshop then join me and 7 other fab photogs May 14th – 18th 2018 in Sandy Pointe, Maine while we each walk you through a hands-on educational experience of each of our own individual photography specialties. What I love about this workshop is that it’s immersive. You not only have access to all of these incredible instructors and the topics they’re teaching, but we all stay for the entire 5 days, which let’s us be available to the attendees the entire time. If you’ve ever emailed a photographer and found yourself typing these works “I just want to pick your brain….” then this workshop is for you. Eight successful, living it, breathing it, hustling it photographers at your service for 4 full days. Yeah…that’s just a little slice of heaven…

I know the descriptions below each instructor’s name is hard to read in the photo above, so make sure you follow the link to the workshop so you can get to know each person and their specific area of focus at the workshop, but know that you will learn about intimate couple’s photography/family photography/editing (Twyla), wedding photography/backups and systems (Chadwick), on-location photography/branding and SEO (Cassie & Michael), intimate male photography/inclusivity (Kevin), boudoir photography for women with curves (Teri & Lindsay)/branding/editing (Teri) /light/sales (Lindsay), vulnerability/mental health/perseverance (Lola) and incorporating fashion into your photography/lighting/posing (Ummmm……yeah, that’s me!)

I will be specifically instructing on how to incorporate fashion into your boudoir photography to make your style unique and stand out, posing, lighting, how to acquire affordable fashion pieces, how to make your own pieces, styling, how to get great connection in your photography with everyday women, session day workflow and I’ll have live shooting and instruction, which can be used for portfolio building.

Feeling good about it? Click here and get your tickets today. They’re going fast kids (tickets that allow you to stay in the house we are all staying in and teaching in have already sold out) so don’t wait.

See you there!

Color Me Beautiful

Pittsburgh Beauty Photographer-01I’m always up for trying something new. Sometimes I see something and it wobbles around in my head for a second and then it’s like a pop goes off with a new idea for a shoot. For this one, it was light and fashion.

I’ve always been a natural light photographer, and the biggest reason why is because you don’t have to pay for sunshine! Little did I know that that concept would be my greatest teacher about light and photography. You can bend it, you can block it, you can harness it, but you can’t ever really control it fully. Therefore, you just have to learn how to work with what you’re given in that moment. Best. Teacher. Ever.

But all these years later, I’ve decided to start dabbling a little bit with artificial light. This is only the 2nd time I really worked with it (the first being the shoot in the blog post below, which was on the same day as this shoot). For the shoot in the post below, I wanted high key and a bleached out look. That first photo is an example of that (though the rest are my beloved natural light).

In these photos that you see in this post, I decided I wanted to add some color so I used some gels over a light and this is what I got (gels are sheets of colored plastic). There are 3 photos I used gels with, 2 that I put a colored filter over via software and one I just left uncolored. Can you tell which is which?

So, why color? I recently watched a Lindsay Adler webinar and she uses gels like a mofo and I wanted to try it out. She is, sooooo obviously, sooooooo much more knowledgeable on this technique than I am, but I wanted to give it a try. Not sure I’ll dive into this again, but I’m glad I gave it a go.

Make sure to watch the behind the scenes film by John. You can watch me be the dork I am trying to convince Ashleigh (my muse) that I know what I’m doing. Hahahaha…fat chance….

Super huge, ginormous, gargantuan THANK YOU’s going out to Luna Boutique for allowing me to borrow this incredible fashion, At Home Beauty for the awesome hmua, Mae Gould for the best assisting ever, Ashleigh Calvert for being my muse and Hip at the Flashlight Factory for allowing me to hijack your space (it was PERFECT for this shoot)! See below for all the fashion designers.Pittsburgh Beauty Photographer-04Pittsburgh Beauty Photographer-02Pittsburgh Beauty Photographer-05Pittsburgh Beauty Photographer-03Pittsburgh Beauty Photographer-06

All dresses: Halston Heritage from Luna Boutique
Silver flower earrings: Oscar de la Renta
Ear crawler: Nadri
Cuff: Karine Sultan
Shoes: Vince Camuto