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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Is 2018 YOUR Year? | Personal Branding | Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Personal Branding Head Shot Photographer-5Wow have I gotten a lot of questions about personal branding since that ball dropped down. This is really exciting and here’s why: you’re all starting to realize the difference between head shots and actual, real branding for your businesses. Cuz, you know…there is a HUGE difference. Your brand isn’t just what you’re selling; your brand is an extension of who you are, what you stand for and believe in, your style, your aesthetic, your look and your feel. It’s all of you, in one glance.

And this is YOUR year to show 2018 who’s boss.Pittsburgh Personal Branding-3

If you are as excited as I am about the clean slate and promise of something new that New Year’s Eve brings, then you should be just as excited about amping up your brand, or even giving your brand an entire makeover. Ahem…and that’s where I come in….

Women are becoming entrepreneurs faster than any other time. This is both so incredible and so heavy. We are making history, ladies, and that just makes me want to dance a jig. But…this also means you have a lot of competition and you have to do whatever it is you have to do to make potential clients connect with you emotionally, and feel a sense of trust and comfort, with one glance at your site, blog, social media and your photographs. And you need to make this happen before it happens with your closest competitor. Nothing like a little pressure to get your day moving, right?Pittsburgh Personal Branding Head Shot Photographer-4

If this seems like a daunting task, it shouldn’t. Revamping your brand is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to reach your audience faster, more productively and with the most amount of bang for your buck. Wanna know why? Because it’s visual. You’ve been on those websites that are almost all words, right? With some teeny, tiny little photograph of either an older than dirt photo of the owner, or worse, a photo of some kind of cartoon of what they are selling. Raise your hand if you’re willing to dig through mounds and piles of wordy text to get the simple info you’re looking for: the service/product and price? *crickets* *crickets* Yep. That’s what I thought.Pittsburgh Personal Branding Head Shot Photographer-3

When a potential client clicks on your site or social media, most of what they should see are photographs. Photographs of you, what you’re selling, details of your brand. These photographs should have a consistent and lovely look with a clean and consistent palette that represents your brand and personality. These photos and visuals should make your potential clients want to see more. Just type in “social media styling” and you will see that there are entire businesses dedicated to styling just your social media! There is a reason for this, folks. It’s because we’re starting to learn how important visual aesthetics are in terms of selling. I can’t tell you how many times I clicked on a site and right back off because it was messy, cluttered, too wordy and just not visually appealing. That one look tells me if you’ve got style, a bit about your personality, if you’re focused, and most importantly, if I connect with you and trust that you know whatever it is you’re selling better than the next gal, and you know what you’re talking about. That’s just one glance.Pittsburgh Personal Branding Head Shot Photographer-1

So, 2018 is here. It has just begun, and with alllllll the excitement and promises of a new beginning. This is your chance to really make this year your year. If you’re thinking to yourself, “I have enough gorgeous and awesome photographs of myself and my products/services to display on my completely up-to-date and current website.” Then move on. You don’t need me. If that statement does not describe your current branding situation, and you’re still questioning whether you need a personal branding session, I have one question for you: How’s that working out for you?

When you’re ready, I’m right here.
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