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. 😉

Wood + Soul | Personal Branding Session | Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Personal Branding Sessions | Head Shots | Elizabeth Craig Photography-1Does wood have a soul? That was a question that John asked our subject on this day: John Malecki, owner of JM Custom Builds. I think you’re really going to like his answer, which you can listen to in the film below. Just in case you didn’t know, John used to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but now spends his time designing, creating and building custom furniture….you have to see his work; it’s truly phenomenal.

Our day with John was pretty cool. We started at his shop getting some action in both still photography and film, then headed over to our studio to capture a few more. All in all it was a fantastic way to spend a day!

If you’re looking to update your branding, we do that. Contact us for more information on our Personal Branding packages. elizabethcraig@me.com

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Did You Know… Pittsburgh Personal Branding Photographer

Pittsburgh Personal Branding Photography-3…that Personal Branding sessions are a thing? Well they are. And they are really gaining tread, ladies. Gone are the days when you just held your iPhone up and snapped a photo of you sitting at your desk, juuuuuust trying to squeeze in the props that made it look professional enough.

Why hire a pro for a Personal Branding session? Because they’re a pro. I can’t speak for any other photographer, but I work with each of my clients to help them formulate what specific tone they’re going for and how to achieve that. So, the entire session is custom-designed for you, by you and me. Makeup and hair styling? Yep–got that too.

You’ve seen Melanie before on my blog. She decided it was time to hire a pro to work with consistently throughout the year so that she could not only utilize the photographs from different sessions to keep her social media and product rollouts updated, but also because she knew, from past experience with me, that I’m actually a multi-media house of BAM. I conceptualize and design. I assist with obtaining wardrobe if you need it. I photograph. John creates specialized films for whatever you need AND he writes and plays his own music to accompany your films. BAM…see?

So there you have it. You’ll be seeing a lot of Melanie as we have a whole year of fun to attend to. For this session we stayed inside for 2 outfits and went outside for 2 (outside coming soon). Who knows where we’ll be next, as we decided to do some traveling for some of the sessions (which I’m so pumped about).

If you’re interested in a Personal Branding session, contact me today for a phone call so we can chat about what you want.Pittsburgh Personal Branding Photography-1Pittsburgh Personal Branding Photography-4Pittsburgh Personal Branding Photography-2

Talking Portraits

Pittsburgh Portrait Photographer | Elizabeth Craig Photography-1That’s what I think portraits should do, don’t you? When you look at them, they should say something to you. Do I mean literally? No, although I know that’s the new thing on the newest phones…but I think in this instance that would be a little creepy.

What I mean is, a photo should tell a story to you, or in the least, it should speak to you on some level. It should encourage some kind of reaction, whether it’s a smile, a tear or even just staring into the eyes of the person that is looking back at you from the photograph.

That’s what I see when I look at these 2 photographs. I feel a connection to both, but in very different ways. In the 2nd photograph below, it’s the connection in her eyes…and oh my gosh…those freckles. Those freckles!! The 1st above, it’s obvious, but if it didn’t make you smile there’s something wrong with you.

If your photos don’t give you a reaction, it’s a clear missed opportunity to encapsulate a true moment in time. And, well…that’s just boring. 😉

 

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