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How Luisa uses custom photos to be recognized easily

How Luisa uses custom photos to be recognized easily

How Luisa uses custom photos to be recognized

A few weeks ago, I was talking with my client, Chinese Astrology and Feng Shui expert, Luisa Silva, of Luisa Bazi, when she mentioned some good news.  I told her I had created a case study about her photos, and she told me that she was very happy because people had started to recognize her by them, and that they always had a great impact on her followers. Her business and her brand have started to get identified easily and attract the clients she wants, which means she is positioning her brand in the right way, and building a brand she can be proud of.

It’s always exciting when a client comes back to me with great news such as these. For us, small businesses, every action counts, every investment is important, and it’s exciting, exhilarating even, when we start to see the fruits of our efforts. When things pay off- that’s when we feel that we can touch the sky with our hands, and want to karaoke I feel good in our living rooms.

When things pay off and we know why, so we can repeat it, that’s the best feeling in the world. Which brings me to today’s post: the reason why Luisa is having great results with her photos.

Or better said, the reasons, because there are two: Congruence and Consistency.

Luisa’s photos are congruent with who she is, her style, her message and the rest of her web presence. They have her personality, the objects she uses and likes, the colors she prefers. They have her voice, because they were designed especially for her. Luisa’s photos were created with one idea in mind: support her positioning as a modern, elegant, highly professional astrologer.

In order to do this, we worked together for three weeks prior to shooting. I studied her personality, we discussed in detail her ideal client, and her business objectives. I designed a mood board, to make sure we agreed on the look and feel she wanted for her photos, and purchased props with it in mind.

Luisa’s photos contain very few and very specific Chinese objects only, because Luisa wanted to differentiate her work, which is precise and serious, from mere superstitions. We used her brand’s colors, in certain props bought only for her, and used plenty of negative space and simple lines, because Luisa is, herself,  minimalist and organized.  We used printed versions of her work, to make it tangible to her future clients.

Everything in Luisa’s photos was designed to make those who know her feel ” This looks like Luisa!”, and those who don’t know her get the right impression about her.

In other words: Luisa’s photos don’t confuse her clients, and this is important because a confused mind doesn’t buy. 

People need to know you, like you and trust you in order to buy from you. If your photos say one thing and your videos and your words say another one, they won’t trust you because they won’t know who is the real you.

Congruence is particularly important for entrepreneurs and solopreneurs, whose personal image is intertwined with that of their business. In Luisa’s case (and that of many of my clients), she IS her business. Studies have shown that people connect to photos that are real and relevant, and only then stay on a site and experience it.  In Luisa’s case, people needed to understand and like what she believes in, what she stands for, and to appreciate the professionalism with which she conducts her business.

Luisa needed all aspects of her business to tell the same story, so she could build trust with the right people. 


[Tweet “Remember: all aspects of your online presence tell a story and it should be the same one.”]


It is important to remember that your ideal clients are real people who want to connect to real people too. Custom photos designed with only you in mind, to showcase your personality and the greatness of your products make this process easier.


Congruence was my job. Consistency is what Luisa did brilliantly.


Here’s the thing: You can have the most perfect photos, but if you don’t use them consistently, they won’t shield results. We’re bombarded with images and information, so people sometimes need to see something more than once to pay attention.

Once you decide what you want to be known for, it’s time to maintain that idea in the minds of potential customers over time, for it to take hold. Rome was not built in a day, neither will an association between your name and the services you provide be created instantly in the hearts and souls of  the people you long to work with.

Luisa understood this perfectly and made sure she used her photos, adapting them as necessary, across all her online presence. Take a look below to see how she used them:



Luisa made sure that her photos were present everywhere: On each page of her website, on all her social media accounts, and on her email newsletter. Whenever you enter in contact with her business, one of the photos will pop up…and because they all share her colors, her style, and the same objects (props), carefully selected for her, people started to recognize her and think about her when they saw them. 

According to the book Visual hammer “The three rules of advertising are 1) Repetition 2) Repetition and 3) Repetition. So you need to hammer away, not just for years, but for decades. And not just in your advertising, but in everything you do, from websites, to business cards, to annual reports”. When you get branded photos, designed and executed to support the way you want your customers and clients to think about you, use them as much as possible.

Putting the photos in your website and social media is just the tip of the iceberg. Let me show 7 more ways in which you can use photos, and a little tutorial to show you how I created all the examples you’ll see using just Canva. You can have access to more specific video tutorials and recommendations when you become my client.

Ready? Let’s go!



Or Opt Ins. Or little presents with your best information that you can give to your readers and other members of your community.

With just a few easy clicks, you can use your photos, your brand colors and your fonts to make them look professional.

Kimberly Jimenez shows you how to do it in this tutorial, using free tools. This example was created in less than 5 minutes using Canva.









How Luisa uses custom photos Marcela Macias 2




Using a graphic, with a photo, at the beginning of your blog posts, serves two purposes: catches attention and makes the blog post Pin- friendly. Images also attract much more attention when sharing them on social media. Here are some statistics:

  • Photos get 37% more engagement on Facebook that posts with just text.
  • Articles containing relevant images have 94% more views
  • Photos get retweeted 35% more times than just links.

Convinced? Watch the mini tutorial below to see how you can use your photos to create graphics like this one.


How Luisa uses custom photos Marcela Macias 5
luisa bazi 1
How Luisa uses custom photos Marcela Macias 4



Do you organize live events? Do you send presents to your clients after working together to surprise and delight?

You can also use your photos to create postcards, leaflets, flyers, notecards, stickers, greeting cards…you name it! This leaflet for a (fake) course was also created in Canva, but you could do it directly with MOO as well, for example.

In this example, I only added photos, and changed text and colors,but you could also add your logo and change fonts for full customization.

How Luisa uses custom photos Marcela Macias 7



Custom photos, taken with professional cameras, like mine, are HUGE. Which means you can crop them easily with loss of quality, to suit your social media needs and add variety to your feed (and yes, my license authorizes cropping (except cropping elements out to create Hero images), and adding overlays.

In this example I cropped some of Luisa’s photos to create a fake Instagram profile. Imagine adding quote graphics, photos with overlays, and skins, and you’ll always have something to post!

How Luisa Uses custom photos Marcela Macias


Do you have a  vlog? Do you create videos for your business?

You can make them look beautiful and cohesive by creating a custom thumbnail that you can upload to youtube or wistia when publishing the videos.

This one, as well as the one in today’s tutorial were also created with Canva in less than 10 minutes.


Astrologia ¿China u Occidental



Are you planning to attend a conference? Have a speaking engagement? Do business cards are still used where you live?

You can create your own, using apps like Canva (where I created these examples using pre-made templates), or printers like MOO.COM.

In these examples you see different fonts and colors because I don’t know which ones are used by Luisa, but you can customize everything to make every single piece of promotional material your own.




How Luisa uses custom photos Marcela Macias 3



Do you want to create a magazine in your area of work, and publish it with services like ISSUU to expand your reach?

You can use your custom photos to design a simple cover, or illustrate the interior.



PicMonkey Collage 2


All the graphics above were created using a free app called Canva in less than 5 minutes. I’m not a designer and, as I normally say to my friends, I consider myself ” design-challenged” . Choosing colors is super easy for me when it comes to photos but difficult like learning an alien language when it comes to graphic design.Fortunately, there are apps that help me find ways to do what I need and courses that teach me what I need to learn to run my business.


Ready to learn how I do it?

I made you a little video below for you to see how I created these graphics. It’s my first, so I must have recorded at least 10 versions of it (ha!) but I hope it’ll be useful for you. Click play and get started!



Aristotle said that the soul cannot think without a picture.

What I want you to think about today is what images are you feeding your customer’s minds? Are you given them images that speak about you, with your own voice? Or are you sending mixed signals? 

[Tweet “The soul cannot think without a picture. So what images are you feeding your customer’s minds?”]


If you have custom photos created for your brand and love them, use them

If you don’t have custom photos, and would love to get some, contact me . 

If you’re not ready for custom, but would love to know how to select all your business photos with intention, strategy and soul, join my community using the sign up box below, because I’m preparing an exclusive gift that you won’t want to miss. 


Doubts? Questions? Comment below and I’ll come to your rescue! 🙂



Want photos that look like you- and no one else?

Click here to book a call so we can discuss your needs 


Celebrating Life is Messy Kitchen

COVER-LIMKI can’t even begin to explain how I feel today. If you could peek inside my heart, all you would see is sheer joy.

Today, Life is Messy Kitchen comes out into the World for all of you to see and enjoy. For all of you to cook with and play in the kitchen. Your kitchen: the real, beautifully messy place where you cook for your families. The place where you will make these recipes your own, cooking with your kids, your husband, your mum, your friends…your loved ones.

Life is Messy Kitchen is the first cookbook I photographed. The first job I had as a professional photographer. The first job in which I got to collaborate with an amazing team of professionals who put their heart and soul into bringing this book to life and making it not just a cookbook, but a work of art.

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 Life is Messy Kitchen is a work of love, and a tribute to messy lives, to things that don’t go according to plan, to tough moments and getting through to the other side. It’s a tribute to friendship and professionalism. A tribute to getting things done to the very best of our ability, no matter what. A tribute to getting back in our feet when life knocks us down, and a powerful statement about the huge power of dreams.

Life is Messy Kitchen is a work of art, because it has over 100 of Mayi Carles amazingly cute, melt-your-heart- funny illustrations, over 200 photographs taken by yours truly, and because it was designed and art directed by the sheer genius of Marbel Canseco who transformed it into a book you will most definitely want in your coffee table, into a book your kids will love, into a book that is bound to inspire you and that you will treasure for years to come.

This book is pure eye-candy and it makes my heart beat faster just knowing that I got to be a part of it.

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And Life is Messy Kitchen is an amazing cookbook. I should know, because I made each and every one of the 115 recipes it contains-many of them several times. The recipes, my friends are nutritious, beautiful and, most of all,delicious. As in seriously delicious. And they work. 

Because you know those books full of pretty photos but with recipes that are just impossible to make? The ones with  cakes that  flop, with cupcakes taste like cardboard and the ones where you can never get anything to look as in its pages? This is NOT one of those books.

Each of the Life is Messy Kitchen recipes was made in my family kitchen, styled in a way you may style them at home, without tricks that  would make them pretty but inedible, and photographed exclusively with natural light.

What you see is what you get.

And what you get is wonderful. I promise.

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The book comes in 3 versions :the digital pack, which includes the full pdf and an interactive guide, the print book (to be shipped in March), and the big bundle, which includes the digital pack, the print edition and an adorable coloring book that was Zoe’s delight when I was photographing it and even comes with bonus printable  cards and gift tags.

zoe coloring tea rexbis


zoe coloring tea rex_4bis

AND! AND! AND!  All versions include also super cute printable menu planners, grocery lists and recipe cardsillustrated and designed by Mayi herself, and access to a community of messy kitchen owners and recipe lovers, just like you and me :)

So, my dear friend, come celebrate with me!

-Visit, check the book’s preview (wiii) , tell me what you think (fingers crossed that you’ll like it)!

– Tell me your messy kitchen stories in the comments below!

– Follow the hashtag #lifeismessykitchen on twitter and instagram not to miss any of the launch party activities-it’s going to be fun, and there are going to be prizes!

– Promise me that you’ll join us for the Life is Messy Kitchen live call (subscribe below to be notified about the exact date and time!)

– If  you would like to see the “making of” of this book-well at least how the book was photographed- keep your eyes open because I’ll tell you all about it in my next post!

Have a beautiful Tuesday!

The big O of overwhelm, and everything I have been doing this month

Good morning dear friends!

I know, I know, it has been AGES since I last wrote here. Do you still remember me? I’m Marcela. You haven’t seen me in a while, I know, but I promise I have been thinking about you!

So, what happened? Why haven’t I been here, you may ask…Well, since it’s confession time I’m going to be completely honest with you, my dear readers who have been with me for quite a while. It’s a simple formula, really:

Homeschooling + housework +mothering + lots of work = OVERWHELM

As I mentioned in this post, back in December, our routine was pretty much turned upside down when we found out that we would have to homeschool our children. Homeschooling is a serious responsibility and, even though we are accompanied by the most wonderful therapists*, who are helping our children develop and who are guiding us through the process, there was still a steep learning curve involved in it. In addition, our children had left school feeling very nervous and vulnerable for all they had been through, and it took a few months for them to relax and be at ease again.

When a major change happens in our lives, it always takes some time for us to find our center. A new center, a new normal. When two major life events occur at the same time, the shock to our routines is even greater. And when changes are sudden, we sometimes are reluctant to let go of the past and step into our new reality.That is what tends to happen to me. I tend to disregard the change and try to do it all, wonder woman style.

Except, of course, that I am not wonder woman.

So what ends up paying the price is my self-care and, after a while, overwhelm makes a noisy entrance. The big O of Overwhelm is the big elephant in the room that, time after time, I refuse to see.

During these past months of trying to do it all and failing at it, I was also sick more times than in the past 5 years. I was, literally, exhausted and given that my mind refused to acknowledge it, my body decided to force me to rest by getting ill.

Finally, in late January, I got the message and decided to stop,to prioritize, to go back to the fantastic system designed in  Life is Messy Bootcamp, and to plan.

So I prioritized family and work, and this blog lagged behind until I managed to find a way to come back.

And now I have, so here I am again. And I am so,so happy to be back.

Would you like to know what I have been working on? (hint: it’s exciting!)

Here are the details:

1) Photographing Life is Messy Kitchen

The big secret is now out, so I can tell you that I have been photographing Mayi Carles’ s upcoming cookbook, Life is Messy Kitchen. It is going to be a wonderful book, with TONS of recipes and MANY pictures that I hope you will love. How many pictures, you may ask? I will only reveal that I submitted 495 (though of course not all of them will be included). Here’s a sneak peak at what is inside.


 2) Photographing recipes for Heartmade blog:

Another super cool, super fun job: Since January I became the official photographer of the kitchen section of Mayi Carles’s Heartmade blog. I photograph two recipes per month and they are all delicious, dairy free and, mostly, gluten free,so be sure to pass by Mayi’s blog to get them. The pictures below are only some of the recipes you can find there.

PicMonkey Collage (1)

3) Photographing Mayi Carles’s products for her etsy shop and the planners of her Life is Messy Bootcamp

Yes, I have been working with Mayi a lot and I couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful client. Everything she does is so beautiful and she works with such attention to detail that photographing her products is a real treat. She has also talked about me in her blog, which moved me deeply and made me feel incredibly thankful for our collaboration.

PicMonkey Collage2

 4) Photographing the coolest book about juicing, and some gorgeous products

I was also honored to be chosen as a photographer by amazing creatives such as Marbel Canseco, Laura Fischer Smith, Raquel Deville and my very favorite nutritionist, Claire Stone. Take a look at the work I did for them, below.

PicMonkey Collage3


So there you have it. That is what I have been doing these past three months.

Now that I have spilled the beans, I need your help:

I want to bring you a recipe for next week’s post but I can’t decide which one! So tell me: SAVOURY OR SWEET? What are you craving these days?

Let me know in the comments below !





*Our children have developmental delays that require Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy and the assistance of a Special Needs Teacher. We are also supported by a wonderful parental counselor,who has held our hand for the past two years and has supported us emotionally during this process. All this, that once seemed so terrible, nowadays just IS, and it doesn’t affect our commitment to living a happy life and to teach resilience to our children.
If you are in Nicosia, Cyprus,  you are confused and scared and your child needs any of these therapies, feel free to email me. I would be happy to recommend our amazing team of professionals.

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