5 spiritual practices to guarantee the best energy during a Photoshoot

5 spiritual practices to guarantee the best energy during a Photoshoot

“You fill up the frame with feelings, energy, discovery and risk and leave room enough for someone else to get in there” Joel Meyerowitz

I believe the difference between photos you love with all your heart, and photos you can’t stand to look at twice is energy.

Your energy: the way you feel during the photoshoot. The feelings and emotions you’re connecting to while I photograph you. The way you feel about your surroundings. The ease you feel with me and with yourself.

The emotions your work evokes in you, your passion for helping your clients, your joy, excitement, inner peace: they are all reflected in your eyes, the way your body moves, the naturalness of your smile.  When you are connected to love, joy and your higher purpose, this energy can be felt through your images.

My energy: The one I bring to the work and to the day in general…whether I’m centered or nervous, joyful or sad, excited or upset, affects your energy as well. Even if when feeling bad, I do my utter best not to show it.

For this reason, my goal during a photoshoot is to both make sure my energy and vibration remains high all along it, and to support and sustain your own energy while we shoot.  I want to help you connect to the highest vibration, so the message you want to transmit with your images flows straight to the heart of your potential clients.

In order to do this I follow a series of conscious pre-photoshoot rituals, and also have developed a handy toolkit of quick re-calibration techniques that helps me go back, quickly and effectively, to feeling great so that you can feel great too.

My pre-photoshoot rituals include reading only uplifting literature the day before a shoot (I consciously avoid the news), and playing mantras or Abraham Hicks rampages the night before, while I clean my camera and lenses and check that everything works perfectly before putting it back in my camera bag. In the morning, I wake 2 hours before  shoot, do a 20 minute yoga sequence and a 10 minute meditation, then shower to allow water to cleanse my aura and repeat affirmations while I dress, have breakfast and review the client’s moodboard.

Before leaving for a photoshoot, I create an energetic bubble around myself that lets only the good permeate and keeps away any energy that doesn’t serve me, and ask my guides and those of my client, to guide our day, with a small prayer I adapted from the one Diana Gabaldon says before writing:

 “Allow me to see what I need to see and guide our steps to find the locations that are perfect for this shoot. Allow me to capture the perfect images to help this client fulfill her life purpose. Let my camera be a witness to her greatness and her light, and allow me to reveal the true radiance of her soul in every shot”

During the Photoshoot, I use my bag of tricks, which I will share with you today. If you are familiar with Abraham Hicks’ work, you know it takes holding a thought for 16 seconds to turn around your vibration, so here’s my advice: Use these quickly and often and in a preventive manner. Don’t let your vibration drop, or rescue it fast when it does due to environmental input or tiredness. 

Here are the practices that help me keep the energy high:

1) Grounding

This is my go-to technique, one I use before every photoshoot and one that helps re-center clients with anxiety, who feel uneasy or very self conscious.

There are many ways to ground and get out of your head. I personally use a Grounding Meditation that I created myself and edited with music, which makes you visualize flowers and branches growing around your feet and legs and infuses your body and mind with the Earth’s love and energy.

Walking barefoot, sitting on the grass, touching running water and hugging trees are also really good for centering and aligning …and make for great photos as well, so I’ll sometimes suggest these type of shots , because I know they’ll also have the advantage of helping my clients ground.

2) The Energetic Bubble

This is the technique I mentioned I do before going out of my hotel room, to make sure my energy stays high during the day. As an introvert, this is very important for me to do. When I was just starting to photograph in cities, I didn’t realize I needed to protect my energy, and on my first two day shoot with 8 clients, I crashed down at the end of the day, and got so depleted I could barely stand.

It’s also important for me to make sure my client’s energy doesn’t dip as the day evolves. Sometimes things don’t go according to plan, locations get closed due to emergencies, there’s more noise than we anticipated, or more people than we wished for, or we witness ugly discussions nearby. All these things, coupled with the natural nerves of a photoshoot, can become a perfect storm that derails a client’s vibe.

So what I do is expand my energetic bubble (the one I created before leaving my hotel room) to cover my client, so that they are always vibrating high.

Here’s how to do it: Visualize a golden or rose golden ray of light coming from your heart.  A ray of light that vibrates and beams with love. See it expanding until it covers all your body and, once it does, imagine it growing like a bubble, creating a ball of love and light around you. Visualize it letting into your energetic field only positive vibrations and repelling the rest. Ask your guides to help you keep it in place all day long.

 

3) The Love Connection

When I photograph clients, we do a simple exercise to show them how beautiful they truly are when they allow LOVE to shine through. 

I set the camera on a tripod and they stand in front of it. I ask them to breathe deeply and look at me, and take a photo. Then I ask them to close their eyes. With their eyes closed, I ask them to think about someone they deeply love, to remember the reasons why they love this person, the way this person smiles, the things they say, the way their hair moves in the breeze, the moments they have shared that have made them love this person more and more.

They don’t need to tell me who they are thinking of, and it only takes about 30 seconds. Then I put my finger on the shutter and ask them to open their eyes. When they do, I click.

Then I show them both images. The self- conscious version of themselves and the love-filled version. They can see how their eyes shine differently, how their smile softens, how their every feature becomes full of light.

Try this the next time you have a photoshoot or need to film a video. Close your eyes and visualize someone you love deeply. Focus on LOVE, then come and tell me how you felt, and how you looked. 

Note: I ask clients to focus on someone else they love because it’s sometime easier to see the greatness in others than in ourselves, especially if you’re feeling self-conscious…and yet love reflects your light all the same. 

4) Visualization

Similar to the last trick, but slightly different.  During a photoshoot, I guide my clients through different short visualizations to help them connect to the energy of what they desire.

As you know, feeling like you already have something, or are who you want to become is key to manifesting it. By visualizing how they want to transform the world, what drives them to do the work they do, and seeing themselves helping transform the lives of lots of wonderful clients while I am photographing, we convert the images in manifesting tools themselves. We consciously tap into those energies we want to bring to everything we do.

In order to do this, spend some time, before your photoshoot, thinking about your big WHY and your IDEAL CLIENT. Imagine them. Write a letter to them. See the future world you’re helping create. Then think about those things during your shoot.

5) Gemstones + Essential Oils

One of the easiest tools, that tap into the power of anchoring and olfactory memory.

We all have smells we love, that bring beautiful memories, energize us, make us feel great. I love the smell of vanilla and lavender, for example, the perfume of magnolias and the sensual scent of Kashmir Amber. When I photograph clients, I always carry magical essential oils with me, that I offer to them before and during a shoot. The goal is to use our sense of smell to connect to the emotions we want to evoke during the shoot.

I also carry semi-precious stones in my pockets, and choose my jewelry according to the energies I want to maintain during the shoot (I choose these intuitively, since most of my jewelry is from giardinoblu.com). The most common stones I carry are pyrite (grounding and abundance), rose quartz (love) and amethyst (connection to Source and transmutation of energies).

If you have a scent that makes you happy, or a gemstone you particularly like, carry a small one in your pocket and touch it whenever you want to remind yourself of why you are doing the shoot, what you wish to accomplish with it, and all the good your work will do in the world. You can always program a stone to carry your intention. I like this method by Danielle Laporte for doing so. 

 

Your turn: Do you take care of your energy when you work? Do these techniques sound like something you’d like to incorporate to your repertoire? Share in the comments, I’m always happy to hear your ideas. 

 

Photographing Introverts: Ideas and Adaptations to help you feel more comfortable during your branding photoshoot

Photographing Introverts: Ideas and Adaptations to help you feel more comfortable during your branding photoshoot

I am an introvert.

I’m not shy but crowded spaces, noise and overstimulating environments drain my energy. I need a lot of time of silence and loneliness in order to recharge. I prefer low light, calm and soothing environments, and rather minimal, yet cozy decoration.

Most of clients are introverts as well so, throughout the years, I’ve adapted my photographic process, the way I organize and structure photoshoots and the activities I include during a shoot day, to respect their energetic needs and make sure they move through the day  happy, energized and excited.

I want my clients to shine in front of the camera, and I believe it is my job to make sure they’re comfortable with me, at ease in their surroundings (especially if we shoot outdoors), and overall feeling so great throughout the photo-shoot (however long it takes) that their smiles  become blindingly bright and their eyes sparkle with joy.

In this blog post, I’ll tell you about adaptations that I regularly put in place to set my introverted clients at ease. Every person is unique, and I always check in with them, before and during the photoshoot how they’re feeling.

If you’re an introvert, some of these adaptations may not work for you, you may need different or additional things, or not need all of them, and that’s ok. I’m writing this as an inspiration, so you feel empowered to request what you need in order to feel your best during your photo-shoot. Because when you feel your best, you will look your best, and you will let your inner light shine brightly. Whatever it is that you need, we can probably make it happen.

I want you to be SEEN as you deserve this year.

I want you to feel confident to put yourself out there.

I want you to enjoy taking photos of yourself and to look forward to the next time you’ll be in front of the camera.

This is why I’ve made a list of what you can do to help your photographer create a photoshoot experience that feels wonderful for you, and that matches your energy. I’ve also listed my own process and why I do what I do below that,so you can get some ideas of what to ask and why when getting ready to book your own photoshoot. 

Here’s what you can do: 

Before the photoshoot, make sure you’re comfortable with your photographer and that you have agreed on a shared vision for your images. This will go a long way towards helping you feel at ease during your photoshoot.

I suggest meeting with your photographer, either in person or online, if possible. If not, you could email her information about your business, what you hope to achieve with your images (where you will use them, the feelings you want to transmit, whether there are formatting requisites she should consider, such as leaving space for text, etc). If your photographer does not create a moodboard for you as part of her services, you could share a Pinterest board with her, explaining what you like about each image, so you can then bounce ideas. Let her know if there are any images from her portfolio that called to you the most, and what you liked about them. 

It can also be a good idea to follow a photographer you’re planning to hire on social media, just so you’re familiar with her voice, her style and her energy. The more used you are to interacting with her, the easier the day of the shoot can be. 

Also, let your photographer know the following: 

  • If you need time to recharge after a certain time and what this time requires. Do you need silence and nature? Do you need to drink and eat something every couple of hours to be at your best? What kind of activities deplete your energy and which ones hep you recover? 
  • If certain locations, sounds and lights are too uncomfortable, overstimulating or overwhelming for you. Let me give you an example: In March last year we shot a few image at the Palais de Tokyo museum in Paris. We thought, before arriving, that they had a different exposition going, whereas the one that was actually there was an exposition on war. The lights were fluorescent, the sound of bullets and shooting very loud,  and the images deeply disturbing. We had to leave, because it was intolerable. 
  • If you can’t stand crowded places, or would rather no one was watching while you have your photos taken.  This will help your photographer monitor the times of day when certain locations that may be great for your brand are emptier of people.
  • If you function better at certain times of the day. Our biorhythms are different. I, for example, am a morning person and function better early in the morning, so I can start the day full of energy, whereas others may need slow beginnings in order to be in top form around 10 am in the morning or after lunch. Your photographer can structure the day of the shoot to match the times when you are at your best, and give you time to recharge when you need it. 
  • If having the camera always pointed at you makes you uncomfortable, and you would rather have a more “undercover” style of shooting. Do you need your photographer to distract you? Would you like your photographer to be far away from you when shooting, so you’re not too intimidated by it? Take a look at my different shooting styles below for inspiration, we can make anything you need happen. 
  • If having lots of people around makes you uncomfortable. Would you rather have a one to one shoot (just the photographer and you) or can you stand a big team around you? There’s nothing wrong with wanting a more low key experience, just let us know so we can adapt the shoot to what you need. 
  • Any fears you have about the shoot, and things you would definitely NOT be comfortable with.  
  • If you want to check the images as they’re being shot in the little screen behind the camera, to help you make sure you like them so far, and correct anything that may not be what you desire. 

 

 

Here’s how I have adapted my own process, according to the advice above: 

1) BEFORE THE PHOTOSHOOT

As an introvert, I know being in front of the camera can be intimidating, especially if I’m not familiar with the person who will take photos of me or with the place where we will shoot. This was also a BIG issue with most introverts I contacted when preparing this blog post…so if you feel this way too, know you’re not alone.

Since I work mostly online, most of my clients hire me without having ever met me in person. They come to me because we have interacted on social media, they have followed my work and are a part of my community, or they come recommended by someone else. Add to this that I live in a small city, in a small island, 3 hour-flight away from most big European cities, which makes meeting before the photoshoot a difficult thing to do.

For this reason, I have created a thorough on-boarding process that allows my clients to get to know me as much as possible, and for them to know (weeks before we shoot) how everything will take place on the day of the shoot.

This is how this works: 

-When a client signs up to work with me, I create a client page especially for them. In this page, I explain, step by step, everything about how we will work together. This includes all preparatory work they need to ( 3 branding tests and 1 branding questionnaire + a 1 hour meeting with me) and what I will do with it: prepare a moodboard, a list of possible photoshoot locations for them to approve, a list of props they may want to use in the photoshoot, a detailed shot list I suggest for their approval, and a list of archetypal symbolism associated with their branding archetypes. This page also includes all my contact information so they can reach me anytime.

– The Skype meeting allows my clients to talk with me and see how I work in real life. In it, I ask questions about their prep- work, we bounce ideas, we talk about props and keywords and inspiration and the feeling they want to transmit with their images. We discuss their marketing plan for the year following the Photoshoot, products they will release, social media platforms they are planning to use, topics they’re planning to talk about in their blog posts and newsletters, and discuss how their new images will support these goals. We also discuss clothes, accessories, hair and makeup and they are free to ask me absolutely anything they want to know or that makes then uneasy about the photoshoot.

The Moodboard I create allows my clients to get an idea of the look and feel I envision for their photoshoot, and why I choose it. It is based on their tests results, questionnaires and on our meeting and it allows my clients and me to agree on a shared vision before we take a single image. It is, as everything I do, subjected to their approval, and I’m available to rework it until they’re 100% happy with it.

– The list of suggested locations allows us to plan an itinerary for the day and to know what to prioritize in case we don’t manage to reach all places where we’d like to shoot. Each location is selected to match the look, feel and vibe of moodboard and is, of course, subject to approval from my clients. This allows us to visualize how the day will go. Where will we begin shooting? Where will we go next? What clothes will be better for each location? What light is better for each place? What time of day are those locations with less people around? What caffés and restaurants and parks and quiet areas do we have within close distance of each location, where they can have a moment of quiet to refuel and recharge? What covered areas are there close by, in case it rains? All these are details I add to a google map that I save in my phone app, which I carry with me on the photoshoot.

– I also send them, together with the moodboard and the list of suggested locations, a Guide with advice on how to get ready for the photoshoot. This guide includes everything we discussed about clothes, props, and what to bring, as well as a description of how the day will go and a list of suggested shots for their approval. I am also available for them to contact me via email at any time, with any doubts they may have.

I try to make it a point, as far as possible, to book my airplane tickets for the day before in the morning, so that I’m available to meet for coffee the day before of the shoot, if my clients want to. This way we can talk about anything else they need, go over outfits and adjust the itinerary according to the weather forecast.

One important note about my process: It is not inmovable. When I was preparing this post, I asked in business groups I am a part of what fellow introverts preferred, and some of them mentioned that they would rather do everything via email and not meet in person or via Skype because of social anxiety. If this is your case, I want you to know that all these processes can be adapted to suit your needs. Just let me or whoever you choose as your photographer know how you prefer to work: you being comfortable is what’s important.

 

2)DURING THE PHOTOSHOOT

The day of the photoshoot, whether this is a 2 1/2 hour shoot, or a full day, my main focus (apart from capturing them in all their glory) is to take care of my client’s energy.  In order to do so, there are some things that I’ve learned work better, both through experience (cough mistakes cough) and by asking questions to other introverts like me about what they prefer. 

These are:

a- Slow Beginnings

In my experience, most introverted clients need to slowly ease into the day of the shoot. No blasting loud music during hair and makeup and no starting the shoot jumping up and down the city. 

What starting slow and easy means is that we begin the photoshoot talking, testing poses, and normally photograph for the first hour in one location, in whatever outfit is their favorite. We may do breathing and visualization exercises to help them relax and feel comfortable with me. I also show them the images we take, so they let me know what they prefer and so they get comfortable with seeing themselves in photos (and they can see how gorgeously beautiful they really look).

If this was a movie, it would the part of it where you see a slow Sunday morning with sunlight streaming down the windows, and the heroine drinking her coffee while reading the newspaper. No rush, no stress, just a quiet enjoyment of the beginning of the day.

b- Pauses, breaks and down time

During a long day of shooting, it’s important that my client’s energy stays stable and their vibration high, because this is reflected in their images. In order to do this, I need to schedule pauses, break, as well as slower paced shooting times, when they can recharge and recuperate. This includes times when they can eat or drink something that will keep them nourished and full of energy.

The way I do this is by carefully planning the itinerary of the day and making sure the different locations are close to cafés and restaurants that match their style, where we can quickly grab a drink or a bite, as well as switching locations where the ones we’re at become busy or crowded.

So, for example, if we’re shooting in an office area, I will make sure we leave when people go out for lunch and move to a quieter place, like a nearby park. We may shoot in more touristic areas in the early morning, to ensure they’re as empty as possible, or schedule the shoot during weekdays (instead of weekends) in places that tend to be frequented by families or large groups of people.

c-Location, location, location

Before shooting, I research locations to make sure the ones we like are not crowded, so my clients don’t feel self conscious having people watching them while we shoot; or too noisy or overly stimulating. 

I also check the lighting of the places they’ll be photographed in, to make sure it’s not too harsh and bright, or look for alternative areas where we have natural, soft light nearby. If my client wants to shoot in a private area like a hotel lobby where they love the decoration or a museum, or a botanical garden, I will always call first to request permission, and ask the venue which time of the day there are less people around, so they can feel more comfortable shooting. During my latest photoshoot in Switzerland, for example, we shot at the Hotel Beatus, early in the morning, when most guests were either sleeping or at breakfast.  When I shot at Winterthur Museum, we did so on a Friday morning, when it was almost empty.

e- Shooting style 

I also adapt my shooting style to my client’s preference and/or switch it during the day so it doesn’t feel so much like a photoshoot, but more like having a fun day where a camera is involved. We normally switch back and forth between the following: 

a- Posing: Most of my clients don’t like traditional posing, where a photographer makes you stand in front of the camera and tells you to look there and move your right arm there and the neck to the other side and the leg down and you feel like a contortionist in a circus and a little bit awkward and a lot on the spot.

But just because someone may not like posing it doesn’t mean they don’t like to be gently guided to look their best. The goal, after all, is for my clients to have images they love. And, mostly for them to love  images where they can recognize themselves.

I am convinced that branding photography is about revealing your inner light, not about changing yourself into something you’re not. So, at the beginning of the photoshoot I will spend lots of time observing my clients and taking lots of images. I want to see how they move naturally, how they smile genuinely, how their hands move when they talk, how their eyes shine when they think about something they’re exited about. And then, when we shoot the rest of the day, I’ll take this knowledge and use it to give them small indications here and there, and adapt the angle I shoot from or the lenses I use, so they always look their best without feeling self conscious.

b- Photojournalistic lifestyle images. By photojournalistic I mean the images where a person is not posing but rather doing something else. I will normally shoot these type of images after shooting headshots or traditional portraits, so my clients can relax again, without feeling self- conscious by having a camera being pointed at them all the time.

These may be, for example, close up shots of my client’s hands when meditating, or images of them walking down the street (shot with a telephoto lens, so they don’t feel being chased by a paparazzi), or reading a favorite book, or having a coffee.

When I shoot these types of images, I sometimes remove the sound from the shutter of my camera, so it’s silent when I click and my client is not disturbed in what she’s doing. This helps them relax and makes the images look more natural.

c- Play. This is a recourse I use a lot during photoshoots to distract my clients and help them look relax. This is also how I get their most genuine smiles and laughs on camera.

There are two ways I do it, and which one I choose depends on my client’s personality and the images that suit their brand best:

– I do something silly myself, like make a ridiculous face, or jump or say something unexpected or funny. (I can be a bit of a clown so this comes with no effort, I must admit)

– I ask my client to do something they don’t expect that includes body movement, like jumping or dancing. The objective of these requests is twofold: Photos with movement look amazing and are great at starting conversations, and the BEST smiles and laughs happen before or after a client does something out of the norm and THAT is when I take the photo.

 

Another great way to play is something that Ria Gor from https://www.bethecreativepenguin.com suggested to me when I was asking introverts what they prefer:  She said she asks her video clients to pretend they’re a famous star in order to embody that confidence. I thought the idea seemed like fun, especially if you’re super self-conscious. I have also played with this idea, but with archetypal alter egos (Mine is…Gandalf, obviously 🙂 )

f-Zero Pushing

Finally, my policy in general is one of zero pushing. I make suggestions, and try to make the day as playful and fun as possible, but I never ever, ever push a client to do something they’d be uncomfortable doing or that they feel would be completely out of character for them. I want the experience of having a Photoshoot to me to be as pleasing as the final photos they get.

In my next blog post, I’ll tell you the energetic tools I use during photoshoots to support my client’s energy.

 

Now it’s your turn:

If you’ve had a photoshoot before: what parts did you love? What suited your personality best?

If you’re an introvert: would these adaptations work for you or would you need something else?

Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

 

Did you hear?

This Spring, I’m traveling to Amsterdam to photograph a select group of driven, heart-centered & soulful entrepreneurs who are ready to invest in visuals that are archetypally aligned, highly customized, beautiful, authentic, strategic and effective to propel their business success.

Ready to do this? Click the button below to learn more about the 3 different packages available and book a call to get you started. 

I can’t wait to work with you!

Photoshoot Makeup Guide: 5 looks for Women Of Color [ Guest post by Izmir Henry ]

Photoshoot Makeup Guide: 5 looks for Women Of Color [ Guest post by Izmir Henry ]

 
When I wrote my previous blog post, using myself as a lab rat to create a progressive, building-blocks inspired makeup guide for your next photoshoot, I knew my work was not complete. I am, after all, a white woman with cool coloring, and the makeup styles and colors that look good on me, may look completely different in women with different coloring and complexions. And if finding looks my clients could relate to was difficult if they were white, it was next to impossible if they were of a different ethnicity. 
 
So I contacted the amazing Izmir Henry, a lovely and super talented Panamanian living in Hamburg, Germany, and creator of Maquillate con Proposito (Makeup with Purpose) and asked her if she would be interested in creating a makeup guide, with 5 progressive looks like I had done for myself,  for women of color. To my utter delight, she said yes! So…
 
 
 
Ladies and Gentlemen, I hereby present you The Photoshoot Makeup Guide, Part II. 
 
 
 
Izmir worked just as Maria had worked with me, with the idea of a makeup system that could work progressively, so you can decide after each step, whether you want to deepen the look and make it more dramatic, or not. As in the previous post, none of the photos was retouched in photoshop at all, because we wanted you to have a clear view of the change makeup can achieve on its own.
 
Before we begin going through the different looks, two important clarifications:
 
 
1) You will notice that Izmir used different colors from the ones Maria did with me. There is no grey and black smokey eye in this guide, and this is because Izmir’s skin has warm undertones (whereas I have cool undertones). 
Skins with warm undertones look better on reds, oranges, yellows, creams, bronzes, caramels and chocolate browns. 
Skins with cool undertones look better in lavenders, pinks, whites, blues, greys and blacks. 
 
It’s important that, when deciding your makeup style, you take this into account in order to select colors that suit YOU better. As you will see in Izmir Photos, a chocolate smokey eye looks amazing. 
 
 
2) A note about products: Finding the right products for darker skins in Europe is problematic, so Izmir mixes two foundations to create the right color for her, and two concealers. We have detailed the products she uses, in case your skin color is similar to hers. Here they go: 
 
1. Foundation:  Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless 350 & L’Oréal Paris True Match 7D/7W
2. Concealers:  Maybelline Instant Age Rewind concealer neutralizer + L.A. girl pro conceal in  Fawn
3. Finishing Powder: Laura Mercier secret brightening powder for under eyes 1 
4. Mascara: L’Oréal Paris voluminous feline noir blackest 633
5. Blush: Milani baked powder blush 06 bellisimo bronze 
6. Cejas: Chou Chou Berlin brow blender dark taupe
7. Lipstick: L’Oreal Roche Toasted Almond 843
 
(side note: hello, L’Oreal, how about you provide options for someone other than white people?!). 
 
 
 
Here are some photos of the colors she used: 
 
 
Ready? Let’s begin with the softer looks.
 
The first photo below shows you Izmir without any makeup at all, so you can see for yourself the difference made by each  product she added. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1) LOOK 1: The Minimal Look: 
 
 
 
In order to create the first look, Izmir started by using foundation (she mixed two in order to create the right color for her complexion). Then she used concealer under her eyes, also mixing two shades, and eye primer. She then added highlighter , finishing powder and blush in a lovely bronze color. She also delineated her eye brows with Eye Brow pencil.
 
Finally she drew a very thin line on her top eye lids with liquid eye-liner and topped the look off with a coat of mascara. 
 
If you look at the photo collage of the first three looks, you will notice that, even though it doesn’t look like she’s wearing makeup with this style, the difference it makes in her skin and eyes is, as in my own guide, quite noticeable. 
 
 
 
2) Look 2: The Day Look
 
 
In this look, which is ideal for an everyday look and looks really nice, Izmir added eye shadow (white on the upper part of her top eye lid and yellow and orange-brick color on the lower part of the top eye-lid). She also added a thicker layer of liquid eye liner, which better defines her eyes. 
 
As you can see, both looks are ideal for someone who is not used to wearing makeup, yet wants a little extra something.
 
 
 
 
3) Look 3: The Day to Night:
 
 
This look would work really well for the day, as well as for a night out. The main difference between the two looks is that, in this one, Izmir continued adding more orange-brick eye shadow and added chocolate brown eye shadow too, diffusing them for a warm, deep look that beautifully highlights her eyes. 
 
 
4) Look 4: The Caramel Smokey Eye
 
 
In the fourth look, the eyes start to get more dramatic. 
Izmir created this look by adding more chocolate brown eye shadow (the one she chose has golden sparkles too) and blending it with black eye liner. The combination with the preceding orange eye shadow creates a beautiful burnt caramel look. 
 
As you can see from the photo above, the eye liner line that was clearly defined and looked very much as made with liquid eye liner, now blurs and blends with the eye shadow. It’s there, but softer. 
 
 
 
5) Look 5: The Chocolate Smokey Eye
 
 
Finally, the most dramatic look, the Chocolate Smokey Eye, darkens and deepens the previous look by adding even more chocolate eye shadow, combined and diffuminated with more black eye liner pencil. 
 
Both smokey eye looks are also complemented by neutral lipstick, which adds shine and a tiny bit of color to the mouth. 
 
You can see the difference between both smokey eye looks in the photo below: 
 
 
 
And here are all 5 looks side by side. 
 
 
And a Pinterest-friendly image, if you want to save this post in your boards and share it with the world. 
 
 
 

Which one would you choose for yourself? Which one feels more like you? 

Have you ever tried Smokey Eye? Would you try it, if you haven’t yet?

Let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to follow Izmir in her Instagram accounts: @misshenryinge and @maquillateconproposito

 

How to know exactly how many photos your brand needs

How to know exactly how many photos your brand needs

You’re about to plan a photo shoot,  and are ready to call a photographer o get your first brand photos. Or maybe you’ve set your eyes on a premium stock collection.

But will the photos you have asked be enough?

What should you ask your photographer to photograph?

How many photos will you need before you need a  new shoot or a new purchase?

How can you make sure you’re maximizing your investment, and won’t end up wishing you had asked for something different a month from now?

In today’s  video I’ll show you the system I use with my photography clients to make sure all their image needs are met- for at least a year.

Prefer to read? Here’s the transcript:

 

Images follow words, my friends. And they follow your projects, your goals and your business objectives.

In order to determine which photos you will need, here are the questions you need to ask yourself:

 

  1. Will I change my website? Re-brand? Upgrade my design? Create a video intro?

 

You need to know this in order to make sure that all your design needs are met. If you will be doing a major re-brand or re design, it’s a good idea to work with designer, brand stylist and photographer as a team, so each has the same vibe and feel.

Your design and branding, including branding collaterals and other printable material will also determine the size and resolution you will need, as well as the type of photos you require. As a minimum, you will need:

  • A great photo for your Header.
  • A great portrait for your about page
  • A variation of photos that you could use in your blog and to further illustrate other pages.

 

2. Am I at the center or my brand, or are my products? Do I  want to shift this?

Personal Brands are all the rage these days, but they’re not everybody’s piece of cake, or great for every business.

It is up to you to make your business based on YOU, to be the face of your business, or to make it more product/service based. I recently had a client, for example, who hired me because she was tired of having her face plastered everywhere on her site. She wanted to put the accent on her clients and what she could do for them instead. So we created a series of images with lifestyle scenes and flat lays showing her products and representing her services, and how her clients could use them. We photographed the printable worksheets of her lead magnet and those of her main offering, and created images with electronics where she could overlay blog posts, videos and other material, to keep her images up to date.  

3. What content will I create this year?

What topics will you write about? Where will you focus? How many blog posts, videos, social media posts are you planning to put out into the world?

The most effective photos speak the same language as your copy. So plan what you will be speaking about, so that you can find or commission photos that show the same topics and elicit the same feelings.

4. What free lead magnets will I create this year?

Again, think about topics, feelings and lifestyle, as well as practical issues such as design, and layout.

5. Which services do I want to promote? Has anything changed about my services that I want reflected in my photos?

Do you want to promote one to one services? Group programs? Live seminars? A conference? The type of photos you’ll need for each of these are different. If we want to convey personalized, one to one services, a photo of you leaning towards the viewer would be great, as would photos of hands in front of the computer, or working on your worksheets…whereas for group programs, seminars and conferences we would also need to convey the idea of community.

Same with your services. A change in the type and range of services you offer may require a re-evaluation of the photos used to represent the lifestyle and convey the feelings you want to elicit in your potential customers.

 

6. Which products will I be launching this year? With which frequency? Do these products have photos or do I need to take new updated ones? Are there new products? What is important for people to know at first glance about my products that I want the photos to reflect?

Knowing what you will be launching and when will allow you to make sure that you always have photos for your sales pages, social media and ads and that these images match the feeling of the products you’ll be launching.

And don’t worry if you haven’t finished creating those products. If you have an idea of what they will be about, and who they will target, I can photos photos for them.

Here’s how I did it with one of my clients, Andrea Hiltbrunner. We took a look at Andrea’s huge range of products, and her brand colors, and grouped them according to the chakra they helped activate. For example, some products helped her clients access their intuition, so we chose the colors of the third eye chakra, some products helped her customers feel empowered and make money, so we used to colors of the first and third chakra (red and gold). We divided products in the same way, using archetypal symbols.

For some core online products that were ready to be launched, we printed their worksheets, but for those that were still in development, we focused on the feeling we wanted to portray, where they landed in our chakra color chart, and used electronics and blank pages where Andrea’s designer could later overlay the worksheets and video snapshots of her course.

If you are planning to create a different range of products, talk to your photographer about them so she can shoot images you can later use to illustrate them, and don’t need to run around stock sites looking for extra images.

7. Where do I promote my business? Will I be adding new channels?

Which social media platform do you use? Which one gets you the most and best clients? Are you planning to add a new social media platform or simply deepen and grow your presence in the one you’re already mastering. How many times a day do I post on each?
Do you also advertise? Where? Facebook ads? Google ads? Blogs? Print media?

This is important for three reasons:

a- First, because you will need photos that can look great in the sizes and resolutions of each medium,

b- Second, because each social media platform has different audiences and what works in one, may not work in the other. Instagram audiences, for example, prefer more curated feeds, whereas “realness” and humor work very well on facebook.

c- Third, because the number of posts and the sizes you require will determine how many times you can repurpose a photo with crops, and color overlays.  One of my flat lays can be cropped into 30 different square images. With color blocks in two different brand colors and two different shapes,each image can shield 150 instagram posts. If you consider that with my Grow Plan, you get 15 high resolution images and 30 tutorials on how to repurpose your images,  what you are actually getting are  2250 social media posts, which allows you to post 6 times a day for a full year on social media, and not repeat visuals. Or 3 times a day for two years. Without counting photos you make take with your phone, or portraits or even graphics.

15 photos, then,  are not 15 photos. Well planned, they’re two years of peace of mind.

 

8- What do I want my clients to know about me?

 

The answer to this question will determine the type of photos we take. Whether we focus more on lifestyle images, corporate style ones, or on your products.

 

Here’s what you need to do: Choose 5 qualities you want to convey with your photos. The ones that make you different from others in your same field. Give these words to your photographer or use them as keywords during stock photography search.

9- What feelings do I want to convey with my photos?

What do you want your future customers and your fans to FEEL when they see your images? What do you want them to think?

Joy?

Relief?

Peace and Calm?

Intellectual stimulation?

Inspiration?

Creativity?

 

Choose 3 core desired feelings that you want your brand to convey and list them down.

 

Now let’s put all this together.

Let’s say in the next year you will:

Redesign your website

Start vlogging

Launch, twice,  2 existing products which have outdated photos (one is coaching/mentorship, the other is a group program at a medium price range)

Create a new product (a high end retreat or a conference/ a high priced group program)

You have 5 different lead magnets that use a combination of printables and video.

You will publish 52 blog posts, of which half will be video.

You want to show: leadership, excellence, approachability, spirituality, warmth

You want people to feel relaxed, empowered, and joyful when they see your photos.

You will post on instagram and facebook 3 times a day. You will also start using linkedin and need images for your youtube video thumbnails. You will promote using facebook and linkedin ads, and want photos that are printable because you are looking to get featured in the printed press.

Here’s how this translates into images:

You will need,at a minimum:

  • 3 o 5 different portraits. You will want a portrait for your about page and social media profile photos (make it the same), and a variety of other photos for other parts of your website (eg, contact page), and for media publications, as well as social media. These should include a photo of you leaning forward to represent listening to a coaching client, and a photo of you speaking on stage (to promote a retreat, or conference)

 

  • 5 different portrait orientation product/lifestyle photos that you can use for your lead magnets, social media and website illustration.

 

  • 10 flat lays that you can use for your website, and that you can crop for social media and to promote your content. 10×150=1150 /365= 4 photos a day. The Flat Lays will show  your different products (2 with the style of each of your products, and 4 in the general style of your brand, more towards the higher end style, with electronics, . They can also act as Header and floating backgrounds for your website.

 

  • Ideally, you would also add 3 to 10 lifestyle photos showing groups of people working together, listening (to you speaking) and detail shots of beautiful objects included in your brand (such as brand collaterals, gift packages etc, if you have a fully designed brand. If you don’t, you don’t need this).

 

  • GRAND TOTAL: 15 -25 product, flat lay & lifestyle images, + 5 portraits. 20 to 30 high quality, personalized, high resolution images can solve all your photography needs for a full year.

 

You can always add more images, and I would absolutely recommend getting professional retreat  or conference photos, as well as professional book photos, if you’re a published author. You can also, depending on your budget, shoot individual collections for each product. But with 20 to 30 great images, you are set. All the rest is the cherry on top.

 

If you liked this video and want more like it, subscribe to my channel and share it with your friends. Remember to download the checklist of questions that comes with this post on the link below, so you can go through all this before your next photoshoot.

 

If you’d like to work with me, book a free call over at marcelamacias.com/book-now so we discuss what all your needs.

 

Have a lovely day and I’ll see you soon with more videos to help you grow your business beyond your wildest dreams

 

PINK M

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

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

 

New beginnings

New beginnings

CONSTANT BEAUTIFUL CHANGE

 

18 months ago, my life changed, and this blog changed as a result of that.  18 months ago I moved from being a hobby blogger, documenting parts of my mothering journey with Luka and Zoe into the world of professional photography.

What once was a hobby, done in stolen hours for 4 years, became my work. Where I once was my only boss, I had clients.

I was catapulted into this new reality by a combination of luck, heap tons of passion and a mad will to transform our lives. And I began this journey at a very chaotic and confusing parenting time, when we had to pull out Luka and Zoe from school and start homeschooling them due to the stress caused by lack of integration and provision for their special needs in the previous institution.

My work was more than a way to make money during those months: It was my lifeline. My connection to creativity, service and beauty, yes. But also my connection to who I am, besides a mother.  When I look at the photos I took during those months, I see them as a symbol of rebirth.

My work changed and our lives changed with it.

It was sudden. It was exhausting at times. And it was beautiful.

I learned about myself, my relationship with money*, my emotional barriers to success and how to smash them*, how to shoot for conversions, how to understand my clients needs and provide for them, how to price my services* , how NOT to price my services. I made mistakes, I did things right. I grew. I changed.

Blogging about the same things I had been blogging seemed artificial- my life did not revolve anymore around crafts and parties and recipes for my kids. And because I don’t do fake and I didn’t know what new direction to take, I stopped blogging altogether. I went into a thinking cave while I reflected on what to do, but because time for reflection was scarce…months passed by, and then a year, and then more.

And then, I won a scholarship for B-school

When B-school opened for enrollment, back in February, I knew I had to apply for a scholarship. I felt in my heart that it was the right program for me, and it was exactly the right time to apply. Oh boy, it was.

During 8 weeks, I had the opportunity to completely rethink what I was doing and where I wanted to go with my business. To develop a long term vision, to analyze what was working and what not. What I had done right and loved doing. What was driving me crazy and had to let go of. What would help me build, not only a business I could love, but a life I could adore. 

And now it’s time to starting putting all that into action

So without further ado, let me walk you through some changes that are starting now.

NEW CONSULTING SERVICES

Up until now, working with me was only possible for those who could afford,  and were willing to invest in custom photography.

But there are times when you need direction about your visual presence. You need someone to ask questions about what type of photos suit your business objectives, what you should consider when planning your photography, or even how to make the most of your camera.  Courses and google only go so far.

So I am now offering 45 minute clarity sessions with me, where you can ask me anything about photography and visual content. Go ahead, pick my brain!

COMPLIMENTARY BONUSES TO MY PHOTOGRAPHIC SERVICES

Us, entrepreneurs and freelancers, are bombarded with information and in charge of a million things on a daily basis. We don’t just need to delegate some tasks: we also need strategy and clarity as to the next steps.

This is why, when you hire me as your photographer, I place great care in helping you define your visual voice, and developing a strategy for your photos to connect with your ideal customers and convert them into fans and revenue. And that’s not all. I also provide you with assistance and guidance on how to use the photos so that you can make the most of your investment. Heart-infused creativity + nerdy strategy + soulful inspiration: that’s what it’s all it about.

Craving more details? Go here.

A NEW ABOUT PAGE

Wanna get to know the girl behind the lens? Now you can get a glimpse at who I am, without reading a whole lot of blog posts.

Go here to read about what I believe in, what I love, and a few other curious things about me, myself and I.

It’s ok to be curious.

QUESTIONS GET ANSWERS

I have compiled a list of the most common questions I get about my services, my gear, my journey.

Wanna know what camera I use, whether you can pay with credit card and if consulting with me can help your business? Go here.

 

 

 

REVIEWED LEGAL TERMS

I am a lawyer who believes in “ayurvedic law”, a term I coined to mean law that prevents conflicts. In Spanish we say “reglas claras conservan la amistad” : clear rules maintain our friendship.

I value your trust and your privacy and I request the same from you. So I have updated this site’s legal terms and conditions my privacy policy and added a very important disclaimer on affiliate links.

Please read them, so our relationship can grow on firm basis and with clear understandings.

 A REVAMPED SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE

I took the time to really evaluate which social media outlets resonate with me, and where it would be easier and more fun for us to hang out together. I think about social media as an extension of my business, as the informal place where we get to meet and greet. Being a photographer and a very visual person, I chose instagram and pinterest as my main hangouts. And just when I thought that was going to be it, periscope arrived and it’s so much fun!

So here’s how it’ll work: follow me on instagram for a daily chit-chat. Follow me on pinterest for inspiration (extra bonus if you write me an email to marcela@marcelamacias.com and tell me what you need, so I can curate content for you). Follow me on periscope  at @celebr_girl for backstage passes to my studio, and quick tips on visual strategy.

Where do you hangout?

INSTAGRAM

PINTEREST

PERISCOPE

AND THERE’S MORE TO COME!

I told you B-school had created a revolution in my business! I’m working non-stop on some very cool new projects that I can’t wait to share with you. Projects that I’ve designed to ease your way into the Christmas season so that your business can make the most of it-and you can still bake cookies and sip some eggnog with the family.

So, if you are not a part of my community, make sure to hop on it now on the box below to be the first to know about what’s coming!

Now tell me, what have you been up?

____________

* Affiliate links (two of them lead to free opt-in material). Don’t like to click on affiliate links? Click here for a non affiliate alternative. Click here to learn about my affiliate link policy.

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.

PicMonkey Collage4

 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.

PicMonkey Collage5

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.

PicMonkey Collage6

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 http://www.lifeismessykitchen.com/, 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!

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