Best Anniversary Gift Ever

Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer | Elizabeth Craig-3Yes it is! And it’s an especially fabulous gift because your first year anniversary gift is supposed to be paper. Bam. Perfection. Funny…I’ve never heard of a significant other saying, after having seen photos from a session with me, “Gee…these are great but I’d rather have gotten a watch.” No sirreeee…

We photographed this couple’s wedding and when I got an email from this gorgeous gal saying she was finally ready to take the plunge and come in for a session I was so excited! She’s one of the sweetest gals I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know and I couldn’t wait to get that sugary side on film…and then bring out her inner badass. Turns out, wasn’t hard at all.

We went from comfy and flirty, to a bit more of a vintage and soft look. We saved that bodysuit for last because I knew she’d have to come to play when she put that on. And when she did put that awesome bodysuit on her altar ego had no problem showing up with her A game. Let’s play ball!Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer | Elizabeth Craig-1Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer | Elizabeth Craig-2Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer | Elizabeth Craig-7Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer | Elizabeth Craig-8Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer | Elizabeth Craig-4Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer | Elizabeth Craig-5Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer | Elizabeth Craig-6Makeover by At Home Beauty.

They Needed This

Boudoir Photography Before & After | Pittsburgh | Elizabeth Craig Photography-1Same title, different Gal. You got to see her bestie and hear about her story, now we’re on to the second half of such a wonderful day at my studio.

I know I said it in my last post, but having these women in my studio was so much fun, it was like I wasn’t even working. They were just so excited to be there and both talked about how they had waited and waited for this day. I couldn’t have felt more honored to be the photographer they chose to finally come and celebrate themselves.

And here’s what I can say about this beautiful woman you see here. When Lee Ann turned the mirror around to show her the finished makeover she yelled “Holy shit!”…I’d say that was a pretty good indicator of her feelings on that. You could see how she was instantly changed into a confident, sexy woman. And her gal pal said to me quietly: “She really needed this. A lot.”

I took maybe 4 frames and showed them to her so she could see what it all looked like. She instantly said “I could not be more un-photogenic and you made me look beautiful in the very first set!

But it was by the 2nd outfit when she teared up at how she couldn’t believe these photos were really of her that I really understood how important this was to her. You see, we women so badly want reassured that we are in fact beautiful. Sometimes we look in the mirror and we think “Yes…I am pretty” in that sort of surprising tone. But we always wonder if that’s true, if that is the way others see us, because when you have no distance from your own self, how do you really know?

Taking a day that you have planned for months, giving yourself permission to be pampered (for once) and make the day about you (for once) and celebrating yo-self with gorgeous professional portraits that will last forever is one way to find out. But I’m a bit biased…Boudoir Photography | Pittsburgh | Elizabeth Craig Photography-6Boudoir Photography Before & After | Pittsburgh | Elizabeth Craig Photography-2-2Boudoir Photography | Pittsburgh | Elizabeth Craig Photography-7Makeover by At Home Beauty.

They Needed This

Boudoir Photography Before & After | Pittsburgh | Elizabeth Craig Photography-2That’s what they kept saying to me; they each needed this session and both for their own reasons.

This was a Gal’s Day for my gorgeous clients. They’re best friends, own a salon together, and decided it was the right time to come in and celebrate themselves with me. And oh my gosh…what a party we had! Music, mimosas, gossip…and so so so much laughter. I was instantly connected to both of these beautiful women and their excitement for this day was simply contagious.

This absolutely stunning woman you see here has lost a bunch of weight and felt it was time to capture herself after all of her hard work. She said to me that almost all of her nervousness was because she knew she was going to have to show more skin to a complete stranger (me) than she has done in years for anyone else. Although she had lost a lot of weight, she still wasn’t exactly thrilled at the notion of running around half naked in an unfamiliar studio with an unfamiliar woman. But by the very first outfit she told me she couldn’t believe how comfortable she felt with me, and more than once made that same comment and felt walking around my studio in her skivvies became a complete non-issue to her. That’s how comfortable I made her feel. Can we say liberated?

Can you even begin to imagine how wonderful that was for me to hear?

And she was so ready. She was ready to sit in that salon chair, have her hair and makeup done by a pro, sip champagne and just be pampered. And when it came to the photographs, all she wanted was to feel sexy. That’s what she told me: I want these photos to be sexy.

Mission. Accepted….and accomplished.

I’ll be following up Monday with the other incredible Gal from this day. But for now, feast your eyes upon this lovely woman that battled her self-image for years, finally took her inside and outside beauty into her own hands and found a place of peace and self-love for herself. AND then celebrated that accomplishment with me.

Love when that happens.

PS–if you’re not sure what a Gal’s Day is, let me explain: you and a friend have your own individual sessions on the same day, allowing a big savings on the sitting fee. Interested? Contact me for more information.Boudoir Photography | Pittsburgh | Elizabeth Craig Photography-1Boudoir Photography | Pittsburgh | Elizabeth Craig Photography-3Boudoir Photography | Pittsburgh | Elizabeth Craig Photography-2Makeover by At Home Beauty.

A Big Milestone is Coming | High School Senior Sessions

High School Senior Sessions | Pittsburgh-2(For a big surprise just for mom, keep reading to the end)

Ohhhhhhh yes….get the tissues out (and the vodka) because you’re little one has officially grown up and is about to face one of the biggest moments in his or her life: high school graduation.

How did that happen? Just yesterday you were giggling in the stands watching your little boy practically fall over with the weight of the helmet on his head in pipsqueak football. And wasn’t it just last week you caught your daughter covered in your makeup from head to toe while walking around (not too gracefully) in your high heels?? The school plays, the halloween costumes, the friendship woes, the boyfriend/girlfriend heartbreaks…and now…*gulp*….it’s that time. Yes. It’s that time.

And it’s also that time to capture them one last time as their high school selves. All the idealism, the sweet naiveté, the still-innocent dreams of your little one before they really get introduced to real adulthood.

I know…we make fun of senior photos. Do you remember yours?? Oy vey…the poses, the clothes….GAH! The embarrassment! But those kinds of sessions are gone (hopefully) and now it’s not just about getting them in and getting them out and having those corny photos to give to grandma while your senior begs you not to give them to the neighbors for fear anyone he/she knows may see them. Oh yes…as you can see by these photos, a lot has changed. It’s fun, it’s an experience and it’s based around what your high school senior wants. From grandiosity to simplicity, their sessions with me are about them.

If you’re going to invest in such a session, make sure it’s one that when you look back on the photos, you see the real her or the real him. And then you can remember feeling that experience all over again with them.

In fact, I’ll do you one better: if you’re going to invest in a senior session and choose that session to be with me, let’s give you (mom) a makeover too and include you in some of the photos. Why not?? You’re the one that grew your kid, labored with your kid, had an unimaginable number of sleepless nights for your kid, kissed every boo boo, packed every lunch, cried when they cried and laughed when they laughed. And now, your hard work has paid off. Why not be a small part of this day?? Not a shared part, just a small part (lest your child is reading this and you can just feeeeel the eye-rolling commencing).

So, this is my gift to you, from one mom to another: if you buy a high school senior session for your kid, you will get a free makeover and a mini-sitting with your all-grown-up kiddo. Listen, this is important. I’ll bet the next time you get professional photos taken with your child it will be on their wedding day. You and I both know how important these photos are. A gift for you, an experience for your kid. Let this be something to cherish between the two of you.

Keep building the legacy, mom. High School Senior Sessions | Pittsburgh-1High School Senior Sessions | Pittsburgh-3

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother's Day 2017-2To all of you hard-working, hustling, snot-wiping, poop-cleaning, 2-job working, got-no-sleep-last-night, shoulder-to-cry-on, back-to-put-all-your-troubles-on, meal-cooking, bringing-home-the-bacon, strong, powerful, take-life-by-the-balls, don’t-mess-with-my-kids-or-I-will-bury-you mamas:

You ROCK. You are AMAZING. You are what holds this world together. You are a jack-of-all-trades and a problem-solver to absolutely everything in your child’s world. You are BEAUTIFUL. You get shit DONE. You laugh when you want to cry. You cry when your heart is filled so much to the brim with the love you have for your children you simply cannot contain it when it spills over. You are their world. To them, you hung the moon.

You are the center of the nucleus that is the craziness of your family and without you, there is no heartbeat, soul or buzzing energy of generosity, deep love and the most magnificent example of what unconditional love looks and feels like.

You are a mother, and this weekend belongs to you. Enjoy it. You deserve it (and, girl, so damn much more). Happy Mother's Day 2017-3Happy Mother's Day 2017-1Ella’s sweet little makeover by At Home Beauty.

Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone

Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer | Elizabeth Craig Photography-6That’s a quote by Neale Donald Walsch and boy is it a good one. I can’t think of a better quote to give to each and every one of my clients….it’s just so true. On this day, my challenge was to make this girl next door look like the woman that’s about to rock your world.

As you can see, she just looks so young.  She also had a vision in mind for her session and it did not include this look. She was a bit skeptical but I just knew it would come together perfectly and I hope you think it did as much as I do. I wanted to push her outside her comfort zone. Here is where I would say her comfort zone sits very….comfortably.

Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer | Elizabeth Craig Photography-7-2And this is one beautiful photo of one beautiful woman. This is the photo that will get printed and looked at fondly by mom, dad, friends. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having just this photo.

But I knew she had it in her. I knew she would let me push her and not surprisingly, she felt very comfortable pushing herself. Maybe these photos won’t get hung on the living room wall…but she will be able to pull them out anytime she wants when she needs to remind herself what a badass she really is. I’d say that’s priceless.

Lesson of the day: your comfort zone is boring. What would happen if you took just one little step outside of its boundaries? Hmmmm…..Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer | Elizabeth Craig Photography-4Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer | Elizabeth Craig Photography-1Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer | Elizabeth Craig Photography-5Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer | Elizabeth Craig Photography-3Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer | Elizabeth Craig Photography-2Makeover by At Home Beauty.