Adore Me | How to Make Your Boudoir Session a Raging Success

Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer | Elizabeth Craig Photography-017Recently, I received an invitation from Adore Me to collaborate on a blog post that dives a bit deeper into how I help my clients rock out their sessions. Of course I accepted that invitation with gusto! They’re lingerie pieces are a fan fave of my clients so it seemed like a great way to share our combined message of self-love, confidence and general kicking of butt for those of us of the female persuasion.

I really loved that Adore Me wanted to share in my mantra for my business, which is love yourself, take care of yourself and, yes, treat yourself to luxuries that promote confidence in yourself. They understand that women want to feel sexy and one way to do that is to reserve a boudoir session for yourself with a photographer that understands women (ahem….that would be me, in case I needed to spell that out for you). Once you make that decision to pamper yourself a bit, preparing for it is almost as much fun as the session itself.

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I spend a lot of time helping my clients prepare for their sessions because it not only sets them up for success on their session day, but also knowing ahead of time what to expect is a great way to stomp those nerves down a bit.

Those nerves always seem to rear their ugly head again right before we start shooting. And no wonder! It’s not easy stockpiling up the courage it takes to stand in front of a camera and be vulnerable. But there’s some good news here: it’s not your job to know what to do in front of the camera; it’s your job to listen to me and do what I tell you to do in front of that camera. If you can do that, you’re gonna love your photos.

So, how do I get my clients to give me what I need? How do I infuse confidence into my clients to help them feel sexy and powerful throughout their shoot? Good questions. Let me answer that for you.

~I bond with you before your session. I do this by encouraging constant communication with you. I am there 24 hours a day to answer questions and build the dream you want right alongside you.

~I prepare you. I have every piece of information you need to make your session a success before you even walk into my studio.

~I welcome you. I am there to greet you at my door, introduce you to my space and also introduce you to my stylist, with whom you will spend about an hour+ with, developing your own bond with her. She is there to cool your nerves, make you feel comfortable and when you see your final transformation, to feel like a true badass.

~I talk with you. I will have a talk with you before I even pick up my camera. That talk involves me telling you it’s ok to let your walls down with me, to be vulnerable and allow that sexy, beautiful, powerful woman inside to come out, because she is in a safe place where expressing herself is her only job.

~I show you exactly what I want. There is nothing I will make you do in my studio that I won’t do with you. I show you the poses I want with my own body. I show you the expressions I want with my own face. I am there to act as your visual guide and we do everything together, just like best friends should.

~I listen to you. Not only do I listen with my ears, but I listen with my eyes. I know when you’re feeling a bit insecure. I can feel when you don’t trust me and in those moments I cheer you on and help you to fully believe that you got this. I am your biggest fan of the day, girl. Trust me and everything is going to be exactly what you want it to be.

~I get excited with you. I see those photos on the back of my camera and could squeal with glee. And when I show you those photos on the back of my camera, you get to see that YES, you can do this, you are doing this and you are here for your reckoning with yo-self.

~I believe in you. And that’s the truth and my clients know it. I have never ever once had a client walk in my studio with all the confidence in the world. I understand that this is likely a first for you and that you don’t know what you’re doing. The one thing I am super duper good at is making you feel at home and comfortable with me. I am here to be your guide, your cheerleader, your teacher and your friend…and I do those things well, and it’s not because I’m a good actor. I do actually believe in each of my clients and I have full faith that you can not only knock a session out of the park, but that you will enjoy every moment of it. I believe you will revisit your experience with love and joy every time you look at your photos, and, based on what I know about my history in my business, you will even likely come back for another session because you want that feeling of love, friendship, confidence, power and sexy all over again.

You may tiptoe into my studio, but I know for a fact you will runway-walk back out at the end of our day together. While you’re still considering, I’ll go ahead and get busy building that runway…
Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer | Elizabeth Craig Photography-015Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer | Elizabeth Craig Photography-018Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer | Elizabeth Craig Photography-014Makeover by At Home Beauty.

Pink fur wrap: Burberry
Red tassel earrings: Kate Spade
Gold dangle earrings: Marchesa
Black skirt: Carolina Herrera

Watch Me on KDKA’s Pittsburgh Today Live!

Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 8.33.25 AMLet me start off by saying how incredibly grateful I am for such a wonderful opportunity that was brought my way. A huge Thank You to Dave Forstate for seeing a story in my work and making that story come to life (yep…that’s the link to the actual segment). A huge Thank You to KDKA’s Pittsburgh Today Live show for giving that story a platform to reach tons of women and share the message of self-love, confidence and empowerment. I cannot thank you each enough for allowing words that I have been speaking for years to reach so many more women in 5 minutes than I could in 7 years. Lastly, a ginormous thank you to Lee Ann, of At Home Beauty, for lending your awesome talents to me and making our muse, Christina, look so incredible for her transformation. Deep, deep bows of gratitude to every person that was any part of this.

So a bit about how this all came together. I received an email in early February from Dave Forstate, who is an Emmy award-winning feature photojournalist for KDKA and WQED. In the email he discussed my Before & After gallery and that he really wanted to do a film/interview on the transformations for a potential Valentine’s Day feature. After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I contacted him back and we quickly put together a shoot at my studio so that we could get the film moving along. As we were going through our day and Dave continued to ask me questions to get my answers on film, the story began to take on another life, more about how I use my photography as a platform to help women feel confident, empowered and beautiful. I was lucky enough that Dave saw a bigger story and soon after, the producer at Pittsburgh Today Live saw that story as well, and soon scheduled it for that show.

I will tell you that yesterday was such an amazing day. Not only seeing the final segment on TV, but more importantly watching a message that I’ve been trying so hard to get out into the world take on a life of its own. If this segment helps one woman believe that she is a powerful, significant and beautiful person in this world then that segment did its full job.

I was also over-the-moon-thrilled with the response. So many past clients commented on their past sessions with me, confirming the message that has become my mantra, and so many other people have reached out to comment on that mantra and its positivity for a population that needs it most. I thank each of you for sharing your stories, your experiences with me and your affirmations about self-love and the importance of women uplifting other women. What a fine day it was.

And lastly, I want to give a shout out full of love for my clients. It’s because of each and every one of you that I have been able to give my message life. If it weren’t for all of you, I wouldn’t have had this opportunity and I wouldn’t be able to live my life every single day doing exactly what I love. Go ahead…take a moment and pat your own back. You deserve it.

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So if you have a minute and want to watch the segment, click here and have at it! After you click away, come on back and watch our behind-the-scenes film John was able to create. Enjoy!!

 

No Regrets

Pittsburgh Fashion Boudoir Photographer-1That’s a slogan we’ve heard pretty much all of our lives. Live your life with no regrets. At the end of your life you don’t want any regrets. Regret nothing. But we do. I’m pretty sure most, if not all, of us can think of a few regrets sprinkled throughout our lives.

Interestingly, two of the most cited regrets people talk about is (1). missed opportunities in the realm of love (I should’ve asked her out. I should’ve said yes when he asked me out. I wonder what would’ve happened if I had said yes…or no) and (2). purchases. That’s right: purchasing stuff is an ongoing and consistent occurrence, yet it results in the most amount of regret.

Wanna know what has been cited as the one thing that brings the least amount of regret? Experiences. Yep…you can’t buy your way to happiness with piles of crap, but you can hop, skip and jump your way to happiness with loads of experiences.

Does this come as a surprise? For some, yes. For others, nope. I learned this lesson pretty early on and I’m so much the better for it. I don’t have a fancy car, a giant home, a closet full of designer stuff…but I do have an absolute treasure trove of memories, photographs, nights reminiscing, and even a time capsule I’ve worked on since our daughter’s birth, of the most meaningful experiences in our lives as a family, and my life as an individual.

I mean, think about it: when you consider what’s important to you, what will go down in history inside your heart, I’m betting it’s not the $12,000 couch you just had to have because it complimented the $8,000 vase (that eventually got knocked over and shattered into a million pieces, which led to tears, screaming and the ensuing battle with your home owner’s insurance). It’s the moments, the milestones, the celebrations. It’s those acts of living you invested your soul into that you laugh about, talk about with misty eyes and think about when the going gets tough. It’s life my friends.

So what am I getting at?? I think you know, but let me spell it out. Women are starting to realize the value in investing in themselves, and this is really exciting. Time and time again I have had the pleasure of opening emails from my wonderful and brilliant clients thanking me to the high heavens for the experience the I created for them, and enjoyed with them.

And that, my lovely ladies, is where my heart rests. It rests in a place where one woman understands the need for other women to express, celebrate, love, embrace and have a reckoning with their true Self. That understanding leads to the building of a dream and then setting the stage to watch that dream to come to life in the form of an experience that is for, and only for, You.

And here’s the best part, my gorgeous gals. That experience gets to live on, and on, and on, and….you get it. And here’s why. Because you have the physical history of that experience that will live on forever. Not only will you be able to revisit, reminisce and relive that experience over and over ever single time you look at those photographs, but you will have created a true legacy that will live on for, hopefully, endless generations. AND you will have started the foundation to teach any young girl being raised in your sphere that she is important. She is worthy. She is magnificent, and celebrating that magnificence is imperative and should be a regular part of her life.

Because here’s the thing: if we don’t celebrate ourselves, why should anyone else?

“Dead people receive more flowers than the living because regret is stronger than gratitude” –Anne Frank

No regrets, my dears. No regrets.Pittsburgh Fashion Boudoir Photographer-1-2Pittsburgh Fashion Boudoir Photographer-3Pittsburgh Fashion Boudoir Photographer-4Pittsburgh Fashion Boudoir Photographer-2-2Pittsburgh Fashion Boudoir Photographer-6Pittsburgh Fashion Boudoir Photographer-7Makeover by At Home Beauty.

Red bodysuit: Victoria’s Secret
Black skirt: Carolina Herrera
Heels: Christian Louboutin
Earrings: Kate Spade

The Transformation

Pittsburgh Before & After Beauty Boudoir Photography-2It never ceases to amaze me when I see the sheer delight, surprise and boost of pure “I love myself!” look in the eyes of a woman that has undergone a makeover in my studio. It’s probably one of the most fun moments for me during a session day. The look of utter disbelief, that then turns into a “Hell yeah!! That’s ME!” is exactly why I do what I do.

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I’d like to say that it’s all for my clients, but honestly it’s a big help to me as well because once a woman sees herself for the first time after her transformation, that boost of confidence is exactly what I need for them to really believe that they can do this. They can have the time of their lives, feel beautiful and help me to create everlasting photographs that they can have forever. So, it’s a bit selfish…but I’m sure you’ll forgive me.

Pittsburgh Before & After Beauty Boudoir Photography-6Pittsburgh Before & After Beauty Boudoir Photography-7Pittsburgh Before & After Beauty Boudoir Photography-8Pittsburgh Before & After Beauty Boudoir Photography-9So…if you’re wondering who the women are that come into my studio for these transformations, I’d like to enlighten you: it’s you. Yes, you…sitting on your computer looking at these women wishing you were in my studio right now.

I’m waiting….

Before (you walk into my studio) & After (we get our hands on you) Photography

Pittsburgh Before & After Beauty Boudoir Photography-10Have you caught onto my theme this week yet? Yep–it’s my week of showing off how everyday, totally beautiful women have come into my studio and undergone a gorgeous transformation.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but the reason I like to show off before & after photographs is to remind all you good women out there that this is for you too. I’m not photographing models (and no kidding, I have had more than one woman tell me they thought I wasn’t being honest…that I was secretly photographing models and trying to pass them off as everyday women, until they saw my before & after gallery on my site). It’s not that I won’t or haven’t photographed models, but my jam is the everyday woman that tiptoes into my studio excited but unsure, and then runway walks back out after their day with me. *snap*

So, if you’re curious if you have it in you, let me be the first to answer that question: Yes. Yes you do. Pittsburgh Before & After Beauty Boudoir Photography-11Pittsburgh Before & After Beauty Boudoir Photography-12Pittsburgh Before & After Beauty Boudoir Photography-13Pittsburgh Before & After Beauty Boudoir Photography-14Pittsburgh Before & After Beauty Boudoir Photography-15Pittsburgh Before & After Beauty Boudoir Photography-16Pittsburgh Before & After Beauty Boudoir Photography-17Pittsburgh Before & After Beauty Boudoir Photography-18Pittsburgh Before & After Beauty Boudoir Photography-19Pittsburgh Before & After Beauty Boudoir Photography-20
Makeover by Beauty Justified.

The Legacy of Mothers & Daughters | Mother’s Day 2017

Mother Daughter Before & After Photography | Elizabeth Craig Photography-8I cannot, for the life of me, think of a better way for a mother and daughter to spend the day together than coming in for a play date with me. Over the years, mother/daughter sessions, mother/daughter/granddaughter sessions, and the like, have gotten more and more popular and I’m so thrilled to watch that come alive.

Have you ever come across an old photo album that you either forgot about or didn’t even know existed? You open it, struggle to remember if that photo was of your grandmother or great grandmother…or was it your aunt, twice removed?? Then you see that photo of your mom when she was your age. Gosh, how beautiful she was…and still is. Then you giggle when you find the photo of yourself when, for some unknown reason, you allowed your mom to perm your hair in the 6th grade. Ohhhhh….good times good times. And then your mom joins in and you ask over and over and over again: “Who’s that?” and “What was it like when you were my age?” and “What were you thinking with that dress mom??” Nostalgia is an important part of life, is it not? Better yet, history is important. Leaving a legacy is most important of all.

And it’s not just the photos. You know that. It’s also the experience of celebrating that relationship through a once-in-a-lifetime event. Two women coming together to create a memory that creates a lifelong legacy of photographs. That’s a priceless experience, if you ask me.

So, this is my teensy tiny reminder to you that Mother’s Day is right around the corner. If you’re trying to come up with the perfect gift for your mom or daughter, may I make a suggestion?

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