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.

It’s the Little Things that Count | Intimate Weddings | Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-25I have to tell you, I’m as girlie girl as they come. Give me an excited, beautifully beaming bride and a handsome, gallant groom surrounded by hundreds of adoring family and friends in a gorgeous space decorated to the Nth degree and you’ll find me hopping along with the happiness all day long.

But…can I also tell you how much I absolutely adore and am totally smitten with small, intimate weddings? There is just something so magical about a tiny little wedding, where every person there is on your “favorites” list in your phone. The warmth, closeness and emotion at those weddings always seem to be so much more present. I’m not saying that big weddings aren’t jam-packed with those things as well, I’m just saying that I think you have more time to allow the day to fully envelop you in all its glory when you don’t have 300 hands to shake.

But I’m biased, to be honest. John and I went to Vermont to get married. Just the 2 of us, a photographer and the minister. We stood in a beautiful historic farmhouse and within 15 minutes we were married. I always thought I might regret not doing something even a bit bigger…but I haven’t. Not ever, not once. We had a bitty reception (really, a dinner) when we got back. All of it was pure perfection.

This is why I live vicariously through my brides. I had an itty bitty teensy weensy wedding, but I can get my jam on at any wedding because they are all filled with so much love, fun, tears and an overwhelming amount of joy, no matter the number of people in attendance.

But this shout out is to the little things that count today. It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. If you have that, your life will always be filled to the brim. This wedding is a fantastic example of that, as you can see. The wedding took place on one day with the couple and each parent set only at the gorgeous Mansions on Fifth Hotel. Then the bride and groom took off for an extended European honeymoon. When they came back, we had ourselves a blast at their reception at the stunning Hotel Monaco.

I don’t know about you, but 2 wedding events sure beats one!Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-1Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-2Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-3Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-4Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-5Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-6Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-7Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-8Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-9Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-10Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-11Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-12Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-13Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-14Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-16Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-15Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-17Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-18Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-19Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-20Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-21Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-22Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-23Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-24Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-25Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-26Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-27Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-28Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-29Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-30Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-31Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-32Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-33Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-34Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-35Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-36Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-37Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-38Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-39Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-40Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-41Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-42Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-43Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-44Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-45Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-46Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-47Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-48Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-49Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-50Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-51Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-52Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-53Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-54Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-55Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-56Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-57Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-58Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-59Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-60Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-61Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-62Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-63Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-64Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-65Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-66Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-67Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-68Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-69Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-70Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-71Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-72Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-73Pittsburgh Small Weddings | Hotel Monaco | Masnions on Fifth-74

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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Iris Van Herpen | Carnegie Museum of Art

Iris Van Herpen CMOA 2Have you been yet? Oh my gosh…if you are in anyway curious about fashion, or appreciate the art of fashion you absolutely have to go see this exhibit. I went a few weeks ago with Lee Ann at the Carnegie Museum of Art and I’m absolutely going again.

Listen…I have a passion for fashion, as does Lee Ann. It’s such an exhilarating part of my work and it is such a lovely additional creative outlet that goes hand-in-hand with my style of photography. But I have to say, this work from Iris Van Herpen is way beyond fashion. Simply said, it’s art. And I know: every designer’s work is their art…but that’s not what I mean. Herpen’s artistic expression through the materials she uses, in combination with the initial inspiration for each line, is truly some-kind-of-magnificent. If I could spend just 5 minutes inside her head I would either explode from an overdose of creativity or walk away inspired for life. Reading some of the placards that explain her motivation behind her works is otherworldly.

As I walked through the exhibit and took everything in, I couldn’t help but keep going back to how much it seemed some of Herpen’s pieces were inspired by the works of Alexander Mcqueen (look at the black shoe that inspires images of McQueen’s Plato’s Atlantis show, and make sure to take in the orange number and the clear dress, both printed on a 3d printer). Then I read on one of the placards that she interned at with McQueen in 2010 and it all made sense to me, and it was actually a really exciting moment for me because Alexander McQueen is one of my all-time favorite designers.

However, Herpen’s unique use of technology in her pieces absolutely sets her apart from all of my favorite designers. For instance, take a look the photo in the upper right hand corner above. That piece was created on a 3d printer, as was quite a few of her pieces, as mentioned above. I wish you could see it up close…the intricacy was maddening.

And just look at the dress that has the plastic attachment below. I thought that piece was interesting, at the very least, but when I read the placard explaining that it was Herpen’s curiosity with the visualization of a large splash of water, and what that would like in terms of fashion, I was in awe. I had to take a photo of the professional photograph taken on a black background. You really get the true sense of it there. Can you imagine your brain working like that?? The one that looks like an asian warrior piece (the brass one) is actually made from the metal pieces/connections from children’s umbrellas. What??

What I loved most about Herpen’s work was her intimacy with what inspired each and every piece. The details, the hands-on manipulation of every material she used, the mind-blowing ideas behind the lines…it was really something I didn’t quite expect at all and am so thrilled that I took the time to go and see her work. And you should too.

Iris Van Herpen CMOA 1Iris Van Herpen CMOAAnd though this will seem a bit random to accompany this post, I’d like to give a shout out to Ashley Cecil and a pat on the back for us. Ashley is a brilliant artist working in residency at the CMOA and she’s working on some pretty amazing and important projects over there. Make sure to check her out. You can see her lovely face in the photo below, which I took (there’s my pat on the back for having a photo featured in the CMOA Magazine…the same magazine that Iris Van Herpen’s work is allllll over. Yeah…Iris and I are like besties now. Bonded for life).

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So don’t miss your chance to go and experience some incredible fashion accompanied with some pretty incredible behind-the-scenes information. And while you’re there, take a moment to check out Ashley’s work as well. You won’t be disappointed with either!!

 

Lucky #13

fullsizerenderWho says 13 is an unlucky number? Not me. Why? Because today I celebrate 13 years of marriage with my lovely husband, John.

Fifteen years of incredible partnership. Thirteen years of a lovely marriage. One amazing child. One crazy business. Countless memories. Endless love, patience and laughs (so many laughs). I regret nothing, except not meeting you sooner and maybe that hairstyle on our wedding day.

This man lifts me up every. single. time. I fall down. He taught me everything I know about photography and running a business (I know…you thought because the name of our business only has my name in it that he’s just there for good looks. As much as I’m grateful for the eye-candy that my husband definitely is, he’s actually the brains, foundation and manager of every step we make in our business. He’s also a kick ass photographer himself AND a killer cinematographer…he’s also damn funny…but not as funny as me).

I won’t get too mushy. I just wanted to give a shout out to the guy that loves me unconditionally, puts up with the crap I constantly leave laying around the house, makes me laugh till I pee myself, is the most incredible father our daughter could ever have, frustrates the living shit out of me, always puts Ella and me first (and if I’m being honest…even our dog, Augie) and allows me to be the spicy meatball I was always meant to be.

Cheers, darling. Here’s to another 13.

P.S. John Craig–just to be clear, my motto is still “Don’t tell me what to do. You’re not the boss of me.”