How to nail a super successful high-end photoshoot

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I've always hated having my picture taken. Its not that I couldn't make the right face or my hair was stupid. I just hated the entire room looking at me. 

You know the feeling? 

It's ironic because running a biz means you ARE the center of attention. There's no way around it. 

But I still had reservations. 

When it came time to get professional photos done, I was a mess. 

I didn't know what to wear (I live in yoga pants). 

I didn't know how to stand. 

What if I looked totally awkward? 

Basically, I didn't want to lose money for bad photos and end up with nothing I could use. 

Sound familiar? 

If you've had a bad experience in the past, you don't like your photos now, the photographer just didn't GET what you were going for, you think you look weird and awkward, they added waaay too much makeup, etc... 

I'm here to help you navigate this minefield of anxiety. 

Through a lot of research, over-preparation, and asking my photographer a bajillion questions, I ended up with some awesome photos that I'm really proud of. 

Here's the breakdown of everything I did to ensure this shoot would go off without a hitch: 

1. Do the branding work first. 

There is no point in even starting the photo shoot process until you know what this is all going to look like in the end. Otherwise you risk having to reshoot, or a set of images that don't really compliment your hard branding work. 

(If you haven't figured out what your brand is going to be yet, check out this guide I created to help you nail it down). 

2. Pinterest. 

Before you go hiring ANYONE... hang out on Pinterest. 

Not sure what you want your photos to look like? Pinterest is your lifesaver.

This is where I got ideas for props (I used balloons), color schemes, what other people were wearing, how they stood, etc. 

Make a board of everything you like. Especially poses - because you can share these with your photographer.

You're not bossing them around. It helps them, just like you might save photos of a hairstyle you like to take to the salon. The clearer you are on what you want, the easier it will be for them to give you exactly that. 

Send them outfit ideas, posing ideas, even location ideas (more on this below).

3. Finding / Hiring your photographer. 

I cannot stress this enough, find someone you LIKE! Ask for referrals, google people that understand online business. Look at what your entrepreneur peers are doing - who did they hire? How did they find them? 

Some photographers will travel to you, others will not. You're also free to choose some exotic location and go there! Look locally to save on airfare and hotels.

Stalk them online. You need to like their style of photos. It will look similar for you, so if you're not diggin what you see, keep searching.

Have a conversation with them. TELL THEM you feel uncomfortable and anxious (its way normal). TELL THEM You make awkward faces sometimes and you're worried you might do it again! Part of their job (if they're worth their salt) is to make you look good and help you relax! They'll have their own ideas for you. 

Ask them for advice. They do this all day long. They know what colors / styles / locations show up well and which ones don't. It may not be super specific to your brand, but they can give you guidelines on what to do to make it look amazing. 

4. Location. 

Heads up: your photographer already has places they like to shoot (unless they're traveling). They've scoped them out, they know the lighting, it works for them. 

That being said - if you're wanting urban, city-life images, find someone who has those examples ready. If they're someone who only shoots in wide open fields, then maybe they're not for you. 

Do the branding work before you decide, because the backgrounds of your photos matter too.

See what Pinterest has to offer you in terms of looks / vibes. And then have the conversation with your photographer about what you want. They should be clear about where they will / will not shoot.


5. Props and outfits. 

This should go without saying , but your props and outfits should be cohesive with your brand (If you haven't figured out what your brand is going to be yet, check out this guide I created to help you nail it down). 

Colors should coordinate. You don't have to be matchy-matchy, but a pop of your brand color that you wear in some way will make the photos tie into everything else you're doing.

For instance, you wouldn't wear red heels if your branding color palette is muted pastels. But you might pull in a deeper shade of purple as a necklace or jacket. 

Style should be cohesive. If your branding is BOLD colors and fonts, then your style should be too. If you did the branding exercises right, this should be easy because you've created something you're naturally drawn to anyway. If your style is relaxed and soothing (think a beachy feel with nice blues and greens), then you're not going to wear a suit. Instead, you pull out the flowy dresses and linen. 

See what I mean? 

Same with props. And you don't need a lot. Pick one big one (like my balloons) that can be the focal point, OR some smaller ones that work indoors (notebooks, coffee mugs, your laptop, etc). Maybe it's your pet or your family. Whatever it is, be sure it makes sense with your brand messaging.

Your photographer can also tell you how many outfit changes are possible in the time slot you've scheduled. 2-3 outfits/changes is usually the max. 

If you're feeling really stuck, look into hiring a stylist to help you out. They know body types, coloring, and will help you look amazing. 


6. Hair and makeup. 

Just like your photographer, find a hair / makeup person that understands photoshoots. Someone that does this for weddings is a good bet because they get the desired balance of looking like yourself and also looking amazing in pictures. 

I'm all for authenticity. Truly, but in the same way that stage actors must wear makeup to simply to be SEEN from the audience? The rule applies here too. 

You can have it all done in a natural look that still looks like you.

You don't have to have crazy big hair unless you want it.

No need for glitter lips (unless it makes sense for your brand). 

I promise your photos will come out way better if you are willing enhance your features.

Minimum? Fake eyelashes (not kidding) and lipstick. 

Do your research, ask for references or at least a portfolio. There's a good chance your photographer will already be connected with great people and work with them often. Which means you get to see how their work shows up on camera. Win-win. 


7. The day of the shoot. 

You're probably nervous. 

You're wondering if everyone else can tell your hair is as big as Texas. 

You're hoping for the best. 

You're just now realizing how far out of your control this really is! 

It's ok. 

Remember you did your research. 

You found amazing people. 

You put your trust in them. 

Your hair looks awesome.

Your outfits are perfect.

Your props (if you've got them) will look so great. 

My secret trick (and it's not for everyone) is to have a drink right before your shoot. 

Yep. Take the edge off. Grab a couple airplane bottles of your choice. It'll help you relax and have fun. (Just don't get wasted, it'll show. LOL.)

And then simply be in communication with your photographer the whole time (you probably have been already via email and you're like friends now). 

It's their job to direct you. 

Don't be afraid to ask questions in the middle of pictures. "This feels weird. Am I standing right? Can you see my double chin?"

----

You cannot do this wrong. The prep work alone will make you feel like you've got it under control. 

Remember: 

1. Branding work for clarity

2. Play on Pinterest and gather ideas

3. Research your photographer

4. Ask lots of questions to be in the know

5. Go shopping!

6. Schedule your appointments for the day of the shoot

7. Have FUN and enjoy yourself. 

Feels overwhelming still?  You don't have to orchestrate all this alone. I can help - just reach out

How to legit BE the best, instead of pretending and hoping

be the best

(Check out my livestream video with more details HERE)

Something we talk about in snooty design circles is the 3 V's of Branding... 

If you haven't heard of this, here's what it is and why it matters. 

Vision + Voice + Visuals

If you don't have a fancy business plan, there's all you need to succeed. 

But here's the really important part that people miss: 

1. They all have to be aligned in order to work (aka - get results)
2. The VISION dictates the other 2.

This is just like anything else in business. You do the vision FIRST because clarity wins over everything else. 

Then you set out to talk about it and share it. You use your voice (website, social media, livestreams, whatever you've got) to get them to listen. 

You implement visuals (graphics to catch their eye) and communicate who you are on a different level. 

What does your vision LOOK like? Ever thought about it?

If you had to capture it in a photo, or a background image, or even a font... (it's kinda like that game if you could be any animal, what would you be and why)

How would you create a graphic, a style, a website that looks 

  • Trustworthy

  • Exciting

  • High-end

  • Light-hearted

  • Grounded

  • Approachable

  • Authentic


????

Harder than it seems right. Because those are all intangible words. They're simply feelings, and there are no visuals directly associated with feelings. 

It's open-ended and different for everyone. 

Luckily, that's MY JOB to figure out how to communicate these floaty intangible concepts.

But you can see that if you aren't clear on what you want (vision), it's nearly impossible to have an artist come alongside you and put visuals in place that match your message. 

Without getting clear, it doesn’t matter what you do, you’ll perpetually struggle (or your copywriter and designer will).

The good news is, you already know this. 

You inherently know that images communicate and can evoke huge emotion.

"A picture is worth 1000 words"

The bad news is, you're wasting your time on things that don't work. 

— You may have spent hours on stock photo sites looking for the perfect background. 
— Or sweating about your photo shoot, hoping it captures you in the right vibe. 
— Still playing with fonts late into the night and not feeling like you're getting it.

So you hired someone, or passed it off because you don’t have time for this. Its not your zone of genius. 

And it either gets half-assed by someone that doesn't really know what they're doing, or it gets forgotten about completely and you're limping by on your "voice" alone. 

Your voice is powerful. People are listening. But they're also looking and stalking and making judgments based on how your brand makes them feeeeeeel

You pretend it's fine to ignore what your website looks like. It gets pushed off - WHICH IS LOSING YOU MONEY. 

Deep down you'd really like to make it all look better. 

Does the quality of your website, graphics, deliverables, even landing pages and facebook headers match the amazing high-vibe message you're putting out there? 

If you're here to embrace your purpose, change the world and be this amazing business owner who's the EXPERT and LEGIT BEST at what she does... 

You gotta walk the talk. 

You can't cut corners and skimp where it counts. Where people literally make decisions based on what LOOKS like better quality, more trustworthy, and is giving them some other benefit. 

Take Starbucks Ethos Water for example. A case study!

It's a simple design that communicates to you by purchasing THIS water, you not only look cool and help kids, but it's from a place you trust (Starbucks is everywhere, they must be doing something right. Plus those frappucinos you can carry around Target with you... mmmmm! SOLD!)

You literally had to do nothing and kids are saved. This water stands next to other water in the case (smart water, dasani, etc). There's a MEANING behind this one that compels people. 

The combination of all 3 V's matters. 

Your mission and purpose here on earth deserves the best. 

If you're leaving off one of the 3 V's, you're selling yourself short because they all work in tandem. 

You wouldn't DARE shut your voice down and bank on a vision with some awesome graphics. That sounds insane just saying it. So why is the reverse so prevalent?

Your graphics should show the world you belong in the 1%.
 
Jump on the special deal running right now until Christmas day to get you looking like the rockstar we both know you are. 

  • 6 graphics (any application - web, social media, email) 

  • Completely customized to your vibe. 

  • High-touch service.

  • Just $497 (doubles after Christmas Day)

 
Exclusively for those who are ready to uplevel their business, reach more people, and look amazing doing it.

- Erin 

PS - Want in on this? Email me today. I can only take a few as I am due with this baby in a month. :) 

How to stand out as YOU without compromise

stand out as you

Sites like Fiverr are an EPIC waste of money, not to mention you’re capping your potential at an immeasurable amount.
 

How? Why? 

  • It cheapens good design (Good design actually has a function)

  • Your stuff looks like everyone else's, so congratulations! You don't stand out AT ALL.

  • You're hiring someone with little to no skill. Just because someone owns photoshop doesn't mean they're good at it.

  • "Pretty" doesn't mean it communicates what you need it to.
     

Your #1 task in business is to be uniquely YOU.

To stand out by being YOURSELF.

That's how you got this far.

And no one else is like you, does it like you, shows up like you, has your energy.

THEY LOVE YOU. BECAUSE YOU ARE YOU. 

So why keep using canned crap like these cheap sites and templates? Do you see how this makes no sense? 

It's not in alignment with your vision of your higher self to look like everyone else. Just like cookie-cutter business formulas don't work, neither do cookie-cutter designs. 

Great design is another way for you to embody your higher self. For you to take your business to the next level and amplify your message to your followers on a visual level. 

What if you could stand out SO MUCH that your look alone created a visceral response in people that they themselves didn't even understand?

It's another way to magnetize your tribe. 

For the woman that is ready to take her business to the next levelbecause she knows she deserves to stand out and be noticedas the expert in her field, I created something to help you.

—> I've put together a design package of 6 high-level graphics customized to your brand, your look and feel, your messaging for just $497.


You get:

  • Custom made artwork that you can't find anywhere else.

  • Your high vibe captured in powerful visuals

  • More confidence to show up online in a bigger, more powerful way

  • The ability to help more of your people because now you're noticeable and memorable. 

  • To release your own potential and take your business to the next level


My work is no joke. I adore my clients and we have the best time creating. Check out how HAPPY they are:  

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Email me directly to get started. You deserve to be noticed exactly as you are ❤️

- Erin 

PS - This price doubles after Christmas, so grab it now. 


Reasons Why Shitty Graphics Are Losing You Money

bad graphics lose money

Wanna make more money in 2019?

Here's an easy way to up your ROI in business: 

- Quit dicking around on canva. 
- Quit wasting money on fiverr and upwork. 
- Quit making your assistant create things that she really doesn't know how to do. 

I know you worked hard to get to 6- and 7- figures on grit alone and you put off all the "fun stuff" because they said you didn't need it. 
 
And I totally agree. There is nothing about a logo or a color scheme that is going to make you sales alone. 

This way has served you well. 
You've gotten by fine. 
You're making piles of cash. Amazing! 

BUT... 

What if you could make more? 

What if you could stand out SO MUCH that your look alone created a visceral response in people like moths to a flame.

You already know how to do that with your videos, your face, your messaging. 

Now you can apply it to the physical look of your business and create an internal feeling in people who see you that can't be described in words. 

It's possible. 

That's what I do. 

And that's why I created a design package just for you so you can try this out and see just how well your people respond to the deeper, higher vibe that is YOU!

They're going to love it and become obsessed with you more than they already are. 

Check out what Tracy had to say:

It's time for an uplevel.

Don't you deserve to LOOK amazing now that you're raking it in and changing lives like no one's business? 

Great design sells for you and ups your ROI. 
Strong design builds trust. 

People are judging the book by the cover anyway, so you might as well give them something amazing to look at. 

(Check out the livestream video I did on this to get the nitty grittyon exactly WHY this works)

Ready to take your business from basic kiddie clown party to Kardashian-level epic blowout of the year?

THAT'S WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT. (Can you tell I'm excited?)

I've put together a starter package of 6 high-level graphics customized to your brand, your look and feel, your messaging for just $497. 

(This deal ends midnite on Christmas Day, so grab it now)


Here's how it’s going down...

  • Email me a HELL YES.

  • We get on the phone and I get a crystal clear picture of exactly what you envision.

  • I go into my awesomeness cave (it’s a real thing and no one is allowed in. Ask my kids.) and create three concept designs.

  • When I come out, we reconnect and you choose the direction you prefer. (All of them will light you up, so this will be a wicked tough decision.)

  • I give you high-resolution perfection to go forth and share, and make the world more incredible. (And if it needs some tweaks, we talk about those too.)


Email me and let's chat.

- Erin

PS - After Christmas Day, the same deal doubles in price. This is a great way for you to get a jump on powerhouse branded graphics and start the new year looking better than ever. Don't wait! 

How dare you be so bold?

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You've got your dream? Your purpose? Your mission in life? 

You can feel it in your heart. 

But you're afraid to really show it off... to go to that next level... because of what they might say. 

THEY. 
THEM. 
THOSE people. 

Who is that exactly? Spouse, parent, friend or co-worker? Someone close to you? Or just the collective internet poised to tear you to shreds?

Sure it's a real thing. 

But the fear you feel right now means you should be running right towards it instead of staying frozen where you are, hoping that livestreams or sales pages are just a passing fad.

(Check out the LIVE video feed of this message ---> HERE and swipe the graphic I made for your phone!)


Maybe you shared a part of your dream & you got shot down. 
Someone said it couldn't make any money.
It was stupid.
Not marketable.
A "nice" idea but really how "realistic" were you being? 

And you listened... you believed them for a split second. Which is just long enough for it to wiggle in your mind and throw up doubts when you're about to do something amazing.


Maybe someone sees your self-care as selfish. Why? Because you started to put yourself first instead of dead last? (Hello social conditioning) 

PS - Men put themselves first all the time and no one bats a goddamn eye. Don't you deserve equal SELF LOVE while we're here demanding equal PAY? (hint: yes) 


Maybe they talk about you behind your back. They converse about how ridiculous you are and you need to get your head out of the clouds and find gainful employment. 

Or are they bold enough to say it to your face? To tell you how unreasonable you are and try to convince you to change? 

How dare you be so bold with your life to think outside the lines and challenge a system that works for exactly no one!

(Isn't it fun to trigger others?)


The world needs you to own this. This dream. This purpose. This higher calling.

To be yourself. To show up with your gifts - regardless of how unique or unusual or out-of-the-box they may be. 

Why? 

Because we are the leaders. If we don't do it, no one will. 

You were chosen for this. That's why you can't resist the voice inside that keeps telling you to go for it even though you're shit-scared. 

Leaders stand alone. 
Leaders get criticized constantly. 
Misunderstood. 
Judged.
Ignored.
Even replaced. 

The people that inspire generations are never a committee or an organization. (Ever notice?)

It's the one person who had the balls to stand alone and do it differently. You only get noticed when you stand OUT. 

Not hiding, cowering, or hanging with the flock of complainers and people who are fine with settling in status quo.
 

BOLDNESS means you come out fighting. 

  • It means you say what you want to say without holding back. 

  • You challenge them with your own truth. 

  • You don't worry what the world thinks of you. 

  • You're willing to wear the "crazy" label because your so-called-CRAZY is changing lives and setting examples for your kids and wayyyyyy bigger than just you. 

  • Taking a stand.

  • Saying whats true. 



Secretly? You love this ruffling of feathers. Because you know something they dont. And someone somewhere out there is DESPERATE to hear it. 

Because your job is to get their attention and shift humanity in a way no one has done before. 

Stop playing small and acting like you don't own the place.
Stop being POLITE and go blow shit up instead. 


Bold is the new black ❤️ 

Where do you need to be bold this week? Hit reply and tell me what it is and why you think you haven't done it yet. (We've all been there - it'd be weird if you didn't feel this way!)

- Erin 

PS - Want gorgeous branded social media graphics that highlight YOUR words? Want them to be of the highest quality? Want them to tell the world your BOLD truth? Email me and let's chat.