My name is Diana Elizabeth. I'm a photographer, writer, graphic designer and model who had memorable days reporting from the LA red carpet for E! Online. I love sharing my life as a creative professional and the things that I discover along the way - with camera in hand.

My husband and I live in a restored 1952 red brick home that sits on a former citrus grove in Phoenix. I love traveling, home improvement projects, sewing, and gardening. This is a glimpse into my life and work.

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As the years have passed, it’s been harder and harder to get together with some old friends, so when we ate at TGIFriday’s last month, I thought I’d throw in an extra fun celebration – just a little celebration of time and friendship.

We met in 2006, some of us completing in the same pageant, one giving up her Miss Arizona USA title, and somehow our lives overlapped and intertwined which brought us together. Marriage, babies and the like has left us with less time (and let’s face it, energy) to meet up nearly every week like we used to.  Oh savor the youth ladies – go out with your girlfriends for dinner, the bar, group vacations, outings as much as you possibly can!

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I decided to go play with the theme of “Birds of a feather, flock together.”  I found stationery from Mara Mi, I picked up on clearance at Aaron Brothers awhile back.

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The long feather necklaces were under $3 from Forever 21 (sold out).  Comes in gold or silver.  Another larger option here.

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Feather cut outs I found online, a free template by Wedding Chicks I printed on pink cover paper from Paper Source.

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Brought along this fun Polaroid camera and printer for the night too! As you can see, it was a hit!

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Here is the little flock (minus one who couldn’t make it).

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Please pay no mind to our dessert we devoured! Yum yum!  If you have a group of friends who are all close to each other, feel free to take this theme and run with it.

I find the older we get it’s harder to have a group of collective friends who all get along and have individual relationships with each other outside of a group setting so typically friendship groups have formed during younger times (like college and high school), so always cherish the group dynamic because it isn’t easily found!

Personal

bestfriends My best friend since university – Jackie.  She drove 3 hours to see me when I was home in Nor Cal.

Last year was a little tough for me.  I learned who to draw myself closer to, and away from.  My heart got bruised – but I learned to let go, forgive, and trust that space and time can heal wounds.  As the years go on, I realize that not everyone is meant to be close to you and some are not meant to carry through life with you forever – sometimes they are there for a while and God puts them there when you really need them, and life and careers can change it, but it doesn’t mean goodbye forever.  And sometimes, it does, and that’s OK, because you can still be incredibly thankful for that friend because you know you spent good time with them, and your heart did so every well when you were together.  But that was 2013.

This year, it’s almost over in a blink of an eye and I have spent the year surrounded by those who have supported me in ways I never knew I could be supported.  These past three months I’ve been spoiled being surrounded by them through visits!

When we’re young, we can make friendships with almost anyone because we don’t really know ourselves very well – and they typically are on the surface because our souls aren’t mature enough to be much deeper.  Being social is really like an extra curricular activity which is exactly what you do in your youth – do everything you can to figure yourself out.  When you get older, time is put into perspective and you realize time isn’t to be spent with just anyone.  Life experiences happen, careers change, crisis occur, babies happen, and you begin to see who lifts you up, who makes time, and also come to the realization you can’t be friends with the whole world.

But the friends who are in your world and have stayed, they become so much of your world.  They are the ones you bounce ideas off of, meet up for laughs, travel the world with, ask for prayer, advice, and they hold you accountable to be the best person they know you can be.  And those are the people who you keep in your life – the ones who can catch up as though no time has passed at all, who remind you of your spirit when you think you’ve lost it (and your brain), the goals they know you can achieve, and you delight in them and are filled with so much joy because you know a friend that good is worth their weight in gold.

Personal

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I go to Anthropologie more when I’m home in Nor Cal than when I’m back in Phoenix.  I know I should say home in Phoenix, but well, we know the battle I have in my heart over California homeland and where I am now – even though I know I will love Phoenix again in a month – just give me time!  I need a break from this heat!

I want to make the above horseshoe plate stand display – I have a horseshoe that I am sure is not authentic and was probably overpriced.  I think I’ll spray paint mine gold and find some blocks of wood in our storage shed.

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These pink bowls below, I must have a set of four.  We don’t  have much matching stuff, I don’t really care for it to be honest, a few sets of 4, another set of 8, a set of 12, whatever.  Silverware I have a collection but I just love mixing and matching.

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OK, so finally after 12 days of being back in my hometown with my home girls, I’m “home” again.  With new sparkle slippers.  I kinda do have an Anthro style home, right?  The blankets were made by my mom, inspired by Anthro style throws.  Couch and pillows all Pottery Barn.

Let’s be real, I live in a Pottery Barn and Anthro world.

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Ah, ok, I’ll stay a week before I head to New York.  Slippers: Snoozies Women’s Ballerina Metallic Shine Sequin Slippers.

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Home

I stared at the HTML coding and figured it out, just a few more coding here and there, and presto, the graphic I created was uploaded.  Little would I know the hobbies of a 15 year old would come in handy.  Then I started to think about all the other tidbits of hobbies of playing with design programs, enrolling in classes, small side projects I did as a teen that led me to where I am today – and also saves me money when I need to create.  In fact, I think knowing those things helps me jump into the next creative career.

Little stepping stones some call it, they are building blocks of a career, really, and as you continue down your path your noggin’ is full of skills, education, things no one can take away from you.

aix-en-provence-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-167 Step, step, step, step in Aix-en-Provence, France

As I have returned from my third blogging seminar/course/workshop in Los Angeles, I am reminded of how important it is to continue to pursue education.  I took countless and poured thousands of dollars – no exaggeration, into workshops, mentorships and conferences to grow in my photography.  I went fearless as a total loner to some events because I yearned to understand lighting, I purchased DVDs, books, enrolled in online classes, and completely emerged myself into the world until I was doggone sick of it that I started throwing away the magazines!

Even after earning my B.A. from UofA, I took a few design classes, ones that lasted a week but heavily focused on design programs.  I was also blessed to have the company I worked for at the time invest into the cost of the education.

I believe if you are going to be something, be a real one.  Learn the craft, the rules, take the time and spend the money.

Is there something you want to learn more about?  I am also thankful to my friends who have helped make connections for me to help me bloom into a new career – the support of knowing I had a mortgage to pay, refusing to take anything for free, referred my services to anyone who needed a photo.  To this very today I have a list of people I have to thank for the introductions, my heart swells with gratitude.

Maybe this is the time for you to step out – you’ve said goodbye to that unhealthy relationship, you’re tired of building up someone else’s dream, or you just have this new passion ignited in your heart – now’s a better time than any to step out on a limb – or on the next stepping stone.  This past month I’ve seen an increase in my prerecorded online photography workshops which makes me happy to see there are still photographers investing into learning!

If there’s something that scares you, makes you curious, or something you wish you could do, consider enrolling in a class.  Don’t let fear paralyze you from learning!  Confidence is the key to anything and the more equipped you are with knowledge, the more you can conquer the world!  And if there’s nothing you want to pursue now, what about a friend, what can you do for her to help her pursue her dreams?

Call to Action

  • Write down a list of what you want to attend – conference, workshop.  What is the cost?  Make it a goal to save up!
  • Send an email to friends telling them of your new endeavor or a reminder of what you do and ask for their support – share on FB, think of you when the services are needed, friends are there to help!
  • Reach out to friends and ask them, “What are you focusing on and how can I help you get business?”

If you’re a blossoming photographer, read my interview on Rock the Shoot’s blog.  I hope it inspires you.

Diana Elizabeth says it’s always a good thing to explore new interests.  Go get ‘em.

For Photogs

  prettymakeuppackaging Leopard Bronzer  // Bow Blush // Bow Concealer/Highlighter // Heart Makeup Sponges
Heart Mirror // Cashmere Blush // Cosmetic Brush Set (similar)

I saw the prettiest little makeup packaging when I in the cosmetics aisle at CVS.  I’m really loving the leopard print bronzer that while I don’t need bronzer, I might need that one. All of these things are under $15 and can be found at Forever21 or your local drugstore. Most in fact are under $10 and as low as $3.  Perhaps a little gift for someone special?  I don’t think the cost of a gift is as important as the thought of course, but the cuteness of packaging – now that’s what us girls squeal over, right? Ah, the simple pleasures in life.

Also if you’re looking to refresh on accessories, check out Stella & Dot’s End of Summer Sale - additional 25% off sale items! Get a head start on Christmas shopping, I’m almost done, yep.

Diana Elizabeth has the little makeup brushes from Forever21, perfect for traveling!

Style

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I often get asked by parents about how to get started in the modeling or acting industry because their young children or teen has shown interest.  After last week’s chat with a mom I figured I would write a post on how to find a modeling or acting agent.  I’m going to be straight to the point and totally honest with my 12+ years of being in the industry.

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May 2013 issue of PHOENIX magazine

A few things to know

  • There are different types of businesses – modeling agencies, and modeling schools.  And somewhere in between there are cruises where agents are invited to go (they are paid a lot to attend, so they oblige) to a model search – like the ones who claim famous people like Ashton Kutcher got discovered.  These are all different businesses – not fraudulent, but just a business.
  • Models have agents.  The agent of the modeling agency (in my case FORD/Robert Black Agency) finds jobs, and gets a commission.  Typically it is 20%.  It can be less if you live in LA and you are a SAG actor.
  • You don’t need a manager unless you are some super famous person or you need a career counselor.   They too take a cut and manage you if you have several agencies.  I’m not familiar with this route, but I’ll tell you that if you are reading my blog figuring out how to get started, you probably don’t need one right now.
  • A casting director doesn’t sign you – they work with a company and then contacts the agencies to tell who to send.  They then pick who is cast in the commercials.
  • A modeling school doesn’t get you work – they teach you how to model and walk and possibly diet.
  • A catwalk with a hefty entrance fee doesn’t get you work either – your fee pays for exposure to a culled group of agencies around the world.  Good yes, but you can also get in front of them for free – just attend an open call or submit online.
  • There are height requirements, but they really are preferences.  In certain markets you can get away with not being 5’8″ or 5’9″.  I’m 5’8″ which is crazy tall for an Asian.  I have friends who are 5’6″ and signed and as long as they look proportionate they can work in print – we’re not in NYC and not doing runway.  You could also consider acting instead of print too.  So I’m just saying, don’t let height discourage you unless you are in LA or NY and you are trying to sign with the biggest agency that also reps Giselle.
  • It doesn’t cost anything to sign with an agency.  Anything that requires money means they are offering you a different service – classes on how to walk, a fee for the cruise, so on.  The only thing an agency will do is present you with a contract if they want to sign you and see if you have an acceptable headshot to market you.  You may need to invest $150-$700 on a new modeling shoot if you don’t have good shots.
  • Take acting classes to get better at acting or hosting.  I don’t think modeling classes are necessary as some agencies provide modeling workshops (for free) for their own signed talent.
  • In some states, like Arizona, you can only sign with one agent.  In California, you can sign with multiple agencies in different counties – so LA County, Orange County, etc.  The only issue is you would have to drive to all the auditions, so if you’re cool, then fine.  Otherwise, one might be enough.
  • You can sign in multiple states – I know models who have agencies in FL, CO, CA, AZ and so on.  Again, you must be willing to travel and perhaps even spend months at a time in those markets.
  • There are a zillion reasons why you don’t get signed – you can be too tall, too pretty, too thin,  the list goes on – there’s nothing you can do but keep going and find an agency who embraces your look, or try later when you grow into yourself.
  • Commercial acting pays more than a print ad – unless it’s for Nike or a crazy huge campaign it might be equal.

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How to find an agent

  • You can go to the SAG/AFTRA site and look under “locals” and they list agencies under “Local AFTRA Franchised Agents”.  Not all agencies are SAG licensed – typically ones that have an acting board.  Or just click here.  If they are with the SAG/AFTRA union, it means they are required to follow guidelines.  This doesn’t mean that if they don’t have it they aren’t legit – they may focus more on print modeling which doesn’t require that license.
  • Look up the agency’s website and look for their submission/open call information.
  • When you go to an open call, don’t try to like a wannabe model.  Agents know what you look like under all that makeup or if you’re wearing too much.  You’re still going to have to take off your heels so you don’t need stacked towering heels.  Natural is pretty, consider skinny jeans, black tank, you’re fine.  If you are auditioning for acting, you will be asked to read.
  • If you hear a no, go to the next agency, no big deal! Sometimes you look like someone they already have signed so they are full, don’t take it personally.  You can always go back again.

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My story

  • My mother was a professional model and singer overseas.  As most normal teens, I wanted to be like my mom.  The only opportunities I found were ones that were advertised on the radio that required money and were big searches in Florida that cost thousands of dollars.  My parents said no.  I was crushed – but this was a good thing because that route would have been a dead end.
  • In college I had a free modeling shoot and decided to look up some agencies.  I thankfully found a legitimate one, and signed with one in Phoenix – a two hour drive from Tucson.  I had no acting experience and she told me she was signing me for my face, not my resume (because it honestly was pretty pathetic).  I worked quite a bit, landed a few national gigs, and it was good extra money while I was in college.
  • I moved to LA post college and looked for a new agency.  I got a TON of no’s.  Mainly, “We have a girl that already looks like you,” which was one of the most aggravating things to hear because you assume everyone else thinks all Asians look alike.  I finally signed with KSR, formerly Kazarian/Spencer and Associates but only the print side, it was too competitive to get in on the acting/hosting side which was not fun for me.  They were a huge agency and I went to a ton of print auditions but the truth was, there were a million girls that really did look like me in LA and I was busier in Phoenix.
  • I stayed with my agency in Phoenix, continued to book and drove back to AZ for work.
  • I moved to Phoenix two years after living in LA and after 10 years with my first agent, I moved to FORD/Robert Black Agency because I had many friends signed with them and wanted to not only continue acting, but also go into print modeling.  I did love my other agency but it was nothing personal, just wanted to see what else I could do.  I am signed on both boards of FORD, print and acting.
  • I don’t do it full-time (even though I have the time), because quite honestly there isn’t enough work to do it full-time – as an Asian model anyway.  Phoenix is still predominately Caucasian and the best role are the girls who look white, maybe Hispanic, maybe Italian, this is called “racially ambiguous” and if you fit that, you can probably do incredibly well!

Arizona agencies

If you have any questions, please ask in the comments below, I’ll try my best to respond.

{PHOENIX magazine photo by Brandon Sullivan, makeup and hair by Lizzy Marsh / Floral prints photo by Michelle Herrick for Emma Magazine / Modeling comp card photos by Michael Franco}

Diana Elizabeth says it’s fun and great extra money but again, alway be at peace with who you are and what your capabilities are.  It’s a fun thing to do, but also hard work, she wouldn’t do it for free if it wasn’t for the money.

Personal, Style

Doesn’t mean you should - or at least not right now.  Or not all at one time.

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I didn’t mean for that to sound discouraging.  You know I believe in pursuing your dreams, exploring ideas, being creative, trying something new – but sometimes that antsy feeling for another project can make you burn out a little sooner than you thought.

Lately, as I have begun to feel better in health, I am constantly thinking about the next thing I want to do. The reality is, I’m distracted by creating distractions.

Being creative brained and having an entrepreneur spirit has it’s advantages and disadvantages.  Before you think I’m a great go-getter (thank you I can be), I’d also like to tell you about the times that I completely changed my mind and I’m glad I did.

  1. Remember that Heirloom Home blog I started, oh, earlier this year?  Yeah, that was a terrible idea. I was more in love with the name than the idea of having a second blog.
  2. I have all the canning supplies I need, only I have yet to can. I had every intention, I took not one, but TWO canning classes – but right now it seems to be on permanent pause.
  3. Compost fail.  Well, that idea wasn’t as fun as I thought.  It’s still in the compost we created, it was just so much work and I didn’t like the smell, having to add cultures, water, oh it was just too much.  I’m just going to buy soil.  Compost could work maybe this fall again when I can actually go outside but I’m admitting I haven’t touched it for 6 months.
  4. I have yet to sign up for a barre class.  Last summer I bought tons of adorable workout clothes, a leotard included, and multiple finger toe socks so when I would finally have the time to enroll in a barre class, I had no excuse.  Yet a year later, I still have an excuse – it’s hot out.
  5. I don’t want to ever knit again.  That long amazing color block scarf I showed you here?  Well, I had one more skein (that’s a ball of yarn) to go, and I brought the whole thing home to my mom and asked her to finish it.  Looking at it bothered me – it is $120 worth of expensive New York yarn and 462 hours of time. I’m glad I learned, but now I don’t foresee knitting as a favorite past time right now.  Maybe later.
  6. I thought I wanted to sell jewelry. Now tell me if this makes much sense – I attended a jewelry party only to dislike the jewelry and researched a different line of jewelry to discover that jewelry line was coming out with another jewelry line.  I don’t do sales.  I can market, but home parties is really hard to find.  If you do any of those businesses, please tell me how because I can’t figure it out.  I love this new line but I’m going to utterly fail at doing 4 parties in one month for the soft launch and I had to pass. It still made me sad, but I just couldn’t see myself succeeding.

I laid in bed earlier this week with my heart and mind racing. Then I decided it was time to let Mr. Wonderful in on my crazy thoughts so he could help me make sense.

“What did Nancy Reagan say?” asked Benjamin.
“Um, are you referring to ‘Just Say No’?” I hesitantly answered.

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OK, so maybe Nancy meant drugs, but maybe taking on too much is like a drug.

And so, I started saying no.  I reevaluated all the things that even though I could do it all, I shouldn’t, or at least not try it all at once.  So I started saying no, and though my head felt a little sad about not having more chaos or something to take up my time, my heart felt lifted – this is not the right time.  You don’t have to do everything, or rather, you don’t have to try to keep doing everything just because you started (knitting for example).  It’s alright to try it, figure out you don’t like it, then stop.  It doesn’t make you a quitter, it means you’re refining your life.  But just a note to myself, stop and take a rest before pick up the next heavy thing.

Back to that scarf I was trying to knit, well, it’s done.

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Thanks to my mom who finished the last block and a half of color because I just couldn’t handle it any more.  Just in time for fall!

Have you ever taken on too much or realized you were in over your head?  I’m trying to tame to my entrepreneur spirit without completely ignoring it.

{Photo by Melissa Louise for Kokoon}

Diana Elizabeth still hated sending out that no email, she had to say no, right now.  Sometimes our reasoning is just crazy and we need to talk it out to get a better perspective.

Personal

Kokoon-33 Yes, the backyard really sold me, but there was so much more to finding the perfect house

Sometimes when I give advice on a post I don’t want to give you the impression I’m an expert – they say you need 10,000 hours to be considered an expert.  If I were a real estate expert I’d be Donald Trump. I thought I’d just write a little post on buying a home if you’re hoping to one day and my thoughts and experiences.

My parents are into real estate in California and Mr. Wonderful and I own two properties – my sweet little town home will forever be our investment rental and and we have the house we live in now.  Even though I didn’t buy my first place until I was 23, my apartments were in prime locations.  I learned when you say, “Wow!  That’s a great location!” when you say where you live, it’s truth.

The best advice I have ever heard verbally:  Pick a house based upon location, not what the inside looks like.  You can always change the inside but never the location.

This advice was given to me by a makeup artist friend 10 years ago while I was looking for my first place.  He lived in an area that he hated but he lived in a nice new condo and he hated coming home and seeing an icky neighborhood. He couldn’t even sell it to move, either, he was stuck.

diana-elizabeth-home-phoenix-office-222 Our home is 1750 square feet, small, but I love it!

Where we live now we have flyers sent to our home introducing families hoping to move into our neighborhood and every so often the door bell rings with someone asking if we will consider selling.  This makes me feel super great about where we live, and as we continue to add things to the inside of our home to really nest and make it ours, it’s so worth it.

So that’s what I’ve got for you –  find a home in a good location that you love.

Things to consider when buying a home

  • If you’re able to meet one of your neighbors, do.  When I was looking at homes a neighbor ran up to me and my realtor and she was so excited.  She was adorable.  Then she proceeded to walk with us to the backyard and show us a tree she hated in that backyard and the story about the previous owner and how he wouldn’t cut it down since it was leaning on her property, yadda yadda.  After she left my realtor looked at me and said, “And that would be your neighbor.”  No thanks.
  • Don’t buy a home based upon where you work.  We all know being close to work is great, and I don’t know the average years of how long someone works at their job, but I doubt it’s more than 5 years.  You’re buying a home for long term, make sure you like the community, the people who go to the nearest grocery store, the school district, that stuff.  Don’t live too far (maybe 30 minutes max is decent) but if I had to buy a home where my old corporate job was, I would’ve been in a yucky neighborhood and stuck there.
  • Don’t buy a house in a weird location just because you can get bigger.  UNLESS this is what you really need and want, and be honest.  This is not from my experience but seeing others do this.  You have this big beautiful house with more space to entertain but no one wants to see you because you live too far, no one makes plans with you because you’re on the outskirts and by nothing fun.  Then you just get lonely in your big house.  Or you have to drive 45 minutes to an hour to do any social activity that you end up spending so much on gas or car repair expenses it may not make sense for your lifestyle.
  • Look past the wall colors, fixtures, hardware, and even carpet.  All can be replaced, and you probably will like that anyway.  I had to replace all the brass with knobs I preferred from The Home Depot, replaced the carpet in two rooms even though they were new (I didn’t want a brown, I wanted low pile carpet in a cream), and I painted and changed out every single fixture, ceiling fan, light, all of it.  That’s what makes it your own and so much fun!
  • Be honest with what you want in a home.  I bought in 2011 the right time before the buyers went crazy. I saw a really adorable home, I probably looked at 30 homes (right Kat?) and I liked it.  We stood outside and she said, “Well, what do you think, what do you like about this house?”  I told her I loved that it was new inside.  Then she asked me, “What don’t you like?” and I said, “If I could pick up this house and move it over there (pointing in the direction of where I live now), I want it in that neighborhood.”  And she said, “Ok, then let’s just concentrate on finding a home there.”  Don’t let anyone pressure you into something you don’t want to buy, it’s a lot of money.  My real estate agent and friend was so amazing and wanted me to be happy.
  • Buy a fixer upper.  This is called instant equity – once you put in the sweat.  If you buy an already done perfect home at the high price, you won’t really have much value increased unless the market goes up.  If you buy a fixer upper, you pay a low amount, throw in some G’s and make it how you want, and instantly you just increased the value by more than what you spent (if you do it correctly).
  • Know what you don’t want in your home.  For me, that was no pool.  I was searching as a single gal and I didn’t want the expense of maintaining one, even though growing up with one was amazing (if you have kids, it’s so worth it).
  • Don’t purchase on emotion.  We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars here.  Y0u shouldn’t overpay for a junky home, or any home if it’s over your budget.  Know your limit and what the market is.  I put in an offer for a home that wanted full price.  The seller’s agent was really rude to mine and laughed at my offer.  That’s fine, I’m not paying full price woman, not in 2011 anyway.  She got her full commission she wanted when some other family offered full price, and I found an even better home with a nicer larger lot in the same neighborhood for my price.  My bank account won.
  • Don’t go house poor.  I am going to write a post about the love for a tiny home, but for now, I’ll just say this quoting Dana Miller from House Tweaking who talks about downsizing, “We’re not looking for our dream house. We’re looking for a house in which to pursue our dreams.”  With a big house comes a big mortgage, which is fine if you can afford it, but wouldn’t it be nice to have your home paid off by age 40 instead of 65?  For me and the Mr., this is owning everything, financial freedom from banks, loans, all of it.  The ability to travel, buy things, and enjoy the good life, he can retire early.  The idea is for us to not be home as much, and be out enjoying life!

Enjoy the process of making a home your own, it’s so fun!  Have you learned anything from searching for a perfect home?  What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Diana Elizabeth and Mr. Wonderful might want to add on, but right now, the size is great!

Home

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I’m going to start a very slow series – slow as in – I’m not sure when the next tip is coming, haha!  But, I know this needs to be shared, and I want to help with your shooting and showcasing techniques that you might find helpful in attracting certain clients.

When I first entered weddings I started at $1,200 for 8 hours of coverage and that was made before I paid my second shooter Amy who has been by my side from day one!

I have loved every single one of my clients from the beginning of my career to now, but when I first began, my goal was to get better at my photography talents, continually learn, and to charge more.  My package is now at $6,000 and it’s taken a lot of workshops, marketing, equipment, hard work and money to get to where I am – that’s where the price increase is justified.

With that said, I know some of you want to increase sales, bookings, and perhaps reach a new clientele.  So today, let’s talk about the important shoe shot.

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Know your shoe designers

If you’re one of my 10 male readers, you should start watching the Style Network, pick up Vogue, or ask your girlfriends the names of labels.  Louboutin (not the same as Louis Vuitton even though it sounds close), Valentino, Jimmy Choo, Manolo, maybe you can turn on Sex and the City to hear what Carrie talks about – shoes!

If you have a bride who didn’t buy designer shoes, do not showcase the label, don’t emphasize a huge shoot from up top because no one cares, including the bride because that’s not why she bought those shoes.  She bought them because they are cute.  So, prop the shoes creatively and show the details of the shoe.  By not showcasing the non-label, when you blog post it potential clients will focus on the shot itself, not being distracted by the Mossimo shoes, other random thoughts, and perhaps disregarding your photography services.

Photographing Non Designer Shoes

Now the following images are by the one and only Kate Spade but here are some ideas where you don’t see the label that still allows you to show off the cuteness of the shoe.  You can do this with non designer shoes because I’m sure they’re still cute, after all the bride liked them enough to wear on her big day.

Take any shoe sole pads out too.

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You want to make people love your shot of the shoe, not be distracted by the non-designer label.  Below, these are designer,but nevermind that, showcase the back details!

Shooting Tip: Shallow depth of field, shoot the shoe detail, focusing on the end of the shoe.   Shoot the shoes on with the bride wearing them.

Showcasing Designer Shoes

If you have a stylish bride who spends $1,200 on an amazing pair of Louboutins, Jimmy Choo’s, or Valentino’s, you better showcase that label because that tag alone cost half the price of the shoe.  Make sure it’s real big on your blog to attract the clients that will think, “Oh my gosh those shoes, I die!”   I know this sounds crazy, but even the designer labels are pretty.  They just are.

Shooting Tip: Shoot at an F stop that focuses on the label AND the shoe detail, red sole included if applicable – avoid missing the mark and only having the label in focus.

The goal is to shoot the shoes tastefully showcasing the designer because it’s important to the bride, but also for this bride, the shoes were just as important as the dress!

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I even spotted the bridesmaid and had to pull her aside to snap a photo of the red sole!  But of course, I focus on her because the photo is about how gorgeous and stylish she is, but it’s a just a little hint of the obvious.

Do this with guests too – if you see a red sole, chase it like there’s a 50% off clearance on them! In my dreams…

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 Diana Elizabeth had Badgley Mischka shoes on her wedding day – designer but not overly priced.

For Photogs

7-must-have-under-garments-underwear

Half slip / Satin Petals / T-back or Racerback Bra
Strapless Bra / Seamless Thong / Fashion Tape / Bandeau

I believe the only way to utilize the most out of your closet and make shopping for cute outfits easier is to already have a dresser with the right undergarments to begin with.  I believe everyone needs a half slip as most dresses nowadays are unlined and sheer.  I use this white one by Kokoon.  A bandeau top is excellent for slightly sheer tops, or any low cut or loose fitting tops so you don’t flash anyone bending over – try bright colors or lace for fun. Different than a barely there g-string, these seamless thongs are amazing because they actually lay flush with your body with no squeezing.  Fashion tape while not an undergarment is a necessity to keep straps in place for normal strapped bras, or secure clothes from shifting.  Since I bought a racerback bra earlier this summer I no longer have to worry about looking tacky as my straps are hidden under my clothing, such a relief.

I also found a nude and black in each is best – white doesn’t seem to make much sense since it practically draws more attention.  Do you have any other must-have suggestions?

Diana Elizabeth thinks even a fun bright color is great for the tops that might show a peek that is unavoidable, a little pop of color is always fun.

Style

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