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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Category Archives: For Photogs

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Rarely did brides think about the hanger that was holding their dress years ago.  When I first started photographing weddings I brought along my own dress hanger (seen above) –  a sweet, sturdy and gorgeous one from my girlfriends who own Uptown Bridal & Boutique. It was quite large, and I eventually lost it, leaving it at a venue. *sad face*

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If you’re a photographer just starting to shoot weddings and you’re finding your brides are overlooking the hanger situation – consider buying one and bringing it.  I can’t tell you how much a pretty hanger compliments a dress and a plastic one doesn’t do much.  It’s a small investment to attract the client who loves the details and also improves your dress shot.  However, if you do happen to only have a clear one, don’t freak out, shoot the dress shot, hide it tucked in branches, or just shoot it and don’t show it on your blog – if it bothers you.

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Please note that hotel hangers won’t suffice at times, sometimes they are on a peg or the hanger top is mini – so on the safe side, provide your own, even if it’s a basic wood one, like I decided, see here.

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A few of my favorites from around the web, this sequin, a monogrammed, and your new last name in wire  - please check that these are strong enough to hold your gown.

More BHLDN…

For Photogs

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

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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

Ha – get it. It was 3:30 p.m. on a day when I needed to take pictures of some polish for a blog post.  I went around the house (because outside is too hot and I was also still in my pajamas – don’t judge me).

As I tried to find good lighting, I thought these shots would turn into a good blog post on lighting.

Backlighting

Let’s start with the obvious, go-to lighting type – backlighting.  While it’s definitely a good go-to way for portraits, this is just a terrible photo.  The background is blown out and while it might be the first thought of good photography, I’m going to be real – not all backlighting is good.  This is a perfect example.  Why backlight inside? In some cases it might be great but in this instance, I don’t think so.

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For Photogs

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