My name is Diana Elizabeth. I'm a photographer, writer, graphic designer, model, and former journalist who had memorable days reporting from the LA red carpet for E! Online. This is where I share my life daily, as a creative professional.

My husband and I live in a restored 1952 red brick home that sits on a former citrus grove in Phoenix. I enjoy traveling, home improvement projects, sewing and gardening. This is a glimpse into my life and work and the things that I discover along the way - with camera in hand.

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IMG_5501Our hotel room view of Union Square

I have been looking forward to a girl’s trip, my Club MED girls weekend in San Francisco to visit Emily. I was dying for better temperatures and a better mood!

My dad was born in SF, my yun yun lived here before moving to Sacramento for her last years, so SF is like a second hometown in terms of how often I’ve been to the bay – exploring it as an adult is completely different. At night, the temperatures were in the 50s, highs around 65, the first night Mel and I came in, we checked into the Clift Hotel, part of the Morgan Hotel Group (so posh, owns the Delano Las Vegas).

jardiniere-restaurant-san-franciscoDrapey Jumpsuit: Abercrombie & Fitch

We had a nice fancy dinner in Jardiniere, a French/Californian style restaurant. This is when I gave the girls the initial necklaces.

For dinner, I ordered lamb. I always gravitate towards duck or lamb on the menu. It was so small (one chop) and I was quite hungry after so we ordered two desserts which made up for it, always.

San Francisco Ferry Building

Oh my goodness look – I’m drinking hot coffee in the summer!

IMG_5469Sweater: Maurie & Eve / Sunglasses: Tiffany & Co. / Tank: Alexander Wang

The next morning we woke up early to head to the San Francisco Ferry Building. Located along the Embarcadero at the foot of Market Street, it is considered the center of a transit hub that connects all of San Francisco’s neighborhoods and the surrounding bay communities.

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The Ferry Building boasts an impressive farmers market, and we picked up some coffee by Sight Glass, a few pastries and had a nice breakfast outside enjoying the sun and view of the bay bridge.

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Nob Hill Spa

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We had massages scheduled that morning at Nob Hill Spa. Emily surprised us by upgrading our massage appointments from 50 minutes to 80 minutes which was absolutely heavenly, thanks Em! I had an aromatherapy massage and I have to add that it was the best massage I’ve ever had at a spa in my life, so relaxing and I felt like a new woman.

We went outside on the deck to enjoy the view and chit chat, and eat fruit.

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I never eat apples, except when I’m at the spa, strange?

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We walked through to a small boutique hotel called The Scarlet Huntington.

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We decided to walk back to our hotel, and then saw this street.  Woah.

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Yeah, like I said, woah.

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It was also windy that day/weekend/normally.

We hopped into an Uber (click for a free trip up to $20). We used Uber the entire time and I am definitely buying stock once it goes public! We went to Emily’s apartment in the Hayes Valley neighborhood so we walked around. Saw cute houses like this.

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Then saw the famous Painted Ladies you see in the opening of Full House. It was pretty busy with dogs, people, adults hitting pinatas. It was windy but so wonderful to be walking around getting some fresh air.

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Smitten Ice Cream

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Fresh pure and creamy ice cream made to order from Smitten. How do they make it that fast? With nitrogen that makes it so cold while it churns that you get your cup of ice cream ASAP. We ordered a small mint ice cream for $7 in a cup.

The line was ridiculously long, but luckily, the weather was perfection so it wasn’t bad. Apparently a huge deal because LeBron James was spotted there, for you sports fans.

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While I waited in line, the girls picked up Blue Bottle Coffee, mine was called a New Orleans, something close to an mocha latte (not pictured) but has chicory, which I would say it tastes similar to Mexican chocolate like mole. I am going to buy some online, that’s how great it is – SF has some great coffee, very comparable to coffee in Phoenix, I’m a coffee snob and I approve!

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We continued to walk and the stores are adorable – some expensive, but just simple and sophisticated in design.

Akiko’s Restaurant

Dinner at Akiko’s that night, it was wonderful but you’ll have to look for the number because the sign isn’t outside. We walked by several times.

akikos-japanese-restaurantJacket: BB Dakota / Jumpsuit: Marshall’s (similar) / Bag: Halogen (similar)

Driving around Pacific Heights

After a great breakfast we got in Emily’s car and she drove us around to show us some gorgeous neighborhoods, including Pacific Heights – the homes that look like Hollywood homes, large scale, and beautiful views, true millionaires, old money, just luxury living with stunning views.

There are so many parts of San Francisco it’s been fun to take a weekend to really explore one part of it instead of rushing through to see all of it. I also forget parts I’ve seen and haven’t over the years. Revisiting is just heavenly and being with friends puts that extra sweetness into exploring.

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Crissy Field

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Tank: Free People / Jacket: BB Dakota / Denim: J Brand / Flats: M. Gemi / Sunnies: Quay

Crissy Field had a few views of the Golden Gate Bridge, it’s where the bay meets a forest which is pretty cool, it was a quick stop for some photos.

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The girls call this the Diana Pose. It started in LA and I’m pretty sure I never did this exact pose but it’s very modelesque. I approve.

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Good food, relaxing indulgences, a little shopping, and great conversation, that’s what’s good for the soul, and that’s what goes down in the books for a weekend well spent – Club MED style.

Um, dang focus, but this was too cute that I had to share it anyway! I’ll print it in a 3×3 or smaller size so it looks less blurry, boo technology!

DSC09143CLUB MED: Melissa, Emily, Diana

I hope you all have a great weekend and I hope this makes you want to grab a girlfriend or two, or five and head out of town or schedule even a dinner to make some fantastic memories together. I am thankful for all my different groups of friends that make me who I am today, life would never be the same without them!

Have you been to San Francisco? What are your favorite parts of town to explore?

Lifestyle, Personal, Travel, West Coast

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The other week I made over $200 by getting rid of a few items in my closet. According to my closet stats, since I started usigng it, I’ve made $1520 back in my pocket from selling 72 things. Let’s talk about downsizing your closet and making some extra money.

You could argue I make a lot due to the labels I buy, in which case I’d say it all evens out – spend more, wear more, sell for more. Buy cheap, wear few times, get a few bucks, it’s all the same exchange.

To piggyback off the Poshmark post I wrote a few years ago that continues to get hits – and might be a little dated, here’s a recap of why the Poshmark app is my choice to sell clothes.

Your closet can also have followers which means the girls like your personal style and you are the same size as them. They follow your closet so any new listings show up on their feed. Right now I have 4,300 followers, I’ll talk about how I got so many later in this post.

About Poshmark

  • It’s an App used by women just for clothes, you have a concentrated market, a little more targeted than say, eBay.
  • They take 20%. It’s a chunk. BUT, they email you a PDF of the shipping (paid by buyer) immediately and also added “offers” which potential buyers can submit if they want a lower price than you are asking. The convenience is OK by me – the right audience, and the convenience.
  • You get paid when the buyer receives the item – until then Poshmark holds your amount. I’ve never had a problem receiving payment. I’ve also had a friend who had an issue and Poshmark paid her anyway, she raves about their customer service.

How to get started on Poshmark

  • Download the App on your phone, or go to the website and log in.
  • Use your smartphone to take pics of your items you want to list. See mine here.
  • List your items around 50% off, or maybe 40% off regular price. You will get notified of “offers” that expire in 24 hours. You have the option to counter offer or accept, or just plain deny (if it’s insulting). I’m going to be real with you and tell you if you can get more than you would at a garage sale, just get rid of it.

spiritual-gangster-harlem-pant-stay-gold-hoodie-fashion-blogger-phoenix-arizona004If you have a photo wearing the item or can find one online, it helps sell the item. A quick Google search can help you.

How to build your following

  • Poshmark isn’t a social media outlet, so following isn’t that important in order for your items to sell. Now with Poshmark’s new features, girls follow label feeds (like I follow J.Crew, Calypso St. Barth) so those listings just show up in my feed.
  • If you do want to find followers, just share your items during the Poshmark parties, they may slowly build.
  • Have lots of items listed. A few items isn’t that interesting, fill it with like 10+ items, 20 even and you’ll see people start to follow.
  • When other Poshmarkers share your items, go in their closet and share some of their items. It’s the nice thing to do.

Other tips to make selling clothes easier

  • Turn on notifications but not the ones that pop up on your phone – just a number count if the app needs your attention (like you have an offer or question on a listing).
  • I have this mental thing called, I hate everything in my closet and I have nothing to wear syndrome. So I list the item, and I move it OUT of my closet. This is only for things I’m so over. If I’m OK with still wearing it, I just keep it in my closet until it sells. It’s just a mental thing, I know, weird, but it helps with me loving my closet.
  • I package sold clothes in tissue paper, put a cute sticker on it and drop it on one of these flat poly mailer envelopes that are tear, water and tamper resistant. I have a TON of these and they have lasted me for years. You can keep boxes around but they take up so much room. Buy a lot of packaging tape too for the label.
  • No time for the post office? I go to USPS.com and I schedule a pickup and leave the item on my doorstep.

You’re going to have to be patient, but I believe you can make more selling it on Poshmark than a second hand store (maybe) and definitely more than a garage sale. I mean really, $1500 girlfriends since Jan 2013 (and I’ve been inactive for a while too)! Some items I just donate or give to friends, but some that I truly believe are worth being loved again deserve to be listed on Poshmark. Then take the extra money and go on a trip!

Lifestyle, Style

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Barley Field Maternity

Let’s talk about photographer credits, using the popular #hashtags and mentions. I wrote about what to do if your clients don’t credit you here, in 2013. My opinion hasn’t changed.

Imagine you want to buy a dress but the stipulation was if you purchased it, you would also be required to use #hashtags, tag the designer and include a website link every time you posted a photo of you wearing it. Would you buy it? Probably not, right?

So then, as a photographer, does it seem reasonable to assume your clients should?

A girlfriend in the industry explained her take on it perfectly – if her clients credit her, great. If not, it’s their photos they can do whatever they want. Over the years since that advice I’ve concluded to a few other thoughts related to the issue and hope this post will put your mind at ease so you can concentrate on other areas of business and also, not hold a grudge against your clients.

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Down on the Farm

Verbal recommendations > caption credits

When a client’s friend asks a comment asking, “Who shot these?” and the client says, “Oh Diana Elizabeth, she’s amazing! You should call her!” That is far more impressionable than reading a caption that says your name.

There was a time when you could add the (c) info in a meta tag description in an export in Lightroom. If you want to know how to add it, watch this video. Since then, Facebook may have changed the upload caption inclusions. You can check and try it out, that way you can ensure your info is already uploaded in Facebook photo captions.

My client didn’t pay me so they can market me

My clients paid me for photos, that’s it.

I put my marketing money and efforts toward better myself – continuing education, taking workshops, excelling in Photoshop, design, researching packaging, learning industry tips. I’m putting time into blogging, posting, sharing and that’s MY JOB, not my client’s job. They paid for the session so I truly have no concerns about them crediting me.

I also don’t want them to stress about adding some photo credit to their headshot or graduation announcement, or Christmas card, heaven’s no!

How much can you truly enforce?

And how much time and frustration are you going to dedicate to researching or feeling hurt when your requests are being ignored?

“Don’t crop my watermark out, don’t change the orientation for your Facebook profile, don’t run a filter, make sure you tag me, but not if you run a filter on my image, so stop running filters on them “- rules.

I get the reasons, I know a few pros who try to enforce it – you don’t edit like there’s pollution around, you composed that shot for artistic purposes, I’m a photographer, I get you, I’m on your side.

But, as a consumer, let’s also be real and think about how we’d want to use images we paid for. Too many rules and constrictions makes me want to not work with a person like that again.

Everyone on Instagram knows when a filter is applied to a  photo. Therefore, no one will assume that photo was edited that way. Ever. Promise.

But you did it for charity/marketing

If you did a shoot for charity, like no pay, then you did it for that. Was it really out of the goodness of your own heart? Or…

Did you view it as a marketing opportunity? It’s OK if you did, because I have and then I get it, you want publicity in exchange. You will need to explain this expectation up front but keep in mind that your winning recipient (or high bidder at an auction, or charity) is still a client, and you can’t set expectation for them because of it. You can however, discuss an arrangement of expectations with them ahead of time if it’s a collaboration that’s a mutual beneficial shoot so this needs to be explained and understood. Not working as you hoped? Let it go and consider not sponsoring again.

If you did a shoot that’s a mix of charity and were hoping for marketing in return, you have to let it be and watch the return. Are they talking about you and referring you naturally? In my early years I donated to see my ROI or, ROT (return on time).

I realized that some sessions helped prettify my portfolio, others were shoots donated with no strings attached, and some were failed marketing strategies that I had to discontinue my involvement and I am at peace with that.


Butterfly catching maternity

What if they are my friends?

This can be tricky – I go by the – if they paid you, they are a paying client rule. Therefore, no need to overemphasize photo credits.

If they are a friend and you gifted a shoot, or felt like it was a half gift/marketing effort, I would assume your friend knows that and will willingly tag you,and thank you, and share as much they can as gratitude – that’s what my girlfriends do anyway.

If they do not, and you are hurt, you cannot say anything.

I know you put in the time and effort as a gift and if a friend doesn’t show appreciation, you can choose to skip on gifting your services again – but definitely don’t be mad or cut them off as a friend. Chances are, they have no idea and would not purposefully ignore your kind gesture. Try not to be upset and consider some friends better marketing sharers than others and you can decide if in the future they should be paying clients or gift recipients. If you feel like you are being taken advantage of (as though this has happened more than once) then you might be, still love your friend, but you can choose to not to mix business with friends – in fact, I’m highly encourage going this route.

In conclusion

No jobs were considered wasted opportunities – whether I learned that charity was worth the time or just helped build my portfolio, I came out with the golden knowledge of knowing how to separate my shoots with expectations.

If for any reason you feel differently and still have credit expectations with a paid client, I’d suggest you increase your pricing to what would make you happy. I understand as photographers we own the copyrights, and we’re kind of letting clients “borrow” the art we produced for personal use, but let’s let them have their photos with out any strings attached. Your beautiful work, amazing personality and confidence will speak far more and positively than any emails or contract reminders that they must remember you during photo uploads.

What are your thoughts? What do you request of clients and how do you make it work for you?

For Photographers, Photography

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