Fine Art at Stella's Art Gallery

I'm thrilled to share that you'll now be able to buy some of my fine-art photography at Stella's Art Gallery, in the Matchwork's building, just off 615 in Mentor.

I've created a special collection to celebrate - a series of Floral Portraits, capturing the essential beauty of some of my favorite flowers.  These are mixed-media photographic composites containing both hand-painted and photographic elements and printed on a gorgeously textured fine-art paper.

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6 questions to answer when choosing a frame

My tax accountant and I got chatting about frames on one of her trips into the studio last year (not that I wanted to talk about anything but taxes, of course! Ahem, anyway..) She told me a tale of her encounter with another client of hers - a framer. They'd been talking and she mentioned looking for a frame that matched the other frames in her dining room for her son's senior portrait. The framer, she said, looked at her aghast! "You frame for the picture," he said "not the room!"

He's right. So many of us get confused about how to choose a frame and end up with one that doesn't work for the portrait we put in it because we don't look at what really matters - the portrait.  So, here's a basic guide of the things I consider when I'm choosing a frame:

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A little self-love

"Wow, that woman really loves herself!"

I was having coffee with a marketing consultant last week and talking about my website. We had stopped on the homepage and right up there at the top I show a picture of a beautiful, white living room with light pouring through the windows and a collage of three images of one of my clients hanging above the sofa. When I explained the subject was a senior, my coffee companion nodded. "That makes more sense" she said. 

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It doesn't stop when the shutter clicks...

If you've been into my studio, you know I use a very minimalist set up. I could have a ton of props and backdrops, but it would mean a lot of repetition, and I love to make my client's images unique and express their personality. That means not using the same set or backdrop over and over again.
Not every image merits this much photoshop - I was aiming for a very stylized look for this particular image - but this is a good example of what we can achieve with it. Enjoy!

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Local business feature: Empowered and Poised

I love supporting other local businesses. So I'm going to take a tour of some of the amazing women I've met in the process of getting my business off the ground. 

First up is Leah Berdysz, the founder of Empowered and Poised - a network which helps young women navigate today's society. I'll let Leah tell you more...

Leah touches on some important issues around how we brand ourselves publically.  It's easy to forget that everything we put online is out there for everyone to see. Even if you think it's private or temporary, once it's out there, it's out there. 

I hope you enjoyed meeting Leah and don't forget to check out her website at www.empoweredandpoised.com. If you have suggestions for another business in the Cleveland area that should be featured on the blog, let me know!

Personal branding: the importance of images

A few weeks ago, I decided it was finally time for a new hair cut. Now, I haven't cut my hair since my last stylist left to have a baby - probably 2 years ago - so it's long overdue and I needed to look for a new stylist. I decided to try out a salon that opened on the main street near my home a few years ago, so Great! Even better, there were several stylists available that day for me to book. 

I didn't know them at all, so I checked out their stylists page to learn more about them. Since I wasn't price shopping, there wasn't much to choose between them, so I ended up relying on their pictures to select who I thought I might like to work with best - and the two stylists with no pictures at all were immediately discounted. 

This happens more than you might realize. People work with us because they think they can get along with us - because they see something in us that they can connect with. Your profile pictures become how you connect with people you haven't spoken to yet, and people will absolutely discount you for how you present yourself online. A fellow photographer posted on Facebook  just yesterday about an accountant who had been recommended to her but who she chose not to go with because his professional-facing photo was of him holding a bottle of scotch in one hand and a cigar in the other. She couldn't connect this picture with the image she had of the accountant she wanted to work with so she looked elsewhere. 

Your image matters. It matters to your business and it matters to your bottom line. Which is why I work with all of my clients to identify how they want to be perceived, and we work together to make sure that vision comes across in your images. 

If you're interested in learning more about how I can help you with photographs that define your personal brand, contact me now to set up a no-obligation consultation.