20 Quotes from women leaders to empower business women.

As a personal branding photographer, I get to meet amazing Denver-based business owners. Entrepreneurs who are making a difference in other people’s lives. Visionaries, non-profits, groundbreakers, and women who are breaking the glass ceiling. This blog post is inspired by all the wonderful clients I’ve had over the years.

1. “I want little girls to grow up knowing they can do anything, even play football.”

– Jen Welter.

2. “To love what you do and feel like it matters, how could anything be more fun?”

– Katherine Graham.

3.  “Dear optimist, pessimist, and realist – while you guys were busy arguing about the glass of wine, I drank it! Sincerely, opportunist!”

– Lori Greiner.

4. “Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.”

– Sara Blakely.

5. “Don’t let perfection be the enemy of progress.”

– Sandra Makarem.

Businesswomen are changing the world for the better. All these quotes come from women who had a vision and believed they could do it. Every single one of them had to overcome obstacles, naysayers, and pessimists. These amazing women are paving the way for the next generations to come.

6.  “If you want to learn how to be an entrepreneur, don’t believe in the naysayers”

– Lida Djarar Fischer.

7. “Shifting my mindset from a scarcity mentality to an abundance mentality opened up so many opportunities and experiences.”

– Tracy Komlos.

8. “A confident woman, a woman who truly knows her worth and her power is a force to be reckoned with.”

– Mandy Hale.

9. “Success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.”

– Michelle Obama.

10. “Honor your calling. Everyone has one. Trust your heart, and success will come to you.”

– Oprah Winfrey.

Being an entrepreneur has never been easy. Women supporting women is a powerful force to be reckoned with. There aren’t the same obstacles for women as there are for men. This post is filled with quotes from women who have had to fight the uphill battle and won.

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11. “You have to do what you dream of doing, even while you’re afraid.”

– Arianna Huffington.

12. “I don’t go by the rule book. I lead from the heart, not the head.”

– Princess Diana.

13. “No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens.”

– Michelle Obama.

14. “We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes, understanding that failure is not the opposite of success. It’s part of success!”

– Arianna Huffington.

15. “I realized that I don’t have to be perfect. All I have to do is show up and enjoy the messy, imperfect, and beautiful journey of life.”

– Kerry Washington.

These famous businesswomen, world leaders, and visionaries are an inspiration for all of us. I’ve had the honor of photographing so many women who are an inspiration to me and all around them.

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16. “I’ve always believed that one woman’s success can only help another woman’s success.”

– Gloria Vanderbilt.

17. “Listen to what your environment is telling you and let discouraging events push you toward more positive ones. Adjust your perspective and uncover the silver lining!”

– Charlene Walters.

18. “When one door of happiness closes, another opens: but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”

– Helen Keller.

19. “Don’t be swayed by overnight success stories. Most entrepreneurs make it after years of hard work.”

– Lavina Rodriguez.

20. “I am an example of what is possible when girls from the very beginning of their lives are loved and nurtured by people around them. I was surrounded by extraordinary women in my life who taught me about quiet strength and dignity.”

– Michelle Obama.

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I think it’s fitting to end with that powerful quote from Michelle Obama. When we tell girls from the beginning of their lives, that everything is possible. When girls from a young age see examples of women succeeding in leadership roles, we raise them to become amazing women.

If you want to become my newest inspiration, click here, and let’s talk about how we can level up your brand photos.

How to prepare for Corporate Headshot Session

How to prepare for Corporate Headshot Session, portrait photographer Denver, Colorado
How to prepare for Corporate Headshot Session, portrait photographer Denver, Colorado
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Getting headshots taken, is not just scary, but deeply personal. You made the important decision to invest in your business for photos represent the first impression of you online. That’s why I compiled a list of tips for you to prepare for your session. I like you to come into our session as stress-free as possible. We will have fun, I promise.

Before your session communicate with your photographer everything there is to know about your brand.

Your photographer will take that information and incorporate that into your photo session and is able to prepare properly. The goal is to create your brand story through photos, which can include using the correct brand colors, appropriate props, perhaps adding in some audience. Your photographer will then pose you in a way that perfectly represents your brand.

Match your wardrobe with your brand colors.

As you know, brand consistency is incredibly important, which is why having a wardrobe that doesn’t clash with your brand colors is a great idea. Bring options. The studio has a wardrobe changing area for your convenience. Your photographer will also advise you on what goes best together for your session.

How to prepare for Corporate Headshot Session, portrait photographer Denver, Colorado
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Have an idea of how and where you will use your photos.

If you are looking for a nice banner image with loads of negative space for text, your photographer needs to know. Each social media platform has different orientation preferences. If all your material is for Pinterest, you want long portrait images, but if most of your content goes on Instagram, a square is a much better option.

How to prepare for Corporate Headshot Session, portrait photographer Denver, Colorado
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Bring props.

Nothing lets you stand out more than fun props that match your brand. If you are a chef, bring utensils, or pots and pans. If you are a lawyer, bring a laptop or tablet, if you are an artist, bring your artwork or the tools that you use to create your art. Even if you are doing a quick headshot, get one fun photo, and one professional one. In a world where everyone does the same thing, be different.

How to prepare for Corporate Headshot Session, portrait photographer Denver, Colorado
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Hair and Make-up.

Mariah Ehlert Photography offers hair and make-up services. Make sure that you decide in due time if you want to utilize the service to avoid scheduling difficulties as the make-up artist has their own schedule. If you chose to do your own make-up, consult with your photographer beforehand for dos and don’ts from a camera standpoint.

Leave the stress at the home.

The more relaxed you are for the session, the better your photos will turn out. Stress translates into your posture and makes you stiff and nervous. It shows. The better prepared you are, the less stressed you should be. The photographer’s job is to take that stress away from you and give you mind-blowing amazing photographs to use for your business. But if you don’t communicate what you want, the likelihood is that you won’t get what you want either.

I hope those tips help for your next corporate headshot session. A positive attitude, communication, and planning go a long way. This should not be a spontaneous act. Getting your portraits done is an investment for your business. Those photos will be used all over the internet and possibly in printed material as well. It’s the first impression and an overall professional look for your company. I cannot stress enough how a great plan gives a great outcome. Lean on me, your photographer, schedule a call and tell me all about your business. Then I’ll help you come up with a plan. You aren’t alone in this, I’m here for you.

Click here to schedule a non-obligatory call. We’ll discuss what you are looking for, and if we are the right fit for each other.

You deserve to invest in yourself this year

2022 is the year of women. We are rising up from all corners of the world, shouting from the top of our lungs, how great we are, how smart we are, and we are crushing it on the business and leadership front.

Women have less mortality if operated on by a female surgeon.

Women are better CEOs.

Women’s voices and LEADERSHIP matter and make a positive impact.

I could go on and on. Women are taking the lead everywhere; you are no exception. You deserve the best. You’ve worked your tail off to keep up your business through a global pandemic. Maybe you’ve also been a mom, had to go through virtual school with your kids, help them with their mental health while going through a pandemic. Maybe you were a daughter to ailing parents. You had to simultaneously care for your parents while also keeping up with your business. It’s safe to say, we’ve all been through a journey for these past couple of years with lots of ups and downs.

We are seeing women all over, conquer the world, and I want to be part of it. I have photographed so many amazing women who are making positive changes. Making lives better through their work. Making a difference. The world deserves to know about each and every one of you. If you don’t put yourself out there, nobody will see your genius.

My role is to give you amazing photos to use for your social media and marketing campaigns. Personal branding photography is about telling your story in images. You can then take those pictures, post them on your social media while staying true to your brand. The goal is for you to have one less thing to think about when running your business. Having a great selection of brand-specific photos of you, allows you to quickly put together your social media posts, blog posts, brand images on your website, author photos, and/or headshots for when you are published.

We live in a visual world where the average doesn’t cut it anymore. Average gets overlooked as your future clients are scrolling through social media. Classy, well lit, professionally posed to look natural capture attention. It encourages someone to stop for a moment and read your message and click that follow button. I get it, social media is hard. Running a business outside of social media is virtually impossible these days. Putting yourself out there is hard. Having professionally done photos that are specific to your brand, helps you build your business, claim your spot as an expert, and shows the world the type of professional you are.

What you have is too special to not shout it out to the world.

I offer a natural light studio in West Wash Park, Denver, Colorado. I take COVID seriously and provide you with a clean, safe studio space. You can leave your stress a the door step (I sweep it away daily, if you don’t want to pick it back up again). I help with the rest, including arranging for a very talented, skilled (and safety minded) makeup artist to get you ready for your session. You are welcome to bring outfit changes and whatever products you want to be highlighted in your session. Don’t worry, I guide you through the poses and outfits and how to showcase your intention. You tell me what you are using your images for, and we make sure to work with your marketing needs.

This year it’s time for you to shine. Get the branding photoshoot you’ve been wanting to get. Invest in yourself. Believe in yourself. I make the process as easy as I can for you. We go through the session quickly, as I understand that your time is valuable.

If you are curious about having a session with me, let’s talk. I offer a pressure-free consult to discuss your needs.

Are you selling yourself effectively?

If your mind went ‘there’, we should be friends, I’m talking about selling your personal brand. As a business owner, you are essentially selling yourself as the center of your brand. With everything being online for everyone to see, you need to make sure that the image you want to portray is accurate.

Selling yourself is not easy, I’ve gathered a few tips for you to get you started.

Let your personality shine

People buy from people, not your logo. Let your personality shine through your photos. The more people can feel the authentic you through the image, the more they connect with you. A great portrait photographer will take the time to get to know you, so they can capture your personality.

Be relatable

The more you can be related to, the better for your social media growth. This is also how you attract the right clientele. If you are a tired mom trying to juggle business and family life, you will get support from other tired moms. If you retired from corporate life to start your own business, and share the struggles that come with that, you will attract those that have done the same. If you are an animal lover, you will attract other animal lovers. Being relatable is not only to gain more audience but also to get a better connection to your audience. People buy from those that they feel a connection with.

Build Credibility and Trust

Strong personal brands build credibility and trust upon first impressions. We are quick to judge and the image you portray online will be either the reason people will follow you or scroll past you. A professional portrait that stands out is priceless when it comes to building up trust.

What does your brand stand for?

A strong personal brand that stands for what is important to them creates connection, credibility, trust, and value. When we feel like we know the person behind the business, we are more likely to shop locally and support small businesses. More importantly, if we like the business owner, we will recommend them to everyone we know.

Become an authority in your space

This is easier said than done. The best way to build your authority is to get published, be a guest on podcasts, guest write for other pages, keep up to date with your own online presence by giving value to others. Constant selling puts people off, they will on the other hand look to you when you give them something of value. As an example, I know very little when it comes to make-up. Instead of going to Sephora and shopping blindly, I look towards experts I trust on social media. I find what they recommend and make a purchasing decision based on that. When there are too many options, we need someone we trust to guide us.


This one will be difficult to hear if you are an introvert. It is essential to create opportunities to meet new people that either share your ideal client or are your ideal clients. This means going to networking events, shaking hands, and building up real-life connections. Then once done, you continue those connections through Linked-in or other social media platforms. Make sure they remember you by coming up with great content paired with professional photos of you. That way they remember your face.

Bottom Line

As much as it sucks, we are judged by our appearance. I’m not talking about your actual looks, but how professionally you conduct yourself through the online space. Having a variety of great professional portrait photos taken by a personal branding photographer makes it easier for you to come up with quality content for your social media, and to be seen as an authority within your space.

It’s time to invest in yourself and get a professional portrait session done. Mariah is an expert in body language and micro-expressions which shines through her photography. The studio is conveniently located in the Wash Park area in Denver, Colorado. It’s well ventilated and meticulously cleaned between each client. We would love to talk about how to level up your personal brand.

What is the most neglected valuable space for your biz?

Cover photos tend to get neglected, a LOT. They typically aren’t high on our To Do list. They are usually one more thing we have to think about after the headshot and the sizes are all so different across the various social media platforms and “what the heck do I use there anyway?!”

And then we give up. We ignore it.

Don’t hide out, show your story everywhere you can. Shine bright.

But I’m here to help give you some renewed vigor in adding a compelling cover photo to your social media sites. I have gotten jobs, leads, power partners, and good friends from my simple cover photo.

It’s important real estate available to you and your business. Use it! In this day of saturated markets, we need to stand out. That space is one more way to put your stamp on and show your brand, show your intention to your prospects.

The dimensions will be different across the different platforms, but that’s a pretty easy fix. You can have your photographer or graphic designer do that for you — or a quick google search will show you. I love to use Canva.com for those, it stays pretty updated on the changes as well.

Now, what to put there? What is going to have the most impact? A lot of that depends on your business. But some basic guidelines I like to share are, to tell as much story as you can!


Are you a speaker? presentor? TEDx talker? SHOW that! Use your speaking images. Show yourself as an authority in your industry. It sends immediate subconscious assumptions of “Oh that person is talking in front of a group, they must really know their stuff.”

Are you a coach? A tradesman? A Maker or dancer or author? This s a great place to show yourself working with a client, or interacting with the tools of your trade, performing, book signing. These sorts of images all tell a story.

So go forth, grab a pal, have a fun brainstorming session and see what you can come up with. See what will show your story best.

Want to brainstorm with me? I’d love to hear your story and see what I can do to help create effective marketing images for your business.

The point is DO business not think about it, right? We all have an important message, product, creation, something to offer this world. I want to help you do that by getting your brand story out there.

And one last word on this profile space: do not neglect your headshot. Make sure it draws people in with a genuine professional image to show your professional, savvy self.

Go forth, now my friends, with intentional images and authentic expressions, Mariah.

Contact me today to review your images and see how we can uplevel them.

How do you, or do you even, ASK? 

We never know until we ask. It’s such a powerful thing. It can be scary, because we don’t want to be declined, and may take a rejection personally, but most of the times any rejection has very little to do with us personally. 

To take it all a step further into our brains — our brains will also try to stop us from asking by throwing self doubt, insecurities, and more to try to get us to keep the current, predictable, same-old-same-old path. Change is scary to our lizard (fight or flight part of the brain) so it will try to avoid change. 

However, change is required with growth, with goals, with ambitions. SOmething needs to change for us to grow. Asking can feel vulnerable, to put out that we need or want something from someone else, but it is also a great strength.  

Asking can also mean discovering great partnerships, new leads, new ideas, collaborations. It’s a powerful thing to do. 

AND we might actually get what we ask for! So, ask. 

Here’s my ask: grab some friends and come get updated headshots, it’s a new season, and you’ve got new energy, let’s show it. I’m also offering a group discount. And a space to hang out and connect, network. Call me today to find out more.

Asking is a big part of entrepreneurship

STOP, remember where you started

Look back. A brilliant speaker recently said “remember to look at how far you’ve come.” 

We can get so caught up in where we want to go, and the frustrations and worries and concerns about what is ahead, that we often forget all that we’ve already built. How far we’ve already come. 

Take a moment, savor it, look back at where you were at 20, 30, or even 40 years ago. What have you done since then? What have you learned? How have you grown?

Make a habit of celebrating, train yourself into that feeling of joy, celebration, accomplishment. The journey is rarely ever east, but we can make it more joyful. 

Savor it a minute and breath. You’ve got this. 

And I’ve got you, at least your images for your marketing, for your next big thing.

Drop me a message and let’s talk.

Remembering how far we've come

What you need for marketing images now!

I am so happy fat right now with marketing images. I did my own session recently and feel like I just sat down to a marketing thanksgiving dinner table! So many images to stand out, stop the scroll, and get my message across. 

Creating packages so my clients have fat portfolios of images they can use for a variety of marketing breaks my heart open. These sessions are so much fun, creativity on both sides gets unleashed (yes, even if you don’t think you have any, I guarantee you have more ideas than you thought you did. 

Here’s an example of some of what I got this week: 

A bunch of facial expressions to express different intentions (shock, calm, fear, love, silly)

And directionals, to be able to point at messages, readers follow eye gaze and hand gestures (i.e., looking or pointing to your call to action)

Directional images

And then there’s basic profile images. More than a headshot, getting images that cause people to click on your profile so they can see more — sometimes literally: why not use a full body image, so they can’t see your face immediately (save that for the website and marketing messages!), but with bright eye-catching colors so they want to click on it — and then they are on your page! HUZZAH! (Where you will have all your brilliant content ready to entice them in to learn more. If not, let me know, I work with some great partners that are happy to help you figure that part out!)

Have fun! Let me know how it turns out. I’d love to see your images. Or drop me a line and I can help create them for you.

How does brain science affect being photogenic?

Denver Portraits using brain science

“I’m not photogenic, I rarely like any photos of myself.” Is this you? Is this nearly EVERYONE? 

If you think you’re alone in this statement I’ve got news for you: everyone has something they are shy about, or worried, or ashamed of even. 

I get it. I understand. I’ve been there, and it’s pretty normal. 

When we are putting ourselves out in the world, when we are doing something new and maybe way outside out comfort zone, our beautiful brains will try to side track us. Mostly because it’s easier to stay in our comfort zone, not risky, not scary, no unknowns. 

But that’s not you. You are ready to grow, learn, create toward your goals and dreams. 

Or maybe just uplevel your headshot. Which alone can be scary. It’s still ‘being seen’ on a new level. 

Insecurities are usually the first to knock on our door. Imposter syndrome and self doubt are often regular visitors. 

But don’t worry, you’re still safe. You are just feeling the growing pains of the new

I’ll make sure to check in with you throughout your session and get your feedback to make sure we get the best images for you, showing your essence, showing your story, and images you can feel great about showing to the world.

Drop me a message and learn more. Much love, Mariah 

Denver Portraits using brain science

I just need a headshot

“I just need a headshot.”

“Why ‘just’?

“Just” is used to diminish things.

To make something smaller, less important, less significant.

NO! I need to share my story, my work.

Is that what you want to be small, less important, less significant.


Play to WIN, to grow, expand.

Where you want your business to be in 5 years? Start playing like that.

“Just a headshot” is not going to get you there.

Where you want to BE, not where you are NOW, and create your brand in that direction.


Some people avoid getting a headshot done because they don’t feel worthy. They don’t feel validated in their space enough to do it, much less get a full personal branding portfolio. 

A full portfolio is 30+ curated images ready to use on many platforms, numerous marketing messages, ready to populate your website, and get YOU SEEN AND HEARD!

It’s scary taking that step, validating yourself and your dreams. 

A photo session alone can help you do that. I’ve seen numerous clients go on to elevate their business. Grow subscribers, further their reach, make more money, more speaking gigs, publish that book, do more good. 

Who are you NOT to play BIG? 

I believe it’s our duty to play big, to do as much as we can. 

Don’t let that inner critique stop you from doing and being the most, the best you can. 

Go get ‘em!

I’m here to support you, and help create your genuine brand story, show the spirit of you.

Contact me today to learn more. 

Time to play big.