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 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.

7 Dating Picture Tips for Guys

I recently had a friend shove her phone at me, in frustration, saying “You pick one!” It was a dating app, I started going through all the prospects and quickly saw what her frustration was. It didn’t offer much for profile text, so it was all about the images, and there wasn’t much to go on. When you have only seconds to make an impression, make the best one you can!


It’s not that hard to get engaging images, so let’s go over some basics, for the love of god. Unless you are on those sites/apps to repel women, or just feel like you’re doing something toward finding a match and have no intention of meeting a high quality partner, if that’s the case, please move on. Or seek some coaching (I have a few great referrals), life can be incredible adventure filled with deep love and connection, strive for more. However, if you’re looking for that magical relationship, partner, connection, we need to start with images that are going to get attention.

  1. Take the sunglasses off, women want to connect with you, not imagine you as hiding and reclusive. Show your eyes.
  2. Look at the camera, far off gazes look artsy and clever, but don’t convey your intention. Look her in the eyes.
  3. Have someone else hold the phone and take the picture, we don’t need to know how much nose hair you have, just yet.
  4. Have everyone else step out of the frame, just you, please. Show her who you are, not try to guess who you are in the crowd. You can tell her how social you are later.
  5. Smile. Yes, please smile. Smirks and grumpy faces aren’t the best ‘inviting’ micro expressions. Micro expressions tell quick subliminal messages, a big full real smile is the best one for looking approachable, trustworthy, inviting.
  6. Please, for the love of god, if you feel the need to blur or block out someone else in your picture, use a different picture. It’s so easy to set your phone on a chair or prop up on a book on the counter, and set the timer. Big smile.
  7. No crossed arms, this body language is aggressive and stand-offish. Open, welcoming, arms at your sides, on your hips, or hands in your pocket. Think happy thoughts.

Too challenging? Reach out to me and I’ll help you get a set of excellent images to show off your intention, your authentic, best self. I’m off to talk to my single guy friends now and take a look at what the ladies are posting for images, stay tuned for the Photo Tips for Women next!

Big smiles, direct eye contact: winning

Casual, yet tells a story in the professional attire, casual pose.

Narcissism or Self Love?

Getting photos taken can feel super awkward, especially if you’re someone who intuitively feels really uncomfortable in front of a lens. My internal dialogue usually goes something like this: “Who am I to be making pretty in front of this camera? To be recorded forever on this day? Does my hair look ok? Ugh, it probably looks flat and dumb. Are they getting a dumb angle of my face too? Please make me look good.” But eventually I shake that off and go for my “Hell yes! Check out this sassy, fun authentic ME! I’ve only got one life and I’m living it as ‘alive’ as I can and not hiding!”

Big smiles from Andrea in Denver

Having your portrait taken can even feel selfish, egotistical, or narcissistic. “Getting so many photos of myself. What am I going to do with all these?”

But fear not, it is not narcissism! Narcissism stems from low self-esteem, an unhealthy trait that ultimately leads to unhappiness. Confidence, on the other hand, shows high self-esteem, a positive, life-enhancing trait. So go ahead and enjoy those images of your amazing self!


Appreciating yourself also gives others permission to appreciate themselves.  What a fantastic gift to give: self-love!

You deserve it. We don’t get portraits done like people did back in the day. I have gorgeous images of my family starting with my great grandmother and continuing all the way down to my mom, but my mom never had professional photos taken after high school. What did mom look like at 20, 30, 40? I wish I could see those beautiful portraits, images that will outlast me. This is legacy, not ego.


This is appreciating and loving that precious being, yourself. What do your friends and family have of you? What do you have for yourself? I like to have my own session done at least once a year. It’s such a beautiful type of self-care. And now I can look back on each year and remember where I was, who I was then, and how I’ve changed or grown as a human. It’s almost like a diary.

Self-love fills up our cups, and then we have more to give to others. It’s that simple.

From the standpoint of your business: more is better. What do you do with all these photos? Well, the more pages you have, the more social media outlets you use, the more of a public persona you have, the more images you want to have.

Sara Denver professional

It’s simple: the more people see of you, the more they’ll understand you. And if you present an image (aka your ‘personal brand’) that is consistent, tells a story, and looks fantastic, the higher your know-like-trust factor, and the more prospects will want to work with you.

The more prospects want to work with you, the more business you will get, the more business, the more you’ll have to increase your prices (or delegate your duties, hire more to serve more, etc.), the more your good product, work, or service is available for the world. Therefore: more images means greater happiness and world peace! Right? Well, let’s at least go with the greater authenticity and trust factors.

Now off you go, do great deeds, to small deeds, be kind and I hope you have a shiny day.


It’s my birthday and I’m thinking about YOU

This month is my birthday month and I want to celebrate by giving YOU a party: let’s get those profile images updated with a gorgeous new image, and grab a cupcake.

Creating a special for you in my Denver studio on my birthday
Cupcakes and images

What is your first impression? Do you know what your image is saying about you? What does the body language show? What does your expression (&/or micro expression) say?

Fortunately for you, I’m obsessed with learning more about and using these elements in my portraits to make you look your best and attract your ideal clients. I’ve created this event to give you a new headshot to use and a small reminder to celebrate you.

For one day only I’m offering headshots for $99 (value of $200). Go here to sign up:

Come celebrate, have a cupcake, network with others, and get a great headshot
Birthday bash!