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.

IT IS TIME TO PLAY BIG. 

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.

YES! 

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!

DUDES!! WTH!?!

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
Abby

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!

Alejandra

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.

Vala

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.

Leslie

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:https://www.mariahphotography.com/specials

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

How laundry made me tear up

Sitting at my front window, I spy my neighbors, young renters, across the street making trips out to the car. They are loading up with brightly wrapped gifts and loads of laundry baskets. One basket spilled a little on to the snowy ground. It’s dirty already, so who cares. This simple, mundane act sent me through a flood of memories, and stories. Stories of going home for holiday break from school all the way back to when I was a kid and woke up at some crazy hour in the morning (wait, I still do that, every day. ha!) to see what magical things appeared overnight.

View from my Denver studio Christmas Eve morning, my favorite time of day.

I remember one Christmas when I was living in NYC and decided last minute to jump on a tiny plane to a tiny town, for a 24-hour trip to be with my mom, aunt, and little cousin. She was at that really fun age when the magic of Christmas is palatable. We woke up and she saw the bright red shiny shoes under the tree from the loft, “DORTHY SHOES! I’M GOING DOWN!” she declared. She had a thing for Wizard of Oz that year. We all stumbled out of bed to join her.

Though our stories have different details, they all have a common holiday theme, love. Whether we’re celebrating the new babies’ first Christmas, or enjoying time together, or even cherishing the pain in our heart for those that have passed, it’s a gift to be able to fill up on these memories and the love.

I hope this season you’re making more beautiful memories to hold on to for days beyond today. Celebrate, spread the light, be the love. Happy Holidays!

Denver holiday lights and well wishes from Mariah Ehlert Photography
joyous time of year

 

How to have a more productive day and more time

Are you working your tail off at your business and then working your tail off to make all the family ‘fun’ commitments and ‘joyous’ celebrations? What if neither left you with your butt worked off?

I took a few days off for an extensive road trip to wish my aunt a happy 40th anniversary, spend time with my mom, and see my awesome incredible cousins. They are my heart and I love them tons. The many hours on the road gave me a lot of time to think about my days, and how I spend it and how I want to spend it, and why I’m not spending my day like I want. So going forward, I am designing my time to optimize joy, without joy and love, what’s the point?

We’ve gotten to the point where “I’m so busy” is no longer a badge of honor to flash around at everyone of your importance. It’s becoming an illness. But thankfully we can take back our time and still do all our duties. We just don’t have to do everything ‘so hard’. All it takes is some magic fairy dust.

I am happy to tell you, magic fairy dust is ours for the taking. Keep reading.

We really can trim some of the ‘fat’ from our work days and have a more fulfilling (and productive) day.  I have read a few books recently about doing exactly this, the most to the point is probably Timothy Ferriss’s The 4-Hour Work Week. I highly recommend it and a notebook as well.

How much time in a day can you save if you only check your email twice a day? Try it out then give me all the excuses as to why it won’t work. My point is that we can always very easily kill time and barely even notice that we were doing it. Don’t even get me started about Facebook newsfeeds. Chrome has a number of add-ons that you can install to either limit time on social media, or block a newsfeed (so you only get alerts and still have access to any groups you may need to get to). Brilliant, right? Those alone have saved me a few hours each day. What if you only checked your phone twice a day? I would probably add 8 hours to may day by not doing that (guilty)! I double dog dare you to turn off all alerts! Hey, it’s not like I asked you to shut off your phone (the horror).

By cutting out my social media during work hours, only getting distracted by email twice a day, and skipping meetings (and getting notes of anything important, which usually are summed up in a post-it), I’ve cleared out HOURS for downtime.

There is a backlash to getting more time, however. The first few days I had to adjust my thinking. “I have nothing to do, I should be doing something, it’s ‘work time’ of day,” and then would proceed to do meaningless tasks to fill the time. STOP. Maybe go take a nap, or go for a walk. You’ll quickly adjust to the fun free time.

Just think of the delicious things you can do for yourself now, with all that time. By filling up your emotional rest reservoirs (aka getting in some ‘you’ time), you’ll have an abundance to give to your friends and family. It’s nothing short of a super easy answer to a painful problem this time of year. Just say ‘no’ and the world generally will adapt just fine (in most cases, if you’re an ER doctor, please say yes to that trauma victim. Thank you!).

Time, beautiful, delicious time. More time to connect, more time to discover, more time to rest (and heal!), more time to create. Let me know what you change in your day to create more space and time.

Of course, you’re always welcome to come into my Denver studio and spend some quality time together with your most loved friend, spouse, child, parent while I create a custom session for you and make you all feel like Vanity Fair cover models. Get time now, and call for a consultation. 

Now I’ll stop typing and show you some of my favorite relationship photographs. Whether it’s “you” time or with time with someone you love, it’s special and precious time.

Happy Holidays!

Beautiful portraits in that dress you rarely get to wear.

I love transforming the every-day woman into a model. We all have it in us.
Something sensual for you, &/or your sweetie.
You & your BFFF (best furry friend forever)!
Mother-daughter, Grandmother-granddaughter; these sessions make my heart grow bigger, there’s so much love.