Life with E ~ Insanely Useful Photography Tips

I have been wanting to write this post for years. Not until seeing the photo above and being a witness (film coming soon) to nine women going through the Elizabeth Craig Intimates experience did the words come to me. I am writing this for the up-and-coming photographer to help them be the greatest (& happiest) photographer that they can be.

Elizabeth is by far my favorite photographer in the world. Ok, I am her husband and deeply in love with her, but read on to discover why for yourself, and how you can apply her approach to becoming a better photographer yourself (or whatever artistic endeavor you want).

I feel like I’m E’s olympic coach; for years I would help guide her on her creative path of discovery.

She has heard me say “photograph the light first and the subject second” countless, endless times. We have critiqued, ripped apart, and been overjoyed when reviewing her work after a shoot (only the family-friendly photos ladies…I’m not privy to the “husband/fiance/boyfriend/significant other” photos. No worries there). We do this after every single session. She imports the pics, then we have a conversation and a discussion on what she has created that day.

Tip #1. Get critiqued often. 
Tip # 2 Have lots of conversations.

Like most coaches, I look at her as far surpassing anything that I ever taught her. When I watch her work I feel like the student. Don’t get me wrong, someday when she is awarded “greatest photog" in the world, I will accept a big shot out, but at the same time nobody will be cheering louder than me.

She is a constant creator, collaborator and at times a pusher (she wants what she wants). When a camera is in her hands she has a glow and an energy; she is happy, very happy.

Tip #3 Do the work that makes you happy. 
Tip #4 Do not take a job because of the money, you will fail.

One of her strengths is that she knows that no photograph can be reproduced twice in camera. Every single press of the shutter is an opportunity to create anew. She is a student of her craft. She studies others, but at the same time she has a complete understanding that you can never copy another photographer’s style. You can be influenced, motivated, jealous and inspired by other photographers, but you can never be them. You must make your own music, create your own work. If you try to clone another’s work you will always fall short in achieving the most important thing in photography….which is seeing what is in front of you.

Tip #5 See what’s in front of you (light then subject).
Tip #6 Vision takes practice; put the time in.

Her greatest talent by far is the wounded healer that she carries inside of her. Today when she photographs a woman, what she is doing in essences is handing back to those women her own beauty within. Yes, the photos she creates are beautiful, glamorous and carry a dream like quality. When Elizabeth connects with a woman (see photo above) she herself is looking forward to looking back on a moment.

A moment when that woman felt strong, beautiful and intimate. A moment when that woman can say to herself that she got it right in her life: flaws, scars and all the wobbly bits are just as important as the curves, lines and the fire and passion in her eyes.

As the group photo session went on that day, Elizabeth would take each woman and do an individual session with her. I filmed this entire process and I noticed there was one constant thing that every woman would say when Elizabeth would show them their photo on the back of her camera: “That’s me?? I am amazed!” Elizabeth’s response was “Yes. That’s you” with a smile on her face.

Tip “Lucky #7: Transformative power of seeing the beauty within.

This is the my favorite photo of E, never has truer pic of her been taken. I am the lucky baster who gets to see her beauty within, daily.