LOVEe Consults

The Marketing Game //

Every year, I sit down and think about how we can better connect with our vendors. These include both the coordinators and creatives that we already work with consistently each season, but also the dream list of people that we strive to work with. For the Photogen Inc. brand, and frankly with all of our brands, our best clients come to us from the true relationships that we have built. You know that saying that 'word of mouth is your best advertising' ? I am a total believer of that. Whether a client hears about us thru reading the blog, being a loyal Instagram follower or was recommended to us thru their wedding planner or event designer - all of the connections that we build with each and every one of you are what matters. So this year, our team sat down to strategize a bit on how to spend our dollars towards advertising. We decided that we wanted to make it personal this year and think outside of the box to connect with you. You will see that we've stepped up our game a bit and have been more active on Instagram for both our Rivets and Roses team and myself. We're trying to show you more of our everyday adventures, along with behind-the-scenes and finished photos. We're also trying to connect on a more personal level with some key vendors, which will include a few more coffee dates and lunches, in efforts to actually see more of our favorite people - face to face. When I thought about how relationships form over social media, I also asked myself: Who do I want to start a relationship with? and Who from a far do I admire? Illustrator, Cait Courneya came straight to my mind and at the top of my list. You see, I had been following Cait's drawings via Instagram, as a fan girl myself, for a while and I thought: She's a perfect fit. So, Cait and I got together for coffee and I pitched to her the idea of creating personalized sketches of a select group of vendors that I wanted to also send my gorgeous look books to. I can send out promotional materials all day long, but I wanted to go beyond that actually give these vendors an actual gift. Cait's work was a huuuuuuge success. Not only did all of the vendors enjoy their sketches, but many of them also posted their gifts and our look books on their social media outlets. Now, there's a key point that feel is really important: We didn't ask or push anyone to promote this. We simply created a piece that was meant to inspire, so the posts that came out were genuine and organic. Their praises and words were authentic and real, not contrived to names drop or self promote.

A lot of what we are seeing on our social feeds is curated content that shows 1) how fancy people are 2) how fancy the people they hang out with are and 3) how fancy the places they hang out at are. I've been guilty of all of the above, but it is my goal to create as many authentic actions as possible. And above all, I want to create work that inspires and that people will genuinely want to share. It is too early to know if I will book any wedding work from this year's marketing, but already, we have received many comments, emails and hand-written-thank-you-notes (which I oh-so-love), from our efforts. The look books were also created to be portfolio pieces that the vendors can actually use. So, was this project cheap? No, not at all. In fact, it was a pretty good investment, but already, it is way better than any listing on a website has ever returned for our companies. And above all, I feel GOOD - like really excited - to know that every single person we reached out to has loved this work and we have successfully grown our relationships with them.

Here are some tips to think about for your next round of marketing your wedding photography business (or any business, really):

Know Your Goal // Each year, your business probably has new goals to achieve. These might be the same from year-to-year, but I bet each season, there is a bit of a shift in the way you want to fine-tune your business. If your goal for this year is to do a bigger volume of clients, then research what the best resource for advertising is - perhaps this is investing in front-page listings. If your goal is to expand your network, budget enough dollars and mark dates on your calendar to attend events and plan more coffee dates. Or happy hours, because everyone loves a good happy hour.

Know Your Brand // Whether you are putting together marketing materials to get printed or creating an online listing, be intentional about who you want to reach. Who is your current client? Who do you want your future client to be? You have absolutely nothing to lose but to try and reach out of your comfort zone.

Invest in the Future, Not the Quick Dollar // We currently live in a world of instant gratification and sometimes it seems to be the 'norm' that people become 'Instagram Famous' overnight. First of all, the internet is an amazing tool, but it's also not reality. I guarantee you that those people you think just got a 'lucky break' have been hustling for years. We hear many times about the success, but not the hard work. A solid business means putting in the hours, creating amazing work, delivering your product on time and simply being kind to people. Decide how your investments, both monetarily and socially, will be best for you in the long run. If you are lucky enough to gain worldly success overnight, then good for you. Just don't expect that or hold this as the definition of your success.

Be Remarkable // Honestly, there's no room for anything less these days. If you put mediocrity into the world, that's not enough. You must create work and pieces that inspire you and those around you. I'm a perfectionist and my standard is always: Does this inspire me? Would I care about this? If the answer is yes, then I move forward. If the answer is no, I just let it go. We all have too much going on to care about fluffy bullshit. Whatever you create, make it amazing.

Have Fun // Marketing is FUN! I mean, this is a fantastic opportunity to allow people to get to know you and create something special. Collaborate. Think outside of the traditional route. Be excited. Be proud.


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LOVEe Consults: Kelly McShane!

A little over a month ago, I had the great opportunity to mentor the oh-so-awesome Kelly McShane! This girl traveled all the way from Chicago for her LOVEe Consult and she came so excited and ready to learn! Kelly is a photographer who is literally, just starting out and this was the perfect time for her to do a consultation! I've mentored many photographers at this point, lots of whom have been in the industry for years and others who might be making the switch from part-time to full time artist, but it was SO interesting to really go back to the simple basics with a person who is at step one, phase one. Kelly has so much potential as an artist, but it is her pure drive and energy that is going to really launch her into the world of a professional photographer! This girl just makes you want to smile and jump-up-and-down - she gives off an energy that is simply contagious and her clients will without-a-doubt gravitate towards her! One word that was a common theme through out our day together was the word possibility. Kelly is at the stage in her journey that absolutely everything is new, exciting and absolutely everything is possible! To her - there are no limits. Sometimes I feel that the longer we are in the industry, or the longer that this is our 'job', we tend to lose a little bit of that spark that we had in the beginning. We get caught up in the politics and bullshit of life  or maybe we become so technically correct that are images are too comfortable and we are no longer open to the possibilities of the unknown - and we also don't allow ourselves to make mistakes. Some of the most thrilling images are created accidentally, and it is so necessary to put ourselves in a world of the unknown. So, my challenge to you is to try something new, plan a shoot you've been wanting to do for a long time, try a new technique, try reaching out to vendors and potential clients to create possibility for yourself - and enjoy what happens!


We are currently booking LOVEe Consults for the winter! If you are interested, check out the LOVEe Consults website!


LOVEe Consults: Heidi Lynn Photography!

Yesterday, I had the privilege of meeting Heidi and we spent the day together for her LOVEe Consult! Heidi is a super fun woman who wears many hats (wife, mom, photographer, friend...the list goes on!), yet she is a person who is passionate and purposeful in everything she does!

During our time together, we talked about many things from life and love to business and art, but I realized that we are both super passionate about creating honest imagery. Now, I know you have heard me talk about this a lot already - it all started during my talks at ELEVATE, but I really, truly believe that getting back to lifestyle imagery with raw emotion, feeling and energy is where our industry is headed - and what our clients are craving.

The wedding photography industry goes through trends and phases and then you have the classics whose work is so beautiful that years later, the industry is still talking about it. When it comes to being an artist, we have choices. It's super easy to look at other's work and reproduce is, basically spot on. From styling to processing, you can see that it's HOT and you can make it happen! It's a more difficult route to find your own personal style and quietly bring that to the table. This takes a lot of soul-searching and utter practice of our craft, but without a doubt, greatness happens and that is so much more rewarding, knowing that you have found your space, your pace, your groove and your style as an artist - it's simply beautiful!

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Heidi - Congratulations for taking the leap and putting in the time to learn about yourself, your work and your potential! You are a beautiful woman and an amazing artist who is going to really come to life - you're ready...and you know what I mean!

If you're a photographer  interested in doing a LOVEe Consult, we are now booking!! Check out the website or e-mail me at:


New LOVEe Consults Website!

Launching an actual website for LOVEe Consults has been on my to-do-list for a while now! I wanted there to be a place for photographers to gather a little more information and inspiration about what we do during these one-on-one mentor sessions! The new site offers a breakdown of the topics we cover, along with some testimonials of past LOVEe Consult clients!
I feel SO incredibly fortunate to be able to give back to my industry and to be perfectly honest, I truly enjoy taking the time to spend one-on-one with photographers more than anything! Every single person who signs up, teaches me just as much as I give to them and it has just been one of the most rewarding experiences, so thank you for allowing me to do this!

If you are a photographer who has been thinking about signing up for a consult, there is really no better time than right before our busy season! If you would like to get a session on the calendar, or are simply just interested in more information, check out the new site!

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LOVEe Consults // De La Vue!

This week started out with one amazing LOVEe Consult with Rachel of De La Vue! Many of you might know her by her old name, Nadeau Photography. She has recently re-branded her company to De La Vue and I am so excited for the direction that she is taking things and Minnesota better get ready for this girl! There were two great conversations we had during our day together.

The first is to think about the BIG picture. Like super long term - Why are we artists? How big can this dream go and where will it take us? And what is our definition of 'big'?  One of the things that I respect most about Rachel is that she decided to re-brand herself to fit that big picture! This girl has dreams and goal far beyond her own name, and her decision to re-name her company is a ballsy move, but also one that was necessary for her growth! The fact that she even realized that just the name of her company was holding her back from those ambitions is amazing! It's a hard thing to change things up with your company, once you get things going. I mean, people expect things out of you, once you are established and to just switch it up on everyone - I mean, that's insane, right? WRONG! When you see the big picture, when you know your dreams are feasible and attainable, you need to do whatever it takes to get there. That might mean taking a big risk and making some big changes. That might mean starting over with a new facebook page and - gasp! Re-forming a new group of friends, blog readers and clients! However, it is totally and completely worth it once you are on your way to your dream!

Which brings us to the second fabulous topic of conversation, Freedom. As business owners and artists, we really, have all the freedom in the world! Yes, we all work crazy hard and insane hours, because we believe in what we are doing. Yes, there are always stresses that we can count on both hands of how hard running our businesses are. However, Rachel and I discoverd that we would clearly take all of those stresses and make some magic, for the simple freedom of doing what we do. Photographers - we are the luckiest people in the WORLD to be able to do what we do! We are sooooo freaking lucky to be able to create and INSPIRE people every single day we clock in.

How cool is that?

Congratulations to Rachel on all of the super fun, exciting things to come! You are an amazing woman and photographer, whom I greatly respect!

For those of you who are interested in booking a LOVEe Consult, there is no better time but now! We are currently taking bookings for February - April! For more information, click here!

If you are ready to sign up, please contact me:


LOVEe Consults: Noelle from Fishtale Photography!

This past week, I had a LOVEe Consult with the fabulous Noelle of Fishtale Photography! We had an amazing day what I loved about her consult is that we just simply talked! Noelle use to work in Law, before pursuing her dream of being a photographer and running her own business, and I am SUPER proud of her for taking the leap and going out on her own! Usually, I give a recap on the day, but I thought I would switch it up a bit! This is Noelle's 'testimonial' of her LOVEe Consult:

"My LOVEe Consult...

Webster's Dictionary says that the definition of love is an affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests. Others define love as a positive regard for something. But, I think Eliesa is the definition of LOVE when it comes to photography.  Eliesa has a LOVE for really connecting with others to help them understand photography as a profession...  The LOVEe Consult was just what I needed and exactly what I had envisioned it to be.  I felt as though she had designed the consult Just. For. Me.  Her concise explanations and answers to my constant questions and her what-could-have-been-really-painful-and-harsh-but-was-actually-more-of-a-loving critique of my current business was something I really needed to hear...and wouldn't have gotten anywhere else.  Her suggestions on how to enhance what I have been doing are going to take me to a newer level in photography.  I would recommend a LOVEe Consult to any photographer who is looking to gain new insight into ways to be a better photographer and achieve a stronger business...regardless of how long they've been in the industry..."

~ Noelle


We are now booking LOVEe Consults for this winter!

If you would like to know more information, please download the LOVEe Consults PDF here!

Have more questions or want to sign up? E-mail me at


LOVEe Group Consults // Denver Recap!!

This trip to Denver has been fantastic! The purpose of the trip is to have a bunch of LOVEe Consults, and the first ever Group LOVEe Consult!! The session was held at The Corner Office, in downtown Denver and the space + service set the perfect tone!! The consults are a very personal and intense-conversational-based session, which we critique all areas of a photographer's business, so it was super important for me to find the perfect atmosphere! We talked about our experiences, why we are artists, and the strengths and struggles of owning your own business. We talked about everything from the wedding world to commercial photography and nailing down your perfect clients. We also talked how to actually be profitable and how to push the limits to make that happen. One common word was the theme of yesterday:


It all comes down to trust.

Trust yourself that you CAN build a business on your passion. Trust and allow yourself to change and grow into the roll of a stronger artist and business owner. Trust  yourself that you are confident in your skill when shooting. Trust your gut. Trust in your dreams. Trust others in your community and industry to build each other up. Trust that you will find your perfect clients.

Ultimately, the people who will book you will believe in you. Whether they are booking you to shoot their wedding of photograph a big editorial spread, they are trusting in you to get the job done and give them the most incredible experience ever! You can do it! All you have to do is allow yourself to trust...


On another note, I have had the opportunity to meet some new friends, Paul Bangasser and R.J. Kern! Both of these men are photographers, kick ass artists and have the BEST hearts!! They are both driven by extreme passion and are born leaders! I am so happy to have gotten a chance to chat with them both on this trip and share the LOVE!


Announcing: LOVEe Group Consults // DENVER!



The time has come for even MORE exciting news!

Since blogging about my Fall Bookings for one-on-one LOVEe Consults, there has been much chatter from people in the Southwest states showing interest! It just so happens that I will be in the Denver area at the end of September and I felt like it was the perfect opportunity to offer a Group LOVEe Consult!

What?!?!? A Group?!?! Here's the scoop:


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Denver, Colorado!!!!!

The location of the workshop will be held in The Corner Office, which is part of The Curtis Hotel, right downtown! We'll have a super cool, inspiring area, all to ourselves!


Photographers who want to take their business to the next level and have been yearning for some mentoring to get there! My goal is to keep this group very small, so you still get the one-on-one treatment that is so special about LOVEe Consults. There's also huge benefits, relationships and advice that come out of a group environment as well, which is an added bonus!

How is a Group LOVEe Consult different from a one-on-one consult?

The group consult will have a group element to it. The day will be heavily based on critique on your business, branding, ideas, goals, inspiration etc. We will still be covering all of the topics that we do in a normal consult, which are:

The Artist Intense Critique Goal Setting Marketing Submissions Equipment and Shooting Techniques Inspiration Open Q&A!

The night will also conclude with a sweet dinner with yours truly!

What's my investment for a Group LOVEe Consult?

Here's the brilliant part! Since it's not one-on-one, it's only $500!

Remember, I do want to keep this to a very small and intimate group, so spaces are super limited!


To reserve your spot, sign up here!

For more information on the Group LOVEe Consult, CLICK HERE!

I'm super excited to share the love! (cheezy, but true!)  DENVER, here we come!


Now Booking: FALL LOVEe Consults!


I've been getting MANY e-mails from many photographers asking about booking availability for LOVEe Consults! I thought it might be easiest to address you all at once and spread the love:

Q: I'm interested in booking a LOVEe Consult, what is your availability for this?

A: Since most of my weekends are booked with weddings, LOVEe Consults are booked any day of the work week, Monday - Friday! I am currently taking bookings for this fall and winter, starting September - January!

Q: How much is a LOVEe Consult? Is there a deposit?

A: Consults are $1000 for 8 hours. I require a 50% deposit to hold your date and the balance is due on the day of your consult.

Q: I am not from the Minneapolis area, do you travel for LOVEe Consults?

A: Absolutely! I love to do the consult in your home/office/studio...really, wherever your creative space is! I feel like it is more effective to wrap our minds around your business when we are in your element! I also love to travel, so general travel fees simply apply in addition to the consult fee.

Q: What topics would we cover in a LOVEe Consult?

A: These Consults are an intensive, one-on-one, 8 hour consultation on your entire business! My goal is to leave you with a clear vision of where your business is going and leave you with tools to continually be inspired!

Topics that we cover:

The Artist Intense Critique Goal Setting Marketing Submissions Equipment and Shooting Techniques Inspiration Open Q&A!

Q: Do we shoot during the Consult?

A: We have the opportunity to schedule your consult to exactly your needs. Some clients set up shoots for me to come along on and others set up client meetings for me to sit in on.  I leave this entirely up to you, to ensure that you are getting the most out of your time!

Q: I'm READY! How do I book my consult?

A: Simply e-mail me: and we will get you on the calendar!!

Q: Do you have any more information on LOVEe Consults?

A: Absolutely! Download our AWESOME guide here to see all of the in-depth details on what we cover!!

I hope this helps!! I absolutely LOVE doing these!  I feel like I end up learning more than I teach some days. It has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my career, thus far, to really help and give back to those in the industry!


LOVEe Consults: PhotoJessic!

This past week, I sat down with the lovely Jessica of PhotoJessic for her LOVEe Consult! As artists, we talk a lot about our Personal Style. This also comes with many questions: What is my personal style? How do I find it? What if it changes, is that ok? There's no doubt about it, finding your personal style is a process, but it must not be forced. Jessica and I talked a lot about how there is a big trend in the photography industry right now with the Vintage theme. Soft colors, leaning towards warmth and romance are everywhere. Jessica's major question was, "I don't want to be like anyone else, I don't want to be trendy, but I really, truly, love the vintage do I stay original?"

The thing that Jessica didn't realize is that she has her personal style nailed down. When you walk into her studio space, the light is soft, her building is old, and she even has a vintage clock. Her favorite colors surround her and even the way she dresses is just soft and pretty. She exudes everything that is soft, pretty and vintage. Her images reflect her personal style, which is key.

Defining what your personal style is should be natural, because it comes from YOU and everything you are about. It is derived from your personal experiences, the kind of music you like, and everything you are attracted to in this world. Above all, by staying true to yourself, your images will be of things you are passionate about and ultimately they will be executed in a way that no one else can, because it is YOU. Your style will evolve, just as you change as life goes on, but there will always be core elements that will be timeless. Embracing the process of change will lead you to finding - and then realizing- what makes your images yours.

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To learn more about LOVEe Consults and to schedule yours today, CLICK HERE!


Have an amazing weekend everyone!


LOVEe Consult : Emily Steffen!

I absolutely love my job. Sometimes I can't believe that my work is to create, inspire and empower people! And then I realize, yes, Eliesa, this is your work, but it is also deeper than that - it is my purpose. This past fall, I launched LOVEe Consults, which is my one-on-one mentor session for photographers (or any small business owner for that matter), and I am simply smitten with these days! Yes, they are all about learning, but again - it's deeper than that. They are more about having conversations, exploring our deepest secrets and dreams and developing a plan to create the best life possible for us! Just as much as I teach the photographers who sign up, they teach me so much more!

This past week, I had a LOVEe Consult with the lovely Emily Steffen. I absolutely love this girl! One of the best things I adore about Emily is the fact that she gathers inspiration from SO much more than images. Many times we talk about looking at magazines, ad campaigns, labels, websites, branding, etc. to be inspired, but in Emily's case, she doesn't seek inspiration through any of those visual aesthetics. Instead, she is majorly inspired by crafting, knitting, sewing, gardening, baking and simply loving. I realized in our conversations that sometimes, as working artists, we forget to be creative in the sense of creating. Maybe that statement doesn't make sense. It is SO important to have other outlets of creativity besides just taking photographs (or painting, drawing, etc - whatever your art might be that you get paid for!) I realized I really haven't had another source as a creative outlet for quite some time, and I am empowered to do so! 

The essence of who you are and what you love  = happiness.

Another awesome conversation we had was about how stinkin' far behind the Midwest appears sometimes. We are, in fact, not far behind in Minneapolis, but sometimes people's mentalities are when searching for a wedding photographer and how we need to educate our clients on our shooting styles. We talked about how funny it is when (usually the older generation) make comments about your photos, such as, "Oh, isn't that nice." or "Yes, these are sure...different." Emily put it into the perfect quote, " In our state, when people call your photos 'different', that is Minnesotan for 'suck'!" The fabulous part about this statement is that when you do find your perfect clients - the words/feelings/comments about suckage will absolutely never be an issue - ever again! I am also a firm believer that there is some KILLER talent pumping out of the Midwest now that is truly remarkable - and I am SUPER stoked for this revolution!

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There is no doubt in my mind that Emily is going to do some really amazing things in her life! In her own words, her goal is...

"To share the love and effect the world in a way that I can to make an impact. I want my life the be simple and I want to live my life to simply inspire people."


My consultations are more than a how-to-be-an-amazing-photographer, they are truly meant to be life-changing. If you are interested in more information about a LOVEe Consult, click here!

If you are READY for THIS, e-mail me:


LOVEE Consults!!!



I am SO excited to officially launch LOVEe Consults!!

This is something that I have wanted to offer other photographers for a while now and I could not be more pumped about how this is coming together! 2010 is the year to give back! I have been truly blessed in this industry and I want to share the LOVE!

LOVEe Consults is an intensive, one-on-one day for photographers who want to learn how to take their business to the next level! Experience level does not matter one bit - whether you just picked up a camera or you've been doing this for a while and need a breath of fresh air, I am totally your girl!

In a LOVEe Consult, we cover the following topics:

The Artist

Intense Critique

Goal Setting



Equipment and Shooting Techniques


Open Q&A

My goal is to totally fire you up and challenge you to be the best photographer, business owner and person you can be! I'll also leave you with tools to continue your journey along the way!!

For more information, CLICK HERE to download a PDF of all of the lovey little details!

If you are READY for your LOVEe Consult, e-mail me at