Editorial Feature | Diablo Magazine

It’s not everyday you get to photograph birds of prey alongside a powerhouse of an editorial team. Thanks to this month’s issue of Diablo Magazine, I had a chance to do just that.

Congratulations to Lindsay Wildlife Experience for their 18 Diablo Best of the East Bay shout outs received over the years and to all of the local businesses earning their well-deserved recognition in this issue. Take a peek at the Complete List of Winners! Diablo works hard all year long to share and celebrate all that our community has to offer.

Small Business Spotlight | Wooden It Be Nice

Wooden It Be Nice is a small business I’ve hoped to feature since the fruition of this personal project.
Business owner, Bob Maes, is the epitome of a craftsman, forming beautiful and functional furniture and cabinetry with his own hands from his own home. His pride in ownership and attention to detail is evident in every project — thinking creatively and strategically to accommodate unique needs and personal preferences.

Thanks to Wooden It Be Nice for inspiring all kinds of creative folks, myself included, to pursue an attitude of excellence and humble service through our work.

The Importance of Portraits: Putting a Face to your Brand

I get it, I get it. You're not comfortable in front of the camera. You're an introvert. You don't feel photogenic. You're still hoping to lose a few more lbs. I've heard (and used) every excuse in the book. 

Here's the deal: We all crave connection and authenticity. If you take some time to think about the brands and social media accounts you are drawn to the most -- how many are faceless? Not many, right?

Whether you're a small business owner, an independent contractor (like myself), an artist, a blogger, or one of a many on a dream team... using familiar FACES to communicate to your audience is hugely important and highly effective. Portraits personalize and humanize for a more memorable first impression.

Headshot by Cali Godley

As someone scrolls across your social media feed or website for the first time, every photo is an invitation to come closer and learn more. As I'm sure you've experienced, when you're seriously considering hiring or purchasing from someone online - you click through every image and every page on the site. Expect others to do the same with YOUR page. Not only are they investigating your offerings and comparing you to the competition, but they're looking for anything that sets you apart.

Portraits highlight what makes your business unique... YOU! Many people can provide similar products and services, but no one else can be YOU. 

Headshot by Cali Godley

Here are a few practical next steps for growing your brand through self portraits:

1. Make your face your profile photo on social media accounts, not your logo

2. Add a photo of yourself and brief description on your website ABOUT page

3. Share photos of yourself and content from yourself OFTEN (If you're more than a one-man/one-woman operation, feature the entire team)

4. Update your self portrait with a professional photographer

Small Business Spotlight | MAEK Ceramics

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, and mere weeks before this pair exchanges their vows, I’m excited to feature lovebirds and business partners, Michaela Maes and Ryan Shoemaker, also known as MAEK Ceramics.

For nearly two years, Michaela and Ryan have combined creative forces to produce ever-evolving ceramic housewares out of their studio in Clayton, California. Through hard work, long hours, and continual relationship building, MAEK has made their mark and now graces the shelves of many shops, pop-ups, cafes, and homes. Photographing them in action gave me a new appreciation for how much time and focus each piece requires. The process may be as admirable as the final product.

Thanks to Michaela and Ryan for the reminder that good things take time — like mugs, pots, and growing a small business. I look forward to seeing how your lives and your ceramics continue inspiring others as you step into marriage and a new studio in San Diego!