Portas Presents a beautiful bouquet!

May 10 2016

Beth was recently the guest speaker at a special event, Portas Presents at the Portas Agency, London where she presented TRANSFORMATIONAL BRANDING: A PSYCHOLOGICAL & REAL-WORLD APPROACH. 

It was an absolute honor for her to be involved and she would like to thank the organisers, her interviewer Steve Braiden, and the great audience who really got engaged in the discussion asking plenty of interesting questions! 

The successful evening was kindly acknowledged with a bouquet of phenomenal spring flowers from the Portas Agency that looked fabulous in her London studio!

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Some thoughts on why are there so many movies these days based on real-life stories

June 18 2014

As a culture, we all want to escape to a more fantastic and altered universe. A universe where magic, monsters, and super heroes are commonplace, or at least unsurprising. A universe where every one of us knows all the moves for a beautiful, spontaneous, dance number in the park, with a carriage ride into a velvety summer night in Central Park at the end. For years, audiences have used fantasy (not just in films, but across all media) as an imaginative way out of the pressures of the stressful anxiety of the “Real World”.

However, within in the past couple of years, we have seen the emergence of “True Story” films with story lines based on actual events and/or real people. Of course, films have featured true stories in the past, but typically not in the concentrated numbers of releases that we're seeing now. Films like The Wolf of Wall Street, 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, and The Bling Ring have all gained considerable notoriety in the media and awards shows as well as popularity at the box office.


Of course, one could argue that it’s the star-studded casts that pull viewers into theatres, but I’m more curious as to why there is such an interest in real life stories at this particular moment in time. Why are we so interested in these narratives? As a nation, anxiety and stress is at peak levels. In a pro-digital, pro-tech, pro-CG-that-ocean-into-the-scene world, maybe we're just looking for a different, more authentic connection. We are looking for characters that we can identify with, and not just in the world of made-up super heroes and heroines. It seems that as a culture, we are responding or longing for characters that lived in our world, who know (at a base level) about what we experience. Spiderman may take place in the very real New York City, but Peter Parker's problems are not something we can all relate to. But a worried boat captain, trying to keep his crew safe from pirates? Weirdly it’s real, based on a real man who rose to a real crisis and became a real hero. Now that’s life, and compelling on a profound emotional level.


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The Mad Men Metaphor

May 20 2014


I frequently speak with my clients about the importance of seven year cycles in our lives, beginning around age 7. Imagine my pleasure when I happened to be reading an interview in Vulture with Matthew Weiner, the brilliant creator of Mad Men, in which he talks about his own cycle.

On discussing coming down to the end of the series, he says, "I wrote the pilot when I was 35, got it on the air when I was 42, and I will be 49 when it ends. That’s a huge part of my life.” From a psychological astrological perspective, he’s describing the angles of the planet Saturn moving through our charts. I find that many of my clients “feel the call” and come to me to begin working in a new major to use more of themselves as they approach any or all of these ages. Think about where you are in your career and creativity right now. Are you approaching 28, 35, 42 years old? Feeling the urge?

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Thank you WPO!

May 15 2014

Somerset House (left), Beth in action (right)

What a fantastic experience at the SONY World Photography awards gala and then at Somerset House for my two part talk on fundamentals of brand creation, and communicating your brand. Beautiful venue, wonderful hosts, and super talented photographers. Thanks, WPO!!!

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Upcoming Event | World Photography Organisation

April 12 2014
May 3rd, 2014, 1-2:30 PM, GMT
May 4th, 2014, 2:30-4 PM, GMT

Join us on May 3rd and May 4th at Somerset House in London for Beth’s special two-part presentation: Why Having A Clear Point-Of-View Matters. This presentation will be hosted by the World Photography Organisation, sponsored by SONY.

Beth speaking at PPA's ImagingUSA in January 2014

© Richard Schiff          

Working from a combined psychological, analytical and business perspective, Beth’s talk will help you to understand how to discover, communicate and market your vision so that you become a go-to photographer or artist. It's important to convey your special capabilities and traits so that potential clients can easily understand why to collaborate with you. Managing your brand effectively will help you to be happier in your work and more successful in your career, and can translate into real increases in sales and market share.
Click here for a full description of Beth’s two-part presentation.

This event is perfect for photographers and artists at any level and for creatives in related fields. You won't want to miss it!

Click here to learn more about becoming a WPO member.

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Announcement: Beth speaks on the Psychology of Branding @ the ASMP Business Symposium Feb 27th

February 06 2014

Beth is thrilled to be presenting at the NY Chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers’ upcoming three day Business Symposium. This year her seminar, Branding 101: The Psychology of Brand Building, Theirs & Yours, will focus on the psychology of how brands are shaped, including yours!

Please join us to gain some insight into your own brand on February 27th from 2:15pm to 3:45pm at the Engelman Recital Hall, Baruch College, open to anyone in the photo community.

We hope to see you all there!

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Macy's and Martha: Managing an Awkward Brand Moment

May 29 2013

By now, most of you members of the shopping public are aware of the contentious court battle between Macy's and J.C. Penney over Martha Stewart's Home Collection. Now, Martha has a long history of selling different products and product categories with retailers other than Macy's. She produces a line of carpets for FLOR, a number of furniture collections with Bernhardt, sold a lower-end line of paint and linens with K-Mart, and sells home office products through Staple's. It was only the J.C. Penney deal that would have infringed on Macy's, in which J.C. Penney was hoping to sell kitchen, bedroom and bath goods that would compete directly with Macy's. Martha's Home Collection is the anchor of "The Cellar" at Macy's, where the retailer offers up all of its tabletop, cookware and home goods from a variety of vendors. Martha's products are an essential draw that brings customers into this department nationwide. 

So, what was Martha thinking? Did she think that Macy's needed her so badly that they would simply accept her actions? I don't know, but I would imagine that J.C. Penney's was offering a better cut of the profits, important as Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia's earnings are down. None the less, Martha has a history of making some strange choices. Who knows the psychology behind her self-destructive moves, (remember the insider trading conviction, and the ankle bracelet, which are hard to forget)? She has had such an enormous influence over late twentieth sensibilities, home aesthetics, and how we live that one would think that she could rest secure in her enduring legacy, but that doesn't seem to be part of her emotional make-up and drive. She also seems unable to understand that her actions create reactions. Did she actually think that Macy's would roll over?


                                               Macy's Martha Stuart Collection direct mail

Ultimately, Macy's has won the Martha battle, and has handled the crisis in an interesting way. The whole court battle played out in the media, and was never a crisis that was acknowledged or communicated directly between Macy's and their customers. It was simply not addressed, and played out in the background. Now that the issue is resolved, Macy's has handled the win in a graceful way. Hence, the direct mail piece that arrived last week. It doesn't say, "Martha's still here," or "Martha's back." It merely reminds you to come and shop Martha's Home Collection at Macy's; with Martha herself featured front and center on the piece. Very classy brand management, I must say.

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