Balayage::Before & After

I love when I get to introduce clients to fun, fresh, new ways of enhancing their hair. I love to educate them to the many ways that I can transform their look and personal style. Mind you, that I never force anyone to do anything I merely suggest ideas (plant seeds, if you will) that they can mull over in the  moment or in the weeks that follow. Either way, my clients get to decide.  THAT said, I always recommend that you consult before you jump…everyone wins! When someone is ‘on board’ we discuss the detail of the process and the cost…not only for the initial appointment but the maintenance going forward as well…again..everyone wins! Sometimes we elect to do part of the process (baby steps) and in future appointments leap to the finish! Other times I get to perform a service that actually saves them time and money in the future. Here’s where the Balayage comes in. Balayage, a French word meaning “to sweep”, has long been touted as an alternate way of highlighting hair (of ANY color, texture or length for that matter!). It’s a ‘free-hand’, painting, technique that seems to be taking on steam here in the mid section of the country and I couldn’t be happier! This is Mary. An exciting change for a High School Sophomore who’d never colored her hair before. LOW maintenance hair color!

Love Your Hair

Paige PInk

Sometimes we get an idea to do something…and while it may seem crazy…we vacillate,  put it off or never do it. Then there’s our hair. To that I say, what have you got to lose…it’s just hair…if we don’t like it we can change it!  Whether it’s your life or just your hair…never pass up on something fun. Thank you, Paige, for being a willing participant. Pravana-Pink!

The Hashtag #


“…please enter the last 4 digits of your social security number, followed by the pound sign.”

I get asked all the time…”What’s up with the ‘hashtag’?”  Well, my answer is always, “How much time do you have?”  ‘Cuz quite honestly, while it can seem silly (as seen here with Justin Timberlake & Jimmy Fallon on SNL) in reality, it’s pretty awesome! What used to be known only as the symbol for the pound (the U.S. lb. of weight measurement) AND used as a symbol for number, society has adopted this symbol to help us search for things on the internet, Twitter and Instagram…it’s called the “Hashtag”. If you are not an #IGaddict (Instagram Addict) like I am (@sue.craig and the newly launched @suecraigdotcom) or have a Twitter account (@thenewsusan) you probably think this is all just a ridiculous fad and wish people would “just stop!” the fact is…wait for it……it ain’t goin’ anywhere.

The “#” symbol is now being used to help you find people, places and things as well as those people, places and things finding YOU! Whether you are an individual, a new start up company, or an established one, this has becoming the new search tool. Now I’m not saying that folks aren’t out there still “Google-ing” cuz they are (90 million searches a month! That’s 1 trillion a year!) but let’s say you’re on instagram and you want to see a recent image of like, say…..Tokyo or the Golden Gate Bridge or heck, even a tattoo, you simply (with NO spaces) would go to the search bar and type in #GoldenGateBridge , #Tokyo , #Tattoo and BAM!  You can sit for hours scrolling through image after image of whatever it is you care to search for. Sometimes I find such compelling and stunning photography that often times I will begin to “follow” the individual that posted that image or at the very least head to their feed and see what other sorts of things they’ve posted. A current fave of mine that I connected with in Croatia is @brandoncronan he “liked” some of my “hashtagged” #Croatia #Dubrovnik and #DalmatianCoast pix that I posted while I was there so I looked into his feed only to find that he was there at the same time! We were a day or 2 apart…it was fun to see our different perspectives of similar areas! Also, he has this great travel blog: Life Reengineered which I’m now addicted to as well! Just sayin’. This is fun…you can search for a hashtag just to see if it’s already in use and if it’s NOT, start a personal one like I did in Africa #SueFari  or #Sueprisetrip for when I traveled to surprise my nieces on their spring trip…then you have your own little album!

Some of my Instagram hashtag searches have yielded a lot of laughs too: #BellyUp (for all my animal friends)  #Fail (and you’re welcome) #WorkFail and a fave: #HelpingNotHelping  You’ve been warned!  :)

As for Twitter, as an example, back when Prince William and Princess Kate married, I had set my alarm to wake and watch it live (#fail). Once I got over my hatred for myself AND my alarm clock I grabbed my phone, sat on the porch and took to twitter. I did a hashtag search for #RoyalWedding and BAM! I got to scroll through and read commentary from all over the world! Pretty cool. Although, NOT how I envisioned I would witness the nuptials, it’s all I had. That and TMZ later that day! Twitter is a great search tool if you are looking for information on ANYthing! Well, because let’s face it…people share EVERYthing now…present company included. Want to find out a concert date? Search #KeithUrbanTour2015 …anyone that has posted with this hashtag will let you know! Couples getting married have been on the hashtag wagon for a while now requesting their guests to post pix on twitter and insta’ using special custom hashtags like: #KateWedsWilliam2015.  I was recently at the Walker Art Center’s Internet Cat Video Festival in St Paul, MN where they, naturally, encouraged event goers to post with the hashtag #CatVidFest When you land on that feed you can see all the crazy cat people enjoying a beautiful night in downtown Saint Paul at the brand new Saints Stadium!

Then, of course, there’s the #OMG #ShouldHaveStayedInBed #Love #WhatWasIThinking the list goes on….

It doesn’t end there…don’t be afraid to use is whether you want to search for a restaurant review, an event, a city you want to travel to, OR just boast about your  brand #SueCraigDotComROCKS. Quit hating and fear not, the hashtag..okay, quit  SAYing it, but stop hating!  :)


So The World May Hear…

Each year, for the past 8 years, I’ve been asked back to join the photographers at the Starkey Hearing Foundation Gala. It’s an opportunity to give back and donate my time and talents for a global cause. If you know me, you understand that I do an awful lot of volunteering for many organizations. This one is always fun and I get to see all my Gala colleagues on the red carpet and in the ballroom as well as many celebs!  This year, in the ballroom at the St Paul RiverCenter, Jessica Sanchez opened with the National Anthem followed by the flight of our beloved Bald Eagle. Norm Crosby, as always, made us laugh at ourselves, Matt Nathanson gave a perfect acoustic rendition of some favorites like Come On Get Higher  but a new favorite of mine (and sure to be yours) is his fundraising efforts for Starkey with Headphones. I’ve been close a few times but standing next to the stage with camera in hand while George W. Bush was named a 2015 honoree (I’m certain my mom was squealing in Heaven!) was quite simply an awe struck moment. Katy Perry closed the night.

These are just a few of my faves. See you next year!

Covering Losses…..

Everyone says: “How do you do it?” Quite honestly, it’s gotta be God. ‘Cuz how else could you agree to volunteer to cover such a grief stricken time in a couple’s life.

I wasn’t on call today but as God would see fit, I was available this morning…to cover a loss. So I texted back: “I can take this one.”

That moment when I know for certain that I am going…I become someone else. My head becomes clear of all the clutter, that is my life and I methodically gather my gear, fill my water bottle and grab some sort of bar, toss it in my camera bag, get the keys and I’m out the door. Nothing on my mind except arriving safely and in a timely manner but often times I pray. I pray for the families that are gathering, I pray for the staff and I pray that I can make the most beautiful images for the parents…for these will be all they have, of their little one, once they walk out the door of the hospital. Then, the moment that the nurse draws back the curtain (or pushes the door open), pokes her head in and says, “…the photographer’s here.”  This is where I come in. I set my bag on the floor, slowly make my way to the bed (where often both parents are seated holding their little one or in some cases ‘ones’), introduce myself and extend my sorrow for their untimely loss. Never having had any children all I can do is imagine….imagine what a loss like this would be like to endure. Sometimes I say nothing….all dependent upon how I read the situation. Always tho’, I’m required to get a parent to fill out and sign the form stating that they have requested that we (Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep) be there to photograph for them…I hate that part…”hey, can you take a moment, dry your eyes so you can see to sign this form?” HATE it…but, it’s a must. Can’t really do anything until it’s signed. In the rush of things, I’m certain that they don’t even remember or realize they just protects me and the foundation. Covering these losses always gets me thinking about stuff…life mostly, and what we do with ours (or the very least, what I do with mine). Seems I always come away from them with a clearer sense of the life I should be living. These sessions are great teachers, if I let them…and I usually do. My mind, body and soul connect and I thank God for giving me the talent and the ability to step into this role…that of someone who can help make healing possible for these parents and families for the days, weeks, months and years to come.



I’ve just learned that this October 2015 (date forthcoming), our very own Minnetonka School District (and surrounding communities)
is participating in a campaign entitled “Kindness In Chalk”. Now, we have no shortage of sidewalks in this lakeside town
so I plan to be out capturing all of the sidewalk-chalk art of our community members and offerings from local businesses!
A favorite poem, a sketch, heck…your favorite emoji!  This will definitely be a fun, day brightener!
Businesses are being encouraged to join in, as well, by getting creative with listing offerings/deals on the sidewalks outside of their doors!
I hope to be out shooting, instagramming and hashtagging #KindnessInChalk

What will YOU share…with chalk?