behind the scenes of The Empowered Entrepreneur photo-shoot

The process of writing The Empowered Entrepreneur was a real labour of love and honestly I loved (almost) every moment of it. A particular highlight was the day of the styled shoot and when I look back at the images from that day it still makes me smile.

It was a dream day working with a dream team and the sun shone….well for the most part anyway.

I was up at the crack of dawn to drop the smalls off with Granny and Grandpa and meet Fi at West Green House and Gardens. We both arrived cars laden with props and plants and couldn’t wait to get started. Huge thanks to Libby at andhobbs in Shere for lending us so many of her beautiful homewares for the shoot.

I chose West Green because it’s not only beautiful all year round with so much variety in the gardens, but it also has a greenhouse which perfectly diffuses the natural daylight for beautiful photography indoors. It was spring time in England so the chance of it being dry all day…highly unlikely and I needed a contingency.

The environment in which we work is so crucial, we can chose somewhere that makes it feel like a slog or somewhere that feeds us, inspires and lifts our energy. I knew the day was going to be full on (we had a serious number of shots to get through), so having everything on our side to make it as easy and enjoyable as possible was essential. The gardens really enhance my natural vitality and, all importantly, the tea shop serves blooming good cake.

 
 I mean just look at that lake…doesn’t it make you want to create a masterpiece at that desk…? captured so beautifully by Cathy Pyle

I mean just look at that lake…doesn’t it make you want to create a masterpiece at that desk…? captured so beautifully by Cathy Pyle

Shortly after, the lovely Cathy Pyle our photographer for the day, and my friend Gail Jones, the illustrator for the book arrived, hot on the heels of Duncan McCabe who was shooting video for me.

We chose Cathy for her quiet and elegant style of photography, as that sense of understated elegance was so crucial to Fiona’s creative vision for the book.

Working with Cathy was like a moving meditation, she is so calm, good natured and focused. She didn’t look phased at all, even when presented with the ambitious shot list.

and thrive jpegs-67.jpg

Gail brought along the beautiful botanical illustrations I had commissioned. It was so wonderful to see them all together and in all their watercolour detail. Up close I could really appreciate just how much work Gail had put into them and it really did take my breath away. I’ll be writing more about the illustrations and why we chose them on the blog soon.

gail jones illustrations for the empowered entrepreneur book

The day was spent prepping and shooting, eating (of course) and creating with one eye furtively cast towards to skies to ward off the rain.

Fiona made sure that I didn’t include too many of my crystals or weird stuff from home in her carefully styled scenes to make sure that the integrity of her creative vision was maintained... I did manage to sneak a bit of incense in there, but hopefully just enough for it to be authentic to me without alienating any of my audience who might not be quite as into the bells and smells as me ;)

 This shot didn’t make the cut for the book, the greens weren’t quite right, the red popped too much and it just didn’t feel quite right for the calm and quietly confident aesthetic we were going for. But I do love it.  These are the things on my desk at home so they have meaning for me and I love that the vase was handmade for me by one of my dearest friends. That said I trusted Fi’s creative judgement completely, it’s why I hired her for the job after all. We kept our audience always at the forefront of our minds and worked hard to make sure that every detail would resonate with them. That’s what is most important after all, and that clarity made all our decisions so simple.

This shot didn’t make the cut for the book, the greens weren’t quite right, the red popped too much and it just didn’t feel quite right for the calm and quietly confident aesthetic we were going for. But I do love it.

These are the things on my desk at home so they have meaning for me and I love that the vase was handmade for me by one of my dearest friends. That said I trusted Fi’s creative judgement completely, it’s why I hired her for the job after all. We kept our audience always at the forefront of our minds and worked hard to make sure that every detail would resonate with them. That’s what is most important after all, and that clarity made all our decisions so simple.

All the team worked their incredible magic tirelessly throughout the day for which i’m so grateful, and i’m absolutely thrilled with the end result.

It’s so important to work with the right people. As an Empowered Entrepreneur, you don’t just work with any old crew. Making a conscious choice to pick the best, those people that are not only brilliant at what they do but wholeheartedly invested in the vision of what you are trying to create is essential. It all adds to the energy of the end result and elevates it above something that is every day to the possibility of being something extraordinary.

It also makes the whole process a real joy and let’s face it, work absolutely should be!

Duncan produced this great memory of our shoot and despite the regular appearance of my goofy loon face, I love it, I hope you do too.

If you want to read a little more from Fiona about her process for the creative direction you can read her post about it on The Brand Stylist Blog here.