This past weekend I had the honor of working with the insanely talented photographer, Jeff Shipley. We spent the day trekking all over San Francisco taking photos for The Balanced Life. It was such an honor because I’m telling you, Jeff is a creative genius. He has an eye for design and art that is out of this world (yes, I just said out of this world). While he’s working you can see the creative wheels turning in his head.
An extra special bonus was his second-shooter for the day, Isaac James. Since I’m a fitness professional, aka, not a model, they coached me throughout the day and styled my wardrobe for each location. They made it easy and fun.
These two make a perfect pair and this picture says it all. Isaac made me laugh when I felt awkward and Jeff put me at ease the entire day. The two of them banter in the best of ways. I’ve worked with some good photographers in the past but these two are on a whole different level. I cannot say it enough. They are the best of the best.
Since this website is all about balance and a healthy fitness perspective, and since I’m passionate about keeping it real, I have to confess to you all: I was stressed before this shoot. It was my first official fitness photo shoot and I put pressure on myself to be in perfect shape and lose weight. This is SO not what I’m about and this is SO not the message of this website so in the weeks leading up to the shoot I had to make a conscious effort to remind myself that the pressure was unnecessary and a skinny body attained by deprivation or over-exercising is not the message that I want to portray to my readers and clients.
I share this with you just to let you know that we ALL struggle with these things. I’m no different. In fact it’s why I do what I do. I don’t think the pressure to look a certain way will ever fully disappear but I do know that it’s a daily discipline to remind myself what I believe, what I care about and how I want to live. Living under the pressure to be perfect is tiring, exhausting and entirely ineffective.
So in order to combat this pressure I felt creeping in I decided to focus on caring for myself to the best of my ability in the days leading up to the shoot. Just like I encourage my clients to do. I focused on eating lots of fresh produce & lean protein (straight off the PBP meal plan), drinking lots of water and getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night. I did my daily Pilates routines – sometimes 15 minutes, sometime 60 minutes – in order to keep my mind calm and my body strong. That’s it. It’s amazing how the pressure lifts when you focus on how you can care for yourself instead of how you can deprive yourself. Did I radically transform my body before the shoot? Nope. Not even close. But after making this shift in my perspective I felt beautiful, healthy & strong which exactly how I wanted to feel.
Jeff told me to bring clothes that represent me and my personality – so naturally my hangers were full of long flowy skirts and dresses…my weekend uniform 🙂
It was an incredibly beautiful day in the City. We had so much fun driving all over and rewarded ourselves with hard-earned Cinco De Mayo margaritas.
These are just few behind-the-scenes iphone photos taken by my dear friend & personal styling assistant for the day. I can’t wait to see Jeff’s final product. More to come soon!