Photo Shoot Sneak Peek + A Confession

shelli long makeup

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.

Jeff Shipley Photography

Pilates Photos

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.

Pilates training Menlo Park

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 🙂

Pilates pictures

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!

Ready to finally stay consistent with exercise – even when you’re short on time & energy? Join me for the FREE Creating Healthy Routines Workshop & walk away with an exercise routine you can put into action immediately!

  1. Becca 8 years ago

    Love the honesty and your sweet spirit. I can’t wait to see your finished photos!! xo.

  2. Kristen 8 years ago

    Looks like you had a blast…no signs of nerves in any of those pics 🙂

  3. Melodie 8 years ago

    Can’t wait to see the pics, looks like a fun day. your honesty is so refreshing!

  4. […] And Robin asked me to do just that. She and I went to college together at Westmont, and she has since started a fantastic Pilates studio that focuses on helping her clients achieve real, attainable and grounded balance in their lives. She works exclusively with women and is a wonderful source of inspiration, encouragement and empowerment to those who are seeking a more healthy lifestyle. In just a few short years, The Balanced Life has grown into a full time career for Robin, and beyond doing private training session in her home studio, she’s launched several online coaching programs that are changing women’s lives all over the U.S. I am so proud. Needless to say, Robin needed some images of herself to help refine her brand and to use in various capacities across the web. And that’s where I came in.So, we met up in San Francisco last weekend and had ourselves a grand ol’ time. She brought along her friend Megan, and I of course, had Isaac shoot with me. And we were all in total sync the whole time….mainly about wanting Margaritas and Mexican food afterwards…Haha. I seriously miss them. It was so much fun!! Anywho, here’s a few selections from Robin’s lifestyle photoshoot. Enjoy…AND be sure to check out her site HERE. To read Robin’s post about her experience on the shoot, click HERE. […]

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