Our Latest Website Photoshoot: Behind the Scenes

Greetings, dear reader!

Thanks for dropping by!

I’ll get straight to it, shall I? This is a looong post. I hope you have a teapot handy…

1 Why another photoshoot?

Since our tree change in 2018, I’ve changed a lot. I’ve become more ‘myself’ if that makes sense and I wanted girl and duck to reflect that.

I REALLY wanted girl and duck to reflect that.

I was obsessed!

But the thought of building a new website was overwhelming.

Plus, I still loved many of our branding elements.

So I decided a refresh was the best way to go.

I decided just to sweep in and replace all the main shots, as well as create a library of spare pics.

Stuff I could use for blog posts, social media, various promos, upcoming e-courses etc.

IMG_0240When in doubt make a list!

I was fairly clear on what was needed but I knew a list would help.

Here’s what I came up with.

I knew I needed:

• 5-6 new hero shots

• A shitload of other shots.


2 Choosing a photographer

Too easy.

I’d met Anna Wilson online through girl and duck and then IRL at a Duckie Meet-up in Castlemaine. She’s creative! She’s brilliant! She’s local!

I’d won the trifecta!

IMG_0265 2
Day Two and I was mostly off the hook. Yay!! After a morning walk and a string of lifestyle shots, Anna concentrated on stills.

I had combed through Anna’s website ( I LOVE her website, please check it out!) and I knew she’d  be on my wavelength and understand what I wanted.

So I called her up.

She was OS. This gave me extra breathing space. More time to get even clearer on how things might work.

On the advice of Leonie Dawson, one of my most TREASURED business mentors and the inspiration behind this post, I got busy and made some Pinterest boards.

Screenshot 2019-11-15 11.02.42How Pinterest Helped

I opened a private board: ‘Website/Photoshoot’. Then came up with four main categories:

Jen Lifestyle

Jen Author



Creating these boards helped in a number of ways.

• It helped me gain clarity. I’m highly visual. So ‘seeing’ what I wanted was helpful.

• I knew the boards would help Anna when we finally met for a briefing. Instead of me trying to describe the mood and feel, I could take my laptop along and show her.

• A colour palette emerged. Naturally. Of its own volition. Choosing a colour palette has been another sticking point for me.

I love all the pretties!

This has made it nigh on impossible for me to make colour choices, especially with any consistency or branding nous.

• I also gave Anna access to the boards so she could have a look around when it suited her.

Screenshot 2019-11-15 11.03.25

Screenshot 2019-11-15 11.08.46
Holy Goddess, I had fun creating these boards! Talk about Happy Place.

3 Choosing a location

My last photoshoot was entirely studio based. This was largely because it was pissing rain that day (in Melbourne) and we were landlocked.

The results were truly lovely and a lot of fun and Samara Clifford was FANTASTIC to work with.


This time around, I knew I wanted more air, more texture, more movement, and again, more ‘ME’ and what’s dear to me, in the pics.

I’m the face of the business. I needed to present a true face.

I’d been planning to hire a house where we could film the next incarnation of Scribbles. So I thought, why not do that for the photoshoot, too?

I asked my friend, Jamie, who runs Maldon Getaways, if he had any suggestions.

We were in the pub.


He whipped out his phone and we scrolled through a heap of pics together.

Once he realised exactly what I was after he said, ‘Check out Joseph’s Cottage. You’ll love it’.

I did!

I wanted a house that was quirky but lacked pretension. I didn’t want anything ‘ye olde worlde’, either, nothing stuffed with heavy antiques and dinky doilies.

Vintage. But nothing arsenic and old lace.

I also wanted something with good light, loads of white walls and enough space to move around and set up various shots.

I brought along my French linen apron. But never wore it. Sigh. 😉

And a pretty garden. (Not hard to come by in Maldon!)

Chickens would be a bonus…

I could not believe my eyes when I found these girls down the back!!!

Says one chicken to the other, ‘CLICK HEREJoin my mailing list, dollface!’

4 Choosing Props

I wanted to Jentrify the set so as to add authenticity.

So once I’d settled on Joseph’s Cottage, I went about making another list. Just casually. Just as things occurred to me.

I didn’t want to cart too much paraphernalia. I have a small car and photo shoots can be stressful enough without moving friggin house. Plus, I knew I’d be doing the entire thing on my own.

I knew I’d be roadie, set designer, PA and, god forbid, model.

Write the theme tune. Sing the theme tune…

Over the weeks, the pile in our hallway grew. My Jentrification plans were well underway.

Here’s the list. It’s still on my fridge:

IMG_0329 2
LOL!! Obviously I can’t spell ‘secateurs’. Even now I had to check with Aunty Google. Anything French, I’m stuffed. It’s a wonder I can spell resturant…

Of course, I took all my books with me, too. I find books hugely difficult to photograph. I mean, they just kind of sit there, don’t they?

I also carted lots of girl and duck swag with me and let Anna work her magic on the lot.


5 Choosing clothes

Fucking meltdown time.

I learned about this the HARD way.

In the weeks leading up to my last photoshoot, I put my head in the sand. I couldn’t bear thinking about what I would wear. It was all to hard. Too intimidating. Too confusing.

Then, THE DAY BEFORE the shoot, I rushed into the city and bought a heap of new clothes!!!


And because I was so stressed, I bought stuff I would never normally wear.

I had it in my head that everything would have to POP on camera. (Whatever that meant.)

So, I bought bright colours. Random bright colours. No continuity whatsoever.

Plus, my post-menopausal body is not so quick and easy to dress. There are undulations and curves I’m still not accustomed to.

It was a shopping NIGHTMARE.

I even bought a white denim jacket!

I have NEVER in my entire life worn or owned a white denim jacket.

But, fuelled by coffee, stress hormones and a looming deadline, I bought one.


I never wore it again.

It went to the Salvos soon after the shoot. Along with the orange top thingy you see above. Which, (btw), I had not tried on until I got to the photo shoot! I kid you not.


This time around, I spent time thinking about what I’m comfortable wearing. I pulled out clothes way in advance and thought things through.

This goes with this goes with this goes with that…

I also visited my friend, Ros, who owns the local wool shop and enlisted her help.


Ros loaded me up with all sorts of gloriousness! From linen frocks to hand-knitted shawls, socks and fingerless gloves. All the bits and bobs that would add mood and texture.



Between my own stuff and the stuff Ros leant me, I had a STACK of casual, easy to wear outfits.

And the main thing was, I stayed true to myself.


6 Hair and Make-up?

LOL! Not on my watch.

Most hairdressers grow pale at the sight of my hair. Either that or they reach for the straightening tongs.

Which makes me want to puke.

Or punch someone.

It’s best (and safest) if I do my own hair. I mean, how hard can a ponytail be?

Ditto makeup.

After 50, too much makeup makes me look like a Dickensian prostitute. Just sayin’…

Plus, I’ve always looked weird in eyeshadow and eyeliner and all that fancy stuff.

So lipstick, mascara and a sweep of blusher it was.

7 The Big Day. Ahem. Days

Once Anna got back from OS, we met for coffee. Me with my Pinterest board under my wing.

We discussed my vision and Anna was totally on board. But when I reflected on things, I realised I’d need her for more than a couple of hours. More than the standard package.


We both wanted  moody light. Neither of us wanted blue sky and sunshine.

I can’t recall which of us suggested we do the shoot over two days. But that’s what we decided. We agreed it would increase our chances of a change in the light plus give us enough time to get that SHITLOAD OF PICS.

Anna suggested we start late afternoon on day one, then a morning shoot the next day. Lots of light variation that way!


Day one I loaded up my car and drove everything down to the cottage.

I spent the next few hours setting things up, hanging the fairy lights, flinging books, baskets and blankets about.


Carmel, the lovely owner of Joseph’s Cottage, also suggested I cut some flowers from the garden. I was so thrilled!


As it turned out, having a break between the shoots had another advantage.

By having an overnight respite,  both Anna and I had time to reflect and think about what we might have missed on day one. New ideas bubbled to the surface.

Plus it gave me time to rope in a dog…

Digger! OMG he is DIVINE. Our little dog died in 2017. We miss her so much but aren’t ready to adopt another one.

Digger and I went for a country stroll and Anna took endless pics.

Digger was a true professional and never once mentioned his agent or the details of his contract…

IMG_0302It will be about three weeks before the final pics come rolling in.

I can’t wait to see them! #busting!

It was such a special, surreal and fun filled two days. Exhausting! But glorious.

The minute I get my hands on them pics I’ll start sharing them with you, dear reader. Too right I will!

I’ll also do another shout out for Joseph’s Cottage, the Wool Stash and the lovely Ann Wilson!

Warmest blessings and thank you for sticking with me. I bet your teapot is empty! Haha!

Jen xo

PS Don’t forget to join my mailing list! I’ll send you some awesome free shizzle to get you creating quick smart!  CLICK HERE!

Planning a shoot for your business?

If you’d like to be more systematic than me, please visit Leonie Dawson’s amazing post. CLICK HERE.


• Plan ahead

• Communicate clearly

• Ask for help

• Decide exactly what you need ie personal, lifestyle, professional, branded swag, and make a list.

• Above all, stay true yourself. It will save you time, money and heartache.

Remember, dear reader, you are enough! You really, really are!

PS If you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to click the LIKE button! Yay!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: