Sometimes what we do as an entrepreneur can be really hard to put into just a few words.
Especially when we’re multi-talented, multi-faceted individuals on a super personal mission to change the world.
In my branding shoots, I tend to work with people who have many interests, talents and life experience so colourful, that often times they would span lifetimes of your average person – you know, the sorts of people you meet and you think to yourself ‘how on earth have you fitted all of that into one life time?!’
Annette is most definitely one of these people.
From running a martial arts academy and using all sorts of scary weapons during fights, she now uses that ancient knowledge and discipline to mentor conscious entrepreneurs and creative thinkers who want to change the world. She is also a single mum of two, has travelled the world, performed on stage as a singer and poet and describes herself as being a bit of an adrenaline junkie, having done various things for charity and good causes.
When we chatted about what ‘vibe’ she wanted in her images, there were plenty of elements that she wanted me to capture that day.
“So a bit of mystery is quite nice for the whole Dojo journey aspect. But it’s tricky because I need to use [them] for social media and the website. I’d like some shots to be able to use as and when needed.
It’s also a bit difficult as the Bushido / Spiritual Alchemy side is quite serious – like when I ran The TAO Academy. As a Master Instructor I had to be firm but at the same time my Gemini side does like to have fun too and I try and break things down and be lighter with them.
Vibe wise – gosh it’s hard as I don’t like having my pic taken but I guess I would say a bit of a mixture really, some a bit fun and happy, some fitting to the Dojo and Temple work so the mystery and a little serious in the sense of I take everyone I work with very seriously, I am here to help and I don’t take that lightly, so it’s important to me that people feel safe, can trust me and can totally be themselves which includes the yin and yang of whatever that might be, tears, laughter, deep stuff, funny things – whatever comes up really!”
She also wanted some relaxed photos of herself and her girls to send to friends and family too.
And whist this all sounds very serious and the photos from the day look very peaceful and enigmatic, what actually happened outside of the frame, behind the scenes that day truly was something I wish I had a video of. If not for the shock and entertaining value of what went on that day but also to highlight the old adage of working with animals and children too!
You see Annette travelled up from near Cornwall to come work with Jane and I. She came up with her two girls and 6-month-old wolf puppy for the day – though he doesn’t look like a baby at all, he’s HUGE.
She wanted her dog, Guardian to be in the photos with her as she also mentioned showing a shamanic healer element to her work.
It was quite the house full once they all arrived to get ready at Jane’s house. Jane decided to put her own rather large dog out into the back garden – she wasn’t sure how he’d react with another big dog in the house.
Annette wanted to say hello to Jane’s dog but was bitten, not once but twice on both forearms!
She came in looking rather pale and looking as if she was about to pass out. Now, I know Annette quite well. She is nails and I know it would take something quite serious to knock her from her usual balanced and composed self.
Jane was mortified as you can imagine – her dog, who is normally fine with her and all of her children must have just panicked at the scent of another fairly large doggo.
The dog bites had not only broken the skin but also punctured muscle and you could even see bone! As she’s travelled so far to work with us, she said going to the hospital was out of the question, and just cleaned up her wounds and put plasters on her arms and continued to get ready.
And I thought I was someone who just grinned and beared things!!!
We then continued on to Wepre Park, North Wales to do the shoot with an, at times, weary Annette, and an excitable wolf pup who would run all over the place, knocking the girls over in excitement or jump in the stream unable to sit still for more than a split second.
I am honestly surprised we managed to get him to sit still long enough for this photo!!!
Annette managed really well with her injuries throughout the shoot, until we decided on some martial arts stances. Thanks to a bit of gravity and the force of her arm movements, a load of blood ended up rushing to her forearms and her wounds started to bleed and swell up. And as the ninja she is, she still insisted we continue through it all!
Despite the long travel, the chaos before and during the shoot – we did really well to hide this in the finished images and I’m very proud that I was able to convey all the elements Annette asked for in our pre-shoot meeting. A bit of cheeky photoshop helped to hide the plasters, swelling and blood too!
And after a long drive home, she did eventually get those injuries looked into and has made a full recovery.
Find out more about how working with me can bring out your inner badass, warrior spirit. Just drop me an email or use the contact page on the website. I adore bringing what I see so the rest of the world can experience you in your true epic glory x