Author photo shoot #saycheese

Thinking about getting professional photos done for promotion and social media? Me too.

I called on wonderful professional photographer and local Bay of Plenty artist James Stanbridge to help. Before we got started we nattered on the phone about what kind of image I was trying to portray for my new book ‘Brave’s Journey’:

“So tell me about the book…”

“Well, it’s a fantasy adventure novel for kids,” I tell him. “A young guy gets sucked into a stinking vortex and arrives in a magical world where power comes from the nature around you.”

“So you might want a natural setting?” he replies. Bingo!

In the end we decide on McLaren Falls Park and opt to include my kids in some of the shots. Lights, camera, action…

Watch our video to see what happened and see the photos of our experience below:

What I learned from the photo shoot experience:

Before the photo shoot

Hair, makeup and clothes. Think about it beforehand. Whether you’re a fashion victim or aren’t too fussed, you’ll be glad you’re prepared on the day. I was lucky enough to have had a consultation with a personal stylist for my birthday, so getting the right colours and style were top of the list. If you’re local and interested in my choices, here they are:

  • Hair (the day before) – En Jay Hair, the Cruise Deck, Mt Maunganui (
  • Make up – Kelly at Beauty Spot, (the morning of the shoot)
  • Personal stylist, Margaret Stodart of Personal Style


On the day

  • Bring costume changes to achieve a few different looks.
  • Bring snacks for yourself, your family, the photographer.
  • Bring a mirror, makeup to touch up and hairspray (I forgot this and there was a lot of fly away going on!)


A photo shoot in winter is always going to be risky. We had light rain for most of the shoot. But we managed by taking most of the shots under the shelter of the trees – and in fact the foliage gave us some beautiful lighting. It all worked out.

Top model I am not, but here are a few snippets of advice from James:Author photo shoot

  • To create a shadow under your chin – something my double chins need! – keep your chin very slightly jutting forwards. It’s tricky and very hard to keep it looking natural.
  • Most of us have one eye smaller than the other. Angle the side of your face with the slightly larger eye towards the camera. This creates symmetry.
  • As the photographer clicks away, make small adjustments. Tilt your head, adjust your arms to behind your back, fold your arms, lift your chin, try a serious look, a closed mouth look, an open smile, angle one leg or your whole body. Your photographer will direct you, but keep this in mind.

Finally, relax and enjoy the day. Ignore the spectators and have fun. My kids goofed around and kept me natural and chilled out. We had duck poop issues, insect bites, gawky pose moments and rain, but the people involved, (like our ever-calm photographer and videographer Jessica!) and the fantastic setting, meant we all had a great experience!


Thanks to Sarah for jooj advice and moral support, James for being such a chilled out photographer, Jessica and Sofia for being my fellow supermodels, Jessica for making our video and Sofia, Phoebe and Lane for all their support. Thanks also to Brenda at En Jay, Kelly at Bay Beauty Spot and Margaret at Personal Style.

Comments (2)

  1. Fern 18th September 2015 at 9:38 am

    Jan, that video was so fun to watch! I’m so awkward getting my photo taken…

    • Jan Goldie 18th September 2015 at 2:27 pm

      Thanks. I had to really put aside my self-consciousness and ignore the people walking by. The kids were great because they jumped around and kept it real. Thanks for coming last night! I’ll post something about the launch soon!

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