Earlier this year, my sister Elizabeth (also co-host of the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast) and I went for a visit to the Golden Door spa in California, and we had a wonderful sisterly time there.
So when the Golden Door suggested that I participate in an advertising spread they were planning, I was intrigued—especially when I learned that the photographer was Alexi Lubomirski.
Lubomirski is a very well-known photographer who's perhaps best known for taking the official photographs of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for their engagement and wedding.
I'd never participated in something like this, so I figured it would be an interesting adventure to see what was involved. And boy, was it! I've never done anything like that before.
The idea for the photograph was that I would look as if I were magically leaping through the beautiful bamboo grove on the grounds of the Golden Door.
How, you may ask, is this effect created?
They built two platforms about five feet off the ground and photographed me jumping from one to the other. Later, the platforms were erased, so I look like I'm flying through the air.
This was a giant undertaking—I counted nineteen people. There were people operating cameras, wind machines, fog machines, lights, and reflectors, as well as clothes stylists, hair stylists, a tailor, and a make-up artist, and people supervising all the work. Of course, this team was assembled to take photos of several different people, not just me.
I found it surprisingly difficult to do my small part. I had to jump from one foot to another, swing back my left arm, keep my chin down, smile but not too much, point my toe, and extend my hand. (It's funny about my chin, I have a strange impulse to throw my head back whenever my photo is being taken.)
The image was created by pulling together several different images, so what you see represents a composite of all the best shots. I was relieved to hear that! It took some of the pressure off to get every aspect right. I have trouble rubbing my stomach while patting my head, and this was a whole new level of coordination.
You can see the final image from the Human Again spread here, as well as on Golden Door's Facebook and Instagram accounts.
I really enjoyed doing this. For one thing, it was new and different, and it's always interesting to be involved in something novel—especially in an area like photography, where I experience the end-product often but don't know about how it's created.