top of page

THE GOLDEN LENS WITH LAUREL COLINS OF LAUREL LIVING



For this look behind the scenes of Goldenbrand virtual photography, I'm joined by Laurel Colins and our new in-house stylist Catherine Horgan. Laurel is the founder of Laurel Living in the idyllic town of Nelson, Canada where she uses her interior design skills to help clients refine their home and life. Laurel is here to talk about her recent rebrand, refining her mission for Laurel Living, and her 30+ years consulting for private residences and film productions.


We also discuss working closely with her web designer to create all new imagery for her website, and share a behind the scenes look into the virtual photoshoot process. We are also thrilled to share the tremendous results of working closely with stylist Catherine Horgan to ensure the highest quality photos, most accurate reflection of the brand, and Laurel herself.







Welcome to the blog Laurel, I'm so happy to spend this time with you. Tell us about yourself.

I'm a whimsical interior stylist, creating energetic balance and flow in personal spaces.


20+ years of styling has allowed me to see beyond the space. You learn that anything is possible, you just have to create it. It’s this love for creating something from nothing that has allowed me to marry my passions of human design & feng shui with interior styling, because let’s face it, your outer world greatly shapes your inner world. My goal in styling is to align space and heart through classic, whimsical design, creating balance with the natural world. As a Reflector, I’m able to see you on a deeper level, and reflect that back in the form of beautiful spaces and personal moments.



photography credit Lisa Haukom | Goldenbrand


It’s this love for creating something from nothing that has allowed me to marry my passions of human design & feng shui with interior styling, because let’s face it, your outer world greatly shapes your inner world.

Where Do You Live? Where would you love to live?

I live part time in West Vancouver and Nelson BC Canada. I love to have a little bit of City fix and then my small town life. My daughters and most of my best friends are in the big city and my boyfriend and mother are in Nelson, so I love being able to go back and forth and spend time with everyone. It’s an 8-hour drive and I always listen to an educational, informative book, so I make good use of the time.



photography credit Lisa Haukom | Goldenbrand

As a human design reflector, environments are very important so it makes sense that I work with peoples spaces. I can reflect back to people the good they want to see in themselves. I am very sensitive to energy and intuitive to my clients needs and desires as a result.

Do you know your human design type and/or astrological sign?

Yes, I am a Leo, Dragon, Reflector. I am a treasure hunter and I love to find and create the best I can with what I have available. As a human design reflector, environments are very important so it makes sense that I work with peoples spaces. Also, as a reflector, I get to sample all the human design energies, which makes my very understanding of all types of people and experiences. I can reflect back to people the good they want to see in themselves. I am very sensitive to energy and intuitive to my clients needs and desires as a result.



photography credit Lisa Haukom | Goldenbrand


Tell us about what you do and why you love it.

I love to get into my clients homes and work with them to start moving and shifting things in their spaces. I like to play "garage sale" with items clients already own, finding pieces from other rooms and moving them to new places. Using them in new ways. I love that the results are instant and we can repurpose and reimagine. Then when we choose to buy new furniture or decor we can be very selective and feel good about spending extra to get the right piece for the space.


photography credit Lisa Haukom | Goldenbrand
I love that the results are instant and we can repurpose and reimagine. Then when we choose to buy new furniture or decor we can be very selective and feel good about spending extra to get the right piece for the space.

Is this career part of your first or second life?

I’ve had a few careers, beginning as a hairdresser, then I became a makeup artist for tv commercials, which transitioned to a wardrobe stylist for 20 plus years. The next move was Furniture and Home decor buyer, merchandiser and Feng Shui consultant. The past decade has been all around coaching people to design their dream life. Now I am back to working as a Interior Stylist, incorporating all my skills developed over the years to create intentional spaces that inspire and support my clients dreams and desires.


My mom always made me feel that I could do anything, she pushed me to get a trade, which was hairdressing, but I didn’t love that, I always felt it was temporary but it lead me to understand that the business of beauty of all kinds was my path.

Were your parents creative? Were you encouraged to follow your passions and dreams growing up or did you have to discover this path for yourself?

My mom is the biggest influence, I lived in a beautifully curated home furnished with antiques and chandelier, but we were always on a budget, so my skills for thrift and repurposing were honed early on. My mom always made me feel that I could do anything, she pushed me to get a trade, which was hairdressing, but I didn’t love that, I always felt it was temporary but it lead me to understand that the business of beauty of all kinds was my path.



photography credit Lisa Haukom | Goldenbrand


You’ve recently made some changes additions to your brand, tell us about that shift.

My website had more of a coaching and human design branding and I want to go back to interior styling and intuitive design at the forefront. So having more examples of my personal decorating style was required,


Were you nervous/excited for your session?

No, I was not nervous because I have worked in the film industry since the 80’s in various capacities and I knew I just needed to be organized and prepared. I planned out the props I wanted to bring and visualized how things would play out with ease.


photography credit Lisa Haukom | Goldenbrand


While working on the moodboard together you shared reflections on who you are and how you wanted that to come through in the photos. Do you remember the words you chose to describe how the photos should look?

My words are, approachable, playful, expert, attainable, pretty, classic


Tell us about how this process translated to the final images.

Having all of my flowers and lots of vases to put them in made for some really playful action shots. Our session was the culmination of months spent working Jess Jacques of the Soulmoon Collective to develop new branding for Laurel Living. When styling your shoot, selecting props, location, florals, we worked within a defined color palette.


Tell us a little more about your recent developments and shift in direction for Laurel Living.

I have to say, I have always done my branding, mostly by myself, and I really wanted to have other eyes on me, to help me see what I don’t see and push me to try different things. I am not a graphic designer so I hired Soul Moon Collective to design my website. I felt she would understand where I wanted to go with color and style, and make it cohesive, current and cool, using the photos from our session together.


We were working on a tight timeline together for your photography. Our photo session came together quickly with a little over a week to select the location, finalize the moodboard, and finalize your wardrobe. We worked with our in-house stylist Catherine Horgan to pull together six amazing looks for your session. I’d love to hear how this experience helped you feel prepared for the photoshoot.

It was so great to have Catherine, even though I spent decades as a wardrobe stylist, I was not doing fashion styling. I appreciated that Catherine helped me choose looks and accessories that I would not have bothered to think of. I would have been much more minimal and demure if I did it myself. I loved that I had several great looks fully curated, with a checklist so I could pack it up to bring to my shoot. I felt great and organzied. I loved pulling out my big rings and putting on some heels for the shoot. Working with her was fun and her energy is infectious and I loved having her excitement about our shoot. She was like a proud momma and I wanted to make her proud.




photography credit Lisa Haukom | Goldenbrand

There are so many beautiful images I wish I could use them all in one day! I am thrilled with the variety.

We spoke with Catherine and asked her to share her thoughts on styling you for the photo session. Here's what she shared with us.

There are people you meet that you connect with beyond words. Laurel Colins is one of them. What an honor it was to work with this interior stylist on a photoshoot with the extraordinary Lisa Haukom.


After Lisa and Laurel determined their game plan, I set to work quickly with Laurel to help bring her vision to life. At this particular time, we had just 2 days to pull looks together due to both location and logistics. I love a challenge, and felt it quite liberating to whip magic into the wardrobe items Laurel happened to pack.


With the goal of showcasing beautiful Laurel, her essence, and her joy of styling, we went with a neutral color palette. Virtually, between two countries and different time zones, I was able to create looks for Laurel. She tried on each look so that we could finalize the outfits and ensure complete confidence for her shoot.


Looking at the finished product, spectacular images in tow, my heart is full and happy seeing Laurel shine through in every single photo. In the end, that's what we want to witness — our beautiful client in all her glory, in a supportive setting and wardrobe.



styling by Catherine Horgan


We created three mini concepts for your lifestyle/interiors session: vignettes, movement, and portraits — with the goal of upgrading your current brand images. We ended up with five variations on these concepts and a wide variety of final images. How do you feel about the variety of the final images?

We had such a full and fun day and I think because we were shooting in such a large space with several areas styled up to shoot in, we could fairly easily move from room to room. I think because I had the prep done ahead, we didn’t have to wait to move props too much, and this allowed for you to grab even more than the concepts initially created, for which I am grateful. I plan to use these shots on social media and in my website design. There are so many beautiful images I wish I could use them all in one day! I am thrilled with the variety.


You also decided to rent a studio space for your shoot. What factors went into making that decision?

My home was too small and there would have been too many limitations in terms of working around my partner who works from home. The studio allowed me to have the time and space I needed to set up my styled areas, get into the headspace for the shoot and have not distractions.



photography credit Lisa Haukom | Goldenbrand


Was there any part of the process you felt challenging?

Finding the space to shoot in felt challenging at first, but you helped me see what spaces would work well for the collections you had in mind.


Did any part of it surprise you? How did you surprise yourself?

Yes, lots of delightful surprises. It was very comfortable to work with you virtually, It felt vey natural. Your ability to create great composition and direct me from my phone with a pleasant surprise.


How was it different from previous photoshoots you’ve done?

I felt like you had a vision for the shots you wanted to get, (which of course you did) which felt like we were co creating.



photography credit Lisa Haukom | Goldenbrand

What advice would you give to someone planning a virtual photoshoot?

Be very prepared with your location, wardrobe options to go with the shooting schedule/mood boards, and props for a streamline shoot.



Do you remember your exact words when you saw your gallery/slideshow for the first time?

“Oh WOW!”


We pulled our shoot together very quickly and at first I was a bit stressed about finding a location that I liked. Lisa helped me so much with this, as she had the vision for the shots she wanted.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about your experience?

We pulled our shoot together very quickly and at first I was a bit stressed about finding a location that I liked. Lisa helped me so much with this, as she had the vision for the shots she wanted. So I let that part go and just went to work choosing the props I wanted. Having Catherine take the lead with my outfits and accessories took that element of stress off my plate leaving me to focus on styling my cute props and flowers — which was fun for me.


Having Catherine take the lead with my outfits and accessories took that element of stress off my plate, leaving me to focus on styling my cute props and flowers — which was fun for me.

Laurel, what are you most proud of? (personal, professional or other)

I am very proud of my daughters. Even their friends tell me I did a good job raising them! They are kind, creative, hard working and capable, independent, unique women.


photography credit Lisa Haukom | Goldenbrand


Favorite book, podcast or music recommendations?

Favorite book: I listen to many books, can’t choose one, but my most recent book was Skip the Line by James Altchur.


Favorite album: I enjoy DJ mixes on Soundcloud. Night Session by the Funk Hunter is good one.


Books for helping you with career clarity: How to Own Your Mind, Napoleon Hill is an example. I love learning about Universal Laws and Quantum Science.


Don’t be a lone wolf, we need people to co-create with. This has been my biggest lesson in life. I was raised to be a lone wolf and I have had to learn the hard way, life is better with my beautiful people in my life.

Best advice for someone struggling to trust themselves?

Gratitude and make lists of accomplishments, an accolades list for themselves to see how much they have done in their lives. Take the focus off the negative stuff by doing this exercise.


Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

Don’t be a lone wolf, we need people to co-create with. This has been my biggest lesson in life. I was raised to be a lone wolf and I have had to learn the hard way, life is better with my beautiful people in my life.




FOLLOW LAUREL

INSTAGRAM | WEBSITE


BIO

Laurel Colins provides creative clarity, design concepts, styling, strategies, coaching and consulting services to owners of business and private residences. She is passionate about teaching and helping people manifest what they want from life and business.


.








Next post





bottom of page