Ever wondered how wellbeing can intersect with creativity and business to create a life you love? Fiona Peters is the perfect example of this and she shares below her journey from being a wellness resort photographer in Bali to enjoying a lifestyle photographer/surfer life in Dunsborough.

What inspired you to be a photographer?

My passion for photography bloomed from the age of 15 – while learning photography during high school, shooting with film and processing images in the darkroom. I loved the quiet time in the darkroom and the anticipation to see your image appear on the photo paper as you gently swished it in the developing tray.

What was your journey like in getting you here today?

I completed high school and then went to study tertiary education Photography. For many years after I received my Diploma, I travelled, worked hospitality jobs and lived in numerous areas of East Coast Australia and Canada.

It wasn’t until in later years, when I was on my annual G-Land (popular surf destination in East Java, Indonesia) surf trip that I started to take photos again. Photos of the luscious Javanese jungle, the perfectly structured waves and of course Mother Nature.  It was in this beautiful place I noticed my passion for photography bloom again.

G-Land is still a special place for me.  It’s known to be spiritual place and I’ve been going every year for 7 years now.  Once I discovered my passion for photography again here, I almost instantly decided to take up photography professionally as a side-hustle to my full time role at the time.

I was living in Torquay, Victoria at the time and the weather was very grey – not the best for the style of photography I wished to succeed in – that is, lifestyle. I decided to move to Sydney and then I ended up moving to Bali!  It was a very last minute decision. I had no savings.  I planned to live there for 1 year to grow my business and my social media. But I ended up staying in Bali for 2.5 years!

After 2.5 years in Bali, my partner and I decided to move to the South West of Western Australia, as it’s be closer to Asia for my photography work, and the South West has a large health and wellness community which we’re both very much apart of.

And here we are today! I’m still building my business locally, as it takes time and I travel back and forth to Bali for large projects, usually every 6-8 weeks.

I love the South West!  The natural beauty, the friendly people, the beaches – I say are the best in the world. If you’re a surfer (which I am), you wouldn’t look anywhere else!

Fiona Peters splash

You travel a lot in your line of work? How do you stay healthy while travelling so much? Any top tips? 

I always travel with protein powder in sachets, they’re easy to travel with, lightweight and simple to use with a shaker, always carry on, as you never know if you’re to be delayed in a remote Asian airport with not much REAL food. I travel with nuts, seeds, trail mix, 85% cacao dark chocolate, natural peanut butter and organic rice cakes, these are the best snacks for all my travels, sometimes cans of salmons!  (I learn from Chris, my partner) and always carry a reusable bottle so I’m never out of water.

And when ordering meals, I eat very clean, no processed foods, no refined sugars, just real food.

You do lots of photoshoots for renown wellness resorts. Was this niche sparked by your interest for health and wellbeing or was it the other way around?

It first started when I collaborated with a women’s health retreat in Bali in April 2015, while also participating in the retreat.  It was at this retreat that I chose to take my photography to that next level.

Once I worked with that one retreat, other health retreats or wellness resorts would see my work through Instagram and enquired about my services. After taking on a few retreats as clients, I quickly gained repeat jobs from the retreat owners.

And now, I guess you could say, I’ve created a niche market for retreat photography, particularly wellness, women, luxury retreats.

girls coconuts

So…we know you also teach small business owners how to utilise beautiful Instagram photography to grow their engagement and audience.  We are so excited to have you share these tips and tricks at our upcoming Entrepreneurs’ Wellness Retreat in Yallingup on 15 September.  Can you give our audience a teaser into your workshop?

In your view, why is taking good quality photos so important to grow a small business, especially a health and wellness business?

Having a clean, professional aesthetic for your business is extremely important if you wish to be taken seriously.  People will be more inclined to look further into your business, whether it be scroll more on your Instagram account or click into your website link.

Lighting on a budget – better to edit the photo after or try create your own lighting on set?

I prefer to capture the shot as perfectly as possible so I’ll spend less time editing the image. You can spend hours on one image alone, so if you nail the shot first hand, you’ll minimise your editing and computer time, which is a huge plus!

What are some key tips for “beginners” trying to mimic a luxury style in their photos? 

Firstly, I believe to be a good photographer, you need to connect with your clients on a personal level.  Many of my clients have never had a professional shoot.  My clients often tell me, “I may be awkward as I’ve never done this before!”.  I quickly reassure my client that the shoot will be fun, it’ll be natural, I’ll talk you through it.  I’m not into the posed style of photography, I much prefer “in the moment”, the lifestyle feel.  My clients always leave feeling more confident to do shoot number two!  We laugh, we tell each other life experiences, we get to know each other – this is when they feel comfortable and the natural beauty will shine through.

Secondly, being a lifestyle photographer, I find the golden hours are the most complimenting and I generally will shoot in these times, I particularly love pastel skies over the ocean, that dreamy feel, it’s quite heavenly.

There are so many more tips you can learn from my workshop! haha! Come meet me and learn how to create a successful, appealing, authentic Instagram account to promote your business in a positive manner.

You can meet Fiona in person at our upcoming  Entrepreneurs’ Wellness Retreat in Yallingup on 15 September 2018.  At our upcoming Retreat, Fiona is also offering professional photoshoot packages for our Retreat guests outdoors in nature and/or by the beach (duration, 1 hour to 1.5 hours).  Visit the link above to find out more.