A photo session in snowy Stockholm with author and writing coach, Erica Eklund

For my second personal brand photo session with Erica, we were lucky enough to have a beautiful snowy day in Stockholm. It was the perfect touch for the classic locations we’d chosen – Enskede and Riddarholmen.

I work with the most incredible business owners. I’m sure most people say that, but I can’t rave enough about the people I get to photograph. For me, and for them, it’s never just about a pretty picture.

They all have a passion that they have turned into a business and they are making life better for their own clients. And what a thrill that I get to photograph them, help them to stand out from the crowd and help to spread their message!

Erica is one of my subscriber clients, which means that she gets three half-day personal brand photo sessions in a year. This means up-to-date images for her image library that she then uses to create content for her social media, website, lead magnets, her online writing membership and all of her marketing. She has a collection of on-brand photos ready to be used when she needs them and the photos reflect the seasons, her launches and any updates to her offers, different aspects of her personality and story. Find out more about my subscription here.

Erica is the best person to give advice on writing. She has this magic combination of warmth and empathy mixed with knowledge and the ability to give perfectly worded feedback.

I’ve asked Erica to give us some of her best tips for getting started with your writing – whether you dream of writing a novel, getting that blog post written or even just for your social media posts. She’s also shared her thoughts on her photo session with me and how she feels now that she has her photos.

A little about Erica, her business and membership for writers

What do you work with and who do you help?

I am a writing coach and editor. I help writers and aspiring writers to write novels. In my membership ’VÅGA skriva’ (‘DARE to write’), I offer a warm writing community where I mix writing tips, text coaching and guest lecturers. In addition to helping my clients with their manuscripts, I write my own books.

Why are you passionate about helping your clients?

I love writing! And with my teaching background, it’s natural for me to guide others. The combination is unbeatable and I really love to see my clients’ scripts develop, reach new heights and get book contracts.

"a collage of three photos including a pile of books, a female entrepreneur typing on a laptop and a window taken by Janine Laag at Lumeah Photography"

What is the best thing about running a business?

Freedom. Freedom is what I value most. I get to decide how I spend my days. I choose what I want to focus on and I can decide whenever I want that I want to prioritise my hobbies and my family.

What advice would you give to a someone just starting a business?

My first piece of advice is probably not to wait until it feels completely finished, until you are fully trained or until you dare. Just take action. If it feels a little scary, it’s probably the right thing to do. Dare to feel a little discomfort. Then be patient.

"a collection of light and airy photos of a female writing coach taken by Janine Laag at Lumeah Photography"

3 Tips for Getting Started with your Writing

I get to work with such clever and inspiring entrepreneurs and I would like to share some of their expertise with my clients.

Regardless of what you dream of writing, Erica’s got 3 pieces of advice that are really going to help:

  1. Just start
    No matter what text you write, you can not wait to feel inspired. Let your writing give you inspiration and not the other way around. There is power in just getting started.
  2. It’s a process
    Writing is always a process. No text is finished after the first draft. Let your text be just OK or even bad in the beginning. If it’s going to be perfect from the start, you probably won’t finish it. Be kind to yourself and the text at the beginning, and then get tougher during the later editing work. That’s when you need your half-good text to be able to hone the fantastic text that is there. Think of it as a peeled onion. Remove all ugly shells to get into the beautiful core.
  3. Expectations vs reality
    There are so many who want to write a book, but only a few who actually get to the finish line. I think many people have a romantic image of sitting in a beautiful place and writing. That they should be in a state of flow and feel lots of inspiration. But I think those who actually manage to write an entire book are the ones who realize that it’s a job to be done. Sometimes it will be hard and sometimes fun. A tip for getting to the finish line is also to be clear about the purpose of the book from the beginning. Why should anyone read your book? What do you want to convey? Also keep in mind that what makes your book unique is you. Dare to be personal and share your story.

"a photo of a happy business owner dressed in a beige coat and scarf in Stockholm taken by Janine Laag at Lumeah Photography"

Erica’s thoughts on her personal brand photo sessions & photos

Why did you choose me as your photographer?

After many other entrepreneurs in my network hired you, I knew you were my next photographer. I love the feeling in your pictures and I knew that feeling matched what I want to convey. Then I got to know you and your warmth and calm is exactly what I need in a photographer.

How did it feel before the photo session? Was there anything you were worried about?

Before the first photo session, I was so nervous. Mostly because I felt like I needed to perform and not be too shy and stiff. When you managed to get me to relax during the first session, I was not at all nervous before the second one. Then I was instead expectant, happy and excited.

It also makes it easier that you go through the plan with me beforehand. What stories we should take, what locationsand environments. You make me feel that you are in control and that I can relax.

"a photo of a woman dressed in a beige coat and scarf in snowy Stockholm"

What was the best thing about the photo session?

That we had so much fun together and that I got to feel like a queen. You made me completely relax and let go! I was on a total high afterwards!

“When I think of our photo sessions, it warms my heart. Right after each session I’m already longing for the next one!”

How do you use your photos? How do you feel when you share them?

I’m so happy and proud of my photos. It’s not often I show photos of myself because I want to but now I can not stop looking at them! I use them on Instagram and Facebook as well as for marketing materials and for my website.

"a collection of photos of a female business woman in snowy Stockholm taken by Janine Laag at Lumeah Photography"

Have the images made it easier for you to market your business?

Yes! It’s both easier and more fun to create material when I have the pictures. I also have so many that it is easy to find the right image for the right feeling and message.

Have you noticed any particular results from your photos?

Since I started using my photos, my accounts have grown. Maybe it’s a combination of them giving a professional impression and that I post more often because I like to show them so much.

How have your followers reacted to your photos?

The reactions are often – wow! What picture! It seems that the pictures stop scrolling! I have been told that my Instagram feed and my brand are professional. I’ve also heard that I’m beautiful!

Follow Erica

Instagram: @ericaeklund_

Facebook: www.facebook.com/erica.eklund.94

Website: www.ericaeklund.se

"a photo of a smiling business woman sitting in a pretty home holding a cup of tea taken by Janine Laag" "three photos of a writer sitting on the floor with the manuscript of the book she is writing taken by Janine Laag""a close-up photo of a woman holding a pile of books"  "a photo of a female entrepreneur sitting on the snowy steps at Riddarholmen" "a black and white photo of a stylish woman walking on Riddarholmen in Stockholm taken by Janine Laag at Lumeah Photography""the view of old buildings on Södermalm in Stockholm taken by Janine Laag"