Today, I’m sharing a branding photography lifestyle session from some of the MOST fun clients I’ve ever had the privilege of working with!

Susan Hyatt is a Master Certified Life And Business Coach, and one of the world’s leading voices on mindset, motivation, and in short, aims to teach others how to become an unstoppable woman.

Branding Photography
Commercial Photography

Now, before I go any deeper into this session, I have a confession to make:

I tried VERY HARD not to get this job.

You see, when Susan’s personal assistant first reached out to me about this photo shoot, she introduced Susan Hyatt and her friends as the hosts of an ultra luxe weekend mastermind retreat in LA called The Most.  It seemed so extra and out of touch with who I am and what I do that I was baffled. I didn’t pursue the lead very hard, I was confused on the goals, and I wasn’t sure that Susan’s luxury ideas were a fit for Tahoe.

I was wrong.

And I am not afraid to admit it.

Branding Photography

To be frank, I was trying so hard not to take this job that I point blank asked Susan’s assistant why she was trying to hire me so badly and her response was that I was “the only one for them” because of my “dedication to inclusivity,” which was apparent from my website, and because I had experience photographing all skin types. My small heart grew 3 sizes when she said that.

Team Susan: 1 Lauren 0

Commercial Photography
Commercial Photography
Branding Photography

Susan Hyatt was coming to Tahoe with two of her nearest and dearest friends and business associates: Rachel Rodgers, the author of We Should All be Millionaires and the founder of Hello Seven and Robert Hartwell, the Founder and Artistic Director of The Broadway Collective and star of Taking Back the House on Discovery+ which will chronicle his room-by-room renovation of an 1820 colonial house he recently purchased.

Susan’s goal was to create a suite of branding photography lifestyle images for their use for promoting their luxury retreat The Most, which was taking place in LA the weekend following the day they were in Tahoe.

When I was talking to Susan’s assistant about the goals of the job and the challenges we were going to face, she told me that Susan, Rachel and Robert are “extra, but the best kind of extra,” and I had to admit to her that I too was “extra, but the best kind of extra.”

Team Susan: 2 Lauren: 0

Commercial Photography
Branding Photography

From the second I started working with Susan, Robert and Rachel, I fucking LOVED them. They are loud, boisterous personalities that aren’t afraid to embody the space they want, the way they want. The are fun. They are energetic. They love each other and what they do. They are clear, concise, and know what they want and aren’t afraid to ask for it.  Seeing any similarities here? They are everything I am.  They had me laughing so hard I could barely take photos. Their energy and enthusiasm is infectious.

Branding Photography

I brought to the table exactly what they needed for their branding photography session: a loud, energetic personality that could work well with their personalities, a knack for efficiency (which would come into play later that night), and an ability to work fast, provide variety, and deliver web ready jpgs for promotional use almost immediately.

As it turns out, this story isn’t quite about Susan’s team vs me because as I learned very quickly on that job:

I am on Team Susan and proud of it.

Branding Photography
Commercial Photography

Susan had set up her session to be broken into two parts: the first half, in the forest at Valhalla estate where they were attending a wedding that afternoon, and the second for photos of them getting onto their private jet that night that would take them to their retreat in LA.

The second half of the evening is when my particular subset of personality traits came in handy.

I had a few hours to kill before photo sessions and on a gut instinct (sometimes it doesn’t fail me), I went to the Lake Tahoe airport early to see if I could talk my way onto the tarmac to get lights set up before my subjects arrived. I am so thankful that 1) I was able to talk my way onto the tarmac and 2) that I got lights set up early because their pilots were NOT having any bit of a photo session. We presumed that we were going to have an hour to create a suite of images for them and what we were given was 5 minutes.

I crushed those 5 minutes thanks to being prepared.

Commercial Photography

Sometimes, you need to remind yourself that you need to just say YES.

The thing is, when you say NO, you know EXACTLY where you are going to be: in the same house you already know and never leave.

But when you say YES, you step outside and have room to grow.

Susan, Robert and Rachel reminded me of this lesson.

Remember that saying YES is the only thing that’s going to take you somewhere new.

I let emotion based judgements almost get in the way of my favorite and most memorable job this year. I am incredibly grateful for the lesson learned and incredibly grateful to Susan, Robert and Rachel for sharing their time and energy with me.

When I was getting off the plane, Robert exclaimed, “oooooh, I WISH you were coming with us!”

“I don’t think it’s my kind of workshop,” I replied.


YES. Robert is right and we all deserve to occupy any space and place that we want to and I hope I never forget that, or that I should say YES to every opportunity that I have the space and time for, again.

I also hope that I get to work with these three amazing people on their branding photography needs again one day.  In the meantime, if you are interested in what they do, you can follow them on the gram: Susan Hyatt, Robert Hartwell and Rachel Rodgers.  Also, the dates for The Most (which I also will readily admit looked incredibly amazing from afar) are already set for April 7-9th, 2022.