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“Great, we’ll send a photographer...” 
And I added that to the list of ridiculous (yet AMAZING!) things that have been said to me this year, which include: 
“Suz, someone from the Times just called...” 
“Your answers were so good, I’ve included them all. So, you’ve got a four page spread in the Homeworker Magazine...” 
"Your book is very empowering!" 
“I booked in a call as we’d love to have you on the podcast...” 
" I have been amazed with my own Virtual Assistant business results to date! I'm really excited for the future working with Alchemy VA." 
So, I’d been invited to do a feature in PA Life Magazine and they were sending a photographer! 
I’ve read PA Life for years, I was given a copy by the CEO’s PA when I started my first Executive Assistant role way back when... 
I remember the genuine excitement when it arrived on my desk - my non PA colleagues always used to read it and share in my joy too. I was always in awe of the amazing PAs and EAs featured and relished in all the tips, strategies and ideas shared. 
Now, I’m actually featured in it talking about my Virtual Assistant business! 
I’ll be honest, my first thought was actually ‘Sh*t, what on earth will I wear!!!’ 
There’s was a strict ‘no pattern’ rule, as it messes with the cameras and readers eyes, and I am usually ALL about the jazzy print! 
We were still in partial lockdown at the time and there was no way I had the time or energy to trawl the shops trying to find something suitable. I’m a curvy girl (lockdown anxiety has definitely amplified that!) meaning that online shopping isn’t always a ‘quick win’.  
However, one of my favourite brands Sea Salt saved the day. To be clear, this is not an advertisement or endorsement, just some genuine brand love and appreciation. It’s true, you do get what you pay for. Beautiful quality (sustainably and ethically sourced) fabrics, gorgeous cuts all influenced by the wild landscapes of my beloved Cornwall... 
Shopping drama over. The next challenge - to tame my lockdown brows and hair! I will save you the details. 
Let's fast forward to the photo shoot... 
On the day, I set off to the stunning Delapre Abbey. Makeup on (that’s when you know it’s a BIG day!) and a basket packed with changes of clothes, accessories and essentials. 
It was a glorious day, much hotter and sunny than the forecast has suggested. Which was great but not ideal for taking photographs. I studied photography at college so I have a good concept of optimal elements required for a ‘good’ shoot. 
I met the brilliant photographer, Dave Willis, outside the Orangery cafe and we started to scout around the beautiful grounds for suitable locations to work with. 
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That’s when Jessica from Pilkington Communications came over with Richard Clinton, CEO at Delapre Abbey. We’d sought permission from Richard in advance to use the abbey grounds for our shoot. He’d kindly agreed to support us but on the day he offered us use of the picturesque walled gardens, which wasn’t yet open to the public. 
Dave and I carted our gear through into the gardens and got to work. 
Dave was a total professional, he put me at ease straight away and embraced my request to shoot barefoot. This isn’t as ‘diva request’ as it sounds, the grass looked SO lush and springy, I just had to kick off my sandals! 
It wasn’t until after we’d finished up, I discovered he’s shot ACTUAL CELEBRITIES like.... Kylie, Beyoncé, Rita Ora and Kayne West! I would have crumbled if it’d known that before he had started snapping!! 
I’m definitely more comfortable behind the camera instead of in front of it but it was a truly wonderful experience and a lot of fun. I’ll be giggling at my quick ‘costume change’ behind the tall topiary hedge for a while. 
I’m immensely grateful to PA Life Magazine for the opportunity and to all the incredible people who supported in making it happen.  
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You can find my interview (and Dave's handywork) in the July/August digital edition of PA Life Magazine. 
If you'd like to read more about my journey building my Virtual Assistant business and learn about how you can best go about creating your own, take a look at my new book: The Alchemy of Virtual Assistance
To discover about our award winning Virtual Assistant services or Virtual Assistant franchise opportunities, please get in touch. 
With love, 
01604 312195 
With thanks and full credit to: PA Life Magazine, Dave Willis, Delapre Abbey and Pilkington Communications
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