My Heart Wanders: photographs from the book & design discussions…
Posted in amsterdam, book design, my heart wanders, pia's photos August 21st, 2012 by pia

So here is the first post in the series “My Heart Wanders: photographs from the book & design discussions”, as mentioned in my last post to celebrate the opening of my online bookshop.

This particular photograph is one of my favourites. It is the chapter opener for Chapter One, Reflection: Leaving Home. For each chapter opener, I wanted to create an image that visually described the story that follows. Each image represents how I was feeling at that point in my life, and what I was doing in my life.

To create this image, I had the idea to create some sort of reflection in a shop glass window. I spent days looking for the perfect window – something with pretty reflections, but also one that I could access from inside with the camera and tripod. As I was living in Amsterdam at the time, I rode my bike around and gazed a thoughtful eye around at all the windows. I lay in bed at night, flicking through all the shop windows catalogued in my mind’s eye each day, and wondered  which would be best. Then it dawned on me – one of my favourite windows and window displays in Amsterdam had always been that of Hilde Tempelman, whose beautiful work and atelier I featured in Amsterdam: Made by Hand. It was perfect! So I called Hilde and asked if she would mind if I come play in her window one morning and as lovely as always, she said “Ja, come on down!”.

So with my little antique rattan suitcase full of props, camera bag slung over my shoulder and tripod attached at the rear of my bicycle, I headed down to Hilde’s studio shop.

I picked a corner of the window and set up my camera and tripod inside the shop. I decorated the window with various props, set my camera on a timer and dashed outside to place myself in frame. It was a bit tricky but after a number of takes, I started to get the right feel and look I was after.

It was a lot of fun to photograph this chapter opener using Hilde’s gorgeous creations as inspiration and props, and it was just as much fun developing the image further in postproduction. I wanted to create a sense of flight so I overlayed the original image with a wing illustration I made using a photograph of bird wings I took some months earlier, making them transparent and then adding a warm colour tone and splashes of ink.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this first look at some of the design elements of My Heart Wanders. The next post will look at how I created the numbers for each chapter opener and what they represent.

+to purchase My Heart Wanders, click here.

« « « Leave a comment » » »


  1. Libby says

    It’s so amazing to realise how much hard work goes into just one picture. I’ve loved looking through my copy of My Heart Wanders, and finding out things like this about how you put it together makes the book even more wonderful.

    August 21st, 2012 | #

  2. Maria @ Scandifoodie says

    All the photos in ‘my heart wanders’ are absolutely stunning, Pia. Thank you for giving us a glimpse of ‘behind the scenes’, I am looking forward to your future posts! Much love, Maria x

    August 21st, 2012 | #

  3. Tara Bradford says

    So nice to hear the “behind the scenes” story of how you created this gorgeous photograph! Your book is a treasure. xx

    August 22nd, 2012 | #

  4. Isidora says

    It’s always nice to remember how something was created and, also, it’s nice to share the memory with others. I beleive that your readers (and me among them, of course) are looking forward to hearing more!

    August 22nd, 2012 | #

  5. Affie says

    This was one of my favorite images, too. Oh, the excitement ahead. I love your storytelling, Pia.

    August 24th, 2012 | #

  6. Narelle says

    Beautiful and inspirational! I have had an ordinary week, and this post has inspired me to have a play with some little vignettes of my own, and also to duck out tomorrow and buy your book!

    August 26th, 2012 | #

  7. EdenClare says

    love, love, love that little
    wicker bag…and the wings
    and the ink…wonderful!
    be popping back to visit
    with the next post!
    sweet sweet wishes!!!

    August 26th, 2012 | #

  8. Paris Rendez-vous says

    A beautiful, perfect image…and the colours….are glorious. Merci beaucoup.

    August 26th, 2012 | #

  9. wendy says

    i greatly enjoyed this post and learning about your process 🙂

    August 26th, 2012 | #

  10. Debbie W says

    Pia, thank you. With dreams of one day being a stylist, what a privilege it is to be able to get a glimpse inside your head.

    August 26th, 2012 | #

  11. Angy Braine says

    It’s always been one of my favourite images in the book Pia. I think this is a great idea and ever so inspirational. You’ll probably even find yourself inspired to write a new book! I hope Bub is going well and that Motherhood is fast becoming the best ride you’ve ever hopped on! 🙂

    August 26th, 2012 | #

  12. Calico Child says

    What a lovely picture & story to go with what an inspiration you are 🙂

    August 27th, 2012 | #

  13. Renee Bell says

    love!!!! thanks for sharing!

    August 28th, 2012 | #

  14. Pink Ronnie says

    What a wonderful insight into your creative process! Looking forward to reading more of these posts…. You are an amazing photographer and stylist.
    Ronnie xo

    August 28th, 2012 | #

  15. Tania says

    I got your book for my birthday a few weeks ago and read it in one afternoon…LOVED it…the photographs as much as the words…so I’m loving this series of posts as well…thanks for taking the time to give us these details! Also your Paris Made By Hand book was amazing when we went to Europe a few years ago…I made copies of the places I wanted to visit & then put dots on a map of Paris so if we were in the same area we could go check them out…finding those places (and some of the things we found as we were wandering towards those places) are some of my favourite memories of Paris and I loved the unique spin it gave our experience…ie less cookie cutter than using a typical tourist/landmark book…so in short, u rock 🙂

    September 2nd, 2012 | #

RSS feed for these comments. | TrackBack URI