Thoughts on a photo shoot!


I feel like I’ve been through one of those significant life events, you know, birth, marriage, children, photo shoot! Sounds ridiculous, but this event took on a lot of personal importance to me. 

I suppose the background to this is that I’ve never been particularly comfortable in front of a camera. I think back to photos of me in my school days where I’m overweight and evidently so very uncomfortable about having my picture taken.
This feeling stayed with me for many years, and still, at the moment, my profile picture on Facebook is a Lindt Chocolate bunny because I didn't want to show my face. My friend from (old, NHS) work would comment on my posts and say, “but where were you Lisa?” Because I never took pictures of myself- they were always of my husband and the children. So it looked like I wasn't there! 

I’m evidently getting better though, because I have been known to put the odd sweaty red face after running photo on Facebook and also I’ve ventured into video. It’s true what they say about practice, it gets easier.......

However, the thought of being in a photoshoot, was troubling me hugely. The inner turmoil went like this: What will I wear? How will I look? What should I do about make up? Should I ask people to help me do hair and make-up, or is that self-indulgent? Will I alienate my audience, if I look ‘too perfect’ and then I would feel like a total twit because why would I think I would look perfect- when clearly I am not! 

What to wear was an interesting one.... I felt like I had ‘no clue’ and was vocal about this in my networking circle and thankfully the lovely Becky Barnes stepped in to help. Simply out of kindness. She came over to my house, where I was already nearly hyperventilating at the thought of her seeing my wardrobe and its contents. She helped me pick out some outfits, obviously I had loads to choose from (not!) and funnily enough the ones she suggested were the ones that I kind of knew I looked OK in. But that was reassuring in itself. Then she asked me “to see my jewellery” and I mentioned my engagement ring, which she said didn't count!! 

I had NOTHING to show her! So she offered to lend me jewellery for the shoot which was very kind. In the end I went to a local department store and looked at things I thought I could have a go at wearing and you know what, some of them looked pretty good! I felt like a proper grown up, somehow. 


Then there was the make up!

Initially I was planning to do my own so as not to look ‘too professional/perfect/not like me’ but then as time went on, networking friends suggested I should consider it as it might help me feel more confident etc. So I found someone to do it and mentioned it to my photographer who felt like I did in the first place, that I should be ‘real’, be myself and that could be better reflected by what I would normally do. I said this to network friends and they looked a bit scared, but I think because they thought that meant NO makeup rather than my usual ‘out on the town’ type make up. I say usual out on the town as if I am usually out on the town and I am not, at all!! 

So I decide to call in MY professional AKA oldest daughter, because let’s face it she has WAY more experience than me in the make up stakes! We even bought a proper primer whilst in London a couple of weeks ago, and who knew, it DOES actually make your foundation go on better! 

On the day of the shoot, my hairdresser Tanya, came to MY ACTUAL HOUSE, rather than me going to the salon. It was closed I think and she was on a day off, but said she’d come and help me which was LUSH! (spot the Bristolian!) It reminded me of my wedding day, when the house was really busy with people coming to help/primp/organise things. It was fab actually, I reckon I could get used to someone doing my hair for me every day (anyone?!) My husband was a bit surprised! Partly because he wasn't expecting the photographer to turn up- we hadn't actually got around to talking about it! 

So on to the actual shoot!

We picked up my friend Cindy on the way and headed to a local cafe, laughing nervously (Cindy & I), Jenny (my photographer) was asking for directions because I kept forgetting she didn't know where she was! She's from Cheltenham so doesn't know the Henleaze area.

It felt fab in the cafe! It was empty for a start! Good for us anyway; not so much for the owner who was very gracious and accommodating. And the coffee was great. Cindy and I had a giggle like we always do and we chatted about Mindful Eating and how it helps. I think in some ways these are my favourite images. 


Then we rushed onto my friends’ house- this is where I run my group workshops. Everyone was pretty much there before we were (felt like I was late for my own party!) and once I changed outfits we started with a mini workshop, for photographic purposes, except it ended up being an actual workshop because the ladies there were so interested in what I had to say! They totally engaged with it and were chatting