When it comes to photoshoots I have came to realise that I am just ridiculously awkward about them. I spent most of the time feeling like I am doing everything wrong. Do you remember the episode of Friends when Chandler and Monica get photos taken for their wedding? Well I am Chandler, all the time. So these days I tend to avoid wanting to do one until quite recently. I got an amazing opportunity to take part in Gary Crozier's Broken Doll shoot and I couldn't pass that down at all.
The amazing team behind CutieCool Nails and Vanity Thrills Vintage Beauty were on hand to make sure we looked fabulous before the shoot. Hosted in the new salon near Meadowbank Stadium, Zara-Leoni's Vintage Salon is a wonderful little place. One that all you vintage and retro lovers will adore.
The day before the photoshoot I popped along to the salon to get Shellac nails done for the first time. I was pretty excited about this as I am, quite possibly, the most useless person ever when it comes to doing my nails. Zara was fantastic, making me a nice cup of tea and talking through some of the colours. She has an amazing selection with every colour of the rainbow but my inner goth once again won over and I went for a purple/grey colour. I was a bit worried about how my nails would look due to the fact that I had recently cut them pretty short but Zara made sure I left the salon with fantastic claws.
Quite frankly I don't think I could ever go back to attempting to pain them myself. The shellac has lasted a good couple of weeks and even though it's getting to the point where they should come off, the colour still looks amazing and I don't have a chip at all!
Then all of a sudden it was the day of the photoshoot. Before the shoot we were asked to think of what direction we want it to go. The more creative you can be, the more exciting your picture will end up. As usual I had no idea what I wanted to do so I just grabbed my long black velvet dress, big clunky boots and plenty of tacky gold accessorises. I knew I wanted to go for something a little 'spooky' but was open to trying out anything.
As soon as I got to the salon, I was greeted by the lovely Ariana and a delightful little cocktail. Exactly what everyone should have prior to a photoshoot. There really is something so glamorous about getting your make up done with a drink in your hand. If only everyday could be like that.
When it came to my make up, I was in the hands of the wonderful Kat Morgan. We discussed the sort of look I was going for and she asked me what make up do I put on myself to feel confident. She completely understood what I was going for. Smokey eyes and a dark lip. Always a winning combination.
Hair wise, I was pretty much up for anything. I was almost convinced my hair may have been too short to have done anything too exciting and big with but Ariana is one talented lady. She let me have a look at a book full of retro and vintage ideas and instantly I was drawn to the 20s/30s style of hair.
Rollers in and I was ready to be transported back in time. My glamorous but dark countess look was coming to mind in my head. I was thinking a lot of Lady Gaga in AHS Hotel and Catherine Deneuve in The Hunger. Watching Ariana doing my hair was so interesting, how I wish I could create this look myself.
After all the wonderful pampering it was time to do my shoot. To say I was feeling nervous is an understatement. As I said before, I am just one ridiculously awkward human being in front of a camera. I'll either be worrying about what my face is doing or just unsure of what to do with my limbs. Gary is in a word, fantastic. Before the shoot we discussed the look and feel I was going for. After a bit of brainstorming and sharing ideas we were ready to do it.
Since I was going for a more sultry and dark kind of look, I didn't need to do too much posing. Gary likes to concentrate on the hands in a picture. At first it feels odd putting your hands in odd positions or moving fingers up and down but once you see the finished picture, you totally get it. Normally I feel like I never know what to do but Gary made sure to give me plenty of direction without me feeling like a big useless ginger giant.
Couple of weeks after the photoshoot, Gary sent me a message with my picture to make sure I was happy with it before he sends a print version out to me. So without further ado, here we go:
I am beyond over the moon with the finished product. It's exactly what I pictured in my head. Simple, vintage glamour with a hint of a dark side. I really do wish I could look like this everyday. You can also see what I mean about the hands, it makes for a really interesting shot.
It could be so easy to get a normal photo done of myself but something like this is so unique and different. I can't wait to frame my print copy and will be showing it to everyone who ever comes round to my house.
I want to say a massive thank you to Zara at CutieCool Nails, Ariana at Vanity Thrills Hair & Beauty, Kat Morgan and of course Gary Crozier. I had an incredibly day and I'm already thinking about doing it next time Gary is in town. What sort of look could I go for next?
Make sure you pop along to Zara-Leoni's Vintage Salon, if it's for a special occasion or you just want to feel glamorous. The ladies there are so friendly and incredibly skilled at what they do. Quite frankly, who doesn't want to feel like a vintage goddess.
Check out the links below to find out more about the Salon and Gary Crozier's amazing work:
Zara-Leoni's Vintage Salon: https://www.facebook.com/zaraleonivintagesalon
CutieCool Nails: http://www.cutiecoolnails.com/
Vanity Thrills Vintage Beauty Parlor: https://www.facebook.com/VanityThrillsVintageHairandBeautyParlour/
Lastly I would like to say a big thank you to my amazing friend and blogger Lucie for sorting out this amazing opportunity. Make sure you check out her blog: http://tetrisandcheesecakes.com/
Let me know what you think of the picture and if you have had one done yourself!
Till the next time!