Who am I ?

I started modelling in 2001 after always being told “you’re tall and slim and pretty, you should be a model”.

I worked with many photographers, make up artists and hair stylists and do you know, not one of them made an impression on me that I could recall names or faces to you if you asked. Most photographers were male, a bit sleazy and completely oversold their talents or equipment (being told they have a studio usually meant a shed in their garden or a bedroom in their house). Something just didn’t feel right and I thought it was about time I put my money where my mouth was and took some photos myself!

What a good job I have relatively good looking friends and family! I invested in my first professional camera and rounded up anyone that was willing to pose for me. I then took on a number of unpaid jobs for family and friends, which then resulted in my very first wedding, again, unpaid. Man, that couple were brave! But considering they got me for free, I took some amazing photographs and when presenting them to the couple, they both had a tear in their eye and couldn’t have been happier. That’s pretty much where it all started!

When it comes to weddings, I think I understand what most couples, especially the bride to be, are going through. Weddings are not cheap, easy to plan or stress free. Gone really are the days of traditional shots, with more and more couples wanting to look like models on their big day, in photographs that wouldn’t be out of place in Ok! or Hello! magazine. Having a modelling background really helps me to get such show stopping, unusual yet romantic shots. Being a guest at many a special friend’s wedding means I got a good chance to inspect the behaviour of a wedding photographer. When my best friend got married, the photographer bought along his wife, something never agreed with the bride and groom. The wife then made it her mission to feel “helpful”, but just got in the way and annoyed people. She even insisted on stepping in to do up the brides dress, pushing the mother of the bride aside! The photographer hung around the bedroom where the bride and her attendants were trying to get dressed and missed crucial shots of the groom and their daughter sharing poignant moments in the gardens of the hotel. I have also seen photographers physically moving wedding guests into position for photos and spending over two hours with the bride and groom taking shots, keeping them away from their irritated, bored guests. All these things have taught me what NEVER to do and how never to behave. At your wedding, I am like a friend you invited. I look nice, my camera is not some huge intrusive contraption guests shy away from and I stay in the background letting you get on with things. All the time, I never miss the small moments. That cheeky kiss you share. The whispers in the ears. The mother and mother in law sharing a joke.

From the modelling, I reckoned I knew what agencies and clients were looking for from models and I knew what it was like to be in front of the camera, so I had hints and tips to share. I offered my services to potential models looking for first portfolios and suddenly, agencies were contacting me asking me to take more photos of aspiring models who were going to be on their books. I thought of all the sleazy photographers I had been to and started to worry for some of the young guys and girls looking to start out. I wanted to let them know it didn’t have to be that way. Since then, I have launched the careers of many models and I am proud of my portfolio. I have also been contacted directly by clients who want to book the models I have taken photos of.

Now I am a Mum (identical twin girls and a son all aged under 3) I also know exactly how heartbreakingly moving and priceless an amazing photo of my children can be. I am good with kids, even those kids who run away from a camera or suddenly invent this demonic smile when a camera comes out. I am patient, realistic and understanding of a kids needs. Snack breaks are essential for everyone, not just toddlers! As a matter of research, I booked a studio photography session for my family, seen as I was always taking photos of my kids and never in them. What a shambles. The so called studio was a tiny back room to a shop front that smelt of dog and was dirty, untidy and cluttered with random items nothing to do with props or photography in general. The photographers wife who was working as a receptionist was rude and clueless and the photographer himself was scruffy and didn’t seem to have a clue what to do with us. Needless to say, 40 minutes later, I asked to wrap things up and we haven’t been back, not even to view our photos. If THAT is what parent’s experience and think is what having a family studio photo shoot is about, I am embarrassed to be a photographer! When you come to me, I am friendly, chatty, funny and down to earth. I look smart, I interact with all the family and I listen to what you had in mind. I encourage breaks for tea and snacks and I ensure you have all the shots you anticipated before you leave. I do not take weeks to produce the photos, usually I am too excited to see them myself so they are processed within a few days. Put it this way, there is nothing more rewarding than walking into someone’s lounge and seeing a photo you took of their kids adorning the wall.

Anyway. That’s enough about me I hope! Best thing to do is read all the reviews from real people who have had their photos taken by me. Those say more than I can explain here!

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