When Joe Browns got in touch to invite me to take part in their upcoming Christmas campaign with a London Blogger photoshoot I was beyond excited… and secretly absolutely terrified too!
The thing is, I’m not your typical ‘model’ or fashion blogger. I’m a petite five foot but alas I’m pear shaped with it. I explained this to the lovely Emily from Joe Browns as I was really worried about turning up on the day to find a gorgeous dress that either didn’t fit me, or that I could do no justice. She was absolutely brilliant however and worked with me to pick out the perfect party look to suit my style and shape.
The night before the shoot I’d built up so much nervous excitement that I only managed about four hours of sleep. Thank goodness for my latest concealer discovery (which I gushed about here and am still loving!)
Due to the damp weather my carefully blowdryed hair was also seriously in need of rescue by the time I arrived into London. Toni & Guy Hairdressers in Liverpool Street station were my heroes, fitting me in with only 30 minutes notice (I might have sounded a bit panicked… okay desperate on the phone!) and transforming my frizzy, dejected barnet into a glossy, bouncy mane in 45 minutes. The cut and blowdry wasn’t cheap at around £65, but as I ran through Spitalfields feeling like Carrie in Sex & The City when she makes the dash to Wall Street, I decided that swishy hair definitely helps to improve your confidence and general outlook on life!
Our base for the shoot was a Victorian grade 2 listed pub in Spitalfields called The 10 Bells, a place full of character. I later found out it’s rather famous for it’s association to Jack the Ripper… but let’s gloss over that shall we?
Downstairs, the normal lunchtime pubgoers were enjoying a pint whilst upstairs the first shoot with Ben, Scarlett and Tom was in full swing. The set up looked superb, whilst behing the scenes suitcases full of clothes, accessories and props lay all around. I learned that a photoshoot is subject to well organised chaos!
Scarlett’s dress was gorgeous and of course she looked a total stunner in it, but I was equally impressed with the boy’s outfits. Ben’s and Adam’s ensembles were my favourites – aren’t those suits dapper? I really need to persuade N to branch out from his usual black…
(By the way if you’re wondering what they’re doing look at the picture behind them!)
Soon it was my turn to get ready and much to my relief my dress fit perfectly. It was a proper party dress – gold with a flocked pattern, fitted at the waist with a lovely full skirt.
…and oh the shoes! Just look at the Mary Janes I got to wear with the cutest lace and bows!
After the first session finished and the other bloggers (Adam and Rich) had arrived we all got a chance to say a proper hello and whispered our nervousness about posing in front of the camera. As bloggers we’re all used to having our pictures taken, but these are usually done using tripods, friends or family. It’s a very different experience having your picture taken by a professional where you won’t actually be able to see the results until the final pictures are sent to you.
I shook off my initial nerves though and began to relax a bit more and enjoy myself. I reminded myself that it’s not the sort of opportunity that comes around everyday, so I was determined to make the most of the experience!
Adam and Richie had arrived by this time so we did some group photos before Tom had to dash off back to work.
As the campaign will be going out in stages there were some party season shots, then more Christmas themed ones too.
Perhaps the most surreal bit was when Scarlett and I went downstairs for a few shots of just the two of us, as we were then stood in the middle of the busy pub. As the camera flashed and we struck our poses we tried not look at the bemused spectators propped up at the bar! Here’s the behind the scenes look…
…and how the eventual shots turned out!
Finally we went on a bit of an explore around Shoreditch and found some fun locations for more group shots. Again it was pretty surreal dressed in party gear at 1pm on a Wednesday afternoon as Londoners and tourists watched on, but we ended up having a good laugh!
I was given a rather Downton Abbey-esque faux fur stole to keep me warm. I loved it and actually have a similar one at home… Joe Browns and I are on the same style page!
In this one Adam and I had decided to do a fake laugh in an attempt to look fun and animated… of course we immediately cracked up and winced at how absurd it all sounded which ended up being a much better picture anyway!
Too soon the whirlwind was over and we were all packing up, getting changed and heading our separate ways.
I dashed off back to Kings Cross where a decision awaited me. It had been a fantastic experience but a very early morning and I was feeling rather shattered from all the travelling. As I stared at the departures and arrivals board I wondered whether to head back to Peterborough and have a cosy night in… or stop at Cambridge first to accept an invitation from Hotel Chocolat.
…you’ll have to wait until Thursday to see which option I picked but here’s a hint: Thursday’s post involves a lot of chocolate…
My thanks go to Joe Browns for inviting me to take part in their campaign, being genuinely the loveliest people you could wish to meet and for gifting me the gorgeous dress that you see in this shoot. You can check out the rest of the collection here and I recommend a read of their blog too – their office knows how to have fun!
Look out for the photos which will be in their newsletters this party season too!
Also thanks go to the Scarlett, Tom, Ben, Richie and Adam who made the day such a giggle.