Photo Shoot Monday 26th June 2017
Having done a photo shoot last year for my 50th birthday, I did not intend to do one this year, smiling is to painful and I need a couple of years to rest my face, especially after managing at least five smiles in last year’s mammoth shoot.
However the Boudoir Empire had expanded to Stafford and that gave the opportunity for some outdoor pictures, which are pretty rare in the Miss Smith portfolio. I therefore booked the shoot and had about three months to get my outfits together.
Several years ago I had borrowed a British Airways stewardess uniform from a friend for a shoot, BA have subsequently updated their uniform to a much better look and I though a shoot in the new uniform would look great. I’m sure Ebay did not exist when I wore the previous uniform, but this time I was able to buy the full uniform on it. It took a couple of months to get the complete uniform, and I was still looking for a larger jacket and hat right up to the week before the shoot. I also revisited my favourite shop in Chigwell, where I always get a warm welcome. I must have been in there around two hours trying on numerous dresses. Initially I had the idea of buying a floral print dress, but ended up with two non floral dresses. I did however get a shirt with flowers on it and matching jeans.
The venue for the shoot was going to be in Stafford, which was going to mean a three hour drive up the motorway, but Jodie felt that I would need my beauty sleep and suggested I travel up the day before and sleep over. The shoot was planned for a Monday and on the Saturday before I booked to get my nails done. I have previously had my nails painted for nights out, but never had the full manicure experience. I had booked the last appointment of the day, expecting an empty salon, but there was another client there also getting her nails done. I think she was a bit surprised to see me sitting there getting my nails done. They were done in a lovely dark red colour and looked great, especially when driving home and when I sat up Saturday night drinking beer and watching football.
The week prior to the shoot the weather had been really hot, so I was pleased that on the Sunday morning it was much cooler. After lugging my suitcase downstairs and arming myself with a dozen cds I set off up north. The journey was pretty good and I only got stuck in one traffic jam and that was within a mile of leaving home. I breezed along and had a short stop at one of the splendid motorway service stations and eventually got to Stafford after 3 hours 34 minutes of travelling. After unpacking all of my photo shoot clothes and jewellery, I was given a tour of the farm. We then had the obligatory Sunday afternoon siesta, before deciding to go out to get something to eat. A division meant I was able to see thirty minutes of the Stafford countryside. Meal over it was time to return to the farm, to have one more beer before going off to bed.
I woke up fairly early the next morning and had breakfast before the shoot began. We had briefly talked about putting my hair in curlers the next before, but decided against this. So the first action of the day was to get this done and then decide on the order of the clothes. The curlers went in fairly easily, but as always Jodie managed dig a few into my scalp. I’m sure she does this deliberately because I make her go through this long process every year. Once the curlers were set it was time to start on the makeup. I just try and sit back and relax at this stage and try to obey the instructions, which are usually Open, Close or the occasional look down. The makeup application went smoothly, but we did have a problem with an eyelash not sticking and my left eye was watering, which unfortunately plagued us all day. After removing the curlers Jodie was unhappy with the hair and decided she wanted to redo the curls with the curling iron. It was then time to get the first outfit on.
British Airways Stewardess
As mentioned earlier I had managed to purchase a full current British Airways stewardess uniform. It was slightly small so a corset was needed to get the buttons done up on the jacket. The hat and gloves were tiny; those BA girls must have very small heads. I managed to ladder a pair of tights getting into the uniform, but a good tranny always comes prepared and after a quick change we were ready to go. Before you write in and complain, I realise that stewardess can’t have their hair down, but I had spent 2 hours with my hair in curlers and it’s my shoot, so live with it. We initially went inside the studio and whilst Jodie looked on the internet for various poses, I tried to rein act these. Trying to keep stomach, shoulders down and smile all at the same time. I think I managed to get a couple of smiles out in the early pictures. Once we were happy with the indoor pictures, we grabbed a small suitcase and did some outdoor pictures with me walking along as if returning from a long flight.
Roses Shirt & Jeans
The next outfit was a long white shirt which has red roses down one side , with a matching pair of jeans. I also wore nude open toed shoes and perched a pair of sunglasses on my head. Again we started off in the studio and I think I might have smiled again. Jodie then decided we were going to go outside. I jumped into the back of a buggy and we shot off across the farm narrowly avoiding the suicidal sheep. We stopped by a large lake and we took lots of pictures of me sitting and standing by the lake. At one point we were stopped by Elizabeth who had somehow got her way through the fence and had come to join us. Once the errant dog had been captured we were back in the buggy heading back to the dressing room. The trip on the buggy had blown my hair all over the place and the wind had caused the left eye to water again.
It was time for another change and this time it was a lovely pink dress, with matching pink shoes and nude tights. However before going across to the studio the wayward hair and watering eye had to be attended to, so it was out with the cotton wool buds and hot iron again. I was getting used to this smiling lark by now, but had gotten into the habit of smiling at Jodie who was making me laugh and not at Stephen who was behind the camera, which probably every shot had to be taken twice. We decided to stick to studio pictures for this outfit.
The next outfit was a navy knee length dress with matching shoes. It sounds strange, but its a complicated dress with a hidden zip. When I took it off last time, it took me a good half hour to work out how to turn it back the correct way. Jodie thought that this particular outfit would look good outside and there were some yellow bricks on the outside of the house that would offset the dress colour. Again we started off inside the studio, Jodie had made a slight adjustment to my hair so that it draped over my left shoulder. We did the usual poses before moving outside. We took some good shots against the wall and in amongst the flowers. At the time of the shoot there were decorators working on the house and apparently one of them commented that I had good legs.
The final outfit of the shoot was a cowgirl outfit, well I was on a farm which is nearly a ranch so it had to be done. There were no wild horses about, but some dogs and sheep kept giving me strange looks . The outfit was almost fully sourced from Ebay. It was probably the cheapest outfit I have ever worn on a photo shoot. I think the skirt was £2, Shirt £5, Boots £8,Hat £10, the dearest part was the Wolford tights. After a few minor repairs to the make up, that dodgy eye again it was time to mosey on down to the studio. It was back to good old google to find some Cowgirl poses, most of which seemed to entail holding the top of my hat.
When went outside in front of the stable doors and got some really good pictures, the smiles were flowing by now, my jaw must have loosened up. The final pictures of the day were out in the field, we managed to get some Hay bales and placed them on a nice pile with me sitting on top. With the length of the skirt I had on, it was pretty tough sitting on them in a ladylike manner, I think side saddle proved to be the best option. We got some great pictures on the bales, but I was pulling straw out of my knickers for days afterwards.
It was then that time of day where I have to sadly take off all the make up, comb the hair out and even cut off the beautiful nails. I was given a lovely meal by Stephens’ mum, before heading back down South.
See you again Stafford