As promised, an update on my makeover photoshoot last Saturday, written with Body Gossip We Are Fabulous In February and Leyah Shanks Body Confidence in mind.
For those of you who are up to date with the UK weather, the south west of England is still being battered with heavy rainfall and strong winds. Suffice to say after dodging the rain in between trains and taxis I turned up at the studio looking a little more 'weathered' than usual.
I was initially very nervous but was greeted by a very bubbly lady who went through a questionnaire of the 'look' that I was hoping for and what colours, styles I liked or wanted to avoid. I was as usual very indecisive but eventually went for the 'vintage' look.
After a glass of bubbly I was shown to the hair/make-up area and spent the next 'what seemed like an eternity,' having my hair 'fluffed up' and my face used as some sort of canvas. I must admit, my first impression was a little shocking!! I could only just keep my eyes open with the weight of eyeliner, mascara and eyeshadow, I felt like a china doll.
I was then met by Marcus, my photographer. He was Italian and a bit of a cheeky chappy who did his best to make me feel comfortable.
I was shown to the studio where Marcus went through the outfits I had chosen. 2 pairs of stripper shoes, compulsory mans shirt, trilby, 2 pairs of pants that are barely worth wearing, 1 1950's style waist chincher, balconette scaffolding, a vintage style tea dress and not forgetting my hands to cover the bosoms.
We started off carefully, doing some simple head shots whilst wearing my dress....... and then the clothes started to come off. Thankfully the studio was well heated.
The whole shoot took about an hour and I have to say I now have the up-most respect for photographic models. Getting yourself into 'natural' looking poses is not that easy!! I was at first really self conscious but after a while I forgot there was anyone behind the camera, even when I was half naked attempting to look sexy in shoes I couldn't walk in and nearly fell off every time I changed position.
My highlight was laying across a bed, stretched out in underwear and feeling fabulous, I really didn't care, and that felt good.
When Marcus finished the shoot with,'Jackie you can now put some decent clothes on,' I was straight in the bathroom cleaning the slap of my face. I wanted to be naked again, but not in a clothing way.
It wasn't long before I was taken into the viewing room to watch a film reel of all my shots with Amy Winehouse 'Valerie' playing in the background. I was really taken aback when I saw the photos. My instant reaction was self criticism. I started to pick myself to pieces but then I stopped myself.
The pictures I were looking at was actually me.
I had a vision in my head of the pose I wanted, the perfect image I wanted to capture, the model picture I wanted to emulate but that wasn't me. I was the Woman on the screen. The bright, strong, slightly weathered but in her own way beautiful Woman.
I could see the cellulite on the tops of my thighs along with the stretch marks. I could make out the dimpled skin and the scar from my hip operation. I could have had all these flaws and imperfections airbrushed out, but I chose not to. I chose not to because I am not that Woman in a glossy magazine. I am not that Woman on a street billboard. I am not that Woman shouting out at you from your TV screen that you could look better.
I am me, a 40 something wife and Mother and I am enough.