Friday, 25 November 2011

My 'Painted' beauty shoot from start to finish.

I love my freelance life, being part of a team on set, plus seeing my portfolio grow with work I am proud of, though recently I have noticed my 'Celebrity' and 'Advertising' pages in my portfolio stacking up with new images but not my 'Beauty' page.  It has been some time since I have produced a beauty shoot for my book as work flows in and updates itself, I crave to occasionally go back to basics to rediscover why I took a leap into this profession in the first place almost 20 years ago.  Don't get me wrong I enjoy creating characters for TV commercials such as The Sun Bingo Bubbles and being closely involved in the process; attending meetings, making prototypes, researching etc, etc.  But I have felt the need to push myself further and going back to techniques, styles and a way of working I was once used to, with an immense passion for art.
A few months ago, I emailed the sensational, advertising photographer, Karan Kapoor, who I've worked with for many years, to ask if he was interested in doing a beauty shoot, captivating colour with a loose, painterly feel.  I sent references and my inspiration and prayed to get a positive response considering he is very much sought after in the advertising world.  He immediately said yes, phew!
The hardest task was to find the models, so Karan took this up and contacted the model agencies.  Every so often I'd be cc'd into an email or sent a large file of model cards from various top agencies to select two models, which doesn't sound too taxing but I had a specific brief and vision for this shoot, so we were prepared to wait some time to get the right girls, one dark, one blonde with delicate features.
About 3, maybe 4 months later, the date was set, studio booked, models chosen and I had gathered drawings and notes to redefine 4 definite looks.

Before the shoot day, I took the time to play around with colours on myself and to think outside the box with free reign.  Admittedly, I never worked well in the fashion world, all a bit too much for a sensitive type like me but I still have artistic flair and style.

I played around with textures as well as complimentary colours to see whether I could capture what I had imagined in my head and in my notes. Would it all be down to post production or my ability of trickery? Seeing as I started out in the 90's I hold the skills and conduct myself for make up that should be perfected before being put in front of the camera, as we used polaroid to check the lighting, then shot with film.  Today with digital, there are opportunities to play around a great deal in post and I am not opposed to this, it has its place but I never want my eye for detail to get lazy.

On the day of the shoot, the photographer, Karan, assistant, Dan, models, Egle (all pictured above), Rosie and not forgetting the my wonderful shining star, Tasha, all descended on a West London studio to create beautiful skin, splashes of colour with loose, free application.  My first look was on Egle, using neon colours from Belle Pierre, Sleek, Make Up For Ever and Illamasqua all applied with a light touch and close attention to flawless skin.

A closer look at some of the products I used!

Tasha, kindly prepped Egle's and Rosie's skin with QMS Medicosmetics Deep Cleanser and Freshening Tonic, then smoothed Sisley Instant Perfection to prime the skin before I brushed on Givenchy foundation and indulged in captivating colour.
Throughout the day, I covered more looks than I had hoped to, which was very exciting and I gave myself the chance to use my reliable and effective cosmetics such as Front Cover Cosmetics and Blink & Go to push the boundaries and to discover more from them, but there is no point in me droning on about the background goings on, here are some of the final looks.

'Painted 4' with model, Egle.

'Painted 3' with model, Rosie. 

I would love to know what you think, just comment below or view more at 


  1. I'd love the chance to flex my artistic wings, but its lovely to live vicariously through you! Thanks for sharing.


  2. Ah, thank you Sam, very kind of you. Yes, not easy to get the chance these days but was so satisfying. x

  3. Gorgeous pics - its so nice to see such an artistic spin. Very refreshing x

  4. Thanks Hayley Rose. It was refreshing to give myself an artistic challenge. x

  5. Wow so stunning, was worth the wait. x