Thursday, 11 June 2015

Squidge's modelling day

Today I was a photographer's model.


I have the modelling release form to prove it...

It was part of the Naturalistas Project  that the lovely Vanessa Mills is organising. Basically, Vanessa is a fellow silver sister; her own transition to her natural colour, combined with her love of photography, inspired her to take portraits of grey, white and silver haired women to show that grey (or white or silver) is a genuine option for women's hair and it doesn't mean that if (let's face it, it's actually when) you go grey, you suddenly become dowdy.

She wanted to 'prove that silver hair is not necessarily ageing; that a woman rocking her silver can be just as sexy and feminine as the next woman and then some.' So she recruited 'normal, everyday women who are wearing their hair naturally silver, who see their hair as a representation of their confidence, personal choice and sensuality.'

I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of them.

So, early this morning, Vanessa picked me up and we went to Oakham to meet Grace, another silver sister (who featured in a Touch of Silver advert) and Elizabeth Clare, our make-up and hair expert for the day. (Except the lovely Em at Foxes Hair and Beauty cut mine a couple of days ago, so I didn't need anything in the hair department)

First, we sorted out outfits. Vanessa had suggested taking at least one change with us...I took posh frock, a couple of longer T-shirts, jumpers (it was freezing yesterday!), several different coloured vests, three pairs of leggings, jewellery...oh, and shoes: my favourite glam silver heels and a pair of new, blue diamante heels. Well - a girl's got to be prepared, hasn't she?

Once Vanessa had settled on a few mix'n'match options, Grace and I had our make-up done.

I've never had professional make-up before. While we talked weddings and photography and modelling and writing, Liz worked her magic. Bob the Builder's got an impressive toolbelt - but you should have seen the one Liz had! There was a brush for everything...

The best bit was being air brushed. Now, normally this is something that's done after the photo's been taken - to 'improve' the person in the photo - but this airbrushing was done before. We literally had our foundation airbrushed onto our faces. Look!

By the way - the photos are few and far between, and feature Grace as I completely forgot to ask her to take any snaps of me during the day and I kept forgetting to take more myself 'cos I was too busy watching what was going on. But here's the lovely Vanessa, doing her thang!

Anyway, once Grace's hair had been done, off we drove to Rutland Water, our location for the shoot. (Rutland Water is a man-made reservoir and I remember my dad taking us to see the dam being constructed when I was little)

We moved around a bit in search of - strange for such a sunny day - shade! Apparently the sun's way too harsh and dappled light's not good either, so we found good patches of shade beside the loo block (fabulous stonework: good background), down by the water's edge, in trees and by a large sculpture.

Was that a good one?
I remembered to get one of the kids to take a pic of me when I got home instead. The ones Vanessa took are way, WAY better and I can't wait to see which ones she picks for the project. I might even get a new author photo or two...

It was such an interesting experience. I hadn't really considered what it takes to be a professional model; make-up, hair, the awkward positions you have to stand in (though strangely, they don't look awkward when you see the photo), the funny looks you get from passers-by... I don't think I'd want to do it for a living, though Grace is just starting out on a silver-haired modelling career. I've learnt to take photos in shade - not full sun - and how to make my eyes 'pop' with clever make-up. Whether I can reproduce that same effect for myself is another matter...

The best thing about all of it? Being part of something which will help get a positive image of grey or white or silver haired women out into the world. It is a choice whether to colour or not, and I would love for it to be as acceptable in our society to be grey-haired as it is to keep colouring.

Hopefully, Naturalistas will go a long way to achieve that.

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