I’m so excited to share this fashion photoshoot with you all as it’s the unveiling of a huge new look for me and something that I have such passion and enthusiasm towards but rarely get to explore.
Having being a tattoo and glamour model in the media for the past 16yrs I’m well accustomed to long hair extensions, big fake lashes and lots of bold makeup on photoshoots; this completely turns the stereotype on its head and allowed me to explore my gentle, tender and natural side a little more thanks to my fantastic media and photoshoot planner Jana Jurakova…
Whilst Jana has many years experience in fashion, styling and co-ordinating photoshoots with models from across the world, when we first discussed this summer fashion theme it was a little out of my comfort zone. First of all there would be no high heels, no hair extensions and no sassy poses; instead I’d have to explore my attachment to nature, which excited me, yet also made me question if a tattooed glamour model could pull off high end fashion, as you don’t often see such a contrast.
Meeting up with fashion designerKhoshkar Horre at his beautiful London studio, Jana and I spent an afternoon trying on dresses for the photoshoot and she knew exactly what to look out for. She created a mood board of makeup and styling ideas and selected four beautiful designs that were colourful, eye-catching, subtle and classically modern at the very same time.
Before I knew it the day of the shoot had arrived and Jana booked the very talented photographer Boris Vajda and assistant James at his studio in London with the hope that a sunny afternoon might allow us to venture to a green location – thankfully we were blessed with a beautiful summers day.
Arriving for the shoot I came freshly showered with clean natural hair and no makeup on so that Jana could get to work on transforming me into a high end fashion model. From the mood board of colours for the shoot Jana created a striking blue and yellow eye, sharing love and support for Ukraine, which she balanced with a soft pink lip and warm foundation to match my summer tan.
We began our shoot in the studio, capturing two dresses indoors and two outdoors on location and to say that I’m thrilled with the outcome is such an understatement! I’m amazed at what the team have created and never thought I would see myself in such a way; the importance of working with such professional creatives shines through in each and every image.
Something that I wasn’t expecting to experience was the difference between shooting as a glamour model to shooting fashion as literally everything is the opposite – whilst in glamour I would stand tall with my shoulders squared, lips parted and a mischievous glint in my eye, the body language in fashion is far more introverted, gentle, peaceful and whimsical.
I was therefore incredibly thankful to receive feedback and guidance from Jana and Boris on how best to pose, the emotions to tap into and angles to use to suit this new style for me. Seeing the images on screen throughout was a great help as we regrouped to discuss each set, provide feedback and re-shoot aspects that we liked which we felt needed a slight tweak, perhaps the same pose but different eye line, hair up or down, narrowing a stance or adding a smile.
It was such a fascinating learning curve for me and allowed me to find confidence in this new style of modelling which I had never expected to fit into, but we often feel the greatest growth and experience the most progress in life when we step out of our comfort zone.
Taking the shoot on location, we travelled to a woodland for the second part of our shoot where the team set up a mouth-watering picnic scene which was bursting with colour as the summer sun lit up the sky with beautiful golden light.
Amongst cupcakes and fruit, wine glasses and a wicker hamper, I nestled onto a picnic blanket in a beautiful summer dress and soaked up the atmosphere of bird song and sunshine as Boris captured shots from every angle and Jana kept a careful eye on my hair, makeup and styling. With directions given to me throughout I felt entirely at ease in my new surroundings and really immersed myself in the experience which I hope comes across in the final photos.
Whilst I’ve always loved shooting and having my hair and makeup done to transform me into my glamourous best, it was so wonderfully heartfelt and uplifting to embrace a more natural and down to earth side of me which this shoot captured magnificently.
Having never shot high end fashion before I had my own self-doubts over how I would fit in or successfully disguise my tattoos and piercings, but Jana and the team made these two extremes in appearance blend so seamlessly to create a harmony between the two worlds.
I’m still having to pinch myself that these are images of me! It’s a look that I never expected to achieve and so many “firsts” were achieved – it is my first photoshoot without high heels, false lashes, hair extensions, revealing outfits or dark eye makeup. I also had my hair up in two different styles and wore florals!
I literally feel like the girl next door looking at these final shots as the team have captured such timelessness, elegance and natural beauty. Beauty in the bespoke fashion and attention to detail, timelessness in the stunningly natural makeup and hairstyles and elegance in the skill of the photography which has captured such depth and atmosphered and made the most wonderful use of studio and natural light alike.
When I look at how I arrived at the studio in a tracksuit with wet frizzy hair, smiling at the sight of cakes and sunflowers first thing in the morning, I never imagined how ladylike, prim and proper I would become and how at ease this new style of shoot and content would make me feel.
I am so touched that Jana’s vision came to life, for every aspect of its planning, execution and result and I will cherish this pictures forever as motivation and inspiration to always embrace growth and change.
If I can step away from sixteen years of the exact same style and behaviours and embrace the unknown so wholeheartedly and happily then it’s testament that we can all move confidently in whatever direction our individual path takes us in life; at any age and stage.
I’d like to thank the team once again for their kindness, creativity and sheer passion for what they create. I’m astounded by this whole experience which has allowed me to find freedom and acceptance in change and marry two opposing worlds to find a safe space as an individual inbetween.
I hope that you enjoy this video and behind the scenes photos and footage from our shoot, as well as the stunningly raw and unedited pictures which will be shared to my social media profiles over the coming weeks. I’m humbled to share my journey with you all and hope that you feel safe and able to also share yours. Life is for learning, growing, changing and finding ourselves at each and every step of the way.
This is where I’m at in my journey of life today. Where are you?
For more information or to make a booking you can contact the team directly here:
Makeup Artist, Hair Stylist & Photoshoot Planner
Tik Tok: @riverhouse