I was nervous and excited at the same time and then, smiling through gritted teeth, I shared the links to social media and calmly made a cuppa (maybe it should have been wine) and watched the fun begin.
The response was incredible, and everyone loved it. I felt so proud of what had been achieved and gratitude for those that had helped me along the way. So, thank you for help with graphic design, research, proofing, writing, models, makeup artists, photography, lighting and assistants.
Most of the photoshoots in the first issue were done by me. Not many people had heard of the magazine, so this issue was intended to showcase what type of features we have and our style.
The cover image was from my photoshoot A Lighter Shade of Pale with Holly Brewer. We met Holly on a press day, whilst following her journey as the leading lady in the pantomime, Sleeping Beauty. We then invited Holly over for a creative photoshoot and she said yes. During the shoot, we had the idea to blow bubbles over her face, which worked so well, we used the image for the cover.
Just before the show preview, we popped into Holly’s dressing room and got a quick picture with her front cover image. Thank you Holly for being the face of our first issue.
Gallery pages showcase a single image (or a couple of images) from the same photoshoot. The image has a title, description and camera settings.
Your Shoot showcases a creative’s entire photoshoot. All parties involved are interviewed and include any behind-the scenes images or video (where possible).
We’re Having a Ball
Everyone certainly did have a ball trying on Jessica Louise’s dresses. This is was our first ‘on location’ shoot at Barton Mill, with Mandy Spencer (makeup). There were girls, dresses, makeup and hairspray everywhere and we got some great shots around the mill. At the end of the shoot, I even tried on a dress myself.
It’s not always easy getting behind-the-scenes images on your own shoot, so, we had an idea to follow Mike Hardley’s shoot (who had just set up his studio above Mandy’s salon). Jan was there to interview, whilst Mandy worked her magic with Nic Button (our model). I took the behind-the-scenes shots, which worked well and produced a great article.
East meets West
We did this shoot at Abbey Hill Hotel in Milton Keynes to promote their newly refurbished wedding facilities. I popped over for a meeting and we organised a photoshoot in various locations around the hotel. Makeup artist, Sejal, styled our two model brides, Puja Parmar and Maria Blendea and our groom, Alpha Ali, one of my old students, modelled for the day. We used a mixture of Western and Indian looks.
Well, this was different. This shoot came about from a chat with makeup artist, Cecilia Paige, who I met on a shoot with Maybe Magazine. She also just happened to be a Pole Dancing instructor and thought it would be a great concept for a shoot. We got organising and with the help of some of her students (Vicky and Becky), I think we did a great job. I also invited Janine, a local amateur photographer, to join us for the afternoon.
A Lighter Shade of Pale
This was a whopping, nine double-page spread, which also featured the lyrics from the song ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale’ by band Procol Harum. We asked the bands permission and they said yes. Our models were Dakota Hunt and Holly Brewer, with Gwen Reece doing her magic with hair and makeup to bring our crazy idea to life.
Our first photoshoot in the Barn Studio, was our Chinese-inspired fashion shoot, China Girls. As Mandy was styling our models, Cassie Jackson and Jessica Walshe, we were busy setting up the studio and dressing trees with paper lanterns.
Syd Brak – Brak to the Future Article and Interviews
Ever since my mum gave me a birthday card with illustrator, Syd Brak’s (Wired for Sound) design, I have always loved his work. Many may remember the Athena Poster shops selling his designs back in the 80s, but Syd Brak’s work still influences many of today’s designers. I contacted Syd, via his agent, and was thrilled when he agreed to be interviewed. He even sent over all his images for us to use.
In fact, I was so inspired by Syd Brak, that we got together with model Dakota Hunt again for an 80’s themed shoot (published in Issue 2). This was so much fun with legwarmers and crazy makeup … it took me straight back to my teens.
Events and Shows
Mandy and Nik attended the Olympia Show 2013, as press for the day. They followed up their visit with a write-up, and along with the show’s imagery, produced a great article.
Aylesbury Pantomime – Press day and show
Meeting the cast of Sleeping Beauty (Andy Collins, Anita Dobson and Holly Brewer), was such fun on a press day at Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire. We were allowed in some of the rooms, normally out of bounds, and then went outside to continue the photoshoot. We then had the pleasure of interviewing Anita. A month or so later, we were invited back for a show preview to take images and then a pre-drink launch party on the first night, where I also met Spandau Ballet’s lead singer, Tony Hadley.
Focus On showcases a creatives …..
Press Photographer – Barry Rivett I met Barry at the pantomime press day, who said that he would be happy to be interviewed and sent over his favourite celebrity images. Model Yaasmin Yaasmin came over to Mandy’s for a fun couple of hours to shoot. She was in one of our first Focus On articles.
We also had other features to promote workshops, fun gifts for Christmas, an article on skills for a photoshoot, makeup and fashion and a couple of adverts.
I loved writing this article and reflecting on my first issue. It was sheer hard work but good fun working with so many talented people. Once again, thank you.