It was a it of a marathon for me, the last 4 weeks. France- England- France- Guadeloupe- France-London. I think I know by now every square inch of Paris Montparnasse station and of course both Eurostar terminals. Getting a train between London and Paris feels a bit like getting a metro.
I wanted to tell you about our Paris photo shot we did this month. Looking back everything went fine but it wasn’t plain sailing at first. Must have been Mars retrograde. A photographer who agreed to work with me just stopped answering my emails. I’m quite annoyed with myself because this was a second time she did it and I should have pulled out the first time it happened (if you wandering why I still wanted to work with her, the reason is simple- she is really, really good). But I held on booking anything until I knew she was available.
The second time around it was kind of “now or never” situation. We agreed on a date, a make up artist was was coming form London, the location and Eurostar tickets were paid for. Everything was ready to go and she just stopped replying. I spent a miserable weekend. The shot was planned for Wednesday. On Saturday, I had no model and no photographer.
You read it right. A model pulled out on me, too. It’s very difficult to find a short woman (I was looking for someone up to 160cm tall) and women I found were commercial models. Very, very beautiful but often curvier than my seize 36 samples. So I resorted to contacting influencers… Guys, I know now why they often get such a bad rep…I mean, you are mind conversation with someone to discuss organisation details and they just stop replying. Nothing. Nada. At first I thought that maybe I offended this person? But no, I’m super respectful, offered to pay an advance and to pay expenses in advance too… did take it personally at first but then I realised that this person just wasn’t professional and it was nothing to do with me.
After indulging a little in a pity party I got really annoyed with myself. Why did I allow other people to “highjack” my photoshoot? I thought- NO, it’s MY shot and it’s going ahead no matter what.
I plucked up the courage and I emailed a photographer from Paris whose work I long admired on Instagram. I expected her to be busy but as my shot was planned the day after Paris Fashion Week had ended, she was free to do it.
As for a model, I decided I would stand in front of the camera myself. It was not ideal because I wanted to build a brand detached from my face but it kind of made sense at the end. I’m short and the samples fit me, and all the shoes that go with my dresses fit me, too (obv since they belonged to me). The con was that instead of working with the photographer (you will so much when you are not in the middle of action), you have to get comfortable in front of the camera lens. And of course, there is a visual factor. Maybe a couple of year ago it wouldn’t have been a problem for me, but I feel that last year added at least 5 more years to my face. As I said, not ideal.
But that was it, I was going to make it to happen no matter what. On Tuesday evening, after a long day at court and a mad dash to London Eurostar terminal, I arrived at our Paris flat I booked for the shoot.
If ever the was a definition of a lucky person, I’d say the owner of this apartment counts as one. Four bedrooms, a large living room, dining room and two bathrooms- not too shabby. It was a dream place- high ceilings, parquet floors, balconies, marble fireplaces…
On the day of the shoot I was so nervous that instead of preparing dresses and props, I was on Instagram, unable to do anything constructive. At the end, I pulled myself together in time to get stuff done before Aga, my make up artist arrived. I worked with her before and I knew she was going to make me look all cheekbones and tousled hair. I had recently cut my hair to a short bob so I bought some extensions which Aga made into a messy bun.
I was so nervous- I guess it’s different to shoot for the blog when I know I have a super nice audience than for a promotional material. I mean, these photos have to have to sell the collection. No pressure then.
Hana, the photographer turned out to be so nice and charismatic and she managed to put me at ease in 10 minutes flat. We immediately agreed on a concept and got it done, with Aga making sure my make up stayed put. I loved it, our little crew just getting stuff done on the streets of Paris.
The day went by in a flash. Before The French joined me for dinner and champagne, (notat all romantic, a take away Mexican and a bottle of champagne at home), I strolled through the neighbourhood of of chic 7th Arrondissement, just round the corner from my old friend, the Eiffel Tower. We stayed here a few times on holidays and even the bistro where took some of the photos, was a familiar one- Trish and I went through a few bottles of Puligny- Montrachet there one summer 🙂
And just like this, it was time to pack out bags and go to the airport. We were traveling to French Antilles for a birthday party. Rum, white sand beaches straight from Bounty commercial and balmy nights- a perfect antidotum to recent weeks…