Or so I hope, anyway!
Anyone who's friends with me on Facebook (just send a friend request if you're on FB!) knows I was in a slight tizzy yesterday. Why? I had to have some photos taken. Photos of me. AS much as I love to look at lovely photos of myself, the actually taking and making of said photos strikes fear into my unphotogenic heart.
I have two photos I've been using whenever anyone asked -- for my websites, blog interviews and the like -- but the time had finally come to expand my professional photo portfolio. With my rather limited budget, though, my main concern was finding a photographer who had enough skills to ensure I would appear half-way decent in the finished project.
Scouring Gumtree, I came across a Polish photographer, Grzegorz Lepiarz, whose work I loved. I feared he might be out of my price range, but I fired off an email and yay! We struck a deal, and agreed to meet up at his studio at the wonderfully eccentric Debenham House in nearby Holland Park.
Now the tizzy began in earnest: what to wear? How to do my make-up (and not injure myself in the process)? And the most important question of all: how to make sure my hair co-operates? I really must give a giant shout-out to my husband who patiently gave his opinion on countless outfits, drove me to and from the studio location, and even had a lovely lamb stew waiting when we got home!
After a hasty appointment at MAC make-up down the street where I had my face painted with various shades of pastels, I carefully dressed in my chosen outfit and drove off to Debenham House.
What a wonderful location for a photo shoot! It was early evening, the sun was gleaming off the tiles, and the beautiful surroundings -- along with Grzegorz -- helped put me at ease. Worth £29 million and built in 1906, the house is (according to a property website):
a mixture of the Arts and Crafts movement, neo-classical and Byzantine styles. Glazed tiles are used extensively inside this ten-bedroom, five-bathroom house. Some depict peacocks, eagles, flowers, galleons and mythical beasts. Many may have come from an assignment originally commissioned for the Russian czar's yacht Livadia, built in the 1870's. In addition, there is a covered walkway from the road, a front garden laid out in a formal Dutch style and an Orangery in the back garden, where there is also a croquet lawn and a coach house with two-bedroom suites.
However you describe it, it was simply gorgeous and I could hardly believe I was lucky enough to have my photos taken there! I just hope I do them justice (gulp!).