I am so thrilled to have been asked by Cheshire Life to feature on the front cover of their August 2023 issue. I know my mum would have been really proud! And I am equally as proud of my miniature poodle Ollie who was beside me all day!
The cover shot was arranged in association with Bentley Motors who have a feature article within the publication. And my role was to help create an image to represent ‘a Cheshire lifestyle’. I’d say a Bentley Continental GTC Speed, a country road, a poodle and a real Cheshire housewife does exactly that.
When the Editor Jo asked me if I would do it, I was super flattered, I am no model and in fact felt slightly terrified at the thought. After my initial reaction of “YES!”, my next question was “Why me? Surely there are many gorgeous women in Cheshire (with lots of modelling experience) who would jump at the chance of being a Cheshire Life Magazine cover girl?”. Jo was really kind and very complimentary saying I certainly fitted the brief and they wanted a ‘real housewife of Cheshire’, an identity people would relate to, however she also said that she knew I’d deliver, be low maintenance on the day, arrange my own hair, makeup and appropriate outfit, and be a true professional…’Thanks Jo!…. and yes, that’s all true, I did and I am”.
My whole career in marketing and advertising has seen me manage and attend many commercial photo shoots from fashion to food, I own another business which is a marketing and creative agency in Cheshire called House Creative Agency. I know the drill and I understand how much hard work goes into any photoshoot or advertising campaign. As glamorous as the finished shots look it’s always a long, exhausting day with all kinds of challenges to conquer, not least the weather on an outdoor shoot in the UK!
Planning a photoshoot like this takes team work, we needed to make sure there was a clear vision for the desired shot, and that we were all on the same page in terms of getting it. So weeks of planning went into all the final details from location and art direction to fashion and style… and watching that dratted weather forecast.
We wanted something understated, a classic chic look for a 50 something housewife of Cheshire. Knowing the car was classic racing green, we chose a little cream boucle dress by Sandro, a pair of orange Christian Louboutin So Kate heels and accessorised it with a classic teal coloured Hermès Kelly handbag, matching teal Hermès driving gloves and a coordinating classic Hermès orange silk headscarf (although the final shot doesn’t feature that it was much needed as that breeze whipped up!). My sunnies were by Tom Ford and Ollie wore a diamanté collar.
My husband Gary was nominated the driver of the day, up early to collect ‘the car’ from Bentley in Crewe (and what a car it was!), it was a 2 hour round trip to get the vehicle to Prestbury Village Cheshire. Whilst he was doing that, I was at the beauty salon for makeup and hair before jumping into that classic outfit – oh so chic!
Knowing how much those shoes would kill my feet, I was fully prepared with a spare pair of flat loafers to pop on whilst the photographer and art director decided what sets they wanted to shoot and whilst they perused the camera roll. And thank goodness I did, 4 hours in Loubs is enough for any girl! I’m sure a grew a bunion in a day!
Achieving just the one shot takes hours and lots of set repeats, I must have stepped in and out of that car 50 times, and as for little Ollie, he was walked up and down the same 10 foot length of road without complaint. Everything has to be right, every detail of the shot checked before we move on to the next set, and on a breezy day a shot can be ruined in a nano second! My bouncy blow dry was pretty doomed! All hail the headscarf.
We tried (and failed) to get a shot of Ollie and I in the car with Ollie peeping over the back seat, sounds simple.. just put the dog in the back and shoot! Er… no… by this time Ollie decided to have a lie down on the back seat! And no amount of calling his name could convince him to peep over the back seat to see what was going on. So to get the shot below my poor husband lay cramped on the back seat with a poodle on his back.. we tried.. at least! Certainly one for the album… but not the front cover.
Overall we got so many fabulous images, thank you to my own personal photographer Aga Mortlock for capturing some stunning pics throughout the day, every one will form part of my brand asset bank as I like to get as much as possible out of every photo shoot I do with her. She’s an absolute pro.
And thank you too to Cheshire Life’s own in-house photographer Kirsty, who captured the chosen shot used for the cover image. It was literally the last set of the day. Phew…
Fame at last, well in Cheshire anyway… although I hear you can pick up a copy of Cheshire Life in central London!
It’s a wrap!