Those of you that follow me on facebook or twitter will have noticed a change in my avatar over the last week – thank you so much for the favourable comments, guys! I’ll be rolling it out to the rest of my online presence very soon. The photos were taken by Trish Gant of Little Gems Photography, who is running a very reasonable headshot offer until Valentines Day.
Trish is best known for taking pictures of families and pets in her Little Gems business, but she also showed me some of her other work, including some promotional shots of food for an upcoming recipe book (watch this space for a review when it comes out!). She is definitely a multi-talented lady, with a lovely small studio in Walton-on-Thames.
I’m not a natural in front of the camera. When I was young I was teased for not being able to smile nicely and I’m afraid my inhibitions have stuck with me. Nowadays at home, I tend to wield the camera whenever possible, and you will find very few shots of me anywhere, apart from at my wedding when I didn’t get any choice in the matter.
The experience of being photographed in a studio for a professional headshot was fun but I will confess to finding it a little bit strange in parts. Trish asked me “what image do you want to portray to your readers?” and I must admit the question had me stumped. Generally I don’t give any thought to my own “image” at all.
I’m not in the least bit vain, and where possible I wear clothes for comfort rather than fashion, and leave my hair loose rather than ‘style’ it. Of course when I worked in accounting I wore the suit and the smart shoes, and even the make up, when I felt I had to. It wasn’t really me, but certainly 20 years ago, a woman just had to follow the herd…
When I stopped work and had my children I was extremely grateful to move into the mummy uniform of jeans or tracky bottoms and some kind of casual top. That felt a bit more like the real me after so long stuffed into a suit. In the early days of motherhood, my “image”, like so many new mums, consisted of a random item of clothing on every part of my body – if you were lucky some of them might co-ordinate and if you were very lucky you might catch me without a baby-related stain somewhere or other……
I have to confess that some days I haven’t really moved on from that new mum image (thankfully the baby-related stains are mostly gone now that the little ones are 6 and 8!) I am trying to find a style that is still very much mummy but maybe a little bit more co-ordinated – some days I get it, some days I don’t….
The picture on my Cambridge page, which used to be my facebook and twitter avatar until recently, was taken when I had just lost all of my weight and was really pleased with myself. I’m kind of hoping it says health and vitality – or something like that….
And Trish’s pictures? I’m not exactly sure what they are saying. Confident, happy approachable – that’s sort of what I was aiming for. I think I am all these things, but how to encompass it in a facial expression and mannerism? I found it very difficult indeed and I think she has done a fantastic job against huge odds to capture me.
I’d be interested to know what people think looking at these pictures. Some of you will know me and some not, but what are these pictures saying to you? Maybe I’ll find out more about my image than I could have guessed…?