Monday, 26 April 2010

Collaborating with an Angel Part 6

OK so it's been a long time and the stage is set for the first shoot, yes there is more to come....
apologies for the delay, my life has run away with me a bit. The day was long but fascinating and tiring, both physically and emotionally. I have a new found respect for models. Standing still for extended periods of time under lights with a group of people watching (albeit a lovely group of people) is exhausting. 9am start and straight into hair and makeup. To create a geisha-style hairstyle mean having various lengths of tights stuffed with bubble wrap inside them inserted onto my noggin to be covered with my own hair to 'big it up' so to speak. False eyelashes, heavy makeup to withstand the lights and lots of chatting with the fabulous Kelly to create the glamorous look needed for the portrait.

There were several tests with me in the set as it was being assembled and lit throughout the day to check for positioning. After lunch and the final touch-ups we were ready to go..

The dress had been carefully covered with irises, I was pinned in and in position, then the hard work began. I had to overcome sudden nerves as the camera was loaded each time, the reality of the situation suddenly came over me after spending so long preparing and discussing the portrait it was really happening. The beautiful butterflies (real ones attached to twisted coloured wires) were great to focus on and distract me from the rest of the movement on set. Neeta gave me reassuring words of encouragement as I tried to channel the spirit of our inspiration Liz Taylor. The word 'wonderment' was used a lot as I had to look at the the butterfly as if it had just caught my attention and filled me with awe and surprise. Half way through this I had chance for a break and my first peek at a Polaroid of myself. Neeta looked at me with expectation and I looked at myself...

It's hard to describe, but despite all the work I couldn't see myself in it. By that I mean my identity had altered so much I didn't feel comfortable with it. I felt awful. Neeta sensed something was wrong and was upfront with me and said that I should tell her honestly how I felt about it. It was then that my emotions got the better of me and I felt so embarrassed. everyone on set took it in their stride announcing that everyone had pretty much done the same thing and there was no need to feel bad about it. All we had to do was to change a few things. So after a 5 minute breather outside it was back in make-up (me constantly worried I was being a prima donna) to let down a few more curls from my hairdo so that I was more 'me'. That's all it took and we were back on track.

It was 8pm by the time all 30 shots, digital shots and Polaroids had been taken. I was aching but glad that we had done it. Then everyone had to play in the set before it was dismantled. After choosing a Polaroid to take home and the removal of make-up, packing of cars, I hopped in with Vicky to head back to London, thinking this was the last time I would be 'Laura with Irises' for real.... little did I know there was more to come.

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