It’s the goal of a lot of businesses to be in a national newspaper.
When I got my opportunity this year, it involved having a photoshoot for the Daily Mail in my home.
Here’s my experience.
(Or my answer to everyone who asked why I said yes to the DM).
The Daily Mail has a readership of millions and occasionally it has excellent journalism even if its reputation for well balanced reporting could be improved.
The story the Daily Mail were interested in was how I look after my hair without using shampoo and I knew I needed to go for it.
It’s been 2 years since I used commercial shampoo to clean my hair and I’ve (almost) forgotten the hours I previously spent washing and drying my hair.
My professional photos for my business were taken with shampoo free hair.
So, you see an opportunity to be in a national newspaper.
It was last minute, I was ill, I had bad hair because I was ill (and it’s for a shoot where my hair needs to look good), I was terrified of being in the Daily Mail (I don’t need to explain that one do I?), and I did it anyway.
1. Clean and tidy.
2. Create space in one bedroom small flat to put photographer, stylist and large amounts of photography kit. Even a travelling light photographer needs a lot of space.
3. Remove extraneous persons (aka my man had lunch out. You may need childcare).
4. Be gentle with yourself, get extra sleep, eat well.
I’d had a good breakfast, gone for a calming walk in my local wood, listened to the birdsong and come home for a cup of tea.
The photographer was scheduled to arrive at 12.
At 11.30 the doorbell rang with a delivery.
I opened it, because who wouldn’t, and it had Daily Mail style outfits.
You know the style I mean, nude heels, red or pink dress, nude tights, white shirt.
Only slightly late, which is good for London, the photographer and stylist arrived.
I changed into the first outfit (in the bedroom) while John the photographer set up in the living room.
I knew how much space he’d need, that he’d be bringing a backdrop etc, as my man does photography and our living room wall is a green screen! Answer, they need a lot of space.
I was made up, the stylist did my hair, and we started.
My main tip is to remember what looks natural on camera can feel like the most uncomfortable pose known to woman.
Focus why you are doing this.
It doesn’t matter that you are standing in heels, resting your weight on your good leg because the other leg is healing a break, that you have eye shadow in your eye, a strong light in your face, standing on tip toe so you don’t break the backdrop paper, and feel ill.
It’s a good experience to learn what looks good on camera.
This is my model’s eye view.
Behind me is a backdrop most of the width of the living room, to my right out of shot is the stylist, the tall pole you can see is the light stand, the case on the table on the left is the stylist’s make up bag. On the sofa is the camera, lens, my laptop. On the left, the photographer’s laptop and if you look carefully you can see one of the full length shots of me.
At this point, the photographer is calling to ask whether they wanted beauty shots (aka my face, white shirt). They did.
I took the opportunity to take a selfie in full Daily Mail make up with backdrop behind me and sent it to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
It just shows you how the same face in the same makeup can look different because the image of me that appeared in the Mail, taken only 10 minutes later, is a very different look.
2 hours after they arrived, they were gone, and I went for a walk.
Tell everyone, especially your mother.
You’re in a national newspaper. That’s what matters. Not whether they published photos you like.
The same applies to quotes. So what if what’s reported isn’t completely accurate. As long as it’s mostly ok, that’s good enough.
Be proud of yourself and be aware of opportunities and clients that find you because of your photoshoot.
And if you’re a cake loving freelancer in the UK who wants help understanding and doing your own tax return, contact me 🙂
Read my experience of a business photography photoshoot and why you can claim it off your tax bill.