I’m constantly scrolling down my Instagram feed fiercely jealous of bloggers like The Kitty Luxe and Lady Writes having a stunning photo shoot, getting papped by the likes of Fordtography and OhItsSare. I’m so envious I don’t even know where to start. The killer blogger outfits, the cool London locations, the skill of the photographer? Teach me your ways!
Until now, Jake or my mum have always taken my blog photos, and don’t get me wrong, they’re good shots. As a photographer myself, I know how I want the images to look. Those not photographically-minded don’t always get that.
Similarly, I as a model probably don’t help. I am so bloody awkward. I make myself cringe. I’m terrified to move my arms from anywhere other than my side or moving my hair behind my ears at a push (typical blogger pose spotted on most insta feeds). It’s difficult being a socially awkward, introverted blogger.
That’s where Tamar Willoughby comes in.
On the evening of Wednesday 28 March, Tamar posted on her Instagram stories that she was offering free photo shoots for the weekend and my heart stopped momentarily. I won’t lie to you I was absolutely bricking it. I messaged her and we organised a shoot for the Friday morning. As soon as the date was in the diary, nerves kicked in. I had just over 24 hours to find three top outfits that made me feel amazing.
I sat on my bedroom floor in my dressing gown after throwing a temper tantrum to Jake about not having anything a m a zing to wear, but merely many mediocre get-ups. Once out of my momentary strop, I started piecing things together and came up with two solid ‘yes-outfits’ and a ‘maybe-but-needs-something’ outfit. I went out the next morning and picked up some bits and bam. My three outfits were chosen. I folded them into a bag ready for the morning before spending two hours stressing about the photo shoot.
Tamar and I arrived at my local National Trust Park, Biddulph Grange Gardens, literally a hop, skip and a jump away from my home. Typically, we turned up to the otherwise quiet and peaceful gardens on the busiest day of the year. Good Friday. We found ourselves in the midst of a children’s Easter egg hunt full of sugar-crazed toddlers and tots. Nevertheless, Tamar made it work. Since the grounds are so huge, we could usually find a slightly quieter spot to shoot.
I chose Biddulph Grange Gardens as the location for personal reasons. Firstly, I’ve not visited since I was tiny, and I’m always reminded about the beauty of the place. Secondly, the week marked the one year anniversary of my Granddad’s passing, and he used to be a gardener at the Grange. His water-lilies that he planted all those years back still bloom each year. My Nan also used to work there as a nurse in the hospital, and she always has a million stories to tell from years gone by. It’s a gorgeous little gem with a tonne of history and it just seemed so perfect.
We spend the first 10-15 minutes scouting out a quiet spot, whilst I admitted to Tamar how blooming nervous I was and that I’d probably need a lot of direction from her. I cannot thank Tamar enough for how amazing she was with me. She made me feel so comfortable and relaxed whilst shooting, and made me giggle for those natural looking shots.
Another great thing about the Grange is that, due to the gardens having different themes, it doesn’t look like the photos are all taken in the same location. Tamar scouted out some awesome little nooks and crannies. Her brain is just constantly filled with unique visuals and ideas.
We were shooting for around an hour and a half, and within the last half hour my confidence blossomed. Tamar had transformed me into a sassy social butterfly and I was shaking my hips and waving my arms all over the place.
When Tamar sent over the sneak peeks, I was gobsmacked. The girl in those photos was me, and Tamar had made me look like a queen. I have no clue how, but wow. Tamar uses her own pre-sets on Lightroom to edit. They have such a gorgeous warm, earthy glow that’s super natural and, well, perfect!
This was my first photo shoot experience and I couldn’t be happier with it. Tamar’s out-going and free personality shines through in her beautifully natural and authentic shots. For me, that’s exactly what I’m looking for. I can’t thank her enough for the opportunity and positive first shooting experience.
All images in this post were taken by Tamar Willoughby. You can find her blog here.