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Life in front of the lens


Sandford student Suzi Heal joined Strawberry Line Times for a fashion shoot to experience what it was like to be in front of the lens - here she relates her experience of modelling - including seeing herself in a wedding gown


There’s a few times in a girl’s life where they get to enjoy the experience of getting their hair and makeup professionally done; prom, wedding day or even for a special evening out. However, being made- over for a fashion shoot is something I have certainly not experienced before. In my A-Level studies, I was used to observing from the outside and never being the subject, myself. Although, today would be different!


It was 9 o’clock in the morning when I arrived at the Acutabove Salon in Axbridge to begin my transformation. Even after seeing last month’s model’s final appearance and knowing the brief on how I was to have my hair done that day, I still did not know what to expect.


I met Sarah who would be tackling the challenge of doing my hair – and anyone who knows me will agree that it would be a challenge indeed! I think I speak for most women – and even men – that we can be quite particular about our hair and how we want it to look, and the thought of modelling someone else’s idea did make me a bit nervous. Sarah had two ideas for how to proceed with my hair – she swiftly gave me a rough demonstration (It was amazing how quickly and skilfully stylists can work!) on how both would be done and we mutually agreed on the second style.


The back section of my hair was backcombed to add volume and swept round to one side where the stylist used her curling ‘wand’ (fittingly named – it was definitely performing magic!) to create loose curls cascading down. The make up for the shoot was kept fairly simple and natural – for which I was glad as I wouldn’t exactly describe my normal style as dramatic or theatrical!


I think the next part of the day has to be my favourite: after the hair and makeup came the wedding/prom dress fitting. We visited The Bridal Boutique in Winscombe where the shop attendant gave me a beautiful selection of gowns to try on. I immediately fell in love with the first wedding dress I tried on – pictured above. In addition to the wedding dress, I took away with me for the day an elegant, scarlet prom grown and a vibrant, teal bridesmaid’s dress.


The fashion shoot was at Cheddar Reservoir and the Bristol Corinthian’s Club House – who kindly let us use their facilities for the many outfit changes we would be undergoing that day.


Needless to say, I chose to wear the wedding dress for the first set of pictures – I have to admit, I felt reluctant to stop wearing it.


Strawberry Line Times August 2013


At first I found it a bit awkward being photographed – I’m a highly clumsy and awkward person and it took a lot of concentration just to stop myself falling over the long train of my dress. I wasn’t sure what to do with my hands – which felt weird to not be holding and using the camera themselves.


I certainly felt like an amateur when stood next to Martha (this month’s cover girl) who kindly tried to give me some tips.


The day dashed by rapidly and before I knew it we were on our final shoot of the day! We travelled on foot the short distance between the club house and the skate park nearby, which was made to feel like a journey of epic proportions due to all the luggage and props we had to cart around with us! In this collection of items we had an electric guitar, a variety of textbooks, a badminton racquet, handbags, extra pairs of shoes and a skateboard (which became a lot to carry between the three of us). However, it was worth it for the location of the photos – the skate park with its vibrant, graffiti plastered ramps was the perfect backdrop for our


‘after school’ themed shoot. It did seem too good to be true though, for as soon as we had started to walk to the skate park the weather had decided to turn on us. Already being a very windy day, our walk to and from the park became more of a battle against the elements and made our walk back much slower!


Once again, we had managed to get an incredible amount of work squeezed into just a few hours and I had also been lucky enough to wear some beautiful dresses. Although, if I was to take one vital lesson from the day it would be... poor weather and masses of hairspray do not mix!


• If you are a student who plans to study journalism, fashion, English or the media and would be interested in following in Suzi’s footsteps in gaining a little work experience - and even modelling - then contact the editor at strawberrylinetimes@hotmail.co.uk for details.


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