I've been so excited, and a bit nervous, to share this post...
Then I came across Alter Ego Portraits, a photography studio based in Northamptonshire who specialise in Gil Elvgren style pin up portraits. Their online albums are full of glamorous girls, dolled up 40s and 50s style, in classic pin up set-ups and poses. Their Facebook page became a favourite, as a constant stream of glammed-up girls would make me incredibly envious. Thankfully Alter Ego held a competition over the summer, and on my birthday I got a letter through the post telling me I was a runner up. I'd won a shoot and a print to take home, excited, was an understatement!
Before the day the main thing I had to do was get myself some vintage inspired underwear. A lot of my shoot was going to be clothed, in the costumes provided by Alter Ego, but there was also an optional underwear section. Although there are many shops who specialise in this sort of stuff, my budget didn't stretch to that, so I headed to M&S. One long-line bra and matching knicker set later and I was sorted. Of course stockings were a must, so I took a couple of trusty Charnos pairs with me.
I was also told I could take some of my own clothes if I had anything appropriate, so I took my Gran's fur coat, a couple of dresses, a pile'o shoes and some jewellery.
While all this was going on Martin talked me through the Alter Ego experience, and how the day would run, and I choose my favourite poses and set ups for the shoot.
A quick glance at my 'Alter Ego' in the mirror and I barely recognised myself! I changed into my first outfit, a gorgeous Vivien of Holloway cherry-printed dress, and with retro tunes playing in the background, Martin set to work. Karen acted as assistant, arranging my skirt layers and helping me with poses - while backstage Martin's assistant Lola was already editing the photos being sent wirelessly from his camera, all very clever stuff!
Ann Summer's underwear and white men's shirt
I've got to be honest the next couple of hours were a bit of a blur, we went from one dress to the next, with Natalie touching up my make-up in between, two of my dresses came out to play, as did my Gran's coat. We used maybe fifteen different set ups from a picnic blanket to a dressing up box, from being on the phone, to being in a trunk. It was like a very fun game of dress up!
On the day I chose my photos I was almost more nervous than when I had them taken - but on seeing the ‘new me’ I was so surprised; it was like looking at a different person. We started off with around 70 photos and through a process of elimination (which was very tricky) whittled them down to the top seven you can see here, which I've kindly been allowed to share with you.
I think I’d like to go a back to do a couples shoot (if I could talk James into it) and I'd want to do it with long hair, as I love the big retro dos that weren’t possible with my short barnet!
I would like to thank the team for my shoot. Alter Ego Portraits vintage pin up shoots are available in several different packages, make great gifts, and are also a fab idea for hen parties. Visit www.alteregoportraits.com to find out more.
Has anyone else ever had anything like this done? Would you?