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When a photo shoot is about more than just the pictures

There have been a few things that have made the last year and a bit, difficult. I have a life mantra: keep the legs pumping. This has been my life philosophy for as long as I can remember and it’s what has kept my head above water at the worst times. I am well aware that anything I might be going through is nothing in comparison to some others, so I have always tried to suppress whatever has been going on, believing that my “trivialities” were not worth worrying about or bugging other people with.

It is only until very recently I have actually realised that my feelings are worthy of acknowledgment, that I have every right to be upset about things, and I was doing myself more damage by pretending I was ok when I wasn’t. I have Sian and a cluster of other wonderful friends to thank for this epiphany. They have no idea (until now, I guess) what their encouragement for me to feel what I was feeling and not feeling guilty about it, was ok, means – I’m so grateful to them for listening to my gripes and woes, while giving me sound and simple advice along the way.

I really felt like I was falling into the abyss, so having friends telling me it was ok and to believe in myself to be strong enough to get through to the other side, has been indescribably helpful.

Part of my abyss falling, was an almost complete lack in confidence. There has been a particular instance in the past year, where I have been made to feel completely unimportant, not good enough, and worth very little – this of course contributed to how little I felt about myself and how un/important I was not only in this situation, but in all situations! I believed that message for a long time, but suppressed this with my ol’ mantra: keep the legs pumping; but in truth, I had lost myself.

I have slowly started to build again and have been looking for opportunities to express that – enter the ridiculously multi talented, Khandie Khisses! I saw the gorgeous pictures she had taken of the beautiful, Mrs.BeBe, and thought a shoot was exactly what I needed! It took me awhile to contact Khandie because those insecurities kept coming up, but I eventually did and cannot describe how happy I am that I did. I emailed Khandie and started the preliminaries in regards to when, where and the theme - I also mentioned the possible shoot, to Sian.

She also really wanted to be photographed by Khandie, so I thought whom better to share the experience with than someone who had unknowingly helped me reach that point?! It was all arranged, and we set off to gorgeous Greenwich….Khandie was/is an absolute dream! She is fun, open, honest, and dedicated to making everyone she photographs feel like they are worth everything! I hadn’t felt that way in such a long time, so it felt good to get into the rhythm and be completely self indulgent in front of the camera – I even got my arms and legs out, IN PUBLIC! I haven’t done that since I was a child (literally), but I felt liberated with two incredible and inspiring women, telling me I looked great.

I had a blast and below are three pictures I wanted to share with you. I have more, but those are just for me; this shoot was for me and was another building block to helping me feel like me, again.

Now, the dress! There was no doubt I was going to go with my favourite vintage replica (online) store, Lady Vintage London. I adore their dresses and my wardrobe is bulging with them – no lie! The dress I wore for the shoot is my favourite. It screams summer, with it’s gorgeous colourful flower/bird print on top of a creamy/white base, I knew it had to be *the* dress. I wore a simple bolero, a petticoat (of course!), a blue belt and court shoes, and white flowers in my hair. This is the best outfit I have ever put together and I’m thrilled I saved it for this day.

Bolero: eBay
Petticoat: Hell Bunny (via Soho’s Clothing)
Belt: Next
Shoes: Head over Heels by Dune
Flowers in the hair (just seen): eBay 

When I first saw the pictures, it felt unreal and I couldn’t believe it was me; but this is me, and with a huge thanks to Sian, Khandie and some other amazing friends in my life, I finally see that.

I’m sorry this post is so long, but I felt it was important to be completely honest without shame or embarrassment (because saying you’re hurt can be one of the hardest things to do). It is also important for anyone going through confidence issues to know you’re not alone! If anyone is feeling as low as I was, I hope this helps in some way – you will come out on the other side.

All my love and hugs,

**Please note:  ALL images are copyright of Khandie Khisses. Please do not use without her permission.**


  1. You always look gorgeous but these photos capture your beauty perfectly <3 And your write-up is fab - it brought a tear to my eye. Love you loads, lady. Please don't ever forget how wonderful and how treasured you are xxx

    1. Aww, thank you! It was scared to publish this, as I haven't posted something so personal before, but the reaction has been so lovely. I hope it helps others with confidence issues. :) xxx

  2. That is an amazing outfit. You make that dress look soooooooo good. I'm not sure if I had seen the dress by itself that I would love it so much, you bring it to life. Thanks so much for sharing your photo shoot. Hope you do quite a few more!

    1. Oh, wow, thank you! So super nice of you to say so; and I absolutely loved the shoot and definitely want to do more in the future - maybe push myself to do something really daring. We'll see. :) xx

  3. You look absolutely beautiful, inside and out. You're like a dream! xx

    1. Aww Lauren! Thank you so much. As you know, it's been a bit of a tough time, but having friends like you have helped me so much - you're such a inspiration to me and I'm so happy to call you my friend. :) xxx

  4. You look so beautiful! The photos are fantastic. Well done on such a fab and honest post. Very inspiring. Xx


    1. Thank you so much Louise! All these comments are overwhelming and I'm so grateful to you and everyone else who has taken the time to get in touch. It really does mean a lot! :) xx

  5. You are sexy and beautiful!I'm sorry you've had confidence issues, but the I'm glad you're working through them. You should never feel inferior because you look wonderful, and I'm sure you have fantastic personality too.

    1. HI Lily! Thanks so much for your kind words. I'm definitely feeling like my old self again and I'm so happy to have so many people send me encouragement. I hope this helps others in some way :) xx


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