It all came about in a bit of a whirlwind. Before I knew it I was having a phone interview with a freelance journalist followed by a chat with a stylist (both whilst sat in a Center Parcs lodge) followed by a special delivery of clothes and photographer with a hair and makeup artist arriving at door on a Sunday morning.
This has been my first experience of being part of a national newspaper feature and here are the Top 10 Things I have learnt in the process.
No. 1 – Present Solutions.
Quite apt really as I’m a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist! Well, the clothes they sent weren’t 100% perfect to say the least – in fact the two dresses were too big and reminded me of Christmas. The photographer and hair and makeup artist agreed and really appreciated the fact I’d already gone through my wardrobe and alternatives were hanging on the door ready for selection. It saved time and they got the images they wanted.
No. 2 – Prepare yourself for lots of camera flashes.
I hadn’t anticipated there would be quite so many photos taken for one single feature. Both my kitchen and lounge were transformed into a photo studio and it took a fair amount of time repeating poses, tilting my head and tweaking hand placement. Learn the key feet, leg and hand placements early on and it makes it much easier!
No. 3 – Consider your ‘thoughtful face’.
I had some great direction from the photographer, and look forward to seeing the photos, but I honestly had no idea what to do when he asked for my ‘thoughtful’ face. Stern? Distant? Wistful? Constipated? I still don’t know whether I cracked it…
No. 4 – Have flesh coloured tights raring to go.
It was almost a catastrophe when I put on some black tights with my dress. Little did I know how lousy black tights look when they’re printed and that they can ruin a photo. Thankfully I had some natural coloured tights buried in the bottom of a drawer (they don’t see much daylight in the winter months!)… although I admit they did have a ladder in them so I had to wear them back to front.
No. 5 – Make sure you have some ‘nice’ shoes.
This was mainly regarding my 4 year old daughter, who was also a part of the photo shoot. The shoes they sent for her were too small. Again, being in the midst of winter muddy puddle season, her favourite shoes are unsurprisingly wellies and trainers! I didn’t have any pretty, girly shoes to hand. Some bright orange Converse were eventually located and agreed to be the best (not so ideal) option – I have a feeling photoshop will be deployed to tone down the neon orange…
No. 6 – Be careful around the temporary white background.
The photographer brought a massive roll of thick white paper to transform our kitchen. The only problem was he stuck it to the fridge which made getting milk out of the fridge a little challenging. At one point the paper became unstuck which appeared to be the perfect opportunity to do a round of cuppas. However, there was a bottle of wine on the fridge which was precariously placed too close to the door, and maybe helping the white paper to stay in place, crashed onto the floor. Thankfully the only casualty of the shoot. It just smelt of wine for the rest of the day!
No. 7 – Make lunch in advance.
If you have a 10am photoshoot, like me, don’t expect to be done in time to prepare lunch for the family. I should definitely have done this beforehand as it was almost 1pm by the time the house cleared of visitors. A simple but important tip…
No. 8 – Always have a business card to hand.
I never anticipated that a national newspaper photo shoot would lead to me talking to one of the team about how I help my clients overcome anxiety. Nor that it would lead to them taking my card because they thought I could help someone they know who would be willing to travel a fair way to see me.
No. 9 – Remember the power of a Peppa Pig album.
We all know children never behave how you want them to in certain situations. My normally chilled, happy little boy decided the photoshoot was going to be when he’d channel his grumpiest and saddest self. The only thing that saved us was the hair and makeup stylist having the Peppa Pig album on her phone and dancing around behind the photographer. What a superstar!
No. 10 – Remember a thank you.
Being featured in a national newspaper for the first time has been an incredible experience and I wrote to the freelance journalist to say thank you afterwards. She really appreciated it and it was the least I could do.
If you too would like the opportunity to be featured in a National Newspaper, and even earn a few quid along the way, I highly recommend joining the Facebook group Feature Me! UK. This is how I seized an opportunity and really look forward to sharing the full feature goes to print.
Want to know what the feature is about? To read it first simply join my ‘Under the Oak Tree’ mailing list by clicking here.