Rain’s in fashion

Sep-CoverThe Windmill on Wimbledon Common was the perfect location for our Elys AW17 fashion shoot. With long meadow grass and late summer sun light we were aiming for 70s retro vibe for this transitional season with it’s earthy tones, layering and cosy knits. Only a month’s worth of rain in 36 hours could have prevented this shoot from being utterly gorgeous, but not even that could hold back our crack team.

The opening shot was our priority, the rain satellite showed a ten minute break in the torrential rain so we geared up to nail this shot.

The iconic windmill looks majestic in it’s 200th year, dominating the landscape. The Windmill Museum have done an impressive job restoring the sales in time for this year’s bicentenary celebrations and we are extremely grateful to Asif Malik who generously hosted us for the day.

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ELSYS-SEPT-2017-44704It was bucketing down for the rest of the day so we had to ‘work’ with the rain, using the  tree canopy as a natural of umbrella. John took a killer shot of this vampy look which ended up as the opening shot for the story.

Luckily we were able to step back in time using the interior of the Windmill Museum. The original artefacts dating back to the working windmill were fascinating.

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The team were so up for every suggestion, traipsing through the mud and rain, or climbing onto the windmill roof. The original vision for the shoot inevitably changed due to the weather conditions but the final images have a super Autumnal feel, perfect for the September edition.

Thank you to my exceptional team:

  • Photographer: John McMurtrie
  • Model: Leticia Herod
  • Stylist: Helen Ford Canning
  • Assistant: Emily Mitchell
  • Hair: Sean Hanna
  • Makeup: Bare Mineral by Dee Vasey
  • Nanny: Veronika from Wimbledon Nannies*

*Renate from Wimbledon Nannies was amazing and found the perfect nanny for me for the day. The process was so easy, I was put in touch with Veronika so we could chat and meet up before the day. Veronika was brilliant on the day and just fitted in – nothing was a problem and my little 5 month old son thought she was ace.

How to direct a fashion shoot in the rain

Don’t panic, devise plan b in the day(s) before

  • Create a strong back-up plan and communicate with your team as early as possible
  • Find the nearest indoor locations either for shelter or alternative scenes
  • Send out your call sheet with weather forecast & instructions for wet weather gear
  • Be flexible with your story, either create a new one or work with your photographer to make the most of the conditions on the day

On the day

  • Wellies and spares for the model just in case
  • Bring plastic bags, see-through ones for camera equipment, black plastic for model to stand on if needed
  • Bring lots of golf umbrellas, you can’t have enough!
  • Keep the model under umbrellas until the second before shooting starts
  • If you have time do some practise shots with the umbrellas so you can get it just right for when the umbrellas disappear
  • Check live satellite weather conditions on your mobile for rain breaks
  • Keep the team focussed on the end goal
  • Hot drinks and bacon sandwiches to stop spirits being dampened








As part of our 20th anniversary year celebrations at Time & Leisure Magazine, the ed team interviewed a working mum close to home to open the section….

Many readers aren’t aware of the people behind the scenes of a publishing house, they know the editor, possibly the sales team, so this editorial was a great opportunity to connect with our female readership who are often doing their own juggling act with work and kids.


My scrumptious five month old son comes into work with me nearly every week and
attended his first board meeting at just 8 weeks old. I’m lucky to have such a supportive team who accept Otis breastfeeding whilst we work. It’s not always ideal, it can be distracting and exhausting but I feel priviliedged to be in the position that I can enjoy both work and family.

Not used to being in front of the camera, I asked the best photographer I know to capture these lovely family pics. My brother Joe popped in to take these shots on our way to a family birthday party, so we were busy making cakes and too excited to sit still for long. In a parallell universe I wouldn’t be looking so sleep deprived or have my daughter arrive home with make-up by her 6 year old best friend, but I was so proud that she chose Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls to read – she’s so cool.

As ever, Time & Leisure magazine is a real family affair and I love it for that.

The August is out now, read it online and turn to page 76 or scroll down






Sadiq Khan London Mayor photos

When Tony and I met Sadiq Khan for his interview and photo shoot for Time & Leisure magazine he was quite taken by our father-daughter working relationship. With two daughters Sadiq wanted to know all about how we worked together, musing the idea of his teenage daughters working with him in the future.

Tony Kane aka Dad interviewed Sadiq at William Morris House, Wimbledon Labour headquarters whilst I took photos of Sadiq as he talked animatedly about transport, housing, pollution and equality for women. In the magazine layout we used the images in a film strip style to show how he expressive he was.

We then headed into Wimbledon town centre with Sadiq, as we walked people came up to meet and greet him, shake his hand and offer support for his Mayoral campaign. Sadiq Khan proved to be a popular candidate, people felt comfortable to come and chat and he was genuinely interested in people. I was impressed by his easy nature, like-ability and and loved his positive campaign to become London Mayor.

Congratulations Sadiq Khan. A real London Mayor.


See page 24 & 25, Time & Leisure Magazine, March 2016


Eric Lanlard

Cake-boy Eric Lanlard

Time & Leisure magazine offices were buzzing with excitement when French patisserie TV chef Eric Lanlard arrived laden with boxes of the most exquisite cakes for our October front cover shoot. We are all massive fans of Eric Lanlard who was the star of the show at Time & Leisure’s Food & Drink Awards earlier in the week. He is in high demand and this week he also appeared on This Morning, the day the Queen held the longest reign. Being a TV chef isn’t just about Royal TV appearances and P&O cruises, Eric Lanlard told us he’d been working in the kitchen from 5am but he remained utterly charming throughout the shoot. Our Prince of Puddings left us with the most difficult decision to make, not which image to choose for the cover which is a tricky one, but which one of the most delicious cakes I ever seen to eat first, the team finished the cakes in about 3 seconds.

Daley Thompson, Daley Fitness, Putney, Time & Leisure Magazine,

Daley Fitness

When our editor mentioned she was interviewing Daley Thompson, my camera was instantly in hand. Photographing Daley turned out to be such an interesting shoot, his reluctance to be in the press over the years turned into our benefit -he’s not a slick media pro, instead we discovered a genuine, warm, funny and engaging person. It was so great to meet a childhood hero who lived up to legacy and in person was touchable. I have a new Daley crush!

When we arrived at his new gym in Putney it was in the last stages of a major refurbishment, something I sympathised with being in the last throes of refurbishing our home, so we bonded over builder dramas, we talked families – his two boys are his life, and he wanted to know detail about my fitness and training schedule.

Not knowing where or how the shoot was going to take place, I walked in blind and the only place was downstairs in the basement, with beautiful freshly painted white walls, stark gym equipment we had a neutral backdrop, low light but Daleys bright orange t-shirt saved the day.

His new Putney gym Daley Fitness is going to be so great, his genuine love to see people training, but training to excellence is going to give members something totally new. If I lived in Putney I’d sign up today, after all what could be more motivational than being in the gym and seeing the gorgeous Daley Thompson strolling through!

His new Putney gym Daley Fitness is going to be so great, his genuine love to see people training, but training to excellence is going to give members something totally new. If I lived in Putney I’d sign up today, after all what could be more motivational than being in the gym and seeing the gorgeous Daley Thompson strolling through!

Style fashion photo shoot

Laura Coleman was the starlet of our Elys photo shoot, with top stylist Kate Battrick creating the Dawn to Dusk look and photographer Gregg Stone firing the shots, I had the pleasure to direct and deliver this awesome photo shoot for Elys Style magazine. I love the look Kate created for Laura – anything goes, mix and matching textures, brands, day and night wear fashioning six top to toe trends.

Poppy love

One of the stand out events this year was the poppy installation at the Tower of London. The impact of seeing hundreds of thousands red poppies, turning the moat into a sea of blood and the enormity of the lives lost brought visitors together to give their respect through an amazing piece of conceptual art. My daughter and I took selfies, she saw the tower of London and learned about the meaning of the poppies. We then had fun by Tower Bridge and as ever she brightened the dullest of days. The next day we painted pictures of our day out, Luella’s painting of the poppies sums up the whole day for me, brilliant. Watch out Matisse!