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






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.

Give a child the gift of Christmas

I have the pleasure to photograph many loved and well cared for children, but as Christmas draws nearer I’m reminded that not all children are as cherished. So this year I’ve donated to Kids Company who are putting on a Christmas meal for 4000 under nourished children this year in London – a huge commitment and one that brings tears to my eyes. When I pledged they were 70% towards their crowdfunder target.

Every little helps.



December from cover, Time & Leisure magazine

Scandi Seasonal Table

I loved shooting this beautiful Scandinavian inspired table setting for the December edition. The team were brilliant, organised by our editor Kate, table setting created by our interiors writer Debbie Blott, products supplied by local advertisers and shops and all shot in one of our readers beautiful home in Wimbledon. 100% Christmas in Wimbledon!
December from cover, Time & Leisure magazine Scandinavian Style Christmas Time & Leisure magazine, December 2014, front c

September magazine front cover photograph

September Cover Shoot

untitledCelebrating our 10 year anniversary of the Clapham, Battersea & Fulham edition of Time & Leisure magazine, the team asked for a special cover featuring some of our customers products. I spent ages wondering how to make a cover image from the candles and candlesticks, but I had the good fortune to be staying at my brother’s house in Balham which provided the inspirational setting. With a choice of beautiful vintage fireplaces and my sister in laws’ impeccable interior design taste, the setting came together with ease on the day with the simple addition of some divine cupcakes. After all, what more do we really ever want than cake and candles on our birthday!

The Wedding

Lottie and Chris’s wedding on the Isle of Anglesey was up there with totally cool weddings. Whilst they put on an amazing day for their guests, it was so much fun to watch them live their dream day.

There were quite a few tense moments as Chris waited, and waited, and…. waited for his beautiful bride to arrive. As I captured a few candid shots outside the church, the priest displayed his wild side telling us he’d like to blow up the church and re-enacted a shooting. His story telling worked a treat, taking the grooms mind off his pre-wedding nerves. The bride took a moment or two to compose herself before entering the church – not so sure Dad was keen to hold up proceedings any longer! The ceremony went off without a hitch and the guests had a few moments to congratulate the happy couple as celebratory bubbles blew across the churchyard. We were treated to the most beautiful bus ride on a double decker route master across the island, taking us to Harry’s cafe for drinks, food, speeches and a wonderful evening of dancing and catching up with old friends. Lush.



John Bird

Bursary wining photography

It’s not always an easy decision to follow your passions and start a new career, but the bursary I was recently awarded by top law firm Slaughter and May has been a massive boost for my new business. It’s such a great community initiative, they invited businesses facing start up challenges to apply, they offered fantastic support throughout the process and even if I hadn’t won, I would have still benefited hugely from the process. However with my assigned mentor Tom cheerleading and graciously guiding me through the process we had a great time preparing for the dragons den style pitch. The S&M dragons didn’t hold back – lawyers aren’t known for their easy questioning on the stand, but getting through some sweaty moments my photos impressed the judges and I was one of five businesses they chose to award a generous bursary to.

Thanks to everyone at Slaughter & May for this confidence and technology purchasing boost to my photography business. 2014 looks bright.

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