Oh My Gosh. How Amazing was my experience at the For Your Eyes Only studio in Manchester? (yes that is amazing with a capital 'A'). Erm, very!
For your Eyes Only Portraits® is the brainchild of Alexandra Burns. She seriously deserves a big thank you for creating an opportunity for her clients to look and feel utterly fabulous. They have studios located in High Wycombe, Manchester, Essex and Taunton, Somerset. They are a team of all female photographers and makeup artists who use slimming and flattering photo techniques called FYEO® bodysculpting.
"The idea is that you visit one of our specialist black-out, private studios around the UK to be directed into flattering, skin smoothing poses to make you look HOT HOT HOT! You can accessorise your shoot with your own favourite outfits; lingerie, jewellery, shoes etcOur friendly studio is suitable for men, women and couples.Together we will create tastefully sexy, mysteriously arty portraits to capture your more private side. It's a fully body makeover!"
I had butterflies in my tummy throughout the whole journey (I live in Lincolnshire and my lovely H2B and his best man drove me across to Manchester. Partly because they wanted to help me out but mostly so they could have a bit of "man-time" together - aww). Anyway, Manchester was all closed off due to the political conference that was happening that week and, as none of us were familiar with Manchester, we got lost. A lot. I was cutting it fine but got there for my appointment and was welcomed by the lovely Laura. Not only did she put me at ease literally straight away with her smiley, bubbly personality, she even directed Mr S and his best man to the nearest pub, Mexican, cafe and best restaurants. They were happy.
I wish I worked in premises like theirs. Pink, black, flowers, cushions, makeup and huge canvasses of stunningly photographed clients adorning the walls.
Laura quickly whisked me away to get me "camera ready". Conversation flowed very easily and I felt like I'd known her for months, not minutes! By this point, to say I felt excited was a bit of an understatement. Don't get me wrong, I still had apprehensions and at the forefront of my mind, I had an overwhelming fear that the ladies wouldn't be able to make my pictures look as good as the ones I'd seen on the website or those that were gracing the walls of their studio. After all, how often is it you stand naked in front of strangers and feel completely comfortable? I needn't have worried!
Claire, my photographer,who I also immediately felt as though I'd known for ages, led me into the blackout studio. There's something about being in dimly lit room that instantly makes you feel more confident. I'd been told to bring 3-4 changes of clothes. One of which, was Mr S' fishing shirt. It's a thin shirt covered in camouflage with leaves and twigs. Not very sexy I hear you all thinking. Well, Claire, being the absolute star and professional that she is, put me in some different poses and arranged the shirt in such a way that when Mr S saw the picture, he wanted to send it in to a certain fishing magazine and was certain they'd want me to model for their brand (apparently fishing enthusiasts still manage to incorporate women into their mags. I know, it came as a shock to me too). Let's not get carried away though Mr S.
At one point, Claire showed me a picture she had taken. I looked at it and cooed over how nice it was. I thought she was showing me what sort of shot she wanted to do with me. Then I squealed in delight as she corrected me telling me that the photo was actually me!
Some of the poses are hard work. But I trusted Claire 110% knowing she was brilliant at her job and my trust paid off. The end result photos were amazing. I can't put into words how impressed and happy I was. Even leaving the studio, Mr S said he could tell I'd enjoyed it because I was walking back through Manchester with a huge smile on my face, feeling 10 feet tall and more confident than I have ever felt before. Truly.
Why not have a surprise shoot as a gift for your H2B?
I can't thank Claire and Laura enough for my experience. And now when I see a model or celebrity in a magazine or on TV, I secretly smile to myself and think, "I know what you've gone through to look like that in those pictures. And mine look just as good". My self esteem and confidence is sky high. When I'm having an off day, I look at my photos and instantly get a boost. My H2B absolutely loves them too and says he's lucky and proud to have that girl in the photos every day and especially as she will soon be his wife!
To book in for a shoot, visit www.fyeoportraits.com or telephone 0871 218 0343 or +44 (0)1494 880 250 (from outside the UK).
* Quote wording and images courtesy and copyright of For Your Eyes Only®.