Photoshoot with Jim Hawkins

Hello pickles,

A few weeks ago I had a photoshoot with Jim Hawkins. He's always been very supportive of me and my blog, and after meeting him at Plus North last year I contacted him to ask if I could hire his services to take some photos of me.

Jim has a lovely way about him - he chats away so effortlessly that soon you forget he's taking photos of you, and it results in lovely natural images. It might surprise you to know that I'm not totally comfortable in front of the camera. Yes, even though I regularly take photos of my outfits using a tripod and self timer, and sometimes get James to take my photos. I am often on edge, and what you don't see are the dozens of photos where I pull goofy faces to mask the tension I feel on that side of the lens. (I'm actually happier behind the camera!) Jim is brilliant with nervous subjects. At first I was a bit tense, but I soon warmed up and was so relaxed a lot of the photos show me laughing my head off.

Here are a selection of my favourite shots.

Photo credits - © Jim Hawkins Ltd. No photos to be reproduced without express permission.

Another thing this photo shoot did for me is quite fundamental. Although I consider myself a confident person, I had this thing about being photographed in public. When James and I went out to do outfit photos if people stopped to stare I'd get embarrassed and tell him to stop. Being out with Jim and his partner Jaynie on Hastings seafront on a busy Sunday afternoon was a baptism by fire, in a totally good way. I was the subject of an obvious photoshoot - Jim's big posh camera, his lovely partner using a giant reflector to help light the photos - and me posing away. Lots of people stared in passing, and some stopped to stare, but soon enough I was enjoying it so much I didn't care a jot. It has resulted in much freer photos when James and I take photos together, as this post proved. I think without the shoot with Jim, I'd still be an uneasy subject. Now I can let go, and if people stare, let 'em. I'll give them a twirl and something to look at. ;)

Jim specialises in reluctant subjects and plus size people - he's a plus size chap himself with a plus size partner. You can find him at his website, Facebook and on Twitter. It goes without saying he comes highly recommended by me as I think the images speak for themselves. If you've always wanted some professional photos taken but have been worried about not finding a rapport with the person behind the lens, you have no fear. Jim is so warm and so is his partner Jaynie. You'll be in safe hands.

In these photos I'm wearing:

Hair band, Crown and Glory
Dress, Lady V London - no longer on website but they have oodles of other lovely things and their sister project Lady Voluptuous does sizes 16-32! Amazing.
Petticoat, Domino Dollhouse
50 denier tights, Donatella's
Shoes, from a friend

Thanks for reading,
Leah xoxo

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