In October I collaborated with a fantastic young photographer, Sandra Surariu ( on a portfolio shoot.

The brief was to create a feminine, classic, vintage look, and there were two elements of the shoot; classic vintage and Autumn colours. Autumn is my favourite season as the rich, red, orange, and brown tones in the leaves and trees give me a warm Autumny-feeling that I associate with shedding of the old and making a new beginnings.

The location for the shoot was College Green, in the heart of Bristol, taking advantage of the beautiful scenery that we have around us. The first location, College Green itself, is a 12th century landscaped public garden,  home to joggers, skaters, and dog-walkers alike. The Green is surrounded by the Bristol Cathedral (founded in 1140 as St Augustines’ Abbey), the Abbey Gatehouse (dating from 1170), and the Council House, steeped in it’s Neo-Georgian architecture, all providing the perfect setting for a vintage photoshoot.

The second location was in the old part of Bristol on the corner of Orchard Street and Denmark Street, just behind the hustle and bustle of Bristol’s busy Park Street. Denmark Street itself has a rich history, as the former site of The Red Maids’ School (founded 1634). This was an ideal site for the vintage street-scene shots, which came about almost by accident as Sandra spotted it as we walked back to our base.
I always enjoy watching photographers work their magic. Calculating instantly where the best angles are and where the light should fall. Guiding the models to creating the perfect pose, the perfect look, the perfect angle… It is all so precise, but for photographers it’s second nature, and they make all of their hard work look so effortless.

I was impressed at how Sandra focused on and adjusted the tiniest details to get the perfect shot. This attention to detail is really what makes the photo more than just a pretty picture. It makes it an immersive image, where you’re drawn into the photo and really connect with the feeling behind it. I asked about why she started working in photography, and she told me that what excites her is photographing people and capturing the life within them. That’s the secret ingredient, ‘the magic’ that stops you flicking past that photo know a magazine and makes you take notice.

The makeup looks

The brief was to create a look that fitted the two themes, Autumn colours and vintage fashion. I decided to go for a daytime smokey eye in neutral colours to fit the vintage look, using the Urban Decay Naked Palette which I was lukewarm about at first but is now an indispensable part of my kit. The colours may look like boring neutrals but when layered and blended well they look really beautiful.
Base: MAC mattifying cream on t-zone, MAC skin illuminator in Recharge.
Face: Bobbi Brown foundation stick, set with Bella Pierre mineral foundation powder in Nutmeg. Screenface cream concealer stack.

Cheeks: Sleek Blush By Three Lace palette (Crochet)
Eyes: Urban Decay Naked palette (Naked, Virgin, Sidecar, Darkhorse), Elizabeth Arden pencil liner in Espresso, MAC Opulash mascara in Black, Sleek Brow kit in Dark.
Lips: No7 Perfect Lip liner in shade 20 Nude as base colour, with peach shades from JC Nadia Paris 32 shade lip palette.

Overall, I had a fantastic afternoon, working on this shoot. It was hard work but I really enjoyed working with Sandra Surariu and model Abbie Bush, and look forward to working with them again in the future.