Every life is made up of moments, from teeny, tiny microscopic ones like that time you kicked a stone that little bit further than you ever have before to gigantic, towering moments like getting married, giving birth or landing your dream job. Most people, myself included, do not expect to have powerful, life-affirming creating-is-what-I-am-meant-to-be-doing-with-my-life moments while sat in a little study in a little house at the end of a not-so-little garden, in a little street in Oxford, balancing a teacup and saucer on their head while one of their closest friends pours tea into it under the direction of a mad-brilliant, creative genius. (Yes, it was all captured in camera.) But there it was, and here we are.
Picture the scene, a supposed-to-be-rainy Saturday, the first Saturday in April, three twenty-something females gather to create together for the first time in years. In five hours, they will create five different photo shoots in one little room - but we are getting ahead of ourselves for this blog entry only contains one (and a little sneak peek of three more in the form of a few sort-of selfies at the end of the post).
When I arrived, I did not know this particular shoot was happening. This is all the creative wonderment of my dream team, Sparrow and Wren (upon writing this blog post, I have affectionately started calling us The Feather Collective, and for those of you wondering what my bird name would be if we weren’t posting this under a giant banner with my name on it, it would probably be Owl for my softness and my curves though I secretly hope I am cool enough for it to be Crow).
I was instructed to sit while Wren painted my face with golds and sparkles and Sparrow made my hair into a mantle fit for a gold-spangled teacup, remembering perfectly the very specific part of my head I have a knack for balancing things on. The perfect light was provided by two wonderfully large windows and the kind cooperation of the universe (we thank her most appreciatively).
The tea was poured by Wren, who I thank very much for not getting any on my head, and the images were shot by Sparrow while precariously balanced on a chair. The retouching and colour work was done by me.
If it’s not already clear, I adore this shoot and I adore my feathered darlings for coming up with it, and for deciding that my face was the face that was needed to make it work - when you spend your time behind the camera, you forget that you are an option for other people to have in front of it (instead of just yourself).
I, for one, cannot wait to see what schemes we hatch together next.