Written by Stella Nicholls
Photography by Rosie Parsons
Striking! The word that came to mind when I first viewed a portrait captured by the talented Rosie Parsons.
Bright, beautiful, colourful, glamorous, fun-filled and definitely eye-catching followed closely behind. Rosie specialises in personal brand photography for businesswomen, experts in their field. From business owners and directors to lawyers, actors and coaches; the list goes on. Browsing through Rosie’s new website is like viewing the Hollywood ‘walk of fame’, except the stars have been replaced by some of the worlds’ incredible businesswomen. Women set to make a difference, who aren’t afraid to stand out in a crowd and who look gorgeous doing it. Now that’s a headshot.
Imagine my surprise and delight in being invited by Rosie to take part in a photoshoot. The aim – to write about the experience and share it with lots of other fabulous women. Sensing a trend here? Yep, that’s girl power!
Seriously though, the euphoria, although genuine, was soon replaced with a feeling of mild nervousness. I’m not really a person who enjoys being the centre of attention, in fact, I’d rather be behind the scenes, interviewing people and highlighting them.
I uttered my reservations to Rosie who, rather sensibly, advised that a good photo represents who you are and will draw like-minded people to you. Quite an important factor in the business world. Often, in our social-media-driven worlds, an image is the first impression given to a potential client, business prospect or new employer. And we all know how important that first impression is.
Pep-talk complete, I arrived at Rosie’s house with a few non-black clothes and a makeup-free(ish) face. If orange really is the new black, then nobody told my wardrobe. I realised, on trying to find something bright to wear, that I have an exceedingly dull wardrobe when it comes to colour. It is predominantly black. Thankfully, Rosie has an abundant supply of brightly coloured clothes on hand for people just like me.
I walked down Rosie’s Street, without even checking the house numbers, as I could spot which house was hers from a distance. It was dressed in a lovely shade of blue and decorated with flowery window boxes. A welcoming beacon in an otherwise standard row of houses.
As a build-up to the actual day, Rosie had sent me several emails with tips, instructional videos and ways to prepare for the photoshoot. They were helpful, things like – how to pose standing or sitting down, how to prepare your skin, what types of photos you need and how to feel confident in front of the camera. I must be honest, as someone who likes to feel prepared by reading instructions and following them as closely as possible – I felt a little overwhelmed. How was I going to remember all that?
I needn’t have worried. Rosie and her team were soon ushering me in, and making me feel relaxed. Rosie assured me that I didn’t need to remember everything, they would direct me throughout the day. She had gone to great lengths to make sure that the breakfast and lunch offerings were gluten and lactose-free (to suit my dietary needs). The spread was beautifully laid out and delicious – nothing like fresh fruit in the morning.
A hot cup of tea in hand, I was soon seated in the makeup artist’s chair – Rosie has a team of makeup artists that she works with. On the day of my photoshoot, I was taken care of by Elizabeth de Bakker, or Liz as she is known. Liz continued to touch up my hair and makeup between shoots, making me feel very glam! She succeeded in not only making me look the part but helped me relax and laugh too. Who knew that a photoshoot could be fun?
Caitlin Boulton, the photography assistant, prepared tea and coffee and tasty treats throughout the day. She also took great care to expertly capture many behind-the-scenes images uploaded to social media.
Rosie helped me to select various colours and backgrounds that she thought would work best. Who knew that I would look good in yellow? She showed me how to pose when to smile and which way to turn my head. Liz and Caitlin assisted in the shoot too, laughing and joking, asking me questions to put me at ease; it was all done so seamlessly. I really felt like I was just having a chat with a few good friends.
At the end of the day, Rosie and I sat together and went through each image to select several of the best shots. I was grateful for her professional eye as to which pictures and angles worked the best.
The experience was spectacular; I left feeling like a VIP. The resultant images – take a look – let the photographs do the talking.