I met Emilie when she stepped in to assist me on a shoot, she's a great makeup artist who was over from France studying at Birmingham University. Since that we've become great friends and we keep in regular contact.
Last year I agreed to help photograph for Emilies university project, something I initialli thought might be a few nights in studio after work - little did I realise that it would be an incredible experience taking me to stay with Emilie's family in Strasbourg and also doing some work during a day in Paris!
Emilie is a really close friend; she was one of the first people to know I was going to be a dad (I had to tell her why Katie couldn't join me when I stayed with her in France), and its great to catch up with her and learn about what she's up to since going to Paris...
Q - How have you been since we last shot? What have you been up to?
A - I have been really good ! Pretty busy, I am in Paris doing a masters in Global Fashion Media, I'm hoping with this new degree I will be able to get work in a magazine house as a fashion or beauty editor. So I have been living the Paris dream and I'm loving it!
Q - How did you get into the world of photography/modelling/makeup - what was your first shoot?
A - I started a honours degree course in Birmingham to become a makeup artist and obviously work experience was crucial! So I met Tip Top Photography's studio owners and this is where I started, doing makeup first and then I started modelling a little. I can't really remember the first shoot I did, but I know the first makeup look I did was on a famous model (well, she more-or-less assumed she was) and she was horrible to work with, so I pretty much started with a bad experience. But it can only get better hey!
Q - What were your first impressions of the industry and how have they changed over the time you’ve been involved in it?
A - It was always my dream to fit into this industry. I remember when I was a little girl, I was dreaming of being a really famous model, but after reaching 5ft 2in I stopped growing and my dreams were destroyed. I just imagined all these models living the perfect life and I knew immediately this was the industry I wanted to get into. I remember I use to love observing my mum put her makeup on, I could not wait to put my own makeup. Today, it is my favourite time of the day , I find it so relaxing. (My poor sister, she would be my guinea pig when testing new eyeshadows). So when my dreams of becoming a famous model vanished, I decided to step the other side of the industry and try makeup. I was not disappointed, it was exactly what I expected. Don't get me wrong, it is a tough industry and very competitive but you get to meet incredible people and experience great things.
Q - How much do you enjoy it?
A - I enjoyed it a lot, I use to love going to studios to shoot or do the makeup, I would have a great time. Today, unfortunately, I don't have the time to do more shootings so I really miss it !
Q - How much preparation do you do before a shoot?
A - It depends, if it is a makeup job and the makeup is quite difficult, I would practice a day or two before just to be sure I am prepared. I would usually prepare all of my bags, (yes plural - because there were a lot of bags), the night before. If it was a modelling job I would maybe look at pictures beforehand but other I would improvise on the spot.
Q - How involved do you like to be in a shoot?
A - Again, depending on the job I am asked to do. With a makeup job, I want to be involved in every step of the shoot, to make sure the photographer and the model are happy with the end result. I like to propose ideas as well, to help the team. When modelling, I do try my best to be involved but not as much in the makeup department because I trust them. And it was usually me doing the makeup.
Q - Biggest challenges you’ve faced on a shoot?
A - Shooting with a bloody massive snake !!!!!!! It was so scary, and I think the snake could feel my fear because he kept moving so that did not help at all.
Q - What have been your highlights?
A - I think the best time I have ever had was shooting all the images for a project I had to realise at school. And the photographer was you Chris. We had the best times ever, especially in Paris, it was a really good day that I will always treasure.
Q - And the downsides?
A - Maybe my very first makeup I had to do on a model (professional). I had no clue what I was supposed to do and it was just a disaster. She ended up doing her own makeup. But you know, I think every downside should be a way for you to learn. And I always try to stay positive. (Not always easy).
Q - What advice would you give to someone who was following in your footsteps?
A - Keep a positive attitude, don't let it get you down even if you have bad moments. If this is what you really, really want then you have to work hard for it.
Q - What would your dream shoot involve?
A - Well obviously a really hot, muscular, sexy guy - come on !
Q - Who or what inspires you?
A - Positive and confident people who know who they are. I admire these people and wish I could be as confident as them, but I am still pretty young, I will get there!
Q - Who are your unsung heroes?
A - All the Fashion Editors from big magazine houses - as I want to take their job one day!
Q - What do you like to do in your free time?
A - I love watching movies, it makes me dream a lot. Otherwise, I love to spend time with my friends and family.
Q - What’s next for you; what are your plans for the future?
A - Well hopefully one day I will be able to have my own magazine and I hope that it will be a success. But I just want to learn so much more about the industry I am about to enter, the fashion world.
Thanks Emilie, good luck with your Masters; I can't wait to get back to France to catch up!!