“I don’t like the camera. It’s one of my ‘enemy’ activities. My face contorts, my lip sticks to a tooth, one eyelid (ONE!) will drop lower than the other and I develop 17 chins!” This was my opening line today, to a lovely lady I hope to be working with in the not too distant future – who, as you may have guessed may need to bring out the lens on me! Buckle up – this is never an easy ride.

You might be thinking, but she uses FB Live all the time – and I do so quite comfortably! In my zone, answering your questions, in an arena I’m supremely at ease – you could ask me anything and I’d relish the opportunity to talk (you don’t say!!). I could stand up in front of hundreds and engage on a subject I’m passionate about no worries at all – but pull out a camera and my hand goes up in seconds! If my finger were a gun……see where I’m going with this!!

I know, I know, it wasn’t so long ago I finally published my website. After months of deliberating (insert – avoiding the inevitable) I had to push through the pain barrier and just go for it. It wasn’t without complication. My original photographer got gastro at the last minute and I had to get a ring in (such an endorsement) and I started to panic. This poor woman had no idea what my face would do and neither did I!

Fortunately; the lovely Leah showed up (on a Sunday with an hour’s notice I might add) and quite swiftly shut down the anxieties I had and simply threw me a massive pair of pants to wear (obvs not literally but it would have made a great reel). I settled in to ‘makeup’ with Jill from in the stylish surrounds of the then Style Armoury (PS: anyone looking for Dirima’s fabulous new concept store please check out, ready to get my thang on (my what???).

Leah is @sheshellsphotography. 100% I would never have considered her as my photographer leading up to this point; but as the universe likes to kick your ass sometimes and open your eyes, this was one of those times. My SOS was answered in the form of this good-natured, quick witted, photographer who as a mother herself knew just how to handle my pre-shoot nerves.

We tried all manner of shots and typically any that had me looking directly at the camera may as well have been me looking at something extremely unpleasant – like it was smeared all over my cheeks…, this wasn’t working. I was hijacking my own face. No easy feat but at this point the gold medal was clearly coming my way.

Very patiently; she broke down my barriers (i.e. I hate this process) and turned it into 'where would sit if you could, what would you be doing'? Fast forward to the main head shot on my website – I’m on the floor. Straight to what I know best, straight to my comfort zone – my children could have been sat down there with me.  Jill happened to be stood behind Leah, I wrapped my arms around my knee and tilted my head – BOOM! Gotcha!! The rest, unfolded in almost a joking manner, with me falling back into my typical court jester mode (ask me to do the running man – so, so good!) and forgetting Leah was even there.

You see – cameras, lights, action is not everyone’s cup of tea, mine included. I knew I had to pull it together and as much as my everyday involves children, and my signature sumo bun hairstyle, universal still had to come across in what I do (enter, double denim, ripped jeans, faffing!).  Of course I wanted to look good. Just because I’m camera shy doesn’t mean I wanted to emerge as a scrubber! No matter how much I love authenticity that would have been commercial suicide. You can still practice smarts whilst staying true to yourself….but it did need to ‘capture’ the essence of who I am.

What I loved most about this process is that sometimes it’s those connections you least expect to find that sprinkle glitter onto a situation that could have turned out to be shit. I love that I didn’t see Leah coming. She did good. You can find Leah here In the meantime for those of you who haven’t seen her handiwork first hand – jump onto and take a squizz. I didn’t count a single chin.

Deb xx