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GEMMA'S STORY

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Name: GEMMA
Age: 50
Dress Size: 10
Reason For Shoot:
To celebrate my 50th Birthday

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GEMMA'S STORY

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Turning 50 was something I’d been dreading for some time, but my partner suggested the photo shoot as something we could experience as a celebration and be very proud of, which was a far more positive way of marking the big milestone!

However, as we came to choosing the sets and underwear I began to feel a bit nervous and unsure of whether I had the nerve to go through with it. I spoke to Zena on the phone for some advice and inspiration, and, if I’m honest, a bit of reassurance; she was amazing, really encouraging and full of ideas to think about.

On the day we arrived at the studio, not sure of what to expect at all, there was a lot of discussion in the car on the way there as to how much or little I’d wear, but we decided to see how it went moment by moment. Leigh and Zena were very welcoming and, looking at the prints hanging on the walls, I realised they were very used to doing all sorts of shots and would be happy for me to decide how far I wanted to go. They said straight away, that it was my day and they just wanted me to be comfortable.

I chose to have my make-up and hair done which I’m glad I did as I felt very glamorous immediately. Probably the most nerve wracking part of the day was when I first changed into my lingerie in the bathroom and had to walk out into the studio – that felt very strange!

However, almost instantly I was put at ease by Leigh who told me exactly how to pose and after seeing the very first photo on the computer, I realised how fantastic they were going to make me look. My partner was allowed to stay and also took part in the experience, viewing the pictures as they appeared on the computer and supporting me throughout. At every stage, Leigh let me choose how much I took off and how the shots were going to look; i.e. whether I wanted to be mostly in shadow or more exposed. I actually really surprised myself by how happy I was to have nudes taken – it felt very natural to be photographed that way in the end, and I had nothing to worry about!

The lighting was flattering and the final results were more incredible than we could have imagined – I felt like a goddess! The only problem? Choosing which ones we wanted to have for our album; they took 300 and we would have had all of them!

It was important that I looked like me so we chose not to have too much editing. We have just received the final images and, as an experience, I can say it surpassed my expectations and, as a keepsake to celebrate my big birthday, I can’t think of anything more uplifting and confidence boosting. Thanks to Leigh and Zena for bringing out the best in me and gently encouraging me to push my boundaries!

Gemma’s Partner said: "What a day. Leigh and Zena made the whole experience fabulous, relaxing and very enjoyable. I felt involved throughout, despite being fully dressed! Most of all I was incredibly proud of Gemma and couldn’t be happier with the way we celebrated her turning 50."