The first was from the assistant at my literary agency, asking if I could please supply her with a 8x10" black and white head or head and shoulders shot of me so they could hang it on their newly created 'author hall of fame' wall.
The second was from PR at my publishers, asking if I had any photos that they could use for publicity purposes (and possibly put at the back of my novel).
Both requests made my heart flitter-flutter.
Flitter-flutter with FEAR.
a) All the photos I have involve me looking a bit dorky/sweaty/scruff on holiday and
b) I HATE having my photo taken!
So I put off replying to the emails for a while and did what any serious author would do and
I had no idea that Jacqui was such a talented photographer! Over time an idea started to form in my head...if Jacqui could take such gorgeous photos of the kids then maybe, just maybe she could take a halfway decent photo of me? Okay so I'm at least 30 years older than these children and I've got a faceful of blemishes and lines whereas they've got lovely flawless skin but, well, it wouldn't hurt to ask would it?
Ask I did - and to my delight she said yes, she'd take some shots of me!
So earlier this week, after hours of shovelling on the make-up and wrestling with velcro rollers and a curling tong I turned up at her house (quaking ever so slightly). It was early evening and Jacqui said we'd be able to get some good light (and scenery) at the common at her house so off we trooped, catching up as we walked.
I was still a bit nervous as Jacqui asked me to sit on a bench and hold a big circular light-reflecting disk thing (I'm no good at the terminology!) while she checked the light but she soon put me at ease and started clicking away. We changed locations a few times, laughing at the fact we could only take sitting down photos because I'm so much taller than her! The session was over before I knew it and I made my way back home, hoping against hope that at least one of the photos would be usable!
Yesterday evening I receiving a series of emails from Jacqui containing photo attachments...of me! I felt a bit sick as I clicked them open, telling myself it wasn't the end of the world if there wasn't a usable photo for my book/PR, I'd just invest in a sturdy paper bag and do a 'bete de jour'.
But God...Jacqui is INCREDIBLE! She's a magician not a photographer! Hell, sod that, she's a bloody miracle worker! Look what she created with her camera (and a bit of photoshop):
I couldn't be more pleased (or shocked!).
If you live in Worcestershire (or even further afield, am sure Jacqui would travel for the right price) and would like some gorgeous photos of your kids, or even some half-decent photos of yourself please do get in touch with her (Jacqui Elliot-Williams: firstname.lastname@example.org). She's an absolute sweetheart and very talented with it.