Beautiful supermodel at 80!


You’re never to old to have beautiful pictures of yourself

As part of my modern women’s portraiture series I made a model request to some of my friends if they’d like to offer the experience to their mums. Essentially I was looking for women in their late sixties to their 80’s. You know a sort of Helen Mirren, Judi Dench, Amanda Barrie kind of vibe.

Well Sheila responded and asked her mum to come along to a Beautiful You session a couple of Mondays ago. Sheila’s mum Helen will be 80 this year. I know – it’s hard to believe. She is a big yoga fan and looks after herself she is as fit as anybody half her age. I’m so glad she is because I was a wee bit  worried about how an older body would cope with the poses. I had lots of modifications to the poses just in case.  As it happens I didn’t need to use them because as you can see Helen did brilliantly. It makes me think I really should take up yoga and pilates again!

Christine Thompson was the makeup artist for this session and I think you’ll agree she did a fantastic job. Choosing the right makeup style for older skins is a talent because you don’t want the makeup to look dry or patchy  and for my style of portraiture I don’t want it to look too painted on. (no Barbara Cartland faces here!)  The whole point of the ‘beautiful you‘ sessions is just to show a more polished version of you. If you look at the before picture and compare it with the  after pictures you’ll see there’s not much difference – it’s very subtle but so effective.

I know a lot of you will say ‘but those are all photoshopped’. Really, they aren’t! Flatter lighting and half a stop over exposure is a great way of reducing wrinkles and the rest is all down to make-up and posing. If you come for a’Beautiful You’ shoot you’ll learn all about engaging your shoulder and getting your chin out and down and smiling all at the same time. BTW these are skills you can use next time you take a selfie.


Why did I want to do this? and Why not my own mum?

Well the second question is easy – she’s off drinking le vin and eating le pain in France until mid September, but she’ll be getting the supermodel treatment as soon as she is back!

But the reason for doing it was also driven by her. We have loads of lovely photos of her as a young woman and there are still snaps of her on holiday and at parties but nothing totally amazing and although I love the blurry pictures of her having fun but it would be really nice to have some beautiful pictures of her as she is now.

My grandfather had a portrait of my grandmother commissioned not long before she died. It’s a beautiful painting that my middle sister has hanging on her wall. It’s a lovely reminder to us of what our grandmother looked like especially for my younger sister who barely knew her. Anyway, what all this waffle is getting to is that if I feel I’d like a beautiful portrait of my mum who is 68 at the moment (especially in this digital age when nothing gets printed) then surely other ladies would love it too.

If not for her – do it for you!



  beautiful older lady with grey hair sitting at table