English Mustard

This shoot was a work in progress, one of those things that just bubble over while your day dreaming and thinking of things you could do, and then you stop, and start drawing and adding colour and thinking ‘what can I cut/buy/borrow to make this work like that?’ I gave myself a budget of £40 for the whole shoot and went over about £11 (generator..) I think it is quite dangerous not having a budget, well for me anyway!

First of all, I found out my model, the stunning Hannah Cooper was only in town for one day, the bank holiday Monday, I got a confirmation from Hannah on the Friday night that she could definitely do it, so I had to organise the shoot and buy everything for it on the Saturday….

Car Before The Shoot

Marked with an X (I already had)

Blue spray paint
Sieve x
make-up x
Extension lead x
Blue chalk
Make Dress
Pins x
Hair Doughnut
Hair spray x
Hair pins
Smoke machine x
Ghost chair with arms x
Flash guns x
pocket wizards x
Camera x
Tripod x
boob tape!
Scissors x

So as you can imagine, I was a tad busy, as well as having a shoot to do on the Saturday too.


The dress was a broken Karen Millen which had been stained with oil, so I cut down the front and folded the sides back, I then added about 15 metres of blue and black fabric, the blue was a very light chiffon, I wanted it to catch the wind. In the picture >

This is my lovely dress before it got ruined (sorry Mrs Millen!)

Obviously I had to pull the waist in a lot for Hannah, attached the new fabric under the lip of the skirt, and pulled it up to meet the section on the right of the hip.



drawing idea
This was my sketch for the shoot..

I bought the arch from a garden store, it was only

£4.90, and then picked all the Ivy from my mother in laws garden and the surrounding fields the morning of the shoot (at 6.30am -commitment!). I had found the location the Friday eve and figured out were the sun would be, I was then very happy to hear that my lovely friend/photographic assistant Kelsie Low could help out (she is amazing) and my gorgeous Fiancé Mr Colin Ginn offered his muscles up to drag the generator (and heavy stuff) across a field. And provide some skirt throwing on a very windy day! which I cant imagine was too much trouble for him!

Morning of…

Hannah met me at my studio at 1.30pm and I did her hair and make up (I would naturally, have the very talented Natasha Pearson on the hair but the Jammy thing was in Rhodes) so I used a big big Doughnut wrapped her hair round it then added more padding in a pair of tights to get her hair higher, I then curled the lot over the top. I knew Hannah was going to wear glasses – her own, so just did some pink blush all over and then eye-liner flick. Hannah applied the pink lipstick (Rimmel- heart breaker). Then I literally sewed her into the dress. which took about 25 mins..

At location

We sieved blue chalk all over the floor and dress

Built the arch

Wove the ivy through it and sprayed blue

set up the shot

added Hannah!

Had a great time!!!

English Mustard

Model. Hannah Cooper

Assistants. Kelsie Low & Colin Ginn

Photography. Hair & MUA Becky Long


I think Hannah looks like Vivienne Westwood’s dream dolly, I love the contrasting colours and am glad I kept with the theme. I called the shoot English Mustard because she was in a rape seed field, and the rape seed looks remarkably like mustard.  It’s funny because this was never meant to be a ‘big’ shoot but it just snowballed 🙂 but I am glad it did.


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