Spring Photo Shoot with Rebecca Northcott

What do you immediately do when a camera is pointed at you and you hear, “Say cheese!”?  Do you know which side is your “good side”? Do you know what angle and what light really makes you look your best in photos?

I’ve generally got one standard photo stance: look straight ahead at the camera, smiling ear-to-ear with an involuntary head tilt.  Not at all model-esk.

Rebecca Northcott is a photography who has recently moved from Leeds, England to put down roots in Toronto, Canada with her hubs.  Yup …she’s a newly wed! 🙂  She’s already done a few outfit photoshoots on my blog here, here , here and here.  (More to come in the future too I’m hoping, xo Bexx). Since I began blogging a mere four months ago…I’ve realized how difficult it is to pose for that perfect shot!  I’ve been fortunate to have Rebecca’s professional eye – a much welcomed change from those photos taken with my shaky hand and iPhone.

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Rebecca has been developing her craft since she was 17, she’s had her work published in magazines and has worked for a range of clientelle over the years. Her recent move to Canada has been a blessing and also a challenge going from a huge client base in UK to rebuilding from scratch here.  Rebecca’s photography style is classy natural lighting with up close portraits. They are her favourite.   Her self-proclaimed OCD about having perfect sharp images is a standard she has set for herself, one which gives her a buzz and excitement as nothing else does.

She shared with me that she still get nervous before every shoot,  because she knows how important it is to the client she’s working with.  Having worked with her several times, I can confidently say that she will produce something wonderful each time – it has always been a pleasure and a fantastic experience working with her!

In an effort to continue to keep her portfolio current, she asked me and a few others bloggers to model some of the lovely Spring Arrivals of Your Big Sister’s Closet so she could snap some editorial type pictures .  How do you say no to a request like that? 😉

So last weekend we, Alex of Not Afraid to Wear Heels, Hanna of Classically Curvy, Karen of Curvy Canadian and moi, PetitePlus, Meow! arrived at the store to get styled in fresh spring fashions with light pastel-makeup faces and headed to High Park for the photoshoot.  Weather forecasted a +7 degree day … but I was still armed with nude hosiery and a shawl…mama didn’t raise no foo!

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The above summary shot links to Rebecca’s Photography page on Facebook, where you’re able to read all about the collaboration and a bit more about each of the outfits worn in each shot.  Between the multiple bloggers who were involved in this shoot,  I thought I would dedicate this post to the artist, Rebecca Northcott, and the art of photography.

I recently stumped upon this article called “The Truth About Photography and Brown Skin”. Writer and photographer Syreeta McFadden eloquently breaks down the problem: Photography has an “inherited bias” against dark skin. McFadden explains that when it came to the invention of color film — developed to be used by the public and taken to a lab — “the technician worked off a reference card [aka Shirley Cards] with a perfectly balanced portrait of a pale-skinned woman.”   This is how modern photography was calibrated: Using a white woman. Which means, as McFadden points out, “film stock’s failures to capture dark skin aren’t a technical issue, they’re a choice.”

Looking at my fellow models from the above “Is It Spring Yet?” photoshoot – I can only imagine that editing MY photos must have taken a lot more time and careful adjusting before they were ready to be shared with the masses.  Take a look at the end results of my photos with the talented photographic eye of Rebecca Northcott below:

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Rebecca Northcott Photography‘s future goal is to get her own studio space and possibly photograph a celebrity or two (here’s hoping!), while continuing to provide her services and create collaborations on personal projects to those in the community who cannot afford professional portraits.

If you want to get in touch with Rebecca, lifestyle photographer specializing in Weddings and Portraits for families in Toronto, Ontario (GTA), use the various links baked into the above post ….as her website is getting a facelift at the moment 🙂

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Dragons’ Den Auditions: Your Big Sister’s Closet

My friend and fellow blogger, Karen Ward aka The Curvy Canadian, is also the shop owner of Your Big Sister’s Closet  – a lovely little plus sized botique in The Junction (Dundas/Keele area of Toronto).  She and her husband, Peter, are hoping to meet The Dragons in The Den!

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Dragons Den is a CBC TV show where where aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their business concepts and products to a panel of Canadian business moguls who have the cash and the know-how to make it happen.  Launching a business is no small task. No matter how big an idea you think you have, it still takes a lot of work and a ton of cash. It takes more than passion to convince these boardroom giants that your idea is worth their attention.  The Dragons are ruthless and rightly so – it’s their own personal money on the line.

Your Big Sister’s Closet’s first audition was this past Saturday – March 1st. This audition is preliminary – meaning it was with the show’s producers – these are the people who determine if we are a good fit for the show and pitching to the Dragons.  Karen and Peter auditioned last year, but were not selected for the show.  This time around they were prepared to blow this audition out of the water by bringing them a gorgeous fashion show – something really visual that will translate well for TV and will really WOW them!   That’s where ME, along with several other plus sized beauties come in 😉

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Karen & Peter needed models to show off their botique’s lovely clothes and walk in a runway-style show for the audition.  We each needed to come into the store once before the audition for a fitting to determine what we’d be wearing.   A simple request right?  Right.  Now, how could I visit this lovely botique ofnunique-pieces-of-fabulous and not do a bit of shopping?   C’mon…ya’ll know I didn’t leave that shop empty handed!

Here’s my mini-haul from Your Big Sister’s Closet:

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I fell in love with this purse and giant pearl necklace immediately upon seeing it in the Curvy Canadian’s recent blog post! I lost a night’s sleep knowing I wouldn’t be able to visit the shop until later that week…so I left a blog comment and  FB messaged Karen & Peter demanding that they hold these pieces for me STAT!  And today…they’ve come home with me!  Yaya!

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Then during my sytle appointment, I found this Pin Up Perfection Hi-Waisted Pencil Skirt — I wore the bow in the front, but I think it would look great off to the side or even buttoned up in the back – super cute!  I’ve been coveting this skirt for many moons… it was actually one of the first things in pinned in my Pintrest closet, and now it’s in my ACTUAL closet!  Below pics are just me trying it on in the change room … I think when I do wear it out-out it’ll be with a loud-splash-of-colour top, like hot pink or fire engine red.  Huh…thoughts?

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Ok…back to Saturday and the Dragons’ Den Auditions!  We – the curvy models – were each styled by the lovely Karen at her boutique prior to Saturday. My outfit choice was narrowed down to two lovely looks:

1.  Professional Business Woman – this black and white houndstooth peplum dress with a lovely black tweet blazer with a single silver studded accent down the shoulders  (a safe look I often create myself for the office with a bit of an edge),

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2. This Lady-Like Purple Lace …. with a ton of girlie girl accessories including the lovely giant pearls and giant pink facinator!

On the actual audition day, we met bright and early in the atrium of the CBC building downtown (250 Front Street West, at John Street) for 9am with our hair and make-up done as we usually do it.  They brought our planned outfits and we changed there via a clever pop-up changing tent they brought along. (Brilliant!)   Part of the WOW-factor to keep this audition memorable to the producers was that we were going to carry body positive picket signs that said things like “Plus Size and Proud”, “Curvy and Confident”, etc.   Similar to the #BoPo Art Installation I was apart of in February for the store’s 1st year Anniversary Party.

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I arrived at the CBC Studio a little before 9am, half-asleep with a Starbucks and  post-wedding hair (was a bridesmaid in a gf’s wedding the night before – stay tuned for blog post about that fabulous night), to find Karen and Peter just unloading their car with all our lovely outfits.  They gave me the important task: Sign them in for the auditions and report back!  We were lucky #21 on the list.  As you can see (above pic)…there were a ton of entrepreneurial hopefuls who got there hella early all with the same wish: to be selected to pitch to The Dragons on the show.20140301-153606.jpg

This was my first time “cat-walking”. I mean, I strut down the street all the time, buuuut I was terrified with a fear of falling onto my face whilst a giant #BoPo picket sign fell on top of my head.  Dun dun dunnnnn…   Happily, we all strutted our stuff to perfection  once in front of the producers.

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The camera crew really seemed to LOVE our little possy of plus-sized lovelies!  They got tons of footage of us practice our strutting choreography as directed by Peter, whist Karen rehearsed her pitch for the Dragons.   They even asked us to do several cheering clips – so much so that I can still faintly hear us chanting “Dragons’ Den! Dragons’ Den!” for much of the afternoon.

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What a fantastic way to kick of the month of March!  The morning was spent with such a great group of women – some of whom I’ve met before and others, meeting for the first time.  Shout outs to my new blogger sistas: Alex of  Not Afraid To Wear Heels and fellow WordPress-er Hanna of Classically Curvy.

Fingers crossed Your Big Sister’s Closet gets selected for the show….weee!  You can count on a follow-up blog post from moi if we do! 🙂

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How I got The Look:

EVERYTHING is from Your Big Sister’s Closet – 3126 Dundas Street West in Toronto

My watch is Michael Kors and the ponty-toed nude pumps with mint toe are from The Hudson Bay Company (Queen & Yonge Sts)

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