A Brick Lane photoshoot for my very good mate Jo!

I love my mate Jo, she’s also known by several other names, some of which I’ll share, some of which I won’t! But my favourite nickname for this one is “Roomy”. Roomy because on many girls’ holidays, me and her have shared a room – she’s well versed at my getting up at 5am and creeping about to get dressed and slip out and take early morning photographs as the sun comes up, or, even better, the ridiculously small amount of vodka it takes to make me behave in a very, very silly fashion! Hiding is a favourite of mine when I’ve had a drink, and the amount of times one of our party will return from the loo, to find absolutely no one around but a sea of half filled wine glasses, some hand bags (festival glitter with me around too) and the most stupid giggling coming from under a table, or a cloak room cupboard, anywhere really, we are just not fussy! 

In more recent years Jo has stepped up to the plate as my proof reader. She broached the topic sensitively, saying basically, “Nina – your writing is really good but you can’t spell – you don’t use punctuation and please don’t take this the wrong way, but would you like me to look over your stuff for you?” and the relationship was set – and she has been proof reading all my writing since (except my social media posts before you think she deserves the sack!). Blog posts, PDF documents, and more recently important emails to large companies that need to be exactly right – she does the lot .

She won’t let me pay her for this, and insists she enjoys it! So, to say thank you, I like to take her and her lovely family out for a photoshoot, yearly if she will let me although so far that hasn’t happened.

A date was pencilled in well in advance and my suggestion of the graffiti and urban back drop of Brick Lane was met with lots of excited comments involving mixtiles and her stairway!

We met nice and early on a Saturday morning and spent a couple of hours finding the amazing pieces of graffiti I’d seen on the internet. The great thing about graffiti is that it’s ever changing, it’s never the same each time I visit and I just love it. Her two children are the same age as my older two, it’s how we met, at all the baby groups you go to when the kids are young – and I guess that would be a blog for another time maybe? – and we had a great time. These two get on really well, and it’s lovely to see them grow up and change into the young adults they now are. I love to get the teenagers play fighting, piggy backing, rock – paper- scissors, and I always like to take them away from mum and dad for a bit, which I did with these two. It was lovely to get shots of all 4 of them, some of mum with the kids and dad with the kids and then of course – Mum and Dad together, which was really sweet you two!!

I’m really pleased with the shots from this session and I can’t wait to see Jo’s Mixtiles when they are up!

From the proof reader: 

I absolutely love my little job that I do for Nina (it’s actually more of a hobby because I enjoy it so much) because a) she’s been a good friend for nearly 15 years and is just so lovely to work with; b) I’m a complete grammar and spelling fiend; and c) I’m so nosey and love hearing about what Nina has been up to! So it’s a win/win for me!

I was so excited about our shoot; I was born and bred in London so to be offered the opportunity of a shoot in the best city in the world and my home town was just fantastic. It was a beautiful day, we drove up in good time and met Nina by Aldgate Street station. We wandered off to Brick Lane, Nina snapping away surreptitiously all the while, and saw the most amazing pieces of graffiti artwork that I’ve ever seen. My kids love Nina, she is so easy to get along with that even moody teenagers like mine will take to her!

We spent the whole shoot laughing and joking about; Nina has a wicked sense of humour and is quite mischievous at times! When she said she likes to hide from us on our girlie weekends away, she meant it! I clearly remember the time we were at Centre Parcs – we were having breakfast in the revolving restaurant and I had been to the toilet. When I came out, the table was completely empty and there was no sight of Nina or the other 6 girls. It was then I heard the most ridiculous amount of giggling coming from where you hang your coats up, and there, hiding INSIDE the coat rack amongst the coats and umbrellas, was Nina and the rest of the girls. All Nina’s idea of course!

Anyway, there was no hide and seek on our photo shoot, just lots of laughter and chat. I am over the moon with my photos – we are not the most photogenic of families but despite this, Nina managed to relax us and put us at ease enough to get some really natural, authentic photos of us all which is testament to her talent and skill as a photographer. Thank you so much Nina, I love them. 

My hallway is ready and waiting for us to get my photos on to mixtiles and create a display – just as soon as I have the time!

If you have enjoyed reading this post, please click here to read more of my ramblings! 


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