Every client has a different reason for booking a boudoir shoot. For some, a boudoir shoot is a celebration of a birthday or hitting a life milestone. For others, a boudoir shoot can help you discover your new identity after a dramatic change in your physical appearance. One such client is Hollie Rowley – who joined Miss Victory Violet and I on our vintage pinup makeover shoots at Berwick Lodge in Bristol. I caught up with Hollie to find out more about her, including what inspired her to book a boudoir shoot…
Occupation: Civil servant.
How would your best friend describe you? I asked her and she said: “Fierce Queen”, which is nice. I think most people would just describe me as clumsy – I fall over my own feet all the time.
Name three things that you always carry with you? My phone (which is 99% photos of my dogs). My lipstick of the day – I love lipsticks and own far more than I need. My diary – I’m so forgetful that I’m lost without it.
What was the last book you read? I re-read The Colour Purple by Alice Walker. It’s one of my favourites.
What inspired you to book a photoshoot? When I got married five years ago, I was about 7 stone heavier than I am now. Even though my wedding photos are lovely, I just don’t recognise myself in them anymore. I’d always thought about having some new photos in my wedding dress but I kept putting it off and didn’t know where to start with finding the right photographer. I’d followed Ella (aka Miss Victory Violet) on Instagram for ages and always admired the photos she posted shot by Tigz. When I saw the announcement for the vintage makeover, it felt like fate. I thought if I was ever going to do it, now was the time.
Who would play you in a movie of your life? According to my husband, it would be Miranda Hart – “both tall, both clumsy” he said. I’d have to agree actually.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that the internet doesn’t know about you yet? I’m obsessed with musicals. My iPod is full of songs from musicals, I listen to Elaine Paige’s radio show on Sundays, my YouTube history is all musicals. Sadly, I was not blessed with any singing, dancing or acting talents.
Tell us about one of the outfits you wore for your shoot – why do you love it? For my shoot I wore my wedding dress. I bought it from an online boutique but I don’t remember the name of it. I wanted something in a vintage style because I knew it would give me the silhouette I was looking for. It didn’t fit me anymore so my incredible mother offered to alter it for the shoot. It took her weeks to finish but she did an amazing job and I’m so proud of her. The sparkly shoes are by Red or Dead. They were the first thing I bought, even before I had the dress! The pink petticoat underneath was from an eBay shop. It wasn’t big enough so we went to a fabric shop and bought yards and yards of extra netting to make it super bouncy!
Describe your shoot experience? The shoot was in a gorgeous hotel called Berwick Lodge. I stayed there the night before to make it a bit more special. I was booked for the 10am slot and when I knocked on the door of the suite, I was so nervous! However, as soon as the door opened and I met Tigz and Ella I felt totally at ease. Ella gave me the hair and make-up of my dreams – it was totally perfect. I was worried that I wouldn’t know what to do in front of the camera but Tigz helped me every step of the way and showed me how to pose. She was so encouraging and complimentary. She really knows how to bring out the best in you.
What song gets you on the dancefloor? I like 80s, 90s and early 2000s. My current favourite is “I’m Your Man” by Wham.
What are you most proud of in your career so far? I’ve had some interesting jobs but nothing especially ground-breaking so far. I’d like to think the best is yet to come!
What is your top body confidence tip? Don’t follow anyone on social media who makes you feel bad about yourself or the way you look. Stop comparing yourself to other people.
What will your autobiography be called? Memoirs of a Crazy Dog Lady.
If you could be a model for any brand, which brand would it be and why? Any brand which promotes inclusivity with its sizes. Beautiful clothes should be for everyone.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about booking a session of their own? Stop finding excuses and do it! There’s nothing to be scared of and with Tigz, you’re in the best possible hands. She will bring out something in you that you never knew you had. The photos will be beautiful and you’ll love them.
What exciting project are you working on right now? I bake a lot so I’m in the process of setting up my own blog of recipes and tips. Still working on it!
Where can we find more of Hollie Rowley online? Instagram