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What It’s Like to Be Part of a Purposefully Awkward Photoshoot?

Having read what photographer, Jessie Gaffney, had to say about the ‘80s shoot in yesterdays article (which you can read here if you missed it), we also heard from the other creatives behind the shoot. Hearing from the models to the MUA, we find out what it’s like to be part of a purposefully awkward photoshoot. Take a read below:

Duncan Paylor - Model:


In 2020, “as part of my ongoing crusade to say yes to as many opportunities that life threw [his] way”, Duncan agreed to try modelling. Although it was never an planned hobby or career, he loved every moment of it so far.


From chilly wild swimming professional shoots to posing in a park with pretty pink posies in his beard, Duncan states, “It's all been a great experience so far and I'm always looking forward to seeing what might be next.


As far as creative goals. I'm not sure what I'd like to do. I'm enjoying working with people more creative than I am. I want to experience as many different styles as possible, before trying to work out ideas for myself.


But mostly. I want to prove to other older, chunkier guys that nothing is off the table for them. Anyone can do anything that they want to do. Stay positive. Say yes!”


Huanran Pang - MUA:


Huanran learnt professional painting and scratchings since the age of 2, she had different famous artists as her tutor, she held a personal art exhibition when age of 10, she was always into beauty and fashion. She studied a professional makeup course in China( asian style makeup) and she is doing a professional makeup course in newcastle college. She finds painting and drawing can have great help for her makeup skills, she wants to combine the best parts of asian makeup and western makeup and gradually develop her own style


Laura Jackson - Model & Owner of Fridays Vintage:


Laura actually began with a bad first experience in modelling. She was signed when she was 17 to a local agency and was badly treat by them in the short time she was there. Having put her off for years, making her scared to do it again for the fear she would be met with the same, she was then asked to do this shoot - and what a different experience it was! Feeling comfortable, safe and respected on set, “my cheeks hurt afterwards for smiling for so long. It has made me want to do it again!”


Laura began Friday Vintage in summer this year, after years of collecting, selling vintage and daydreaming of owning her own vintage store. With a love of sourcing individual pieces from here, there and everywhere, Laura believes it is amazing the places you will find gems! Laura states, “The small business community in Newcastle is such a lovely community to be a part of.”

Hannah Gowling - Stylist & Owner of Pre Loved Vintage Plus:


Following a late ADHD diagnosis, Hannah realised she had a suppressed creative side she had never explored. Realising the importance of having purpose behind your work, Hannah decided to set up a business that reflected something that was important to her and allowed her to “work with [her] different brain rather than against it”. 


Hannah stated, “I have always loved vintage clothes but often found that the shopping experience in vintage shops can be intimidating and if you've never felt like the cool kid, you might feel like you have no place there.


As someone who is Plus-size, I related to people's struggles in finding clothes that fit and having the confidence to even browse or play around with your style. I wanted to create a safe, fun, space for people wanting to shop preloved and vintage whether they are a seasoned vintage shopper or someone who wants to incorporate some vintage pieces into their wardrobe. I wanted people to feel they could shop without judgement and feel the brand is inclusive and accessible.”


Dana - Model:


Dana has an art studio in New Bridge, Shieldfield and she loves exploring fashion from a trans perspective. Gorgeous and very talented model. She makes clothing and is currently creating a photo series


Hildy Harland - Model:

Hildy Harland is an all round creative and very multi talented plus size ADHD sparkly woman who has worked with Jessie on many photoshoots over the years. Hildys talents include; Pole Dancing, Tap Dancing, Ballet, Jazz singing, cabaret, burlesque, modelling, being a christmas elf, blog writing, producing and many more! She has modelled many shoots with Jessie including being the lady in the lake, waterfall goddess/ nymph, winter fairy in the trees, dancer from the film Suspiria, Persephone, a nudey ghost, magical witch in the woods and many other mysterious beings! 

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