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Cotswold Style September Front Cover with Noella Coursaris
Cotswold Style September Front Cover with Noella Coursaris

We recently had the pleasure of shooting international model and humanitarian Noella Coursaris for September’s issue of Cotswold Style Magazine, who wanted a cover photo and shots for both a fashion spread and an article about Noella and her work.

 

We chose Cowley Manor as the backdrop; it’s interior design boasts some unique features (can you name another manor house with a warthog’s head and zebra’s buttocks hanging on the wall?), whilst the exterior and grade II listed gardens are classically Cotswolds.

 

We started the day with another quick recce of the venue to finalise our shoot order.  In the meantime our chosen hair and make-up artists (Lisa Walby of Francesco Group and Kerry Wilcocks of Tonic respectively) got to work on Noella whilst her friend and internationally-renowned stylist and Artistic Director Saloum began sorting the outfits, kindly provided for the shoot by acclaimed fashion designer Azzedine Alaia. 

Tonic's own Kerry Wilcocks make-up gets Noella's seal of approval www.toniccheltenham.co.uk

Kerry’s make-up gets Noella’s seal of approval
http://www.toniccheltenham.co.uk

Noella gets her hair did by the super stylings of Francesco Group's Lisa Walby  www.francescogroup.co.uk

Lisa Walby works on Noella’s hair for shot number 1
http://www.francescogroup.co.uk

I should mention at this point that I wasn’t the only one wielding a camera during this shoot, as we were joined by Justin Golby of Golby Creative Ltd.  Justin documented the whole day and you’ll be able to see his film of the shoot soon, having seen a preview I can’t wait to share it with you all.

Justin gets to work on some stylish behind the scenes footage www.golbycreative.co.uk

Justin gets to work on some stylish behind the scenes footage http://www.golbycreative.co.uk

 We chose a plain lime green interior wall for our first shots and once styling had been completed and coffee had been consumed work got underway, with Noella quickly demonstrating why she’s been chosen as the lead for numerous fashion campaigns such as Agent Provocateur and appeared in magazines such as Vanity Fair and Arena.  Her style and professionalism is effortless and it was a genuine pleasure to work with her.

Noella models Double Lampion Dress, Derbie, Azzedine Alaia Paria

Noella models Double Lampion Dress, Derbie, Azzedine Alaia Paria

 

Our next shots featured another Congolese resident in the form of the oversized head of a Mandrill (first time for everything!).  Even with it’s brightly-coloured facial features it still paled in comparison to Noella, who wore an incredible cream dress from the Parisian fashion label.

Noella models with Mandrill Head in Cowley Manor's kookie bar area

Noella models with Mandrill head in Cowley Manor’s kookie bar area

Lampion skirt worn as dress, necklace by Awa MEITE Bamako

Lampion skirt worn as dress, necklace by Awa MEITE Bamako

Lampion skirt worn as dress, pony hair vernix zipped jacket and python boots. Embriodered belt by Maimour Diallo Bamako

Lampion skirt worn as dress, pony hair vernix zipped jacket and python boots. Embroidered belt by Maimour Diallo Bamako

Arlequin sweater

Arlequin sweater

I get to work on the cover shot in the Billiards room

I get to work on the cover shot in the Billiards room

Noella models Campanile bodysuit, leather suede belt & python boots, handmade recyclable cotton bangles by Awa Meite Bamako

Noella models Campanile bodysuit, leather suede belt & python boots, handmade recyclable cotton bangles by Awa Meite Bamako

Noella models Campanile bodysuit, leather suede belt & python boots, handmade recyclable cotton bangles by Awa Meite Bamako

Noella models Campanile bodysuit, leather suede belt & python boots, handmade recyclable cotton bangles by Awa Meite Bamako

After bagging the cover shot in Cowley’s leather-clad billiard room we moved outside.  Thankfully we were graced by the sun’s presence at this point and we were able to get another great selection of photographs, both on the terrace and outside the adjoining Church of St Mary before the sun decided that it’d had enough for one day.  Time for lunch! 

On Cowley's fabulous terrace shooting Noella in a stunning Alaia coat

On Cowley’s fabulous terrace shooting Noella in a stunning Alaia coat

Anemone belted coat & python boots

Anemone belted coat & python boots

Having a lie down on the job!

Having a lie down on the job……I’m working and not sunbathing, honestly!

Long Campanile skirt, cotton shirt & studded suede boots

Long Campanile skirt, cotton shirt & studded suede boots

 

During the course of the morning we’d been joined by Noella’s husband James and their adorable children, so after everyone had eaten we headed outdoors again, this time choosing one of the Manor’s lakes and water features as the backdrop for some family shots.  Naturally her children all look great in front of the camera and they behaved perfectly, so we got some smashing pics.  Despite a downpour during lunch and the threat of more rain in the air it stayed dry, which was something of a blessing!  One of the resident swans came in for a closer look at one point, I suspect it just wanted it’s picture taken too. 

Noella with her beautiful family

Noella with her beautiful family

 

Next we decided to push our luck with the dry weather and move to a location close to Cowley’s spa – it features a colourful art instillation which made for a great place to shoot, with Saloum picking out accessories that matched the colour scheme perfectly.

By coloured pillars Noella models Metropolis skirt, logo tee & python belt. Handmade clutch by Awa MEITE Bamako

By coloured pillars Noella models Metropolis skirt, logo tee & python belt. Handmade clutch by Awa MEITE Bamako

Alaia logo tee

Alaia logo tee

Metropolis skirt, logo tee & python belt. Handmade clutch by Awa MEITE Bamako

Metropolis skirt, logo tee & python belt. We love the beautiful handmade clutch by Awa MEITE Bamako

Our final shots of the day were taken in Cowley’s reception area, shot from above whilst Noella posed in a leather chair.  We weren’t sure about it as a location to begin with but I’m glad we went for it as we think it looks awesome!

Lampion skirt worn as dress, pony hair vernix zipped jacket and python boots. Embriodered belt by Maimour Diallo Bamako

Lampion skirt worn as dress, pony hair vernix zipped jacket and python boots. Embriodered belt by Maimour Diallo Bamako

A massive thanks again to everyone that was involved in making this shoot happen, especially to Noella.  Her work not only as a model but as a humanitarian and founder of the Georges Malaika Foundation is hugely admirable and inspiring. 

 

You can read more about her in this month’s copy of Cotswold Style which can also be viewed online HERE and by visiting her website.

 

Credits:

Model: Noella Coursaris-Masters

http://www.noellacoursaris.com

Photography: Photography By Stefanie

http://www.photographybystefanie.co.uk

Hair: Lisa Walby of Francesco Group, Cheltenham

http://www.francescogroup.co.uk

Make-up: Kerry Wilcocks of Tonic, Cheltenham

http://www.toniccheltenham.co.uk

Clothing: Azzedine Alaia, Paris

Venue: Cowley Manor

http://www.cowleymanor.co.uk

Videography: Golby Creative

http://www.golbycreative.co.uk

Stylist: Saloum

Assistant Stylist: Josette Matomby

Words By & Production Assistant: Davey Terrific

Keep your eyes peeled for our new website launch for new brand: Stefanie Calleja-Gera Photography focusing purely on fashion, commercial & corporate clients – coming soon…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ten Top Tips on How Avoid wedding Stress Part Five: Make me Pretty!

Firstly, a very happy New Year to you all!

So, the madness of Christmas is over and can now make way for some serious wedding planning. If your big day is in 2014 (or even 2015) you’re probably thinking it’s high time you got your ducks in a row.

This is the 5th part of my blog and will look at the importance of looking and feeling your best on your wedding day, and how a professional can make that task infinitely easier and more enjoyable.

I know this from personal experience; on my own wedding day my hair and makeup artist not only made me look and feel more amazing than I’ve ever felt before (or could’ve achieved on my own) but was also an uplifting, friendly and soothing person to have at my side during a very important morning in my life.

So….

DO: Try to allow budget for a QUALIFIED hair & make-up artist. More-and-more Brides are realising the benefits of this, but let me spell them out for you just in case you’re wavering:

1. Believe it or not, it doesn’t cost the earth (it could be your wedding present from your hubby if you like, he might be grateful for the suggestion).

2. You really don’t want to be worrying about the potential pitfalls of doing a complicated hairstyle you’ve never attempted before and looking like a swamp queen as you walk down the aisle.

3. Properly trained MUA’s use make-up that will work much better with the camera than your usual stuff. They’ll also be able to test different makeup during your trial, to ensure that you’re wearing the most suitable for your skin type. This can make a real difference!

4. IT MAKES YOU FEEL SPECIAL.

5. Do you really need another reason?!

Find someone you can chat through your ideas with and who you think will understand you and your style. Any artist worth their salt will insist upon a hair & make-up trial in order to establish exactly what you’ll have for the day itself (this is also a fab pamper session that usually takes a few hours, so enjoy it!). Most hair & make-up artists won’t do the trial until around 6 weeks before the day. You don’t want it too far in advance as your tastes (and wedding theme) may change before then!

DON’T: Do half measures. Just because someone says they only cost £30 and will come to you, it doesn’t make them good! OK, so when I say that a PROFESSIONAL doesn’t cost the earth, they may cost a little extra but lets be honest, if it means you looking and feeling like a movie star walking down the red carpet, I mean, “aisle”, then I’d say it’s worth it!

I recommend:

An amazingly talented and professionally trained hair & make-up artist:
http://www.faceperfectbyjodi.co.uk

A fabulous make-up artist:
http://www.makeupbyvanessa.co.uk

A wonderful hair stylist:
http://www.bellabridalhair.co.uk