When the Photographer Becomes the Model

As a portrait photographer I feel it’s important to be comfortable in front of the camera as well as behind it…and so I take self portraits for practice.

A few weeks ago I was approached with a very unique offer to model jewellery for Bazant Unique Adornments (seriously check out her designs…they are magnificent). I was stunned, and yet very intrigued. My first reaction was, “You should hire a real model.”, but Lara, the brilliant designer behind Bazant wanted something different (you can read more about it here in her blog post). The more I thought about it, the more I realized that this is my chance to represent “regular” women.

So I accepted the challenge, dusted off what I learned from Top Model and psyched myself up to step in front of the lens for another photographer.

Thankfully the talented photographer, Danijela Pruginic was a bundle of fun energy and she made me feel so at ease. She even got smart enough and turned the laptop around so that I could no longer be critical of myself after each shot. I tried my best to let the photographer in me go for the day. I can’t wait to see your gorgeous work up on the web, on posters and all things Bazant.

Ivy Lam is a makeup and hair artist to the stars. her artistry blows my mind. Seriously…if you need to get glammed-up, Ivy’s your gal! She turned this regular girl into a jaw-dropping bombshell (I barely recognize myself in these photos).

As we were one day post-International Women’s Day, I was loving being surrounded by a trifecta of amazingly talented women.

Thank you, Lara, for having fun with my camera behind-the scenes…and thank you for the groovy playlist at the shoot.


9:00AM: Freshly showered and sans make-up. Ivy Lam beings to work her magic on my hair (P.S. I wish to hire her to do this daily).

Oooh…oooh…here come the waves!

The curls are done! I’m almost ready to channel my inner Rita Hayworth.

Lara, the brilliant designer behind Bazant Unique Adornments poses with a few of her gorgeous creations, which I was lucky enough to wear.(Side note: love your Mad Men calendar!)

My looks are laid out for me in order of hair and makeup transformations.

Danijela Pruginic, photographer extraordinaire, gets to work hanging the backdrops.

Nice capture Lara…hilarious!

A little known secret…photographers have our own dress code. 

Ivy, my fairy godmother, waved her magic wand and turned me into this!…TA-DAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

I may be glamorous on top, but down below it’s jeans and snow boots (that I forgot to change from the dog park this morning)…classy!

Ummm…I’m sorry…who is this graceful lady? I’m not familiar. P.S. I am in love with this updo.

Time for another makeup transformation from the amazing Ivy.

Wanna know why I love diffused window light? This is it.

Lara, picking out some more earring options for me. We need something sparkly!

This is one of my favourite looks. My jaw was on the floor every moment I caught a glimpse of myself. I’m ready for the red carpet!

Ooh, it’s time for the last makeup look of the day. Ivy you outdid yourself! Thank you for turning a regular gal into a model…

…I give you what the ladies kept referring to as “The Smokey Eye”…or as I like to call it the “Eat-Your-Heart-Out-Ex-Boyfriend” look.

Love that red wall…love it! Glad you had fun working my camera Lara…I had fun processing them!

Danijela, you were so awesome to work with! Thank you for making me feel so comfortable during my role reversal. Happy to know I’m not the only one who gets THAT excited when I’m getting the shot I want. Your energy is infectious!

Lara, thank you for taking chance on me and honouring me with the opportunity to show-off your gorgeous and unique designs. You asked me to pick a favourite and I just can’t. I love them all!

The Designer, The Makeup and Hair Artist and The Photographer. I felt incredibly fortunate and inspired to be surrounded by a team of such talented and creative women.

Hey now…it looks as if I’m not the only one with potential to be in front of the camera. Work it ladies!

What an amazing experience. Thank you ladies. You are all brilliantly talented! It’s a wrap!

17 comments on “When the Photographer Becomes the Model”

  1. Danica says:

    va-va-va-voom yourself, Marcia! Great hair (jeeeealous), great makeup, great shots! And it looks like everyone had fun in the process!

  2. Suzanne says:

    WOW!!! Marcia you look GORGEOUS!!! What an incredible group of talented, amazing ladies!!!

  3. Amber Bond says:

    Marcia, these are just fabulous!!!
    Love, love, love the lighting! And of coarse, the red lipstick! To die for!

    Lula my Westie thinks so too and sends her love! We wish we lived in your area for her to have her own photo shoot! A pup can dream!

  4. Gillian says:

    LOVE !!! You are soooo drop dead gorgeous!! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!

  5. Julie Brissenden says:

    Marcia you always look gorgeous but you look absolutely stunning in these pictures!

  6. stacey says:

    Marcia it seems you are a great talent on either side of the camera! The shots, the jewelery and the make up are all gorgeous! Well done ladies!

    Can I be the next model? It’ll be a bigger (much bigger) challenge working with me than with Marcia, that’s for sure!

  7. Carol Haynes says:

    Marcia-you look mahvelous dahling! (Seriously you look so fantastic!)

  8. Julie Cook says:

    You’re a rock star! Magnificent.

  9. Yes, it’s absolutely true, you are Academy Award winningly STUNNING, Ms. Leeder! What a fabulous team you make! Great shots!

  10. Charlie says:

    So I am assuming you have a new career!? Get an agent STAT! These are truly stunning! Love the up do too!

  11. melanie says:

    What a fun day you had!!! I’m speechless with your model shots….stunning. It was nice to see Lara too in the pictures! I love her designs! What an amazing group of talented women!!

  12. Ivy Lam says:

    Thank you so much for all your wonderful comments! and most of all your fun energy on set. Let’s do it again soon Supermodel!!!

  13. Danijela says:

    Marcia, this is so great!!! I love the hourly diary updates! Thanks for such kind words too, you were absolutely amazing in front of the camera, and from what I’ve seen of your work, just as talented behind the camera!! It was a real pleasure working with you!

  14. Danijela says:

    Ps: I could use a bit of Ivy Lam magic!

  15. Dawn says:


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