January 27, 2020
gIRL series: Estée
I’ve been sat in front of my computer for quite a while trying to figure out how to describe the wonderful Estée LaLonde. It’s hard. I met her a couple years ago through out mutual friend Katie (who’s gIRL shoot you can see here) at a work event and Estèe was wearing an incredible wool jumpsuit that fitted her shape so perfectly. When I asked her where it was from and she told me ‘Paloma Wool’ – I knew we were going to get on. If we were both into this arty Spanish brand, surely we were going to have more in common, and we did. (and PS I ended up buying that same jumpsuit)
Estée has a huge online presence which I’m sure many – if not all – of you reading this will know and so I almost feel like I’m describing to you someone who you know lots about, which is tricky. Well – first off – I will say she is as genuine and open as she is online. She often cites herself as a ‘classic Leo’ and I love that about her – she is very self aware but can also laugh at herself, which to me is the most endearing quality a person can have. She is also openly emotional – and I mean that as a compliment – and doesn’t shy away from wearing her heart on her sleeve through the many ups and downs of life.
We shot her in her flat in London, one sunny November morning – aptly almost exactly a year after I was there to record an episode of her podcast with her. I am always grateful to the way she invited me on to talk about my life and work and we have been meaning to shoot since, so I’m very happy we got to do it and for her to trust me and my camera in capturing her a little differently than normal.
What makes you feel beautiful?
I feel most beautiful when I am comfortable at home. I love being in loungewear or just my underwear. It makes me feel like the real me!
What is beauty to you?
Beauty is in everything.
What is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?
That’s a hard one, but I would say that the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen was watching my late adopted Greyhound Reggie become comfortable in his own skin. Watching him begin to trust humans again was inspiring, heartbreaking and beautiful all at the same time.
gIRL stands for Girls In Real Life and is a personal photography project of mine to capture the women in my life and talk to them about their ideas on beauty. You can see more of the series here.