I came across Francesca during a very informal network meeting where the host had invited all the members to her home, to celebrate the 3rd year anniversary of Hubdot. Standing very close to each other listening to the talk, we introduced ourselves only to discover that we were living just a few house doors away from each other.
Before moving to the UK Francesca used to be a legal officer, working for prestigious institutions like the United Nations. If she isn't practicing at the moment, she is very dedicated to share her knowledge and help others tackles issues regarding working conditions and integrity in the workplace, writing a monthly newsletter and blog called Fil Rouge.
When I explained that I was a photographer, she told me that she wanted some headshots for the bulletin. I encouraged her to have a look at my website to give her an extend of what a portrait could be, beyond the headshot.
Francesca had been suffering from depression for years and has been very open about it as a way to help others going through the same ordeal. She saw having her portraits done as an opportunity to reconnect, a mean to express herself in a way that people weren't used seeing her.
She also suffered from depression, and shared her experience through a video film by the Huffingtonpost.co.uk
In her own words "I suffer from depression, and I decided to ask Rachel to do a photo shooting session. I wanted it to be a sort of therapy: feeling, moving around and re-appropriating myself of my body".
We collaborated together on her creative vision, I discovered someone who loved creating, she came up with great location ideas and fabulous styles, featuring dresses with a very unique design by Raptus & Rose. Understanding that Francesca had sometimes issues going out of the house, I felt that she would feel safer in her own surroundings and came up with the idea to use hers and her neighbours garden. In her vision Francesca had some definite ideas about the mood she wanted for her photo shoot, flowers also took a significant part in it. I couldn't wait to start working with her!
On the day of the shoot, despite being very nervous, I saw Francesca transform into the one I could only imagine, she was exuberant, happy, and had so much energy, we had so much fun on the day! We started off with more traditional portraits that she needed for a LinkedIn profile; I brought lights to recreate the studio inside her home. We then moved off to her neighbours garden and finished in her garden where she invited her husband to take part in the shoot.
I am more than grateful to have met Francesca, being able to bring her so much joy and fun during her photo shoot, with printed images to treasure.
In her own words "I was nervous though, I never imagined that it would have been such a wonderful experience. Rachel put me immediately at ease and it all seemed so natural, we had so much fun together! I laughed and felt free; I felt beautiful".