Photo Shoot – behind the scenes

February has been a very exciting month here at Isabella Josie Millinery. If you have recently checked out the ‘shop’ section of my website, you will see that it has been updated with some beautiful photos of my hats and headpieces.

The images have been taken by Steve Ellis, who specialises in millinery photography and I’m delighted with the results. I love how each hat has come to life, each with its own personality. The clean background and composition of the photo draws your eye to the shape and line of the headpiece. This was my first ever photo shoot and I really wasn’t sure what to expect – incase you are wondering too I thought it would be fun to show you some of the behind the scenes action.

Once the photo shoot date had been confirmed, my main job was to package up my hats and headpieces in a sturdy postal box to ensure they arrived safely and in time for their big day. Although Steve has lots of experience working with hat makers, I wanted to make sure I also included lots of information on how the hats had been designed to be worn along with preferred styling to support the model (Molly Estellia) and Hair and Make up Artist (MUA), Lauren Anderson.

On the day of the photo shoot itself, the team were amazing – through the power of instagram and some great ‘insta’ stories it felt like I had joined the shoot – here are just a few of the images captured during the session. If you want to see more of the team’s work, just check out their instagram accounts @mollyestellia, @laurenanderson_makeup,

A few days after the photo shoot I was emailed over 96 images on a series of contact sheets – it was a tough job shortlisting my favourite 20 for editing! To access the final photos (a set of high and low resolution photos – for website and social media) I just needed to download them from a cloud storage site. Here are a sneak peek of some of the final photo’s – just check out the hat descriptions in the shop section of my website to see some more!

Top Tips for Finding the Right Hat

The Amazing World of Hats

A hat is a stylish accessory that frames your face, it flatters and protects. A hat can give you confidence and transform an outfit, it makes a statement about how you are feel and who you want to be.

So how do you find one the right hat for you?

When choosing a hat, be open minded – you need to try on lots of different shapes of hats, until you get one that wants to make you ‘stand a little taller. 

  • View yourself in a full length mirror – you need to make sure the hat balances your body proportions.
  • Try on the hat with the outfit and accessories you will be wearing it with. The  hat will need to complement your outfit as well as the colour of your hair, eyes and skin. 
  • Think about your face shape, do you want your hat to highlight your best features, after all, the hat is the most photographed part of your body. If you are wearing glasses, how will they work with the brim?
  • Try positioning the hat at different angles – worn horizontally a straight brim can be rather harsh, but at an angle, it can bring height.
  • Think about the occasion, is it formal or casual? Check out the dress code – some race meetings have a minimum hat base size. Will people need to see ‘over your head/hat’? 
  • How will you have your hair? If you are having an elaborate hair style, you might prefer a smaller cocktail or saucer shape hat that perches to one side of your face to avoid a full crown squashing your hat.
  • What sort of head-fitting do you prefer? There are some many possibilities – millinery elastic, comb, alice band, slip or a deep crown? 

If you would like to commission your own hat and have it uniquely made just for you so that the size, shape, fabric, trim and colour combination suits your appearance and personality please get in contact.

A Step by Step Guide to making a Sinamay Hat with an up turned brim

Where it started!


sinamay hat from frontI have recently been to London to learn about traditional Millinery techniques from the great Rose Cory. Rose is often referred to as the “Milliners Milliner” and during her forty year career and has made fabulous hats for many celebrities including the late Queen Mum.

I’m writing this post as a personal record / memory jogger of how I made my Sinamay Hat under Rose’s guidance. What has become apparent over the last few months is that there is no right or wrong way to make a hat, every millinery has their own preference, tips and techniques. If you have any of your own, please send me your comment – I would love to know.

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