“Portraits From Inside” by LJ Collins

Written by LJ Author

Recently I was treated to a day of glamour and fun by my dear friend, and very talented photographer, Antoinette Castro Dominguez. The whole experience gave me an insight into what it must feel like to be a bestselling author who is constantly being photographed for magazines, interviews, etc. When Antoinette got me into her studio (after a liquid lunch 🙂 ) it really was lights, camera, and action.

Whilst I was very excited (but nervous) when Antoinette asked me to be her next photographic subject, I was pleasantly surprised at how relaxed she made me feel. And as you can see, Antoinette kept making me laugh, which really helped me feel comfortable being in front of her lenses and having all the lights shining down on me.

Given I’ll be 51 this April, I can’t imagine I was Antoinette’s easiest model/subject to photograph, what with all my lines and signs of age. But, I hope you all agree, she worked her magic and brought out the very best of me.

Antoinette and I spoke before the shoot, and whilst she could have probably made me look younger and more appealing by using make-up and Photoshop, we jointly agreed that my lines and wrinkles are the map of my face. They tell the story of my life—the action, adventure, illusion, love, heartache, deception, stress, and fun I’ve experienced—my history. And those lines, in some strange way, show the impact all those factors have had on me—for good or for bad.

So what you’re seeing here in this article is me in a completely au naturale state—and that is what I absolutely love about the photos. No gimmicks. Just me.

Antoinette and I met about 14 years ago, when I had my art gallery. As soon as we met we hit it off because we had so much in common. We’re both originally from London, now live in Tenerife, and share a passion for art—and that’s just for starters.

When I had my art gallery, Antoinette was extremely supportive, and more than qualified to give me some excellent and friendly advice because she’s been to art galleries all around the world, and has studied (and is still studying) photography.

Antoinette was one of the elite few who managed to get into the London School of Economics (it’s bloody hard to get into that place!), but like Mick Jagger, she dropped out and settled for reading pure mathematics at the Royal Holloway (there’s a prison in Holloway also lol) and Bedford New College in London. Like me, Antoinette (up until now) had spent most of her working life in a business capacity, helping run her family business, amongst other roles. But, Antoinette decided to fulfil her dream and dedicate her future to photography, as I decided some years ago to dedicate my life to writing books. So once again, we have struck common ground, and based on our recent conversations we hope to strike even more common ground in the future. So watch this space…hopefully there’ll be more exciting news to follow!

Now I, a mere humble Indie author, feel proud and honoured to be one of Antoinette’s photographic subjects, whose photos will form part of her portfolio, are featured on her website, no doubt exhibited (if I have my way lol), and possibly submitted for photographic competitions. And here’s the reason why…

A series of Antoinette’s prints and photo book Portraits From Inside were selected to be exhibited in the Companion Print Exhibition, and Open International Book Exhibition 2016 at the Espacio Gallery, London, organised by The Royal Photographic Society. Ha! The next thing you know…I’ll have blue blood running through my veins  🙂

If that’s not enough to impress you…Antoinette had an image published by National Geographic.

The Cloud Appreciation Society in the United Kingdom has also published her work and used her image as a backdrop in their Google Zeitgeist Talk in the Festival Arizona and their 2015 calendar (yeah, I could be a pin-up calendar model with time ha ha ha. I’ll let you know when it’s ready and available!)

At a local level, here in the Canary Islands, Antoinette has had a series of her prints exhibited in El Ayuntamiento de Arucas in Gran Canaria. And then, there’s going to be…oops, I can’t say!!! I’m sworn to secrecy, so you’ll just have to watch this space for further news.

For more information about Antoinette, her prints you can buy, services she provides, etc. have a look at her website: http://antoinettecastrophotography.com/

If you have an art gallery, or are involved in the art scene, you may even want to organise an exhibition of Antoinette’s work (so long as I’m included in it lol!) Or, if you’re looking for some promotional material for a campaign, get in touch with her. Antoinette has an extensive portfolio of original images that can be used to help you get your name out there, create your desired impact, and make the lasting impression you want to make!

I hope you’ve enjoyed the article and like the photos. And remember that face, and keep an eye out for it…you never know where it might appear (when you least it expect it!)

That’s all for now, folks. See you in a couple of weeks 🙂 Kind regards, LJ



My YouTube channel, where you can see all my book trailer videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfkmKmxNye4J2aWQeMT3QAw

Twitter: @LJAuthor

© 2017 – 2022, LJ Author. All rights reserved.

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I was born and raised in London where I worked as a senior management consultant. At the age of 35 I moved to Tenerife to pursue a more fulfilling life and focus on my writing.
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