Norton of Morton

Read a new instalment of Norton of Morton every Saturday at 4 o'clock

Saturday 10 January 2015

Picture perfect

In which G.M. Norton poses for pictorials.

I’m tickled pink to be able to share with you some daguerreotypes of your humble protagonist from a recent photo shoot at the acclaimed Doll House Photography in Birmingham.

As well as the honour of seeing Norton of Morton crowned the Best Vintage Fashion & Lifestyle Blog at the National Vintage Awards 2014, there was also a prize on offer – a free photo shoot at Doll House.

Doll House specialise in pin-up and boudoir photography so you could be forgiven for thinking that not many chaps walk through the studio doors. As I discovered though, the very talented lady behind the lens, Chrissy Sparks, doesn't just take photos of ladies in lingerie. Oh no! In fact, she had recently welcomed a male stripping troupe to be photographed.

Since relinquishing my lip weasel in the name of love, I thought the photo shoot would be an ideal opportunity to get some professionally-taken shots sans moustache.

Dismissing the donning of corsets and suspender belts, I brought along some of my favourite items of gentlemanly apparel.

I was keen for the pictorials to hark back to a bygone age, with a little of the film noir about them. I also wanted to capture a dash of humour too. I compiled a few photo ideas on Pinterest which I shared with Chrissy before the day of the photo shoot.

Upon arriving at the photo studio in the heart of Birmingham’s renowned Jewellery Quarter, I was taken to a private changing area where I proceeded to unload all my worldly belongings that I'd brought along.

As you can see from the first pictorial below, my tweed suit and fedora soon came out, along with a detachable collar and tunic shirt from Darcy Clothing. The neckwear is a New Sheridan Club tie. Since making this my profile pictorial on the Twittering Device a few days ago, it’s been commented that it has a touch of The Third Man about it.

As a fan of wet shaving with a safety razor, I was also keen to capture this on camera. There’s not an overwhelming number of vintage shaving pictorials on the World Wide Webular. For these shots, I relieved myself of the tweed and stripped down to my three-button undershirt with my button-on braces. For those not sure what I'm holding, it's my pewter shaving mug.
The second one is quite mean and moody. I adore the dark shadow running down one side of my face.
I feel I must prepare your eyes for the final photograph as it contains a sight you probably never imagined being presented with - my knobbly knees. Having grown up on a visual diet of Carry On films and Boulting Brother directed escapades, I wanted a little silliness to shine through. Nothing screams English gentleman more than sock suspenders, a sumptuous armchair and a copy of the Financial Times.
The facial expression reminds me of a mixture between Kenneth Williams and Terry-Thomas.
I'm enormously grateful to Chrissy for taking the pictorials. It was a wonderful experience and something I would love to do again. Doll House Photography are on Facebook and Instagram - definitely worth a Like or Follow!

G.M. Norton
Protagonist of 'Norton of Morton'



  1. These are brilliant, the last one made me chuckle! What a lovely prize. x

    1. Many thanks, dear Porcelina. It was a splendid experience!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Dear Sir - splendid daguerreotypes in this week's offering. I would like to ask where you get your braces? I am looking for ones similar but I seem to end up with braces whose material is so thick it is like the support for a whale with a severe case of Yuletide overindulgence. Being of somewhat slimmer dimensions, the lightweight cloth ones are more to my taste,

      I look forward to hearing from you in due course and remain, Sir, your most obedient servant

      NJP McGuinness (Dr)

    2. How lovely to hear from you. Thanks awfully for taking the time to comment. I purchased these braces from vendor of gentlemanly garments, Darcy Clothing

      I plumped for the fawn/wine colour option. I'm wearing them at this very moment and have been very impressed. I was wondering whether to pay extra and get the Thurstons but decided to give Darcy a whirl.


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