Yesterday I did something terrifying and wonderful for my career – putting yourself ‘out there’ is such a scary buzz, but I sometimes can’t resist aiming high and trying for big things. I really hope it works out and I hear back soon!! In the afternoon I was drawn in silver, and today I’m cultivating patience (kinda).
And the day after I got back from Australia, at the beginning of December, I modelled for Chanticleer Brides latest (25th anniversary) wedding dress collection. The theme was 20s/Downton Abbey, and we shot at the incredibly eccentric location that is Maunsel House, in Somerset. Taxidermy everywhere, enormous paintings, huge windows, copper baths. Not sure it’s quite to my personal taste for a house to actually live in (well, I definitely wouldn’t say no to the bath, or the incredible four poster bed in the king’s suite), but it’s definitely ‘fabulous, darling’. 😉
Having modelled a previous collection (the ‘Back to Nature’ outdoors shoot a couple of years ago), I knew what to expect; intricate, exquisite hand-made detailing by the designer, Tracey, and a range of cuts for different personalities of brides. Having been down under, the dresses weren’t made to fit me (as they obviously would be for a bride; Tracey would normally do about 3 fittings before a wedding day), but they looked good anyway; the team are a talented bunch!
All images by the lovely Chris Hanley, who gamely took up the challenge of photographing 18 dresses, cramming tripods into the most unlikely dark corners (all without knocking over the the suits of armour) and succeeding despite there being absolutely no clear spaces in the entire house! Clutter ruled. 🙂
Make up was by Ashleigh Gregory, and the hair styling was done by Dean Brindley.
Behind the scenes video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYYhTwCZHXI 🙂
I was bright and ready to go very early in the morning (oh how I wish that early-morning-riser self had lasted into the winter; I seem now to have morphed into a night owl!!!), but the jet lag seriously started kicking in at around 4pm, which was the middle of the night for me. I was pretty exhausted by the end, but I’m so glad to have been asked to model for Tracey again. It was so much fun! Anyone in any danger of getting married any time soon should definitely check out the website and go and visit the shop in Cheltenham: www.chanticleerbrides.co.uk
Just a few(!) from a ‘winter’ themed shoot at Eye For An Image Studio last weekend. Photography by Chris Lloyd. Very minimal make up (I was experimenting with a porcelain fresh look!) and no skin editing or anything else. Consider that ‘straight from the camera’ badge firmly on for this post!
Many more (completely different) shots to show soon!
And then I fell down the ice-queen hippie rabbit hole…
As one does.
More by Bjorn Hansen. Images taken in Sydney, Australia. No retouching. More still to come!
Please excuse my tardiness if you’ve sent me a message recently… I’m a bit behind, have needed some ‘me time’, a bit busy, but will be back on top of things very soon I hope. Amongst other things, I’ve been planning trips, planting tulips, beating a boy at bowling (just call me strike queen) and am off to find blankets to donate at the drop-in cafe tonight before a dinner out. Have a good week!
… With the brilliant Alex Ingram. We met up in Reykjavik (having worked together earlier in the year at his beautiful – if a little rainy – domain of the Scottish Highlands). We had two days together and spent the first day just driving around in the vague aim of ‘doing’ the ‘golden circle’. Our road trip took us to Pingvellir (Viking site – oldest parliament in the world), Geysir (hot springs) and Gulfoss (massive waterfalls). We didn’t get much done at all that day, because of the constant rain, but it was nice just to sightsee in such an incredible country. We were more organised on the second day, though still it was really just a case of driving around and seeing what we saw!
Around the modelling, I also spent a day walking around on a glacier and seeing some black sand beaches along the southern coast, making friends in the accommodation I stayed at which had a party bar on the ground floor with live music, and some new friends who spent much of an evening determined to fashion me a poncho out of bin bags especially purchased so that I could walk underneath a waterfall the next day (it didn’t really work, but it was a hilarious effort!). I bizarrely bumped into an American model I’d met in Mexico before, Brooke Lynn, in one of Reykjavik’s little streets, too! Other things I did included watching a volcano documentary at a special tourist museum/cafe – it was absolutely incredible to see footage of eruptions and witness the amazing endurance of the people who live in such a unique country, constantly clearing up and dealing with what nature throws at them as best as they can. Iceland is definitely somewhere I hope to visit again, and hopefully not before too long.
A note about these images… You do have to be quite brave to model in these conditions – yes, Iceland is very cold (and I had such a clear picture in my mind of it being simply a land of ice, despite all images to the contrary previously seen; but as the plane touched down I was so enamoured with the lupins which covered so much of the land around the airport with a silvery-violet glow – they were imported from Alaska because they are tough and can survive in Volcanic earth, while rooting it together helpfully to aid with erosion control after the earth has split open again and again). I’m afraid I was also quite gung-ho about modelling nude even in such touristy areas of the country , because getting the images was too important to bother about other people (ruthless? Maybe!); we began early, aiming for maximum privacy (and I stepped quietly over the safety ropes for the scene we had in mind), but of course, the geothermal pools at Geysir (where many of the below were taken) were immediately next to a 70m upward-bursting jet of boiling water, erupting every few minutes. It’s hard to be alone at such a magnificent site as that. Luckily, Alex works quickly and efficiently, and we had the shots in the bag without much fuss. 🙂
The outer (ahem, road-side) pools of the Blue Lagoon, a quick diversion at the end of the day (I explored it fully on my way to the airport to catch my flight home; what a magical, magical place.)
And the lupins:
At the road-side outer pools of the Blue Lagoon:
My day-trip poncho brilliance (waterfalls, black beaches and glaciers):
Zoe Wiseman still holds the award for the world’s most laid back, no pressure shoots.
We walk (a few metres) to the beach. We consider the wind. We sit down. We consider the waves. We stand up. We consider the rocks. We scramble gently over them, dodging the puddles of water growing fast from the flinging sea. I perch; she crouches, wedged between jagged rock. We shoot a few frames of film. We stand up and look around a bit more. We move a bit further…. The Australian waves were really crashing in – it wasn’t a long shoot.
Zoe’s such a pleasure to meet every year.
These few had the benefit of the amazingly-faced Sara Liz, a US playboy model who is really friendly and funny: