Norway part 1: Arctic Winds, Rainbows and Midnight Sun

I’m really excited to be able to show these so quickly after my trip to Norway. It is so appreciated when photographers send things to me so soon after a shoot! Hakon Gronning had invited me to Norway for 4 days to shoot with him and, on some days, a small group of other photography enthusiasts. I’ll say straightaway that this is hands down the coldest I’ve ever been on a shoot. It was almost debilitatingly cold, and I became absolutely best friends with a blanket between shots, though even with several layers of knitwear, a huge padded coat and this thick wool blanket, I still felt very cold, so there was definitely quite a lot of insanity required to do this. The main reason for the cold was the fact that the arctic winds were blowing directly at us!!!! Not very comfortable…. Luckily, the photographers were all completely understanding of the need to shoot (and for me to pose) efficiently, with absolutely minimal time ‘unwrapped’ in the wind. They were also very appreciative of my efforts, which goes such a long way! All of them were very creative and lovely to work with, warming me up with lots of tea afterwards!

Considering these conditions, and the very short time frames (maybe 1-2 minutes per go), I think we did quite well. I’d brought one of my pairs of dance wings in my suitcase and the light just washed through so delicately, like they were insect’s wings! It kept raining (and there was a brief rainbow behind us!), but the ‘midnight sun’ (these were shot around the summer solstice!) was just incredible. Such a magical place and yet another opportunity I can look back on with pride and excitement that I did it!

I hope you like these as much as I do. There will be many more from this trip from different locations and from different photographers – I’m just being impatient and showing these straightaway! ๐Ÿ™‚

… And behind the scenes from earlier that day: me with my best friend:

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Marian

Back from Norway! Can’t wait to show some results here ASAP. I think my record for ‘coldest I’ve ever been on a shoot’ has officially been broken. You can’t argue with arctic winds. But the midnight sun is so spectacular!

For now, in between booking trains, listening to Dolly Parton and planning shoots for tomorrow and beyond (I’ve got a commercial healthcare booking tomorrow; quite a change from nude mermaid-ing in Scandanavia!), here are some romantic, soft portraits taken recently by (not the) David Bailey. This was such a lovely shoot, with soooo many images. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think they are almost a bit ‘bridal’; and we are well and truly into ‘wedding season’ after all! Some are edited a bit, some not.

Pink Venus

You may have seen these popping up on my facebook profile, as photographer Samuel Somers has tagged me in a few… From a very productive, short shoot in Antwerp, Belgium (quick post as I’m rushing with last minute organisation for going to Norway tomorrow!):

A Rainbow

Some unashamedly blissful, classical, romantic and girly images today, from my latest (lucky 13th!!) shoot with Jeremy Howitt. Jeremy recently wrote a ‘retrospective’ feature about our history of shooting here, which was such a pleasure for me to read through. It’s really nice to shoot over and over again with the same people (and Jeremy is an absolute stellar fella), which is something that tends to happen a lot; I take it as a compliment that I must be doing something right, to be so frequently re-booked for various projects.

Our very first shoot, several million years ago, involved bluebells and so we thought it would be nice to shoot some again, in the exact same place (the woodland near where I live in Oxfordshire), but not before first seeing what we could do in one of the beautiful Oxford parks Jeremy had scouted the day before, having a boat ride along the river and stopping for hot chocolates/teas in between… I’m always very bossy (as anyone who’s shot with me will know; but only because I care!!), and demanded we also put a metaphorical middle finger up to those photographic gurus who think that rape fields are too cliched to be done well; and as I wrote on facebook around the time, if you’re bored of bluebells, you’re bored of life!!

Jeremy pointed out on the day that in this one shoot we pretty much covered a whole rainbow of colours, and what I love particularly about these images is how vibrant and sweet those colours are! It’s interesting to see Jeremy’s style changing, too, and I love the bokeh in these and some of the other shoots we’ve done recently (and the left hand side of the frame in the second image here is just beautiful in itself!!).

Without further ado:

(My favourite is the one under the willow tree.)

I had a brilliant time in Kent recently with friends; 17 girls in a huge house by the sea – what could go wrong? The weather was ridiculously beautiful and I am now completely in love with Margate (we went sea kayaking, had massages and danced until 4am in a funny little gay bar, having followed the sound of Michael Jackson and crashed what appeared to be, unreasonably given the music, a jive dance class). I’m keen to see more of Kent. I keep meaning to go there for a few photographers who’ve expressed interest in shooting me there, my only problem is finding the time. (Ah, the usual whinge!!). Seriously though, I had to smile at a recent spam message offering me opportunities to ‘work and travel!!!![sic]’ If there’s anything this job doesn’t lack, it’s travel – I’m going to Norway, Cornwall, Wales, Germany, Ireland, Portugal and Scotland all between now and September. ๐Ÿ™‚

Catchlight in Belfast

I had a really fun morning today in London at a costume fitting for a new pilot I’m going to be in. It’s by the people behind Breaking Bad and Mad Men (neither of which I’ve personally seen, because I am never on top of these things), and I was (hilariously) picked out specially to be in a particular scene. I suppose I’d better shut up there, as I’m not allowed to discuss anything, but anyway, I get to wear a beautiful dress. ๐Ÿ™‚

In catch-up news, I really enjoyed a flying visit to Belfast in February, organised by the lovely and very talented Ross McKelvey, who I’d modelled for once before in Dublin and once at a Yerbury workshop. A two day booking at his studio (part workshop, part group thing) expanded into 4 separate shoots, and it went by in a bit of a blur! I definitely hope to return at some point. In the meantime, I’m probably coming to Cork in August, which should be really nice!

Here are a few images from Ross McKelvey, which I really like:


Hair and make up by Julia Clements:

(jpeg straight from camera:)
Hair and make up by Stephanie Burns:

(Hair and make up by me: a quick mess about!)

and one from Hugh Wilkinsonย (hair and make up by Julia Clements):

edit: and one from Stephen Bassett, which has already gone and got him a medal!