Winter’s Wildflower

In January last year, I modelled (again) for my friend and talented artist, Bella Kotak, on a shoot she’d conceived using a very special cloak. This cloak had evolved over the years, and been worn by models before me, and if you read her blog post all about it, it seems as though it became a symbol for her own growing confidence in her art. For our shoot it was adorned by hand with flowers left over from previous projects, one by one.

We agreed to meet one frosty morning in the ancient woodland I am lucky enough to have just 5 minutes by car from my home. There was only one small problem; my car door was frozen shut and I couldn’t get in my car!!! Much panicking and chin stroking later, it finally blessed me with its opening and my trusty carriage had me on my way, if a little (fashionably?) late.


(Full credits with links are at the end of this post.)

If anyone has worked with Bella, they’ll know she has a distinctive (purple) car, high and boxy and perfect for stuffing flowers and shoot props into; I smiled when I saw it in the muddy car park and was pleased, too, to meet the wonderful Richard Wakefield, who was going to be acting as behind-the-scenes videographer (please see the video at the end of this post – it’s beautifully done, even if you do see me giggling and wrapped in blankets!). Richard is so friendly I briefly wondered if I should have remembered that we’d met before or something – turns out he’s just a really nice guy (as well as ridiculously talented). After a few moments in the front of Bella’s car, me adjusting my thermals (glam!!!) and Bella fixing me with a blue wig and deciding not to put much make up on me, we were ready to go. On a tree in front of the car, hung the cloak.

While I’d been grappling with the frozen car on my drive, and as makes perfect sense for a shoot this magical, Bella and Richard had befriended a walker in the wood, Andrew Walmsley, who had a drone on him and was immediately and happily roped in to providing some drone sky-view footage which Richard then edited into his final behind-the-scenes video. Isn’t this lucky? I think it’s funny. As Bella puts it in her blog post about the shoot (definitely worth a read), ‘we were all where we meant to be’.


During the shivery, peaceful, other-worldly shoot, which involved a lantern, some long strides, and some delicate gestures, I became a bit of a broken record for poor Richard; I was obsessed with the idea that he should capture some footage of the little robin that kept flitting about around us and kept pointing out the little bird and saying ‘there! Get him! There he is!’. Not only did the robin feature in the final video, but we also got a lumbering moon-like dog (which to me was basically a polar bear). So it seems that dog walkers can photobomb shoots in a good way. I’m hoping next time a dog turns up on a shoot, it’s a husky. 🙂


We had in mind that I was a winter queen, walking through winter and leaving emerging spring flowers in my wake.

See the behind-the-scenes video here:

Full photo credits:


Photographer: Bella Kotak
Model: Ella Rose Muse
Skin Retouching by Pratik Naik from Solstice Retouch
Crown from Monarque Jewels


Camera Used: Phase One XF 100MP
Lens: Schneider Kreuznach
80mm LS f/2.8
Edited with: Capture One & Photoshop CC
You can get 10% off Capture One with this code if you’re interested – AMBBELLA


Filmmaker: Richard Wakefield
Drone Footage: Andrew Walmsley

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