Tulips and Me!

OK, supposed to be going out now and running late – I am so busy at the moment, and recent shoots have involved being up tree houses, riding a vintage sit-up-and-beg bicycle, posing in water, being a bride (today!), balancing in trees… I’m definitely feeling at the upper limit of my comfortable level of modelling busyness at the moment, with hardly a day off, but you’ll notice I remain a blogging addict. There are so many beautiful shots coming in my inbox – I love it! But yeah, I’m keeping this post briefer than planned.

On the way to my shoot with Jan Doef in Holland, my jaw dropped at these daffodil fields and Jan kindly suggested we pull over so I could take some photos! Sooooooooo beautiful!!! I’d never seen anything like this before.

Tulips:

Me:

 

I think Jan did a brilliant job on the black and white figure nudes in particular – luscious smooth lighting!

Over and out for now!

Portraits, Box, Stripes and Lightning

Tonight, a massive medley from the marvellous Eric Kellerman!
First, a test shot in (well, mostly out of by then) Eric’s robe, plus some portraity things: 

The infamous box – an honour to step in this small, equilateral theatre.

A beautiful bodyscape that seems to have slipped through the net of my previous post ‘Strength in the Dark’. Hip bone glory:

Then some joyful striping around. I love this effect – so amazing, especially when in the mix with some curly stray locks lolling around in front of flesh and playing shadow games.

(I think I manage to look a bit ‘eighties’, skeptical and sulky all at once in a few of those stripy portraits above. Brilliant!)

Thanks Eric! …And as always, if any of you readers have particular favourites, etc., do let me know! I always love to hear from you.
…So yeah, I know it’s totally inappropriate, but something about the stripes (and the fact that this particular fancy dress theme came up in conversation this evening when out with some friends) is making me want to leave you with some images from 2007 taken on a university pub crawl… We were the coolest kids in Nottingham that night, let me tell you. (There were seven of us and our feet were tied together for the majority of the night. Tricky manoeuvres all round.)

Hello Bowie friends, if any of you are reading this!

The Trees…

…They called me to go and model for Dave Aharonian, and what an honour it was! We were very excited to be able to make stuff together for his Rainforest Nudes project (see his incredible website if you happen to feel like being blown away). I just adore his technique and finishes; the pure quality of it needs to be seen in physical prints. We had 40 frames available and about 1.5 hours. Luckily everything just ‘clicked’. I hope you like these as much as I do.

Any favourites?!

Also, Dave took these on his iPhone a few mins before we left the house:

 …And, just to lower the tone a bit, here are some shots of me on the ferry (also iPhone-snapped – there’s just no escaping it, is there?), documenting the perils of long hair in strong winds. In the last one, I was actually being attacked by my own hair. Nice of Dave to help…


More Spanishness – John Evans

I’ve been looking forward to showing some of these… A few more from the week I spent in Spain with Gregory Brown and John Evans (and fellow model Hannah Ashlea).

But first, a cute snap I got someone walking past to take with my camera on the last day, just as were packing up the car to go back to the airport.

This first one is by Gregory Brown, then the rest are by John Evans.

I love this headdress – I bought it over a year ago and thought it would be worth taking to Spain, as I was told some amazing rocky venues had been scouted. The wind was so strong (especially as we were near the edge of a bit of a cliff) it kept nearly flying off, all of a feather.

These beautiful lilles, on the terrace of the apartment, were teasing us with their photogenic potential all week. I love the freshness of this set:

We shot the following in a derelict, crumbling house on the side of the road. It just so happened that the turqoise underbust corset I’d brought matched the graffiti perfectly. A very happy coincidence.

A tree John found…

An amazing rock formation, surprisingly close to a mountain road, up which some German/Swedish/Austrian cyclists were huffing and puffing (I’m not sure we ever established which nationality they were, though we had a very long conversation with one man, who seemed keen to take any opportunity to hang back from the group and catch his breath and so wanted to make sure he had recounted the thitherto events of this particular trip in great detail for us.) Greg and John were positioned too far away for us to hear when the camera was actually clicking!

And finally (for now), I’m always happy when I’m near water… I’m really pleased with these, taken on a beach:

Birthday publication!

It was my birthday on Monday – thanks everyone for the millions of good wishes I received in internet land! I felt very loved, and decided I was totally happy to have a birthday after all. I always feel a bit funny about birthdays, but genuinely had such a nice day, starting with a hair modelling shoot which left my hair all sculpted-yet-floaty-and-whimsical for the rest of the day and evening (proper blog post with images to come soon!), then a ridiculous amount of all my favourite types of cake (a heavy emphasis on fondant fancies) with my family, then cocktails with some good friends in a gorgeous Moroccan themed bar on the Cowley Road in Oxford. Lush! So happy, and my friends got me some flippin’ lovely presents and handmade cards (I have such creative friends who always impress me! I just wish I’d remembered to get my camera out BEFORE the very end of the night when only a few of us hardcore Monday-nighters were still celebrating) – jewellery, notebooks, tea cup & saucer set(!)… they all know my colours and taste so well, hehe. My Mum also bought me guide books on Central America, as I’ll be having a bit of a gaddabout later this year. Tres exciting.

In other news (well, it might not be news to you if you’ve seen my facebook wall recently, since it keeps being filled with photographers posting that they’ve noticed me in their favourite mag!), a shoot I recently did for Digital Camera magazine (photographed by photographer and editor Ben Brain) resulted in being published on the UK & US covers of the April issue, plus multiple shots (including some little ‘behind the scenes’ images) spread over 14 pages inside. The main feature is called ‘Shoot Stunning Fine Art’, so it’s full of tips and know-how gems for photographers branching out into this genre.

I’ll post some of the tearsheets below, and maybe finish with cake:

🙂

Modelling for Workshops

I’ve noticed that some photographers think models might not be too interested in seeing their shots of you, as you have (as a photographer said to me yesterday) ‘billions’ of photos of yourself already. Well, I don’t think I quite have a billion(!) but it’s true I’ve seen renditions of my own mug a few more times than the average person. However, I’m always interested in seeing how things turn out – different effects and styles mean there are a corresponding billion ways my mug can manifest itself as a photographic image, and I genuinely love seeing the fruits of mine and a photographer’s labour!

SO, I am always particularly chuffed when budding photographers attending workshops I model for then add me on facebook, tagging me in shots they’ve taken, or email me to show me their results!

Here are two more from the Yerbury boudoir workshop I modelled for recently. I thought the glowy light in these was fantastic when I saw them! By Donovan & Donovan Photography:

I’ve also modelled many times for the British Institute of Professional Photography, for their fashion, portrait and bridal workshops (I’ll be modelling on 16th March for another bridal workshop). This is by Rob Grimes, for a workshop led by the lovely Kelly Hearn. Photographing through a veil can be difficult, focus-wise, but makes for a really nice effect:

Notes on Appearance & Reality

For as long as I can remember I’ve had a fascination with identity and the distinction between appearance and reality. I would definitely say that the subject matter(s) of my writing – all of it; everything I’ve ever done and am currently doing – is coming at this preocupation from different angles. It’s an ongoing project; the way people/things are compared to how they appear to be, or present themselves as being, or believe themselves to be. At the heart of this issue is the question of whether there can actually be ultimate truth about a person’s nature, or whether people just make themselves up as they go along.

Inspired by a good friend who’s inspired by Alain De Botton’s penchant for numbering points in a list, and thereby making musings seem a. cohesive and b. directional, I’m going to list some excerpts of the pontification which went on in my head during this morning’s shower. Some of them might, if we’re lucky, be relevant to the general purposes of this blog.

1.

One of the coolest things about this job is getting to meet crazy, unconventional people who have urges to create art work which will last longer than them, and which expresses something about them and about how they see the world. They book particular models because they see that model in some way as representing or adhering to a world view or aesthetic which interests them. This is the interesting thing: the model builds up a portfolio/online presence representing the way she sees herself, or would like to see herself, or wants other people to see herself. There are layers of reality. It’s a creative, collaborative game. If it works well and the creative aims are in sync, the result is the expression of a joint world view, the capturing of a moment or story, which is an amazing thing. Reality is flexible, and inclusive.

2.

I normally drive to my shoots, but occasionally, due to the quirks of geography and the national rail, train journeys actually work out cheaper than petrol. It’s funny getting picked up at the station by a photographer/artist who knows exactly what you look like and gives you a hearty wave, forgetting you have no idea what they look like (since most photographers don’t have pictures of themselves all over the internet in the way that models do!) and so are just smiling vaguely in all directions waiting to be recognised. I always find it interesting to discover what a person is like in reality compared to how they come across in emails/internet presence. It’s so easy to build up ideas of what people must be like when you correspond with them for a long time before meeting, and I imagine this is multiplied by a thousand in the case of models, who (hopefully) already show a lot of their personality through their images. Occasionally, people tend to think they know you more than they actually do, but unless you’ve heard a person’s voice, or seen their faces and bodies move (not just seen split-second captures of a passing facial expression), you don’t really. I once got seven E-cards in one day from a man who decided he loved me (I believe his unfortunate affliction was brief, however). That’s what the internet does to people, though – you have an intense availability of a person’s image, and you can imagine that you know them as a full person. I get excited when people are exactly how I imagined them to be in real life.

3.

Integrity. I have never understood why people say things over the internet that they don’t mean and would not say in real life. This is only something I’ve witnessed rather than been involved in, but I remember reading things said on photography forums by someone who was repeatedly professing beliefs which were so at odds with mine (obviously that’s fine; makes the world go around, etc), but so ugly, arrogant and cruel, in my opinion, that I couldn’t believe it was real. This person then claims, in her defence, that she is nothing like her forum presence and is actually very nice in real life. Fascinating. Compartmentalising your personality; the new rage. Sounds quite knackering to me.

4.

You are not what you say but what you do. I must sellotape this fact to my brain.

5.

When I did my Masters, I was taught poetry by Jane Yeh, who is also a bit obsessed with the theme of representation and self-creation, ‘the nature of artifice, and of the self’. She has a hilarious (and excellent) poem written from the point of view of the owl which plays Harry Potter’s owl in the Harry Potter films. Not totally sure if I can copy it here, due to copyright, so please read it at: http://janeyeh3.com/somepoems.aspx. I love the last line: ‘Afterwards, you wonder what the glitter was for.’

6.

Projection. I found these ‘behind the scenes’ snaps taken from a shoot with Colin (see blog entry from an earlier shoot here), by Ivory Flame, who I was modelling with for some of the shots. Funky, eh?