Norwegian Black – On an Island

Memories of this trip include lighthouses, rocks, funny Norwegian pancakes, beaches, sculptures, sub-sea tunnels and outdoor cats. We had a very productive four days, and so I will endeavour to divide the results into more than one blog post. I love so many. This selection, the ‘indoor’ side of things, was mostly taken while listening to Alicia Keys and Mark Knopfler’s brilliant Privateering.

A huge thank you to the multi-talented Sjur Roald, whose hospitality, too, was fantastic.

Underwater Fires

I have so many images queuing up to be shown here as always but am interrupting that flow with some excitement caused by this morning’s inbox arrival – some underwater adventuring shot in California by Zoe Wiseman.

I loooove these. Wow!!! Thanks Zoe!

I think I may have referred to this shoot already on here, mentioning that it was a fun challenge – my first underwater shoot. Meghan Claire (who features alongside me in most; we were also joined by Carlotta Champagne and Titania) was great at pulling me down, as I have the world’s most buoyant butt, I think. The flowy hair and dreaminess of these, with the bubbles everywhere and upward reflections, and the light daggering and darting down through the water in ripples just makes these so amazing. I think my favourites are the ones in colour, and I also love the chaotic group shots at the end, with limbs and torsos all entwined at different depths and distances from the camera, with magical creatures falling beautifully in the foreground and far away mermaids swimming past alongside…. 🙂 I so want to try some more!

I’d love to hear your favourites!

Criatura

I’ve been reading an amazing book recently; one I picked up in a hostel in Costa Rica at the very end of my Central America trip last year, then put back on the bookshelf as it was too thick to carry home (my backpack was 100% full of things collected over the course of 2.5 months; souvenirs, textiles and the most beautiful hammock you’ll ever see (and which I haven’t seen in a while, since England is not the ideal hamaca-hanging arena).

I spend an indecent amount of time on amazon.co.uk, buying new CDs most weeks and occasionally treating myself to new books too… and I bounced through ‘recommendations’ a few weeks ago until the same book caught my eye again. And it could get to me without me carrying it!

I will admit that one of the reasons I initially was drawn to this book in San Jose was the cover. I think the most discerning readers always judge a book by its cover… And I have always been drawn to wolves. Here it is:

‘Women who Run with the Wolves: Contacting the power of the wild woman’, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

Unknown to me at the time, this is apparently a real classic, a bit like ‘The Artist’s Way’ and all that other good stuff. I’m learning a lot from it, and it’s also interesting to consider it in the context of my modelling work (tenuous link ahoy!!). My images often portray what I’m told is a very feminine, soft and sensual ‘prettiness’, and this book explores the other side of that womanly coin; the intuition, power, primal animal attributes and wisdom of women. When you’re feeling a bit too simpering and primped, it’s a good slap in the face. Women should be strong, powerful and deeply creative, not overly passive, girlish and naive; they are deeply knowing, instinctive and in touch with the vital, if they let themselves be.

I’m about a third of the way through, but I’m finding the author’s writing style so beautiful and poetic; so mad, funny and academic all at once. So this is a big fat recommendation. She weaves mythological fairy tales and folklore from all over the world with psychoanalysis and explorations of the unconscious, paradigms, roles and archetypes that can help us know what to do and who is who and who has what intention… and how to stay true to yourself. Cool huh?

I love a word which comes up frequently in the book: ‘criatura’ (creature). I think the following shots compliment the theme, being quite different from straightforward ‘pretty’ or ‘perfect’ representations of femininity, so they are well worth an appearance on my blog; they show flesh and bone, the workings of the body, and are real and mysterious at once. I also think they are beautifully lit, which never hurts. 🙂

By Shane Lewis, shot in Dublin:

On another bookish note, what an amazing idea this is, at a time when libraries here in England are dying/being closed due to cuts and land-line public phones aren’t really very necessary. Apparently these book exchanges are cropping up in rural villages; I imagine my American followers will find this very quaint. 😉

And, I’ve got the guilts about updating this blog, etc., when I still have lots of emails to catch up on. I am getting to them ASAP. Sorry.

Red jellyfish & Black Tutus

Evening! I’m back in England, where a bikini doth not an outfit make.

I’ve just had a really lazy summer holiday in my parents’ apartment in the south of Spain, where temperatures were, of course, predictably and gloriously HOT, the outdoor pool glitters in the sunlight and makes the perfect arena for weird and watery races and acrobatics (I rarely actually swim), floaty dresses were reluctantly donned to walk around unbelievably beautiful white mountain-backed villages, and hazy sunsets and star-filled nights were the rule. I am so lucky to have that little part of the world to escape to!

(Although, shock horror: I got stung by a jellyfish!!! I couldn’t believe it!! My boyfriend spotted a couple of these small red, alien floaty creatures bobbing around and swam a little way towards them to peer at them, delighted (BOYS!!!). I, cleverly, backed away, only to be lanced in the ankle by one floating around behind me!! It hurt SO much!! I really panicked, as I’ve been to Spain many times but never seen or experienced this there, and I have no real ‘jellyfish knowledge’ (other than on the east coast of Australia, where jellyfish = bad) and didn’t know if it was a serious situation or not… And does ‘red’ not equal ‘I will poison you’ in nature?…

…All this panic was going through my head while my ankle began to feel stiff and swollen, I felt all wobbly, and the pain kept shooting through me over and over again. I think my loud English swearing caused a bit of fuss, so the water quickly cleared, and then was slowly filled up by gallant men with fishing nets, who seemed determined to empty the sea of all possible jellyfish and display them on hot rocks on the beach. Urgh. Anyway, it was all fine, I didn’t die, and my red double-tentacle swipe tattoo has now mostly disappeared completely.

By the way, it was a nudist beach. (Well, tan lines are disallowed in this career, are they not?) Yes, the swimmers absconded quite quickly.

*Sorry to all the people who’ve emailed me over the last couple of weeks* – I allowed myself hardly any internet time while on holiday (there is none in the apartment), but I will be replying to all messages soon now! It’s good and healthy to have time separated from the world of online activity, but it’s been so nice to catch up today on all the many and varied blogs I follow. I’m also planning a few new things and projects to get started with (or wrap up) over the next few weeks – don’t you just love that fresh perspective and buzz you get about your home life after ever just a short time away?

***********

I had a really fun and productive shoot with Richard Spurdens last month, a long-awaited second shoot, while on my trip to Stockport, and the following images have kindly arrived in my inbox, made at Hallam Mill Studios. We shot quite a few different styles, and I think there are many more ideas in the planning.

I have many more photos lined up to show here, as always, including some I love and should have posted weeks ago, and get so excited by seeing the results from the shoots I’ve done! Stay tuned! …And it’s always nice to hear which shots stand out most to my blog readers, so do speak up if you feel the urge! 🙂

My newest black tutu, with my lingerie leotard and pointes:

Stylised portraits:

Shot from above, making the most of a floor:

A new blue skirt I love, and window stories:

Some posing around:

🙂

Pebbles

Happy Monday everyone! Hope everyone had a nice weekend… I ended up on a boat yesterday for a friend’s birthday party on the river. Lots of fun (and cider and pimms!) and I got to drive for some of it!

Here are some recent shots by Jeremy Howitt, taken on Brighton beach! This was the first shoot of my trip to Sussex at the end of June and resulted in a little monochrome mini-series (and salty beach hair! :-)).



Jeremy’s plan was to keep these in monochrome, but I couldn’t help wondering what they’d look like in colour (despite the uneventful sky; it was a hazy morning) and after a couple of to-and-fro edits (me vaguely suggesting, Jeremy miraculously realising my ideas with the magic of technology), this colour image is what we came up with. I love the peachy-pink blaze at the top of the frame and the soft pastel hues.

Another great shoot – thanks Jeremy!

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!

Strength in the Dark

How lovely ’twas to work with eccentric and passionate, Holland-based Brit Eric Kellerman, at his home studio in Nijmegen recently. We’d been in contact since 2009, according to our online message history (back when I was nervous about flying alone…. fast forward to now and I’m happily jetting about all over the world by myself!), and having been a long-time admirer of his beautiful and intriguing work, it was an honour to finally be involved in his vision. Eric has very kindly sent me some images after our shoot – 125 to be exact!! My inbox is happy. Eric is currently working on a number of different projects based on female figure nudes, the current accumulation of which can be seen on his website, gallery by gallery. Many of you will have heard of his infamous ‘box’ project and we did indeed work on that with some cool results (Eric is publishing a book on it later this year), but first, here are some strong, dark, moody nudes showing muscle and grit! I love these – a far cry from the softness I usually project.

Working with Eric is a liberating time as every strange ‘imperfection’ of the body is celebrated; although some shots may show bones, slenderness and strong definition in my abs, others show rolls of fat, bulges and creases which appear when the body moves, slumps and folds…. it’s all the same body on the same day (and my weight never fluctuates at all anyway) and just shows how variously a body can be portrayed, with the creation of different lighting, and to interesting visual effect.

I think my favourite is the fifth from the bottom… What do you think?

…More soon!