Moss, Kicks & Lochs

Back when I started modelling, Alex Ingram‘s work was way up there at the top of the ‘inspire’ list; I saw his beautiful work everywhere and hoped I might work with him one day. I had been in touch with him ever since (and we have the message history from 2009 to prove it!) but I never quite made it to his high-up land of lochs and glens until a couple of weeks ago, when I finally met and worked with him. And what a good thing I finally made the journey! Alex is a wonderful host, taking such care to keep me comfortable and happy during my 2-night stay, and even packed me off with a surprise packed lunch afterwards (he did his absolute best to use up all the remaining peanut butter in my rolls since he hated it so much – fine by me, the peanut butter addict!). During a shoot, his way of working comes from years and years of experience and understanding; he is able to visualise a shot (or work with the visualisation of the model), set up, and take only a few frames in order to capture the image – which, in Scotland’s unpredictable weather conditions is an invaluable skill! Despite changing weather (sunny-ish at first then downpours!), we managed to get some great images! I’m so looking forward to seeing what we can come up with on location in Iceland this July!

Alex sent me images from the day in multiple versions, but I’m leaning towards sepia for most. I think sepia is under-used!

Alex wrote this about the high-kick shots above: As we were walking between locations in a remote scattered deserted village high on a hillside I mentioned to Ella Rose to say if she saw anything as a potential location, and within seconds she said this tree. This high kick is totally free standing although it may not look that way, she had to be well away from both the trunk & branch to avoid their shadows. Take into account the rough ground which was soft, and a bog just a few feet away, it was an amazing feat to achieve.’

Also, don’t let the blue sky in the colour shot of the tree above fool you too much… It was beautiful at that point, yes, but torrentially raining for much of the rest of it!

But first, back to the good weather, some restful nudes on moss:

Squeaky clean (and more sepia!) portraits in Alex’s lounge – aka temporary rain shelter:

With these next few (the last of the day’s output!), I thought we could go for a rainy/misty beautiful/desolate effect, and Alex knew what I meant and found the perfect spot. His amazing home location meant it would have been a crime not to have posed next to the loch near the bottom of his driveway, and we decided we could just go for it and shoot in the rain for the last few, walkie talkies ‘n’ all! Amazingly, my hair doesn’t really look wet. The physics of weather makes no sense sometimes. 🙂

Nearby (a few steps away) the local sheep were gathered, soaking wet, and wondering what on earth we humans were doing. Throughout my trip to Scotland I became besotted with all the tiny lambs I saw (I saw some which seemed only a few days old; I’d held a lamb before but never seen such tiny ones!!). I really really want a little lamb as a pet. It would be the most loved lamb in the whole wide world, without a doubt. Siiiigh. I could walk it and everything.

Thank you Alex!

Welsh Rain, Reflections

I had a great two days with Richard Spurdens in January, shooting at a grand house in Wales. We’ve worked together a couple of times before and I think we make a good team, having lots of fun and getting lots done in the process! Richard is always brimming with ideas and always happy to go along with mine too – and having packed a large suitcase full of bits and pieces, including my Indian wedding sari and the showgirl costume I bought in Las Vegas, I had plenty for us to work with in the various mini locations scattered inside the house. We worked outside too – in the pouring rain, I might add; I don’t normally offer to pose nude in the rain, but it seemed such a shame to waste the opportunities out there!

Richard has kindly sent me some of my favourite results, which means I get to show them off! 🙂 One of the images has already had a couple of successes/acceptances, so that’s good, too!

My Vegas costume:

Dreaming through a window…

(These were great in colour too, and I’m sure Richard won’t mind me taking the credit for suggesting we switch on the light inside to create that warm glow… 🙂 )

A ghostly movement idea we played around with (doesn’t the map in the background make the shot? I’ve got such a thing about maps, myself).

 Sari (I’m really quite sulky-looking in the first, for some reason):

Some dance-ish hair flicks at the indoor (overly chlorinated, but gorgeously steamy) pool…

Outdoors in that rain…

…’Refreshing’.

And some ‘miscellaneous’ images… 🙂

(Having to duck underneath the chandelier in the shot below made not slipping off the sloping shelf-thing even more difficult than it already was. ‘First world problems’. What a nice house it was!)

Thanks so much Richard for another fruitful experience! 

Sharps, Flats, Shapes & Curves

Another quick update, hot off the press after a weekend off which has revolved around a family dinner, seeing friends, lunch dates, a vintage fair, walkies and the management of french pronouns (le/la/les before lui/leur, but vous/me/nous before le/la/les. FYI) with my buddy Michel Thomas and his slightly irritating female student who delivers every phrase in a breathy monotone, I just wanted to show a collection of shots taken recently at mine and Ivory Flame‘s ‘duo’ day at Eye For An Image Studio in Banbury. The theme was ‘Shapes and Curves’. Between us, we’ve definitely got some shapes and curves; and it’s nice to hang out with my good friend Holly in front of the lens.

Four photographers attended, one after the other, and I’ll post some of my personal favourites from those I’ve been shown.

Hit this (Satie’s Gnossienne 1) for an instant soundtrack as you scroll down; you’ll probably recognise it from various films, including the gorgeous Chocolat (which is fitting, as I’ve just finished my Easter chocolate): 

(I’ve requested a bit of light relief on the side while I finish learning Liebestraum, the ultimate romantic masterpiece, due to my utter inability to sight-read after a ten year gap making it a bit of a sudoku-style brain training practice not to mention the necessitation of finger strength excercises that make my wrists want to die, a bit; it is getting there though and sounding better and better each day, but Satie is always so evocative and beautiful, and pleasingly simple to pick up on the first run-through, thank God. So now I have the ultimate procrastination piece to linger over when my frustration at the same chord appearing twice in the same bar but with every single note accented differently starts to bubble… C FLAT IS NOT A NOTE. NOR IS E SHARP. Let’s call it B and F, shall we? AARRRRGGGHHHH. F DOUBLE SHARP, SURELY, IS SIMPLY G. I’d been away from the game so long that these ‘amusing’, ‘helpful’ quirks have had to be relearned until they can be calmly ignored/memorised, which brings me to…)

By James (‘CalmNudes’):

By Mark Bigelow (who is now doing lighting workshops on his improvisational way of working; it’s a lot of fun to prance in his playboxes of shadows!):

By Prashant Meswani:

And by Eddie Ray (including a single exposure during which two become three):

Thanks photographers! 🙂

SWPP Annual Convention – Hilton London Metropole

I’ve modelled for Faye and Trevor Yerbury on quite a few occasions now, and it was lovely to be asked to be their masterclass model on two days in January during the annual SWPP convention, held at the Hilton London Metropole Hotel, in the Presidential Suite, no less!

On one day, the theme was Portraits (and also featured two young girls who made great ‘little sisters’ for met!), and on the other day, the focus was boudoir/nude. I’ve been sent a few shots from some of the attending photographers, so have some to show here, which is nice!

As always, I had a great time modelling for this creative and talented pair – they really do know their stuff. I’ll be posing for them again in May, during my jaunt to Scotland (4th-14th), which I’m sure will be a great experience, working with them on their ‘own turf’! 🙂

No strangers to travel, they teach, demonstrate and lecture all over the place – you can keep up with their latest comings and goings via their website, if you think you’d like some tuition of some sort: http://www.yerburystudio.com/

Below are some of the images I’ve been sent:

These were taken by Manes Pangalos, from Athens:

The above wig utterly confused certain members of the group; I reappeared after a quick change and caused bafflement over where the ‘other’ model had gone! It does make quite a difference, doesn’t it…

A portrait taken by Jane Cox:

More boudoir, by Steve Murray:

And another from Tony Cashen:

Faye and Trevor squeeze in a few moments of shooting me when they possibly can, between helping out the photographers, so finally here are some of their results too:

By Faye Yerbury:

And by Trevor Yerbury:

And I love this version Trevor posted on facebook, after ‘playing around’:

The Yerbury stand, down in the exhibition hall, looked absolutely wonderful. Here are some snapshots I took on my phone afterwards, plus a few images I spotted myself in, successfully awarded in the 20 X 16 print competition (two by Faye and the coloured image of Ivory Flame and I, shot by Keith Cooper):

And, while I’m here, here’s a shot Faye took of me on another day, which I don’t think has appeared on this blog before. Very classical!

Charcoal Metallics & Garden Gates

Hot off a high from starting to learn this piece by Liszt (Liebestraum/Dream of Love)…

(Press play and listen all the way through… So far I’m up to the 1min20 mark in the video below. I’ll be sure to update you once I’ve mastered it, since I’m sure you’re all on the edges of your seats about it.

Such a classic, but always surprisingly beautiful every time I hear it.)

… I bring you these images by Steven Bruce. I really enjoyed modelling for Steve – he got some gorgeous stuff and he and his wife are such nice, bright and warm people. We shot mainly in the garden of the place they were staying at, in California. The images are from one part of the session; the other involved a double act; I have been promised more and can’t wait to see them too.

I just think those mono conversions, depths of field and textures, especially in the last two, are so lush; kind of fluid but retaining sharp details. I think they look charcoal-y metallic! 🙂

Cascading Light

A tiny update, rushed before I go away on my date with Belgium tomorrow; don’t mind if I do indulge in a few chocolates while I’m there..! So looking forward to this first visit (I don’t think driving through on the way to Germany as a child counts).

These were all taken at a workshop run by Trevor and Faye Yerbury (well, except the bicycle one, but it seems fitting)…. soooo lovely, I reckon.

and by Ian:

Curves & Refraction

Whooooosshh!!

That’s the sound of me zooming through my emails, obviously. I am really terrible at keeping on top of them and frequently tell myself off about it (though I have been told I’m not as bad as some!), but have made a good dent this evening (got some lovely ones, too, including being asked to be interviewed for an upcoming feature) and may even carry on for a while after a quick detour to blogsville. To anyone waiting for a reply, thank you (as always) for your patience.

Today I shall be showing you some images shot by Bob in California (www.robertccochran.com – and the website comes with some incredibly relaxing music), which I think are quite special. Enjoy!

I love the steps in that last one. Bob’s asked me to suggest a title for it; I’m thinking ‘Drift’ or ‘Launch’. It has elements of both.

And thanks for your comments, both on and off the blog – it always amazes me how many people I meet who tell me they read it.