A celebration, some wedding princessing and some Lions (and a monkey)

Hello!

Thank you all so much (those of you who have commented on my facebook wall and sent me messages; you know who you are!) for my birthday wishes for yesterday! I had such a nice day and it very surreal racking up so many good wishes on my facebook notifications – I felt very popular, haha! Seriously though, it’s so appreciated and really reminds me how nice it is to hear a ‘happy birthday’ from people even when you haven’t heard from them in a while and that I must always remember people’s birthdays myself!

Today’s post is going to involve a series of tenuous links.

First, I will tell you about what I did yesterday… I went to visit the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Science Museum in Oxford in the morning. Some really impressive shots and the staff member on the desk was so chatty, telling us all about the various controversies, and the artists who’d visited and what they’d said about other photographers’ work… I really loved one shot of a white bird lifting out of the water, with it’s emerging wings spread in blurry motion. It looked so ethereal and beautiful! LOVED the polar bear too, plus lots more. Had a delicious light lunch at a lebanese restaurant afterwards avec some borrowed (must order it myself next time..) sugary mint tea.

After that I had my traditional family tea and cake ceremony in the afternoon – fodant fancies featured heavily, as always.

Then at 4pm I was taken to London and got there for an early dinner (really tasty veggie burger of portobello mushroom, baby spinach and goat’s cheese) and courgette fries at Byron Burgers in Covent Garden, before (feeling we might explode) going to watch THE LION KING at the Lyceum Theatre!!!! I had been wanting to go and see this for years and years, and occasionally, when I remembered the lack of it in my life, had a little moan… so it was a masssive treat and something I’d really really built up in my mind, so much so that afterwards I announced ‘It’s amazing that it didn’t disappoint me at all’, which my friend said was hilarious and should probably go on their poster… Haha (oops). Seriously though, the moment I left the theatre I wanted to just go back and watch it all again!! From the first second of the show, with the characters hurtling down the aisles to the stage while the most incredible powerful music seared into my ears, I was spellbound and genuinely a little bit teary. And then the creativity and ingenuity of the set designs, the use of space and the way they showed the passage of time, the sunsets and silhouettes, balletic gazelles, giraffe men on stilts, the elephant, costumes and colour, were all so utterly jaw-droppingly mesmerising. My favourite aspect of it by far, though, was definitely the call and response singing. After I come back in my next life as a Lebanese/bellydancer/Columbian/Shakira hybrid, I think I’ll come back as a big African mama, singing magical heart-stopping soulful Savannah tunes*. Ha. Rafiki, basically; the crazy wise lady with the staff, who tells Simba to ‘look into himself’ to find his father, and teases him into going back to reclaim his Lion-y throne and sorting out the hyenas and marching slinkily and powerfully back up Pride Rock. Aaaaah. 🙂

* Joke. Pretty sure we only get one chance at things, and sadly, I’m lily white. I did once get cast as a lion though (for hair reasons) in a school performance of Pyramus and Thisbe. My friend played the wall.

Anyway, I will be adding to my ‘White’ website gallery soon with some gorgeous new wedding images. There is a bit of a medley below!

Shot by Mike Croshaw at the brand new Cheltenham Film Studio. We did so many different styles in two hours (including pin up!) which I will hopefully show soon:

These were taken by Sabel Gonazalez recently around the centre of Oxford. The male model is the lovely and handsome James Pike, hair stylist Nikki Wright and make up artist Laura Pusey.

Finally, to complete the wedding theme bonanza for now, here are some outdoor shots by David Ballard., taken last week:

I’m going this afternoon to my local animal sanctuary in hope of finding a buddy for my little Chi! Can’t wait to meet the current members of the centre. I have a feeling I’m going to want to take quite a few home though… In related news, here is a photo of me holding a howler monkey called ‘Chiquito’, a temporary resident at an animal rescue centre I visited in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, in December. The centre was founded by a couple of european vets who met and fell in love during a work placement in Costa Rica. They set up house together and when the locals knew there were animal doctors in the area, any stray/hurt/lost animals were scooped up and delivered to their doorstep until it became necessary to expand and put up purpose-built enclosures for various lost and found animals to recuperate (The place is emphatically not a zoo!) until they are ready to be released back into the wild. I hope I can go back there soon! Chiquito was soooo sweet. We had to hold his tail strongly in case he jumped away (but he didn’t; he just wanted to snuggle!).
OK, here’s a little hand-licking deer I met there too (a little too tame to be released now, apparently):
Bye for now!

Pink dress

I’ve admired Gary Sandy‘s photography for a while, having seen lots of his beautiful, glowy new work popping up on my facebook newsfeed every now and then, and we’d communicated over the last couple of years about shooting together. Last month we managed to get a date together and do some fashion/commercial/look book-style stuff! I wanted to look ‘fresh’ and youthful and just a little different from my usual, dreamy, romantic style – we thought we might do some quirky/contemporary make up for some of the shots, but the make up artist scheduled to come along didn’t make it in the end, so I had to do it myself and the shoot nearly didn’t go ahead at all (the weather was forecast to be terrible, so we were texting each other at around 3am, trying to work out whether to do the shoot or not)! Anyway, because of this last minute confusion, the photoshoot ended up being quite a quick one, but Gary is great to work with, didn’t mind me carrying my mug of tea outside with us at his farm (I’m the slowest tea-drinker in the world), and I hope we get to do something together again at some point.

Below are some shots from one of the outfits/sets we did. There will be more, but I’m too keen to show these off already! The dress was kindly provided by Gary.

August is my last full month of modelling in the UK, then I’m off modelling and backpacking around various places on the globe intermittently until mid-December! At the moment, I’m not completely sure what I’ll be doing next year and I probably won’t know until Christmas time-ish, but if I’m still modelling I hope I get to do more stuff like this!

…And here’s another one Gary’s just edited… ‘The lynx effect’:

Hope you like them!

Front cover – Practical Photoshop

I’m currently on the front cover of the very first issue of ‘Practical Photoshop’, a new magazine full of tips and know-how for the more digitally-inclined photographer. It looks like it’s a brilliant magazine, so I’m proud to be on/in it. Below is the cover, plus some of the (many) pages I’m shown on. It’s out now – go get it (if you want it)!

I think I’ve been neglecting the more ‘commercial’ side of my modelling over the last year or so. I have got some absolutely brilliant artistic/figure nude projects coming up between now and the end of the year which I’m really excited about, and I’m proud of my artistic portfolio and how far I’ve come since I started 2.5 years ago, but I’d like to redress the balance between my ‘art’ and ‘commercial’ modelling too. I suppose the best way to do that is to show more images of me in a commercial setting, so people know that I can do it just as comfortably as the artistic stuff. It’s fun to give a big grin to the camera and be light and happy for lifestyle shots and to have these two very different prongs to my modelling… spike. 🙂

I’m in Lewis!

Check out a little moment of fame! I did some extra work last year, and here I am in ‘Wild Justice’, an episode of the TV drama Lewis. For those who don’t know, Lewis is a spin off from Inspector Morse. We shot this in the centre of Oxford, and I happened to bump into a good school friend who was also working as an extra that day, so we had a great time catching up!

Don’t blink! I’m there in the crowd, about 4 seconds in, watching the procession as Hathaway runs dramatically behind me… He kept doing this massively exaggerated skid-to-a-stop as we took the scene over and over again, though it looks like they didn’t use it in the end. 🙂 The procession was blocking his and Lewis’ way en route to solving a case… Dun dun derrrr!

I’m very grateful to someone on facebook for spotting this and sending me a link to a video (can you imagine the eagle eyes required to notice me?! Impressive!). Thanks Paul Jackson!

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:

🙂