Let’s Dance!

Hello from Dusseldorf!!! (Sorry, no umlauts on this laptop!)

Just wanted to show some recently-appeared-in-the-inbox movement nudes from my last shoot in Paris last month. This was one of the most tiring shoots I’ve ever done, simply because there was one rule – do not stop moving. (Actually that’s not true – the other rule was ‘have fun’!) It was such a work out, and for photogapher Jeremie Nassif too, as he was literally following me around, up, down, left right, swooping around, ducking and lifting and jumping… pretty good exercise, I’ll say that! I absolutely love these results; I’ve always loved movement in images, and these are so cool in my opinion! So without further ado:

 P.S. I sincerely hope everyone has watched the film ‘Eagle vs. Shark’, which I am reminded of everytime I hear the song ‘Let’s Dance’. Basically, all the lead actor has to do (whose name I’ve gone blank on, and don’t have time to google at this present moment… Jemaine Clement!!!!) is curl his lip in that ‘I’m so cool… I’m so complex’ kinda way, and I’m in hysterics. He floats my boat in Flight of the Conchords too. I actually adore him. Off topic… Hope you like the pics above. 🙂

Technicoloured Earth

I’ve been battling over the last few days with a strong desire to dye the tips/ends of my hair a pale, pastel ‘baby’ pink. I had the idea that it would suit my look in a sweet, ‘fairy’ kind of way rather than looking ‘punky’. Obviously my natural curls do soften any colour put into it, so the overall look would be quite gentle… Well, I indulged myself yesterday and went ahead and did it in my bathroom. The pack said to leave it in for 15-30 mins, so I conscientiously erred on the side of caution, wanting it not to come up too bright for photoshoots, and left it in for around 20mins (was aiming for 15 but then got distracted…). The result is barely noticeable; it blends so well that it doesn’t particularly appear to have made much difference. The lengths of my hair are quite light anyway, and now it looks to me like there is just a bit of a rosy, fiery haze around the ends. I love it! (But I don’t expect anyone else to notice much difference; will test it on my dinner companion this evening…). Maybe sometime after my 12-day trip to Holland and Germany this week I will try again for the full 30 mins and see how it looks!

Anyway, I know I’ve slightly flooded the area recently with images from Billy Sheahan and our fun foray into Mexican beach life, but he’s just sent me a whole new batch of colour edits which i think are eye-poppingly gorgeous. Billy originally imagined the shots in black and white, but we both think these are so vibrant. I love the mossy feathery green hues of the last four shots too; so warm and inviting.

Righty-ho, I’m off to make a ‘zuccini bake’, which involves whipping out my old ‘microwave cooking for kids’ book from my childhood. Remember when microwave cooking (‘put in, cover, leave for 3 mins, uncover, cook for 2.5 more mins…’) was all the rage? Haha.

Costume changes!

I love these shots by Mike Croshaw, taken recently at a studio day (its first!) at Cheltenham FilmPhoto Studios. Considering we only had a two hour slot together, and quite a bit of the beginning was taken up with me having to be laced into my wedding dress (I doubt any bride ever had to dress herself…), I think it’s impressive how much we got done. Here are a few from our session together. Very much looking forward to working with Mike again sometime. And for anyone interested in trying out the studio, I’d recommend it and can get you a good deal!

I’ve not really done ‘pin-up’ before, but Mike wanted to give the theme a try with me and I really enjoyed playing the part of a 50s cheeky-grinned starlet. I’d love to give pin up a real go, actually – I think it could possibly suit me quite well. Thanks Mike for choosing something fun and new to shoot with me!

This next shot has featured here before, but in the interests of comprehensiveness (of themes covered)… Gorgeous lighting and soft pastel hues:

I happened to have brought my brand new Asian bridal saree along with me to the shoot, in hopes of shoe-horning it into a session… I think it’s so stunning – I really really love ‘World’ costumery and I love India in particular so much. I spent some time there a few years ago (mainly in the north) and have been aching to go back ever since. Every year I tell myself it will be THIS year. I think it’s such a beautiful country, and I love how brightly coloured the women’s clothing is, as well; fanciful decoration and ornate, intricate beading is everywhere, and there is no such thing as too much adornment. It’s impossible to take a bad street shot there! Mike and I think a plainer background would probably have worked better for this shot (or I would love to shoot with it in a grand house, with the full works!), but for the garment’s first airing I do love this.

Below is a composite image in a classical ‘Old Masters’ style, which is a theme more traditionally suited to my strengths…

And finally we spent some time doing some movement and ‘swirly’ images. I love the golden curves of the fabric here, and its flaring wisp to my left in the composition (camera right?).


…Let me know which you like! 🙂

The edge of the world

Wow, if Carlsberg made photographers, they’d come in the shape of Chicago-based Billy Sheahan. I appreciate and enjoy all of my shoots and often forge friendships with photographers when things have gone particularly well and repeat bookings are made often, but there was something about this shoot that was really special for me.

Billy picked me up from the airport in Mexico after I’d flown west from Mexico City (a place I can’t wait to visit again), and drove me towards a week of intense creativity. Billy was the first photographer who’d booked me for a shoot, and we found the most sublime beach, early in the morning, totally empty. We had to walk through various exotic trees and cacti to find it and when we first glimpsed it, we couldn’t believe how beautiful it was. So perfect and serene. It was so quiet, too, and the whole thing felt like such a privilege.

Billy is one of my favourite photographers ever. He is such a kind, jolly, positive person that is so much fun to be around. He was, as he called himself, the ‘model taxi’; carting us around to grocery stores and to and from meet-ups in his hired car. He even drove us and waited patiently while some of us browsed (slowly) a Mexican charity shop (I think ‘thrift store’ was the correct term; I bought some particularly eccentric black and white geometric-patterned trousers), looking for Halloween costumes. He crashed his car (well, ‘crashed’ is unfair; it was a tiny tiny bump) and got over it in half a second. He is always smiling and incredibly open to the moment, which was why this, Billy’s first real outdoor-location model shoot as I think he told me, was so successful and such a joy.

I know I sound like I’m gushing, but I just felt so incredibly FREE during this shoot. Billy just left me to prance about along the shore line, in and out of waves, jumping off rocks and strolling around in front of his camera. He was a fair distance away for a lot of the shots, and took millions of frames, hoping to catch the ‘moment’ of whatever I was about to do at any given time, since we couldn’t really communicate well in the conditions. So in some ways I felt, for a lot of the shoot, like I was alone in nature, just experiencing the place in all its head-knocking beauty. I’m so grateful for Billy for allowing me to feel that way, and for framing so much open space in many of the shots that reflect that state of mind. Looking at these shots makes me feel so happy.

Billy has written very eloquently about our shoot here and here. Please do read what he’s written – it’s so nice and really sets things in context!

Yes, there will be some monochrome/colour indecision. I love the blues in the ones looking out to sea!

Click to view them large (you’ll need to; I’m kinda tiny in some of them), and please let me know your favourites!



…And some in colour: