In stark contrast to the blog post below, I will leave it completely to you to imagine how this image was created. It’s a weird, freaky one – I love it!
I hope everyone is having a happy new year so far… I’ve been feeling a tiny bit ill (and so a tiny bit grumpy), but am definitely making the most of small pleasures; as if stationery didn’t make me happy enough as it already is, I today discovered that staples are available in different colours while on an incredibly boring but necessary jaunt to buy a new receipt file (the joys of keeping things for SIX YEARS). Pink, blue, green and yellow. My inner fourteen year-old girl is buzzing. I also got some very beautiful new towels today; I am easily pleased (well, that’s not strictly true, but for the purposes of this blog post let’s say I am). And I’m doing pretty well with my extreme multi-tasking idea; I want to improve my German and French this year, morphing the knowledge I have into actual practical confidence, to be tested later in the year on various trips, and am squeezing in some audio lessons during very short stints on my exercise bike. I wonder if I will forever associate particular words with the view of my speedometer.
Anyway, one thing I am very pleased about is to be able to mention that three photographer/artists I’ve worked with are all exhibiting at the same time. Mark Davy-Jones, Gregory Brown and Jeff Wack will all be showing work at ‘The Beauty of Women’ at The Menier Gallery, London 8-19th January. I know that some images of me are being featured by Mark, though I don’t know which, and will have to go along to find out if I’ll be featured in any more.
Interestingly, the Guild of Erotic Artists says of the exhibition:
‘THE BEAUTY OF WOMEN is an exhibition that is designed to allow the visitor to view the female form as a thing of beauty that is generally considered too private and intimate for public display. If shown at all, a woman’s body is usually presented in a negative fashion, generally within the context of pornography, intended, in almost all cases, for the exclusive pleasure of men. The goal of this exhibition is to remove these indecent inferences, contained in works of art over the centuries.’
I’m hoping to visit in between modelling for the Yerburys at the annual SWPP convention at the London Hilton on Edgeware Rd, which I’m really looking forward to. If you’re planning to be there, come and say hi!
And this has reminded me that I need to plan a quick visit to the Isle of Wight again for March/April – will get on to that soon, though am all in a flux at the moment about when to visit Paris (4th-9th April?) and am also itching to get on with planning my trip to Scotland (early May; big proper tour, unlike my last year’s piddly foray into just Edinburgh, as stunningly beautiful as that city is), amongst others. Planning planning planning.
…And here are some actual modelling shots again!
These were taken by Vincent Rijs in Amsterdam. I think they have a very Dutch feel to them!
(Interlude: this is all assuming the world won’t end on the 21st. That said, anyone who’s anyone surely knows that the Mayans only predicted the end of a cycle and the start of a new one, a shift in human understanding and an apocalypse only in those ‘end of an era’ terms; and whatever repercussions will be involved are supposed to occur in the surrounding days, months or even years. 🙂 From what I’ve read (and I bought a book on the Mayans last year so that visiting the pyramids would be more fun), they never actually claimed that the world will end on that date; they are only aligning meaning with astronomical fact, as was their way of doing things. Gotta say though, the parties in Mexico at the ancient Mayan sites around now must be brilliant.)
By Holly at Jewelled World, yet another book cover featuring… well, my feet again. Haha. It amuses me greatly that my little tattoo seems not to have been edited out by the relevant department at the publishing house; the absolute testament to the fact that no one ever notices it. I will have to see this in real life to be sure. Well done Holly!
Finally, my mug on the cover of Digital Camera Magazine recently, shot by a competition-winning reader up in Manchester. We had a great day; there were lots of sets and beautiful images made that I really wish I could have seen finished versions of after the shoot, but trust me that there were some absolute beauties! My hair and make up was stunning, I thought, and done by Zan, who was excellent!
I’ve also been told I’m featured in a book out at the moment, ‘Practical Photoshop: Creative Projects’. Someone spotted it in WHSmith for me (thank you!), so I emailed the editor and he’s kindly sending me a copy. I’ve got some lovely shots in waiting which I’ll be excited to show soon, but bear with me if I do disappear for a little while. Thanks for reading!
I’m writing this from my hotel in Manchester, where I’m poised for a magazine shoot tomorrow, and taking some time to catch up on lots and lots of things, including reading inspiring blog posts about creativity like these, and writing this blog post, which I’m excited to show you!
I was lucky and spoiled enough recently to be taken again to Paris by photographer Jeremy Howitt (see previous entries here and here). It really was a bit of a whirlwind, and since the idea was that we’d spend two nighttimes shooting, we were free to sightsee all day around Paris on the day in between (and although I was free to book further shoots in the area, I thought it would be nice to have the day to wander around and look at stuff instead!!).
On the first evening, post Eurostar, I met Jeremy for dinner before travelling around on the metro (to the accompanying sound of the accordian; this is one of my all time favourite things about France; it really is so unashamedly French) towards Montmartre, to revisit a spot we’d worked on before. Voilà:
(Above is Jeremy’s shot of le Sacre Coeur, taken on one of many runs up the stairs to check the status of passersby; below, me in le French mac, then less so:)
The plan was basically then to walk around and try desperately to get enough privacy (in the most popular city in the world…) somewhere with an interesting background. I have a thing about cafés (though I didn’t indulge in a macaroon during this trip), and thought we just had to use this place. And I’m bossy. I love the zebra crossing in the frame, too. The staff were just closing for the night, and we had to be quick not to let them steer their wheely bins in shot…
On day two, we went to la Musée d’Orsay to see the current Degas exhibition, which was brilliant! What an amazing place. I bought a really cool poster, plus a set of 6 monet coasters and some Degas/other postcards to boost my, er, coaster and art postcard collections. 🙂
Unfortunately, France hates vegetarians, so what could have been an entire day spent browsing the jaw dropping, inspiring and mesmerising (if there’d been time), with just a quick stop in the cafe there, was necessarily cut short by the urgent desire to eat lunch. Ah well, I hope to go back at some point; and we did manage to see quite a lot!
Next on the agenda, after dinner (yeah, basically day time was spent eating and looking at stuff, and also napping after the late shoot the night before) we went to the Grand Palais, which is currently hosting an exhibition of Helmut Newton’s photography. Lots of food for thought and inspiration! The highlight was the video, made by Helmut’s wife, with behind the scenes footage and some hilarious fly-on-the-wall scenes. Best quote ever comes from Helmut arguing with her (after she notes how fortuitous it is that a model has semi-blinked in one of his images, lending a narrow-eyed, sultry, moody feel to the image): ‘You’re doing it again. Belittling me. I told her to do that. It is my direction that makes her mysterious and wonderful.’ (Or words very similar. Love it.)
After that, aware that Paris is still full of tourists and couples strolling around its streets at 10pm, we went to the Crazy Horse, which was quite an experience!!
And finally, we did some shots in front of the iconic Eiffel Tour. Surprisingly enough, this wasn’t actually planned, but I’m so glad we did it! I think these shots will currently hold my record for ‘crazy things done in the name of modelling’; I am certainly not the first model to have posed there, but it’s still a bizarre, exciting and pressure-filled few minutes (we didn’t have longer than that really; and even then we couldn’t escape the tourists, lazily-strolling locals or taxi drivers, some of whom gave me a thumbs up sign mid-drive… and the pressure was on for Jeremy who had to control focus in low (street lamp only) light). We certainly didn’t set out to be seen; we did everything we could not to be, waiting for what felt like hours for those precious gaps in the stream of people, but in the end it just seemed impossible and we had to just go for it or always regret it. I can say that modelling nude in front of the Eiffel Tower (and, to a lesser-but-still-considerable extent, in front of the café the previous night) is a sort of ‘out of body’ experience. It’s a very odd thing to do. But the structure, power and beauty of the Eiffel Tower, especially lit up so majestically (and I have to mention that at night, the tower’s illumination copyright goes strictly to Pierre Bideau), made a wonderful posing partner and some images I’m proud of! And just look at the moon (copyright Moon)!
Although I’ve been lucky enough to have been featured in photographic displays and art exhibtions, in and on photography and fine art coffee books, in calendars, on websites, billboards and promotional material, on a CD cover, in newspapers, magazines and commercial catalogues, I’d never managed to grace the front cover of a novel…
… Until now!!!
I’m very happy about this as you can probably imagine!
Holly of Jewelled Earth fame has only gone and done it again and come through on her mission to get me on a book cover – a first for her as a photographer too, so we’re both very pleased (I could hear Holly’s squeals of excitement via email!). Of her submission to an agent last year, two of her images of me were selected for two different novels, and both images were taken during one session in Oxford during which I flitted around, ran across a courtyard as though being chased, lay on the floor dreamily (or as though dead, depending on interpretation, and most amusingly to passersby) and posed tragically against the imposingly huge doors of the city’s much-celebrated architecture. The latter was evidently the chosen narrative!
We only have one of the covers available to see at the moment, ‘Gospa Od Sedam Brezuljaka’ by Jean Plaidy (Croatia), which seems to translate roughly to ‘Our Lady of the Seven Hills’. Image below:
The other cover is ‘Les larmes des innocentes’ by Joachim S Valdez in France, and mainly involves my feet (yes, taken during my enthusiastic efforts at playing dead)..! Will show that one when I see it.
I think I’m going to invent a little ‘series’ of blog posts based on images I discover when going through my hard drive; the previously lost and gloriously found. It is so much fun to look through images a while after they’re taken.
This time, my discoveries are due to going through millions of shots in order to choose some to print. I’m planning to make myself a printed portfolio, purely for my own sake, of my favourite shots from my modelling so far; this decision is sparked largely because I don’t know exactly how long I’ll be doing this for, what with going backpacking for a few months and then coming home to an uncertain lifestyle – I hope I’ll model while away in various continents and get straight back into it when I’m home, but you can’t take these things for granted. As it stands, although I’ve been modelling for 18-ish months and am signed to commercial agencies, I have a confession to make: I have NO prints of any of my images. This increasingly strikes me as having been bizarre behaviour on my part. What have I (not) been thinking? It would make me VERY sad not to have physical memories of what I’ve been up to. Of course, everyone always says prints are completely different from computer files, and even that an image isn’t ‘finished’ until it’s a tangible, physical thing to be looked at – well, I’ve never seen any prints of my images (except for one or two versions; fittingly, Mark Bigelow sent me a card advertising his recent exhibition at Oxford Artweeks). I’m really very silly for not thinking of having my own prints until now. 😦
(The card from Mark’s exhibition:)
The rules: My printed ‘portfolio’ is going to break all the rules of what a portfolio should be like. It’s not going to need an expensive folder (though one would be nice); it’s not going to consist of only one image per set – if I like five images in one outfit/location, I’m going to print them all; it’s going to have a LOT more than the standard maximum of 12-15; I’m not going to feel pressure to throw images away when they become ‘out of date’… But, it is going to be carefully put together, and beautiful. In short, it’s not going to be for anyone but myself – a ‘memory book’!
🙂 🙂 🙂
These were taken sometime within the last 6 months (I’m not sure exactly when without checking my diary, which I’m slightly too lazy to do at this particular moment) by the wonderful photographer Mark Bigelow. They remain unretouched and honest. I have some images from this set in my portfolio but had somehow overlooked these few, which now strike me as being quite interesting – especially the first, which I’m sure I initially didn’t cast a second glance at, probably thinking it was a reject. I love it now! I actually might put it in my online portfolio, just to spite people who think models must always have heads. What a rebel.