Of Castles & Gold

From one long-standing shooting tradition to another, how lucky I am to have worked again recently with Jeremy Howitt on another little adventure – this time in the north of England, around Northumberland!

It was the usual (finely) organised chaos of early starts and day-time cat-naps, so that I lost track of what day was what, where I’d been, who I was… etc… by the end of the fleeting trip, but we had such a lovely time! I love the results – dramatic beach scenes with castles and vistas as the sun winds up or down – and we even managed to squeeze in a trip to Alnwick Castle to see where some of the scenes in Downton Abbey (and Harry Potter) were filmed (and by the way, I hope you’re all glued to your screens this season in case I make a fleeting appearance in a couple of scenes; I’m going to miss it while I’m away and am making my Mum record it all for me!); and for me to be utterly beaten by the world’s biggest ice cream, which covered me in delicious chocolate and had me rooting around for tissues to clean up me/my clothes/the bench. I was such an embarrassment; clearly out of ice-cream-eating practise (I don’t normally ‘do’ ice creams, but had a sudden craving. It was all very ungraceful.).

Anyway, I’m off to Indonesia for a month now, so things here may get a little slow, but will be back and raring to go in mid-November and am (by the way) taking bookings now for November, December and January; and from April onwards. Things are getting all a bit inter-continental again, and I like it! 🙂 I will be snapping away while away on this trip, I’m sure, so my instagram will floweth over in all likelihood, since I am clearly addicted to it these days. (and oh, I am going to miss Sir Fluffalot terribly while I’m away; I hope I survive without his enormous fluffy face looking alarmed at me. I know, I’m ridiculous, but LOOK AT HIS MAGNIFICENT FACE!!!)

OK, those mermaid scenes and so forth, forthwith (thank you so much again Jeremy!):

You can also read Jeremy’s version of events here. (I’m so glad he posts these threads, not least so I can remember where exactly I’ve been. He knows me well enough to know how terrible I am at knowing my way around places (and knowing whether to turn left or right out of a hotel, despite having been there for three days, for example), so it will come as no surprise that the place names became a slight blur after the early morning starts, even if the places themselves are spectactular; it really is a miracle that I can travel solo as well as I do. Nevermind. If I was the sort of person who would end a blog post with a hashtag, it would be #cantbegoodateverything (but I wouldn’t do that, because then where does the full stop at the end of the blog post go?) – I’ll put it here: .

Henry VIII, Candy Pop, Mocha, Ariel, Black Lace & Carnival – CORSETS CORSETS CORSETS!

Today’s offering: some newly-shown images of me in an array of corsets, courtesy of my appearance at the Oxford Conference of Corsetry.

The range of styles I wore on the day was brilliant, with each outfit showing real personality and individuality. 
I loved the day – it was such a pleasure to be invited back to the next one, which is not too far away now!
Designs by Karolina Zarzycka (Henry VIII eat your heart out!); taken by Scott Chalmers in the chapel of Jesus College. 

By ‘Tighter Corsets’; photography by Scott Chalmers again, and bra and panties by Karolina Laskowska:
By ‘Wyte Phantom’; photography by Chris Murray:

by ‘Ties that Bynde’; photography by Chris Murray:
By Karolina Laskowska; photography by Chris Murray:
And finally, by Lisa Newport; photography by Chris Murray:

The Wool Company

Despite roasting in a studio yesterday along with 5 other models for an exciting shoot involving ghosts, cliffs & scaffolding(!!!) I feel like autumn is considering stopping twiddling its thumbs today and sadly, yet beautifully, hitting us with some cooler air…

To get over this shock (and also because I was, quite frankly, knackered, after non-stop shoots galore plus the horrible news that my doggie suffered heart failure while away; she is now on 3 different medications per day, poor thing (and we are grappling with the trauma – for all parties – of having to shove little tiny pieces of ‘make-you-better-I-promise’ down her little throat), and she is dealing incredibly well with her gorgeous little heart beating at several million miles an hour to cope with all that’s going on in there; seriously, I know it sounds weird, but the X-rays of her tiny little body were adorable!), I decided to take a nap this afternoon and make the most of a recent purchase: welcome The Wool Company’s mattress topper.
Wow. My entire bed is anew. Not that there was much wrong with it before; but seriously, I feel like it has new soft, floaty depths!
Gorgeous, afore-mentioned piglet certainly agrees (click to enlarge):
(yes, I have a rose on my pillowcase!)
Anyway, back (more directly) to The Wool Company. I’m delighted to be able to say that I’m their ‘face'(/body), having recently shot for the second time around the moors and beaches of Cornwall, and finding their lovely website adorned with pictures of my mug and windswept hair. It’s such a huge pleasure to shoot for them and I’m already looking forward to next season’s photoshoot. After spending a couple of nights at the family’s farmhouse I felt very much at home, and loved chatting to Harry and Sarah in the evening about music and life as much as snuggling up to the wool capes and cashmere scarves on little bridges and next to lakes. Definitely my cup of tea, that sort of thing! 🙂
I obviously had to make the most of the discount I was kindly offered and purchased a few things of my own after the shoot, one of which I’m wearing below (clue; I look particularly happy in it!). I just think it’s so nice to own things that feel so beautifully made and of the kind of quality that has you dreaming of autumn/winter nights by the fire…
Some shots and screengrabs:

 And in other news, I duck into La Galleria in Picadilly last night after a shoot in London to have a quick look at the painting ‘Access to Justice’ by Andrew Brady, which I posed for (as Justice herself!). I was pleased to get a text from Andy just beforehand telling me he’d won the ‘People’s Choice’ award! The exhibition, ‘Injustice’, was run by London Legal Support Trust in association with Arts for Justice and you can see the entries here.

Here’s ‘Access to Justice’:

About the artwork:  ‘Painted especially for this exhibition, this piece is an  allegory for the way in which the disadvantaged in society find it difficult to gain proper access to justice. Justice here is represented by the figure on the right; she is blind, which traditionally represents her impartiality.The bejewelled figure in the centre represents those with money, influence or power; able to gain the ear of Justice while at the same time obstructing the figure on the left, who, with her threadbare blouse represents the disadvantaged. Making cuts to Legal Aid is one of the greatest injustices in our country today.’

Pedal boats & Bikinis

Evening!

I’m back from a gorgeous ‘sunshine shoot’ in Portugal – lots of images to show soon, I hope, and in the meantime, the results of some more local (south coast of England) beach frolics, courtesy of a last minute road trip with the excellent Gary Sandy, and the fine Great British weather. Gary’s so much fun to work with – I’m sure I’ll be shooting with him a third time at some point.
These were great additions to my ‘Bright’ gallery on my new website.

Gilded Mirrors and Stuffed Moose: Chanticleer Brides 25th Anniversary Collection

Yesterday I did something terrifying and wonderful for my career – putting yourself ‘out there’ is such a scary buzz, but I sometimes can’t resist aiming high and trying for big things. I really hope it works out and I hear back soon!! In the afternoon I was drawn in silver, and today I’m cultivating patience (kinda).

And the day after I got back from Australia, at the beginning of December, I modelled for Chanticleer Brides latest (25th anniversary) wedding dress collection. The theme was 20s/Downton Abbey, and we shot at the incredibly eccentric location that is Maunsel House, in Somerset. Taxidermy everywhere, enormous paintings, huge windows, copper baths. Not sure it’s quite to my personal taste for a house to actually live in (well, I definitely wouldn’t say no to the bath, or the incredible four poster bed in the king’s suite), but it’s definitely ‘fabulous, darling’. 😉

Having modelled a previous collection (the ‘Back to Nature’ outdoors shoot a couple of years ago), I knew what to expect; intricate, exquisite hand-made detailing by the designer, Tracey, and a range of cuts for different personalities of brides. Having been down under, the dresses weren’t made to fit me (as they obviously would be for a bride; Tracey would normally do about 3 fittings before a wedding day), but they looked good anyway; the team are a talented bunch!

All images by the lovely Chris Hanley, who gamely took up the challenge of photographing 18 dresses, cramming tripods into the most unlikely dark corners (all without knocking over the the suits of armour) and succeeding despite there being absolutely no clear spaces in the entire house! Clutter ruled. 🙂

Make up was by Ashleigh Gregory, and the hair styling was done by Dean Brindley.

Behind the scenes video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYYhTwCZHXI 🙂

I was bright and ready to go very early in the morning (oh how I wish that early-morning-riser self had lasted into the winter; I seem now to have morphed into a night owl!!!), but the jet lag seriously started kicking in at around 4pm, which was the middle of the night for me. I was pretty exhausted by the end, but I’m so glad to have been asked to model for Tracey again. It was so much fun! Anyone in any danger of getting married any time soon should definitely check out the website and go and visit the shop in Cheltenham: www.chanticleerbrides.co.uk

Earth Blood

I’m just about ready-ish for my imminent far-flinging-of-self to outward geographical extremities, from Kuala to koala, with some rice paddies, dragon-formed island cliffs, yoga classes & treehouse bars, ‘old quarters’ and kaleidoscopic underwater creature-greeting in between. I’m getting those last minute heebyjeebies, of course (well, they’ve been creeping up for a while..), but I’m used to that and I know things always tend to work out once you’re there. It’s hard to tear myself away from home, but hard not to! Adventures are calling.

I’ll be back sometime before Christmas (I’m not currently sure exactly when), and am now taking bookings for January. (Also, just to note, I’m keeping a list of photographers who’ve asked me to contact them to let them know when I’m back, in case we can fit something in before the end of the year. Please let me know if you’d like to be added to that list. My email address is ellarosemuse@live.co.uk.)

A final update before I go:

Modelling for the extremely talented 19-year-old woman that is Katie Eleanor was a pleasure. I had a quick jaunt to Hampstead Heath on a recent Saturday, to cavort with papier maché toadstools and have paper cut-out moths stuck to my body, before meeting friends in a Caribbean bar staged in an old shipping container in Shoreditch.

Katie is such an exciting, passionately creative person, and her style and penchant for whimsy and ethereal confusion and myth, stories and (tainted) nature is right up my street.

These were shot on film, then painted by hand afterwards. I think they’re a bit Victorian looking; a grown up flower fairy minus the flowers? I’m excited about following her work and seeing what she does next!

Romance

I really love these shots taken by Kev at London’s Beltcraft Studio. We had a really fun shoot trying all sorts of things, and I think/hope there will be more images to show in the near future. For now, though, sometimes you just need to lie down with the roses….

And..