A-flitting and a-fluttering

I loooove these new shots from Brian (Martinphoto), taken up in Fife earlier this year. Brian had been feeling really unwell in the days beforehand but heroically endured the prospect of shooting with me nevertheless, instead of cancelling last minute, and we ended up having lots and lots of fun in the local camera club studio, despite the flu-induced lack of game plan!

Today’s excuse for posting so many images is my theory that if you scroll down the page really really fast and perhaps squint your eyes a bit to add to the already-very-cool effect of flash + slow shutter = movement blur, you can watch a little fairy/angel dance! 😉

Also, I’ve had a few emails before asking me about this skirt – it’s one of my bellydance skirts that I customised, perfect for sheer delicate movement and swishing!

…And the ‘ta da!’ finish!

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Painting with Chaos

These oddball images were taken by Terry Joslin at one of mine and Ivory Flame‘s joint ‘Goddess’ themed days. We had a lot of fun making these; it was my first foray into painting with light, and as Holly had worked on this with Terry before, she was able to give me a quick intro into the method of whipping torches around the parts of our bodies we wanted to illuminate for the camera to see. The results are completely unpredictable. It’s so hard not to want to rush to look at the back of the camera after every frame. Many faces, limbs, expressions, body parts and movements are caught here, in different locations within one frame, and it definitely puts the model in the position of performance artist, capturing something akin to a moving image. At one point I became obsessed with trying to capture my left leg in a high-kick (more difficult than it sounds!)… and then I decided HANDS should feature… Hands hands hands on ourselves and on each other… The results are so creepy, strange, horrific and capture the imagination, I think.

Thanks to Holly for being splendiferous to hang out with in the studio, as always… and I do hope to work more on this with Terry sometime!

Déjà vu

More from the marvellous Britalicus!

I love the movement in these. A couple of them remind me of stills from Afro-Caribbean dance (which I flippin’ LOVE). To explain my point, you must first watch this youtube video of the incomparable Beyonce (yes!!), in which she starts utterly freaking out at 2mins50secs-ish… That dance sequence is the freest thing and just makes me wanna go back to the carribean coast of Costa Rica and wiggle my butt off. Sorry if you hate her – I can only criticise her lyrics; everything else I have for her is adoring love, loyal since her girlband diva days.

In other mainstream female singer news, Emilie Sande’s album is BEAUTIFUL.

In other other news, and only because I like to make the most of the punning potential and multiple themes of any blog post titles I write, I’m officially writing again after a long-ish break, since a massive chat with my Dad (the most intelligent, critical and widely-read man in the world) enabled me to see new plot routes for the novel I’m working on at the moment. 1502 words this morning. And one of my characters has a big problem with déjà vu. You saw it here first.

Extreme Eiffel Tower Exploits, Etc.

Hello!

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)!

Some fashion-y bits from Pierus

Hhhm. How many photos are too many for a single blog post? I always post too many (it’s definitely true that there is more impact when a viewer sees fewer shots per set), and I might even learn one day to post more selectively, but since this blog is my designated place free of such rules and limits, I shall continue to overflood the area. On the plus side, maybe it shows that I can get a lot done in one relatively short shoot… (And not that I’m just really indecisive.) Yeah, I’ll go with that.

Photography by Pierus, from a recent trip to Cambridge. Muchos appreciation to him for kindly sending these!

The last one reminds me somehow of an actor’s shot.

And since I’m here… Here are some of the nudes we did as well – nice, simple shapery with lovely fine-detail lighting:

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! Hope things get better and better and reality is aligned with your bestest dreams (and certainly not the creepy dream I had last night about my poor cat being attacked… a little too much NYE wine, I think…) Hope everyone had fun last night, whether it was a big party for you or a quiet night in. I definitely invented some new dance moves with my friends in their lounge, and have now finally recovered. Felt ill all day (well, it’s only once a year, isn’t it?). 😦

Here are some more shots from Ron Skei – somehow I’d lost the email he’d sent them to me in (ooops!!), and so I’m rediscovering them now. The prop in the first set is a chair/basket thingy. Cool huh?

…I’m off now to watch Adele (who reaches into my brain for her lyrics) on TV.

Herding Cats

Everything was in place, and still the camera was lowered from the photographer’s eye.

Zoe: Stephanie. Ella. What are you two doing?

Me (calling down from the top of the steps): Just kinda, ya know, making shapes together…?

Zoe: No.

Stephanie and I: No?

Zoe: Uh-uh. (Shakes head.)

Stephanie and I: Oh. OK then. Normal posing (less symmetrical; less comical/excitable) is resumed. Results below. (….I loooove these pictures. How cool to get all of us models in the same place at the same time in front of a lens, to commemorate what a fun and productive week we had. Zoe Wiseman, woman extraordinaire, rolling around all over the floor, legs improbably askew as she took these, did such a fantastic job of organising things and I’m so happy to have worked with her. All the ladies in the images below are wonderful people and talented models I was excited to meet, and come from all over the world (I’m the only one from England, representin’!). You might want to click the images to enlarge them!)

Later on, I worked twice with Zoe one-to-one, wandering around the grounds of our accommodation. The heat was intense, so the photography was punctuated by dips in the pool. Each set was very quick, with a lot of moving around and finding new places as we went along. You can read what Zoe said about things here, over on her internationally-growing website, www.figuremodels.org.

In other news, I have fiiiiiinally got my brand new 2012 diary. This yearly ritual now requires the search for the perfect postcard to cellophane (yes, a verb now) onto the front, in light of the apparent lack of beautiful page-per-day diaries on the market. I found a good ‘un, you’ll be relieved to know, and will be scheduling in the many national/international trips I’ve been mulling over and scribbling down so far on loose bits of paper. 
🙂