Blue Skies and Dagmar Falls

Some new images for you by the absolutely excellent Cam Attree, RAWards Australia Photographer of the Year, excellent host, provider of excellent comedy films and bringer of mango sorbet.

These are from a tiny 5 minute thing we did near Byron Bay, after another shoot he worked on (during which I mostly sunbathed). Kinda missing that blue sky at the moment!

Later, I shot with Cam again at the beautiful Dagmar Falls:

…. Where I was joined by the beautiful Ivory Flame (my good friend and wonderful listening ear), for some of my absolutely favourite shots ever taken of us together:

And in colour:

Thank you Cam!

Sharps, Flats, Shapes & Curves

Another quick update, hot off the press after a weekend off which has revolved around a family dinner, seeing friends, lunch dates, a vintage fair, walkies and the management of french pronouns (le/la/les before lui/leur, but vous/me/nous before le/la/les. FYI) with my buddy Michel Thomas and his slightly irritating female student who delivers every phrase in a breathy monotone, I just wanted to show a collection of shots taken recently at mine and Ivory Flame‘s ‘duo’ day at Eye For An Image Studio in Banbury. The theme was ‘Shapes and Curves’. Between us, we’ve definitely got some shapes and curves; and it’s nice to hang out with my good friend Holly in front of the lens.

Four photographers attended, one after the other, and I’ll post some of my personal favourites from those I’ve been shown.

Hit this (Satie’s Gnossienne 1) for an instant soundtrack as you scroll down; you’ll probably recognise it from various films, including the gorgeous Chocolat (which is fitting, as I’ve just finished my Easter chocolate): 

(I’ve requested a bit of light relief on the side while I finish learning Liebestraum, the ultimate romantic masterpiece, due to my utter inability to sight-read after a ten year gap making it a bit of a sudoku-style brain training practice not to mention the necessitation of finger strength excercises that make my wrists want to die, a bit; it is getting there though and sounding better and better each day, but Satie is always so evocative and beautiful, and pleasingly simple to pick up on the first run-through, thank God. So now I have the ultimate procrastination piece to linger over when my frustration at the same chord appearing twice in the same bar but with every single note accented differently starts to bubble… C FLAT IS NOT A NOTE. NOR IS E SHARP. Let’s call it B and F, shall we? AARRRRGGGHHHH. F DOUBLE SHARP, SURELY, IS SIMPLY G. I’d been away from the game so long that these ‘amusing’, ‘helpful’ quirks have had to be relearned until they can be calmly ignored/memorised, which brings me to…)

By James (‘CalmNudes’):

By Mark Bigelow (who is now doing lighting workshops on his improvisational way of working; it’s a lot of fun to prance in his playboxes of shadows!):

By Prashant Meswani:

And by Eddie Ray (including a single exposure during which two become three):

Thanks photographers! 🙂

Damsels in Distress: Shalott

Copied from the ever-helpful Wikipedia, this is the story of the Lady of Shalott, the inspiration for a day with Keith Cooper last summer:

According to legend, the Lady of Shalott was forbidden to look directly at reality or the outside world; instead she was doomed to view the world through a mirror, and weave what she saw into tapestry. Her despair was heightened when she saw loving couples entwined in the far distance, and she spent her days and nights aching for a return to normality. One day the Lady saw Sir Lancelot passing on his way in the reflection of the mirror, and dared to look out at Camelot, bringing about a curse. The lady escaped by boat during an autumn storm, inscribing ‘The Lady of Shalott’ on the prow. As she sailed towards Camelot and certain death, she sang a lament. Her frozen body was found shortly afterwards by the knights and ladies of Camelot, one of whom is Lancelot, who prayed to God to have mercy on her soul. The tapestry she wove during her imprisonment was found draped over the side of the boat.

Keith was inspired by paintings such as this one by Waterhouse (which happens to be adorning my nearest radiator by way of magnetism), and had wanted to do this shoot with Ivory Flame and I for a long time, so we arranged a date, boat hire and took a row up and down the river here in Oxford. I absolutely love the results. The colours, reflections and fabrics and range of emotions (there was laughter, tenderness, peacefulness and quite a bit of death), came out so well, I think, and I’m really proud of these.

Help me pick a favourite?! (As always, click and scroll through to see larger.)

Outtake alert:

Holly and I are planning to do our best to visit the current pre-Raphaelite exhibition in London before it finishes this weekend. Who thinks we should turn up to the Tate in our long, white dresses?
We will also be modelling together on Saturday the 9th of February at Eye For An Image Studio in Banbury, Oxfordshire. I think there may be some time available for anyone interested in working with an experienced and creative duo.

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!

TWO ~ Ella Rose & Ivory Flame

Hello! I’m just packing all my fancy things (lingerie, dance-y bits, fashion and interesting accessories) and squeezing in another quick blog post before my jam-packed (with shoots, not jam) Sussex trip (Surrey tomorrow, then Brighton and east Sussex before a studio day at the popular Cottage Studio – there is some time remaining on Thursday afternoon: see here for details and to book some time with me last minute or email me at ellarosemuse@live.co.uk!).

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It’s always so nice to work with other models, and the beautiful Holly (Ivory Flame) and I, although different in height/build, always seem to gel so well together in look and mood. We have so much fun working together, giggling all the time and having bizarre little half-conversations to assimilate our poses as we’re moving around. One of the best blurted lines ever was ‘Did you see that fawn over there?’ (well, any dreamy faces and mythical expressions are based on stories going on in our collective head!), and there is a running theme of elbows and hair inhaling. Recently (on a completely different shoot, I announced with whispering confidence that I was going to do ‘waterfall arms’ for the next click. Holly knew exactly what I meant, and immediately worried aloud about how she would compete with such promise(!), which made us both collapse in hysterics and get a great outtake shot from the photographer at the time. (The outcome of my waterfall arms is yet to be seen; I never had to prove myself.) Hhhm, I wonder if I’ve just shattered some illusions by exposing the utter nonsense going through our heads when we pose sometimes. Nevermind.

ANYWAY, the theme for our two consecutive days at Eye for an Image studio in Banbury was ‘goddesses’, the thought being that it might inspire some varied and creative ideas about what to do with two girls. I find that photographers have to think differently about shooting two models at once, and from our point of view the expressions and body language are all important; sometimes the focus is on shapes and intertanglement (probably not a word) and sometimes more about narrative and storytelling, or gentle sisterly togetherness.

….Here are a few of the images I’ve been sent (with thanks to the photographers for working with us!):

From Karen Jones (Thunder and ‘Sun Goddesses’):

From Stuart Thomson (classic curves and shadows) (this shoot lasted literally two minutes at the very end of the day; job done):

From Chris Lloyd (interaction, shapes and… hindu deities! …Although I’m a Christian and in general very much avoid ‘religious’ themes, I think the last shot here is pretty fun and funky!):

Hope you like them! There are more shots from other photographers and some beautiful things floating about on the internet… hopefully coming soon! 🙂

The Gypsy’s Jewels

This was 100% a mutual collaboration; I’m swathed in silks, flowing skirts, sparkling beads, heavy pendants, heavy bangles, feathers, intricate masks and jingle jangles (I had no time to be selective and brought sackfuls of clothes/accessory joy, while Holly had laid out all her best adornery on her bed, ready for my arrival; seriously, between us we could host a pretty impressive treasure shop!!!). I stood in the piercing prickles of some beautiful sun-lit reed heads. It was blimmin’ cold, that day, and I was in a massive rush and definitely clock-watching a little bit, having not fully packed for a backpacking trip I was departing for the next morning. This wasn’t the first time I’d modelled for Holly (I think it was the fourth. See Winter Portraits and Gemini). Check out her portfolio on Model Mayhem: Jewelled Earth.