Doors & Chandeliers

You can read all about my recent trip to Brussels in the wake of the terror threat over here on my other blog, which I enjoy updating with various thoughts and pieces of writing now and then (and which you should definitely be following..! :-)), but over here, I thought I’d add some images taken while I was there by Luc Bollen. He took us to the same beautiful house as last time (some previous images here), but this time we used different rooms. I loved shooting there again. I should be able to show you more soon (this is just one set, really), but it’s very kind of him to send me some already.

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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’. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ™‚

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

Behind the scenes video here:Β https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYYhTwCZHXI πŸ™‚

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

Iceland

… With the brilliant Alex Ingram. We met up in Reykjavik (having worked together earlier in the year at his beautiful – if a little rainy – domain of the Scottish Highlands). We had two days together and spent the first day just driving around in the vague aim of ‘doing’ the ‘golden circle’. Our road trip took us to Pingvellir (Viking site – oldest parliament in the world), Geysir (hot springs) and Gulfoss (massive waterfalls). We didn’t get much done at all that day, because of the constant rain, but it was nice just to sightsee in such an incredible country. We were more organised on the second day, though still it was really just a case of driving around and seeing what we saw!

Around the modelling, I also spent a day walking around on a glacier and seeing some black sand beaches along the southern coast, making friends in the accommodation I stayed at which had a party bar on the ground floor with live music, and some new friends who spent much of an evening determined to fashion me a poncho out of bin bags especially purchased so that I could walk underneath a waterfall the next day (it didn’t really work, but it was a hilarious effort!). I bizarrely bumped into an American model I’d met in Mexico before, Brooke Lynn, in one of Reykjavik’s little streets, too! Other things I did included watching a volcano documentary at a special tourist museum/cafe – it was absolutely incredible to see footage of eruptions and witness the amazing endurance of the people who live in such a unique country, constantly clearing up and dealing with what nature throws at them as best as they can. Iceland is definitely somewhere I hope to visit again, and hopefully not before too long.

A note about these images… You do have to be quite brave to model in these conditions – yes, Iceland is very cold (and I had such a clear picture in my mind of it being simply a land of ice, despite all images to the contrary previously seen; but as the plane touched down I was so enamoured with the lupins which covered so much of the land around the airport with a silvery-violet glow – they were imported from Alaska because they are tough and can survive in Volcanic earth, while rooting it together helpfully to aid with erosion control after the earth has split open again and again). I’m afraid I was also quite gung-ho about modelling nude even in such touristy areas of the country , because getting the images was too important to bother about other people (ruthless? Maybe!); we began early, aiming for maximum privacy (and I stepped quietly over the safety ropes for the scene we had in mind), but of course, the geothermal pools at Geysir (where many of the below were taken) were immediately next to a 70m upward-bursting jet of boiling water, erupting every few minutes. It’s hard to be alone at such a magnificent site as that. Luckily, Alex works quickly and efficiently, and we had the shots in the bag without much fuss. πŸ™‚

The outer (ahem, road-side) pools of the Blue Lagoon, a quick diversion at the end of the day (I explored it fully on my way to the airport to catch my flight home; what a magical, magical place.)

And the lupins:

………..Snapshots:

At Geysir:

Before:
After:

Road-trippin’:

A cafe we loved:

At the road-side outer pools of the Blue Lagoon:

Gulfoss:

Lupins:

Central Reykjavik:

My day-trip poncho brilliance (waterfalls, black beaches and glaciers):

I’m determined that this won’t be my only visit to Iceland. What a wonderful place!

Morgan & Ellis Creative Experience Day: "How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being." Oscar Wilde*

I was asked to model for a Morgan and Ellis Creative Experience Day back in July, which meant I was the model (alongside the lovely Salleh Sparrow) for Scott Morgan and Ellie Ellis‘ tuition day at a beautiful manor in Bristol. I had often seen images from these two, and though their styles are distinctive, they are both beautiful, creative and interesting, so I was very much looking forward to meeting them. It was a really good day, with some stunning shots taken by the group attending. Everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves and come away really inspired, so as a quick plug, here’s a link to find out more if you’re a photographer who might be interested in going along to such a day:Β http://www.morganandellis.co.uk/experience/.

I’ve kindly been sent some images to show off here. There’s going to be a mixed bag below (and yes, I’m posting a LOT), jumping around between different locations and back again, as I’ll list them by photographers rather than set (I’m sorry, it’s just quicker for me!). The lovely ethereal white floaty thing I’m wearing in some was provided for me, designed by Sian Whitefoot. The make up was by Gemma Louise Williams. Big thanks to everyone involved!

Enjoy!

By Scott Morgan:

By Denny Wong:

(Thanks Scott… πŸ˜‰ )

By Emma-Jane Lewis:

* The above image was posted on facebook with the Oscar Wilde quote I stole for this blog post title. In case you were wondering… πŸ™‚

By Viktoria Kuti:

By Clayton Jane:

By Stephen Maitland:

By Zoltan Sandor Nagi:

SWPP Annual Convention – Hilton London Metropole

I’ve modelled for Faye and Trevor Yerbury on quite a few occasions now, and it was lovely to be asked to be their masterclass model on two days in January during the annual SWPP convention, held at the Hilton London Metropole Hotel, in the Presidential Suite, no less!

On one day, the theme was Portraits (and also featured two young girls who made great ‘little sisters’ for met!), and on the other day, the focus was boudoir/nude. I’ve been sent a few shots from some of the attending photographers, so have some to show here, which is nice!

As always, I had a great time modelling for this creative and talented pair – they really do know their stuff. I’ll be posing for them again in May, during my jaunt to Scotland (4th-14th), which I’m sure will be a great experience, working with them on their ‘own turf’! πŸ™‚

No strangers to travel, they teach, demonstrate and lecture all over the place – you can keep up with their latest comings and goings via their website, if you think you’d like some tuition of some sort:Β http://www.yerburystudio.com/

Below are some of the images I’ve been sent:

These were taken by ManesΒ Pangalos, from Athens:

The above wig utterly confused certain members of the group; I reappeared after a quick change and caused bafflement over where the ‘other’ model had gone! It does make quite a difference, doesn’t it…

A portrait taken by Jane Cox:

More boudoir, by Steve Murray:

And another from Tony Cashen:

Faye and Trevor squeeze in a few moments of shooting me when they possibly can, between helping out the photographers, so finally here are some of their results too:

By Faye Yerbury:

And by Trevor Yerbury:

And I love this version Trevor posted on facebook, after ‘playing around’:

The Yerbury stand, down in the exhibition hall, looked absolutely wonderful. Here are some snapshots I took on my phone afterwards, plus a few images I spotted myself in, successfully awarded in the 20 X 16 print competition (two by Faye and the coloured image of Ivory Flame and I, shot by Keith Cooper):

And, while I’m here, here’s a shot Faye took of me on another day, which I don’t think has appeared on this blog before. Very classical!

Pipe Cleaners and Autumn Leaves!

Evening! The owl-eyed among you may have noticed my rapid pulling-down of my most recent blog post, ‘Firebird’, which featured some extremely cool dance-y studio stuff. Unfortunately I was told that the designer needed her pieces to be kept under wraps until June, so the blog post will be reappearing around then, by which time the shots will be a fun and fresh surprise again if your memories are as terrible as mine.

Today, I’m bringing you some fun and cute stock shots! It’s always nice working with photographer Paul Viant at Belmont House. Such a gorgeous, shabby chic country house; I feel quite at home there!! The main theme was ‘crafts’, so out came the pipe cleaners, the scissors, the wool and ribbons, the dried leaves and the upholstery projects.

Behold the autumn crafting, day dreaming and the blowing on windows to draw hearts on the glass! πŸ™‚

We did lots of other little sets as well, including one where I was asked to lie outdoors on a huge, damp (but blissfully comfortable) bed of leaves, acting as though I was taking pictures of myself on my cameraphone. So I did…

Also, just a little thank you to everyone who is so patient when contacting me. I’m working a 7-day week at the moment, doing my usual impression of being more than one person at once, with several projects on the go, and my correspondence speed is far from ideal (it’s never something I’m amazingly proud of, I’m the first to admit – though it’s not through lack of effort, I assure you); though I do always get things done! πŸ™‚

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EDIT:

A little while later: inbox zen.

Screengrab:

I would like to thank: my friends and family, the tiny dog that sat on my lap for most of this 6-hour email session, the chair for supporting my bum (though it got a bit numb at times), my brand new polka-dot 2-person teapot WITH INBUILT FILTER (full of, variously, Earl Grey, Orange Blossom and English Rose) and my own sheer unadulterated determination to be good. Exquisite!

‘I only Feel’*

Evening! Just a quick update before dinner to show some recent film images taken in Belgium recently by Dimitri, while listening to Radiohead, Blonde Redhead and other such stuff.

I found Dimitri’s way of working quite interesting; he absolutely forbid any posing whatsoever. Instead, I had to just ‘exist’ in front of the camera, go into my own thoughts and feelings and be completely un-self conscious. I think the results are good, and it made me think of the way different photographers work; there is such a range of methods among those I work with. Some come with exact ideas, some have no plan whatsoever, some take control, some want the model to take control and don’t offer any real direction, some want emotions and moods to be acted, some (rarer) want no acting whatsoever. I want to say I think I’ve noticed a very slight divide between British photographers and mainland European photographers in this last comparison, but I don’t know if that sounds pretentious, and I’d need to do more research… And the painter I’m modelling for again here in England is definitely of the ‘just be yourself’ camp, as we were discussing the other day, though perhaps that’s another difference (between painters and photographers). Usually I think modelling is mostly acting… but is it? And when does a stance become a pose?

I always appreciate being able to model while holding my cup of tea…
*I recently found a model’s profile and read the words ‘I never pose, I only feel.’ Made me smile.