Norway part 1: Arctic Winds, Rainbows and Midnight Sun

I’m really excited to be able to show these so quickly after my trip to Norway. It is so appreciated when photographers send things to me so soon after a shoot! Hakon Gronning had invited me to Norway for 4 days to shoot with him and, on some days, a small group of other photography enthusiasts. I’ll say straightaway that this is hands down the coldest I’ve ever been on a shoot. It was almost debilitatingly cold, and I became absolutely best friends with a blanket between shots, though even with several layers of knitwear, a huge padded coat and this thick wool blanket, I still felt very cold, so there was definitely quite a lot of insanity required to do this. The main reason for the cold was the fact that the arctic winds were blowing directly at us!!!! Not very comfortable…. Luckily, the photographers were all completely understanding of the need to shoot (and for me to pose) efficiently, with absolutely minimal time ‘unwrapped’ in the wind. They were also very appreciative of my efforts, which goes such a long way! All of them were very creative and lovely to work with, warming me up with lots of tea afterwards!

Considering these conditions, and the very short time frames (maybe 1-2 minutes per go), I think we did quite well. I’d brought one of my pairs of dance wings in my suitcase and the light just washed through so delicately, like they were insect’s wings! It kept raining (and there was a brief rainbow behind us!), but the ‘midnight sun’ (these were shot around the summer solstice!) was just incredible. Such a magical place and yet another opportunity I can look back on with pride and excitement that I did it!

I hope you like these as much as I do. There will be many more from this trip from different locations and from different photographers – I’m just being impatient and showing these straightaway! ๐Ÿ™‚

… And behind the scenes from earlier that day: me with my best friend:

Marian

Back from Norway! Can’t wait to show some results here ASAP. I think my record for ‘coldest I’ve ever been on a shoot’ has officially been broken. You can’t argue with arctic winds. But the midnight sun is so spectacular!

For now, in between booking trains, listening to Dolly Parton and planning shoots for tomorrow and beyond (I’ve got a commercial healthcare booking tomorrow; quite a change from nude mermaid-ing in Scandanavia!), here are some romantic, soft portraits taken recently by (not the) David Bailey. This was such a lovely shoot, with soooo many images. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think they are almost a bit ‘bridal’; and we are well and truly into ‘wedding season’ after all! Some are edited a bit, some not.

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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!

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 machรฉย 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!

Edwardian Ladies, Bridges & Stables

I’ve had two more recent shoots with the ever-brilliant Karen Jones, with lots of pretty pics to show for it.

First, there was a shoot alongside the utterly beautiful Leah Axl, who is one of the nicest people I’ve met in this industry as well has having one of those faces that just can’t be photographed badly. For that, Karen dressed up a swing seat in her back garden, and we posed as Edwardian ladies, sipping tea and balancing bird cages with lap-dog Pip (the pet extra), before heading outdoors into the on-the-doorstep countryside, dressed partly in each other’s clothes, for some bohemian adventures with sheep (not in shot…).

For shoot numero two of recent sessions, Karen and I were joined by Tony Nutley, who’s worked on many things, from Inspector Morse to Thomas The Tank Engine, and still hasn’t decided if he’s retired or not… ๐Ÿ™‚ I first met him almost exactly four years ago, when the three of us had a little bash at some Lady Godiva-ing, and it was lovely to meet up again.
Tony has kindly sent me these:

… While Karen has kindly me sent me these, the first group of which were taken using the window-light of the stables:

Outdoors again:

And, now I’m nearly off for 6 days in Florence! I’m really excited! I will be checking out my good friend David while there and hopefully bagging some glorious images in the sunshine too. Ciao! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Cascading Light

A tiny update, rushed before I go away on my date with Belgium tomorrow; don’t mind if I do indulge in a few chocolates while I’m there..! So looking forward to this first visit (I don’t think driving through on the way to Germany as a child counts).

These were all taken at a workshop run by Trevor and Faye Yerbury (well, except the bicycle one, but it seems fitting)…. soooo lovely, I reckon.

and by Ian: