A story full of sea

Having spent this morning unpacking from yesterday’s trip and re-packing for tomorrow’s, and while listening to Eska’s debut album (she fits somewhere between Joni Mitchell and Laura Mvula, I think; though those elements are disparate and she very much does her own, unique thing!), I thought I’d show some photos I’ve just received. In April, I was able to fit in a shoot with Perry (Imagesse), who I’ve worked with many, many times now, while in Cornwall primarily for another shoot for The Wool Company. We always end up in some very beautiful places (often beaches!) and I love his storytelling imagination which whirs while I pose. In fact, these images were delivered to my inbox yesterday with a long story written to accompany them! In between the images below, there are some snippets of his words and phrases…

‘…When I was walking a quiet section of the coast path on the rugged wreckers coast…Somehow I had stumbled on a secret cove…


‘I made my way down a set of steep steps I found myself absolutely alone in that pure new world...’



‘…The rhythmic mantra of the ocean…’



‘…I made my way, to the glowing brightness which led me out of the cave…’



‘…I discerned something else…’ 


‘…something smooth and curvaceous…’ 


‘…moving through the cove…’


‘…My mind started to work overtime…’ 


‘…if she had not come from the land…’ 


‘…she must have come from the sea…’



‘…she remained in my vision…’


‘…then she turned and walked purposely towards the sea…’

Hot Earth & Hammocks

Two blog posts in one day? I just had this urge to show you these, too, after being shown the hammock image during a little trip to Germany (which had me modelling for what I know will be some very special images! Can’t wait for those chemicals to do their thing…) – I bought a hammock in Costa Rica (with beautiful design and colours, lugged back very happily in my treasure-filled backpack) and am just waiting for that perfect garden with that perfect arrangement of hammock-able trees… It’ll be worth the wait. 🙂

By Steven Billups:

(With the wonderful Meghan)

Naiad & Idyll

Evening!

Hello to everyone who’s stumbled across this blog recently after the recent double re-publication of my ’10 Things You Might Not Know about Nude Models’ piece, over on DIY Photography and on Model Mayhem. I’ve been quite amazed by the level of positive response it’s had from both photographers and models, and have had lots of messages since asking for interviews and translation rights all over the intersphere… I’ll be honest, I’m a bit behind on messages as I’ve just been overwhelmed, but will get to them all as soon as I can!

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Slightly relatedly, I am planning some gentle world domination for the second half of this year, and, prompted by a suggestion made in one of the comments below this recent facebook update…

… I have started dropping pins in a google map, based on where I need to go in order to position myself in front of the lenses of those various members of my photographer/artist bucket list. I think some hefty inter-continental travel is in order, judging by the scattered placement. It’s good to get a clear visual of a possible itinerary. I have started to become increasingly independent from the ‘usual suspect’ portfolio sites over the last few months, as much as I value them, and I like the idea of maintaining a massive, global picturesque vision of possibility against the backdrop of a world map.

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I have some newsI’m creating a brand new website/blog for my writing (poetry and fiction), which I generally do under a different name (stray modelling articles such as the recent ’10 Things’ one aside!). It’s nerve-wracking and very exciting, and I’ll be revealing it to you here very soon – just as soon as it’s ready for public consumption. I really hope you’ll all like it and your support would mean a lot to me.

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And, finally for this belated blogtastic update, I have some brand new images to show you from the watery waves of a Cornish shoot. These images were shot by the truly lovely, and rather excellent, Imagesse, who is always a pleasure to model for as I know his mind is always racing with narratives as much as mine; a fact proven, unexpectedly, by the arrival in my inbox of a little story as well as the accompanying images.


“…so there I was, meandering along a forest trail beside a lazy river, my path lit by shafts of autumn sunlight breaking through the canopy. Gradually, the moving water developed a sense of urgency and soon my stroll was accompanied by the sound of tumbling rapids. Rounding a bend into a deep gorge, I stopped to bask in the peace and wonder of this place. Several minutes past when I thought I heard a voice above the sound of the falls.  There it was again, a soft female voice, singing a clear song.  Now puzzled, I turned towards the source of the sound. As I raised myself above my rocky seat, I was presented with a vision, the like of which I had never seen.  There before me, on a mossy perch beside the white water, sat a beautiful woman.  Clothed in nothing but her own skin, she seemed unaware of my presence yet at one with the river.  Spellbound, I watched her hands play with the swirls and eddies of the dark, peaty liquid.  Unable to move, unable to breathe, I realised this vision was a naiad; a rare and benign female nymph who belonged to this fresh water idyll. For those dreamlike moments, time stood still, until my reverie was disturbed by the crack of a branch snapping nearby. That distraction made me turn my head for but a few seconds, but when I turned back, that beautiful creature was gone.  All that remained was the trees, the rocks and the river.  The endlessly moving, river……”  

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. 🙂

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!

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!