Moss, Kicks & Lochs

Back when I started modelling, Alex Ingram‘s work was way up there at the top of the ‘inspire’ list; I saw his beautiful work everywhere and hoped I might work with him one day. I had been in touch with him ever since (and we have the message history from 2009 to prove it!) but I never quite made it to his high-up land of lochs and glens until a couple of weeks ago, when I finally met and worked with him. And what a good thing I finally made the journey! Alex is a wonderful host, taking such care to keep me comfortable and happy during my 2-night stay, and even packed me off with a surprise packed lunch afterwards (he did his absolute best to use up all the remaining peanut butter in my rolls since he hated it so much – fine by me, the peanut butter addict!). During a shoot, his way of working comes from years and years of experience and understanding; he is able to visualise a shot (or work with the visualisation of the model), set up, and take only a few frames in order to capture the image – which, in Scotland’s unpredictable weather conditions is an invaluable skill! Despite changing weather (sunny-ish at first then downpours!), we managed to get some great images! I’m so looking forward to seeing what we can come up with on location in Iceland this July!

Alex sent me images from the day in multiple versions, but I’m leaning towards sepia for most. I think sepia is under-used!

Alex wrote this about the high-kick shots above: As we were walking between locations in a remote scattered deserted village high on a hillside I mentioned to Ella Rose to say if she saw anything as a potential location, and within seconds she said this tree. This high kick is totally free standing although it may not look that way, she had to be well away from both the trunk & branch to avoid their shadows. Take into account the rough ground which was soft, and a bog just a few feet away, it was an amazing feat to achieve.’

Also, don’t let the blue sky in the colour shot of the tree above fool you too much… It was beautiful at that point, yes, but torrentially raining for much of the rest of it!

But first, back to the good weather, some restful nudes on moss:

Squeaky clean (and more sepia!) portraits in Alex’s lounge – aka temporary rain shelter:

With these next few (the last of the day’s output!), I thought we could go for a rainy/misty beautiful/desolate effect, and Alex knew what I meant and found the perfect spot. His amazing home location meant it would have been a crime not to have posed next to the loch near the bottom of his driveway, and we decided we could just go for it and shoot in the rain for the last few, walkie talkies ‘n’ all! Amazingly, my hair doesn’t really look wet. The physics of weather makes no sense sometimes. 🙂

Nearby (a few steps away) the local sheep were gathered, soaking wet, and wondering what on earth we humans were doing. Throughout my trip to Scotland I became besotted with all the tiny lambs I saw (I saw some which seemed only a few days old; I’d held a lamb before but never seen such tiny ones!!). I really really want a little lamb as a pet. It would be the most loved lamb in the whole wide world, without a doubt. Siiiigh. I could walk it and everything.

Thank you Alex!

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’! 🙂

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: http://www.yerburystudio.com/

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

These were taken by Manes 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!

‘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.

Snow Deer & Winter’s Wonderland

I was going to blog some shots of me taken in a desert next, but from one extreme to the other, I’ve decided instead to show some images from a much colder shoot, taken recently here in Oxfordshire. Snow galore!

I recently had to cancel my trip to Cambridge due to the snow, which was so disappointing and meant I missed out on a good wedge of work I’d carefully planned, not to mention letting down the photographers who’d been planning things with me, but what can you do… Luckily everyone was very understanding and thought it was a sensible decision (simple fact was that there would be a 99% chance I wouldn’t be able to get out of my road; can’t really argue with that, can you?!).

It’s all very well these gung-ho ‘I’m gonna make it however much snow there is! I laugh in the face of nature – nothing will stop me!’ attitudes from models and photographers on forums keen to show off their ‘dedication’, but with one very local fatality on the roads, the day I would have been driving – a girl in my year at school whose car went off the road due to the snowy conditions (I didn’t know her personally as it was a large school, but it’s such a sad story), I’m glad I made the decision to stay safe, and have luckily already managed to rearrange my trip to Cambridge for the next available weekend, 9th/10th March. It’s just one of those things that comes with the territory of living relatively out in the sticks rather than in a city, where things are probably gritted more consistently.

That said, a lovely, local-ish photographer I’ve worked with lots of times, Karen Jones (or purpleport profile here), came to my rescue at the last minute in her landrover, after I posted my last minute availability on my facebook page, driving to pick me up and shooting with me in the massive woodland that is five minutes from my house. (Those ‘sticks’ I was talking about? They have their perks!!)

We had fun trying out a few different scenes – open fields, close trees and a few things in between – going for a bit of a fashion-y/princess theme with long dresses, bodices and skirts.

(I think I need a deer to the left of the frame in the above shot, which reminds me: we saw one during the very first ‘blue’ set! I’m gonna steal Karen’s facebook snapshot of it to post at the end…)

Here’s the deer. What a cutie, poking its head up to see what was happening. It was quite far away but Karen had her camera around her neck and grabbed a quick snapshot before it sprung away out of sight.

And then, because I’m such a child, Karen let me pretend to throw snowballs at her at the end… 😉

 Dun dun derrrrrr…!

Red jellyfish & Black Tutus

Evening! I’m back in England, where a bikini doth not an outfit make.

I’ve just had a really lazy summer holiday in my parents’ apartment in the south of Spain, where temperatures were, of course, predictably and gloriously HOT, the outdoor pool glitters in the sunlight and makes the perfect arena for weird and watery races and acrobatics (I rarely actually swim), floaty dresses were reluctantly donned to walk around unbelievably beautiful white mountain-backed villages, and hazy sunsets and star-filled nights were the rule. I am so lucky to have that little part of the world to escape to!

(Although, shock horror: I got stung by a jellyfish!!! I couldn’t believe it!! My boyfriend spotted a couple of these small red, alien floaty creatures bobbing around and swam a little way towards them to peer at them, delighted (BOYS!!!). I, cleverly, backed away, only to be lanced in the ankle by one floating around behind me!! It hurt SO much!! I really panicked, as I’ve been to Spain many times but never seen or experienced this there, and I have no real ‘jellyfish knowledge’ (other than on the east coast of Australia, where jellyfish = bad) and didn’t know if it was a serious situation or not… And does ‘red’ not equal ‘I will poison you’ in nature?…

…All this panic was going through my head while my ankle began to feel stiff and swollen, I felt all wobbly, and the pain kept shooting through me over and over again. I think my loud English swearing caused a bit of fuss, so the water quickly cleared, and then was slowly filled up by gallant men with fishing nets, who seemed determined to empty the sea of all possible jellyfish and display them on hot rocks on the beach. Urgh. Anyway, it was all fine, I didn’t die, and my red double-tentacle swipe tattoo has now mostly disappeared completely.

By the way, it was a nudist beach. (Well, tan lines are disallowed in this career, are they not?) Yes, the swimmers absconded quite quickly.

*Sorry to all the people who’ve emailed me over the last couple of weeks* – I allowed myself hardly any internet time while on holiday (there is none in the apartment), but I will be replying to all messages soon now! It’s good and healthy to have time separated from the world of online activity, but it’s been so nice to catch up today on all the many and varied blogs I follow. I’m also planning a few new things and projects to get started with (or wrap up) over the next few weeks – don’t you just love that fresh perspective and buzz you get about your home life after ever just a short time away?

***********

I had a really fun and productive shoot with Richard Spurdens last month, a long-awaited second shoot, while on my trip to Stockport, and the following images have kindly arrived in my inbox, made at Hallam Mill Studios. We shot quite a few different styles, and I think there are many more ideas in the planning.

I have many more photos lined up to show here, as always, including some I love and should have posted weeks ago, and get so excited by seeing the results from the shoots I’ve done! Stay tuned! …And it’s always nice to hear which shots stand out most to my blog readers, so do speak up if you feel the urge! 🙂

My newest black tutu, with my lingerie leotard and pointes:

Stylised portraits:

Shot from above, making the most of a floor:

A new blue skirt I love, and window stories:

Some posing around:

🙂

Public Service Announcement: a Book!

I’m so excited to have in my hands the fruit of several months’ coordination and the physical result of some extremely generous and kind photographers. I’m holding (well, not while typing, I suppose, but it’s here on my desk) a collection of some of my favourite images taken over the last three years, during which I’ve been practising my happy deviation into a life of art modelling.

I’ve mentioned before that I thought it was sad not to have many actual prints to show for my hard work, unlikely adventures and gloriously fun modelling frolics so far, and that computer files didn’t really cut it; and that I had decided to put together a photography book for myself to look at when I’m old (or anytime between now and then…). I’ve now managed to finish this project.

The book focuses on just one theme; it uses shots from one of my twelve website galleries, ‘Faerie’, and collects 29 natural, gentle, romantic and pure shots of me as the nude, female figure in a loose ‘garden’ setting; in tall grass, entwined in trees, in pools of water, surrounded by flowers, in faerie queen headdresses, in pre-Raphaelite forest guises, in the cool, shady dappled light of Mediterranean gardens and against huge, jurassic plants. I’ve never made a book before, so this is a great feeling, and just so wonderful to be able to own!

I’m so grateful to the photographers whose images are printed in this book, and although this was definitely created just as an indulgence for myself, as something to keep, I do have permission to make this book available for others to purchase. If anyone would like to buy themselves a copy, some money from each book bought goes to Amnesty. If you agree with me that physical prints are sooo much more satisfying to look at than online virtual ones, and you like the idea of owning a version yourself, having it adorn your bookshelf and perhaps provide some visual and artistic inspiration, you’re welcome to preview it online and see what you think.

Huge thanks to the following. Click on the links below to see more of their work:
Rebecca Parker
John Evans
Paul Bartholomew
Rayment Kirby
Voyages2004
Jeremy Howitt
DB Images
Dave Aharonian
Keith Cooper (website pending)
Imagesse
Robert Farnham
Gregory Brown
Michael Cordiez
Sean Buckley
and Pat Brennan

…I hope you like it. I’m so glad I finally did this and am already thinking of making a second book sometime in the not-too-distant future… Just need to choose a gallery/theme and start to gather my favourites!

Postcards – an exhibition

As some of you will know, I am in love with the ‘Zen Habits’ blog, and when writer Leo Babuta featured the quote

~‘Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life.’~

at the top of today’s post I couldn’t help but scribble it out and add it to the mounted collection of phrases and art postcards (picked up from galleries/museums) hanging above my desk. One of my all time favourites is ‘Creativity is unexpected connection’ – I think it applies so well, and so surprisingly, which is fitting, to many different areas of life! I also have ‘The big secret is the ability to stay in the room’ above Holbein’s Erasme écrivant.

My board of postcards was originally inspired by a similar one which hangs in the bathroom of a painter I spent a year modelling for, who is exhibiting later this week (9th-26th May) at Messum’s on Cork Street in London.

You can find information about Robbie Wraith‘s show here and browse the artworks which will be on display here. I will definitely be going once I’m back from Scotland to look at some I haven’t seen before – over the course of a year, there amassed quite a few!


It seems a fitting time to reflect on my first ever experience of art modelling when I am, three years later, busier than I’ve ever been, being sent booking enquiries so frequently I can hardly keep up, and so incredibly lucky that I am offered work in different countries across the globe that I am able to travel and see so much. I am so grateful! Upcoming trips include Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Paris, Cornwall/Devon, Stockport and more, plus a possible booking in a part of the world I would perhaps never have the opportunity to visit otherwise (but I won’t mention before it’s confirmed just in case), and from October onwards I am planning some international travel that will take me to some exotic locations, similar to last year (but different places!). I’ve updated the ‘travel’ gadget on the right hand side of this blog, to let anyone interested know about a few forthcoming trips.

Anyway, back on topic, I really fell on my feet with this first foray into posing – Robbie’s talent is extraordinary and the whole experience influenced my first novel hugely. At age 16 he was invited to study in Florence under Pietro Annigoni; since then he’s painted the Queen, Nelson Mandela and accompanied Prince Charles around Africa as travelling artist, and had works displayed in the Vatican amongst other places.

Here are some things we did, available to see at the show in London (click on the images to enlarge them):

Profile
Oil on panel
40.6 x 31 cm (16 x 12 14 in)

(I absolutely love this painting; as well as being brilliant, hey, why not just paint 29 other famous paintings from history??! Might as well… And the postcards are so cleverly positioned!)

Portrait Study I
Red chalk
30.5 x 23 cm (12 x 9 in)

Yvonne
Pencil
25.4 x 20 cm (10 x 7 7
8 in)

Study, Black Veil
Charcoal
45.7 x 33 cm (18 x 13 in)

Figure Study V
Charcoal
25.4 x 46 cm (10 x 18 18 in)

Blank Canvas I
Watercolour
30.5 x 41 cm (12 x 16 18 in)

Contraluce
Watercolour
30.5 x 40.6 cm (12 x 16 in)

… And here are a few more of my favourite paintings by Robbie Wraith, also to be found at Messums… 

Alexandra
Oil on panel
30.5 x 17.8 cm (12 x 7 in)
(An amazing portrait of a friend of mine; Hello Alex!!)

Artist & Model
Oil on panel
18 x 30.5 cm (7 18 x 12 in)

Bougainvillea, Rajasthan
Oil on panel
14 x 20.3 cm (5 12 x 8 in)

Hanging by a Thread
Watercolour
30.5 x 40.6 cm (12 x 16 in)

 Mr. Wraith’s Footsteps
Oil on panel
22.9 x 31 cm (9 x 12 14 in)

Lungarno Corsini, Florence
Oil on panel
22.9 x 31 cm (9 x 12 14 in)

Palazzo Corsini Gardens
Oil on panel
20.3 x 25.4 cm (8 x 10 in)

Leica, Bird on a Wire
Oil on panel
20.3 x 25.4 cm (8 x 10 in)

Puppet Shop, Rajasthan
Watercolour
21.6 x 30.5 cm (8 12 x 12 in)

The Frome below Wareham, Dorset I
Watercolour
21.6 x 31 cm (8 12 x 12 14 in)

Twenty-Seven Afternoons
Oil on canvas
76.2 x 122 cm (30 x 48 in)

(This painting formed the majority of the view during much of my own modelling; I love the position of the wrist.)


If you like what you see, drop by the exhibition sometime!