Venice & Blues

I’ve had a few more shoots with the wonderful person that is Jeremy Howitt, recently. There is a bit of a queue of images to share from what we’ve created together. For now, I’ll share some we did in exquisite Venice in March this year, followed by what is now our traditional escapade to my local Oxfordshire bluebell woods which bloom with breath-taking hues (of which I will never tire!) every April/May. This time we added an extra twist in the shape of Joy Draiki, a dutch model who was visiting the UK and who I contacted because of how certain I was that we would model together well. I think I was right… Our figures/looks are very similar/complementary and we hope to work together again at some point. I don’t often find models who work with me so well in terms of similarity in shape/mood/physique, and when I do (you’ll have spotted such occasions before on this blog) it’s really very lovely.

BUT BEFORE I GET TO THE IMAGES, did you know that I have a mailing list? Please sign yourself up – I’m about to send out the third-ever newsletter after I’ve written this blog post, and it will include all sorts of snippets of inside info (things like why you won’t see me much on social media, what I think about my body, when my next trip to Australia is, why junkyard golf makes a good date… etc…) as well as a list of my few remaining dates left for booking a shoot with me between now and the end of 2018. Importantly, there’s an option to include your nearest city when you sign up, so that I can directly email you when visiting your part of the world in future – many photographers find this really helpful. …And, the fact that this will only be my third newsletter in 7 months should reassure you that you won’t be inundated with spam if you sign up. 🙂 #spamisforlosers

Righty-ho then, onward with some images from that dreamy springtime jaunt to Venice I alluded to… I am so incredibly lucky that brilliant people choose to whisk me off to magical places such as these. Hope you like the results:

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Black Rocks, Snow & Rushing Water

Hope all my blog readers are doing magnificently well! It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, and I’ve had quite a lot of extraordinary shoots alongside running my self-created natural skincare business, Leafology, and working on other projects… I hardly know where to start, but I’ll skip around in chronology as always, I think – it’s more liberating!

VEF_3576I was invited to go to Iceland with Bragi Kort (photo guide and Icelandic local) and Alex Nason (US photographer), for a week-long jaunt a couple of weeks ago around the westfjords of what, to me, feels always like another planet. Iceland is like something utterly unknown. It’s basically the moon, though surprisingly green in places (well, it is the summer, sun never going down, ‘n’ all; when I travelled back from Heathrow airport to my home in Oxfordshire I was dismayed to feel darkness closing in in the evening – even after just a week of permanent light it felt utterly alien – claustrophobic, even!). Alex has sent some absolute gems to me by email, since we’ve all been home, and Bragi has edited about a million photos and sent me tons of favourites in various processing styles. Can you imagine the absolute overwhelm (in a good way) of not knowing where to start with sharing them? I’ve decided to apply some kind of order to my thinking, and divided all his edits into 4 categories (we did all manner of things, from mermaid-esque stuff to shots taken in a quirky hotel in the middle of nowhere, from an abandoned herring factory (yes, really) to lupins (which I am obsessed with) and from outdoor pools to…. a piano (constant love of my life; I write this having just come back from a piano lesson, during which I nailed a few more bars of Grieg and sighed at my utter forgetting of basic music theory since I did grade 8 a million years ago and let it all go to rust…). I also managed to bump into good modelling friend Anne Duffy (Australian-based star some of you will know) and met (and posed nude with 5 mins later) the wonderful Icelandic selkie Svala, as well as spending the week road-trippin’ with my brilliant roomie, US model Lucy Magdalene.

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A wonderful world

What I loved so much about shooting with Angus McGeoch in October (in addition to his partner’s delicious cooking) was the sheer lack of formula for his shots. It all felt very free and experimental, and Angus would say it truly was (since he would class himself as new to photographing models). The following shots are memories of a very unusual stay quite in the middle of nowhere in Australia (in a wonderful way), where it felt as though anything could happen.

All these photos (apart from the waterfall shots) were taken on the grounds of an extraordinary home, where kangaroos roam and 4X4s are the name of the game. I posed with the milky way, sailing down a stream, with a ginger cat, at a waterfall (where the photos were taken through droplets of water) and on a sofa out among the eucalytpus trees while Radiohead blared from the car.

Thanks for letting me share your experiments, Angus! 🙂

I’ll be back in Australia later this year (unexpectedly; I had thought the last trip would be my final modelling venture in the upside-down world, but am too much in love with the place for that to have remained true). You can add yourself to my mailing list in a matter of moments (here) if you’d like to be kept informed of my plans here there and everywhere else.

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October’s Blue Ring Octopus

Shoot numero one in Australia and I’m already being educated about their wild and wonderful creatures. Blue octopi (extraordinarily pretty, but not particularly friendly) hang out in tide pools, etc.. I didn’t actually spot one but after they were mentioned on this lovely little shoot with photographer Geoffrey Cutts, I kept an eye out! I love Australian shoots – every moment is a wildlife lesson. And, alarmingly often, the creatures they describe are not actually made up.

I’d actually modelled at this particular location a few times before, but it seems that every time I’m there, the water revs up and goes crazy, which makes for some dramatic shots. I’m going to just assume it’s because I’m extremely powerful – some kind of magnetic force. 🙂

Well, to avoid this post seeming like clickbait, here’s a blue octopus so no one is disappointed:
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And here are a few of Geoff’s photos of me. We had a lovely time – I really enjoyed it! 🙂

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The Albion Beatnik Bookstore

The Albion Beatnik Bookstore in Oxford, recently closed, was one of a kind. A totally unique haven for book and music lovers, with a hefty collection of loose leaf tea. You can imagine: I spent quite a bit of time there. I was granted access to using this characterful place as a photographic location last year for a couple of shoots, and briefly advertised this (it pays to be on my mailing list, take note..!) the following were taken by Paul Jeffery, who grappled bravely with minimal light options and cramped dimensions in such a brilliantly chaotic place. Throw a piano into the situation, plus a touch of costuming towards the end (a good art model always packs her finger cymbals for a shoot!), and this is what you get:

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Rainforest Treasures

Working with Zoe is always an adventure – ‘come on’, she says, as I try and find my flip-flops and follow her out through the grounds of the enormous rainforest estate. The other thing it always is is laid back. I love this about Zoe – the shoots just unfold and you see what turns up. In this case, what turned up was an urge in Zoe to find a massive rainforest leaf or two and relieve the trees of them especially for me to hold. It’s quite an honour to touch such big leaves – they’re truly Jurassic. Another thing was a desire to erect a black backdrop in the middle of the rainforest – it was one of the most surreal ‘studios’ I’ve posed in; snakes and spiders almost certainly all around us, hiding out and wondering what on earth we were doing, whispering to each other in Strayan.

I think Zoe’s photography is beautiful – it seems to focus on the strength and power of women and her subjects often look like superheros you wouldn’t want to mess with (not to say she doesn’t capture the softness too), and through her (mostly) yearly retreats which have been running since 2002 all over the globe, bringing wonderful people together, she’s created quite a phenomenon. I have loved attending the last several years and made some really good friends. Long live inter-border art-making in cool environments! 🙂

The first few are with Carlotta, Elilith, Anne, Brooke, Tara, Cheyanne, Titania and Jessamyn (who are all brilliant women, from various continents, who I love hanging out with).

In some of the below, my hair is wet from posing under the indoor waterfall, as one does.

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