Of Castles & Gold

From one long-standing shooting tradition to another, how lucky I am to have worked again recently with Jeremy Howitt on another little adventure – this time in the north of England, around Northumberland!

It was the usual (finely) organised chaos of early starts and day-time cat-naps, so that I lost track of what day was what, where I’d been, who I was… etc… by the end of the fleeting trip, but we had such a lovely time! I love the results – dramatic beach scenes with castles and vistas as the sun winds up or down – and we even managed to squeeze in a trip to Alnwick Castle to see where some of the scenes in Downton Abbey (and Harry Potter) were filmed (and by the way, I hope you’re all glued to your screens this season in case I make a fleeting appearance in a couple of scenes; I’m going to miss it while I’m away and am making my Mum record it all for me!); and for me to be utterly beaten by the world’s biggest ice cream, which covered me in delicious chocolate and had me rooting around for tissues to clean up me/my clothes/the bench. I was such an embarrassment; clearly out of ice-cream-eating practise (I don’t normally ‘do’ ice creams, but had a sudden craving. It was all very ungraceful.).

Anyway, I’m off to Indonesia for a month now, so things here may get a little slow, but will be back and raring to go in mid-November and am (by the way) taking bookings now for November, December and January; and from April onwards. Things are getting all a bit inter-continental again, and I like it! ūüôā I will be snapping away while away on this trip, I’m sure, so my instagram will floweth over in all likelihood, since I am clearly addicted to it these days. (and oh, I am going to miss Sir Fluffalot terribly while I’m away; I hope I survive without his enormous fluffy face looking alarmed at me. I know, I’m ridiculous, but LOOK AT HIS MAGNIFICENT FACE!!!)

OK, those mermaid scenes and so forth, forthwith (thank you so much again Jeremy!):

You can also read Jeremy’s version of events here. (I’m so glad he posts these threads, not least so I can remember where exactly I’ve been. He knows me well enough to know how terrible I am at knowing my way around places (and knowing whether to turn left or right out of a hotel, despite having been there for three days, for example), so it will come as no surprise that the place names became a slight blur after the early morning starts, even if the places themselves are spectactular; it really is a miracle that I can travel solo as well as I do. Nevermind. If I was the sort of person who would end a blog post with a hashtag, it would be #cantbegoodateverything (but I wouldn’t do that, because then where does the full stop at the end of the blog post go?) – I’ll put it here: .

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…’

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 news:¬†I’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……”¬†¬†

Europe

Happy Wednesday everyone. A fine day.

Despite technically having a little stretch of days off between modelling trips – I’ve been a busy (tres Oxfordian & cultural) bee with my new book group, poetry workshop, volunteering, piano lessons (and I’ve been asked to play at my brother’s wedding later this year, which is both amazing and terrifying!). I’ll be baking the unbelievably-delicious-n-nutritious ‘glo bars’ again today in time for a couple of friends visiting tomorrow (I REALLY recommend the book as well as the food blog: http://ohsheglows.com/). I’ve also booked my flights for Vienna for next month, which is exciting – along with Venice that will be two new cities I’ve not seen before in just one month. I blimmin’ LOVE living in Europe – all this amazing beauty and culture and history right on our doorstep, all with so much variety and diversity within one continent.

Here are some shots from Thomas Bichler, who was a pleasure to work with in the south of Germany recently.

He wrote about the shoot over on his website¬†here. ūüôā

It was such a lovely trip in general, with lots of hiking around to get to the perfect spots; this shoot required a really beautiful walk down to the lake, after amazing views from the top. Plus a few other locations…. Very much looking forward to working with Thomas again in future.

I must be a mermaid

‘I must be a mermaid. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living’.¬†
– Anais Nin

I was so glad I’d decided to pack my raqs sharqi costume (which I generally call my ‘mermaid’ outfit) for my trip to Norway. I can’t imagine a better scene in which to show it off than at this rocky coast in moody weather; the colours worked so beautifully. I wrote a bit about Norway on my last blog post so I won’t repeat myself here – but here’s a little update on some edits I’ve kindly received!

By Hakon Gronning:

By John Erik Setsaas:

ūüôā

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! ūüôā

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

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!