Welsh Rain, Reflections

I had a great two days with Richard Spurdens in January, shooting at a grand house in Wales. We’ve worked together a couple of times before and I think we make a good team, having lots of fun and getting lots done in the process! Richard is always brimming with ideas and always happy to go along with mine too – and having packed a large suitcase full of bits and pieces, including my Indian wedding sari and the showgirl costume I bought in Las Vegas, I had plenty for us to work with in the various mini locations scattered inside the house. We worked outside too – in the pouring rain, I might add; I don’t normally offer to pose nude in the rain, but it seemed such a shame to waste the opportunities out there!

Richard has kindly sent me some of my favourite results, which means I get to show them off! 🙂 One of the images has already had a couple of successes/acceptances, so that’s good, too!

My Vegas costume:

Dreaming through a window…

(These were great in colour too, and I’m sure Richard won’t mind me taking the credit for suggesting we switch on the light inside to create that warm glow… 🙂 )

A ghostly movement idea we played around with (doesn’t the map in the background make the shot? I’ve got such a thing about maps, myself).

 Sari (I’m really quite sulky-looking in the first, for some reason):

Some dance-ish hair flicks at the indoor (overly chlorinated, but gorgeously steamy) pool…

Outdoors in that rain…

…’Refreshing’.

And some ‘miscellaneous’ images… 🙂

(Having to duck underneath the chandelier in the shot below made not slipping off the sloping shelf-thing even more difficult than it already was. ‘First world problems’. What a nice house it was!)

Thanks so much Richard for another fruitful experience! 

House of Flying Daggers

Hello from Belgium! I’ve just completed my final shoot and am relaxing now here in Brussels. Below are two quick behind-the-scenes shots taken on my phone from a shoot with the lovely Johan Verlust and the excellent make up artist and hair stylist Fraukje Van de Wiele.I’m looking forward to seeing the proper images from this shoot (this was just one set we did, but I rather liked it!). 🙂

Highlights in this rather multi-lingual country have so far included free plates of radishes, free limoncello and ouzo(??) (I didn’t have the heart to tell the enthusiastic waiter I don’t drink, so I drank), a successful foray into the world of the waffle (I quite liked it!), restaurants that claim they have ‘no legumes’ after I settle in and  order the one vegetarian thing on the menu, pasta legumes… Seriously? The entire restaurant has no vegetables? Slightly worrying. (I left, obviously, and stumbled instead into an AMAZING restaurant that made me very happy (goats cheese served on a bed of apple, scattered with honey, strawberries, raisins and walnuts), so if that’s not evidence for the ‘it’s meant to happen’ brigade, then I can’t possibly think what is.)

I have also done some non-foody things here in Belgium, I promise – e.g. I spent a lovely, lazy afternoon dawdling around art galleries – including Magritte’s crazy surrealism – (this was my first trip to Belgium, so I left myself a little bit of free time), and topped up my postcard collection by a humble 47. Yep, I don’t buy shoes (though I am hoping to stumble across a new pair of trainers soon, as my super dooper spin spot dance ones make me just a tad too spinny during planking, etc., and really shouldn’t be worn when driving), I buy art postcards! Seriously, though, it really excites me. I’m going to create my third new massive board of them for my room. I even had a practise run on my brand new hostel-friend’s bed, when I got back. (I’m too cool.) I’ll probably blog a picture of the results, along with my previously made board, in case anyone else shares my joy of ‘I get a print of this amazing amazing amazing painting for 1 euro’. And the Grand Place is beautiful, and somehow reminds me of the incredibly brilliant main square in Mexico City. (Though maybe that’s just because that’s the last ‘main square’ I saw. I don’t know.) I also went to Bruges yesterday with a lovely American girl I met, and we had fun jumping around in front of the windmills on the outskirts of the old town. I think I’m going to have to do a bit of research to find out if the vial of blood we saw really is likely to have belonged to Jesus or not; if so, that’s really quite amazing.

Anyway, I get to wander around Brussels a bit more tomorrow before getting on the eurostar, partly on the search for some statues of some kids (and a dog) pissing, or something. I’ve been promised an equal mix of delight and anti-climax. Haha. On my next trip (I might possibly come back sometime in the summer), I’m going to also look around Ghent and Antwerp, I think, as I’ve heard that Ghent in particular is a great place to visit.

And now, I’m blogging some images I’ve been excited to see and show you! There’s something a bit ‘House of Flying Daggers’ about these images, I think (despite that beautiful film being set in China, not Japan). I was asked to model for a photographer on behalf of his friend who is submitting a design project on Japanese modes of dress set in a western context. This kimono was the one actually worn by Ally on her wedding day; so it was such an honour to wear it! It was so beautiful – and very heavy! – and I learnt that, while the western fashion is generally to show off a woman’s waist, the opposite is true in Japan, or at least in this context; my waist was padded to be in line with my hips!! For what I’m used to, that’s not the most flattering stylistic decision, but it’s interesting, isn’t it? Different aesthetics for different cultures… It was such a fun shoot, and I think the photographer, London-based Will White, made them so stunning! The make up was by Ema Doherty. We got quite excited about all the jumping around… and as soon as Will handed me the parasol, we both immediately knew without speaking that I had to do a ‘caught in the wind’ jump. I’m looking forward to a second shoot sometime soon. And I CANNOT WAIT to go to Japan later this year; I just find the culture so fascinating and beautiful, and there are so many different contrasts and aspects to it. I’ve been wanting to go there for so long!

Which are your favourites?

…And if anyone cares to educate me about some beautiful Japanese films I should watch, please do!

Finery Drapery

I’m back from a very successful and enjoyable trip to Paris (more on that later, I promise!) and have some new shots to show from photographer ‘Penfoldpc‘, taken in Worcestershire last month. We had lots of fun shooting in various styles, but the following are my favourites. Paul wanted to create a very classical scene based around the natural nude. I like these a lot!

There is something about the colour red that always works so well. Just a slither of it is so beautiful!

Costume changes!

I love these shots by Mike Croshaw, taken recently at a studio day (its first!) at Cheltenham FilmPhoto Studios. Considering we only had a two hour slot together, and quite a bit of the beginning was taken up with me having to be laced into my wedding dress (I doubt any bride ever had to dress herself…), I think it’s impressive how much we got done. Here are a few from our session together. Very much looking forward to working with Mike again sometime. And for anyone interested in trying out the studio, I’d recommend it and can get you a good deal!

I’ve not really done ‘pin-up’ before, but Mike wanted to give the theme a try with me and I really enjoyed playing the part of a 50s cheeky-grinned starlet. I’d love to give pin up a real go, actually – I think it could possibly suit me quite well. Thanks Mike for choosing something fun and new to shoot with me!

This next shot has featured here before, but in the interests of comprehensiveness (of themes covered)… Gorgeous lighting and soft pastel hues:

I happened to have brought my brand new Asian bridal saree along with me to the shoot, in hopes of shoe-horning it into a session… I think it’s so stunning – I really really love ‘World’ costumery and I love India in particular so much. I spent some time there a few years ago (mainly in the north) and have been aching to go back ever since. Every year I tell myself it will be THIS year. I think it’s such a beautiful country, and I love how brightly coloured the women’s clothing is, as well; fanciful decoration and ornate, intricate beading is everywhere, and there is no such thing as too much adornment. It’s impossible to take a bad street shot there! Mike and I think a plainer background would probably have worked better for this shot (or I would love to shoot with it in a grand house, with the full works!), but for the garment’s first airing I do love this.

Below is a composite image in a classical ‘Old Masters’ style, which is a theme more traditionally suited to my strengths…

And finally we spent some time doing some movement and ‘swirly’ images. I love the golden curves of the fabric here, and its flaring wisp to my left in the composition (camera right?).


…Let me know which you like! 🙂