What a joy it was to finally work with Paul Veron of ‘Amazilia Photography’ recently, after two attempts at me visiting him during 2020-1 (but having to cancel flights due to covidia, AKA the world going mad). I’m so glad he decided in the end to simply visit me, to shoot in what I so often lovingly refer to as ‘my local woodland’. I call it this not because I am trying to imply any ownership of the land(!), but because it is so deeply familiar to me, having lived here for so long and modelled among its various trees, growth and flowers through all seasons, for years!
After some fairly violent storms over the winter, there were lots of fallen trees – quite dramatically so – hence the title of this blog post.
I find that photographers in general enjoy these woodland shoots so much – it’s a wonderland for the creative, and a deeply peaceful way to spend a morning or afternoon. People have visited me here from hardened, hectic cities (and are astounded by the calmness of the trees and open air), from other rural parts of England (sometimes casually identifying different bird calls, far better than I can!), and even from other countries and continents (it blows me away that people have so often done this, often incorporating a shoot with me into their itineraries after long periods of being in touch about the possibility of a shoot).
Paul is working on a ‘Location Nudes in Nature’ project and some of his previous books can be found via his website here. He was a pleasure to work with and perhaps I’ll even make it over to his own island, sometime, as originally planned (again not implying ownership; as far as I’m aware he doesn’t actually own an island).
Here are some of my favourites, which he’s kindly allowed me to share… Click on the first, to enlarge, then navigate through.
Today (because I like to keep you guessing): some images by the wonderful Paul Jefferey (I think this was our fifth shoot together) taken in a working woodworker’s workshop… Despite all the ‘work’ in that last sentence, we had lots of fun making use of various things we found in there and I think Paul wished he’d booked more time as we had plenty we still wanted to try.
So cool to mess around in different settings and locations. I love it when people put a very classical figure (moi) against something rather unexpected!
I was lucky enough to have had two shoots last year with photographer Owen Lloyd – first in August at Atlas Studios, as part of an event organised by Nicole Rayner which brought us together along with Ivory Flame for a ‘trio’ day at the brilliant (but very filthy) industrial indoor location. Owen was one of the photographers attending the day and got some amazing images, then in December he booked me at Sandon Studio in Staffordshire, where we made the most of a few of its atmospheric sets (and I half-froze to death due to the heating not being on there, despite Owen doing a great job of hauling mini heaters around with us from room to room!). I’m convinced our third shoot might be both warm and clean (though I’d better not jinx it..!). 🙂
Owen is a total pleasure to model for as he really takes his time with his lighting and is very experimental and creative. I find photographers often apologise incessantly to me when they feel they’re taking too long setting up lights, as though I they might think I’d feel my time is being wasted somehow, but really it’s completely normal to keep tweaking things until you get the results you’re after, and if there was a choice, I’d far rather a photographer faffed for much of the shoot and got some amazing images by the end, than shoot ten thousand images without stopping to check, only realising later that they would have been improved by pausing to assess the results as we went along and making some simple changes to the angle/intensity/effect of the lights.
[Interlude for announcement… (drum roll)… Those of you on my mailing list will know I’m now planning a big tour of the US/Canada for next year. It’ll be a whistle-stop tour of quite a few places, and a huge job to organise, hence me taking bookings already, 10 months in advance. Send me an email (email@example.com or via the contact form here on the website) if you’d like more info!]
With enormous thanks to Owen, whose use of colour I adore:
It was absolutely wonderful to meet New Zealander and ex-farmer Bill Irwin (and his lovely and creative wife, Cherie) when I was in Australia most recently in November. He’d been in touch for a long time hoping to photograph me and even kindly sent me a calendar of his brilliant photography of NZ landscapes hoping to entice me over (I’ve actually already been to NZ and was in awe of the scenery there, but this trip was pre-modelling days and it certainly made me want to go back… NZ modelling trip still pending..!). I’m so glad our paths finally managed to cross. As is the magic of the internet, we finally got together at Zoefest in Noosa. I really enjoyed shooting with Bill and absolutely love so many of his results – I’ve shared a few on instagram already but it’s nice to put the collection in one place here on my blog.
We did a few shoots in the end. One just outside Bill’s accommodation, using some body jewellery Bill and Cherie had brought. I loved channelling some slight bellydancer vibes for these, and felt like an amazonian warrior of some kind, among those gorgeous fresh leaves.
I really enjoyed shooting with Ray Fritz again on my recent trip down under as part of Zoefest in Noosa – we had a really creative time and one of the highlights for me was definitely the wall art you see in these first pictures – gathered, natural tumbleweed/driftwood, just hung on the wall. With the sofa in front of it (not the easiest ledge to balance on, I tell you!) I loved the possibility for shapes on this geometric stage. The last of this set is my favourite, I think.
Hope everyone had wonderful Easters! I’m busier than ever, though reminding myself to rein it in where I can; aside from modelling when I can (which would be enough to keep one person busy), I’m darting about running my handmade business, writing my novel and am soon to be working with literacy projects in my local homeless centre. Then there’s choir, dance classes, running, doing courses, seeing friends and holding their new babies… I definitely overschedule myself, but what’s new?
There is no rhyme or reason to my blog posts anymore; I post images here quite at random (and with a backlog of image to share which is easily in the 1000s) but with the same gratitude as ever to the photographers/artists who allow me to share their work.
…My email newsletters are just as random/infrequent, but with added thoughts, chat and updates on upcoming events/travel.
The following images were taken at Big Shot Studio, one of my favourite studios, by Ken Benoit (instagram):