Roses & Tea

I had a really nice, laid back shoot in Gloucestershire with Mike Bradbury last year, dropping in on my way home from a couple of shoots at a studio nearby. I love these simple, relaxed shots we took in his home studio (in between chats). The eagle-eyed among you will notice I didn’t point my toes in the casual sitting shots – I really like this about them. I have to admit I often find the propensity for art models (and I do include myself) to point their toes to be a little too unnatural and (ironically) awkward looking sometimes – it can be such a beautiful finish to a line, which is why we so often do it (and some of us have dance/ballet backgrounds from which this trait is perhaps borrowed), but sometimes it becomes a bit too much, in my opinion, and I see it slightly overdone at the loss of the natural feeling of an image (and I get that not all images are meant to look natural!). I think there is a lot to be said for a more authentic, less ‘stylised’/gymnastic way of being in photos, now and then. (Cue everyone looking at my toes now… eek!)

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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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