Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The Gentle Fall

(Note to American readers: this post is not about autumn!)

Some new work from Collin Lyons, who was fantastic to work with; high energy and buzzing enthusiasm. He even made me halloumi salad for lunch before we started, despite my train getting in late. Collin had this enormous piece of sheer fabric, so we played on my apparent freak-ability to throw fabric wildly in the air then pose serenely within the same split-second while it fell in front of my skin. We did this over and over again, fascinated by the range of shots we were getting on the back of camera; each time the fabric did something completely different, depending how I threw it and how it felt like floating, and at what point Collin caught its fall with the click.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011


Paul Bartholomew has sent me a few more shots from our short shoot at the ruins/river/forest location near me in Oxfordshire. He's a great photographer; check out his stuff at the impressive site, where the last portrait below has just been published.

I really love the light and bokeh in these, and how natural the portraits are. For the set in the blue skirt, I was imagining being in a fairytale, lost and distressed, or calling on my animal troupe to help me with some quest, so naturally began channelling rabbits and other small woodland creatures through my poses... Good to have a story in your head! :)

Friday, 26 August 2011

Poppies & Coral Rain Jacket

Hello everyone. Two new images from Gary Sandy...

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Running, Rivers and The Sweet Nectar of Divine Divinity

I've had such a busy, productive day today, getting lots done, but the two things I'm most pleased/excited about are:

1. I went for a run this morning. I've been meaning to go for a run for roughly a million years, but never quite worked out how to go about it. I know, I overthink things. The thoughts flittering around my mind are those such as: where would I run? Is it better to run on tarmac or grass? Will I be able to do it? By what date, exactly (and this is my ambition surfacing), would I be able to qualify for and enter a marathon? Which charity would I choose to run for? And then the more immediate concerns, such as, how do you make the transition between walking and running without looking as though you suddenly think you might be being chased? (Seriously though, I never see people begin to run - they are always already running, as though they came out of the womb doing it and haven't even stopped to consider other methods of getting about.)

And anyway, I know; who cares what you look like? I actually don't, but I am reminded of a comedy sketch I once saw about that moment when you're walking in the street and realise you need to be going in the opposite direction. Do you just immediately turn around with no apparent acknowledgement of your error, the comedian wondered, or do you slap your forehead, shake your head at yourself, rolling your eyes at passersby so that they too might acknowledge and share in your foolhardiness, admitting, by your dramatic display, that it's not the normal thing to just turn swiftly and change direction, and invalidating each and every step you've taken thitherto in the current trajectory as being wrong and misguided and wally-like? (I am very slightly mad and once, when walking to school, started pigeon-walking (you know, where you take tiny steps so that the heel of one foot touches the toes of the foot behind; no, I was rarely on time for school) then, intrigued by my new foot pattern (the alleyway was particularly monotonous), started mimicking my feet with my hands as I walked (a kind of 'air walk', if you will), before realising there was a girl innocently walking in the alley behind me, quietly bemused. I immediately resumed a more conventional walking motion, hands back down, strides at a more practical length (pigeon walking is quite wobbly when you're in a rush), and hoped she might think she'd merely imagined my non-conformist methods of getting to school... Apart from this episode in my life, I am frequently told I have a nice walk (again, 'nice walks' strike me as bizarre, but no more tangents for now), so should/could possibly, in theory, have a nice run. I also won a lot of races at school for sprinting and was always chosen to compete in the county sports day, but I'm showing off now (and it's irrelevant).

Anyway, yep, I went for a run. I ran up and down hills; mostly up, in hindsight; on grass and on tarmac, and on a lot of mud. It was fun! I was terrible (I'm flexible, strong, but lung power has room for improvement), but I'm promised by my younger brother that this is an inevitable and temporary affliction of beginner adult runners. I'm wondering now whether my body will change shape, if I keep this up, and how strange that would be, considering I haven't changed body shape since the age of 15/16. We shall (literally) see, I imagine.

2. The second thing I am unbelievably, perhaps unreasonably excited by, is the fact that I've FINALLY mastered making masala chai like I used to drink in India. Being prone to foul moods whenever I remember and think of the lack of it in my life, this is a massive cause for celebration. Now I know exactly how to do it I can whip up a brew whenever I fancy one. This makes me incredibly happy. (I still need to go to India ASAP though, even just for the Thalis.) ...Pestle & mortar-crushed spices (cloves, cinnamon sticks, black peppercorns, cardamom, dry-roasted ginger), a tablespoon of indian tea, milk and water in a pan boiled up, sugar..... luscious frothy, sweet heaven in a glass.

Oh, and I have some new photos from Drew Smith, taken in Oxfordshire recently. Thanks Drew! :)

Wednesday, 17 August 2011


This is one of my favourite recent images, taken by Birmingham-based photographer Paul Bartholomew.

The location was a ruined hall in Oxfordshire, which sits by a river and small forest, in which this particular shot was taken. (I hope to show more images from the 2-hour shoot later and have already seen a couple more which I like very much.) The headdress I'm wearing here was kindly donated to me by the styling team at Chanticleer Brides, whose 2011 collection 'back to nature' I modelled for last year. I thought it was so sweet they let me keep it, and I've been waiting all this time to make the most of it. Below is also a softer make up look than I usually do; warmer hues and almost no mascara, with an emphasis on porcelain/creamy skin which this shot brings out really well, I think!

Please click on the image to enlarge it...

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Red & White

Some gentle, romantic/bridal lingerie for a Saturday morning. These were taken by John Colson, who is lovely and who I'll be working with again very soon. We had fun creating these - I love the dreamy style and the vibrant reds.

Gotta run... Off to ride in a glider!!! Eeek!! (I'm performing a dance gig at a national gliding competition this evening and we get a quick flight each as part of the payment!!). Will try to take lots of photos. Hopefully I'll live to tell the tale so I can go out partying later this evening... A fun day ahead!! :) :) :)

Monday, 8 August 2011

The Windowsill

Windows can be so interesting in photographs - the shape, symbolism and aesthetic as well as the natural light they let in.

David Amphlett recently sent me a couple more from a shoot we had earlier this year. I love these. No post work (except borders); developed from film:

Friday, 5 August 2011

Wings & Rocks in the Land of Pirates!

Yet another blog entry today, and already a few more ready and waiting in the pipeline... don't say I don't spoil you..! :)

Today's offering comes from a weekend trip to the stunningly beautiful West Cornwall I made at the end of June, working with Perry (of Imagesse photography). I am thrilled with some of these images. When Perry mentioned before the shoot that he would quite like some kind of 'wing' theme, but wasn't sure how possible that would be, I immediately thought of Isis wings, which I've modelled in and danced with before (they're an oriental dance prop), and ordered some of my own in time for the shoot. I chose some large silver translucent ones, which I thought would shimmer in the light and look delicate enough to let it through in certain conditions - I personally prefer them to other colours I've seen and used before, but you can get them in all different shades to suit your skin tone; traditionally you would match them to the colour of your costume. I love the permanent pleat structure on them, too, which can look a bit like the veins on a leaf (or, er, a wing). As a prop they can be difficult to work with in windy conditions, as they literally feel like they will take flight at times, so balancing in delicate poses isn't as easy as it would otherwise be. They also reflect a lot of light (which I think is a good thing). I am so pleased with how these came out and think Perry caught some absolutely jaw-droppingly beautiful scenes, some vivid colours and along with the reflections in the water, it was definitely worth the 5.5 hour train journey each way!

When I got off the train in Penzance, I was immediately greeted by pirates. Someone had joked to me previously 'watch out for the pirates' but, bizarrely enough, there was well and truly an official 'pirate day' celebration, or something going on that weekend. (That's as much as I could get out of the cute little girl who befriended me as soon as I arrived in the hostel with Perry; she even followed me in to the bathroom, showing me her eye patch and pirate dress, which she was concerned wasn't a real pirate dress, but which we agreed looked pretty all the same... so I had to give her a task to do, asking her to take my bottle of water to my bag in the reception area, to distract her so I could pee in private. SO cute!). The entire area of Cornwall seemed hungover from the night before, and there was mess everywhere as though a bomb had dropped, and people gallavanting around in costume. Quite a contrast from the serene, natural scenes Perry and I were shooting at!!

Anyway... With thanks to Perry, here are some of the results from a drive around different parts of West Cornwall, from beaches, to rock formations, to stone circles:

P.S. I nearly forgot to thank my 'support group', without which I would perhaps not have made it down to the beach in those first shots at all!!!!! In order to get down there, we had to climb/scramble down a very steep rock face. This was nothing for Perry, who does mountain climbing in his spare time (but who admitted the route was more precarious than he'd remembered from visiting the area when he was younger), but for me (in my Diesel flip-flops, as brilliant as they are), it was a little panic-inducing. There were some people climbing up and down the narrow bit who took it upon themselves to pass my bag down to Perry then direct my feet into specific places so I could get down. I said to Perry afterwards that I should just have waited a minute or two longer and they probably would have passed me down between them like a sack of helpless spuds... Hahaha. (I am adding the 'Damsel in Distress' tag to this post, I think.) Nothing like a bit of early morning fear to get a good set of photographs. Since then (bearing in mind my backpacking trip later this year), I have purchased some more suitable footwear... All good practise, eh? :)

I have, since this shoot, worked with Perry again in another stunning location (to be blogged soon I'm sure!), and hopefully there'll be a third shoot together sometime in the future!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Practical Photoshop again

A photographer I worked with recently has kindly informed me that I'm in the current issue of Practical Photoshop. There are a few pages but my favourite feature is the one below, the results of a competition from the previous issue, in which readers were invited to create their own digital artworks using a portrait of me. It's kinda strange to think that so many people I've never met were staring at my face in such detail and working on ideas for what they could do with it, and interesting to read some of the thoughts behind their work. Click to enlarge.

I like the fiery red 'girl with a pearl earring' take on the portrait, and the goth one makes me think it could actually be fun to do a shoot in that style... I am very pale, after all, and quite good at looking haughty, etc... I also like the one with the Burj in the background - although I can't say my own holiday snaps from Dubai came out anything like that!

In other news, anyone who enjoys dabbling in a spot of 'iPhoneography' might be interested in a talk award-winner Gordon Fraser is giving soon in London... Flyer (with my face on!) below:

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Book & Award

I'm honoured to be in Rayment Kirby's new fine art and 'fantasy nude' book Shadows and Shapes in the Imagination, which also features three other models, Joceline Brooke-Hamilton, Ivory Flame and Rebecca Tun.

You can buy or preview it here!

I've also just had an email from Keith Cooper, who has won a gold award at the SWPP July monthly competition with this image: