Monday, 30 April 2012

UK art models I admire

I'm sometimes asked by photographers I work with whether there are any other UK-based female art models I can recommend for them to consider. I can usually rattle off three or four I like a lot, depending on the brief, but thought it might be nice to feature some here.

In no particular order, these get my recommendation in terms of personality/spirit as well as visual inspiration!

1. Kayleigh Lush. Kayleigh is tall, slender and a skilled and talented dancer who I've had the pleasure of working with twice so far. She has bags of energy and a friendly personality, and can produce killer flexible poses - lots of fun to work with!

(photo credit: Klaus Kampert)

2. Leah Axl. Leah just has a perfect face. She is a petite brunette with a look about her that covers so many fleeting emotions and periods of time. If I were a photograher I would definitely want to shoot her. My opinion of her is only cemented by her super-niceness.

(photo credit: Karen Jones)

3.Cheryl Elizabeth. I haven't actually met Cheryl (only spoken on the phone), though I hope to, but really rate her as a model and am in awe of her figure half the time. I sometimes think she's a bit underrated and not as 'well known' as she should be. Long legged and a really beautiful, interesting face, I reckon:

(image credit: Jeremy Howitt)

4. Vicki Marie is another model I always mention when asked for recommendations for dancers. She's a professional dancer, very flexible and pretty, but what I remember most about meeting her a couple of years ago was how professional-yet-friendly she was. She's a lot of fun to have around.

(image credit: James Tate)

5. Muse (apparently her birth name!) is another model I haven't met, but was on the scene back when I began and someone I find very impressive. She is just incredibly beautiful, basically, very sensual, and the creative concepts she and her teams come up with are so stunning, from the pretty/'maiden' beauty to the primal.

(image credit: David Charles)

6. Ivory Flame is a petite, classic red-head, with pale skin and a gentle (but fiery!) demeanour, as well as a good friend. I've had the pleasure of modelling alongside (as well as for) her many times and we make an excellent match in mood and aesthetic. Pictures of her are often the most interesting and successful in a photographer's portfolio -  they always seem to stand out. It's extremely unlikely you haven't heard of her as she was a successful model way before I appeared on the scene (her profile was one I found particularly inspiring when I began), but it would be weird to miss her off this list!!

 (image credit: Alex Ingram)

.... This is just a personal list of favourites and I'm sure there are more I could add. Everyone is inspired by and interested in different looks/skills, and that's what makes the world go around! Have fun checking out their work!

Finally, in case you're interested, Ivory Flame and I are available for bookings together at any time, but most notably on Friday 25th May, when we are available for bookings together with individual photographers at KVMedia Studios in Chesham (Saturday sold out before we'd even publically advertised it!). :-) The theme of the day is 'Goddesses' (we hope this doesn't sound presumptious... it's just a fun label to steer some creative potential!) Any related concepts can be explored, from softer classic beauty to powerful figures of feminine strength... Mother Earth, Birth of Venus, Egyptian Queens, Pre-raphaelite maidens, fairies, Greek myths, Horoscopes, Hindu deities, and warriors. For more information, just ask!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Swathes of Lavender

Remember this post ('Fertile Lands'), SEVEN months ago? Well it turns out that shortly afterwards, the wonderful Imagesse had sent me a whole other batch of images by email which I did not receive properly! If you are a friend of mine on facebook you will be aware of my recent horror at discovering that my smartphone has been displacing the occasional email at whim and deleting it from my inbox. I happened to come across a folder accessible only on my computer (and invisible on my phone) called 'POP', where hotmail keeps emails that have been deleted on 'a device' and which it wants me to check shouldn't be kept. Clever hotmail. No fewer than 1174 emails over the last few months ago were found there lurking, unopened. Luckily, most of them were ones I had meant to delete from my phone, or else not important, but more than a very generous handful were very important, or sweet, or offering me highly-exciting work, and a few included images I had (seemingly rudely, I imagine) never seen or acknowledged! And there was me wondering why people hadn't got back to me on one or two things!! Urgh. That was a stressful evening. Unfortunately I still need to be able to delete emails on my phone as I often make the most of spare minutes when out and about in order to keep the stream as clear as possible, but at least now I know to check my 'POP' folder (a bit like a 'junk' folder, but for non-junk that your computer doubts you meant to delete) for hidden jewels.

I'm on top of the problem now that I know about my phone's mischievery, but hey - if someone doesn't reply to your email, consider this post encouragement that a gentle nudge is sometimes necessary!! Technology, eh? Who'd have it?!

Without further to do, here are some beautiful (I think) images taken in a lavender field in Gloucestershire during summer last year. I think the colour is so eye catching and I haven't seen (m)any images in this type of location before, so extra points to Perry for finding somewhere special! The flowers were so vibrant and fragrant. Modelling in places like these is so incredibly pleasurable - I'm not sure I would ever have visited a lavender field otherwise - I certainly hadn't seen one before. Mmmm, lavender honey.... And I'm now remembering for the millionth time that I need to buy myself a new calming lavender rollerball fragrance bottle to take when travelling, since they are so relaxing (and mine ran out/leaked everywhere a few trips ago). Why is lavender so calming? I was having a similar thought recently when driving through countryside... Why do humans tend to find blue and green colours so relaxing (as opposed to, say, red or orange)? Why did God choose those colours to paint the majority of the world in? Did he want us to feel relaxed/peaceful/stop killing each other, etc..? Or do we feel relaxed because the natural world is blue-y green and we find nature relaxing? And then I thought I'm thinking an absolute load of nonsense, as really an object's colour is only a secondary (not primary/essential) quality (as said philosopher John Locke), not independently objective... i.e. the colours of a lump of matter depends on the perceiver and context, like weight (where mass is fundamentally part of an object's character) ...but then maybe if we were designed to see something a certain way then the fact that we do is all that matters... Hhmmm. I'm awesome on car journeys... If I were the sort of person to write 'dot com' after words to emphasise my feelings, I would probably write 'I miss studying at university dot com'.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Strength in the Dark

How lovely 'twas to work with eccentric and passionate, Holland-based Brit Eric Kellerman, at his home studio in Nijmegen recently. We'd been in contact since 2009, according to our online message history (back when I was nervous about flying alone.... fast forward to now and I'm happily jetting about all over the world by myself!), and having been a long-time admirer of his beautiful and intriguing work, it was an honour to finally be involved in his vision. Eric has very kindly sent me some images after our shoot - 125 to be exact!! My inbox is happy. Eric is currently working on a number of different projects based on female figure nudes, the current accumulation of which can be seen on his website, gallery by gallery. Many of you will have heard of his infamous 'box' project and we did indeed work on that with some cool results (Eric is publishing a book on it later this year), but first, here are some strong, dark, moody nudes showing muscle and grit! I love these - a far cry from the softness I usually project.

Working with Eric is a liberating time as every strange 'imperfection' of the body is celebrated; although some shots may show bones, slenderness and strong definition in my abs, others show rolls of fat, bulges and creases which appear when the body moves, slumps and folds.... it's all the same body on the same day (and my weight never fluctuates at all anyway) and just shows how variously a body can be portrayed, with the creation of different lighting, and to interesting visual effect.

I think my favourite is the fifth from the bottom... What do you think?

...More soon!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

'Mean Moody and Magnificent Muse in Montmartre at Midnight' (post macaroon)

(Blog title courtesy of photographer...:-))

Hello! I got back from my German/Dutch trip to Dusseldorf, Nijmegen and Amsterdam yesterday. It was a very productive time and I managed to sightsee a lot between appointments too! I enjoyed getting back to my german roots in Dusseldorf, and really really love Amsterdam in particular, where I spent a whole week dodging stag dos and taking roughly nine million snapshots of the unbelievably pretty canals, visiting the Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum, the tulip museum - very sweet; and I was lucky to be detoured by one photographer to see the vast swathes of rainbow tulips growing happily and stripily in a field on the way to a shoot - another photographer drove us via a windmill, so my dutch experience was complete! I also went to the Anne Frank House, which I found almost unbearably moving and heart breaking; I walked around on the verge of tears and in awe of what a wonderful man Otto Frank is/was. The literary talent of Anne Frank is amazing, too, and I wish we could have seen what she could have produced if she'd lasted just a few more weeks until liberation. Other highlights included the 'Katten Kabinet' - a canal house turned into a museum devoted solely to the depiction in art of cats throughout history. To top off that visual pleasure, asleep on the ticket desk as you enter lay a tabby, as though trained specifically for the purpose of easing the hearts of tourists missing their own animal kinds... This wonderful visit prompted my boyfriend to link me to this utterly brilliant video, featuring the hilarious french cat 'Henri' (full of ennui) considering the nature of his existence.... Watch it!

Modelling adventures on this trip included modelling in a box, in a cupboard, modelling with no limbs, modelling with two taxidermied ferrets (who I named Alexander and Margaret) and other such beauteous events, making for some interesting shots ranging from the very simple to the very quirky. I will be showing some images from the 12 days soon. But first...

I was lucky enough to be whisked away to Paris by Jeremy Howitt last month. We've worked together many, many times now and had been thinking about working in Paris for a while. It's really nice to be considered for such a trip - Jeremy has been inspired by  Parisian photography and I just absolutely love the place, and having worked together so often we knew it would work well. It's a real compliment to be chosen for a big project, and a testament to the coolness of an ongoing and successful working relationship. :-)

Jeremy cooked up a plan for french travelogue-style shots, some hotel-room lingerie and these shots below; loosely Brassai/Helmut Newton-inspired. In practise, modelling in such a very busy part of the city was not at all easy, and took a bit of bravery (and the ability to stay wrapped up warm until the very last second, then undress in a nano-second then shoot fast for 3/4 mins between the streams of couples casually strolling up and down the stairs), but we both think these shots are worth the effort! Jeremy did 99% of the styling for the trip, which consisted mostly of very elegant, chic and sophisticated clothing in black and white. Here I'm wearing a 'halterneck skirt', some wonderfully dangerous high heels, and a sheer body underneath, avec gloves. We used the lamplight, a limited pool of glow.

My favourites from this set - a brief part of the trip:

Jeremy's decided he'd like to develop this particular theme (streets at night) with me in a couple of months when we will be re-visiting Paris (and checking out the current Helmut Newton exhibition) in part deux.

...And I'll blog some shots we took during the day times very soon.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Let's Dance!

Hello from Dusseldorf!!! (Sorry, no umlauts on this laptop!)

Just wanted to show some recently-appeared-in-the-inbox movement nudes from my last shoot in Paris last month. This was one of the most tiring shoots I've ever done, simply because there was one rule - do not stop moving. (Actually that's not true - the other rule was 'have fun'!) It was such a work out, and for photogapher Jeremie Nassif too, as he was literally following me around, up, down, left right, swooping around, ducking and lifting and jumping... pretty good exercise, I'll say that! I absolutely love these results; I've always loved movement in images, and these are so cool in my opinion! So without further ado:

 P.S. I sincerely hope everyone has watched the film 'Eagle vs. Shark', which I am reminded of everytime I hear the song 'Let's Dance'. Basically, all the lead actor has to do (whose name I've gone blank on, and don't have time to google at this present moment... Jemaine Clement!!!!) is curl his lip in that 'I'm so cool... I'm so complex' kinda way, and I'm in hysterics. He floats my boat in Flight of the Conchords too. I actually adore him. Off topic... Hope you like the pics above. :-)