Bookworm #2

At the beginning of 2018, I did a review of my year in 2017 and a list of all the books I read that year. I will be doing the same this year, but the review post is going to be a little later on in January. I’m sure that everyone is desperate to read about my antics of 2018, but in the meantime, here’s my bookworm post!


In 2017, I read 57 books. In 2018, I read 52 books. The reason I read a bit less last year compared to the previous year is that a lot of my work was local, meaning I spent less time catching trains… My designated reading time. Which sucks a bit because I love my time spent on trains. Whizzing around the country and getting lost in some amazing books. But anyway… My goal was one book a week, and I achieved my goal. Awesome!


So here they are… The 52 books I consumed in 2018. let me know if you’ve read any of them or if you want book recommendations or anything. I love talking about books as much as I love my job. And you all know how much I love my job!

1. Without You, Anthony Rapp

2. A Christmas Cornucopia, Mark Forsyth

3. Tigers in Red Weather, Liza Klaussmann

4. Welcome to Nightvale, Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

5. A Little Taste of Poison, R. J. Anderson

6. The Looking Glass House, Vanessa Tait

7. The Sister, Louise Jensen

8. The Miniaturist, Jessie Burton

9. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Philip K. Dick

10. The Hidden People, Alison Littlewood

11. Ella and Otto and Russel And James, Emma Hooper

12. Copy Cat, Alex Lake

13. Don’t Wake Up, Liz Lawler

14. Ink, Alice Broadway

15. The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern

16. Sleepyhead, Mark Billingham

17. The Mermaid’s Scream, Kate Ellis

18. Scardy Cat, Mark Billingham

19. Flight, Isabel Ashdown

20. The Winter’s Child, Cassandra Parkin

21. Frog Music, Emma Donoghue

22. Behind Dead Eyes, Howard Linskey

23. The Gift, Louise Jensen

24. Out of the Blue, Sophie Cameron

25. The Girl Before, J.P. Delaney

26. The Secret Life of Cows, Rosamund Young

27. But Then I Came Back,  Estelle Laure

28. Caraval, Stephanie Garber

29. Friend Request, Laura Marshall

30. Talking to the Dead, Harry Bingham

31. Beautiful Liars, Isabel Ashdown

32. Th1rt3en, Steve Cavanagh

33. Clean, Juno Dawson

34. Anything You Do Say, Gillian McAllister

35. The Hazel Wood, Melissa Albert

36. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J. K. Rowling

37. The Defence, Steve Cavanagh

38. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, J. K. Rowling

39. Spark, Alice Broadway

40. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J. K. Rowling

41. Gangsta Rap, Benjamin Zephaniah

42. I Have No Secrets, Penny Joelson

43. Helka’s Children, James Brogden

44. The Plea, Steve Cavanagh

45. The Liar, Steve Cavanagh

46. Paper Towns, John Green

47. An Abundance of Katherines, John Green

48. The Twelve Dates of Christmas, Lisa Dickenson

49. Mistletoe on 34th Street, Lisa Dickenson

50. What Happens at Christmas, Evonne Wareham

51. Christmas at the Log Fire Cabin, Catherine Ferguson

52. The Christmasaurus, Tom Fletcher

I also read a short essay by Mark Forsyth called ‘The Unknown Unknown’. If you love books, I highly suggest finding it and reading it.


Questions and Answers

So every year I say I’m going to write more on here and every year I end up getting too busy to actually do that. Ah well, that’s life. I’m taking a bit of time to write this post because it’s one I’ve been wanting to get down for a while. The purpose of this is to answer some questions I commonly get asked about my work.

Being a freelance fine art model isn’t something that people expect to hear when they ask me what I do. A lot of people don’t even know it’s a job. And I understand that. If someone had told me this is what I’d be doing before I started doing it, I would have laughed at them. But here I am. Doing what I do. I love it. I love my job, I love being able to express myself creatively and get paid for it. Living the dream. I don’t make loads of money doing this… I do it because it’s fulfilling and fun and I genuinely think it makes me a better person. I’m so much more confident than I used to be because of my work. And I think that’s truly wonderful. So I want to share a bit of insight with you here.

I gave people who follow me on social media the chance to ask me stuff, so most of the questions I’m answering here come from my followers. Thank you to everyone who responded and asked me questions. There are a couple of questions I’ve included that are ones I’ve put in, simply because they’re questions I get asked a lot. I hope you enjoy reading my responses!

What made you get into modelling?

Well, as I said, I never thought I’d be a model. I always had people saying to me, “You should be a model!” but I never really thought anything of it. That’s just something people say as a compliment, right? So I was never thinking to myself that modelling was something I wanted to get into.

I went to university and got my BSc in Psychology from The University of Kent and then stayed on to get my MSc in Forensic Psychology. I moved back to Stoke after I graduated and while I was thinking about what I wanted to do with my life, I started working at Evans (a plus sized clothes shop) with my older sister. I actually quite enjoyed my work there. I got to work with the customers to find clothes that made them feel amazing and confident. That’s a really priceless feeling. Anyway, while I was working there, my dad was setting up a photography business and asked me to help out as a second photographer on a shoot he was doing because I could just about stumble my way through working a camera. He had hired a model through a website called PurplePort and after working alongside my dad with the model he had booked, I remember thinking to myself that I bet that would be a really fun job.

So I signed up to PurplePort, thinking I could get into modelling as a bit of a hobby. This was in January 2015. I quickly got asked to do a TF shoot with a local photographer (a TF shoot is one where you don’t get paid but instead are given images from the shoot to use for your portfolio). It was fun. I enjoyed it a lot, despite it being absolutely freezing! After this shoot, I did a few more TF shoots and was pretty soon having people contact me asking to work with me, and asking what my rates were. People wanted to give me money in exchange for my modelling after just a few shoots!

I started getting more and more modelling work and was becoming quite popular as a model. In September 2015, I left my part time job at Evans and went into modelling full time. I don’t regret my decision one bit. I feel like I’m living the dream! This isn’t what I thought I’d end up doing but you only live once, so I figure that I may as well spend my time doing something that I love and am thoroughly passionate about 🙂


An image from my first shoot back in January 2015 on location in Staffordshire.

©Kevin Sheldon

Are you a full time model?

Yes, I am. Modelling is my only job and my only source of income. I often get asked what my ‘day job’ is… And well, this is my day job. The work comes and goes. Sometimes I’ll be shooting every single day for two weeks solid. Sometimes I’ll only have a handful of shoots in a month. That’s just what it’s like being freelance. However, just because I’m not shooting every day doesn’t mean that I’m not working. Admin is a huge part of what I do. A lot of behind the scenes work goes in to me making the most out of modelling as a career, and it’s not all just pulling poses while someone clicks away! Responding to messages, putting out casting calls, reviewing mood boards, researching the best travel options, uploading images, organising images I’ve been sent, writing references for people I’ve worked with, posting on social media, and writing blog posts (like this one). So when I have some ‘down time’ from shooting, I’m actually still working… Just catching up on all the admin I haven’t had time for while I’ve been busy shooting! I think I spend as much time in front of a computer screen as I do in front of a lens 😉

I also spend a lot of time travelling. Catching trains around England… And more recently… planes to Europe. Greece, The Netherlands and Bulgaria are already ticked off the list! It really is a full time job!


A shot from my shoot with the duo known as Sybarite in Zwolle, The Netherlands in March 2018.


Do you have some sort of dance of gymnastic background? You seem to have a wide range of movement and flexibility in your posing but also a grace and subtlety to your work.

I get asked this a lot. Firstly, thank you. I really love hearing that I manage to convey grace in my images because that’s what I’m going for. I often say to people that my aim with my fine art nude work is about femininity, beauty and grace, rather than nudity. To me, the nudity is an almost incidental aspect of this type of work.

But anyway, no I do not have any gymnastics or dance background. I am quite possibly the most clumsy and least co-ordinated and graceful person in the world… Which I find pretty amusing given the type of work I do! I do yoga on a daily basis but I’ve always been really flexible anyway. That’s about the extent of my ability in this area! The way I pose does have a dance-like beauty to it, but those shots are usually taken just a second or two before I fall on the floor 😛


A location shoot in Staffordshire, October 2016. This location involved a huge climb but it was so worth it!

©Stephen Plant

Some of your portfolio involves low-key lighting and environments that accentuate the interplay of light and shadows or silhouettes. These work well with you as the model. Is that a style you enjoy and how much of it is led by yourself as the model or is it an avenue that the photographer wishes to pursue?

I really love low-key work. I prefer dark and moody images in my own photography and I think that is in part because I love those dark and moody images in my modelling work. Playing with light and shadow is a lot of fun. I enjoy shooting this because it’s a bit hit and miss sometimes, and that makes the results even more exciting when you get it right. It also means that the model and photographer have to work more as a team, which makes the whole process a lot more enjoyable. For me, anyway!

With regards to the second part of the question, it’s usually a bit of both. Some photographers will book me if that’s a style they want to shoot, because they know it’s something I’ve done a lot of and am competent at. That goes for photographers who’ve never tried this style before as well as photographers who specialise in that type of image.

If I’m on a shoot and I see the potential for low-key or silhouette work, I will always mention it to the person I’m working with in case it’s something they would like to try. Very few photographers have a solid plan of what they want to shoot and are quite happy to just go with the flow, incorporating my ideas with theirs to create something unique in whatever studio or location we are working in. Not all studios or locations would be suited to this type of work; but when it’s an option, I’ll always point it out if I think it’s something the person I’m working with would be interested in.


An abstract low-key shot from a group shoot in October 2015.

©Steve Betts

Do you think art nude works best in colour or black and white?

Ah, this is one of my favourite debates. There are some photographers out there who will insist that art nude must be black and white. This is because when you have an image in black and white, the light and dark parts of the image are more prominent and this is important in art nude work. However, I do think that omitting colour altogether from art nude photography is a bit too restrictive. Colour images have their place in art nude photography. Especially if there are interesting colours in the frame offering a complimentary colour or stark contrast to the model or other parts of the environment.

Personally, I lean towards a preference of black and white images in general, so would say that the majority of my favourite art nude images of my own work have been presented in black and white. However, sometimes there is an art nude image that just works in colour and by converting it to monochrome would lose some of the magic that I see in a particular image. So basically, my answer is a bit of a non-answer… I think generally black and white works best, but there is no blanket rule.

A monochrome and a colour shot taken at a Mycenaean bridge on my first trip to Greece in November 2017.

©Garden of the Muses

Do you prefer studio or location shoots? Or is it just down to the weather/environment/assignment?

It’s very rare for a shoot to be booked on the agreement that ‘it’s a location shoot but if the weather is bad, we move into a studio’. This is mostly just because you have to book a studio and if you didn’t use it, you’d still have to pay for it! It tends to be that I’m booked for more location work in Spring/Summer/Autumn with some studio work in Spring and Autumn when the weather isn’t as predictable; and pretty much exclusively in studios over Winter (with the odd crazy photographer who still wants to work on location during the colder months!).

There are some ideas that will only work in a certain place, whether that’s studio or location so that will dictate where the shoot needs to take place. In colder months, you don’t have the option of working on location as often. And that’s just how it is.

In terms of my preference: if I had a choice between working on location or in a simple white wall studio with studio lighting, I’d always choose location. It’s more fun and inspiring. A little unpredictable in terms of weather, light, and of course, there’s always the chance that you won’t be able to shoot somewhere because of a loss of access, other people being around etc. But that just makes it a bit more exciting!!

I’m happy working with a few studio lights and a backdrop, don’t get me wrong, and these shoots can be really fun and crazy too. But generally, you’re quite limited in what you can do. They’re great for controlling the environment for bodyscapes, portraits or working with projectors etc. but it would all get a bit boring very quickly for me if I was visiting the same studio all the time. But not all studios are the same. There are an increasing number of natural light studios appearing. They’re usually based in old factories, warehouses or houses and offer something different again. These studios are more interesting to work in because you can always find something different to shoot, without the worry of having to postpone a shoot because of bad weather. These sorts of studios I class as almost like location work and I enjoy working in them very much.

Studio days are pretty fun (this is a day when a model is at a studio all day and photographers book hour-long slots with them) and of course, this can only happen in a studio really, so studios are good for that reason. These events are a good way to meet a lot of new photographers in one day, or work around a theme where photographers would only want about an hour each anyway.

Generally, I’d say I prefer working on location amongst ruins or woodland, with natural light studios as a close second, followed by a more traditional studio environment. But I do love shooting wherever and I enjoy the variety!


A shot from a location shoot in Staffordshire, October 2017.

©Michael Szabo

What’s your routine on the day of a shoot?

I’m not sure I have an actual routine for a day when I’m shooting, especially as each shoot will require different things from me, but here’s the gist of it:

I make sure to contact the photographer a couple of days before a shoot to check everything is still okay for the shoot and to see if they have any last minute ideas that I may need to pack for.

I usually get my bag packed the night before so I don’t have to worry about it in the morning! I will look over past communications with whoever I’m going to be working with to make sure I’ve got items for all the themes we’ve discussed.

If I’ll be working through lunch or travelling for a while, I’ll also make sure I’ve got food ready the night before too. I quite enjoy cooking, and with me being vegan, it’s not always easy to buy food on the go so I always make sure I’m fully prepared!

I’ll often wash and straighten my hair the night before a shoot too, because this can take me about an hour (most people don’t realise that my hair is naturally somewhere between curly and wavy, making it a bit too unpredictable for shooting!). If I’ve had a busy day, I’ll wash my hair at night and straighten it in the morning, but mostly I will just go for it and get the drama over with the night before 😛

On the morning of a shoot, I’ll get up and have my breakfast (the most important meal of the day) and slowly start to get ready. I always give myself plenty of time so I don’t have to rush. My make up is always better when it’s been applied with care, rather than in a rush!

Then I’ll get dressed into clothes that I will have chosen the night before. I make sure to wear clothes that don’t leave many marks on the skin (something you learn pretty quickly as a model) and make sure that it’s both comfy (especially if I’m travelling for a while) and easy to get into/out of (to maximise shooting time if in a studio but also to make things easier if shooting on location!)

And then I’ll make my way to my shoot or wait to be picked up, depending on the shoot. If I’m travelling, it’s usually by train meaning I have a 30 minute walk to the train station. I always make sure I have extra time because I don’t like being late and having to rush. I will have worked out what time I need to leave the night before.

That’s about it I think. If I’m being particularly good, I often wake up a bit earlier to do yoga and meditate before I leave. I find it’s a great way to set yourself up for an amazing day. But lets face it, we aren’t always that on top of things 😉


A yoga themed self-portrait from January 2017. The pose is called crow pose or bakasana and is an arm balance.


A lot of your work is art nude. Do you find it weird at all being naked in front of photographers?

I think that unless you’ve been involved in shooting art nude in some way, wether as a model, photographer, make up artist, designer etc. then the concept of nudity in this environment may seem a bit odd. For me, this is my job so I don’t even register that I’m naked when I’m working. If I was on the streets and suddenly had no clothes on, sure I’d notice and it would be really weird… but when I’m working, it’s just normal!

I specialise in classical fine art nude… So being naked is just what it is. My body is the tool I use to create the art work that I do.

Sometimes, I have to actively try to remember that not everyone sees nudity in their daily life as much as I do, so I have to be mindful of that. I’m always looking at work from my friends who are models or photographers, so I’m seeing the nude female form all the time… and it’s not weird for me. Strangers sitting next to me on the train, however, might find it a bit shocking that I’m casually browsing pictures of beautiful naked ladies as they appear on my social media. But never mind.

Anyway, off track a bit. No, it’s not weird for me. And thinking back, it wasn’t even weird in the beginning either. If I’m there to shoot art nude, I’ll whip my kit off and get to it. Professional, like. I’m not overly body confident… I mean, we all have those things we aren’t 100% fond of with regards to ourselves, but I’m totally at ease when I’m working nude around photographers. They’ve booked me looking the way I am and they’ve already seen me naked before we’ve met so there’s little point in me getting all self-conscious about it! That’s the way I look at it anyway.

I have to laugh sometimes when we’ve stopped for a coffee break on a shoot and halfway through my coffee, I’ve realised I’m still nude. And often, the photographer hasn’t noticed either. That’s how not weird it is!


A behind the scenes shot of me setting up for a self portrait shot, taken on my trip to Bulgaria in October 2018.

©Colin Grist

Is your job ever scary? You go with photographers you’ve never met before by yourself to locations, and sometimes in foreign countries.

My job would seem pretty scary if you don’t know everything that goes into booking a shoot. At least, the way I go about my work, it’s not scary anyway.

I know sometimes friends and family who don’t know the industry get a bit worried about me. In their eyes, I’m swanning off into the middle of nowhere with complete strangers who are probably axe-wielding-maniac-serial-killers… Or jetting off to a different country to meet someone who is likely just running a human traffic operation. And I understand this view. But it’s wrong.

Most of my work comes through a website called PurplePort, which I’ve mentioned earlier. On the website, models and photographers leave references for each other when they’ve worked together. I always look at the references before agreeing to work with someone. I don’t often work with people who have no references for my own safety, and just because someone has references, doesn’t mean that I will work with them. I’ll always look at the quantity and quality of the references before agreeing to work with someone. I’ve learnt to read between the lines a bit with them too. If someone has references that are pretty basic, then I’m always extra cautious to check them out. I also look for things like who has left the references; I look to see if models I recognise have left positive references or if they’ve been to studios I know, things like that. You can tell if someone will be fun to work with on the length of the reference people have written after shooting with them. It’s a good system and I know that PurplePort are careful to remove people who aren’t genuine. It’s also common practice to message others who’ve worked with that person too. If someone has left a negative reference, I’ll find out why by messaging whoever left the negative reference, and then deciding if I still want to work with them.

Even if there are positive references, it doesn’t always mean that someone is 100% safe. I always make sure that someone knows where I am and who I’m meeting. I have also been known to do a bit of internet stalking on people too, just to make sure they are who they claim to be. It always pays to be extra cautious and I’ve found that I have to trust my gut. If I get any odd feelings about working with someone on the basis of their communications or things they’ve said to me or asked me, then I won’t work with them. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

I have worked with people who don’t have any references but always in as safe a way as possible: making sure I’m not going to be anywhere alone with them (I don’t accept lifts from them, for example). I make sure in this situation that it’s a group shoot with people I trust, or that I’ll be working at a studio where the studio owner will be around; or go with another model or a make up artist, or take a chaperone with me. Everyone has to start somewhere and there will have been a point at which everyone had no references!


A shot taken in Den Haag, March 2018 on my tour to the Netherlands. I stayed with the photographer and I’d never met him before. This is a great example of checking someone out beforehand… I really enjoyed spending time with Shihari and will be staying with him again next time I visit Den Haag 🙂


How do you choose who to work with?

I work with photographers of all levels of experience and ability. Part of the thing I love about my job is getting to meet people from different walks of life, and we are just converging over one thing we have in common: our desire to create art. I think that’s a pretty special thing.

I don’t particularly choose people to work with. Nine times out of ten, they’ve chosen me. As long as someone isn’t dodgy (see my answer to the question above!) then I’ll work with them. I don’t care if someone is a professional, has been doing photography for their entire life… or if they just picked up their camera the day before.


A location shoot in Staffordshire, taken in June 2018. Yes, those balloons are tied to my nipples.

©Danny B

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve been asked to do for a photograph?

I love this question. And I get asked it a lot. I’ve been asked to do many strange things in my job… and it’s all part of the fun! I don’t know if I can answer the weirdest thing, but I can give some pretty fun examples:

  • More than once I’ve been asked to get into a cage, but the best one was when I was in a bird cage and there was just enough space for me to curl up into a ball. The cage had to be lowered onto me. It was only good for a few shots though, as I couldn’t really give much variation of the pose as I wasn’t able to move!
  • I was once asked to wear a cat mask and was given a fake rat to play with. Me being me, I immediately got into character and had the poor little fake rat (called Scabbers!) dangling out of my mouth my his tail!
  • I was at a studio once where there was a coffin in the corner. Of course I got into it and we got some shots of me coming out of the coffin as if I were a zombie!!
  • On a Christmas themed shoot, I was given a ‘Santa please stop here sign’ and told to do something creative with it. So I sat on the floor with my legs apart and put the sign between my legs. I found that pretty funny 😛
  • Recently, I was on a trip to Bulgaria with another model, four photographers and the guy who ran the trip. We all stayed in a villa in the second part of the week and once we’d chosen our bedrooms, me and Stacie Mai (the other model) realised there was another room off the one we had chosen. It was this weird Playboy themed room, with mirrors over the bed (I wish I was joking!) and playboy cushions etc. One of the photographers there likes to take Polaroid pictures and so we got a set of super tacky polaroids in this room with me and Stacie. They were so much fun to shoot but really tacky! It was amazing.

I’m aways up for shooting weird stuff so these are just a few examples of the whacky things I’ve been asked to do. There’s likely a hell of a lot more anecdotes I could give, but I could probably write a book on them, so I’ll leave it at that… For now!

Two of the aforementioned Polaroids from Bulgaria 2018. Modelling by me and Stacie Mai. I love this set so much. It couldn’t get more tacky if we tried 😛

©Andy Harding

And that’s all for this post! Thanks again to the people who asked me questions. I really appreciate people taking the time to think about what they would like to know. If this post has sparked any further questions from anyone, let me know and once I get enough, I’ll do a round two! I really enjoy taking about my work, and having the opportunity to answer questions people might have is really cool. Thanks for reading this! 🙂

If you like my work and want to support me, feel free to buy me a coffee by clicking here for PayPal or here for Ko-Fi. I’m also on OnlyFans, so click here if you would like to sign up to see images before anywhere else, exclusive content, and selfies!

Greece: Abstract [Post #7]

In case you didn’t read Greece: Classical [Post #6], I’ll reiterate what I’d said at the start of that post:

I’ve just realised that I had intended to post #6 and #7 in this Greece series a while ago… Like, months ago… And… Well… I forgot. Oops? I have since been back to Greece to work with Rick again (earlier this year, in April). But I figured, since I’d already written this post (and the previous one!) before I went to Greece for the second time, that I might as well post them! So… Sorry it’s a bit late, but here it is, Greece: Abstract [Post #7].

So this post and the previous one consist entirely of pictures of olive trees. Okay, not just olive trees. Photographs of olive trees, with me on and/or near to them trying my best to reflect their beauty and shapes with my body.

Most of the work I did in Greece revolved around the olive trees. It was part of an ongoing project that Rick has been working on. So there are a lot of these type of pictures. I’ve split them into two types, so I don’t overcrowd one post.

In the first post of these two, Greece: Classical [Post #6], I showed you the images with a more classical posing style.

This post, Greece: Abstract [Post #7], is where I will be showing you more abstract posing, but still with the olive trees.

Are you still with me? Good. Is this introduction sounding a bit familiar??

Okay, so I’ll admit I was a bit tempted to copy and paste most of the previous post in this one, just to be weird… but I figured that would probably be a little bit boring for anyone who’s following this series of posts. And it wouldn’t be funny after about 500 words. It would just be annoying. So I’ll just assume you’ve read the previous post and continue on.

The last post was a more classical take on fine art nude photography. This one is not. I said before that most of what I do is the more classical style of things and I said how much I love it. Because I really do.

But there is one thing I like more than classical fine art nude modelling. And that is the style I will be showing you here. The more abstract style of fine art nude. It is my absolute favourite.

So when Rick described his idea for these shots to me, all to do with becoming one with the tree, as though I was the spirit of the olive tree itself…

I first thought to myself, ‘yey’. And then I thought about how this really is the sort of thing I love doing most. It is the absolute best. And I get to do it in Greece!

It was fun to be able to be a bit weird with the beautiful old olive trees. All in the name of art. I love my job, I’m so lucky to get to do this.

The posing in a few of these images is similar, but I couldn’t choose which one I liked best, because of the way the trees or the photography vary in each one. They all have a reason for being included here.



©Garden of the Muses

I love how this tree gave me a little ledge to get off the ground. There is an emotion of sadness about this shot, and the sunlight isn’t as harsh or strong as it is in some of the other shots. I think it really gives this image a bit of something else, it’s a bit softer. I think also, because Rick captured some other olive trees in the frame, but also there was a lot of bare ground in this location too, it feels a bit more secluded (less crowded by other trees) than some of the shots we got.



©Garden of the Muses

This is one of my favourite shots from my entire time in Greece and one of my favourite shots ever. It is very much about becoming one with the tree, but still with that softness I mentioned about the previous image. I love it!

[What you don’t get a sense of from this shot, is that in between shots, I kept nearly falling off from my little perch. I’m genuinely not as graceful and ladylike as I look like I am in the finished product… But hey, falling over and stumbling around is the fun part. Capturing amazing art in the process is the part that makes the scrapes, bruises and slight embarrassment at my clumsy nature all worthwhile!]



©Garden of the Muses

This would be quite an awkward pose if it were meant as a straightforward, classical fine art nude shot. But for something a bit more abstract, it really works for me. I feel like I succeeded in making shapes with my body, while staying true to the lines of the tree (you’re probably there thinking, ‘you’ve lost me’), but the reaching up really captures that idea of being one with the tree.



©Garden of the Muses

I don’t know what it is about this shot, I just love the asymmetry of the pose and the stark contrast in the editing style. It’s definitely an odd shot, but that’s a good thing. I feel like there is a story waiting to be told about this image. Maybe one day, I’ll write it.



©Garden of the Muses

The thing I love most about this image is the weird angle it’s been taken from. I don’t know why but it just makes the whole image for me. I see this as almost like mother nature crying out for humans to stop destroying the planet. Or maybe that’s just the vegan in me…



©Garden of the Muses

This image is pretty much the same pose as the image above it.. But because both images have different olive trees in them and have been taken from different angles, have different levels of light on them and been edited differently, you get a completely different image. I like them both.



©Garden of the Muses

The height of this tree is what makes this shot work for me. It looks so tall, strong and open; which contrasts the small, closed off nude figure at its roots. Magic 🙂



©Garden of the Muses

This shot is really different to the other images in this post. I think that’s why I really like it. It’s very anonymous and definitely keeps in with the theme of becoming one with nature. I can almost see myself merging with the trunk. it’s definitely one where you have to look at it again to figure out what’s going on in the shot. I like photographs that make you do that.

Number 2 and Number 7 are my favourites from this post. I really enjoy making shapes with my body. Weird ones. Curling up into a ball, arms and legs at opposite angles. It’s fun to shoot too. I hope the pictures were worth it! Let me know which one is your favourite!

And that’s it for my posts on my November 2017 trip to Greece! I hope you’ve been enjoying reading these posts as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them. I apologise for being a bit weird sometimes. Actually, I take back my apology. I’m unapologetically weird. It makes life more fun.

Stay tuned for the next adventure! ❤

And I’m also sorry that I forgot to post the last two posts in this series until just now 😀

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Thank you 🙂


Greece: Classical [Post #6]

I’ve just realised that I had intended to post #6 and #7 in this Greece series a while ago… Like, months ago… And… Well… I forgot. Oops? I have since been back to Greece to work with Rick again (earlier this year, in April). But I figured, since I’d already written this post (and the next one!) before I went to Greece for the second time, that I might as well post them! So… Sorry it’s a bit late, but here it is, Greece: Classical [Post #6].

So this post and the next one are going to consist entirely of pictures of olive trees. Okay, not just olive trees. Photographs of olive trees, with me on and/or near to them trying my best to reflect their beauty and shapes with my body.

Most of the work I did in Greece revolved around the olive trees. It was part of an ongoing project that Rick has been working on. So there are a lot of these type of pictures. I’ve split them into two types, so I don’t overcrowd one post.

In this first post of these two, Greece: Classical [Post #6], I will be showing you the images with a more classical posing style.

The next post, Greece: Abstract [Post #7], will be where I will show you more abstract posing, but still with the olive trees.

Are you still with me? Good.

When people ask me what I do, obviously I say ‘I’m a model’. After clearing up the initial confusion with most people where they assume I must be really famous and in magazines and fashion shows all around the world (oh if only), I let them know that, actually, I’m a freelance model and that I work mostly with photographers to create artwork.

If they’re comfortable enough understanding that this can be an actual career (“No, I don’t have a ‘day job’, modelling is my ‘day job’…”) then they usually ask me what kind of stuff I do. This is the point where they struggle to shut me up as I love talking about what I do, because I love what I do.

I’m predominantly a classical fine art nude model. At least, that’s what I consider myself to be, therefore, that is what I am. Right? Anyway, by that, I mean that most of the work I do is about femininity, beauty and grace. I really love this kind of work and, apparently, I’m pretty good at it… Which is why I end up doing so much of it. Life is good.

This style of work is what I’m going to be focusing on in this post. So if it’s not your thing and you like something a bit more weird, hold on until the next post. You’ll like it.

If a more classical style of work is your thing, then here you go!



©Garden of the Muses

This olive tree was absolutely beautiful and had so much character that it was almost like modelling alongside another human. There was a gap in the tree, where my body is positioned in this shot, that was just the right size for me to be in. It was a very wide tree, meaning that I could model in front of it (or inside it, as is the case here), without obscuring its beauty,

[I was unsure wether to put this image in the classical post or the abstract post. Because to me, it seems a bit of both all at the same time. Ultimately, it arbitrarily ended up in this one so the number of images were a bit more balanced across the two posts].



©Garden of the Muses

I love the way this tree leant over, so I mimicked that lean with my upper body. I like how my feet and legs are distinct from the tree in this shot (that part wasn’t actually intentional, but I think it really worked!). They almost serve as extra tree roots in my imagination. I also love this shot for the anonymity. It really works here.



©Garden of the Muses

A very classical style of pose. This olive tree was a lot taller than most of the trees I had the pleasure of working with, so it allowed me to stretch up and use my height as part of the posing style (a lot of olive trees are shorter).



©Garden of the Muses

You can see just how much shorter this tree is in comparison to the image above. Here, I was still able to use my height to pose, but in a different way. By adding a bend at the hips, it worked to create an interesting angle in the image. My body almost makes an ‘x’ shape here, which is quite interesting in the shot. I like the depth of this shot, where Rick captured other olive trees as part of the whole picture.



©Garden of the Muses

Another taller olive tree. This shot I find interesting (here we go being weird again, sorry) because it is almost like the left hand reaching up is causing the growth of the tree, and the right hand reaching down is causing the grounding/rooting of the tree. This shot is very magical to me. I really feel as though it looks like there is effort or movement in the shot. I wish I really could help trees to grow. I wish I was like a fairy or a nymph or a pixie or something, and not just a human that sometimes looks like one!!



©Garden of the Muses

I’m hanging off this tree. This tree was another with lots of character and depth to it. It wasn’t particularly short but its trunk was very wide and textured. It had lots of branches for me to use to hold on to (and, as I did here, hang off) to get some lovely poses.



©Garden of the Muses

This olive tree was tiny, probably a lot younger than some of the other ones in this post so far. But still very beautiful. It had an angle that was perfect for me to lean into to get this very classical looking shot. It was the perfect height for me!



©Garden of the Muses

This is the same tree as in the image above, but a completely different pose. This time, the tree worked as a seat for me. Thank you little olive tree.



©Garden of the Muses

I’m not sure if this was one tree that had split apart, or two that had grown close to each other. I think it’s the former. Anyway, it served as a perfect place for me to model as there was a lovely natural ‘v’ shape between the two trunks (or two parts of the trunk). I was able to mimic the ‘v’ with my arms and create shape with my legs. Another really lovely shot.

So what do you think? Let me know which one is your favourite! For me, it’s either Number 7 or Number 9. I’m not sure which…

Also let me know if you have an opinion on any of the things I’ve said about any of the shots. Or if you have anything to add 🙂

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Thank you 🙂


Greece: Ruins [Post #5]

This post is a rather quick one, about the images from when me and Rick went to shoot at a Mycenaean bridge. I’ve mentioned this bridge in previous posts. You will probably recall an image of this place in the first post Greece: Vintage [Post #1] and then a picture of me, being a tourist in front of this bridge in the post Greece: Tourist [Post #4]. We went back to this bridge at the beginning of one of the days we were shooting.

In these images, the bridge is still there, so I guess they aren’t really ruins, like the title of this post would have you believe. But I do think that Greece: Ruins sounds a lot more exciting than Greece: Bridge. I’m sure you agree, so my apologies if the title of this post misled you a little! I just like the titles to sound catchy. Especially since I’ve limited myself to one word. That’s my justification anyway. I’m an artist, I can get away with it.

We only had time to get a few quick pictures because it is a popular spot, and fairly near to a main road. But we got the images down to some pretty good  and speedy team work and I really love them. It’s amazing what you can achieve in just a few minutes!

These images are really lovely and if I were lucky enough to be somewhere like Greece working again, I’d love to do more work with beautiful places like this, left behind by the Mycenaeans (maybe a fine art shoot in a location similar to the one in Greece: Fashion [Post #2]) . And do something with Ancient Greek ruins too. That would be really cool and would suit my style of modelling I think. Seeing these images has given me more ideas of the potential a country like Greece has for this sort of work. It really is an amazing country… I’m getting off topic here. Dreaming about possible future shoots when I set out to discuss a past shoot. I’m easily distracted.

Anyway, I’m sure you just want to see the images now, so I’ll get on with it. The way I’ve set this post up is pretty exciting, even though there aren’t many images to show you. I received both colour and black and white versions of these images from Rick. I’m going to post both versions of each image so you can decide which you like best. For me, I think it’s always going to be black and white. There’s something about it.



©Garden of the Muses



©Garden of the Muses



©Garden of the Muses



©Garden of the Muses



©Garden of the Muses

So what’s the consensus? I’ll be honest, I particularly like black and white images anyway. It’s very rare that given the choice, I would choose colour. Black and white photography just really works for the sort of modelling that I do, so I usually prefer it.

With these images, the first three poses are more classical in their style, so I think these work best in black and white. The last two are posed a lot more naturally, so I think I’d veer towards colour on those two.

That’s just my opinion, though. I’d love to hear what you think works best and which one is your favourite. My favourite is the second one, in black and white.

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Greece: Tourist [Post #4]

Get ready for another pointless post, jam-packed with selfies! I’m not even kidding. This one’s about my trip in general. I thought some people might be interested, so here we are. It’s quite a long one, so if you’re staying, you might want to grab a cup of tea or something and settle in.

Travelling to meet people I’ve only ever conversed with online is part of my job. It’s normal for me. Photographers message me online, we discuss a shoot, then get in in the diary. It’s all done online and it’s rare that I even speak to a photographer on the phone before I work with them. Then I travel, usually by train, on the appointed date, at the appointed time…. To meet someone I’ve never met before. It’s not weird for me. It’s just my job. And I really seem to have perfected the art of finding a person on a busy train station platform when I have absolutely no idea what they look like. It’s a skill developed through the weirdness of my job. But that’s irrelevant… Moving on…

Travelling out of the country to meet someone I’d not met before, was kinda weird. I have to admit, I felt like a bit of a badass for doing it. I’d talked to Rick a lot online before I flew out there and of course, I’d checked he wasn’t a crazy axe murderer or serial killer. He seemed legit from his online profile, and appeared to be exactly who he said he was. But it still took a certain level of bravery to say yes and just go. I don’t think many people would have. But I did.

This is me at Manchester airport, and then me sitting on the plane… My first time flying alone (and I’ve never really flown a whole lot in my life anyway!!)

The ‘Welcome to Greece’ sign as I got off the plane, and then a picture of me when I finally arrived at what would be my home for the next week!

My first day in Greece did not involve any modelling. The weather was a bit cloudy (Rick prefers bright sunlight for his work) and because of the travelling, Rick thought it would be a good idea to just explore and relax a bit. Which is what we did.

I learnt so much about Greek history and culture that first day, I can’t even begin to say how grateful I am. I love learning, so having someone who has a degree in archaeology talk to me about ancient civilisations as we walked around those sites was simply amazing.

We did a lot of sightseeing that day. We visited the Mycenaean bridge on the way to Epidavros, a Mycenaean necropolis in Dendra and walked up to a Mycenaean citadel in Midea (the views from there are amazing… I made sure to take lots of pictures). Then in the afternoon, we went to an old disused train station where we came across some old, rusted trains. We spent a little while there while both me and Rick, captivated by the strangeness of the huge machines forgotten amongst all of the greenery, took lots of photographs. I will be posting more of my own photography from my trip to Greece at some point. It was an incredible day, my mind full of lots of new facts and information. It was great!

We also went to Nafplio on my first day in Greece, so that I could go to the market and get food. Being vegan, I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to find much to eat in Greece. But I needn’t have worried. The market in Nafplio was such an amazing place. You could get an array of different fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, dried beans, herbs, spices, olives…. And everything was so cheap compared to markets in England. It was vegan heaven, like a rainbow of yummy food, stretching out as far as you could see… Needless to say, I didn’t go hungry while I was in Greece!


Me as a tourist, standing in front of a 3,500 year old bridge built by the Mycenaeans. It was amazing to walk here, imagining the people who built it such a long time ago… We came back to this bridge a few days later for me to model there. You might recognise it from one of the images in the post Greece: Vintage [Post #1].

A selfie with the views from the top of the Mycenaean citadel in the background and then a selfie of me at the disused train station (notice the Jaret Reddick hoodie for anyone who’s reading this and understands what this means… ❤ )


A Mycenaean tomb at Dendra


The steps up to the Mycenaean citadel at Midea and the view from the top, just after you go through what is left of the gate. The view was spectacular!


One of the abandoned trains we saw at the disused railway, a picture of me doing something weird with my feet, and then a picture of the back of one of the trains, showing the graffiti there.

The next day was my first day of modelling where Rick drove me to Methana. I talked a little about my time there in my post Greece: Fashion [Post #2]. I got to see more Mycenaean ruins (and model with them as my background) as me and Rick started to create the art that was the whole reason I was there!

Later, we visited a Mycenaean citadel, with a Hellenistic addition to it… And then drove up a volcano! It was amazing. And there were goats. It is important to mention the goats. They were really really cute.

Two selfies of me on this lovely warm day in Greece, rocking the new sunglasses because my old faithful ones died, just before I was supposed to fly out to Greece. These ones are okay… But I miss my old sunnies!!!


The remains of what I think Rick told me was a Mycenaean village (he will email me after reading this to let me know if I’ve remembered wrong!) I love that you can still see where the walls of the houses would have been so you could see how big the rooms were. I also saw things like evidence of where columns would have gone, and spaces for cooking or storage pots too. I was turning into a little archaeologist! It was amazing.

A view of the sun light hitting one of the hills on Methana as the sun set and then a photograph of the sun setting as viewed from a volcano! I believe that the land you can see the sun setting behind is actually pretty close to where I was staying in Epidavros. Conversely, you can see Methana from the apartment I was staying in.

The next morning, I took a little walk down to the beach that is just a few minutes away from Rick’s apartment. I made friends with a beautiful ginger cat there. Except for me and Ginger, there was nobody else around. It was so quiet and peaceful, it was almost like my own private beach! Plus, the views were amazing. Luckily, I bought my camera and had a quick photo shoot with my new furry friend before heading back the apartment.

That day, me and Rick visited several olive groves to get some shots (you will see these shots in future posts, I promise!) and one of them had an old Mycenaean road running through it!

Then that evening, we ventured into Epidavros, the village where I was staying. On the way, Rick showed me several really interesting historical sites. Honestly, everywhere you look in Greece, there is something beautiful to see, or some old history to rediscover. It is a magical country.

A selfie of me on the beach in the morning and a selfie of me walking to the olive grove with the Mycenaean road running through it!


Another amazing sunset-in-Greece picture. This times by ruins instead of a volcano. Then a picture of my Greek coffee 🙂

The following day it was raining. Just my luck, I know. So we decided that we weren’t going to shoot that day… Instead, after a fairly lazy morning spent reading while Rick got some things sorted out (which was good after all the walking and exploring!), Rick took me to the museum in Nafplio. It was incredible seeing all of the things that had been found by archeologists in the exact places that I’d spent the last few days visiting and exploring. That was a really, really cool experience!

We then spent the afternoon exploring Nafplio after we had been to the museum. Rick had lots of things to show me. I was very lucky to have had such a knowledgable tour guide! There were lots of lovely views from the higher points of the city, and the buildings were all so beautiful. I took many photographs on my own camera, it would have been rude not to, being in such a beautiful place.

Oh, and the cats. The cute, adorable, cats and kittens were everywhere in the city. I wanted to take them all home, but obviously, couldn’t… So I settled for taking lots and lots of photographs of them instead!

I bought some komboloi (Greek worry beads) while I was here too, as well as getting small gifts for my family. It was a lovely day of being a tourist and enjoying the country I was in.

A beautiful dog, napping outside the museum and then a view of the sea from a pretty little outlook. You can’t even tell it had been raining earlier that day at all! It was quite amusing to see the Greek people all bundled up  because the temperature had dropped a few degrees. I was perfectly warm enough in my hoodie, while they were in heavy coats, hats and scarves… It would have been considered a lovely warm day in England!

On the Sunday, we went to the Sanctuary of Asklepios in Epidavros. This is probably my favourite place in the world. It was sunny and warm, and hardly anyone around… Rick showed me all the exciting things to see at this archaeological site. He took me around the site a different way to the way most people go. I preferred his way.

I could see the ruins becoming more and more well formed as Rick told me about the Ancient Greeks and the Romans and the myths and legends surrounding the area and the Gods and Goddesses associated with it. I was enthralled. It really was like a dream… But real. I was really there, walking where so many people have been walking for so long. It was magical.

We ended up in the Ancient Greek theatre. It was mind blowing. I studied classical civilisations in my GCSE and I’d always wanted to visit an ancient Greek theatre (one of those things that captures a young mind, I guess). And now I can say I’ve really seen one. Not only seen, but stood where the actors will have stood. Walked across where the orchestra will have been… And sat where countless people throughout history and from all over the world have sat. If that isn’t amazing, then I don’t know what is.

We sat there for a while, enjoying the sun, making friends with a cat, and watching the tourists stand in the centre of the theatre and shout up to ask if we could hear them (you really can, by the way). I also took the opportunity to get some touristy shots as well as doing some of my own photography… Because how could I visit somewhere so utterly amazing and not get those tourist photos??

Selfies in the Sancturary of Asklepois in Epidavros. The first one was just in courtyard. I included it here because my the-sun-is-in-my-eyes-I-can’t-help-but-squint face made me giggle. In the second shot, you can see some of what’s left of the sanctuary built by the ancient Greeks.


Here, Rick got a shot of my photographing the ruins of the sanctuary. I have no idea how I can stand like that without falling over, but clearly, it’s helping me to hold my camera steady. Weird.

A selfie as I walked around the grounds of the sanctuary and a selfie with my new friend at the theatre!

A selfie taken from the theatre. You can see how huge it is, you can totally see why it blew me away! And then a shot of my feet (why, oh why do I keep doing this?) on the steps of the theatre.

Two more shots taken by Rick of me with the theatre in the background. You can see how absolutely breathtaking it is!

Okay two more pictures of the theatre, then I promise I’m done with them! One where you can see my feline friend in shot too, and one where you can see the height of the theatre behind me. It’s an amazing place. I really love it there.

My last full day in Greece, wasn’t good weather, unfortunately so I didn’t get to model outdoors any more after my time spend modelling in the olive groves after visiting the Sanctuary of Asklepios on the previous day. On my final day, we wandered into Epidavros again and then took some shots in the apartment using the natural light coming in from the window. They were really really lovely shots, so I didn’t mind not having chance to model outside again!

It was an early start to get to the airport as it’s a long drive and my plane was pretty early in the morning… So I reluctantly left the amazing country that is Greece to come back to Manchester, where my dad was waiting at the airport to drive me home back to Stoke-on-Trent. Modelling in Greece was an amazing experience, and Rick has even invited me back again! I enjoyed every moment of my time in Greece, and I learnt so much! It was lovely, and I will always be grateful for the opportunity to have experienced the things I did in my week there.

A photograph of me at Athens airport, and then me in my seat on the plane ready to go home!


A photograph of the window of the plane just as I landed back in England. It seems that whenever I go away to somewhere warm, it’s always raining when I come home as if it’s saying, ‘welcome back, Misuzu… I bet you’ve missed the rain!’

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my time in Greece. I really did have a wonderful experience, I learnt so much and saw some truly amazing things. I can’t wait to visit Greece again!

If you like my work and want to support me, feel free to buy me a coffee by clicking here for PayPal or here for Ko-Fi. I’m also on OnlyFans, so click here if you would like to sign up to see images before anywhere else, exclusive content, and selfies!

Thank you 🙂


Greece: Rock [Post #3]

So, in my last post, I mentioned about finding the big rock and just having to climb up it. Most photographers who’ve worked with me before are not surprised in the slightest (they’re sat there thinking, yep, that sounds about right). I feel like I should mention here that I’m really quite clumsy (and anyone who’s spent any length of time with me is recalling at least one occasion where I’ve completely stacked it for no reason at all, while being completely sober). So I guess for some people, me climbing rocks isn’t such a good thing. They worry! But for me, it is a good thing. I like to climb. I love my job because I can climb trees, big rocks, whatever, and it’s not considered ‘weird’, it’s considered ‘getting the shot’. It’s great!

Anyway, so there we were, me and Rick, it was a lovely day in an olive grove, taking photographs… And suddenly there is a huge boulder sticking out of the ground. Two seconds later, I’m up there and voila. We have these lovely images. It’s fun being me.

The first shot in this post will seem familiar to anyone who’s been reading these posts so far. That’s because you’ve seen it before. It’s the exact same image in Greece: Fashion [Post #2]. The rest are new though, I promise.

After the shot you’ve already seen, there is a fairly classic art nude shot, followed by two more implied shots. I really like these because of the heavy shadows cast by the leaves of the surrounding olive trees and the strong sunlight. They cast a pattern on my body that almost looks like an outfit, like I belong in nature (probably because I do, I always feel at home when I’m working surrounded by nature). I think that strong shadows can really forge a connection between model and surroundings. This interaction plays an important part of why I love these images so much, and why I gave this rock its very own blog post, despite there only being five images in total!

[Here, I am talking about photographs 2, 3 & 4]

Finally, the last image is one of my favourites from the whole trip. It is a black and white edit of me curled up on the rock. When you look at it for the first time, it takes a moment for you to notice there is a model in the shot too. I like shots like that. Images that make you look more closely, or double-take to see things you didn’t pick up on before. I think that this is because the image is in black and white, so the contrast of my tanned skin colour against the paler colour of the rock isn’t as noticeable… It’s almost like my body becomes an extension of the rock. Integrated into nature.

Am I getting too weird? Okay, I’ll just let you look at the pictures…



©Garden of the Muses



©Garden of the Muses



©Garden of the Muses



©Garden of the Muses



©Garden of the Muses

I hope you liked these images. It’s just a  quick post to appreciate how awesome it is when you unexpectedly find a big rock! (I’m such a loser, I know!)

If you like my work and want to support me, feel free to buy me a coffee by clicking herefor PayPal or here for Ko-Fi. I’m also on OnlyFans, so click here if you would like to sign up to see images before anywhere else, exclusive content, and selfies!

Thank you 🙂