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.


1.

1

©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.


2.

2

©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!]


3.

3

©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.


4.

4

©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.


5.

5

©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…


6.

6

©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.


7.

7

©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 🙂


8.

8

©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 😀


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: 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!


1.

1

©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].


2.

2

©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.


3.

3

©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).


4.

4

©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.


5.

5

©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!!


6.

6

©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.


7.

7

©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!


8.

8

©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.


9.

9

©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 🙂


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 🙂


 

Valentine’s Day 2017

Valentines Day. What a load of shit. Chocolates, flowers, cards, teddy bears. Waste of time. Waste of money.

Just kidding.

… Okay, mostly kidding.


I’ve never really been a huge fan of V-Day, and that’s not coming from someone who is single and bitter at the world. I’m not. I just find it all a bit forced. I mean, as a couple, you have your anniversary to celebrate. If you’re married, theres the day you met, your fist date, your engagement day and your wedding day. So why all this V-Day nonsense on top of all that?

I don’t care how in love you are or how well you know someone, your ideas of what to get your other half have got to be maxed out when you add Valentines Day into the mix as well.

Everyone is showing off what they received as if that in some way validates their relationship, rather than simply being with the person who bought them all the useless junk in the first place. Especially now with social media and everyone fighting for the approval of their peers or strangers they’ve never met through likes and comments.

Madness.

Huge cards, bouquets of flowers so big that they make you sneeze if you even think about it, so much chocolate you’re at risk of being diagnosed with type II diabetes in your early twenties. And all this not long after Christmas. It all gets a bit out of hand if you ask me.

That is, until like me, you start to think bout Valentines Day as a way of celebrating the concept of love, rather than this bizarre, ego boosting shit fest. You don’t have to be in a relationship to experience or celebrate love. You have parents, children, siblings, friends, co-workers, pets… You have love for many people in your life. Even single people can celebrate V-Day.

For the last three years, my Valentine has without a doubt been Yorick. My bunny. I love him more than anything else (sorry Matthew).

I also always make sure that I take time to wish a ‘Happy Valentines Day’ to a few of my close friends. I want to make sure they know that they’re special to me.

They’re important.

I love them.

So it makes sense for me to let them know they’re on my mind on a day where we are all gathering around to celebrate love.

And then there is the thing we all shy away from. Self love. You can’t fully love others unless you fully love, accept and care for yourself. That’s the hardest love to give.

So I made sure to show love to myself on Valentines Day too. I did a lovely self-love yoga practice and meditation to let myself know that I’m important. I’m there for myself. That probably sounds a little silly to everyone who isn’t into that kind of lifestyle, but I wanted to mention it, because it’s important. I think so, anyway.


Valentines Day… It doesn’t have to be about couples and all that lovey-dovey nonsense. It can be about your friends. About yourself. And of course, our pets. Because honestly, animals are the best people we know. Unconditional love.


On that note (and there are some images coming, I promise), I wanted to share my favourite quote about love. In the spirit of things, you know?

Chick flick alert: Love, Actually.

One of my favourite movies ever. It’s about love. Not everyone ends up with a ‘happy ever after’ in the film. But everyone’s okay. Everyone’s alive. Everyone has love in one form or another.

That’s life.

It’s not always picture perfect.

But it’s ours.

That’s what Valentine’s Day means to me, anyway.


So here’s the quote:

(Hugh Grant, by the way! *swoon*)

Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.


So here are some of the pictures I ended up with from a little session in my home studio set up on V-Day. Doing something that I love. Modelling. And photography. Okay, two things that I love.

I bought a couple of little props and just went for it.

I won’t say anything about each image like I usually do.

I’ll just let you have a look through, see what you think.

Some shots appear twice as they’ve been edited a little differently. I think they look cool side by side.


Love

valentine-1wm

valentine-3wm

valentine-11wm


Classical

valentine-14wm


Chocolate and Wine

valentine-29wm


Heart

valentine-35bwwm

 


I hope you enjoyed looking through those. I had fun shooting and editing them!

Just because you can’t take life too seriously, I’m gonna end this post with a few outtakes. Me, stuffing my face with chocolate. Classy.

Peace and love. Namaste.


 

“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation” – Oscar Wilde

This is me writing the blog post that I don’t have to write. I got other people to write it for me. I was going to write something, but then I thought, why write something myself when I can get other people to write it for me? Okay, so I’m kidding, obviously (everyone knows I love to witter on about nothing in particular!)

But I did think it would be cool to ask people I’ve worked with to choose their favourite image of me.

So I did.

I contacted some of my favourite togs and requested that they pick their favourite image of me.

One they’ve taken.

A few of them got back to me with an image and a little something to say.

*I’ve decided to order these images in order in which I met each photographer (not necessarily, the order in which the photograph were taken as a few people I’ve worked with on many occasions!)*

So here we go, I’m taking a back seat on this one.


Paul Smith (Cellar Door Images)

https://www.facebook.com/cellardoorimagesuk/

https://www.instagram.com/thecellardooruk/

Misuzu

The image I’ve chosen of Misuzu comes from our very first shoot in March 2015. She’d very graciously stepped in at the last minute to fill a cancellation I’d had and I wasn’t really sure how well the session would turn out. I needn’t have been worried as she completely blew me away with her posing skills and her ability to emote on demand. I wanted a Peter Lindbergh feeling to this set and Misuzu was able to provide that slightly vulnerable and yet completely connected to the camera look that such a shot demands. I love the natural light, the shabby backdrop, the £3 charity shop outfit and the texture in the floor and chair. Exactly my sort of image and Misuzu is a vital component in it.

I love this image too. Clearly a favourite since it is the main picture on my website. One of my very first paid shoots… Just as I was figuring out that modelling could really be my job! I have several favourites with Paul, but I think this one will always be up there.

Here is a link to a fantastic set we did that was published on the NIF Magazine website: http://nifmagazine.com/warehouse-times-paul-smith/


Phil Lonergan

2.jpg

My favourite image created with Misuzu is the light sabre triptych. The concept of this image had been in my head for months and I had really struggled to find the right model to do it justice. This was the first time I had worked with Misuzu and she made it so easy to get the images I wanted. The shot was captured using a light sabre in a totally darkened room, a 15 second exposure with an off camera flash on the final pose. I did some final editing using Photoshop and Lightroom. We didn’t just take a picture we created a fantastic image.

This was a fun shoot. Lots of playing around, experimenting and giggling. One of my favourite shots from this shoot was a more classic art nude shot, but with the light sabre in there as a prop!


Stephen Plant

1

This photo is from my first shoot of many with Misuzu. Not only taken in Spring bust also you might say in the ‘spring’ of our seasons working together. Misuzu’s natural beauty, grace, elegance and poise even though she was fairly new to modelling impressed me so much, not to mention her character and personality- and many shoots later still does. We have co-created so many memorable and beautiful images together bur this one always appears in my mind first.

Whenever me and Steve shoot together, it always a fun shoot. Not only because we get on so well, but because I learn so much about nature each time (fungi, insects etc) and get a nice day out in the countryside with his glamourous assistant Mickey (his beautiful canine companion).


Buzz

http://www.fujixphotography.co.uk

1

When I was asked a while ago by Misuzu, to pick my favourite image that I’d taken of her during our shoots, I had no idea how tricky such seemingly easy question could be. We’ve shot together in my lounge, in a hotel room and at the side of lake. During the shoots we’ve managed to shoot some very different looks, using natural light and a variety of strobes. I have never come away from a shoot with Misuzu feeling anything other than delighted. On getting the images from the camera onto the big screen of the computer that delight usually only increases to something like elation.

I generally tend to “see” in black and white and the setting on my camera are such that I can take black and white jpegs straight out of the camera and to Social Media with no post production. Once I have the RAW images downloaded onto the big screen I refine the images using Silver Efex Pro. Maybe it’s just me but the world always looks better in stunning shades of monochrome.

I have at least one image from each of my shoots with Misuzu printed out and displayed somewhere, and I initially thought that one of these might be “my favourite”. However, on looking through the images from our shoots together I finally decided on one from our “Beauty and the Beast” set. We’d been working up by the lake at Joel Hicks Studio and already had a great set of images taken on the jetty. In search of something a little different we wandered away from the lake and came a across an excavator and dump truck. As usual, with Misuzu I suggest something that involves danger, a ridiculous prop or something just plain stupid. Misuzu gives me a hard look, then smiles and happily goes along. It pretty much always works out and we manage to produce something really nice. On this occasion she had to traverse a patch of long unkempt grass and climb onto the tracks of a large dirty excavator whilst maintaining some degree of dignity and ultimately being somewhat, mostly, completely naked. Whilst Misuzu negotiated the aforementioned assault course, I busied myself with modestly setting up camera and pleaded with her to “be careful”. As usual, despite the midges, the spiders, the lack of clothes and the hard uncomfortable steel tracks, Misuzu managed to pose as gracefully as ever and without any complaints.

The contrast of gentle beauty and grace against the waiting power and energy of the excavator are things that bring me back to this image time and again.

I don’t think I have anything more to say. Buzz covered it all. Pretty much. Totally. I’ll just move on…


Derwood Pamphilon

3.jpg

I was inspired to photograph Misuzu in this setting to show her elegant shaping in the huge space of this disused industrial location. I love the symmetry and elegance it portrays. This is one of many fabulous images that we shot together and my firm favourite.

It was so much fun to shoot in this location. It was funny because my feet were black from the dirty floor by the time we had finished! I love my job!


Michael Szabo

3

I love this image because the outfit choice (orange dress, sunglasses and hair style), along with the shape of Misuzu’s body and the tones of her skin. It was a tricky shot to take due to the composition consisting of very light and dark areas, but the Nikon managed to capture it perfectly.

(F2, 1/200, ISO100)

I always love what Michael does with the shots from the shoots we do together. I’m particularly fond of his photoshop work but I have to agree that this one is one of my favourites too, despite the fact that it has had very little done to it!


Misuzu Photography

shapesnstuff-1wm

Of course, I had to add a favourite of mine thats mine. Does that even make sense? Anyway, I love this picture because it’s quirky, dark, creepy and weird.

How do I manage to quote myself on my own website? *cough* narcissist *cough*


That’s all folks! Don’t forget that I have a mailing list, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr! Follow, share, like, love, whatever!


 

Carnival of Shadows

Hello everyone!

Long time since I last posted. That’s going to change. This post is a little different from things that have come before. I’m setting a new intention for my work. I’m going to be putting a lot more of myself into my website and blog posts.

I’m going to write about my thoughts and feelings. I’m going to talk about things I love, things I find interesting, things that scare me, things I’ve done, things I want to do and things I read, watch or learn.

This way, the pictures I post might make a bit more sense and be a bit more interesting. Or, you’ll just scroll past all the drivel, straight to the pictures. That’s fine too. I won’t be offended.


So here we go. The focus of this post is around an idea of a carnival. When I say carnival, I’m taking the definition to mean a travelling funfair or circus.

Often in works of fiction, I think carnivals are depicted as being a bit creepy or sinister. For example, I really really don’t like clowns. They’ve always freaked me out, I’m getting shudders just writing the word. They aren’t suppose to be like this, are they? Clowns are supposed to be happy and jolly, making people laugh with simple tricks. Right? Right??

So why did we turn them into blood-stained, axe wielding maniacs? (Thanks Stephen King, you really ruined it for us there!) This more macabre take on a carnival is the theme around this set of images. Before we delve into the pictures themselves, I’d like to venture into this topic a little more. I’d like to talk about something that may seem a little off-topic, but I promise, this is what made the images what they were. So just stay with me.


I’ve always had this fascination with Freak Shows. Not in the exploitive sense, where in the past, disabled, disadvantaged or otherwise ‘odd’ people were shoved in cages for ‘us normal people’ to pay money to oggle at. I’m not talking about those times where these poor humans were abused and exploited.

I’m talking about the sort of carnival or travelling circus which is made up of the people society has shunned. The people we didn’t want around us. The people we didn’t want to look at. Simply because they looked different. The people who found each other and banded together, to come back into our society to entertain us.

What I’m talking about is the beauty to be found in an amazing array of humans of varied appearances, with unique abilities or skills. A carnival on their terms, not the terms of some money-hungry sadist.

There are a few works of fiction I would like to mention here, to highlight what I mean and explain where this fascination came from. Hopefully to also explain how it relates to the set of images. If you’ve made it this far, congratulations!


When I was in school, one of the first novels we read as a class was a book called Cirque Du Freak, by Darren Shan. Cirque Du Freak is the first book in a series of 12, written for children (obviously). It’s about a boy who becomes a vampire’s assistant as a trade for an antidote to save his best friend who was bitten by the poisonous spider he stole from the vampire at the freak show *breathe*. Sounds great, right? The point is, this is book was probably the start of a lifelong addiction to horror and the macabre. This is where it all started, thanks to Mr Carter (my English teacher at the time!)

The thing I loved most about the book was the people in the Cirque Du Freak, the people with amazing abilities and very unique looks. The ones that stick out in my mind the most are: Mr Tall (the owner, who was… well, very tall), Evra Von (snake boy, covered in scales), Rhemus Twobellies (an overweight man who can eat anything), Truska (a lady who can grow and ‘un-grow’ a beard), Cormac Limbs (who can cut off any body part and have it grow back) and so many more magical and interesting characters.

The premise of the book is that these people have been gathered together, saved from persecution by Mr Tall. He gives them all a safe place to be, away from the society that had hurt them. Suddenly, this notion of a ‘freak show’ doesn’t seem so bad. These people have found a home, a place where they fit in. A place where they can be truly themselves without reservation. Isn’t that what we all want?


“The con men put these poor people – who were no different to you or me, except in looks – on display and called them freaks. They charged the public to stare at them, and invited them to laugh and tease. They treated the so-called ‘freaks’ like animals.”

Darren Shan, Cirque Du Freak


So, last year when I was watching through the TV series American Horror Story, I got very excited to find out that season 4 was called: American Horror Story: Freak Show. I knew I’d love it before I’d even watched the first episode.

In this, for anyone who hasn’t seen it, there is a character called Elsa Mars who collects, what she calls her ‘monsters’. She doesn’t mean this in a derogatory way, it’s set in the 50s when things weren’t as politically correct as they are now. Elsa loves the people who travel in the carnival with her. She protects them from the hostile outside world, makes sure that everything within the show runs smoothly, they all have food, shelter and companionship. She gives them all a place of sanctuary in which they can feel safe and not have to hide who they truly are. Unconditional acceptance. Beautiful.

From a girl with two heads, to a guy with ‘lobster claws’ for hands. Everyone found a place, safe from the scrutiny and judgement of the outside world.


“No matinees. No, people don’t come to see freaks in the heat of the day, they come in the evening, when the darkness moves in and speaks of mystery, the unknown. When logic loosens its vice grip and the imagination comes out to play. Night allows the stars to shine and we come alive. No, daytime is for kiddie shows, clowns and Kewpie dolls. Maybe that’s what you’re used to, but you’re in a real freak show now, my freak show.”

Elsa Mars, American Horror Story: Freak Show.


Keep in mind, that these two things are simply works of fiction that I enjoyed. I think it goes beyond a fascination with the bizarre and more towards an appreciation of the differences between us all, the amazing things human beings can accomplish and the amount of love that can be found to counteract the darkness in the world (if you know where to look). I’m nearly done, I promise.


At the time of the shoot, I was half way through an amazing book called Carnival of Shadows, by R. J. Ellory. I’d like to quickly mention how this book came into my life, at risk of making this post wayyy longer than it needed to be! It’s my birthday on the 31st July (you get extra nerd points if you know which fictional character I share my birthday with!) and i’ll be 25 (I know, right. I don’t look a day over 20!).

One of my presents, I’ve already had (because it was a subscription to a monthly box) was called ‘a book and a brew‘. Thank you Matthew! Every month, you get sent a hardback book and a speciality tea through the post! Brilliant idea if you ask me! Anyway, this was one of my presents, and I was allowed to have it early (lucky for me, they ship in the middle of the month!). Obviously I began to read it as soon as I’d finished the book I was reading when it came, and it is this that was on my mind when I turned up for my shoot with Michael Szabo on the 24th July 2016.

In Carnival of Shadows, set in the late 1950s, an FBI agent in America is sent to investigate an apparent murder on the site of a touring carnival. In this carnival, apart form a dwarf who can read minds, a magician with seven fingers on each hand and a set of quintuplets, most of the carnival members didn’t look so different, unlike the previous works I’ve talked about. This made it no less fascinating to me as there was a hint of supernatural magic surrounding the carnival folk and they were still ostracised by society. This carnival was more of the weird and wonderful, optical illusion, fortune telling, popcorn, candy floss, fair ground rides carnival. Like the images you will see shortly. There was still that sense of community away from society with these people. They weren’t accepted by society and all had rather sad back stories until they found and joined the carnival. This is what interested me. Anyway, onto some pictures, yes?


“The sounds and smells of the carnival came up to meet him as Travis parked his car and started down the edges of the field. He had seen the lights and heard the calliope music within a quarter of a mile of the place, and along the edges of the road it seemed that all of Seneca Falls and a half a dozen towns beyond had made plans to be there.”

R. J. Ellory, Carnival of Shadows.


The day of the shoot! The shoot took place in a building that was a nursing home before it was abandoned.

Before the shoot, Michael asked me if I would like him to bring certain items, which included a mask. It was a black bunny mask. Anyone who’s worked with me or has seen my work, knows I love those weird shots. Of course, I said, ‘hell yes, bring it!’Another message asking me if I thought balloons might be a good idea for a separate shot. Again, I said yes. It’s always great to have lots of stuff to play around with, and you never know what’s going to work. So I packed my modelling case full of clothes, and we drove to Standon.

When we got there, we decided to start with the mask. I was rooting through my case to find some clothing that would go with it. Then, inspiration struck me… I just had to convince Michael that it would work!

I’d laid eyes on my bridesmaids dress from when my sister got married. This dress has featured in my modelling work a lot. It’s an amazing dress, burgundy with two long straps that you can wrap around the top half of the body in any way you like to create a different look every time.

Party dress, bunny mask, balloons, abandoned location. I could be a crazy carnival girl, anonymous, ghost, haunting. I explained to Michael that I think this will work and explained where my inspiration had come from. He said we should give it a go. I’m so glad we did because these images are up there in my favourite ever!


Finally, some pictures! I’m normally a strict  “save the best ’till last” kinda girl, but this is too good to save. So I’ll show you my favourite image from the set first, and end up with my second favourite! Here it is: creepy, macabre, crazy, carnival girl in her derelict dwelling. I love everything about this. The pose I was pulling, the general colour and tone of the whole image, the darkness of it all. the way the light is hitting the dress and my skin. Then topped off with the smoke all around. Michael Szabo really nailed it on this one 😉

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But what’s a crazy carnival girl, without her minions of death? “Come to me, my pretties and let’s dance with death!” (I apologise, I’m trying so hard to not be weird, but it just doesn’t work! I don’t even know what I’m saying any more…)

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Just look at the room. Even the peeling, mouldy wallpaper worked for the theme! It also remains rather timeless too.

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This image reminds me of someone at the end of the night, who is the last one left. “Who’s going to walk me home?”

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A close-up!! Well, closer than the others anyway. I love the tone of the colours on this one.

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For me, there’s something about the hands on the face of this next image. Is it innocence or confusion? “Who am I? Am I real? Where am I? What year is this?”

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There’s so much going on in this image. An apparition, cut throat, blood stains, mythical smoke, debris. I love it so much.

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And finally, my second favourite of the carnival set… Just a fantastic image, the colours, the definition, the way the light is hitting my body and the chair, the pose… Just wow! I love it!

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So, the post is not over yet. We have another one of Misuzu’s crazy ideas… I tend to get a little carried away sometimes, especially working with someone else who’s very creative. I had a weird idea of holding the balloons and mimicking giving them to someone. Then it would look like a sort of crazy Alice in Wonderland sort of thing.

As Michael rightly pointed out, it would be hard for someone looking at the image to understand what was going on. It wasn’t until later, when I was in a different outfit, I pointed out that we had sort of missed a trick. If I’d have thought of it, we could have set up a tripod and done a composite. However, all was not lost. When you’re shooting with someone who is awesome in PhotoShop, there are always options. And sometimes, they come out even better than you’d expected! I’m not sure how Michael pulled this one off, but he managed to get carnival Misuzu to give ghostly space girl Misuzu a balloon. I was blown away when I saw this one! It was 100% more awesome than what I had in my head!

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For a little bit of context, this is what I mean when I say space girl Misuzu. I’m not sure why, but I just felt like some sexy alien from another planet or someone from the future.

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And of course, the crows came back for a little while to play with the girl from another time and place.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read through this. If you made it all the way through until the end, then I salute you! I’d love to hear what your thoughts are! Feel free to comment!

Special thanks to Michael Szabo for all of his amazing work editing these fantastic images. And of course for all the technical stuff I don’t really understand that happens on the shoot as well. F-stops or whatever. You were fantastic to work with and I can’t tell you how happy I am with these pictures!


One last image before I finally shut up! I just thought this was too good not to share! Peace, everyone!

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“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future.” – Ebenezer Scrooge

*~*~*

Christmas seems to sneak up on me every year. It comes and goes so quickly… I wish it could last forever, it’s my favourite time of year. I absolutely LOVE Christmas.

*~*~*

I love putting up my Christmas tree and decorating my house (after untangling all of the lights of course!).

I love listening to the same 10 Christmas songs that are on every Christmas album, EVER.

I love watching the same few Christmas films that I watch every year.

I love the feeling in the air as everyone rushes around to try and get everything done.

I love the relentless enthusiasm people have to make each other happy.

I love buying people gifts and watching them open them.

I love the lights, the tinsel, the laughter.

*~*~*

Christmas for me, really is magic.

*~*~*

So then, it seems to follow that as I love Christmas so much… And I love my job… Why not put the two together?! So naturally, I give Brian Cooper a call and we set about planning a shoot similar to the one we did on Halloween…. But this time, we cracked out the tinsel and lights!

Again, this shoot was thoroughly enjoyable, and  even better, I didn’t end up having to wash blood off my body when I got home (for this to make sense, see this post!). Anyway, enough of me waffling on… let’s show you some of the images we created!

*~*~*

The first thing you need for a Christmas photo shoot is OBVIOUSLY a sexy Miss Santa outfit! The candy cane stockings really set this outfit off I think 😉

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I love these next two… Very similar pose, but each one has a completely different feel to it because of the facial expression. The first has an air of innocence about it… The second, more seductive. Which Miss Santa do you prefer?

The obvious next step in a Brian-Misuzu shoot… Is to take off the clothes… But let’s keep the hat and gloves (obvs.). I absolutely love this shot, AND it’s Facebook friendly. Winner 😉

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I don’t do hats. I always tell people this. Brian loves them… And to be honest… We HAD to get this shot…

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So after a Miss Santa… We move on to ‘Santa’s Helper’. Misuzu the Elf. I don’t know how these elves get any preparation for Christmas done when they’re so busy looking cute! I think ‘Elf’ suits me 😉

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“Dear Santa, I’ve been very, very, very good (most of the time)” This sounds about right!

Especially looking at this next image. There’s not much innocence in this one!

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“I’ve been very, very, very good.” I don’t think so… The whole naughty/nice thing is over-rated anyway… ‘Just give me my presents, or I’ll attempt to seduce you until I get them!’ is what this image is saying to me.

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The expression here… You almost believe that I DID try very hard… Almost…

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You knew there was a reason you didn’t quite believe that innocent expression… These two… Not so much.

Look closely… Read the sign… This is my favourite image from the shoot. Personally, I just think I’m really funny. I take the credit for this idea. I’m hilarious and you know it 😉

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The credit for these ones goes to Brian… He bought the sack and announced “I’m going to put you in this!” I didn’t bat an eyelid.

Typical Misuzu Style… Let’s do art nude… Next to a Christmas tree. That’s Christmassy, right?”

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I’m pretty sure that my goal with my modelling career is to do art nude in as many different settings as possible… In the Woods? Check. In a derelict building? Check. Covered in blood? Check. Next to a Christmas tree? Check. With baubles hanging from your nipples? Well the credit to this has to go to Brian… And don’t ask how we got that bow to stay there…

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No Christmas themed shoot is complete without being wrapped in tinsel…

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I’m waiting for someone to comment, “I like your baubles ;)”

I hope you’ve enjoyed looking through the silly images me and Brian created for this festive season. We both had a blast… Lots of giggling because we think we have great ideas!!!

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We did shoot something for those who aren’t so fond of all the Christmas nonsense… So here ya go… Bah-Humbug!

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The last few images I have for you, are, in my opinion, very beautiful…. I love Christmas lights so much. Evidently, the way I can show this is by wrapping my nude self in them!

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I saved the best picture till last… So before I show you, I wish that everyone who is reading this has the most magical Christmas. I hope you’ve all had a great year this 2015, and if you haven’t, I hope 2016 holds better things.Whether you’re celebrating the end of a fantastic year and appreciating all that you’ve accomplished, or if you’re raising a glass to all the things you hope to do next year, I wish you all the best this holiday season.

I, personally, have had the BEST year. It’s not always been smiles and laughter, that’s just the way life is… But it was this year that I found my passion for modelling. I’ve worked hard and I’m doing something that I want to do. I’m where I want to be. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped me to achieve this. You know who you are.

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“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!”

“With Opportunity, the World is Very Interesting” – Beatrix Potter

[intro]

I did my first tour at the beginning of this month. I spent four days in Gloucester. It was amazing. Not only was it my first modelling tour, it was my first time being in a new place by myself. I kept busy and had plenty of work while I was there, but also had time to explore and take some photographs of my own! If you’ve never been to Gloucester, I recommend you go. The cathedral is lovely and there is a Beatrix Potter shop too. I couldn’t resist buying myself a little Peter Rabbit toy as a memento of my trip. If you know me, you’ll know that I’m a little bit bunny crazy!

Anyway, enough gushing about how exciting it is to be in a new town by yourself, exploring all things historical and literary…

On to the work I did while I was there! The only reason I was in Gloucester was because of a shoot I’d had planned for a long time. This photographer uses the screen name samthedog on PurplePort and his name is John Gould. John contacted me shortly after I started modelling saying he would like to work with me and we planned for the shoot to be in the summer. After two date changes, one because of John travelling and one because I was practically eaten alive on another shoot I had a few days before… We re-arranged our shoot for Tuesday 10th November 2015.

This shoot was totally worth the wait! Four hours flew by… But not without an array of incredible images! Some of them are included in this post. I wanted to draw attention to this set as I thoroughly enjoyed shooting it (and I’m sure John did too) and the results are fantastic.

High Key

I’ll start off this post with my favourite image from the set and I’m starting with the high key images, simply because those are the ones we shot first!

Misuzu

This picture to me, perfectly depicts beauty and tranquillity. The anonymity of this image makes it easy to relate to.

Misuzu

This one is a slight variation on the first image… It depicts more grace than beauty, the way the hands are touching the body seem gentle, almost accidental.

Something completely different! These two images I’ve chosen to place side by side. They hold a very similar pose as the previous two images, but with a more abstract goal. What do these images say to you?

MisuzuReaching up. The goal of this image is the long line that extends from the fingers, all the way down the arms, the curves of the back, down the leg and to the toes. The thing I like most about this image is the harsh angle of the left leg, compared to the softness of the line as it traces all the curves and natural lines of the body.

Misuzu

I’m not really sure what to say about this image. I love it but I’m not sure what it is about it… It’s just quite an unusual photograph!

Misuzu

This is a pose I’ve done before… But it’s been shot at an angle, rather than straight on. The thing I love about this pose is the way it draws out all of the lines of muscle and bone on the back. By shooting it from an angle, it gives a whole new array of lines, more places for the light to hit and for shadow to form.

Misuzu

Just an unusual pose to create a shape with the body. I think it’s rather effective!

These two images are posed to make the body look rather bizarre. With the first, not only is it an angle that you would not usually see in a photograph, it is a rather unusual pose! I love the way the hair pools on the floor and the triangle of negative space where the left knee is bent. With the second one, the body’s symmetry draws your eye and the cascading hair adds an extra feature to it.

Low Key

Now on to some low key images… A quick change of background and a quick change of lighting (and a cup of coffee) to create some images that are completely different to what came before.

Misuzu

This is the low key version of the first image of the post. At a different angle and in lower lighting, it gives a totally different feel to the image.

 

These two images have an almost sinister feel to them to me. The first seems almost like attempted self comfort and the second seems to look almost like an escape. Maybe I’ve been watching too much ‘Criminal Minds’…

Misuzu

Similar images to this can be seen throughout art nude photography. The low key lighting and the hidden face seems like it’s speaking about depression or anxiety, a darker mood.

Misuzu

This is why I love low key lighting. Creative shadows preserving modesty and light catching the body to create lovely highlights. My favourite part about this image is the light catching the left arm, behind the body and the fact that the hair is the perfect length to just touch the floor!

Misuzu

So many triangles in this image. Photography loves triangles!

These three images are all edging into erotica. The way the body twists, stretches and arches make these images. Again, the light skimming the body and leaving creative shadows.

Misuzu

This is a lovely shape. The arch, the ribs, the expression. I love it.

Misuzu

I remember taking this picture… I was lying on the floor trying to get my head around how to actually position my limbs in the way I wanted to in my head. Upon seeing the image, I think I did pretty well, but believe me, it wasn’t easy! At the time, I felt like I had eight limbs, not four…

Misuzu

I started with my favourite image of the shoot… Now I’m finishing with my favourite low key image from the shoot. This speaks volumes to me.

[conclusion]

To conclude, these images are the product of four hours well spent. I say four hours and completely ignore the amount of time John spent editing… But four hours is easy to remember and it has a nice feel to it to think that all the magic happens within that short window of time! John, I just want to say thank you for a fantastic shoot and for all the great work that came from your side of the lens, all of the technical camera stuff I don’t understand and all of the meticulous work in PhotoShop! Until the next time…