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 ūüôā

1541-2044748159

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 ūüėČ

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!

2.jpg

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

©Sybarite


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 ūüėõ

2

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.

1

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!

1

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 ūüėõ

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 ūüėČ

self-portrait-8wm

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

©Misuzu


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!

1.jpg

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!

1

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 ūüôā

©Shihari


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.

3.jpg

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 ūüėõ
  • 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 ūüėõ

©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! ūüôā


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.


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 ūüôā


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 ūüėÄ


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 ūüôā


 

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 ūüôā


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 ūüôā


 

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.


1.

 

©Garden of the Muses


2.

 

©Garden of the Muses


3.

 

©Garden of the Muses


4.

 

©Garden of the Muses


5.

 

©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.


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 ūüôā


 

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…


1.

1

©Garden of the Muses


2.

2

©Garden of the Muses


3.

3

©Garden of the Muses


4.

4

©Garden of the Muses


5.

5

©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 ūüôā


 

Greece: Vintage [Post #1]

So this is the first of a series of blog posts dedicated to my trip to Greece in November 2017.

They are going to go as follows (and I will add links as they get published):

Greece: Vintage [Post #1]

Greece: Fashion [Post #2]

Greece: Rock [Post #3]

Greece: Tourist [Post #4]

Greece: Ruins [Post #5]

Greece: Classical [Post #6]

Greece: Abstract [Post #7]

I’m excited to write about my trip and share some of the work I did there with you.


Basically, this series of blog posts is being written because I was lucky enough to get to work for a whole week in Greece. I was invited there by a fantastic photographer called Rick, who goes by the name Garden of the Muses for his photography work. He took me to some amazing places and I saw so many wonderful things. I’m not surprised that the photographs from the trip are all so good!¬†You can access his website by clicking here¬†if you’re interested in seeing more of his work.


When I was looking through the images Rick sent me (while I was back in cold, rainy England!), I saw that he had edited several of the images with a particular style. They really jumped out at me. I think it gives the images a certain timeless quality that I can’t really explain. I decided they would form a great little group of images for my first blog post, to introduce the sort of work we did.

I’ll be honest, some of the poses in the images I’m about to show you are a little clumsy for my tastes (well, I can’t nail it every time can I?). I probably wouldn’t have liked some of these images if they had been edited differently (and by differently, I guess I mean, in a more average kind of way). But they seem to really work in this style for some reason and I’m not sure why. It just goes to show that editing really does make a difference to the image.

[The poses I am talking about  here relate to photographs 3, 4 & 10 in particular]

There are also a few images in this post that are included in future blog posts, just edited differently (by differently, I mean black and white). These images in black and white are among my favourite images from my time in Greece. I feel like those same images in this particular editing style makes them into something else, and I like them for a whole different reason. I’m not even sure if that paragraph reads well, so I hope you understand what I’m getting at. Basically just that these images in this style are awesome. Those same images are even better in black and white and you’ll see those in other blog posts. I think that makes a bit more sense. Maybe. Moving on…

[Here, I am talking about photographs 2, 7, 8 & 9 in particular]

It’s amazing how something simple can change your opinion of a photograph. That’s why I decided to give these images a post of their own.¬†I’m not going to say much else in this post. I’ll shut up and let the photographs speak for themselves.


1.

1

©Garden of the Muses


2.

2

©Garden of the Muses


3.

3

©Garden of the Muses


4.

4

©Garden of the Muses


5.

5

©Garden of the Muses


6.

6.jpg

©Garden of the Muses


7.

6

©Garden of the Muses


8.

7

©Garden of the Muses


9.

8

©Garden of the Muses


10.

9

©Garden of the Muses


I hope that you like these shots as much as I do. There’s just something about these images in this editing style that makes them so different. I can’t explain it, and I’m probably making a mess of trying to explain it. Let me know in the comments which ones are your favourites! If I had to pick just one, I think it would be number 9!


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 ūüôā


 

“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!