“Woman’s nudity is wiser than the philosopher’s teachings” Max Ernst

So apparently, I can write the blog posts but actually getting around to posting them is another thing. Ah well, one step at a time, eh?

This post is another shoot from my time in The Netherlands, last March (March 2018). I travelled from Den Haag to Zwolle to spend the weekend with a lovely couple who go by the name Sybarite. I spent two full days with these guys and had a blast as we worked together through a variety of sets to create some amazing images.

I have to mention briefly that I was fed some absolutely amazing food in the time that I was staying there, too. Being catered for as a vegan in a household that isn’t vegan is something I’m very grateful for. I’m always wiling to just feed myself when I’m staying with someone as it seems easier, so when people go out of their way to accommodate my ethical food choices when it’s not part of their routine, it’s lovely. But anyway, this post isn’t about what I ate!!

Sybarite have many different themes that they work on with different models that cover an array of styles and levels. Before we started shooting, we sat and discussed the themes and chose the ones we were going to work on together. Some of them didn’t appeal to me and some of them were above my modelling levels, but there were plenty of the themes that I was happy to model and actually quite excited about doing!

All of the work I did over the weekend with Sybarite was nude, but you’ll be able to see just how varied the resulting images are and the many styles we worked on over the two days. I often say to people that nude work gives you so many more possibilities than simply ‘this is a shot of a nude woman’. It’s an incredibly versatile way of working and I hope that this post helps to show that!

For this post, I’ve chosen my favourite image from each set to share with you… Except for two of the sets (which funnily enough were the first and last sets I did with these guys). They were my favourite and I couldn’t reduce it to just one from each of the sets because I liked too many of them, so I chose my top three from each of those ones ūüôā


This was the first set we did and you can tell why it’s one of my favourites, as you will with the last set too. Classical, and very Misuzu!¬†This idea came to us spontaneously as I was talking about my recent trip to Greece where Greeks kept thinking I was Greek… Sybarite had the column and the material to give that goddess vibe and we just went for it and nailed it in just a few minutes.


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Okay, so this image is not exactly my usual style as I’m never overly into the bondage type of shots, but there’s more of a story here which is why I like it… What I mean is, that it’s not just bondage for the sake of it. It’s expressive and even though it’s a bit (very) dark, it works to get a feeling across but while staying classy with the posing.


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The Netherlands is a beautiful country, as depicted in this lovely landscape shot. I will tell you though, whatever plant that straw stuff used to be, it really hurts your feet when you’re walking barefoot (and there’s a shot of me sitting down in the same location and¬†my god did that one hurt ūüėõ ) The Netherlands is very flat. I’d heard that before, but you don’t realise just¬†how flat until you’re there. It’s crazy.


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This is part of a series about witches and magic. Right up my street! The¬†ethereal and spooky look in this image was achieved through the use of smoke bombs and off camera flash. I was asked to try and rub dirt over myself for these shots, but it just wouldn’t stick to me because it was too dry and just kept falling off. I was gutted because I was looking forward to getting all muddy and grubby! Especially as it was the last set we shot on the first day.


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This image is from the first set we did on the second day. It’s a sort of sci-fi theme, where I’m supposed to look like I’ve been beamed down from a space ship or something. Like in the opening of the Mr Bean TV series. In fact, the photographer had a lot of fun when we got back to the house later that day by making a video using the opening of that TV show, but instead of Mr Bean getting beamed down, it’s this picture of me… I’m not even kidding! The grass was cold and wet, but it was worth it to get this image!


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I got to keep my shoes on for this bit, which was just as well because it was more dangerously spiky than the other landscape shot. And wet as well. But look, it’s flat here too!


And last, but by no means least… More classical Misuzu-style shots. This bridge was incredibly beautiful and set in a wonderful location. The scene looks Autumnal but it was actually taken in March, the start of spring. I’m glad this location looked the way it did because I feel like I’m very suited to that autumn vibe. Maybe it’s just because it’s my favourite season, or maybe it’s that my skin tone complements the hues of autumn… But anyway, we came across this bridge by accident and obviously had to stop and shoot here. It suits my classical posing style perfectly and you can see why they’re my favourites!


And that’s that. Thanks Sybarite for having me and looking after me while I was with you, and for taking these wonderful shots. I had so much fun!


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“As you move out of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal” – Robin S. Sharma

So where did January go? And now we are halfway through February already. Wow. That was fast.

I seem to be in a minority of people who actually enjoy January. I find it a good time to restart, reboot and realign. I take on a lot of tasks to further my personal growth as most of you probably know. This includes yoga, mediation and various creative endeavours. I did my best and I’m feeling refreshed, ready to take 2019 as it comes.

So I’m actually blogging this year. Look at me, blogging. Here I am.

Every year, I always say that I will ¬†blog more but something had shifted this year, and I feel like I’m actually going to stick to it. Because I enjoy it. And it seems a fair few people enjoy reading what I write. So it’s worth it.

I’m going to mix it up a bit and not try to just narcissistically post a million pictures of me and my musings about each image (I mean, don’t get me wrong, there will be a lot of that… it’s my job, I can’t help it!) but I will also try to write a bit more about what my job entails and my thoughts and opinions on things work related. I think it would be good to give people who aren’t in the industry (models, photographers, make up artists, designers etc) a bit of an insight into this world. It’s not as glamorous as it seems. Sorry to burst your bubble. But it’s way more fun than you probably realise and some of the behind-the-scenes stuff is interesting. I want to share anecdotes and stories too. And maybe some stuff completely unrelated to my work, who knows. Hopefully, that’s all going to be coming over the next few months.

But anyway, for now, I hope you’re having a happy February so far! And here’s one of those narcissistic posts I mentioned earlier… I have a lot of fun shoots I want to share with you from last year, and my lack of blogging has prevented that. I’m making up for it now.


So, in March last year, I organised my first modelling tour in another country. It was scary as hell but I did it! I was lucky enough work with some fantastic photographers while I was there, who were not only talented, but extremely kind and generous people.

I had an amazing few days in that country. I even got some time to have a nosey around Amsterdam and take some pictures of my own. It’s a beautiful place that I will always want to return to.

I didn’t just stay in Amsterdam on this visit. I went to Den Haag and Zwolle too… And got to travel on the double decker trains that I remember from a family holiday when I was 11 years old. I’m not ashamed to admit that I was no less excited as a 26-year-old to be riding that train, than I was when I was 11.

The images in this post were taken in Den Haag by a photographer who goes by the name Shihari. We used his apartment to shoot in and had a fantastic day. I wanted to share a few of the images with you here.


So I stayed with the photographer on the night I landed and we were scheduled to shoot the next day. I was woken up the next morning by the photographer calling my name and knocking on the bedroom door. I blearily responded, wondering why on earth someone would interrupt my beauty sleep (and I’m telling you now, I need my sleep!!)

Turns out, he forgot to tell me before we said goodnight that the light in the room I was staying in is beautiful in the mornings if the sun is shining, perfect for photography… And he was right, so we immediately started shooting.

As I’d just woken up, I hadn’t got any make up on or even brushed my hair, but for the sort of shots we were going for in this amazing light, it didn’t matter… And here they are:


So after that wake up call, and shooting for about half an hour, making the most of the amazing natural light, we had some breakfast and then I got ready properly so we could work on some fashion images. He has a lot of 60s style clothing that I love so we had fun shooting this. I think that era suits me well!

It was even more fun when I was wearing a jumper dress and he said, this needs something… And then proceeded to cut a hole down the front of it! This is why I love working with creatives. They never stop coming up with silly little things to do to add to an image and they aren’t scared to try things. Even if it risks ruining a dress. So here we go:

From a small cut to add a bit of intrigue… Right up to completely ruining the dress (and an instagram safe version, for good measure!)


Nobody who shoots up to classical art nude can resist shooting some of that style with me… It’s what I’m best at and what I enjoy the most as I’ve mentioned in a lot of pervious posts… So we shot some of that too. The question is, do you prefer black and white or colour? I’m leaning towards colour on this one!


Finally, one of my favourite images, purely because it’s so silly. The day I was staying with this wonderful, crazy photographer, he was having a new backdrop delivered. It came while I was there, in a cardboard box and wrapped in plastic. After he opened it, he handed me the discarded plastic and asked me to do something with it. So I did. I wrapped it around myself. But apparently, this wasn’t enough. It needed a little something more… Ah yes, a hat! Perfect!¬†Talk about recycling! ūüėČ

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So there we have it! A brief look into my shoot with Shihari in March 2018… Sorry it’s taken me so long to get around to posting this. I really did have an amazing time on this shoot and definitely hope to return to The Netherlands again at some point in the future!

Thank you so much for reading this! Until next time…


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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

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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!

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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

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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.

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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!

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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

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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‚Äôs starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don‚Äôt see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it‚Äôs not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it‚Äôs always there ‚Äď 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 ‚Äď they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I‚Äôve got a sneaky feeling you‚Äôll 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

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Classical

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Chocolate and Wine

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Heart

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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.


 

November.

I haven’t completely disappeared and I’ve still been modelling, but my online presence has sort of diminished. I had a very busy November!


I was a NaNoWriMo participant this year. If you don’t know what that means, it means I wrote a novel last month! Yes, a novel. The way NaNo works is, you write at least 1,667 words every day in November to stay on target for hitting a 50,000 word count.

I wrote something every single day in November,¬†finishing with a word count of 54,155.¬†I wrote a novel that has been inside me for nearly a decade. It’s a story I’ve been wanting to bring into the world for a long time and to know that I finally did it¬†is… Well, it’s amazing.

To anyone who has ever taken part in NaNo, whether you hit your goal or not,¬†well done for doing it.¬†It’s a really daunting task, but I was lucky… My story wrote itself for the most part. There were points where I wasn’t sure that it was actually me directing my characters’ actions,¬†rather they were choosing their own adventure! Sitting down and writing a novel is a great experience and I think it’s something everyone should try at some point.

I now have a first draft of something that I can work on for the foreseeable future to get¬†it up to a standard whereby I might actually want someone else to read it…


During November, I also completed a 30 day yoga programme by Yoga With Adriene called Empower. It was a lot of fun and physically challenging, but I completed that too.

I love yoga because it gives me time to myself to reflect and quieten my mind. The Empower programme wasn’t like that, it was more of an intense work out. It was tough and I like a challenge, thoroughly enjoying my 30 days of it. That said, ¬†I’m happy to get back to the slower,¬†self-love, reflective, mind-body awareness, soothing yoga for the most part (maybe a little of the more intense stuff mixed in here and there!).

Again, something else I challenged myself to and succeeded. Adriene is doing (as she does every year) a programme that runs throughout January, and if anyone is interested in doing this with me, it would be great! It’s always more fun when you can share the experience with someone else. I’m quite looking forward to it.


The last thing I wanted to talk about (and probably the most important bit!) is… *drum roll please* I’ve started working behind the lens as well as in front of it. Just for fun, not for work, but even so, it will help my modelling work immensely if I understand the process from both sides.

I had a DSLR when I was 21 but I didn’t¬†dare to take it off automatic: it confused the hell out of me and I really struggled to get my head around how photography actually works. I figured it’s best for me to stick to the side of the lens I know how to rock, right?

But recently, I have been experimenting and I’ve found that I’ve actually taken some pictures that I not only like, but¬†love.


In November of last year, I worked with a photographer when I was touring Gloucester. He showed me some of the sites because he had worked in the city centre for a long time. I got some pictures while we were wandering around… Then later on, he taught me how to take pictures at night with a long exposure. He explained how the aperture changes what¬†the lights end up looking like on your final image. It was the first time that phrases like ISO, F-number and shutter speed had any meaning to me. Before, it all just went straight over my head and I couldn’t understand it. Here are some images of Gloucester towards the end of last year.


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It was another six months or so after then that  I started to look at my camera more seriously again. I did a location shoot with another photographer friend and then afterwards, I took some pictures with my camera. I picked up a bit more advice there and got some fantastic pictures in the beautiful woodland location we were in (it helps when the person taking you is extremely knowledgeable in all things nature and spotted some great things to photograph that most people miss!)


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Edits 28-10-16 Steve-4WM.jpg


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My Dad helped me to transform my front room into a little studio space. It was partially so I could try out some ideas I had and partially to have somewhere to shoot if the weather is cold or rainy, so shoots don’t have to be cancelled or postponed.

Wy Dad taught me how to set up all of the lights properly, then I had a go at some studio photography in the comfort of my own home. I started to photograph my pets in there and¬†got some images that I’m rather proud of! Turns out, the modelling gene runs in the family: my fur-babies are¬†superstars!


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I¬†spent a few days in Wales with my Dad earlier this month (yes, I know it’s not wise to go to Wales in December… It’s¬†wet!) He helped me to understand the technical side to getting some amazing landscape images. I got some pictures of the beach and of the fog coming down the mountains.


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Personally, I’m really proud of the pictures I’ve taken so I hope you like some of them too. I’m aware they aren’t perfect (learning curve, right?) but I’ve created something that¬†I like and that’s what’s important to me. I’ve learnt that my style is very dark, I seem to prefer darker images and that I favour high contrast too. Not everyone’s cup of tea, I’m sure, but I’d love to hear what you think either way.


I often think about how fortunate I am to have met the people I have and to have been given the opportunities I’ve been given. Especially around this time of year. I’m very lucky¬†to have been helped and supported by many family members and friends.¬†I was always encouraged to be creative as a child and I never grew out of it. That’s probably how I ended up becoming a model, because I get paid to be creative. I’m really going to put more effort into my photography from now on. I have a studio in my front room and family/friends who know lots about photography. What excuse do I have not to?


I want to take a moment to wish everyone who reads this (and everyone who doesn’t) an amazing Christmas and New Year. Have fun, stay safe and make sure 2016 goes out on a positive note and start 2017 without anything from this year holding us back.

Namaste.


I now have a studio that I can put up in my front room. If you’re not a photographer then ignore¬†this, but if you are and might be interested in booking me in this space, here is a list of the stuff that’s in there and a link to the PurplePort casting call:

  • A white background that can be backlit (it works really well, I’ve had a play around with it!). It turns around to be a black background and has a green screen cover with a bit that trails on the floor.
  • Four studio lights (two for the back ground, two for the model with¬†soft boxes)
  • Barn door
  • Coloured gels
  • Honeycomb
  • Snoot
  • Tri-flector and stand
  • A frame and clips for hanging your own backdrops from (I’m hoping to get a black and a white one of those soon too)
  • Sekonic light meter to help with set up.
  • Full set of triggers.
  • I will be getting speed lights soon too and I have a soft box for them already.

Expect to see more work from me in this space from both sides of the lens (it won’t all be bunny pictures, I¬†promise!)