Hello and greetings from my hostel in Utrecht!
Sinical Magazine are running a poll of the top 20 Alt models! If you think I should be on there, drop them a message through this link.
So a few weeks ago I lurked around the London Docklands, with a suspicious suitcase, waiting for photographer Krukis to meet me for some camera-related mischief in aid of the soon-to-be-launched Nocturnal Girls magazine, in which I have a column. As we didn’t really want to be arrested in the first five minutes of shooting, our schedule was planned like a military operation- as these things often are. Armed with a blanket, my big kicking boots and the car I dubbed “the murderwagon”*, we set off into central London.
*I know nothing about cars, but quite a bit about serial killers and their car of choice for quite some time was the Volkswagen Beetle. This is not a beetle, but it is a shiny black Volkswagen that was being driven around with a naked woman in it so I claim artistic license here.
I have never yet got into trouble when posing nude outdoors- I have had a few gawkers stop in their tracks and I swear every dog and owner for miles around turn up when I shoot in the countryside, but things have never got nasty (Hope I don’t jinx things now!) so I’m no longer nervous when working in public. The street we visited first was quiet (unsurprisingly for 11pm on a Sunday night, but we did see a pair of very nosy foxes who had a stare and then continued on their way) until we turned up. Then the world arrived, slowed down to the speed of a snail on tranquilisers and gawked for a bit. My theory is that the more you scramble for blankets, the worse you look, and what’s the point? They know I’m naked, I know I’m naked and by acting as though I’m ashamed, people automatically assume I’m at best doing porn and at worst doing something illegal. I continue posing in the most artistic way possible, holding poses for three shots or more until the spectators realise there’s nothing to see and move on.
So here we are: we named the stone skulls William and Harry.
And off we went to Covent Garden, for some fun around the corner.
While posing, lit by the old-fashioned light on the wall, I couldn’t help but wonder if the alley I was in was a haunt of the old Victorian prostitutes, and made up a character for myself. Anonymous, naked and both hidden yet in plain sight if one knows where to look…
It’s something I know I do a lot, as do many models. Making up a storyline or a character to represent helps keep us inspired and thinking of new poses to experiment with. Of course we have our favourite poses- we know what is likely to be most flattering to our faces and figures, but in pretending to be someone else it helps break us out of that box.
When we changed setup and I got to play with the car, I made up another story- this time involving a woman who lures unsuspecting people toward the mysterious black car with an unseen driver, which spirits them away. A modern-day siren of sorts…
We didn’t realise that this inconspicuous little tunnel was actually a fairly well-used passageway until the third person muttered “sorry” (how English!) and continued on their way as I tried not to explode laughing.
We did go to the centre of Covent Garden but as we were rumbled before the tripod touched the ground, we took this lovely shot and made a speedy getaway to our last destination…
A postmodern masterpiece, no? Notice Big Brother in the top right corner…
As we approached the location we both burst out laughing (partly due to terrible murder jokes and partly because this was going to be simultaneously terrifying and hilarious) . Rain was gently coming down in a mist, the bridge was slippery, the tripod was cumbersome, and I guessed we had about ten seconds before we were acknowledged (it takes a few seconds to stare and then a few more to start screeching about moral decency).
We pulled over.
I sprinted across the bridge.
I dropped my blanket.
Much, much giggling ensued. I generally hear nothing when working, except photographers’ instructions- and so I apparently didn’t see or hear the drunk man lurching across the bridge who muttered “oh, a naked woman…” and continued on his merry way. Bless his drunken soul.
So there you go. I flashed parliament.
It all got a bit Benny Hill afterward as I tried to get dressed by Kings Cross station and forgot all about the night bus that came by at the precise moment I shouted that I’d lost my knickers, and the other night bus that came as I stood naked from the waist down, waving a pair of shiny stiletto shoes around.
My phone then rang just as I’d spread my wardrobe over the pavement looking for the elusive knickers so spectators were treated to the sentence “I’m safe- the photographer isn’t an axe murderer and I got naked in front of Big Ben”.
Hiding in the sanctuary that is Starbucks, I wound down from the four crazy hours that will be repeated in August in latex, fingers crossed!
I’m currently on my annual Eurotour now and have even remembered to bring my phone cable! Backstage pictures: they are coming.
p.s. If you still haven’t voted for me in the Deep Down and Kinky Awards, it really would make my day/week/month if you could please! It takes all of ten seconds to fill in my name in the model’s section. Thankyou so much!