Tag Archives: artistic nude

The Winds of March- shooting in the freezing cold

15 Mar

Spring is springing! I returned from a week long trip away shooting for my sister site to find that even though it was night time, I could smell the blossom on the trees and I woke up in the morning to early sunrise and the annual “East side/West side nesting goose turf war”. The weather has improved and I cannot wait to shoot outside again- I’ve even picked up some new floaty pretty things and am working on improving my art-nude pose repetoire to really wow everybody this year.

I began writing this post as the weather turned in Autumn and though I am optimistically hoping we’ve seen the worst of the really bad weather, March and April can still be windy and cold so… better late-ish than never, right? πŸ˜‰
Here’s my guide for getting the best from your model in a freezing situation:

Roswell-2
All images by Imaginary Revolutionary unless otherwise credited

BEFORE THE SHOOT

1) Keep a ‘model kit’.
An experienced model will have many of the things listed but supplies can run out and sometimes there just isnt enough space in the suitcase for everything. πŸ™‚ I’ve been so grateful if the cold has really got to me, I’ve slipped on a rock and I’m hungry and the photographer has been able to offer me a plaster or water to wash the cut as well as a blanket and a snack.
– A towel (for changing and/or wet feet)
– Cereal bars or Mars bars (Food is always good but Mars bars are for serious sugar crashes- hopefully it shouldn’t come to that!)
– A couple of bottles of water
– Loo roll. (Especially if you’re in the middle of nowhere!)
– Plasters and painkillers
– A blanket and possibly hand warmers if it’s REALLY freezing
– A flask of hot drinks and a hot water bottle if you know you are really going to suffer for your art.

2) Book an experienced model.
I know professional models charge higher rates but you will get a wider range of poses and more usable images in a shorter amount of time with a model used to cold weather photoshoots- especially when it comes to art-nude work. Overall, the extra cost is offset by the level of productivity.
If you really want/need to work with a new model, bear in mind that a lot of ‘tips and tricks’ come from experience and what may seem obvious may not have occurred to a total newbie- even down to the fact that they are going to be very uncomfortable in the first place! Tell them to bring warm stuff and food.

3)Β  Plan ahead
Have two or three overall images in your mind that you would like to achieve. Work on getting those first and then consider everything else a bonus. This counts doubly on windy days when your model will freeze much faster than on still days.

4) Remember that shooting as a duo or group may halve the work for you…. but it doubles the work for your model.
If you’re working with another photographer who can act as assistant, your model must pose for you, wait for your assistant to set up their camera and then pose for them too. You may feel rested and ready to go again after your break from shooting but your model will not have stopped. This is not to say that duo shoots cannot work- they definitely can and I have had some fantastic and memorable times. Comfort is relative and we won’t be warm and cosy but this is how to help models out and get the best from us:
– Offer your model regular fully-clothed, snack-eating warm-up breaks even if that means waiting an extra 5-10 minutes for them. Cold muscles are stiff, tense muscles and you’ll get better results if your model can warm up to a degree.
– Understand that standing still in the cold, half naked while somebody does a lighting test does not count as a break.
– The second you have your shot, chuck the model their clothing or blanket (especially socks or something to warm their feet) and ask if they want a snack or some of whatever is in the flask.
– Your model will be far more willing and happy to push for the extra shot and pose if they feel you care about their safety and comfort.

5) Check out the location beforehand and have a Plan B.
Certain places- especially involving water- are often extremely dangerous depending on the time of year. It’s a good idea to check a day or so before to make sure the pretty little brook has not become a rushing torrent. I highly recommend the fantastic Marmalade- Urbex Model’s article about shooting in watery locations. This woman knows what she’s talking about and takes stunning pictures.
If the location is absolutely impossible in the conditions, have a backup location- even if you have to postpone the nudes in sweeping landscapes in favour of arty beauty shots using the reflections in your car mirror. ;P
I was shooting a project with Magpie Tommy many years ago- we returned to the same bit of woodland and I posed in a similar manner by the same tree. One day, in biting wind, we arrived to find somebody had driven a tractor through our patch. Cue us frantically replanting bracken with numb fingers.
IMG_4962---Copy
We got the shot though… πŸ˜‰

Roswell-14.jpg

DURING THE SHOOT

1) Timing is everything
If you’re working with a team of stylists, start somewhere warm, well-lit and indoors so they can get the first look ready in relative comfort and don’t have to contend with numb fingers early. If not, advise your model to arrive ready to shoot so that she doesn’t have to do her make-up outside.
Set up your shot before asking the model to change or undress. Clothes should come off at the last possible second after all the experimenting is over and you have the perfect light and exposure.

2) Check on your model
Experienced models know their limits. Still, it is nice to be asked if we’re okay or need a minute to get warm again. (Though don’t worry- you don’t need to check every moment- we’ll tell you if we need to take five.)
When I first began modelling, I was so fixated on doing a good job and being ‘professional’ that my safety would suffer and I’d push myself to the point of danger especially in the cold. Newer models may be more worried about saying they’re in pain or too cold so check on them at slightly more regular intervals (but not every 30 seconds!) and reassure any model of any experience level in advance that if they are uncomfy or need a break, to say so and they can take a few minutes out.

3) Be on the lookout for warning signs.
Has your chatty, enthusiastic model gone silent? Are they shaking with cold? Pale, or flushed? Ask them if they are okay. Take anything other than an immediate confident β€œyes” as a signal to wrap the shoot. Most photographers I have worked with have been fantastic if we’re both too battered by the cold to continue but I’ve heard a fair few horror stories about models being asked to stay in the same place with the cold getting into their bones, while photographers shoot and shoot and shoot. I assume anybody reading this post wouldn’t be that photographer in the first place but I couldn’t not mention it.

Roswell-3

ADVICE FOR MODELS

1) Be prepared
Carry snacks and buy a hot drink before you arrive. Make sure you have a warm jumper or coat in your bag as well as plasters and any other medication you want to have. Keep snacks close by as they can make all the difference. The diet may go out of the window but I find a protein bar, chocolate or something like a flapjack is better than nibbling on nuts and grapes, which are healthier but don’t really fill you up.

2) Know yourself.
I know it’s one of my ‘suits all situations’ pieces of advice but seriously- what can you cope with? If you’re okay with cold, still weather but not roaring wind then take that shoot in a freezing, snowy but sheltered mountain valley- not the one with blowing material and streaming hair on the top of the cliff. πŸ™‚
At what point do you need to stop and warm up. When you start to shiver? When your fingers go numb? When can you tell that the cold has reached your muscles? Once the cold has reached your bones, it’s all over so listen to your body and warm up before that.

3) Don’t be afraid to ask for a break.
You’re entitled to a break! Especially if your ears are going to drop off and your nose is gushing water down your face. You’re a human being and being warm(er) and less hungry will make you feel so much better- even if you know the pictures will be beautiful anyway.

4) Relax your face and try not to tense your jaw
I wish I had known this earlier! It’s one of the things that I notice about myself as a new model vs now. Luckily my tensed face suited the style on the left (my first mostly-nude shooting trip back in 2010) as I was going for the water vampire/evil siren look but there were plenty of other pictures from earlier shoots with this same expression and they did not work! The right is a later shoot- 2012. I was memorably freezing during this shoot and running around to keep warm in between shots but I’d learned how to relax my face more.
_D703886 copy Ros_9545 bnw SM
Left pic by John Downs, right pic by Imagesse

Roswell-12

GENERAL GUIDE: (This may be different depending on your level of health.)
Shivering, goosebumps: You’re cold. You can usually work through it or do some more active poses to warm up.
Stiff muscles, fingers and toes going numb. The cold is in your muscles. Take a warm-up break and wait for your fingers and toes to regain a little feeling.
Actually shaking with cold, fingers and feet numb, you’re clumsy and cannot get warm: The cold is in your bones and this is dangerous. Stop the shoot immediately, if not sooner.

Roswell-11

Over to you guys! Any more tips about shooting in the cold? Anything I’ve missed? If so, I’ll add things to this post. πŸ™‚

Thankyou to all the photographers I’ve worked with who have been wonderful in freezing conditions, especially Imaginary Revolutionary who was a perfect example of how to shoot in the cold on a dawn photoshoot with me last month and whose images are the illustrations for this post! πŸ™‚

ROSWELL x

Roswell-15

Smiling on the inside. :)

23 Dec

To the very kind benefactor who has bought me books from my wishlist: THANKYOU!!! Please mail me with your address (and the titles so I know it’s you) so that I can send you a card!

It’s the longest night of the year- the Winter Solstice, so Blessed Be! I spent much of the evening meditating and drinking tea, some of it making armour and some more of it eating liquorice allsorts and reading The Godfather (which is brilliant!)
As many of you may know, this year turned very nasty towards the end and so I’ve been hoping that as the days get longer, life will take a turn for the better again. (The ‘hiding away time’ is already doing me a lot of good. Smiling is still not coming easily but I can feel the strength that I thought I had lost returning.)

A golden oldie by Adam Robertson– me hiding away being all zen. πŸ˜›
IMG_8911_ar

I’m enjoying flicking through my art books- especially the ones I had forgotten I had. If you like art, hares, stories or spirituality then I strongly recommend you check out the book “Luna Moon Hare” by Wendy Andrew. It’s a very beautiful telling of the year’s cycle through several pagan ideas- one of which being two kings- one holly and one oak, that share the ruling of the year. (Now according to legend, the holly king has just passed his crown to the oak king for the light half of the year.)
Here’s some of the authors artwork:
front_cover
c5c0c17a55c36266de553d7c7a0072d7

Holy McFadden, it’s nearly midnight!! I really should go to bed before 3am one of these days… πŸ˜‰

Remember my Latex Brat shoot with KinkyStyle? We shot a few other sets (one of which is in KinkyStyle’s 2016 calendar, which you can buy here!) and though I looked very serious in this one, we were cracking up in between shots as shiny latex and slippery stairs do not mix! So, here you go- I’m smiling on the inside.

zipperboobs_06

zipperboobs_14.jpg
zipperboobs_10.jpgzipperboobs_13.jpg
zipperboobs_05.jpg
zipperboobs_15.jpg
I just love all the straight lines and reflections! The bodysuit is by RubberEva.

Now it’s definitely time for me to blow out my candle, make a hot water bottle and read until 3am again, then wake up cursing my book habit at 11am. πŸ˜›

Keep checking back though for:
– Pictures of me as several kinds of fairy
– Lots more latex
– Some beautiful art-nudes in wilderness and ruins
– What I wish I had blogged about this year
– A sneak peek at next year’s modelling wardrobe
– The thing that makes me happiest of all

ROSWELL xxx

p.s. I have recently had several requests about sharing and republishing my blogs. You are very welcome to do both so long as I am credited and the blog/magazine is nonprofit.

The Tradition

11 Mar

Well, I’m definitely being traditional right now- packing for my shoot tomorrow (stately home- vintage pin-up!) while e-mailing while writing novel while trying to decide between coffee and the other hot drinks I have. Good old multi-tasking!

It was while thinking about writing this blog that I realised I hadn’t posted any ‘classic Roswell’ art-nude images in a while- so I found this lovely set by Tim Pile which haven’t been on here before. πŸ™‚ We had a lovely day shooting among standing stones in the wilds of Dartmoor before this studio day so I can’t wait to return to the area of course. I do love my standing stones…

These images were taken in Stuart House- a lovely hidden-away place near Cornwall.

_IGP0846

_IGP0900

_IGP0913

Looking at these pics make me a very happy lady- I’m going to talk about it in an upcoming blogpost, but I’ve spent the past year or so working on improving my body, which has included losing quite a bit of weight (these pics- especially the 3rd one- are an accurate representation of how I look now). But that’s another story… all about nutrition and food and colours! πŸ˜€

Now, a couple of entries back, I was talking about how horror films aren’t too scary these days. A few minutes ago, I put my words on a Ryvita with houmous and ate them. Sort of.
I watched “Splice” last night, which is something I’ve wanted to see for ages but my sci-fi friends weren’t keen on the horror aspect and my horror friends saiid ‘eurgh, sci-fi.’ Long story short, no one wanted to go. It definitely is more sci-fi than horror, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t scary. I think it depends very much on what frightens you more:
Imaginary Scenario 1: A character is hiding from something. You can’t see it, they can’t see it but you know that any second, it’s going to appear and make you jump out of your seat. Any second, any second, any second. ARGH!!! You jumped anyway.
Imaginary Scenario 2: A character is hiding from something or someone. They can’t see it, but behind them in a pool, you see a head appear, and shoulders, and finally it moves closer and closer as you scrunch up in your seat so you are very small.

For me, while I jump very easily, the second scene is creepier, and this is what Splice is full of. You know something bad is going to happen- something bad is always going to happen when you play around with genetics and hybrids, but it’s still like watching a car crash that you just can’t stop as more and more bad things get pulled into the wreck.

One thing that should be mentioned: It is disturbing. Very disturbing. I’m talking mutilation and sexual violence, and eventually I was unsure exactly who to feel sorry for. I just watched an interview with one of the actresses, who mentioned the difficulty of only having two words in the entire film, but, wow. She manages to convey everything with body language and you want to take care of the character, even when she behaves badly. Given that this character though the entire film behaves in a certain way, it makes one particular scene even more disturbing (and I think you have to watch the whole film to understand so I won’t post it here).
The ending… yep, creepy but something about it just didn’t ring true. If you’ve seen the film and disagree, come and have an argument πŸ˜› (just kidding- no arguing here).
So… yes, if you’re looking for scary films, check out that one.

More reviews and writing and stuff coming soon, though right now my book is taking priority- so close to finishing! Wish me luck… πŸ˜‰

ROSWELL xxx