Tag Archives: blogging

The how, why and where of going “on tour”!

12 Apr

**Illustrated with photos by the incomparable Ben Ernst- from my latest tour of Holland!**

I don’t think there’s a single freelance model around who can live and work full time without touring. That isn’t to say that touring is a last resort or a bad thing- I’ve written a lot about how much I love to travel- so much so that I can’t imagine staying in one place! Still, I often read posts on modelling forums asking how to go about planning tours in the first place. For the first two years I had no idea what I was doing so made a tonne of mistakes and lost a tonne of money. I still enjoy the shooting more than the planning but I no longer assume everywhere is a couple of hours away and have to take a last minute sleeper train across Germany…
BREAKING NEWS: you can’t get to Dusseldorf from Berlin in three hours- you heard it here first!! 😛
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This is the foolproof guide to planning a tour:

LOGISTICS:
So I don’t have to write fifty addendums, I’m going to assume your first tour is in Western Europe at the absolute furthest. America is a legal nightmare, Australia requires some logistics gymnastics and I don’t know a thing about visiting Asia. 🙂

1) Decide where you want to go.
Are photographers constantly asking you to go somewhere? If so, go there. If not, ask on social media and networking sites. There are probably many photographers who want to book you but don’t know you’re about to start life as a touring model. I’d advise going somewhere at least four hours away from your home base as most people wouldn’t travel four hours each way for one photoshoot (though I have had a photographer travel from Sweden, which was a lovely thing to do!)

2) Check your dates- it helps to be flexible.
I usually book my tours 2-3 months in advance. It helps me not panic as days slide closer and closer, and I can rethink my plans if my location looks to be a “touring model hotspot”. Try to make sure that other models aren’t touring there at the same time. It isn’t a total disaster if there’s more than one of you but work can be thinly spread for all involved. (If you do find yourself in the same area as someone else though, it can often be a lot of fun meeting up and either getting booked together or doing something touristy!)
If your tour books up faster than you expected, if you have a day or two either side, you can extend the dates to fit demand.

3) Snoozing and cruising!
Once you have your dates set, you need to know where you’re sleeping and how you’re getting around- then it’s just a case of booking work.
If you drive and are staying with someone, you’re sorted. If not, check train costs on nationalrail.co.uk and nationalexpress.com. Those are the main train and coach sites. This is when it helps to have flexible days as travel costs can vary. For a place to sleep, check hostelworld.com, airbnb or any hotel booking site you like. I recommend laterooms.com though others swear by booking.com

Unless you’ll be absolutely bankrupted if you aren’t booked solid on your planned tour, book the above *well* in advance. It really is cheaper- especially if you’re coming by train. If you have left it a bit late, don’t worry too much- have a look at coach times and fares. Eurolines often have some amazing deals if you’re travelling internationally. If you’re in the UK, try Megabus. There’s usually a hostel available in any city at any time*, but if you’d like to be a chooser rather than a beggar, make your booking quickly.

* Except Amsterdam. If you are going to Amsterdam, book your bed NOW.

Once the above is planned out, that’s the scary part over.

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JOB HUNTING:

1) Start casting
If you’re already working as a model, you know how to post a casting call and advertise on social media. I don’t bother with flyers but I know a lot of models make a nice flyer advertising their dates so that people can share it as an image and get the word of the tour out more easily. If you want to do that, go for it.
I contact photographers who have already expressed an interest in working with me before I start posting public castings as it gives them a chance at a first refusal which is usually appreciated.

2) Language skills
– If you’re going to another country and know the language, say so in your casting. Even better, write the casting in both languages. (Keep it short though.) If you don’t know the language and are going to be working with several photographers in quick succession (for example, a workshop or studio day) check that the organiser or studio owner can help with translation! Nothing is worse than being yelled at by six people at once in a language you don’t understand.
– I almost always list my rates in the currency of the country I will be shooting in- it makes things easier for the photographer booking me if they don’t have to convert cash.
– In the body of your casting, emphasise anything popular in the country- are there any fashions you would suit? (For example, if you work to nude levels, you may get a flurry of bookings in a conservative country that has a large photography scene.)
– I shouldn’t need to say this, but use correct grammar. No txt spk. Try to use spellchecker if you aren’t sure. Not only do you look more professional but if you’re advertising for work in a country speaking a different language, you’ll be difficult to understand if you’re sloppy when advertising.

3) Locations for dummies
I never used to charge travel expenses thinking “what’s a tenner here and there?” Well, my first ever Scotland tour had four days filled by two half-day bookings on each day- a decade ago, I was charging £100 for a half-day. I was commuting around an hour or two each way and sometimes to EACH shoot. Not a particularly hard commute- I like travelling- but the £20 or so (not booked in advance of course- I wasn’t sure exactly where the studio would be in relation to the station) mounted up. By the end of my tour, taking off the original travel costs to and from Scotland, travel expenses in Scotland, accommodation (even though it was just a hostel) and food, I was left with £500 profit. After a six day tour in which I had run myself ragged. It was heartbreaking but a good lesson in why booking in advance and charging travel expenses when you leave your host city is so important.
Many years ago, I also made the mistake of judging all countries by the UK’s size. So I went to Germany and booked two full day photoshoots- one in Berlin, one in Dusseldorf. To my horror, I realised my mistake halfway through the first shoot and in my lunch break, booked a night train very quickly and moderately expensively. I got to Dusseldorf in time, pretended I’d come from the suburbs and the photographer never knew…. until now. 😛 Make sure you know where you’re going and how you’ll get there!

If you’ve done castings, shouted all over social media and still have gaps in your schedule, consider taking a day off to explore. If that isn’t an option, can you shorten your tour or try another place? (For example if you are casting for Leeds, try Manchester too).
Bear in mind that tours can be unpredictable. I’ve expected visits to sell out in hours and they haven’t, and trips I added as an afterthought have had to be extended by days! If it’s your first tour, you have no client base there… yet. You need to get the ball rolling and things may start slowly but if you’re a skilled model with a good reputation, things will pick up.

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SERIOUS STUFF:

1) Insurance of all kinds
A lot of things are up in the air at the moment due to Brexit but if you’re travelling outside the UK, get health insurance- you don’t want to lose your hard earned money in hospital. There is no reason not to- peace of mind is priceless.
Just in case- because you never know, pack that little leaflet your bank gives you when you travel, as well as the emergency numbers of the country you’re in.

2) Time travel.
If you’re travelling to a different timezone, remember that you may need a day or two to get over any jetlag from long-haul flights. If you travel back and forth a lot, you’ll know how long you need. If this is your first time, set aside a couple of days after arrival and you should be over the worst of it. Keep one thing (phone, alarm etc) on “home time”- especially if you’re on medication or the contraceptive pill, which should be taken at the same time every day.

3) References
I can not stress the importance of references enough. In your own town or country, at least if something happens you can speak the language, call the emergency services, find the nearest train station or taxi company, get cash out etc- it’s familiar territory.
If you’re on the other side of the world with little knowledge of the area, what are you going to do? It is so vital that before you confirm a photoshoot with someone, you contact two or three people they have already worked with to make absolutely sure that they are okay. It’s important in your own area, but doubly so when you’re touring.

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FUN STUFF

Exploring!!

Have a walk around when you arrive. Is there a tourist information point? Any pretty places to look around? Always know where your food is- if your shoot finishes late and the cafes are closed, knowing where your local supermarket or 24-hour store is will save you from breakfasting on anything you can see when you wake up starving. This has actually happened to me in Spain- I finished working with two other models and had luckily noted the 24-hour shop down the road. So we went shopping and had a bed-picnic!

I came to realise that I was travelling to all these amazing places but relying on location photoshoots to show me around! On my days off, I mostly curled up in my hostel to read and do admin work. Set up an auto-reply on your e-mail to let clients know that it may take you a little longer to answer queries, and take yourself somewhere on your free days. If you look in the lobby of where you’re staying (especially in hostels), you’ll find they usually advertise budget tours. Modelling does not last forever and while you’re doing something so amazing, make the most of it!

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p.s. I couldn’t decide which version of the “wrapped up” picture to post! Which do you prefer? The full colour one of this one?
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A little bit of news…

14 Oct

I’ve been all mysterious recently… I had to postpone photoshoots (which I NEVER do). I’ve been in hospital. I’ve mentioned new projects. I’ve hinted annoyingly. It’s time to reveal all!!!
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I hate secrets... 😛

First news: I love my job but I am aware I cannot model forever. As I’ve said, I’m not going anywhere just yet but I have been rather busy behind the scenes. As I travel so much and love to write, I’ve set up another blog/website, twitter and instagram. In fact, it’s a lot like this blog but with more selfies, travel advice, news from my boat and pictures/tales from my adventures around the world.

www.lifeoutthere.co.uk

If you didn’t know already, I’m very into my postapocalyptic everything. I (apparently) look like a videogame assassin from the end of the world when I’m not modelling, and will be sharing my style sources and how-to tips for the interested. I live on a narrowboat and take pictures of her. (Yes, all boats are ‘she’, even if they’re called ‘Thor’.) I know all about travelling cheaply (London to Utrecht for £13, anyone?) as well as weird underground off-the-beaten-track places to go in about ten different countries. I have a LOT of fascinating friends who may also make appearances. If any of this sounds interesting and/or you’d like to continue supporting me in my next (ad)venture, which I really hope you will, then please come and see me at these places and share the links. All are welcome but this is especially true if you’re a fellow adventurer, blogger and/or woman. I’d really like to support you too!

Oh, and yes, “F.Roswell” is also a pseudonym.

Here’s a static visual trailer for the site. (Ahem… what I mean is, here’s a bunch of photos…) 😛
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Seriously though, I’d really love and appreciate your support in this- it’s a completely new project for me and I’m starting from scratch but I have big plans. This little blog couldn’t have got as far as it has without your shares and support- thankyou.

On to the second news: on June 22nd, I was sterilised.

Almost every parent I know says that having a child is one of the most life changing things you can do. (Possibly THE most, in my opinion.) Nothing can prepare you for the reality and it is a permanent, life altering decision. Hold that thought…

As many of you may remember, I’ve been fighting to be sterilised for a long time. If you’re a newcomer, my rant is here but I’ll summarise:

I’ve never wanted children and hormonal contraception is not good for me. As I’m nearly 30, I decided enough was enough and wanted to be free of the worry once and for all. I am aware that this is a permanent decision. I have been reminded of this by friends, strangers and medical professionals and I have been fully aware of the permanence of this option since I was eight.
None of my friends with children are continually reminded by shocked people that their decision to bring another human into the world and be responsible for them for at least the next eighteen years is irreversible. None of my friends have been told “you’ll change your mind” on announcing their pregnancy. The decision whether or not to bear a child is a serious choice concerning our bodies and fertility and if age 28 (as I was) is old enough to permanently become a parent then it is old enough to permanently choose not to. What matters is having the right to make the decision in the first place. You (or ‘one’) may feel I’ve made the wrong choice, but that choice should be mine to make.

As I said in my viral rant, I got a rejection letter regarding funding. What had not been explained to me was that while funding was denied by my local hospital (which could be for any legitimate reason), it was not denied altogether- I’d just have to go to a different hospital. So when a different hospital called me for an appointment, I was grouchily prepared for a stern finger-wagging and another assertion that I was too young to make such a permanent decision. (As though parenthood is temporary…)
Not so. I walked into the doctor’s office and… SURPRISE STERILISATION! I embarrassingly enough burst into tears at the shock and relief. Yes he went through the usual questions (permanent, surgery risks etc, other options) but prefaced each question with the words “I legally have to ask…” which made all the difference. So we set a day for surgery and off I went!
The actual surgery, waiting times and hospital details were stressful and horrid (if you have questions, mail me directly- I’m happy to be open but don’t want to publicly overshare medical stuff) but the nurses were amazing, took care of me and ‘my needy boyfriend’ (the drip I was attached to) and as I was severely dehydrated, I spent the night in hospital where I got a 5am wake-up call in the form of a woman giving birth on the floor below. Changed my mind yet? Naaaaah…

Moving on! Photographers- please worry not. I have two tiny scars- one hidden in my bellybutton, one hidden just below my pubic hairline. I’m back to what passes for normal in my life. 😉

So there’s my news! There’s a lot of change and things moving about in my world at the moment and I’d be lying if I said things weren’t pretty scary. I’ve done casting calls, travelling, photoshoots and all of the everyday things that come with modelling for over a decade and the thought of building another business (Life Out There) from scratch is daunting to say the least. If you know anyone looking for writers or traditional illustrators, there’s someone riiiight over here! 😉

Of course, the day I decide it’s “last hoorah time”, you’ll all be the first to know but for now, lets have more pictures!!

As I’ve blogged about two different sides of my life, what better pictures to post than these ones by KinkyStyle?! Still a fetish model, but almost everything in the shots are mine (and the coat was made by yours truly…)

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ROSWELL xxx

February

20 Feb

Hey there!

I’ve had a heck of a month so far- lots of interesting photoshoots and lovely people that I can’t wait to tell you all about. So far this week, I’ve been a Maenad, a mermaid, Scheherazade (my favourite character- I’ll tell you all about her one day), a ponygirl, and a dancing Renaissance lady. The latter has already made it onto the front page of Purpleport!

Photo by Aesir Rey (who is wonderfully geeky and has excellent taste in gingerbread penguins).
All styling and outfit made by me
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This blog has also been featured in a very complimentary article about female bloggers! Neon Nettle have published “The 10 Sexiest Bloggers on the ‘Net Right Now”, which features ten models/bloggers who talk about more than the industry. I am thankful every day for my success as a model but even more so when my words and thoughts are valued as much as my face and body. The ‘thick model’ stereotype is just that- a stereotype, and I wish somebody could tell that to yesterday’s taxi driver transporting myself and a lost Kitty Quinzell: “Oh no, there’s no hope- a blonde and a model!” Yes, there are models whose mere presence makes me worry that my brain cells are evacuating in protest, but the models I have become friends with and enjoy talking to are far more plentiful. Some of them are in the article- have a read! 🙂

I’m back in Holland next month to walk in a fashion show for the beautiful Ardita Fetish Fashion, which reminded me I haven’t yet posted Ben Ernst‘s photographs of me from my last visit! We shot on this fantastic scaffolding setup, which was actually pretty high from the ground!

See?
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Any latex designers reading this? I have broken these trousers and would love them fixed please! I’ll give you a free rein to customise them! 🙂

I have, of course, saved my biggest news until last. for any of you who have not read my recent interview in Cloud Orchid magazine… I HAVE A PLACE OF MY OWN!!! There is a twist, of course- you can find out what it is if you read the interview. 😉 All I’ll say here is I have put my deposit down and if all goes fine, I’ll be living there by the end of March!

I have so much to write about so am going to get this restless cat off my knee and get on with it. (Okay, one more cuddle…)

ROSWELL xxx

Beautiful Blogger Awards!

6 Jun

Wow!

I woke up this morning rather dejected (as I expected to be) as I’m making a lot of big changes in my life (more will be revealed in August when things have been finalised/decided on) and I have to say it helped a lot opening my laptop to see I’ve been given a “beautiful blogger” award!

See??

It’s like a game of internet tag and there are rules!

1) Acknowledge the person who nominated you- so, thankyou so very very much, Chwennyland.com!

2) Post seven facts about yourself

3) Nominate seven other people for the award!

So here goes! Have some facts…
1) I never had a teddy bear- I had about ten rabbits, a crocodile, a gorilla, two dogs and a tiger, but no bears
2) I hate looking at pollarded trees- I think that they look mutilated!
3) I can get just about any ballgag out of my mouth with my hands tied behind my back
4) When I was a child, I wanted to be a palaentologist (and a Gladiator)
5) I am afraid of very few things… but one of them is a small harmless species of animal that is more afraid of me than I am of it. It shall not be named. *shudder*
6) My submissive side has a “thing” for Cal Lightman. (Tim Roth’s character in Lie To Me). All my other sides are making fun of my submissive side for this.
7) I don’t take drugs and with the exception of an amaretto or Bailey’s coffee once in a blue moon, I’m teetotal as well.

And as for the beautiful bloggers…
1) Ella Rose is a fellow writer and model. She’s been kind enough to let me read her novel and I love the description and sensuality in her writing. Even her blogs sound beautiful in a way I can never manage!!

2) Postsecret.com is run by the awesome Frank, and if you haven’t seen the site yet, you really should. It began as an art project. Now thousands of people send Frank their secrets every week. (And hide their secrets in the books he’s brought out…)

3) Elyse Sewell was a contestant on the first series of America’s Next Top Model (before it got so formulaic). She was a hyper-intelligent medical student and became instantly successful in Asia, and her “Lost in Translation”-style blog is wonderfully bemused and sardonic at the same time.

4) La Carmina is a Japanese fashion/culture blogger with the most adorable cat ever to walk the planet. She inspires me as she follows many career paths in the same way I do, which gives me hope that I can continue doing so.

5) Three Beautiful Things. This lady records three things that have made her happy every single day. It really has inspired me to remember the beautiful things I see. Sadly, since she’s had a baby, the vast majority of the posts have become BABYBABYBABY but the spirit is still there.

6) The Ark in Space is a blog all about the fantastic, weird and unusual creatures you can find in the world. As I’m a huge nature fan and love expanding my knowledge of the natural world, this blog never stops making me smile.

7) The Lingerie Addict– as I am a huge fan of lingerie and not a standard size, I love looking here for tips on finding lingerie that will fit me, and also just seeing pretty pictures of the stuff that won’t… but is just so pretty!

Can’t remember if I’ve shown you these backstage shots from a vintage lingerie shoot yet, but as they are happy pictures, here you go!

And ooh! My BBC Wildlife magazine just thudded through the door! With a fox cub on it! 😀

ROSWELL xxx