Tag Archives: fetish photography

Committing heresy: I (mostly) hate Helmut Newton

21 Nov

Are you following my new instagram? 😉

I first came across Helmut Newton’s work when I was about eight. I was having a chocolate brownie with my mum and her friend in a Covent Garden cafe, and the smallish framed pictures on the walls featuring tall busty women in, if my memory is still working, wet t-shirt contests, all bore dates and the words “Helmut Newton”. The women looked so similar I assumed it was one model and that was her name. At age eight, I also thought that a wet t-shirt contest was about who could get their t-shirt the wettest…

Three thoughts I have about Helmut Newton.
1) He looks like Robert De Niro if you ironed him.
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2) His life is fascinating- I don’t hate the man, just most of his pictures…
3) … which are an eclectic mishmash of spectacular and bloody hideous.

Over a decade after that sighting, I was working as a professional model and finding that Mr Newton is the untouchable pinnacle of fetish and erotic creative achievement according to many people I worked with and spoke to online. Bob Carlos Clarke is another (I adore his work but suspect I wouldn’t have got on with him.) In the same way Joe Public thinks of Kate Moss first and foremost when discussing modelling, Helmut Newton’s name is synonymous with many genres that make up my workload. I can’t get away from the man! More specifically, the phrase “Helmut Newton style”.

These images are by Helmut Newton.

If you would like to book me for a femme fatale, glamourous nude or lingerie shoot in a gorgeous hotel or any other location with perfect hair and make-up, in black and white then please, oh please do! I love the first three images below!

Charlotte Rampling
Daryl Hannah

I don’t love these ones…


And don’t get me started on these.


When somebody says “Helmut Newton style”, I have no idea whether they are thinking about nude models in five star hotels with stunning hair, make-up and old fashioned decadence….. or unflattering angles on an unmade bed, legs splayed, fellating a gun. Helmut Newton has several styles and they do not look like the same photographer! I can only imagine the horror for a new model expecting the former, being booked for the latter and realising that yes, Dr Jekyll is also Mr Hyde.

I understand that his images were risque for the time, that they were influencers, but it was easier to be edgy in the 70s. When I first started modelling, I thought a gothic shoot in a graveyard with Crow make-up and photoshopped bats was an amazing idea. Fortunately, I moved on. Yes, Newton’s work is historically significant- I’m not suggesting that he be confined to history’s dustbin, just suggesting that a name should not turn a bad photo into a good one.
If this picture wasn’t a “Newton”, what stops it from being very thin woman with ‘spade’ hands and her legs hanging open?
If this wasn’t a Newton, why isn’t it just a cheesy, overacted, rather unflattering shot?
I think that one thing keeping his images from being thought of as trashy is his choice of models. Helmut mostly worked with extremely tall thin women with long limbs and fairly small breasts. Women with ‘fashion’ figures can often make almost anything look daring and edgy. There are poses that fashion models can pull off but make a curvier model look lurid and tacky. This is a prime example. The pose makes smaller breasts look bigger and most big (natural) breasts look like droopy udders.
Charlotte Rampling, Daryl Hannah, Carla Bruni… his choice of model also happened to be particularly beautiful celebrities- of course his images will remain in the public eye as long as the subjects do! Would they still be considered timeless and iconic if he had exclusively picked pretty women from the local bar?
This isn’t just any woman looking bored, grabbing her tit- this is Catherine Deneuve looking bored, grabbing Catherine Deneuve’s tit.

In my opinion, Helmut Newton had some truly beautiful photos and some equally dire ones in a mostly cool-ish portfolio which was helped by his choice of subject and use of stark black and white (somehow it makes many photos look more ‘arty’.)
As a fetish model, I can appreciate his daring to try weird stuff and as I usually do my own hair and makeup, I find the glamourous styling makes its way onto several of my personal moodboards. I love his hotel shots and sometimes his framing is just perfect. It’s why I’ll gladly consider a Helmut Newton style shoot with you… but first I’ll ask “what style?” ;P

Doing it better…

I’ve actually wanted to write this blog for quite some time… and then the pieces fell into place when a forum post on Purpleport started up…  So I frantically mailed a few photographers I greatly admire who, in my opinion, do “Helmut Newton style” better than Helmut Newton.

John Tisbury
Model: Vic

Models: Katy Cee and Iveta (both retired from modelling)

Max Operandi
Assisting Don McCrae

Model: Your humble blogger. That’s me.

Model: Ella Rose

Model: Rosa Brighid

As I just realised I only have one image of me in an entire blog, here’s one of my all-time favourites, by Gregory Brown.

Now, I’m sure one of you is going to tell me that many of the images above were heavily influenced by Newton. I know. I am very aware of this, but the fact is that Helmut Newton was also inspired by other people and somebody (can’t think who!) said that you can copy whatever you want but what matters is being better than the original. 😉

It’s okay to disagree with me- come and have a chat about it if you want! I’m just glad I got that off my chest. ;P


P.S. Here I am demonstrating how to correctly work with a cat. Take note, Helmut Newton- wherever you are in time and space!

Incorrect cat-handling.

Correct cat-handling.
Photo by Elena Isac.

Belgium and the ‘latex brat’!

24 Nov

I completed NaNoWriMo!!! I decided to edit two books I’d already written rather than take on yet another book in a month with two tours in it, but I completed the 50,000 words of editing today and am chilling in bed with tea, diamante and lace (making something for a shoot) and 90s films.

See? Did it.

I arrived back from Belgium about 24 hours before the places I had just been visiting were put on lockdown. I’m sending all my love and best wishes to my friends back over there. Stay safe. ❤

I was pleased to see a lovely display of openness, generosity and solidarity from Milton Keynes Muslims when I went to town at the weekend. A giant banner with #NotInMyName and people standing ready to chat about life, the universe and everything, even though it was freezing! When I was at school, I remember religious discussions were often led by people we knew (for example our Muslim computer technician who was a familiar face around school and someone we could ask as many questions as we wanted. This was before Islamophobia became rife as far as I know, as this memory is from when I was about eight years old!)
It was nice to share snacks, photos and life stories with open-minded friendly people before my bus arrived.

Here are a couple of my travelling pictures from this Belgium trip!
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Antwerp Central Station

The view from my shooting apartment in Brussels- the sunset made the buildings opposite look like opals!

I was staying with fellow model Riona Noire, her husband and menagerie of animals (with varying degrees of snuggliness). 😀
If you do not know Riona then you should click the link above and look at her, as she is awesome, beautiful and has some top secret projects going on that she can’t talk about. The suspense is killing me! 😛
Here she is on the left, with me and Sara Scarlet. Photo by Mew-Chiel

While I was in Antwerp, I shot for KinkyStyle again- yay! Photographer Patrick is always a lot of fun to work with- we rarely plan outfits in advance so both turn up with cases of latex to choose from and bounce ideas around. I really like getting the chance to play different characters and last time we worked together he brought a latex hoodie, a pink top with “BITCH” across it and some fingerless gloves. As I rarely do ‘cute’, I had to try the outfit on…
And it fit! 😀

So let me present… THE LATEX BRAT!

Pigtails and heels are serious business…

Bitch? Moi? …

… don’t make me laugh!

So what have you bought me?bitchiebrat_17

No diamonds? In Antwerp???

Get out of my sight!

😛 😛 😛

I’m thinking about carrying a few packs of stick-on fake nails to any non-nude shoot- I’d have loved some really pointy pink ones with little bows on them for this set!

This time, we managed five different looks! As I make a lot of my own clothing I wanted to show my own style a little more, so wore a black latex bodysuit with New Rock boots, my holster bag from Jungle Tribe and my homemade Winter coat. No full length pictures yet, so have some selfies!
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As it’s past midnight here in England and I’m surrounded by glittery things, I’m going to put the kettle on and sign off! There’s a beautiful rainstorm tonight and I can hear it pounding on the roof. 🙂

Goodnight all,


p.s. Are you doing a longterm project that feels like an uphill battle? Spare a thought for this guy! He’d been trying for 6 YEARS to photograph a diving kingfisher… and he finally got it!
I’ve very jealous as there is a kingfisher at the marina and I watched him catch a fish the other day. I have a soft spot for them as I think they’re the closest thing to hummingbirds we have in England- weeny jewel coloured things that squeak. ❤
Photo by Alan McFadyen

The limits so far

21 Jan


I have been dying to post these images for months but couldn’t as Skin Two magazine had first dibs on them. 😉 Well, as they’ve been published, I can tell you some of my news… I’ve been featured in Skin Two online!!!!! Have a look- the piece is here and do feel free to comment on it as I’d love to get the cover too… 😉 CLICK THE LINK!

Soooo… I hadn’t done suspension bondage in quite a while, but while Wykd Dave concentrated on the rigging,  Clover (who is a professional rope performer and educator herself, as well as a great photographer) helped me through by telling me what would squeeze and pinch before it actually did so that I didn’t panic or worry.
To see more of Clover and Wykd Dave’s work, click the links below:

As you know, I’ve been bending. Lots. As these pictures were taken quite some months ago now (yes, I’ve been holding onto them for *that* long), I’m significantly more bendy now and looking forward to my next shoot with the pair so we can put my feet over my shoulders. 😉

Here you go…






Today, I’ve been answering e-mails, reading, drinking hot chocolate with almond milk, completing my to-do list and… making a snowthing. 😀 Tomorrow, I’m writing, seeing a friend and sorting out a grand January sale!

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p.s. Bondage isn’t all serious- here’s a behind-the-scenes…