Tag Archives: latex model

Upping your game- model resolutions

29 Dec

It’s that time of year again- the time we collectively freak out over our tax returns (hey, it isn’t January yet…) and many of us start looking at self-improvement, myself included. As I have a few big projects on the go, my resolutions are little ones this year but one involves upping my game as a model. The other is setting up a new website for my professional and fiction writing.

While I have a blog in the works about the ways people shoot themselves in the foot when trying to make a living as a model (or any professional really), this one’s about the little things that make all the difference. I asked industry people how they knew they were working with a really good pro model and combined their advice with mine.
NB: When I say ‘professional’, I am referring to attitude and not whether modelling is a full-time occupation.

While I detest the phrase, this is how to “take it to the next level” as Tyra Banks would say…

1) Arrive professionally!
I considered this ‘basic’ knowledge but it came up so often I couldn’t not add it to the list.
Wear loose-fitting clothing and no underwear when travelling to photoshoots- it means there will be no lines or marks on your body that will need photoshopping out. During the photoshoot, work from less clothed to more clothed. Nude to fashion. Same reason- starting in lingerie before moving onto nude means you’ll have red marks from your bra and knickers.
If there will be a stylist, come with no make-up on at all. If not, check in advance how the photographer would like you to arrive- some models prefer to come 100% shoot-ready, others apply foundation, powder and eyebrow pencil so they can freshly do any look required with the basics already in place. This works well for studio days or if the photographer is unsure what order to shoot outfits in.

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Arriving “naked”. 

2) Remember your fingers and toes!
Hands are often hard to pose. One of the lessons I learned very early on in my modelling career was that unless you are going for the ‘trapped in a box’ or ‘ugly-pretty’ vibe, hands should be made as elegant as possible by:
– Posing with the sides or backs of your hands to the photographer.
– Keeping the wrists relaxed and the elbows strong. Ballerinas already know this!
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– Consciously paying attention to the way they look and feel, so you’re less likely to get spade hands (picture below), clenched fists or “Dr Zoidberg hands” (which is when you look as though you’re impersonating a lobster and what I end up with if I don’t remember to relax!)
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Left: way back when! (photo by Gothic Image)
Right: last year (photo by Emma-Jane)

Point your toes- especially when shooting nude.It lengthens the leg and tapers it to a point rather than an angle.

3) Embrace your face
I read the BEST article about the ‘contouring’ craze recently, which mirrored my own feelings on the matter (more in a later post). Learning to do your own make-up is ‘modelling 101’ but knowing when to take some of it off is also invaluable.
Pre-Raphaelite style or very high-end Art with a capital ‘A’ photographs often feature a (seemingly) make-up-free face. Though you may rarely have to do it (especially if you’re a glamour or pin-up model), knowing how to do ‘natural’ properly and having at least one photo showing that style on your portfolio can help you if you want to move away from the more made-up genres.
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Case in point- this is Ivory Flame, photographed by Derek.

I now wear minimal make-up for art-nude work unless the photographer is going for something different- which leads me to…

4) Ask the photographer what they want to achieve.
Your job is to get more amazing shots than the photographer needs- so they are spoiled for choice by the end of the shoot. If they have not already sent you a moodboard or plan, ask them at the beginning what kind of images they would like to make.
If they’re all about going with the flow, then put your ‘muse hat’ on and offer a few ideas along with a wide variety of poses, outfits and accessories. Not everybody has a ‘plan’ so as long as they’re happy, you’re doing a good job!
Also, ask where your light is so you know which direction to look and pose toward.

5) Ask to see the back of the camera
We aren’t judging you, photographers! 🙂 Models understand that the finished shots will often look nothing like what we can see in that teeny screen, but we’re looking so that we can check our side of things- the posing- is working. A model who asks to see their work is a model who wants to know if there’s a way s/he can improve and get a better shot.
Photographers: if your model asks to do something again, or asks to change pose so they no longer have a double chin/foreshortened arm/eye bag etc, they are not full of self-loathing, but working hard to make sure the raw photo is the best and most flattering photo you could possibly get! Learning to criticise our own work is part of improving as a model and a couple of photographers have seemed surprised and maybe a little sorry for me when I have pointed out a flaw I could fix. Don’t be! (Unless I run to the bathroom crying that I look like Mad Madam Mim…. and that hasn’t happened yet.) 😛
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“The magnificent, marvelous, Mad Madam Mim…”

6) Communicate en-route
Make sure you have the photographer’s number a few days before the shoot just in case of emergencies. Though I could definitely improve upon promptly replying to emails (though I do clearly note my constant travelling and 100% reply rate on my profile), I always always, always text the photographer when I am on my way to the photoshoot and again if there are any delays to my journey. This means that if I go off radar en-route (e.g. on the tube) the photographer does not automatically assume I have no-showed.

7) Rewrite your profile notes
There seem to be two schools of thought when it comes to your profile.
One: keep it concise and invite enquiries.
Two: Tell clients everything they could possibly need to know.
I can’t NOT write so I have a great big burble on my profile, BUT… it is spaced-out, separated, with headlines and font in bold. It may be lengthy to read but it is easy to read. Once you’ve saved your notes, check how they appear on the page- make sure you don’t have a wall of text and that what you’ve written is comprehensible.

8) Lose the ‘stripper rates’
I have never understood why so many models charge according to how naked they are! £15 per hour for fashion, £20 for lingerie, £30 for nude etc etc. How does it even work? If you’re booked for a fashion, lingerie and nude shoot, do you charge a different rate per hour? Divide the rate by the mean and median and consult the calculator? Stop this madness!!
Professionals understand that they put as much effort into a clothed shoot as into a nude shoot. They are posing for people who want to capture an image, not watch a glorified striptease. While the main ‘product’ you are selling is your appearance, it is also your skill at posing, your make-up, the guarantee that you will arrive on time etc etc etc. Therefore, your time should cost the same regardless of your state of undress- this places the value on you, not how much flesh you’re willing to show.

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“Implied clothed”. 😛
Photo by GSTim, dress by Falcieri designs

On that subject…

9) Don’t ever (EVER) have ‘secret levels’.
It is completely okay to be selective about who you work with, especially with higher levels, but hiding the fact that you pose nude (or any other level) does not work. People talk and it gives the impression that some of your work is a shameful secret.

There are many ways to be clear on the subject of levels:
– “I work up to and including lingerie level and take on very occasional nude work depending on the project.”
– “Please note I only work to art-nude level with a few individuals I select- other enquiries about nude work will be ignored.”
– “I only work to open leg level with proven photographers in the genre, with extensive references provided. Thankyou for your understanding”
– Please note that as of __insert date here__ my highest level is now lingerie. (This is a good way to state that any more naked images found are simply old work and not your ‘guilty secret’).

Facial recognition software is now scarily good- photos of you are online to stay and just like celebrities who protest through lips that have tripled in size overnight that of course they haven’t had surgery, trying to hide the obvious is an exercise in futility. Post your levels honestly and people will stop obsessing!

10) Stay pro.
Leave your photographer a reference after the shoot if everything went well! Hopefully, they will do the same for you.
If your photoshoot was TF*, you are being paid in images so make sure you receive those pictures. If it’s been a while, send a polite follow-up message. Communicating well is everything.
If you have been paid, but would like to post images on your blog or facebook etc, ask first!! Some photographers are perfectly happy for you to use the images. Others are not, so always check even if it seems obvious. If you have permission to post the pictures, credit the team if there was one. (The whole team- make-up artist, stylist, etc etc- nobody likes to be left out.)

Bonus point:
Don’t nick the photographers pasty. That’s just not acceptable… 😛

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I couldn’t decide which pictures to share (as per usual) but as this awesome set from Dirk Glassly show me as the polished lady who has it all, it had to be this set! 😉
Outfit by Lady Allura’s latex
Hair and make-up by me.

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What do models eat?

24 Jan

If you don’t care what I’m watching, eating or doing at the moment then scroll to the bottom for the rest of the set. I hope you’ll read though. 😛
Roswell (39 of 92)

I’m excited to begin modelling again next week after a long writing-related absence! I have now set up a second blog (yes, really. I’ll tell you more soon!) and finished writing two stories for inclusion in two separate anthologies. (I’ve been a busy lady over here!) 😉
I’ve also had time to catch up on some shows and books I never had the time to look at. (Including True Blood- thankyou so much to the wonderful person who sent me series 1. Mail me with your address and I’ll send you a thankyou card!) At the moment, I’m watching a lot of documentaries and TED talks. I hate the name “TED talks”- it stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design but sounds like a cutesy childs’ book about a morally-upstanding stuffed bear. Still, the talks are fascinating- from how the brain works, to fetishes and phobias, to art interpretation.
Here are some on my favourite ones, in case you are interested!
Underwater cave diving!
We only hear one story
Do schools kill creativity?

Even if I didn’t have a diary, I’d know it’s January as I get a rise in personal messages around this time- I’m most often asked how to get into modelling and what my fitness regime is as a curvy woman. I’ve set up a FAQ page for the first question but I’m going to talk about the second one here:

I can’t find any pictures of me wearing yoga pants, laughing and eating salad so instead have a giant selection of toffee apples.
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If you Google “what do models…” it will predict that the next word is ‘eat’. (Or ‘really eat’, ‘do’, eat to stay skinny’, or ‘do to work out’). Well, I’ve seen some models eat burgers and fries, others have a very healthy diet with treats allowed, others eat virtually nothing while chugging black coffee and sugar water. (Okay, that was one other- but we all know that’s common in the fashion industry, which I’m glad I’m not part of.)
My point is that models diets are ridiculously varied. If you want to get fit, check out lifestyle tips from personal trainers and dieticians instead. Fitness and health is their business after all! 🙂

I’m naturally very curvy and do not put on muscle easily. I zoom around the planet almost constantly and due to a severe (but manageable) phobia of vomiting, I find eating food in unfamiliar places stressful. You may have a different lifestyle which my way of life would not suit so this advice is mostly for the curious. Still, here is what THIS model eats and does to exercise:

1) My fitspiration
Getting a lean thin body is unattainable for me without a starvation diet and surgery to minimise my curves, so it’s pointless for me to want one! Instead, my ‘fitspiration’ pictures are of curvy toned women so I’m not setting myself up for failure before I even pick the weights up. I hate working out so do short bursts of weights, long walks and yoga/contortion practice. I would be doing martial arts but that doesn’t work with modelling! 😉
Advice:
– If you have inspiration pictures of the way you would like to look, think about whether they are attainable. If they aren’t, forget them and find better ones.
🙂
– Look at the ridiculous DVD cover below. I am sure the exercises DO help tone your stomach but you will not get results like this. The ‘before’ picture is an unflattering candid shot of her leaning forward and not sucking in. The ‘after’ picture is studio-lit, posed and retouched. You CAN lose weight and tone up if you would like to, but you can’t spot-reduce fat. Also, if you add muscle, you are likely to put on weight rather than losing it. Look at the way your clothes fit, not the scales and not this stupid DVD! 
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2) Starting again
I had a ‘fitness fresh start’ a year ago and booked a consultation with Juliette of Bareskin Beauty to give me a starting point to work from. Juliette specialises in holistic* skincare and nutrition , so I told her everything there is to know about my lifestyle and diet! In return, she gave me a fantastic plan full of advice. While treatments can be expensive this is an investment in the body that needs to last a lifetime, very worth it and I would highly recommend her.
* Treating the body as a whole unit rather than a bunch of separate symptoms.
Advice: If you’re feeling ‘all at sea’, it is worth asking for professional help and support to give you a kickstart. 
I also asked Juliette what her top tips are for staying healthy, and here they are!

“I passionately believe that skin and hair vitality comes from within, so nourish the body and you will glow like a goddess from the inside out.

1) If you make one change this year to your diet, eat a rainbow of raw plant-based foods (aka phytonutrients) every day. These sources of antioxidants also contain vitamin C for collagen and elastin production, vitamin A (retinol) for cell health, and sulphur for strong connective tissue.

2) Your digestive system is like the soil that your hair and skin grow in; if the soil isn’t healthy, the plants won’t bloom properly. For perfect health we need a 80:20 split of good and bad bacteria.
21st Century living strips the body of good bacteria and allows bad bacteria to reign supreme leading to a host of health issues and skin concerns. Re-populate the gut with good bacteria by eating and drinking probiotic foods. My favourites include green leafy vegetables, sea vegetables and raw milk. I also take probiotic supplements.

3) Fat is Good! We cannot absorb and utilise nutrients without eating omega 3 fats, which are vital for a healthy brain, heart, nervous system, digestive system, and at a cellular level for effective and healthy cell division. Foods naturally rich in omega 3 fatty acids include dark green leafy vegetables, raw walnuts, wild salmon, flax seeds, free-range eggs. Healthy foods naturally rich in flavonoids include lettuce, cherries and raw chocolate!

4) Processed sugar is the most ageing substance on the planet; it binds with collagen and elastin molecules and literally sucks the life force out of them, reducing the structure and elasticity of your skin. Age and liver spots are formed when sugar and collagen react repeatedly over time. Natural forms of sugar that work in synergy with the body include: raw honey, yacon root syrup, green stevia, dried figs or other dried fruits.

5) I recommend a 6-week trial of a gluten-free diet that excludes wheat, rye, and barley to restore vitality and clear skin. The gluten-containing form of grains that are available today have been so interfered with by the food industry, that the body cannot digest and metabolise them, leading to chronic internal inflammation that will manifest as poor skin and hair loss.

There you go!

We’re human and Krispy Kreme exists so don’t beat yourself up for eating badly occasionally but the more you try to keep a consistently good diet, the less you crave processed things. At least, that’s my experience.

Here’s a no-make-up-selfie of me on my way to a shoot
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3) What I eat
I experiment with food as much as I can and know that carbs like pasta and bread make me bloat if I eat them too often, so my carbs mostly come from lentils and beans (which give me extra protein too). I eat a tonne of fruit and veg (at least six portions a day) and am mostly pescetarian (no meat except for fish). I drink as much water as I possibly can, am a herbal tea wizard and my favourite treats are coffee ice cream, tortellini and pizza with loads of garlic oil and mozzarella.
Advice:
– ‘Superfoods’ are expensive and once they’ve had their 15 minutes of fame, they’re shoved aside in favour of the new miracle food. We all know fruit and veg are healthy so don’t worry if they’re super. Bright colours- kale, berries (you can buy frozen ones cheaply), spinach, bell peppers etc are all good and you can make a lot using chopped tomatoes as a base.
– Don’t cook veg for too long! It turns to the tasteless mush of school dinner nightmares

– Drink water- it keeps your skin cells plump and hydrated and helps your immune system flush out the bad stuff.

Om nom nom
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4) Sugar
I try to stick to dark chocolate and fruit and when I cut out other sugars, my tastebuds changed. I now find when I do allow myself to eat anything I want, I don’t want sugary things so much as bread rolls and pate or cheese! Sure, cheese isn’t amazing for me but it’s better than an entire bag of jellybeans.
Advice: Do what you feel works for you- this is just my way. 🙂

5) Saving money
For me, the early months are full of expenditures so I save money in any way I can. Food (especially protein) can be expensive!
Advice:
– buy versatile food like carrots rather than cucumber. You can eat carrots hot or cold, as a snack or in a main meal. Same with celery and bell peppers.
– I’m hugely against factory farming animals so if I can’t buy free range meat for the rare occasions I eat it then I won’t buy meat at all. Tofu, free range eggs, lentils and beans are all high in protein and a lot cheaper than a steak.
– Most things can be eaten after their sell-by date. Due to my phobia, I won’t go more than a day or two and not at all with fish, but check the reduced aisles for things approaching their date and freeze them if you can for later.

Free stuff from the orchard! 😀
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The above was mostly to satisfy the curious about the way I eat and exercise. I’m not a fitness professional and modelling has made me appreciate beauty in a wide variety of forms so…..
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One last piece of advice: Always check your spices- garam masala looks a LOT like cinnamon and does not taste as nice in coffee. I speak from personal experience. *shudder*…

So I did a shoot last year wearing Piranha Latex Couture and I was waiting to an occasion to post the pictures!
Photographer wishes to remain mysterious but has given me permission to post these images… unedited!! Perfect for a blog about natural beauty.

Roswell (53 of 92)
Roswell (34 of 92)

I also shot some vintage-style and nudes!
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Time for an Irish Cream latte, I think! 😉

ROSWELL xxx