Tag Archives: model

“Hitting the Road, Jack…”

15 May

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Photo by Tim Bosworth

Once more for the people at the back: I AM NOT RETIRING FROM MODELLING YET- JUST MY BLOG. 😉

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Dudes, dudesses and odd person from Pittsburgh who genuinely believes I am part of the Roswell Incident; I’ve been writing this blog for seven years and of all the things I’ve created, I am probably most proud of this one.
While maintaining this little corner of the internet, I went from being an assistant in an amazing hippy and pagan shop to becoming a full-time international model. This blog has seen two long term relationships end and one begin. It has seen me drastically change my modelling
journey twice- from alt and art-nude, to fetish, to the current fine-art, curvy fashion and femme fatale of today. I have written some of what I consider my best work, sparked an argument or two, *cough* Helmut Newton *cough*,  met some amazing people and helped put a serial rapist in prison. I get overwhelmed when I think about my long term relationship with this seven year project…

But this is sounding like a goodbye, isn’t it? 😉 That’s because it is.

Photographers, I promised I would give you at least a year’s notice before I hang up my Suitcase of Doom- this is not it. I’m not saying farewell to modelling but… at least for now… I’m taking off my blogging hat. I have so many other exciting projects I’m working on that I can no longer spend the time on this one.

I will still be writing guest posts on other industry blogs and posting regularly on my social media- I’ve linked the places you can find me below and I hope to see you there. ❤
I’m not taking the whole blog down- my old posts are here for anyone who wants to read them and I have linked some of the most popular ones below as well.

Thankyou from the bottom of my little black heart for all of the support and for sharing my posts. See you in another corner of the internet! 😉

ROSWELL xxx

WHERE TO FIND ME NOW?
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POSTS YOU MAY LIKE

Modelling tips and tales:
Tips for planning a tour
How to shoot in freezing conditions
Upping your game
– Guys With Cameras. How a total newbie can book an excellent model
– What do models eat?

Tales of a naked girl
– Confessions of a nude model- a wee rantette

– What to do when the worst has happened
– The real thing: a rant

The Shaun Colclough case (in chronological order):
1)
The importance of references
2) Proud
3) Justice
4) Peacocks Swansong
5) Aftermath


Assorted wordy rambles:
Committing heresy: I (mostly) hate Helmut Newton
Give me hope (sterilisation and the childfree movement)
“Dangers untold and hardships unnumbered”
Solidarity with Stoya
A Tale of Two Captions
Death Becomes Her
Care
When the veil thins…

P.S. I couldn’t leave without posting some pictures… and I’ll post more from ALL of these sets on my social media.

New edit from an old shoot by the incomparable Max Operandi
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Two from a photoshoot with WOLVES, by my friend Valeria Kogan. Make-up/hair by Naomi Benjamin, dress by Joanne Fleming
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In my bridesmaids dress! Photo by GaryMac and make-up/hair by me
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I posed with a male model for the first time in YEARS and fortunately it’s my friend Darren S, who you should all book because he rocks. Photos by Tim Bosworth
I love the “American Horror Story” look of the last few- check out the crazy shadows!
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I completed the “nude model seasonal rite of passage” this year. (Spring is bluebells, summer is rapeseed, autumn is leaves, winter is snow).
Photo by Scarecrow
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Mermaiding about, by Andy Green
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And finally…….. shots from the beyond multitalented and lovely Liv Free, who took the photos, made the big headdress, did my hair and made-up and edited the pictures. ❤

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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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Samhain onboard

1 Nov

Happy Halloween to all and Blessed Be to fellow pagans.
For the first time in a few years, I am not working on Halloween weekend so have had the chance to chill out onboard my boat drinking spiced apple tea, reading spooky stories (there are some horrors in Neil Gaiman’s “Fragile Things”) and burning the green skull candle I’d been saving. I even found a “Day of the Dead” page in my colouring book. (Yes I have a colouring book. Actually, I have three- and they rock.)

I had loads of errands to run in town so braved the scariest thing of all- Saturday shopping in Milton Keynes. BUT, as I get phone reception there, it turned out to be a good thing I did- I accidentally visited the Gothic Manchester festival while on tour last weekend and entered a raffle in aid of S.O.P.H.I.E. to win a knitted Cthulhu. As I want my bathroom to be sea monster themed, I’ve wanted one for ages. Well, I got a phone call and… look!!! The white one is mine!!! ❤
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Also, the reading rooms at Manchester’s library are amazing. There has to be a secret portal in here. Right?

Samhain (aka Halloween) is the pagan new year- marking the end of the ‘light’ half of the year. The Celts believed that days began at sunset and so the new year begins now, at the dark half of the year. It’s a time for remembering the dead and celebrating the lives of ancestors. Though I love a good party and making costumes, I also find the season a time for being still and meditative. Especially losing someone at this time, it was even more important to me that I had my alone time.
As I know very little about my ancestors, I thanked them for the fact that I’m alive thanks to them and lit an extra candle, and wrote messages to the friends I have known who have died. (Luckily, there have been few.)
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One of these friends died while I was at school, still living with my mum. That night, I stuck this little plastic stained-glass-effect butterfly on my bedroom window for her. It sat there for fifteen years and after I left home a decade ago, my mum tried to remove it. It resisted all attempts at dislodging it and now that my mum is moving house too, she assumed it would stay there but had one last try at pulling it from the window. It practically fell into her hand. ❤
Looking at it now, it reminds me very much of some tattoos on another very close friend. I don’t know what that is supposed to ‘mean’ but things seem to have come full circle in a way, like so many things in life. All I can do is hope that in the same way, we’ll be reunited with our loved ones who died first.

My little space on the hearth, with candles, tea, notepad and snuggly carpet. See the skull candle?
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I didn’t dress up this year but as I dress up every day (even when I’m naked, I’m being a wood sprite, goddess or strange sculpture), that’s fine. I have some beautiful photos from an Autumn photoshoot with Shannon Swift and Orchid Corsetry, in which I think I look rather vampiric! 😉

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It’s the first day of NaNoWriMo, which I’ll tell you about soon- so for now, I’m going to get writing. 🙂 Wish me luck!

ROSWELL xxx

Happy New Year and here we go again!

27 Jan

Happy New Year, everyone!

As you have probably guessed from my stubborn silence here, I’ve beeen a busy lady but maybe not in the expected way: I’ve gone all zen and am working on sorting my nutrition and stress levels out. A week ago I treated myself to an appointment with skin nutritionist Juliette Scarfe (Bareskin Beauty). I had a treatment session, a consultation and was sent home with a lovely little pack of lotions and potions that smell gorgeous. I’ll happily join the army of models that recommend her and cannot wait to put some of her ideas into practice.

I still have trouble switching off- I feel strong and motivated when I’m answering e-mails, booking shoots in the diary, sending written work to publishers. Ticking off points on a to-do list has been my main reason for getting up for too long and I am rediscovering how to enjoy the creative process for itself. Something shouldn’t only be of value when it is over.
I’m returning to the mothership tomorrow for four days of making beautiful things. I have some lovely material and enjoy sewing- by hand especially! Definitely looking forward to losing myself in pretty textures and stitches.

Right now, I’m looking at a messy garden. In the Spring, I’ll go all Mary Lennox (The Secret Garden) and tidy/nurture it but for now, there are things still sleeping there and it’s best to let them hibernate. So I’m writing a few mini-stories while watching the tufts of grass blow about. Maybe if I go really wild, I’ll do a poem. 😛

Speaking of poetry and other things, I had two features in Cloud Orchid magazine recently! December’s issue had a poem by yours truly in it and January’s issue has me on the cover, with a six page feature inside (pages 56-61)! My biggest news of the year (seriously, if I get any bigger news this year, I’ll eat my hat) is in there too… 😉

Photos are all by Josefine Jonsson
PVC harness is by RestrictionWear
Pretty dress is by Spencie Darling
Hair and make-up is by me

COVER!!
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Here are some more pictures of the location. Isn’t it beautiful!? I should have got a picture of me with Josefine- people said we looked spookily alike. Maybe next time… 😀

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Tiny gingerbread house on the edge of a forest!!! I nearly fainted with joy and just *had* to pose in front of it…
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So tranquil…
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Bye bye, fairytale Sweden. See you in a few months!
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I’m going to sign off now as I have to go somewhere scary but hopefully tonights surprise dinner will make things okay.

Speak to you all soon- and thanks for sticking with me through my absence.

ROSWELL xxx