Tag Archives: Modelling

Projections and the ‘moment’ myth.

29 Mar

Belated happy Easter/Ostara, everyone! I just treated myself to some weeny ‘egglets’ from Hotel Chocolat. And a new book about a serial killer. Hope you all had a lovely time watching… um… Watership Down. (SERIOUSLY, Channel 5??!)*

Moving swiftly away from dead Easter bunnies; have any of you seen this project? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-TyPfYMDK8 If you can’t watch it right now, it’s a man being introduced to six photographers. Separately they are each told a different (false) thing about him: he’s an ex-prisoner, a self-made millionaire, he’s saved a life, he’s a commercial fisherman, a psychic, a former alcoholic. They’re then told to capture the essence of his story in one photo. Of course, each is completely different and you (or certainly I) could tell from many of the photos what the photographer believed. The photographs have illustrated their trains of thought, not a deep truth about their subject.

A common complaint I hear among professional models is hearing a photographer say “don’t pose- I want to capture the real you“. The second anybody at all knows they are being photographed, they pose- even unconsciously; a stiffening of the shoulder, pulling in of the stomach, relaxing of a squint. It is not possible to tell your subject not to pose- especially a model- for those of us who have been modelling for years it is a part of who we are.Β  Certainly for most of us, our modelling name/image is not a character we play for the camera that gets removed with our make-up at the end of a shoot. The pictures below capture different sides of my personality… but you couldn’t have caught both sides at once!
L- Jade Stacy Maria. R-Titus Powell

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It isn’t possible to capture a person’s entire essence in a photo even if one moment, one raw emotion, one perfect capture of the way you see them is there. The fact is, we are all multi-faceted but one of those sides is always hidden from us; the way others see us.

On the rare occasion a ‘moment’ is captured in a photograph, it is usually the model alone who sees it. Even when we look at our own faces from the outside, it is our own feelings we recognise- and the significance of the shots may well be lost on the outsider.
The shot below (which many of you will recognise) gives me the shivers. Unless you know why, you are probably more likely to see an amateur model in a particularly half-assed pose with no light in her eyes.
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That is why even though a picture may paint a thousand words, those words are often needed. When you know the story from the subjects point of view, you can more easily experience the picture as they do.
I’ve been following the story of a fellow model: Helen Stephens. Helen has epilepsy and has just shaved her head for charity! (Please click this link to hear more about her fundraising and consider supporting her.) Before she did this, she documented moments in her life with epilepsy in order to dispel some of the misconceptions about the condition. The results are fascinating and well worth taking a look at.
The thing is, in order to really experience each picture the way Helen does, you need to read her very eloquent words! A couple of shots in particular show her wearing/doing what I see as a standard dreamy ‘art nude model’ expression/pose (in fact, the expression is similar to a picture of me below). In actual fact, she’s been captured having a seizure!! Yes, you can have ‘blanks’ where you zone out instead of the thrashing fits people associate with epilepsy. (Something new I learned from Helen.) For her, these images evoke strong emotions but the viewer may never know the significance of what they are seeing unless they literally read more into it.

So… pictures! I was experimenting with light and projections with photographer “Symagery“, as well as shooting a few art nudes. When we settled on the perfect pose, it was interesting to see how the mood of the picture changed depending on the images that covered me! I still think they’d make great music album covers!:)

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I’ve just returned from my biannual South Coast tour- if you didn’t catch me this time, I’ll be back in August.
I spent Easter Weekend itself with one of my best friends and as I’ve just learned to make vegan chocolates I got busy in the kitchen and made these. Salted cashew and marzipan, and pistachio and coconut.πŸ˜€
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Every single time I see this particular friend, we plan to visit a castle. Every single time our plans get rained off and we end up hanging out with tea, the cat and a ridiculous debate of some kind. This time, it was Batman vs Superman. Better candidates for Batman included Tom Hardy, Karl Urban (who is not Luke Evans. Who knew they weren’t the same person?! Oh right, everyone but me…), the cat, and my mum. Though I am looking at my fire extinguisher at the moment and thinking perhaps it should have made the list…
If you want to wet your pants laughing and don’t care about spoilers, this Guardian reviewer is my new hero.πŸ˜‰

I’m taking my mum for a belated Mothers Day outing tomorrow so am going to eat my chocolate and read my hopefully creepy book in bed now, so have a good week. More writerly burbling coming soon…

ROSWELL xxx

* I think I speak for most of the public when I say that Watership Down is one of the most horrible films ever, BUT… come on, everybody knows it’s notorious for being traumatising so to the legions of parents complaining; read the bloody film description next time! I’m actually finding it hysterical that the TV people thought it was a good idea to show that over Easter! Next up: Nickelodeon’s primetime airing of “When The Wind Blows”.πŸ˜›

Give me Hope.

29 Feb

I had an interesting blog written out yesterday, all about how people and their bodies evolve. I’m going to post it below but I had some frustrating and upsetting news today that I’d like to tell you about.

First, here is a picture by PWP images.
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Many of you know that I am childfree and should I want to become a mother, I will adopt. Since last year, I have been actively pursuing sterilisation. That is because the usual methods of contraception are not suitable for me due to family medical history. Believe me, I have researched all of my options and sterilisation is, for me, the way to go. As The Authorities are reluctant to sterilise any woman under 30, I have made sure every time I visit the doctor for anything at all, they put it on record that my mind has not changed.
Last year when I made the usual request, the doctor gasped “but WHY don’t you want CHILDREN??” This was followed by “what if your partner wants them?” I hope I don’t need to explain how offensive this is.
I demanded to be referred to the hospital and a different doctor did so. Two months later, I had my hospital appointment, successfully convinced the team there that I was of sound mind and had done my research, so the hospital approved me.

I just had the letter back. Funding denied.πŸ˜₯

I honestly thought I’d finally convinced them, but it seems that a decade of consistency and valid medical reasons (not to mention environmental reasons) are still not enough to convince doctors that I can make this decision. This has devastated me.
If I had been unsuccessfully trying to GET pregnant for the past ten years, doctors would be falling over themselves to help me. In a world that is vastly overpopulated, if I can be trusted at age 28 to choose to have a child, I should be trusted to choose NOT to.

Now, at the time I opened the letter, I happened to be listening to Eddy Grant (Gimme Hope Jo’Anna) and remembered that my country does not have apartheid. I’m not at risk of FGM. I am not starving. If I am pregnant by a rapist, I am not forced by law to keep the baby. I told myself off and tried to write off my fury and frustration as “white girl problems”, but the thing is, I don’t think I should.
Yes, other women suffer horrendous indignities and torture, are denied basic contraception, denied abortion- the Marie Stopes website even has a special section for Irish women- but just because England is better developed than some countries, this does not negate the fact that The Authorities still consider women incapable of making certain choices. I have very publically supported the idea that women worldwide should have the rights to their own bodies. This includes my own country too!

Doctors may remind women that their pregnancy is risky (obesity-related for example) but these women are not denied their choice to become pregnant. As I have said, there are medical reasons why sterilisation is best for me yet every time I explain, doctors still try to push unsafe hormonal options on me. When will I be considered old enough to know my own mind and body? 30? 40? 50?
28 is a perfectly respectable age to decide to have children; no doctor would remind a 28 year old pregnant woman that having children is permanent- that they are just too young to make such a decision. So why is my choice any less valid? Yes, it’s permanent, I am aware of that. I was aware when I asked for a referral, I was aware in the hospital, and I am aware now. Yet every time I have returned to the doctors, I am still asked if I know that sterilisation is permanent!

Of course, I’ll fight this. Of course I’ll appeal. But let me address questions I’ve been asked a few times:
Is it expensive? Can’t you go private?
It’s around Β£1500 in England but yes, I can go private. However, this is a matter of principle. I shouldn’t have to pay for the correct medical treatment for me, just because doctors won’t grant me the same respect they do women who make a more culturally acceptable choice.

But being childfree is unusual…
Not really. Around 20% of women over 40 are childfree. They aren’t all infertile and wishing for a miracle! I’m sure that if it wasn’t such a long-winded frustrating procedure, more women would apply for sterilisation. (There are certain notable other situations that work the same way- the path ahead being frustrating, painful, possibly traumatic, so most women don’t choose to take it…) *raises eyebrow* Why is it that the law is so geared against women?
I should mention here that men are generally not asked about the wishes of hypothetical future partners or told they are too young to have a vasectomy.

What if you sued the hospital?
What if I got pregnant or had children, regretted it and tried to sue the hospital for not sterilising me when I asked!? Give me any form and I’ll sign it- I take responsibility for my decision.

This is me banging my head against the wall. Photo by PWP images.
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I think I’ve said all I can for now. If you have any questions, I will do my best to answer and if you are a childfree woman (or man) who has struggled to get doctors to accept this, please feel free to tell your story in the comments. It’s time we came out of the woodwork! Like this! (photos by Ghost Light)
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On to some really nice stuff…πŸ˜‰

I was thinking yesterday about the way people think about life and personal development. We tend to see things in a straight line pointing ‘onwards and upwards’ but from what I’ve seen, we go through the same growth spurts as we do in puberty, only internally and for the rest of our lives (hopefully). I certainly hope I’m still a work-in-progress! At age 14, I was pro-life and just four years before that- before I realised I also liked the ladies- I was pretty homophobic too! It took moving away and meeting people to change what I thought I knew.

The past year has felt like a huge growth spurt. One of my personal mottos is “never leave an experience empty-handed” and there are some things both good and bad that I’m sure I’ll look back on and think “yes, that moment changed my life”.
Even on the superficial levels, I’m always discovering new things about myself- who knew I liked tales about real-life gangsters? Who knew I’d start doing gladness meditations? Who knew I’d end up so willing to get my hands dirty? Right now I’m covered in coal dust from doing my fire and I have been unfathomably gross after certain photoshoots. I think my ‘ick’ tolerance level rose after I started doing so much work on my boat. Paint, goopy varnish, boatyard dust etc.
Even my body is changing. Not drastically and no surgery so worry not, but I am becoming more muscular. I love my action hero women and as my basic shape is quite comic-book (big thighs, hips and bust, small waist) I’m working on emphasising it!
Even while I do that, other friends of mine are doing the opposite! One of my favourite people, model and performer Elegy Ellem has been famous not only for her talent, tattoos and unique look, but for her boobs. And she’s just made a drastic change. Even if you don’t care about miss Ellem’s boobs (and she prefers it if you don’t), watch this video becase she’s a wise and beautiful goofball and her smile will make you smile too!πŸ˜›
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9NhJWTfzu8

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I’m going to go and watch Terminator 2 in a sec, because it rocks and a cinnamon cream latte is calling my name but let me just share a series of photos by PWP images. To me, they perfectly illustrate my feelings about evolving and us all being works-in-progress. Sometimes we don’t leave our ‘past selves’ behind. Sometimes we don’t emerge from a situation in a glorious phoenix blaze. Sometimes we’re just moving and that movement is beautiful in itself.

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ROSWELL xxx

Wild Thing

7 Feb

I’m getting itchy feet already- it’s a good thing I’m going adventuring again next week! I’ll be doing my famous tennis ball impersonation- zooming South, then North and back South again in just four days. Still- I’m pretty sure pictures and happiness will be forthcoming as I’m going to see Kitty Wood Photography– I have the honour of being one of her bridesmaids this year and couldn’t be more excited.

Blogwise, I can’t believe the response I had to my post about what models eat!! So many shares, so many comments! Thankyou all- and I have now updated the original post with the promised advice from Juliette at Bareskin Beauty. Click here to have a read, and I’ll be back with more modelly advice soon.
For now, I’m writing a mini series of articles about life on a boat for a fantastic feminist/life/opinion website.πŸ˜€ If there’s anything you would like to know, just comment with your question and I’ll make sure I answer it. I’m already covering narrowboat basics, decor for tiny spaces and more.
Despite the title of this post, I’m still feeling quite domesticated; spending my evenings toasting in front of the fire with a stack of books, or painting my doors at long last. At the moment, I’m in love with the artwork the band β€œOf Monsters and Men” use in their videos so I feel there will be wild things coming soon to a wall near me!
If you don’t know the band or haven’t seen the videos, links are below.

It makes me laugh that ‘domesticated’ for me is still kind of strange for a lot of other people- I still run around with no clothes on getting my picture taken and watch the world out of coach, train and plane windows. I still live in an indoor forest (which is swinging around like mad right now- the storm’s howling!) and I still walk around in clothes straight out of your end-of-days Zack Snyder fantasy. In fact, if you want to know more about my everyday life (believe me, modelling is just the beginning), you can start by following this Instagram…πŸ˜‰ https://www.instagram.com/lifeoutthereblog/
On that note, I went to Sweden a while ago. I had a crack-of-dawn flight so pulled a coffee fuelled all-nighter in the airport. Awesome fellow fetish model Psylocke met me off the plane, introduced me to her cats and went for her photoshoot while I got reacquainted with Swedish sweets. One exciting text later and I was off to meet photographer Belinda Bartzner and see a musical about HP Lovecraft… in Swedish. Just so you know, “A Shoggoth on the Roof” rocks- and is pretty easy to understand even when you can only understand the word ‘tentacles’.
The next day (after some world-class sleeping and cat snuggling), Belinda and I worked together for the first time! (She’s since become a good friend so these pictures bring back happy memories).

I’m wearing a custom-made Dawnamatrix playsuit.πŸ˜€

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Tomorrow, it’s boat-painting, email-answering and preparing for a pancake party with a goddess of cosplay!πŸ˜€

Bedtime now, I think. *eyes the stack of books excitedly*

ROSWELL xxx

p.s. this idiot I’m fluffbabysitting is asleep. His head is on my hand bouncing up and down as I type and he’s making a great table for my hairpins.
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Hollywood Fairytales

28 Jan

When you’re freelance, modelling isn’t the endless game of dress-up that films and magazines like to show. (Hollywood? Glittercoating something? Surely not…) On a normal day in Roswell-land, with some notable exceptions there’s no stream of caterers, make-up artists rushing in to fix hairs out of place and designers adjusting the diamonds attached to me. There’s no fairytale whirlwind from which I emerge a princess, and usually I like it that way. (I prefer to be a knight…)πŸ˜›
This is not to say that a full team (make-up artists, designers, assistants etc) cannot be fantastic to work with, just that it isn’t the norm for freelance models. We often have a greater hand in the creative process than agency models*. Of course we can work to a brief; there are plenty of shoots in which the photographer has a very clear idea of what s/he wants the final image to be and it’s our job to bring that idea to life- but for many bookings we do our own hair and make-up, pose freestyle and bring our own ‘shooting wardrobe’. “Just showing up and looking pretty” is not an option.
* If you want to read a hilarious account of life as an agency model, go and read Elyse Sewell’s old blog. She was the scientist in the first season of America’s Next Top Model.

I’m sponsored by a latex designer, a lingerie designer and a corsetiere so regularly have new one-off outfits to wear (in fact, I have some now…) but I have also updated my entire shooting wardrobe for 2016! If you’re a photographer and would like a booking or to enquire about what’s new, just send me a message here. Here’s a sneak peek though…

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While the Hollywood game of nothing-but-dress-up is mostly an illusion, I almost always get to play characters when I shoot- even if they’re only in my head. Until recently, I was mostly known for my fetish and art-nude work but in the past year or so, I’ve noticed an increase in my fashion and beauty bookings. Being freelance, this means I usually do my own make-up and styling in collaboration with my sponsors.
I’ve been working with Orchid Corsetry for about six months now and spent last weekend in Shrewsbury with designer Beth, being fitted for the next pieces! I love looking around other peoples studios and Beth’s is a luxurious sweetshop of material and trimmings.

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What Beth’s currently working on is a secret but we’re combining fashion and mythology as we both have a love of fairytales…πŸ˜‰ In fact, I’ve just finished a written tale of my own for submission to an anthology called “Damsels in Success”!
I promised some more flash fiction blogs so to accompany the pictures below (that I’ve been so excited to post) so here are some Once-Upon-A-Time-s for you. The more I looked at the pictures, the more I thought of characters you might find in Hollywood.
The photographer is Shannon Swift, who is one of the most inspirational and interesting women I have had the good fortune to work with.
Would you like to work with her? She’s running a photoshoot giveaway right now! The deadline is the 31st so get your applications in quick.
NON-WHITE MODELS OF ANY COLOUR OR RACIAL BACKGROUND, please listen up! Shannon is shooting a photo and video project featuring models from different racial backgrounds so if you’d like to work with her, drop her a message.

Corsets and lingerie: Orchid Corsetry
Crown, hair and make-up: Me

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The Rising Star.
A thousand times upon a time, a young and beautiful woman made her living by pretending to be other people. This she did well, even in her own life. With every word said or movement made, she played a character as compelling as any whose shoes she stepped into for the sake of the camera. At first she gripped the crown she wore as though it might turn to smoke or slide off her head- it was borrowed, after all- but over time she learned to hold it as though she was certain it would remain hers forever- there would be no other girls afterward and people learned to believe her. Away in a locked room untroubled by the cameras, she shrugged off her character and laughed:
“It’s as simple as that! If we all just played this game, we’d all be fucking immortal!”
She laughed as though there would be no girls after her. She laughed like a fool.

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The Fading Star
Once upon a time in a strange land, there was a woman who was thin. Much too thin- and yet there was more, for she was fat too. This woman was free, talented, troubled, disfigured, stunningly beautiful, disgraced, risen, repentant, not sorry in the slightest, and thin again. In fact, she was each of these things at one time or other- and all at once depending on who was telling her story. The only thing that the storytellers could agree on was that now she was fading.
There would always be options until the day came when nothing she could do would seem interesting. She sucked an ice cube and tightened her belt. Fruit, it had been decided, was an ornamental decoration only. Sugar was for other people. And so the golden apple sat in plain sight- a trinket for visitors to notice and her own private joke. She picked it up. It had been the only thing recovered from the accident and kept out of the media in exchange for a sum even the richest would mentally stagger over. For a whole ten minutes she told herself she was merely considering telling, but her mind had been made up for days. What was it they said? “If you can’t be famous…”

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The Confidante
There are a lot of pets in Hollywood, but these ones aren’t the kind you want to get to know. They seem quiet, subdued, even a little skittish- but that’s just compared to their owners. Peacock-bright and beautiful, they are the ones you want to meet and touch. The pets fade into the background and nod yes.

“She’s lovely isn’t she?”Β 
“Yes.”
“May I speak to her?”
“Yes”.
Here, pets manage their owners lives while thinking on their paws as they run to keep up. They know everything there is to know. They watch- some pets are guardians too. They understand when nobody else does, so they are told.
There are, of course, good owners and bad owners. Whether or not there are bad pets is not for me to say. But I’ll tell you this; when a pet turns on its owner, it is quite a thng to see…

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The Spectator
The statue had been there for as long as the house had stood.
“Built in the nineteen-twenties!” she had heard a tour guide say, as though that was a mark of true venerability.
It was her good fortune, the statue supposed, that every one of the houses inhabitants had either found her charming or lived mostly in hotels, seldom visiting their own home. Still, things had crept in- palm trees, crystals from a famous medium, a pair of pink flamingoes that she scowled at but would miss if they were to be removed.
It was a bizarre state of affairs, the statue thought, that she should live in the place fairytales were manufactured and fantastical things happened every day but know better than to ever move.

Goodnight…

ROSWELL xxx

Peculiars

8 Dec

“Peculiar” is one of my favourite words. As well as meaning odd or unusual, it also means something distinctive from others in character or nature. That would be me then, ha ha!πŸ˜€

Many of my friends know I collect strange words (and funny things they’ve said*) in the back of each diary I have and today I found another: “submechanophobia” It’s a fear of man-made things underwater!
I actually love submerged creepy things and mentioned that HERE. Still, let me repost the pictures…
Ship by Ruslan Eliseev. Polar bear (which I am aware is not a man-made thing) by Paul Souders.
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It’s a funny thing, when you’re a bit of an oddball anyway and even aspects of your own personality seem to clash! I’m a very proud hippy at heart and spend as much time as possible in nature. I hate building on green belts, wish I could imagine a world in which war doesn’t exist (but sadly I can’t), and don’t get me started on overpopulation! On the other hand, the road warrior in me shouts “bring it on” and is inspired by sitting on derelict rooftops with various beaten-up towns below. Like Batman with heavier shoes.πŸ˜›

When I’m booked for a photoshoot, unless there is a very clear brief I often turn up with my suitcase full of things and we take it from there That’s what happened earlier this year with photographer La Pelicula (see, there’s another reason for the title!) and make-up artist Stephanie Berika. We combined our outfits and ideas, and got what now looks to me like a visual representation of two very different sides of my character!πŸ˜€

Fiery hippy! Wearing one of my favourite dresses, by Falcieri Designs
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Fashion armour
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It’s the latest in Uruk-hai couture!πŸ˜›
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I’m working for one more week and then I’m taking a nice long holiday over the Christmas period. I can’t wait to decorate my boat with a load of tacky tinsel and a weeny tree! As the calendar year comes to an end, I’m looking forward to sitting down with the new spiced coffee I bought and reflecting on the past year as it’s been an eventful one.
I made a very early New Years resolution a few months ago, which was to dedicate more time to this blog. Less “number crunching” and votes-collecting, more writing. Reading back on the last few posts I’ve made (even the sad ones) has reminded me how much I enjoy blogging.
There’s so much more to come!

ROSWELL xxx

p.s. a bit of silliness before I go on my last tour of the year:
Outtakes!
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I swear Stephanie is adjusting my hair on the right, not punching me in the face- which would explain why I’m smiling about it!

* For example: “If you vajazzled your foo, that would be a foofurore”

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