Tag Archives: Modelling

Assorted meows!

10 Sep

As this blog is mostly about the relationship and camaraderie internet models have, how better to start it off than with a crowd of us off-duty and celebrating friendship and love? (Uh-oh- hippy Roswell’s out again!)πŸ˜› A few months ago, I had the honour of being a bridesmaid for photographer, blogger and plus size model Kitty Morris (formerly Wood). Meow. Kitty. See what I did there?πŸ˜›

Kitty has been writing a fantastic series of blogs about different aspects of her wedding which are really interesting and beautiful- click here for some purple dress and cactus action….
For me, it was not only a chance to see someone I love dress up like a mermaid rockstar and marry a besuited Dothraki but also to make new friends and catch up with two other models I hardly ever get the chance to see. (It’s Jess and Liv Free, who also did Kitty’s and my hair and make-up, and rocked it.)
You may remember them from previous blogs!
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Jess and me

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Liv and me!

I actually took far fewer photos than I expected as I just wanted to enjoy the moment- and photographer Click Click Bang was already on the case and considerably better at photography than me!
Here are a couple of mine:

Gurning again with Liv… we are just the sexiest!πŸ˜‰
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Look at Kittys mermaid hair!
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What happens when three off-duty models get in a photobooth
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And here are some much better ones from Click Click Bang
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Look at that bouquet. LOOK AT IT!!!

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Happy (and nervous) bridesmaid!

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“…that’s when love walked in...”

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L-R: Fal, Jess, Kitty, Me, Liv

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The cakes. The one on the left is made of cheese. It is a literal CHEESE CAKE!!

Seriously, read Kittys blog for extra awesomeness.πŸ™‚

On to some more meows…

Photos by MattB
Outfit by Yummy Gummy
Kitty ears by Lady Allura
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It’s been my experience that there’s always a little drama in any environment but if you believe the media, the modelling industry has it in disproportionate bucketfuls. Watch Top Model, watch a documentary- hell, watch Zoolander- the model stereotype is about 30% eating disorder, 20% pouting and 50% cattiness. While just like any stereotype there is a grain of truth to it, my experiences among fellow internet and travelling models have been almost entirely positive and supportive.

Though the majority of us look different and of course we all work in our own ways, theΒ  lifestyle of any travelling model can be remarkably similar no matter the genre or country! I never thought I’d know two models who have lived out of their vans while travelling with their dogs, for example.πŸ˜€
Late cancellations on tour, expensive train fares, shoots you weren’t expecting to be just so damned awesome, a once-in-a-lifetime publication or booking, sad news while out of the country, loneliness, happiness etc etc etc. It’s no wonder that the community spirit is often so strong when we’ve all experienced the same very specific situations! There are even facebook groups for stranded models who need urgent hostel or airbnb recommendations. We have no agency to find work for us. We work our butts off to get jobs and contacts- posting castings, applying for castings, updating our portfolios and contacting photographers and designers directly. Our reputations as both skilled models and professionals are what puts food on our tables (yes, we eat!)
Though as I’ve said, we’re a friendly bunch, one thing I’ve seen bring out the ‘inner bitch’ in both models and designers is lazy networking. It tends to be a newbie model crime- I’ve been guilty of it and so have most people I know so maybe it’s a rite of passage like cheesy poses or mixing up your measurements- one you can look back on and see how far you’ve come both in terms of skill and professionalism. Either way, let me explain…

Most of us are more than happy to help other models network. I’ve had messages from photographers whose model has had to cancel but recommended me as a replacement. I have recommended other models to photographers who have a certain project in mind. On request, I’ve given honest feedback on portfolios in exchange for the same honesty about mine. Model networking is a two-way street. What really grinds my gears is receiving a message asking simply for a list of my photographer or designer contacts. I’m more than happy to give advice to newbies regarding how to find work or make contacts but simply asking for mine is lazy and rude. (“Please tell me who pays and who lends corsets.” Well how about I just cut out the middle man and give you money and corsets?!) The same goes with models asking to be recommended to a designer- if I don’t know you, I will not risk my reputation vouching for you.
Designers get some especially ludicrous messages from chancers which produce amazing rants online! (“please lend me this exact latex dress for a hen party in three days time- I’ll take pictures of it on my really good cameraphone.”) I’ve explained how to work with designers in this blog here: https://roswellivory.wordpress.com/2016/02/17/what-do-models-wear/

Another thing we don’t like is when people (and this can be anyone) pay us a compliment by insulting other models! We all know that a huge no-no for models is misrepresenting yourself by overphotoshopping, lying about measurements, shaving your head with no warning etc. Photographers have every right to be annoyed at that and every right to have an aesthetic preference. We all do- but if I am booked for a job due to my curves, that is great for me so please don’t ruin it by telling me that certain other models were passed over because they look like a bag of spanners. That could well be my friend you are talking about.

Of course, stereotypes being what they are, I must say (again) that the vast majority of my experience working alongside other models (and women in this industry!) has been fantastic. This includes things I have witnessed – like models in trouble who have posted online for help and got it within minutes, even at 3am. Like having/seeing the level of help and care offered in comparatively minor but scary health situations- a panic attack or hypoglycaemic meltdown for example. Like the way people rallied around to help me find extra work when I had a frighteningly large number of bills come through at once (yet again, thankyou for that, from the bottom of my little black heart.)

I’m off to be a tourist next week (for the first time in what feels like years) so I’ll blog again in a couple of weeks (the big one…)πŸ˜‰

For now though… adding some ‘cattiness’ to the modelling world. Prrrrrr…πŸ˜›

ROSWELL xxx

Photos by Luci Alice
Outfit by Dawnamatrix
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Guys With Cameras…

1 Jul

I’m back in action!πŸ˜‰
My first photoshoot is next Wednesday so I’ve been spending a lot of time being creative and updating my art portfolio as well as roadkilling leather jackets for some events I have coming up…

I’m almost fully booked until SEPTEMBER now, but have just three days available for bookings in the beautiful Lake District with one of my best friends and legendary art-nude model Madame Bink. This is the FIRST time we have offered a duo shoot so places are likely to go quickly.
Please follow this link for details and testimonies from other photographers, and here are some pictures of the two of us:
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Now, as I have been fighting my way through the ‘inbox rabbit hole’ and two weeks of unanswered emails, I have noticed an interesting pattern which has led to this blog post which has some advice and a spoonful of snark.πŸ˜›

Ignoring spam and anything unrelated to modelling, here is a rough percentage of my inbox:
Bookings, enquiries and updates: 70%
Photo comments and messages from fans: 20%
Booking requests from total newbies and non-photographers: 10%

Total newbies are not a bad thing at all- I actually like working with new photographers and enjoy helping begin a portfolio- it’s a challenge for me on every level (posing, styling a variety of looks, answering questions etc), and it’s one I enjoy! I often get messages from photographers telling me that they want to book me when they are better at photography but booking a professional model can help improve your work instantly.

These two shots are by C Young- she was just a student when I posed for her!
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It begins with peace of mind; we don’t need direction, will turn up on time and most of us are also good stylists with impressive shooting wardrobes. We know how to work with any angle and lighting and can help you get the very best out of your time. There are few better ways to kick-start a new photography hobby (or fledgling career) than by booking a professional.

BUT…

a common complaint I hear among new photographers is the catch-22 situation; they must get references from well-known models in order to prove themselves trustworthy, but no model will work with them unless they already have references (which is an understandable request)!

If you are a new photographer with very few (or no) references, this is how to go about working with a model:

1) Book a studio they know and trust. (Β£)
You get your one-to-one photoshoot in privacy, with a knowledgeable studio owner in case of any equipment malfunction, plenty of lights and backdrops and your model feels secure in her/his environment. (And yes some studios have fantastic outdoor areas for photographers more interested in location work.)

2) Book a duo shoot or work with a team. (£££)
Your model(s) have the benefits of a chaperone, while you will have a greater variety of images working with another model or styling team. At the end of the shoot, you will also have more than one reference.

3) Allow your model to bring a chaperone. (_)
I personally do not work with chaperones- I find them distracting and feel that if I am uncomfortable enough to need/want one, I shouldn’t be shooting with you BUT if your model is happy to shoot with a chaperone, it’s another way to keep him/her comfortable and feeling safe. Also, if you pick the right chaperone you also have a free lighting and wardrobe assistant.πŸ™‚ However, the wrong one can turn a promising shoot into a dire one. In general, a friend or relative of the model is best.

4) Book a place on a studio day or workshop. (Β£)
Studio days usually offer reduced rates with the benefits of extra equipment, wardrobe and backdrops, giving you excellent value for money and one-on-one time with your model.
Workshops are usually more expensive but also give you tuition, though it will be in a group. Either way, you get experience working with a model who will then be able to give you a reference, though I recommend a studio day as models work with so many groups at once it is often hard to build a rapport with every individual.

I understand that some of these options entail spending a little extra money but your reputation is worth investing in. If you build from a good foundation, it will pay off in the end.

I’ve worked with some wonderful people and I love seeing their work evolve over time. It can be daunting booking somebody who’s been a part of the industry for a long time (not just me- any professional model) but I promise, we are a friendly bunch and will not judge you if you forget to take the lens cap off.πŸ˜›

This photo is by Black Lotus and it was one of her first ever model shoots!
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Friendly advice over- the snark zone is below…

In this industry, the term GWC means a β€œGuy With a Camera” (as opposed to a photographer). You do NOT have to be an industry professional to be considered a photographer but you do have to do photography and this means having a portfolio. I don’t mind if it is full of pictures of your nan, your baby, your dog or the local landscape, but please prove to me that you have picked up a camera!

I am not going to sit on my naked backside for any random person willing to pay my rate and I have had too many messages recently from men asking me to help them “start a portfolio”. They never seem to have other models, photographers or studios in their contacts list, always want a full day shoot in a remote location and seem very anxious to discuss things on the phone. Funnily enough, I don’t give out my phone number to everybody that asks for it!
A high court judge will not come over to fix your minor marital dispute; s/he has actual cases to judge.
A firefighter will not pop round to get your stove working; s/he has actual fires to control.
I am not going to come and hang out with you, maybe posing for a snap or two, when I have web content to shoot, fashion shows to do and portfolio shoots to pose for.

There are easier ways to hang out with a hot naked chick than a fictitious interest in taking my picture: book an escort, say please and thankyou and treat her with respect.
And on that note, may I politely request you not make me part of your sexual fantasy? If you do, I’ll make fun of you on this blog and the next one gets their screenshot put here for all to see:

β€œHello. I’d like to book you for a photoshoot- my wife also models so could it be a duo shoot?”
β€œOf course! What would you like to shoot? Do you have a link to your work and your wifes portfolio? I’d love to say hello before we shoot.”
This is followed by a stash of terrifying photos resembling Ann Summers vomiting all over Scunthorpe Swingers Night.
No, mate. No.

The problem is, the GWCs give the newbies a bad name and that’s not fair.
I’m happy to work with new people so long as they are genuine (and most professional models can tell newbies from chancers a mile away)! I wouldn’t be here as a full time professional model if photographers hadn’t given my curvy brown-haired two-photoshoots newbie ass a chance even though I didn’t know what implied-nude meant. I’m grateful to the people who did give me a chance and I’m happy to pay that forward.

Look at my innocent little FACE!!! Photo by Darkest Angel, in 2006!!!
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Now, if you have managed to get through this entire blog, grouch, very old photo of me and all, have some more pictures!πŸ˜‰
There are from a long time ago but I just rediscovered them. Photographer Chris was also new to the hobby but he came with glowing references so of course I hopped on a plane and spent two days in Spain shooting latex! I do rather love my job…πŸ˜‰

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And as his lovely wife also modelled too (but not for Scunthorpe Swingers Night) she made a guest appearance in ‘the medical room’! HOW cool??!
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Next blog, I have some very special ‘off duty’ shots to show you. For now, it’s time to get the acrylic paints out again…

ROSWELL xxx

Staying flat

25 Jun

Well, I’m alive.πŸ˜‰
For various reasons I’ll go into as soon as bloggily possible, I’m currently stuck on my back like an accident-prone tortoise. I’m not yet ready to log into my modelling websites and return to booking work though I will be in the next few days. For now, I’m supposed to be resting, which does not come naturally to me! (For evidence, please see this typing window on my laptop, the paused film in the background, costume making stuff in the corner and two open books right next to me.)
I keep falling asleep with virtually no warning, which is a very strange experience. Last night I started making a lovely nutritious huevos rancheros but didn’t have the energy to continue it, so everything got turned off at 9pm and now I have a saucepan of redundant tomatoes and onions to rinse out.

And then I woke up to find that my travelling life may well be about to come to an abrupt halt thanks to Brexit! I started todays blog on a whim so won’t go too in-depth politically but needless to say, as a self-employed woman working throughout Europe, with many European friends, I was firmly on the ‘remain’ side. I can’t do much evaluating of my career- or indeed any of this right now- but it does scare me when I hear people interviewed (and on the street) saying “I just don’t understand what we’re actually voting for…”

Right now, the sun reflecting off the water is making patterns on my ceiling and a swan family with seven cygnets came to say hello… then flounced off when no ginger biscuits were forthcoming. I’d love to get up and make my room spotless, do a bit of mindful colouring, finish a painting, start another and draft my next three blogs while peacefully meditating… all in the next hour. But I doubt that’s happened for anyone!πŸ˜› The best compromise I can make is finishing my book and considering the merits of washing up.

Every day has been better than the last for me though, so I’ll be back properly, eloquent-ish and sleepless in no time.πŸ˜‰ If you are interested in my next tours, I’ll be in Cambridge/Norfolk at the end of July and the South Coast at the end of August. Mail me ASAP and I’ll respond when I’m up and about again.

ROSWELL xxx

p.s. have some pictures of me taken in Belgium, by Kinkystyle. I fel a bit like this now, lol!

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The night before.

16 Jun

I’m doing something scary tomorrow.
Now, I’m at The Mothership. It’s nearly nine p.m. and it isn’t even nearly dark yet. My cat’s getting braver by the day and has ventured outside even after the growling tree-crackling storm just an hour ago. I miss his silly, insistent affection even though he walks across the keyboard when I write.
I’m sore across my chest from yesterday’s workout and comfortably full of baked beans and bacon. Not the best thing for my diet exactly but damn it, I love bacon and tonight I needed some kind of treat. I’d have liked company, a film and a game but the diaries didn’t align this time. So I’m doing my last emails for the next few days. Seeing my last pieces of the internet. And Netflix- can’t forget Netflix… I’m strictly offline until next week.
The windows are narrow in this room so I’m looking at little slices of sky and tree, with glittering crystals from the reflection of a lampshade. Birds, too. Mog- stay off them, there will be tuna in your bowl when you come in…

Back on the boat, my windows are open to air the place. There are fresh vegetables in the fridge. The water tank is topped up. I changed the sheets on the bed. Things I won’t want to do when I arrive home tomorrow night. Over here, my yellow polka dot mug’s empty but I’m too cosy to go all the way downstairs for the kettle and anyway, stubbornness is keeping me at the emails. Admin first, then film and coffee. The glad, whimsical little thought occurs to me that I am grateful my only dilemma right now is “Natural Born Killers” or “Maleficent”.
Especially when this year has seen some of the nastiest, most shocking, desperately sad things I have ever seen crammed into six months. If anyone’s listening, please stop it. I started watching The Supervet to remember all of the good people still out there but then remembered I’m not great with scalpels and (real) gore… and had to laugh at myself for thinking that was a good idea.πŸ˜€ Considering the unrest, the emotional whirlwind the world seems to be in right now, outside is silent and as still as the storm earlier was violent. And that reminds, me- I’m doing something scary tomorrow…

Scary doesn’t mean bad, by the way. This is good, and exciting, and progressive, but until it’s over then everything else is holding its breath with me. There’s something new I’m doing- a project that I’m waiting to launch but that has to wait, for now.
I have about a million things to say and tell you. Adventures in the pipeline and pictures to show you, but those are stories for another time. Right now, some ‘old’ photos by Steve Prue that I never showed you. Sadly the only set I ever saw from this shoot…
Given my style these days, they could have been taken yesterday.

Wish me luck- all will be revealed…

ROSWELL xxx

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p.s. look at my leg

7 Jun

I’m ba-aaaaaack!πŸ˜›
I have so many things to tell you about and show you! Firstly though, my Scotland tour is almost completely booked up now but if you would like to see my remaining days, check here: http://purpleport.com/castings/175005/Available-in-Edinburgh–very-last-days—-/

OR… reserve a spot for my October tour! I’m a hardy model and not afraid to come back to Scotland in the Autumn. Though it’s still a long way away, this tour has already got a lot of interest and I am happy to book as far in advance as you would like. So far, I’m looking at the 7th-16th.

Last time I was in Scotland I helped make these awesome images with Martin Photo!
We were aiming for strange sculptural shapes rather than a pretty ethereal fairy look- which was a great challenge! I just love the sky in the first shot.
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I mentioned in my last blog that I was looking at ways to better manage my time and though I’m still pretty atrocious at it, I am getting better. I’ve even found time to work on this lovely owl! One more day of work and he’ll be done.
(If you want to see more of my art stuff or commission something, contact me here- and please like the page!)πŸ™‚
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I’ll write a blog all about wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff once I’ve finished a ‘perceptions of beauty’ article that I’ve been putting off.πŸ˜› And finished another chapter of my book (Robin Hobb’s Liveship Traders trilogy. Really really good!)

The weekend went in a fast-paced sequin-filled blur as I was a bridesmaid for the first time! I held a bouquet of cacti, ate a cake made of cheese and chilled with my fellow bridesmaids who all rocked in different ways. The bride was photographer Kitty Wood (Now Morris) and I’ll tell you about the wedding and everything in a later blog as I’m collecting pictures first, but as I’m able to shoot in my bridesmaids dress as of right now, I thought you’d like to see it! Look at this beauty…
(I’m happy here, honest- just concentrating on keeping the phone still!)
My hair and make-up was done by Liv Free, who I cannot recommend any more highly!
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Looking through my recent blogs, I love to see the differences I can create in look and styling, especially as I seem to be getting booked for fashion work a lot these days. I’m not sure if it’s something to do with the plus size model movement (I’m aware I am not fat but I am very curvy which is unusual for a fashion model) or if a particular shoot or two have inspired photographers. Either way, it’s been fun to shoot!

I worked with one of my absolute favourite photographers recently, in an atmospheric warehouse/studio in Birmingham. When John Duder and I work together, we always get something beautiful and unusual and this shoot was an especially productive one.
Look at these!
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The beaded dress was from a charity shop (!) and the neon bodysuit is by one of my sponsors, Yummy Gummy.

We shot some ghostlike art nudes- look behind me- my shadow’s alive! There’s a hilarious ‘surrealist’ shot I’ll post at the bottom that failed so hard it won.πŸ˜€
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Then I got to be a latex superhero! If this was a film, it would be a badass training montage.πŸ˜‰ The Mad Max style shoulderpiece and net leggings are by Yummy Gummy, the top is by Jane Doe.
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And then we turned on the colour! I love playing with make-up. This look is by Make-up Revolution, which is cruelty-free! I really like the angles and perspective the stairs give.
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I need to take a couple of weeks off this month so I’m sure you’ll get bombarded with my blabberings soon enough but for now, I have sewing and gluing to do.

Oh, by the way… if you’re sick of hearing me going on about Sons of Anarchy, good news… I’ve started watching Orphan Black.πŸ˜›

ROSWELL xxx

p.s. Look at my LEG!!! It’s taken itself for walkies!πŸ˜› HAHAHA!!!
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p.p.s. Tales from the Mogosphere…
There is a shed in the garden with a cat flap so I has shelter. I hate cat flaps so I sits out in a storm. I is soaking wet and mummy rubbed a towel on me and felt guilty. Thunder is scary and rain is horrid. But the cat flap is eeeeeevil…
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