Tag Archives: nude model

The Winds of March- shooting in the freezing cold

15 Mar

Spring is springing! I returned from a week long trip away shooting for my sister site to find that even though it was night time, I could smell the blossom on the trees and I woke up in the morning to early sunrise and the annual “East side/West side nesting goose turf war”. The weather has improved and I cannot wait to shoot outside again- I’ve even picked up some new floaty pretty things and am working on improving my art-nude pose repetoire to really wow everybody this year.

I began writing this post as the weather turned in Autumn and though I am optimistically hoping we’ve seen the worst of the really bad weather, March and April can still be windy and cold so… better late-ish than never, right? πŸ˜‰
Here’s my guide for getting the best from your model in a freezing situation:

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All images by Imaginary Revolutionary unless otherwise credited

BEFORE THE SHOOT

1) Keep a ‘model kit’.
An experienced model will have many of the things listed but supplies can run out and sometimes there just isnt enough space in the suitcase for everything. πŸ™‚ I’ve been so grateful if the cold has really got to me, I’ve slipped on a rock and I’m hungry and the photographer has been able to offer me a plaster or water to wash the cut as well as a blanket and a snack.
– A towel (for changing and/or wet feet)
– Cereal bars or Mars bars (Food is always good but Mars bars are for serious sugar crashes- hopefully it shouldn’t come to that!)
– A couple of bottles of water
– Loo roll. (Especially if you’re in the middle of nowhere!)
– Plasters and painkillers
– A blanket and possibly hand warmers if it’s REALLY freezing
– A flask of hot drinks and a hot water bottle if you know you are really going to suffer for your art.

2) Book an experienced model.
I know professional models charge higher rates but you will get a wider range of poses and more usable images in a shorter amount of time with a model used to cold weather photoshoots- especially when it comes to art-nude work. Overall, the extra cost is offset by the level of productivity.
If you really want/need to work with a new model, bear in mind that a lot of ‘tips and tricks’ come from experience and what may seem obvious may not have occurred to a total newbie- even down to the fact that they are going to be very uncomfortable in the first place! Tell them to bring warm stuff and food.

3)Β  Plan ahead
Have two or three overall images in your mind that you would like to achieve. Work on getting those first and then consider everything else a bonus. This counts doubly on windy days when your model will freeze much faster than on still days.

4) Remember that shooting as a duo or group may halve the work for you…. but it doubles the work for your model.
If you’re working with another photographer who can act as assistant, your model must pose for you, wait for your assistant to set up their camera and then pose for them too. You may feel rested and ready to go again after your break from shooting but your model will not have stopped. This is not to say that duo shoots cannot work- they definitely can and I have had some fantastic and memorable times. Comfort is relative and we won’t be warm and cosy but this is how to help models out and get the best from us:
– Offer your model regular fully-clothed, snack-eating warm-up breaks even if that means waiting an extra 5-10 minutes for them. Cold muscles are stiff, tense muscles and you’ll get better results if your model can warm up to a degree.
– Understand that standing still in the cold, half naked while somebody does a lighting test does not count as a break.
– The second you have your shot, chuck the model their clothing or blanket (especially socks or something to warm their feet) and ask if they want a snack or some of whatever is in the flask.
– Your model will be far more willing and happy to push for the extra shot and pose if they feel you care about their safety and comfort.

5) Check out the location beforehand and have a Plan B.
Certain places- especially involving water- are often extremely dangerous depending on the time of year. It’s a good idea to check a day or so before to make sure the pretty little brook has not become a rushing torrent. I highly recommend the fantastic Marmalade- Urbex Model’s article about shooting in watery locations. This woman knows what she’s talking about and takes stunning pictures.
If the location is absolutely impossible in the conditions, have a backup location- even if you have to postpone the nudes in sweeping landscapes in favour of arty beauty shots using the reflections in your car mirror. ;P
I was shooting a project with Magpie Tommy many years ago- we returned to the same bit of woodland and I posed in a similar manner by the same tree. One day, in biting wind, we arrived to find somebody had driven a tractor through our patch. Cue us frantically replanting bracken with numb fingers.
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We got the shot though… πŸ˜‰

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DURING THE SHOOT

1) Timing is everything
If you’re working with a team of stylists, start somewhere warm, well-lit and indoors so they can get the first look ready in relative comfort and don’t have to contend with numb fingers early. If not, advise your model to arrive ready to shoot so that she doesn’t have to do her make-up outside.
Set up your shot before asking the model to change or undress. Clothes should come off at the last possible second after all the experimenting is over and you have the perfect light and exposure.

2) Check on your model
Experienced models know their limits. Still, it is nice to be asked if we’re okay or need a minute to get warm again. (Though don’t worry- you don’t need to check every moment- we’ll tell you if we need to take five.)
When I first began modelling, I was so fixated on doing a good job and being ‘professional’ that my safety would suffer and I’d push myself to the point of danger especially in the cold. Newer models may be more worried about saying they’re in pain or too cold so check on them at slightly more regular intervals (but not every 30 seconds!) and reassure any model of any experience level in advance that if they are uncomfy or need a break, to say so and they can take a few minutes out.

3) Be on the lookout for warning signs.
Has your chatty, enthusiastic model gone silent? Are they shaking with cold? Pale, or flushed? Ask them if they are okay. Take anything other than an immediate confident β€œyes” as a signal to wrap the shoot. Most photographers I have worked with have been fantastic if we’re both too battered by the cold to continue but I’ve heard a fair few horror stories about models being asked to stay in the same place with the cold getting into their bones, while photographers shoot and shoot and shoot. I assume anybody reading this post wouldn’t be that photographer in the first place but I couldn’t not mention it.

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ADVICE FOR MODELS

1) Be prepared
Carry snacks and buy a hot drink before you arrive. Make sure you have a warm jumper or coat in your bag as well as plasters and any other medication you want to have. Keep snacks close by as they can make all the difference. The diet may go out of the window but I find a protein bar, chocolate or something like a flapjack is better than nibbling on nuts and grapes, which are healthier but don’t really fill you up.

2) Know yourself.
I know it’s one of my ‘suits all situations’ pieces of advice but seriously- what can you cope with? If you’re okay with cold, still weather but not roaring wind then take that shoot in a freezing, snowy but sheltered mountain valley- not the one with blowing material and streaming hair on the top of the cliff. πŸ™‚
At what point do you need to stop and warm up. When you start to shiver? When your fingers go numb? When can you tell that the cold has reached your muscles? Once the cold has reached your bones, it’s all over so listen to your body and warm up before that.

3) Don’t be afraid to ask for a break.
You’re entitled to a break! Especially if your ears are going to drop off and your nose is gushing water down your face. You’re a human being and being warm(er) and less hungry will make you feel so much better- even if you know the pictures will be beautiful anyway.

4) Relax your face and try not to tense your jaw
I wish I had known this earlier! It’s one of the things that I notice about myself as a new model vs now. Luckily my tensed face suited the style on the left (my first mostly-nude shooting trip back in 2010) as I was going for the water vampire/evil siren look but there were plenty of other pictures from earlier shoots with this same expression and they did not work! The right is a later shoot- 2012. I was memorably freezing during this shoot and running around to keep warm in between shots but I’d learned how to relax my face more.
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Left pic by John Downs, right pic by Imagesse

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GENERAL GUIDE: (This may be different depending on your level of health.)
Shivering, goosebumps: You’re cold. You can usually work through it or do some more active poses to warm up.
Stiff muscles, fingers and toes going numb. The cold is in your muscles. Take a warm-up break and wait for your fingers and toes to regain a little feeling.
Actually shaking with cold, fingers and feet numb, you’re clumsy and cannot get warm: The cold is in your bones and this is dangerous. Stop the shoot immediately, if not sooner.

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Over to you guys! Any more tips about shooting in the cold? Anything I’ve missed? If so, I’ll add things to this post. πŸ™‚

Thankyou to all the photographers I’ve worked with who have been wonderful in freezing conditions, especially Imaginary Revolutionary who was a perfect example of how to shoot in the cold on a dawn photoshoot with me last month and whose images are the illustrations for this post! πŸ™‚

ROSWELL x

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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”.Β 

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 β€œDr 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! πŸ™‚ 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.) πŸ˜›
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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! Β£15 per hour for fashion, Β£20 for lingerie, Β£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”. πŸ˜›
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:
– β€œI work up to and including lingerie level and take on very occasional nude work depending on the project.”
– β€œPlease note I only work to art-nude level with a few individuals I select- other enquiries about nude work will be ignored.”
– β€œI 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… πŸ˜›

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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! πŸ˜‰
Outfit by Lady Allura’s latex
Hair and make-up by me.

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Committing heresy: I (mostly) hate Helmut Newton

21 Nov

Are you following my new instagram? πŸ˜‰

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

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

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

These images are by Helmut Newton.

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If you would like to book me for a femme fatale, glamourous nude or lingerie shoot in a gorgeous hotel or any other location with perfect hair and make-up, in black and white then please, oh please do! I love the first three images below!
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Charlotte Rampling
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Daryl Hannah
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I don’t love these ones…

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And don’t get me started on these.

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

I understand that his images were risque for the time, that they were influencers, but it was easier to be edgy in the 70s. When I first started modelling, I thought a gothic shoot in a graveyard with Crow make-up and photoshopped bats was an amazing idea. Fortunately, I moved on. Yes, Newton’s work is historically significant- I’m not suggesting that he be confined to history’s dustbin, just suggesting that a name should not turn a bad photo into a good one.
If this picture wasn’t a “Newton”, what stops it from being very thin woman with ‘spade’ hands and her legs hanging open?
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If this wasn’t a Newton, why isn’t it just a cheesy, overacted, rather unflattering shot?
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I think that one thing keeping his images from being thought of as trashy is his choice of models. Helmut mostly worked with extremely tall thin women with long limbs and fairly small breasts. Women with ‘fashion’ figures can often make almost anything look daring and edgy. There are poses that fashion models can pull off but make a curvier model look lurid and tacky. This is a prime example. The pose makes smaller breasts look bigger and most big (natural) breasts look like droopy udders.
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Charlotte Rampling, Daryl Hannah, Carla Bruni… his choice of model also happened to be particularly beautiful celebrities- of course his images will remain in the public eye as long as the subjects do! Would they still be considered timeless and iconic if he had exclusively picked pretty women from the local bar?
This isn’t just any woman looking bored, grabbing her tit- this is Catherine Deneuve looking bored, grabbing Catherine Deneuve’s tit.
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In my opinion, Helmut Newton had some truly beautiful photos and some equally dire ones in a mostly cool-ish portfolio which was helped by his choice of subject and use of stark black and white (somehow it makes many photos look more ‘arty’.)
As a fetish model, I can appreciate his daring to try weird stuff and as I usually do my own hair and makeup, I find the glamourous styling makes its way onto several of my personal moodboards. I love his hotel shots and sometimes his framing is just perfect. It’s why I’ll gladly consider a Helmut Newton style shoot with you… but first I’ll ask “what style?” ;P

Doing it better…

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

John Tisbury
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Model: Vic

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

Max Operandi
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Assisting Don McCrae

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Model: Your humble blogger. That’s me.

Jeremy
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Model: Ella Rose

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Model: Rosa Brighid

As I just realised I only have one image of me in an entire blog, here’s one of my all-time favourites, by Gregory Brown.
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Now, I’m sure one of you is going to tell me that many of the images above were heavily influenced by Newton. I know. I am very aware of this, but the fact is that Helmut Newton was also inspired by other people and somebody (can’t think who!) said that you can copy whatever you want but what matters is being better than the original. πŸ˜‰

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

ROSWELL x

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

Incorrect cat-handling.
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Correct cat-handling.
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Photo by Elena Isac.

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. πŸ˜›
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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!) πŸ˜‰
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! πŸ™‚

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! πŸ˜‰
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.
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– 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!Β 
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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.Β 
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. πŸ™‚

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! πŸ˜€
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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.

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

ROSWELL xxx

The Dimholt Road

16 Dec

The way is shut. It was made by those who are dead, and the dead keep it.
JRR Tolkien (Lord of the Rings)

That sentence got into my head the same way songs do when I shot with Amelia Roslyn and Sam (aka Sjambok) in this ancient Roman ironworks which looked exactly like somewhere in Middle Earth. πŸ˜€

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My pictures don’t really do justice to the scale of the place, which was huge! In fact; for various reasons I need to get myself a ‘proper’ camera, as my phone really isn’t the greatest and I have certain exciting plans involving my own camera…

Anyway, there’s a beautiful expression in (I think) Mexico: “el bosque del corazon” (the forest of the heart), which refers to your spiritual home, rather than the place in which you live. Well, English woodland and forest is mine, so I was very excited when we arrived here- not to mention awestruck, as the light was shining in perfect fairytale shafts through the leaves and down to the mossy boulders I started posing on.

Photo by Sjambok
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Look at the dark looming trees behind me too!! ❀

We’d spoken beforehand about the ‘mood’ we wanted from the pictures. Art-nude is often a very dreamy, ethereal genre but this time I wanted something different. There are so many legends about what happens to young wayward men who see faeries and dryads in the woods. Mostly, they’re never seen again- or turned into something four-legged.
So… I wanted the pictures to look as though they were taken *just* before the action happens. As though I know the watcher is there and I’m just deciding what to do about them…

Photos by Amelia
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These were smoke grenades (below) as sadly we couldn’t capture the very real strands of mist just above the forest floor!
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“Legends can be now and forever, loved by the sun…”
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The photo above might have been taken just after I burst out laughing at a Lord of the Rings similarity (I promise my next blog will have NO Tolkien references.)
We were halfway up a very steep boulder here- there was Amelia being Frodo, with the most important thing (the camera) hanging around her neck, Sam managing the lights and extra equipment, often leading the way (snd already a Sam) … and then there was me, naked and covered with bits of moss crawling up rocks after them. “My precioussssss!” πŸ˜›

After a cookie break we moved on to some beautiful, slightly creepy cave entrances for a bit of bondage, which I was very excited to shoot. Although I’m known as a fetish and bondage model, I am actually very selective about who I shoot ropework with as it can be dangerous.
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Often our mythical dryad creatures are bound to one cave or tree… so here I am. πŸ™‚
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We drove back to my hotel in the beautiful not-quite-sunset. That little dot you can see in the lower middle is the moon!
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Obviously, it’s Winter now and far too cold generally to pose nude outdoors but I am available for bookings from late January onwards. Now, I’m on holiday for the next few weeks and planning to get all crafty with making things, and doing a LOT of writing as I have missed doing articles! I haven’t properly decorated the boat yet but I’ll be getting some seriously tacky tinsel in and may even make a Christmas tree fairy. πŸ˜‰
As a pagan, my Winter celebration is Yule aka the Solstice, which is on the 21st. However, I grew up with Christmas, am more than happy to be told Merry Christmas and I celebrate that with my mum too. Yay for festival sharing… and yule logs.

I have a lot of seasonal festive blogs to share with you soon but right now there is a silver flowery accessory that needs to be steampunked up. πŸ˜›

Take care everyone, speak soon,

ROSWELL xxx

p.s. Outtake time! This will be my face when I can pose in the forest again! πŸ˜›
The watermark was on all the raw photos so I didn’t accidentally post unedited ones but I do have permission to post these two.
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Sam is taking this lighting test very seriously… πŸ˜›Β