Tag Archives: nude 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.  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.😀
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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.😉

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”.😛

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.😥

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 £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…😉

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!😛
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

The Dark and the Light

3 Apr

A belated Happy Ostara to you all, and Easter wishes to Christians.:)
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I’ve had a hell of a week and haven’t felt much like blogging, so I’m making extra effort on this one while listening to one of my more eclectic playlists (Pearl Jam, hippy folk music and truly trashy current hits).

Not to dwell on the negative, but just about everything that could go wrong went wrong and I ended up slouched on the back of my boat looking like a wet sponge covered in mascara. Not to mention my faith in humanity taking a bashing as petitions centred around Jeremy Clarkson got more attention than Female Genital Mutilation… Thanks to some wonderful friends and their good wishes, I’m feeling a lot better and almost ready to face the world again.

So… HAPPY OSTARA. It’s also known as Eostre (as in, where we get the word Easter from- Easter is in fact based on this festival.) It’s also known as the Spring Equinox- the days are now officially longer than the nights! It’s a time to celebrate mating and matching, birthing and hatching and all that is light and happy, so I’ve decorated my boat with daffodils and pictures of March hares, and gathered feathers from the marina birds. I’m also burning a lovely beeswax candle Anita De Bauch left me when she stayed to boatsit while I was in Belgium.

Today’s blog’s going to be a little different as I’m going to share little moments and memories rather than my usual ramblings. Here goes…

THE DARK:

Behind-the-scenes from a luxurious hotel shoot with Luci-Alice and Anita De Bauch. I’m still choosing the pictures from this shoot- it’s always extra fun when shooting with friends.
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A misty morning in Holland as I prepare to leave crocus-strewn Haarlem for a fetish shot further North.
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This spine I discovered while on a nude shoot on location! Can anyone tell me what it is from? Both photographer and model would love to know. It was large- about the length of my hand! A rabbit? A hare?
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This picture taken by Ben Ernst, in an artists studio. The artist painted big, colourful abstract pieces just for fun and this is actually the reflection of one of his pieces. While I posed, I could hear birdsong from the woodland outside and was actually very happy and at peace despite the ‘sad’ curled-up pose.
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Another one by Ben Ernst- this time in a sculpture park by the sea! All the pieces were immense, made with metal and stone, and I loved the weathering on them. As I paint and draw too, I have a lot of respect for sculptors for leaving their work outdoors. It must be a strange experience seeing your work changed by the elements: I’d be back every day to check on them and read them a bedtime story!😛
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THE BETWEEN:

Ben Ernst again, and back in the artist’s studio. I LOVE these- I think because of the slightly otherworldly lights above me… my science-fiction brain says I look like I’ve just been- or am about to be- abducted by aliens.😀

“I-  I wanna look into the sky and I see a strange light, everything is alright, everything is alright
Newton Faulkner- U.F.O. (listen to the lyrics- there’s wine and an anal probe mentioned. Ooh-er, Mulder and Scully… LMAO!)
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THE LIGHT:

Being taken on a foodie tour of Brussels centre with the day’s photographer Kirsten (pictures coming soon- they’re some of my new favourites!)  I wished I could bring these home but they’re meringue and I didn’t think they’d survive the journey.
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Strutting on the catwalk for designer Am Statik in a custom-made outfit. Isn’t the little cape gorgeous??!:)
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A view or two of the location I found the spine in. The lake looked so blue and beautiful behind me but I didn’t fancy a dip- it was freezing!
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A photo taken a few months ago, by Henry Murphy. I love getting the chance to play with my hair and make-up. Looking back now, I think I look like a Winter faerie-thing dreaming of Spring!
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Don’t you just love the spot of light just above my elbow? Triangular Roswell!😀
Photo by Sense8
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And lastly… this outtake still makes me laugh- I look like the make-up artist is punching me… but I’m happy about it! Ha ha ha!!!😀 I’ll show you these photos soon too. They rock.
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I’m off- I want to drink tea, eat one of the big crunchy apples I bought today and watch something silly.

ROSWELL xxx

TWO redhead models- Available on March 4th. ;)

2 Mar

Just HOW exciting is this?? Please share with your photographer friends…😀

 

My good friend Anita De Bauch and I are shooting a magazine cover/ editorial together in Stadhampton on 3 March, and staying overnight, so we will be available for you to shoot in Oxfordshire the next day (March 4th)! Would anyone like to be the first to shoot us together in a beautiful, artistic duo nude, fashion, retro or latex shoot- and at a combined discounted rate??

If not, you can book either of us alone at our usual solo rates, but to book us together would be £150 for 2 hours, £280 for 4 hours and £500 for 8 hours, with no travel expenses to pay!

Anita has a car so we can get anywhere in the area, fast and punctually.
We both have excellent styling skills and can create any look you would like.

 

 

If you want to share costs with a photographer friend, that’s fine, just let us know who’s coming😉

Anita and I are both full-time models (and writers) with years of professional experience, hundreds of positive references and specific experience in shooting art nude work with other models- just never with each other. We’re really excited to work together as we are such good friends in real life, so we have a genuine rapport and comfortable-ness around each other, having shared a million lunches, hotel rooms and life experiences together

 

As well as art nude work, we are available to shoot high fashion, latex fashion, dreamy romantic pre-Raphaelite looks (perfect with our complexions!), steampunk, retro lingerie, Golden Age of Hollywood glamour and film noir femme fatale looks… and of course, we do our own hair, makeup and wardrobe and don’t charge to sign model releases.

Get in touch asap with any enquiries.

Taking selfies of our makeup before going to Perou’s magazine launch party in London last month.

Tales of a Naked Girl

19 Jan

-⌐garethbyrd.Roswell-II.012
How can I explain the pride I feel in my work? Immersed as I am in my job and its accompanying social circle, I forget that some people see a bimbo or someone with very little self-respect when they learn I’m a nude model. My jokes about public nudity and nitpicky remarks about bondage in films (“seriously, anyone could get out of that!”) aren’t ‘got’, and there’s an assumption that seedier things go on than I let on. The idea of reference checking and talk of ‘levels’ provokes a knee-jerk horror that such talk is necessary. But don’t we all assess the possible dangers our lives bring us? It isn’t that we think trouble is imminent but that we want to be ready in case: to expect the best but prepare for the worst.
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I’m immensely proud of my work! Perhaps even more so because I know that it will not last forever. I have no intention of modelling for the rest of my life and have another career plan in mind, but I cherish the best parts and memories this crazy life is giving me.

My job puts me in touch with creative people on a daily basis. I’ve learned about things outside my circle of interests because almost everyone I work with has a story. My three best ‘industry’ friends are the most different women you could imagine but each of them has taught me a new perspective on life, shared my adventures and brought me on theirs- and I met all three through modelling.
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I see the world! I’ll be forever grateful for the experiences this is bringing me, the people I’m meeting and the independence I’ve found. I’m not afraid to travel alone or not speak the language. If I’m stranded I can always find a way home or at least to safety. I’m confident in strange situations and have a pretty good ‘weirdo-radar’! I love to share my life with friends and fellow travellers, but also enjoy the peace a simple walk in a new place brings me.
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Concerning the ‘naked’ bit, I’m proud to have a healthy attitude to nudity- my body does not bring me shame merely by being uncovered.
More than this, nude figures have been used in art for centuries! I walk through the London galleries and see women like me, who have been immortalised for the world to look at forever, as art. I feel a kind of connection to these women- a hint of the camaraderie I find among other nude models.
In this digital age when something placed on the internet is there forever, I hope that our work will continue to inspire people, and that maybe in the far future when people are creating interactive holograms (!) or whatever, that modern nude models may feel that connection to me and the other old-fashioned ‘photo girls’.😉
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I’m a huge sci-fi/action/fantasy fan but always meant to write a blog about films concerning nude modelling, so here you go- an extra bit!

Calendar Girls
It’s a comedy with Helen Mirren, Julie Walters and Penelope Wilton, and is based on true events. A middle-aged Women’s Institute group raises money for charity by making a nude calendar- and creates scandal, of course.
The idea that modelling teaches a very linear view of what is beautiful is an easy assumption to make and to an extent, it’s true (you’re either thin and striking or curvy and sexy) BUT visiting galleries and meeting older nude models has taught me to see beauty another way. I know I won’t be able to make a living from modelling forever, but if someone wants to photograph me nude at age sixty, bring it on!
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Mona Lisa Smile
I don’t like Julia Roberts, but I love Maggie Gyllenhaal and Julia Stiles. Kirsten Dunst is there too, with a teeny look at Tori Amos and Jane in Breaking Bad before she went all junkie.😛 It’s about an art teacher in the 50s who tries to teach her very traditional students that the ‘lifescript’ is an option and not a necessity.
There isn’t much nude modelling, but there is a scene in which the teacher takes her students to see an abstract painting and says “I want you to consider it. You don’t have to write about it, you don’t even have to like it. What you do have to do is consider it.”
There will always be people who step back from me and my work because it’s outside their experience (and therefore comfort zone). That is what I want to say to those people.
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I Capture the Castle
The book is better and not so bloody soppy  (I’m re-reading it right now) though the writing and interaction between the characters still makes me laugh. Romola Garai, Bill Nighy, Rose Byrne and Tara Fitzgerald are a bohemian family of artists living in a crumbling old castle in the 1930s. Bill Nighy’s character has dreadful writers block, while Tara Fitzgerald’s character is a nude artists model who is the breadwinner for the family.
Gorgeous styling- and it makes me want my very own nude modelling castle.
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Sirens
Saw it by accident when I was about eleven. Whoops…
By most accounts it’s pretty dreadful as a film, but there can be a sexy side to nude modelling and the feeling of being in a completely different (and bonkers) world. Hugh Grant (ugh) and Tara Fitzgerald (you again!) visit Sam Neill, who plays an artist living in Australia with his family and personal collection of models (Elle MacPherson, Portia De Rossi and Kate Fischer).
I’m dying to go to Australia and recreate the scene in the last five seconds of the film: four of the models are standing on a high cliff being siren-like while Australia stretches into the background looking all idyllic. On a multi-model shoot, the joking and debates around the dinner table are pretty standard- you have to be comfortable not just with your own body but everyone else’s- though generally we don’t get all sexy to embarrass the new girl.😛
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Mrs Henderson Presents
I love you, Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins (even if I did kill you by accident). It’s based on a true story about a rich widow who buys a theatre and opens a vaudeville production featuring nude women and Will Young (who’s actually pretty good!) Beautiful wartime/vintage styling and costume design!
I watched a mini-documentary about the film the other day- the producers invited the “Millerettes”- the original nude artists from the Windmill Theatre- to be consultants and to tell their stories. Glamourous eighty year old women proudly said that they could still do some of the dances and reminisced over their show days together.
When I’m old and wrinkly and my tits reach my ankles, I want to be able to look back at my nude modelling days and be just as proud, on my sofa surrounded by cats and chocolate and my just-as-wrinkly nude modelling friends.:)
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Roswell xxx

p.s. sneak preview at my next blog, in which I go on an adventure in a crypt with one of the UK’s best known “Adventure Photographers”😉 I’m being sewn into my dress…
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p.p.s. Photography credits (in order):
Gareth Byrd
Rares Pulbere
Jonasbee
Sylvie Blum
John Duder
Artrotika
Gregory Brown (x2)
Max Operandi
Charles Van Trappen
Rebecca Bathory

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