Tag Archives: nude modelling

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.


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!

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!!!

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˜‰

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??!

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…


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…



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.

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™‚

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!

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!
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˜€

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.

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.

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˜›


p.s. Look at my LEG!!! It’s taken itself for walkies!πŸ˜› HAHAHA!!!

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…

Projections and the ‘moment’ myth.

29 Mar

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

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

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

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

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

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


I’ve just returned from my biannual South Coast tour- if you didn’t catch me this time, I’ll be back in August.
I spent Easter Weekend itself with one of my best friends and as I’ve just learned to make vegan chocolates I got busy in the kitchen and made these. Salted cashew and marzipan, and pistachio and coconut.πŸ˜€

Every single time I see this particular friend, we plan to visit a castle. Every single time our plans get rained off and we end up hanging out with tea, the cat and a ridiculous debate of some kind. This time, it was Batman vs Superman. Better candidates for Batman included Tom Hardy, Karl Urban (who is not Luke Evans. Who knew they weren’t the same person?! Oh right, everyone but me…), the cat, and my mum. Though I am looking at my fire extinguisher at the moment and thinking perhaps it should have made the list…
If you want to wet your pants laughing and don’t care about spoilers, this Guardian reviewer is my new hero.πŸ˜‰

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


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

Give me Hope.

29 Feb

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

First, here is a picture by PWP images.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is me banging my head against the wall. Photo by PWP images.

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)

On to some really nice stuff…πŸ˜‰

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

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

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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.