Tag Archives: photography

Guys With Cameras…

1 Jul

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

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

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

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

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

BUT…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ROSWELL xxx

Projections and the ‘moment’ myth.

29 Mar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ROSWELL xxx

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

Samhain onboard

1 Nov

Happy Halloween to all and Blessed Be to fellow pagans.
For the first time in a few years, I am not working on Halloween weekend so have had the chance to chill out onboard my boat drinking spiced apple tea, reading spooky stories (there are some horrors in Neil Gaiman’s “Fragile Things”) and burning the green skull candle I’d been saving. I even found a “Day of the Dead” page in my colouring book. (Yes I have a colouring book. Actually, I have three- and they rock.)

I had loads of errands to run in town so braved the scariest thing of all- Saturday shopping in Milton Keynes. BUT, as I get phone reception there, it turned out to be a good thing I did- I accidentally visited the Gothic Manchester festival while on tour last weekend and entered a raffle in aid of S.O.P.H.I.E. to win a knitted Cthulhu. As I want my bathroom to be sea monster themed, I’ve wanted one for ages. Well, I got a phone call and… look!!! The white one is mine!!!❀
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Also, the reading rooms at Manchester’s library are amazing. There has to be a secret portal in here. Right?

Samhain (aka Halloween) is the pagan new year- marking the end of the ‘light’ half of the year. The Celts believed that days began at sunset and so the new year begins now, at the dark half of the year. It’s a time for remembering the dead and celebrating the lives of ancestors. Though I love a good party and making costumes, I also find the season a time for being still and meditative. Especially losing someone at this time, it was even more important to me that I had my alone time.
As I know very little about my ancestors, I thanked them for the fact that I’m alive thanks to them and lit an extra candle, and wrote messages to the friends I have known who have died. (Luckily, there have been few.)
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One of these friends died while I was at school, still living with my mum. That night, I stuck this little plastic stained-glass-effect butterfly on my bedroom window for her. It sat there for fifteen years and after I left home a decade ago, my mum tried to remove it. It resisted all attempts at dislodging it and now that my mum is moving house too, she assumed it would stay there but had one last try at pulling it from the window. It practically fell into her hand.❀
Looking at it now, it reminds me very much of some tattoos on another very close friend. I don’t know what that is supposed to ‘mean’ but things seem to have come full circle in a way, like so many things in life. All I can do is hope that in the same way, we’ll be reunited with our loved ones who died first.

My little space on the hearth, with candles, tea, notepad and snuggly carpet. See the skull candle?
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I didn’t dress up this year but as I dress up every day (even when I’m naked, I’m being a wood sprite, goddess or strange sculpture), that’s fine. I have some beautiful photos from an Autumn photoshoot with Shannon Swift and Orchid Corsetry, in which I think I look rather vampiric!πŸ˜‰

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It’s the first day of NaNoWriMo, which I’ll tell you about soon- so for now, I’m going to get writing.:) Wish me luck!

ROSWELL xxx

International

22 May

I’m back! I had one of the best weekends ever in Berlin and it reminded me how glad I feel to have friends all over the world that I’d never have known if not for my modelling work.❀ I’ll post a proper update later but just wanted to share some photos with you now.

Here I am walking for Ardita Fetish Fashion, with a sneak peek from the back of the camera during my shoot with Belinda Bartzner. I am so tempted to buy this dress.❀
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And I couldn’t *not* show you this shot of the gorgeous designer Barbara, wearing more of her designs. You can just see me on the right.πŸ˜€
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Though I didn’t get the “Fetish Model of the Year” Award this time (well done though to Sinteque, who did), my sponsor Yummy Gummy latex won “Best International Startup Company”. I’m so proud of her- she’s my latex scientist (I refer to her studio as The Lab) and can’t wait to see what she does next.
Have another sneak preview- I’m wearing my custom-made Yummy Gummy bodysuit and Pandora Deluxe harness.
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As I can’t be everywhere at once, sadly, I missed an exhibition I featured in, but can now show you the photos! Photographer Kirsten Thys Van Den Audenaerde shot a project focusing on portraying various fetishes from ponygirl and heavy rubber to bondage and ballet boots. Mine was leather and everything I’m wearing here is from my own wardrobe.πŸ˜‰
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So what next? I’m leaving for Ireland on Monday for a week, with an awesome nude shoot in a castle, a sold-out studio day and one day off for wildlife spotting. Irish people, if you know of anywhere near Dublin or Cork that is slightly derelict and/or reclaimed by nature, please let me know.

June is scheduled for some downtime, as this month has been so crazy that I’ve been away from home more nights than I’ve spent in my own bed. I want to get my bathroom looking the way I want it (Cthulhu themed, aqua blue, black and white with a bit of gold) and spend some more time on the roof reading.:)

I may be investing some money into a couple of gorgeous brightly coloured latex catsuits- very exciting, especially for you shiny fashion fans who should be following my facebook- there will be MANY more shiny pictures coming. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Roswell-Ivory-model-and-writer/152654844767588

Also, please keep voting! I’m around place 30 and need to be in the top 12 to win another latex catsuit! You can vote EVERY 24 HOURS, remember? http://www.latex.at:80/en/all-models-voting/?id=187
Thankyou.❀

Speak to you soon- I’ll blog again before I leave.

ROSWELL xxx

And

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!πŸ˜›
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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.πŸ˜€

“I-Β  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!)Β  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!πŸ˜€
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!!!πŸ˜€ 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

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