Tag Archives: urban exploration

What do models wear?

17 Feb

Also:
– Why we look like bag ladies on the tube in the morning
– How we get designers to lend us stuff
– Why we often look nothing like the way you imagined us!

Well, as you seemed to like my ‘what models eat‘ blog so much, I decided to address another few questions I get asked a lot! 🙂

If you don’t care, scroll down for some insane outfits in incredible locations. 😉
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Glamour models often arrive fully made-up because as the preferred ‘look’ can be very samey, she knows what the client wants and can arrive ready to shoot immediately. Otherwise, most models are told to arrive as blank canvasses, whether we’re agency-represented or freelance. This means that the sleepy make-up free, scraped-back hair-ed, baggy-trousered suitcase-dragging creature you see at 6am on the tube may well be a model in disguise!
No matter whether we’re fashionable, alternative, pretty and girly or any other style you can think of, the professionals (especially nude and lingerie models) will arrive in baggy outfits because they don’t leave marks on the body, saving the photographer time in photoshop.

Before and after… SIX YEARS AGO!!! I was modelling for the gone but much-missed HMSlatex.
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You know when you walk straight past somebody because they aren’t in the place you associate them with? (e.g. walking straight past your karate instructor because they aren’t in whites with a black belt?) I’ve found tying my hair up is the perfect disguise! I’ve lost count of the people who have mailed me saying “I thought I saw you but wasn’t sure…” Another model friend swears by the “Felicity effect”- wearing glasses = incognito! 😛
This is Felicity Smoak in Arrow. The glasses are to show you she’s a geek because all geeks on TV must wear glasses. 😛 She takes them off and- boom- different person. Apparently.
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This is why we look different to the way you imagine us:
It’s funny how often I find that photographers know models from one particular style we shoot, with no idea about the others! (It seems the art-nude and fetish worlds rarely cross paths.) As my art-nude pictures are often ethereal, classically beautiful and pre-Raphaelite inspired, some people can expect a long-skirted romantic to come skipping along.
*sound of New Rocks stomping down the train platform*
The same happens with many of my model friends known for certain looks they do very well- it’s a facet of their personality that they love to express and they’re not only versatile on camera but choose another facet to show off in their everyday world.

Instagram models are a different story as they mostly make a living from their sponsors and advertising. (I wrote a whole blog about the way that works here) That means they have to keep things as consistent with their projected image as possible. It seems like a very easy lifestyle, getting paid simply to take a selfie, but in my opinion there’s far more pressure on Instagram models than freelance models, as even their personal lives have to remain ‘on brand’. Often, what they wear is what they’re paid to wear- and that’s why they’re usually more recognisable in the street than other models.

I’m currently sponsored by Yummy Gummy latex, Orchid Corsetry and Louise Ferdinand Lingerie. Pictures below are Yummy Gummy and Louise Ferdinand- you’ll see Orchid Corsetry later in this post. (Yes I’ve lost weight- the bottom picture was a few years ago, the top was a few months ago).
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Photo by Proteus Photography
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I once read a rant from a very famous and now retired fetish model, who was sick of new models contacting her asking which photographers pay and which designers lend clothes for free.
“You know what they’re saying to me? I don’t want to work for anything so just give me money and clothes!”
It’s hard as a new model to know where to start and I can understand the temptation to ask more experienced models for all the information but professional models build up working relationships over a long period of time. If you’d like to work with a designer and work towards sponsorship, this will give you a good chance:

1) Prepare your portfolio
Have a lot of good quality pictures that would persuade a designer you are worth working with. If your first shoots are all basic fashion from your own wardrobe, that is no problem at all as long as you look good in them, but think about who you approach. For example, a lingerie designer is unlikely to offer you work if you have no lingerie pictures.
Treat it like a job application. No “hey bayb, wanna shoot?”

2) Stick your neck out
Apply to casting calls for fashion shows and photoshoots. You’re more likely to have the trust of a designer if you’ve actually met them in person! If they have no castings, offer to pay a deposit (and pay it!) This shows you’re serious about taking care of the items. Though I have built a good reputation, I still offer to pay deposits.

3) Be reliable
Give designers your correct measurements. I’ve seen a true fashion show horror story or two! If they need the outfit back by a certain day, make sure it gets sent back in time. If the outfit is damaged, let them know straight away. Accidents happen, but pretending they didn’t and sending back a broken outfit is not cool.I’ve had mishaps myself and the designers appreciated honesty.

It’s always worth an ask- the least somebody can do is say no, and you could have a new and lovely working relationship! 😀

It takes a hell of a lot of trust to allow your model to not only borrow your outfit but take it out of the country and into a lot of grimy overgrown places covered in dust, so thankyou so much to Orchid Corsetry, Dead Lotus Couture and Cyberesque for letting me do just that last year.
I worked with photographers Magpie Tommy, James Kerwin and fellow model Jade Stacy Maria in Belgium on an urbex tour. You’ve already seen the nudes, so here are the rest of our shots! Photos are watermarked with the credits.

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I love the way different photographers can produce totally different images in the same location. Tom’s is above, James’s are below. Jade and I are wearing Dead Lotus Couture.
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We didn’t think we were going to manage this incredible castle location but after a couple of adventures and an uphill scramble, here we were! I’m wearing Orchid Corsetry with a veil made by me. I haven’t forgotten to tell you the thrilling tale but for now, here are some pictures… 😉
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We were running out of light and I really wish we’d had more time at the location below as there were so many more things I wanted to do! Another time perhaps… 😉 Outfit by Cyberesque.
Apparently this bit is called “the rhino” but I think the structures look more like catfish…
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And my favourite shooting location of all! I loved the different places for very different reasons but as you all know my love of nature, this was an amazing place to be and to shoot. While Tom and James were shooting Jade, I sat taking close-ups of my own and pretending I was in another strange world. 🙂
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I’m on a few new adventures this year and can’t wait to see where life takes me next. As for today, it’s been a productive one!
– I painted my doors
– Made a lovely smoked mackerel and beetroot salad
– Blogged (yay!)
– Recorded a short story I’m working on
– Am trying my hand at making chia seed pudding for the first time. Wish me luck! 😛

More adventures coming your way…

ROSWELL xxx

Dangers Untold and Hardships Unnumbered

19 Jan

I’d planned to post this blog another time but then we lost David Bowie and the title couldn’t be changed- it was too perfect. This is probably the worst time to admit I hate the song Space Oddity, but I did love Labyrinth even though I didn’t actually see it until I was eighteen. I watched it in a friend’s paint-splattered mystical box-room in art school halls of residence, where I was sleeping to avoid hearing the Bedspring Symphony next to my own room.
Why didn’t Sarah just leave the wailing baby and stay in Faerieland with Bowie??  (And could we have him back please, Death? We’ll give you Donald Trump…)

Anyway… I was in London a few days ago and I saw this genius advert for the Tate Britain.
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What a way to advertise an art gallery- no actual art, but an intriguing backstory. So much for a picture being worth a thousand words! Then I realised I not only knew the picture but had posed for an interpretation of another of Bacon’s Triptychs! I just didn’t know what they were about.
Here’s the one in the advert:
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And here’s the one I posed for, with the result underneath. The painter is Nelson Aquini.
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I found the original pictures creepy (that’s not a bad thing) but didn’t like or dislike them. Looking again and knowing what inspired them… I wouldn’t hang any on the wall but can appreciate the achievement as art: Bacon managed to paint what being consumed by horror and screaming grief feels like. Now, if only I could do that with words! 😉

Another piece of art I like because of its backstory is “Rock Drill”, by Jacob Epstein, and it used to look like the picture on the right. It had begun as a celebration of the industrial age… and then the First World War happened. Epstein ripped the sculpture apart and worked in a more classical way from then on!
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I started thinking about some of my favourite pictures and the effort, pain and strange stories behind some of them. There are some I’ve blogged about before (check out “Death Becomes Her“, “Welcome to Rivendell” and “Adventures After Dark“) but of those remaining, these are probably my top three:

1) Girl on the Moon (photos by Calvato)
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Calvato had warned me that this spectacular several-storey gutted warehouse was full of dust. Not a problem at all- I had fun pretending to be an astronaut stomping in slow-motion sending up clouds around me (nobody ever said I was cool, okay?)… BUT as I was coming down with the flu, I was feeling like the lovechild of Gollum and a wet blanket. Yes, I wanted the desolate hunched-over look here but I’m not usually a fan of method-acting! I absolutely love the pictures even though I was bedridden, shootless and delirious for the next three days. I then realised an hour before my coach left for Berlin that I couldn’t find my keys. Cue lurching to the train station with a bad drawing and a “have these been handed in?” sentence courtesy of google translate.
MIRACLE: They were in the station and I got my coach. 😛

2) Face-Off (photographer is Chicproduction)
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This photo is from one of my first ever photoshoots!! I was nervous and my face was a little sore from a make-up artist’s insistent scrubbing at me the day before. When the (different, nonviolent) make-up artist for this shoot touched my face with her brush, my cheeks swelled up like a hamster’s!! Being new to modelling, this was the most catastrophic thing that had ever happened to me at a shoot. After a pep-talk from the very understanding photographer, we carried on and got THIS! Looking again, there is some Bowie in there, I swear… 😀 (and I learned not to let people scrub at my face.)

3) Miranda. (Photographer is Magpie Tommy, designer is Orchid Corsetry)
I’ll blog the whole set soon…
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I’m going to tell you the whole story in another blog but it entailed a 5am start, an army-style crawl through the bushes, two ticks, some broken French and the threat of capture. 😉

Other times of course, shoots go as smoothly as possible, even outdoors in the cold. I was amazed that photographer Digital Caress had not only a Plan A, but B and C too when I worked with him during a trip to Holland. Plan A (a wildlife sanctuary and ruin) worked just fine though!
As usual, a story came into my head (another to add to the archive of plots) as soon as I picked the final shots to post here: A story about a person who had hidden from the end of the world. On emerging from the space she’d lived in, she found everything was dead and at a loss what to do, turned her back on the cold deadness around her and made the ruins beautiful in her own way until she felt the sun on the stones. Turning around, she saw one tree still in green and made her way to it, farewelling the rest of the world. She’d stay there, unmoving until something grew again…

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As my ‘flash fiction’ blogs tend to be very popular with you all, I’m writing some more. Stay tuned for mini-tales to accompany some of my pictures… 😉

For now though, it’s 1am here in England and my hot water bottle calls!

Goodnight!

ROSWELL xxx