Sunday, 29 May 2011

All good things...

While away in Scotland, I took some time out to do some thinking. It gave me an opportunity to formulate some ideas that have been going around in my head for some time now.

After careful consideration, and almost a decade of modelling, I think the time has come to re-prioritise my life. 2011 is likely to be my last year of modelling officially. I am not 'retiring,' (mostly because I absolutely despise that term, and at 31, I'm damned if I'm old enough to 'retire.') I don't intend to quit entirely. But I also can't keep leading my life alternating between two unreliable jobs, in the hope that they will add up to something resembling one reliable income (many of you will know that I am also a singer/actress, and have juggled two careers separately for years).

There has been a spate of high profile models moving on from the world of internet modelling of late. Many of them have quit because of negative or bad experiences within the industry. So rather than add fuel to that fire, I would just like to take this opportunity to say that my decision to re-prioritise has absolutely nothing to do with falling out of love with modelling (and this isn't something I'm saying just because I think I ought to). Of course the modelling industry isn't perfect, and like anyone else, I have my rants and bugbears. But while over the years, I have become increasingly resentful towards my singing/acting career, (which is full of people who are very willing to waste your time for minimal rewards), my modelling career has actually kept me sane in times when I would otherwise have had no creative outlet. Far from growing resentful, I am genuinely grateful for the opportunities I've had, and the many people I have met through the modelling industry. It is because I genuinely love what I do, that I am unlikely to completely stop doing it.

I am proud to have been modelling for a decade, and I absolutely will NOT be moving on because of my age! I know there are many who feel that there is no place for older models in the modelling world. I personally would argue that if you are creating art, the emphasis is on creativity, rather than youth or conventional 'beauty,' and age should not be a factor. We live in an increasingly ageist society, where despite the fact that the vast majority of our population falls into an 'older generation,' that generation is not represented by the marketing images we are constantly bombarded with. As much as I would like to make a stand against that ageism and continue creating artistic work until I am in my 90s, the fact of the matter is that if I were to do so, it would more than likely not be on a profitable basis.

I would love to continue doing what I do just for the love of doing it, but sadly bills do need paying and travel is not free. As such, I need to rethink my priorities, and I just can't remain available indefinitely for bookings at any given time.

I have no intention of making sudden or drastic changes, and I will definitely continue to be available for bookings throughout June and July. I will probably be available in August, and possibly even in September. I do intend to continue modelling work up until the end of the year, and while it is unlikely that I will stop entirely in 2012, I also can't guarantee that I will continue, and will be gradually tailing off work throughout the remainder of 2011.

I would love to go out with a 'swan song.' There are many photographers I would still love to work with. I've had conversations with several people towards the end of last year and early this year, but due to various other commitments (illness, a European tour, and a foster dog who won't travel and took longer to re-home than expected), I haven't been able to tour the UK and haven't been able to see those plans through yet. I fully intend to tour the UK over the summer, and I hope to work with many of the photographers whose work I have admired in the past. I do already have some very exciting shoots booked, and I can't wait to complete those and share the images.

However, all good things must, eventually, come to and end. If you are one of the many people with whom I have communicated in the past, along the lines of 'we really must work together one day,' can I suggest that you book me sooner rather than later. I would particularly like to fill June and July, so please do get in touch and send me some dates. I will be the first to admit I am hopeless at email tennis. I am very efficient when it comes to confirming a booking, but it makes it so much easier to get to that stage if you can start with some suggestions for when and where.

I am definitely planning to visit the south coast over the summer, and am happy to travel anywhere in the UK as long as it is financially viable to do so - I just can't afford to do it at my own expense. One of the major factors that has influenced my decision to re-prioritise is the increasing cost of travel, which makes it so much more difficult to make modelling trips profitable. If you are based further afield, then please let me know where you are based and give me a rough idea of when you would like to shoot, and I will do my best to coordinate my travel plans to include your area.

I am genuinely very grateful for the opportunities I've had through modelling, and the people I have met. I do intend to continue creating art, and I love doing so. I'll keep updating this blog with forthcoming shoots over the summer, and I hope to fit in many more fantastic shoots before 2012.

Many thanks for your support over the years.

Lastly, here is another image from my recent Scotland trip,
by and copyright of Alex Ingram.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Mother Earth

'Cracked Earth'
Image by and copyright of Alex Ingram

Hello again, and greetings from Scotland! Here's a quick update featuring some recent images inspired by nature.

Above is a preview image from my recent trip to the Highlands to work with Alex Ingram. Alex lives in a truly beautiful part of the world, where every direction you look in is a picture postcard. I had a lovely, relaxing time staying with Alex for a few days, away from the noise of traffic or general stresses of life. We also had a productive time shooting, and I am pleased with some lovely shots featuring the beautiful Scottish landscape. There are more to come, but here's just one for now.

'Mother Earth'
Image by and copyright of GlobalEye

This image was taken very recently, before I headed up to Scotland. I worked with Chris of Global Eye images for a day close to my own home. We shot several locations including a derelict farm house, an abandoned stately home, a good old rape seed field and a more remote part of the Peak District. (You can find more images from our day's shooting on Chris' Purestorm profile, linked above). The above image was taken in a natural stone crater, carved into one of the huge rocks of the Peak District. Presumably it was formed millions of years ago when the whole area was under water from melting glaciers. There is something so awesome about nature, forging a lasting reminder of its power; so unrelenting and ferocious that the water carved this huge cleft into an apparently solid stone.

'Nature's Seed'
Image by and copyright of David Porter

Lastly, this is an image taken from a studio day at Elgin Studios. I worked with several photographers on the day, and had taken this rather unusual prop with me to shoot. It was found by the loch side, while visiting Alex in the Highlands, and appears to be some sort of withered tree/branch with dried seed pods. It is around 6 feet tall, but I liked the look of it and insisted on bringing it with me! It was fun to work with, and certainly an unusual accessory.

Monday, 9 May 2011

La Señorita Roja

Hello folks! I'm currently enjoying the wilds of Scotland. I have a broken mobile phone, an intermittent WIFI connection (dodgy at best), and a hole in my car radiator. Despite this, I think my communication difficulties have probably done me a favour, as it's all too easy to live vicariously through technology, and this way I have a proper break from everything, including the need to be permanently attached to my phone! I am still contactable while away, but may be delayed responding to email or phone calls. It's a 'working holiday' so although I'm enjoying some time out, I'm also enjoying some fantastic shoots here in Scotland. I'll catch up again soon with an update and some new images.

Meanwhile, this is a photo from a shoot not too far from home in Derbyshire, taken by Tony Else.

Image by and copyright of Tony Else.