Monday, 13 February 2012

Naked Emotions

1. I found these shots on my enormous ever-growing hard drive full of images of myself which have been kindly donated by photographers. They're by Mark Bigelow, who initially hired me for his 'Rosamund Clifford' project a couple of years ago. I absolutely love them! So 'vintage', in styling, pose and atmosphere. I was so new to modelling at this point, so I'm proud that these are shots I still want to show off. Thank you to Mark.

(Click to enlarge)

I remember Mark saying to me at the beginning of the shoot, when reviewing a few of our first images, that he thought I was very expressive but that it didn't always reach my face, or that my eyes were expressive but the rest of my face wasn't. Modelling is acting, and hopefully I've improved since then. I've gained so much confidence in front of a camera now. Hopefully part two of this blog post will demonstrate my more 'theatrical'/'letting loose' side...


2. I love wearing make up on nights out and for photoshoots, and I've been known to wear foundation to Zumba and aerobic/dance classes in which I expect to get HOT (my skin flushes so easily!). I have even sometimes thought I would love to train in make up. I really appreciate the artistry involved and the possibilities for total transformation from blank canvas to... any story you want to tell! 

Yet, at the grand old age of 25, I love not wearing it too. I am, of course, a bit of a hippie in some respects, and the more I travel and leave my make up kit at the bottom of my backpack (during my most recent trip, I felt embarrassed to be wearing it at some points; it just looks wrong! And not wearing make up is definitely also an important way of blending into a crowd in countries where attention is unwanted, much like not wearing clothing which is revealing or hugs your body too tightly), the more I realise it's nice to lower your default base-point or 'norm' to the natural face

Make up is an extra, a choice and a decision, not a necessity or essential. Then again, when you're on holiday or somewhere hot, your skin glows with its newly charged pigments, and too much eyeliner on a beach feels silly anyway, yet here in cold England it's easy to look drab, tired and washed out without these brilliant products ready to enhance and 'define' us. And yes, putting on make up (as one act of many that involve efforts to look nice and take the trouble and time with your appearance for yourself as well as for others) can be an important statement. But even so, isn't it nice to just have clean skin sometimes? It feels more innocent to me.

Hhhmmm, this blog post is turning into a natural face apologetic.

I'll get to the point now:

Sooooo, I'd been toying with the idea of doing some self portraits for a while, since getting a new camera recently... Then I totally forgot about that idea until a couple of nights ago, when I was about to go to bed. The results aren't so much self-portraits as 'freak-out time' in front of the camera. Nevertheless I kinda love them and hope you might find them interesting. They're certainly not all that flattering; how liberating! I've been wanting to do a shoot showing different, darker emotions (fear, despair, crying heartbreak, etc) for a long time now, but (understandably) it's not a side of myself I'm often asked to portray in most modelling bookings...So I thought I would have a go at it for myself! The first one is the 'prettiest', and then it gets a little strange, odd and even grotesque (in the truest sense of the word). You might not like them at all, but it's fun to mess around like this sometimes!

Some points...

1. You may have gathered that the following shots involved: no foundation, no powder, no eye shadow, no sneaky contouring, no mascara, no lipstick. My face might have some 'imperfections' ('beauty' spot, pores, freckly things, tiny hairs... etc), but I've decided not to care in the slightest (I'm being stubborn about this). In general, I'm extremely lucky to have good, clear skin.

2. It turns out it's hard to take self portraits when both arms are occupied fully by holding the camera. 

3. Due to the above, plus my light source being above me, my angles were limited (er, to one). Check out how small my eyes look and how large my jaw appears. Kinda funky (maybe?) - I don't look anything like myself in these, and yet I absolutely do, of course.

4. These shots have received ZERO editing in the way of skin retouch and other clever stuff that would have made me look super duper, possibly. I don't have photoshop. Some have been cropped and most have been turned to black and white. These (plus resizing and upping contrast) are the totality of my photo-wizzardry skills.

5. Photographic rules broken include: 'Never shoot upwards at a model', 'Don't get too close', 'Keep still during the shutter release', 'Have an awesome background' and 'Don't pull weird faces'.