Sunday, 26 May 2013

Time and Timeliness

Evening! Hope you're all having splendid bank holiday weekends (if you have those in your country like we do here)!

I just want to write something quite quickly. A blogging interval or 'thought for the day', if you will...

I have a tendency to be hard on myself. Various people have pointed this out to me at various times in my life, which is kind of them. I used to be a terrible perfectionist, but have thankfully shaken that off quite well, I think (though I do always have a strong urge to improve things I do as much as I can, where appropriate; but 'where appropriate' is, of course, the crucial thing!).

Anyway, I've been feeling quite stressed about the level of admin required by this modelling malarky, recently, and so my natural thought pattern declares that there must be something inadequate in my ability to manage my time. But this evening, I took it upon myself to wonder if, actually, I'm really quite good at managing my time (else I wouldn't be able to be writing a novel, work as a professional model, be learning two languages, be taking music lessons, be reading a book, be attending dance classes, making my nephew-to-be a handmade blanket, maintaining a busy social life AND managing to sleep), so perhaps, a bit of statistical analysis was in order.

Seeing as my specific problem is often that I worry I am letting people down by letting emails (emails which I'm grateful for, and am interested in, and enjoy receiving) linger in my inbox far longer than they should, and that I am occasionally on the end of the, absolutely justified, 'You don't seem to have read my message sent on the Xth of the Xth' messages (perhaps I have since visibly logged-in to a networking site through which the message was sent). Don't get me wrong; sometimes I reply to a message within minutes, depending on what I'm doing, how near the computer I am, how easy the message is to reply to, etc.. But sometimes it takes me quite a bit longer to get through things. It turns out there's a reasonable excuse for this...

 I decided to count how many emails I received on one particular day.

I took the 24th (two days ago) at random, and counted that I had received 98 emails on that day. I looked through again, and counted 70 emails out of the 98 which required a direct response on my part (either a considered reply or an action) - so, effectively, I received 70 different contacts from what can be considered 'clients' in one single day, each one requiring my response.

The rest (the remaining 28) were easily deleted (e.g. notifications of posts being added to forum threads I'd contributed to, before I'd switched off that notification feature). So that's 70 emails in one day requiring my attention and reply (many of which require research before a reply is possible), while also being on the phone to my agency and speaking on the phone to two photographers about arrangements for forthcoming things. I also spent some of the day arranging future modelling trips (looking up flights, accommodation and transport options).

Did I mention that this modelling email account is just one of three email accounts I have and check regularly? I have another personal account (for that social life I mentioned) and another, more formal, one, for important/other/some social matters. (There is a fourth, set up specifically for my 'Ella Rose' facebook notifications, but I never look at it ever, so it doesn't count.)

...Why am I writing this? It might seem like a thinly-veiled boast ('look how many people are interested in my work and want to hire me!', '70 emails in one day - aren't I great?!') etc; I really don't want to sound like that; that's not the intention of this blog post. It's more just to acknowledge that this stuff isn't always easy, and to say to anyone to whom it may apply: please be aware of how much work goes into modelling behind the scenes. Please don't hate models if they take a little while to reply or keep you waiting longer than your ideal. Bear in mind that this was technically a day off - and a Saturday! - and that this is just one day (I haven't counted statistics for other days to compare how average this day was, but it felt like quite an average day; there may often be more, or less correspondence per day); one day out of an entire week, out of an entire month... etc.

I don't mean to sound angry or stressed; I'm actually just quite amused that I had questioned my own ability to be on top of emails so often, without stopping to consider what, exactly, it was that I was asking of myself, and relieved to be able to remember that I'm only human! Ha!

I'm sure many of you feel the same way and have similar demands if you are self employed (I'm hardly alone in this!) and the idea of 9-5 working hours (rather than everything having to be instant in this immediate, seven-day week modern smartphone world!) is not a norm that you can easily relate to, either. I'm still glad I'm self employed and doing a job I find fun and creatively stimulating, despite all the work.

But as a result of this highly scientific experiment... ;-) I certainly feel more comfortable and justified in stating on my various online sites that although I try to respond to emails within a few days, I do sometimes struggle.

Anyway, much love to all... Thanks for all those wonderful enquiries that keep my modelling world turning, and many thanks to those who patiently accept that things can take a couple of days or three or four (and even more when a model is travelling for work with shaky wifi connections or limited time in the evenings to relax between assignments!) to respond to. And do tell us models if a reply is urgent; we'll prioritise your message if it's time reliant and you tell us so. :-)

P.S. Some gorgeous new images coming your way which I can't wait to share!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Moss, Kicks & Lochs

Back when I started modelling, Alex Ingram's work was way up there at the top of the 'inspire' list; I saw his beautiful work everywhere and hoped I might work with him one day. I had been in touch with him ever since (and we have the message history from 2009 to prove it!) but I never quite made it to his high-up land of lochs and glens until a couple of weeks ago, when I finally met and worked with him. And what a good thing I finally made the journey! Alex is a wonderful host, taking such care to keep me comfortable and happy during my 2-night stay, and even packed me off with a surprise packed lunch afterwards (he did his absolute best to use up all the remaining peanut butter in my rolls since he hated it so much - fine by me, the peanut butter addict!). During a shoot, his way of working comes from years and years of experience and understanding; he is able to visualise a shot (or work with the visualisation of the model), set up, and take only a few frames in order to capture the image - which, in Scotland's unpredictable weather conditions is an invaluable skill! Despite changing weather (sunny-ish at first then downpours!), we managed to get some great images! I'm so looking forward to seeing what we can come up with on location in Iceland this July!

Alex sent me images from the day in multiple versions, but I'm leaning towards sepia for most. I think sepia is under-used!

Alex wrote this about the high-kick shots above: 'As we were walking between locations in a remote scattered deserted village high on a hillside I mentioned to Ella Rose to say if she saw anything as a potential location, and within seconds she said this tree. This high kick is totally free standing although it may not look that way, she had to be well away from both the trunk & branch to avoid their shadows. Take into account the rough ground which was soft, and a bog just a few feet away, it was an amazing feat to achieve.'

Also, don't let the blue sky in the colour shot of the tree above fool you too much... It was beautiful at that point, yes, but torrentially raining for much of the rest of it!

But first, back to the good weather, some restful nudes on moss:

Squeaky clean (and more sepia!) portraits in Alex's lounge - aka temporary rain shelter:

With these next few (the last of the day's output!), I thought we could go for a rainy/misty beautiful/desolate effect, and Alex knew what I meant and found the perfect spot. His amazing home location meant it would have been a crime not to have posed next to the loch near the bottom of his driveway, and we decided we could just go for it and shoot in the rain for the last few, walkie talkies 'n' all! Amazingly, my hair doesn't really look wet. The physics of weather makes no sense sometimes. :-)

Nearby (a few steps away) the local sheep were gathered, soaking wet, and wondering what on earth we humans were doing. Throughout my trip to Scotland I became besotted with all the tiny lambs I saw (I saw some which seemed only a few days old; I'd held a lamb before but never seen such tiny ones!!). I really really want a little lamb as a pet. It would be the most loved lamb in the whole wide world, without a doubt. Siiiigh. I could walk it and everything.

Thank you Alex!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013


In hindsight I'm slightly amazed (if I do say so myself) that I managed to help create the images below while feeling as unwell as I did back in March this year (it was just a cold/flu thing - I was a bit of a wreck but determined to show up as the previous date had already been called off due to snowy roads!).

Photographer Vanessa Mills and designer Asia Prusinowska wanted images with fire, movement and passion, and I think we achieved that!! The purpose of the shoot was to showcase the conceptual side (the drama) of Asia's designs, and we did three separate pieces during the session. I was pinned into the clothes, which flowed and dazzled in felt and silk as I danced, and Vanessa's use of blur and capture made for some stunning, dynamic shots! I love this way of working! (All taken in the black room of The Works Studio in Cambridge.)

I think the first and last are my favourites.

(This post, published earlier then almost immediately snatched away from public view, is reposted - with thanks - now that Asia's designs are ready for public viewing.)

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Welsh Rain, Reflections

I had a great two days with Richard Spurdens in January, shooting at a grand house in Wales. We've worked together a couple of times before and I think we make a good team, having lots of fun and getting lots done in the process! Richard is always brimming with ideas and always happy to go along with mine too - and having packed a large suitcase full of bits and pieces, including my Indian wedding sari and the showgirl costume I bought in Las Vegas, I had plenty for us to work with in the various mini locations scattered inside the house. We worked outside too - in the pouring rain, I might add; I don't normally offer to pose nude in the rain, but it seemed such a shame to waste the opportunities out there!

Richard has kindly sent me some of my favourite results, which means I get to show them off! :-) One of the images has already had a couple of successes/acceptances, so that's good, too!

My Vegas costume:

Dreaming through a window...

(These were great in colour too, and I'm sure Richard won't mind me taking the credit for suggesting we switch on the light inside to create that warm glow... :-) )

A ghostly movement idea we played around with (doesn't the map in the background make the shot? I've got such a thing about maps, myself).

 Sari (I'm really quite sulky-looking in the first, for some reason):

Some dance-ish hair flicks at the indoor (overly chlorinated, but gorgeously steamy) pool...

Outdoors in that rain...


And some 'miscellaneous' images... :-)

(Having to duck underneath the chandelier in the shot below made not slipping off the sloping shelf-thing even more difficult than it already was. 'First world problems'. What a nice house it was!)

Thanks so much Richard for another fruitful experience!