Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Black Sheer Nude

Some fresh new images from a couple of days ago (though my computer back home hosts a wonderful backlog of images made earlier). These are by Warren Jopson, who booked me for his first experience of shooting nudes. In fact this was the third shoot in two days which involved this same 'first' - and each photographer did fantastically well, making some great images!

These were shot using natural light only (and no skin retouching), in a warehouse then outdoors by water. (I have learnt on this trip that Australia has sharks even in its rivers, by the way. I can't even explain how crazy that seems to a Brit.) In each of the two locations we did some simple nudes then some with the black sheer dress. I'd posed earlier in the day for the excellent Jessalee Make Up's demonstration at a burlesque event, so this shoot had the sneaky benefit of her maquillage.

I'm in the hippie haven that is Byron Bay now. Last time I was here I painted and learnt how to play a didgeridoo, amongst other things. Such a beautiful part of the world, and heaven for vegetarians.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Hills, Marsupials and Zoolander

Two things:

An image made in Beverley Hills, by the very talented OnePixArt (I always love the delicate intricacy of his style):

And, well, a koala:

(Excuse the goofy/giddy expression.) After I mentioned that I'd really like to visit Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary a couple of days ago, when I arrived in Brisbane, the very lovely Cam Attree humoured me with a quick drive over and we had fun hanging out with kangaroos, looking at platypuses (platypi?), watching a brilliant birds of prey show, patting a dingo as it strolled around, and CUDDLING A KOALA. Basically I was in heaven. They have over a hundred koalas at the sanctuary, and coax them in turn from their 19-22 hours sleep per day to be cuddled by visitors, before depositing them gently back to their eucalyptus trees, where they fall asleep in the most unlikely positions. (See: http://www.buzzfeed.com/paws/awkward-cat-sleeping-positions?s=mobile for ideas)

I'd forgotten how much I love Australia. Everything feels simple and easy here, and most of the people seem happy-go-lucky, positive, and sunny-faced. And shop assistants start by asking how you are. (I haven't quite worked out whether you're meant to answer or just respond with the same question, a bit like the old-fashioned english 'how do you do?')

Ah go on then, a third thing... Here's me and a roo:

Best ever first 24 hours in Oz?! Not to mention the marathon comedy DVDs Cam and I also found time to sit through. :-)

I'm in Hervey Bay now, having spent a day on the amazingly beautiful Lady Elliott Island, my one blow-out touristy thing while I'm in Australia (you can only access it by sea plane! I snorkelled with a turtle!), and will soon be heading down to  Brisbane again, then onwards to Sydney via a few other places. I've just been googling for nudist beaches, in the ongoing anti-tan-line movement.

...Sorry if my blog is becoming a bit of a 'isn't life amazing?' travelogue, by the way. I do realise how lucky I am to be doing all this.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Fish and Coconuts

Some highlights from the last few days. I shall partake of the humble bullet form, since it requires less of me and I'm feeling dreamy and hazy (= lazy) here in the Mekong Delta.

- Surviving the typhoon and marvelling at the calm efficiency of the local clear up the next day, as fallen trees were dodged or re-erected, and damaged, colourful lanterns collected.
- Cocktails in Saigon, most notably the brilliantly named 'lady in hotel'. This non-drinker is a sucker for a well-named cocktail.
- Karaoke with some boys we acquired along the way. I have never done karaoke before as it terrifies me AND simultaneously makes me cringe in a very English way, BUT, bearing in mind the cocktails, I was perhaps more impressionable that usual; and it was one of my favourite nights ever, and also came with the revelation that my friends think I have a really good voice and need to join a choir immediately on my return to the UK. This meant a lot as although I do absolutely love singing (I thought I would be a song-writer at one stage), I am often very shy about singing in public.
- Coconut farm. Noodle factory. Rice-paper-making lady who let us try it (and had a gorgeous three-year-old girl called Ngan who giggled and picked her nose and spontaneously produced the peace sign for our cameras.)
- boats and more boats. And cycling. For an Oxford girl it's ridiculous that the last time I cycled was in Honduras. (My exercise bike doesn't count.)
- mopeds. Way too much fun (though I only ever ride on the back of someone else's).
- Sunsets with butterflies and dragonflies flitting between the river and the orange poppies.
- honey green tea and a man who fought in Cambodia and had the most beautiful crows feet. He's married to the rice-paper lady.
- Slow row boat through the brown, silt-filled river, enjoying every second of dappled shade.

There's more, but for now I want to stop and show you some more from Germany. Isn't the fish great?

(Copyright Steven Billups; images shot on film.)

Monday, 14 October 2013

Weather Forms & Sea Fans

I'm writing from a hotel here in Hoi An, Vietnam. Having been moved 10 mins from the coast at the demand of the authorities, we're locked in with all the other evacuee guests awaiting a typhoon, which is aiming straight for us! It's being taken very seriously, with windows being boarded up and trees being reinforced. It's hard to know what to expect, though there is already some flooding just from the outskirts of its arrival and the wind is intense. But the fact that typhoons inflict themselves here so often means the staff are relatively calm, and there will probably be less damage than in the poor Philippines, which is bearing the brunt of BOTH of the typhoons which are currently terrorising the south east Asia region.


It was so nice to model for Rebecca Parker again recently. She really is a special lady! She did the make up and photographed me around her home, letting me do my thing while getting back into the swing of things. I love these images - hopefully we'll do more soon!

Now, back to my pumpkin soup! Will update again at some point... :-)

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Waiting in Hanoi..

Hello from Hanoi!

Had a great shoot with Keith Cooper again recently, working on three different images inspired by particular pre-Raphaelite paintings (can you guess which?) before then doing the headshots and nudes below. Hope you like them! I'm currently waiting in a hotel room for two friends to arrive from London, having said goodbye to a group of men I'd met backpacking. Highlights so far have included the Temple of Literature, the big lake (with its 200kg tortoise) and managing so far not to get killed by nine million mopeds when crossing each and every road... Men do make excellent human shields.