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My increasingly hectic work schedule, combined with a development project I was undertaking meant that I had precious little time for photography in 2015.  Likewise Rosa’s career rocketed upwards at the same time, meaning our diaries didn’t coincide again until the end of the year. But we picked up where we left off with ease just before xmas.
 
I had long had an idea to do a shoot in an empty church hall or similar building, with a model rising from a chair within a large empty space.  Finally with Rosa’s skill and appetite for anything new, I was able to realise that.  I was able to ‘borrow’ an old hall that I am working on converting, (in my other life in property), so we were able to use the space undisturbed.  The premises had been vacant for several years and showed the signs of decay but I like that and especially the contrast with the most perfect example of beauty, the female form. 
 
It was amazing to see the way Rosa had improved her modelling still further.  Now brimming with confidence and able to call on a reservoir of experience, she has really mastered the craft.  She is quick to adapt and play a part, moving between genres and moods with ease.  But all the time there is a sense of intrigue and curiosity about what she does that is ever more inspiring.
 
It has been my great privilege to know and work with Rosa over the past two and a half years.  I have been rewarded with so many moments of extraordinary beauty.  Rosa’s ever present sense of fun and sheer enthusiasm for life is irrepressible and infectious.  I eagerly look forward to the continuation of our creative journey in the days and years to come. 

"Long times apart can make no breach a second cannot fill" – Emily Dickinson
  • Listening to: "Finlandia" - Sibelius
  • Reading: "The Road to Little Dribbling" - Bill Bryson
  • Watching: "The Hypnotist"
  • Playing: My new Fender Stratocaster still...,
  • Eating: Everything but carbs
  • Drinking: Welsh Golden Ale
Every so often in the world of photography and modelling inhabited by all of us who are driven to create art, you meet someone who leaves a lasting impression on you, someone who truly touches your soul.  That was certainly the case when in the later summer of 2009, I first met Erin, at the very beginning of her artistic modelling journey. Right from the very first moment, she radiated positive energy; I felt I had discovered pure gold. 

Over the past six years or so, we have enjoyed many wonderful shoots, (and a few scrapes), together.  I have added some samples from our latest outing on a warmish autumn day last year.  I took Erin to one of my favourite little coves by the sea, most of which is only visible when the tide recedes.  We planned our shoot for one of the lowest tides of the year and were rewarded by a multitude of amazing rock formations, colours and secret rock pools to explore and experiment with.

To spend a day creating art with Erin remains among the most memorable, fulfilling and uplifting experiences of my life.  There is so much expression and emotion in what she does now; it is truly mesmerizing to watch as she slips from one graceful pose into another, effortlessly elegant, a beautiful slow motion ballet unfolding before my eyes. I consider myself truly blessed to have been able to witness and record that.  I'm proud to see what she has achieved with her modelling to date and to have her as my friend.

  • Listening to: Charlie Parker
  • Reading: "Disclaimer" - Renee Knight
  • Watching: "The Prey"
  • Playing: My new Fender Stratocaster
  • Eating: Not much - I'm on a detox diet this week!
  • Drinking: Mint tea - yep, Dry January!
A couple of months ago, while there was still warmth in the air, I was delighted to be able to enjoy a day out on the wilds of Dartmoor with Chiara Elisabetta, an exceptional model who's work I had admired before but never had the chance to meet.  She proved to be an inspiring and fascinating companion, with a uniquely positive outlook on life.  That came through in bucket loads as she embraced my ideas with aplomb, from wading into fast flowing torrents, to braving the windswept high torrs.  Every location and suggestion was met with genuine enthusiasm that made a deep impression on me.  I drove home feeling uplifted by the simple moments of beauty that we had shared. :)  
  • Listening to: Charlie Parker
  • Reading: "The Long Hitch Home" - Jamie Maslin
  • Watching: "Whiplash"
  • Playing: Cycling again..., despite the wind & rain!
  • Eating: Crispy duck
  • Drinking: A mellow merlot
This summer has given me precious few opportunities to get out on photo shoots, but when my friend Artemis Fauna told me she was heading back to Somerset for a few days, I knew I had to make time in my schedule for a shoot.  So we managed to grab a few hours in a woodland on the fringes of Exmoor.

Having sat in the car waiting for a summer rainstorm to pass, we ventured into the woods with the ground still wet from the rain.  Having wandered around for 20 mins we found the remains of an old stone building, covered in ivy and decided that would make the best setting.  As we were getting ready, the sun started to break through, creating an unusual light, diffused by the water vapour rising up from the warmed earth.  

As always, Artemis has an uncanny ability to create moments of sublime beauty from the humblest of surroundings. She is the modelling equivalent of an Alchemist and never ceases to surprise and delight my creativity.  I've added a small selection of images from the afternoon that capture the mood :)
  • Listening to: Billy Bragg
  • Reading: 'Hearts of Stonet' -Simon Scarrow
  • Watching: Rick Steins "From Venice to Istanbul"
  • Playing: not much lately!
  • Eating: Kettle chips
  • Drinking: Amber ale
... the creative wilderness that is!  Yes, I'm sad to say that this summer has largely passed me by when it comes to photography, the demands and complexities of life have meant I have had no time to indulge my passions.  That has been very frustrating as I always look forward to summer and the prospect of shooting outdoors again.  But those adventures have been few and far between this year. 

However, back in the late spring I did manage to grab a few hours with one of my all time favourite models, the fascinating and fabulous EllaRose, who was visiting Cornwall for a commercial shoot.  We headed off to the north coast and found a lovely sheltered cove where we were able to shoot completely uninterrupted for a few hours before the tide turned.  Sheer bliss! 

I've uploaded a selection of my favourite images from that shoot today.  With any luck I may be able to squeeze in a few more shoots before the autumn.
  • Listening to: Best of OMD
  • Reading: 'Are We Nearly There Yet' -Ben Hatch
  • Watching: The Water Diviner
  • Playing: 50km bike ride round the coast
  • Eating: Devonshire cream breakfast (my new invention)!
  • Drinking: Peruvian mountain coffee
With winter's clutches finally receding, I dusted off my camera again a few weeks ago and ventured outdoors once more.  I had the pleasure of starting my outdoor photo season in the company of Elle-Beth, one of the most talented art models currently working on the UK.

We had only worked together once before; a brief indoor shoot around 3 years ago that yielded one of my all time favourite images.  I made a mental note to work with Elle-Beth again so I was pleased when our paths crossed again a couple of months back and we arranged a shoot for this spring.  We enjoyed a lovely weekend together, traversing the highways and byways of my home county of Devon, visiting three new locations in the process. 

I have to say it was an absolute pleasure from start to finish. Elle-Beth's enthusiasm and energy really inspired me.  The expressive poses combined with her athleticism and dancer's grace made for many moments of beauty.  I've uploaded a sample from our first set of the weekend, shot in a secret rocky cove that is only accessible on very low tides.  Thankfully we were able to work there undisturbed for around 3 hours and exit safely, before the water returned to cover our tracks.  

More from the weekend to come over the next few weeks....,
  • Listening to: Gregory Porter
  • Reading: 'Us' - David Nicholls
  • Watching: Unbroken
  • Playing: Cycling again
  • Eating: Salmon stir fry
  • Drinking: Hennesey G & T with cucumber
Having stayed firmly and intentionally within the 'art nude' genre with my model related photography over the past 10 years, I felt it was time to stretch myself and try related genres.  Whilst I am not a fan of mainstream 'glamour' photography, I am interested in glamour in the more original sense.  Something sensual, seductive, sexy even but subtle and which still treats women as goddesses. 

With that in mind, my latest shoot with the beautiful Rosa Brighid allowed me to explore those themes.  The fact that we had worked together a number of times before made for a very relaxed shoot.  Rosa has a languid, almost decadent side to her that really interests me as something to draw on. For the most part, our shoot, (which was indoors), used ambient light from table lamps rather than flash.  That gives a more intimate atmosphere which worked well with the theme of the shoot.  
  • Listening to: Pete Tong on iPlayer
  • Reading: 'Wild' - Cheryl Strayed
  • Watching: Gone Girl
  • Playing: Cycling again
  • Eating: Less carbs!
  • Drinking: Jura single malt
One of the wonderful things that artistic figure photography has given me over the years is the genuine friendships that I've been fortunate to forge with some amazing models. I started my creative journey in this field back in 2004 and I still keep in touch with a couple of model friends from the early days. Even though we may only meet up once every 18 months or so, the mutual joy in creating art is instantly apparent when the creative flame is rekindled. It always gives me great pleasure to discover that we slip into the groove of shooting so easily. As Emily Dickinson said "long years apart can make no breach a second reunited cannot fill."

So it was when I met up with my friend Erin last autumn. I had the good fortune to be the first person to shoot this lovely lady back in 2009; right from the start I knew she was someone special. Spending a few hours or a day with Erin always makes me feel better about the world somehow. Though she took some time out to start a family, there was no rustiness about her modelling that day, quite the opposite. Her creativity and gift for finding expressive poses shone through, stronger than ever. That left a smile on my face for days afterwards :)
  • Listening to: First Aid Kit - live in concert at Bath
  • Reading: 'The Places in Between' - Rory Stewart
  • Watching: Before I Go To Sleep
  • Playing: My new (well secondhand) Mandolin
  • Eating: Spanish chicken caserole
  • Drinking: A cheeky little Rioja
I am often struck by the enthusiasm with which models greet my daft ideas.  I have been blessed to have had many amazing women come along on one of my outdoor shoots, following me up hill and over dale to some god forsaken place, often in inclement weather.  Then stripping off and climbing some rocky crag, tree, old building or waterfall in the buff and managing to pull of an incredibly graceful pose in spite of the physical hazards or indeed me! 
That positive attitude that these models show is a testament to their spirit which is a big part of what I want to capture in my images; the power and beauty of women and the pure joy of being alive!

So it was on my most recent outdoor shoot with JoJo, who travelled a along way to spend the weekend shooting with me.  A lesser person would have had cold feet at the prospect of figure work in a howling gale on the coast but JoJo took it all in her stride with a steely determination and a terrific sense of humour.  I promise I'll remember my hip flask next time! 
  • Listening to: 'Lola's Lullaby' - Anoushka Shankar
  • Reading: 'The Places in Between' - Rory Stewart
  • Watching: Mock the Week xmas special
  • Playing: New sounds on Garageband
  • Eating: Cornish blue cheese & red grapes
  • Drinking: Taylors Vintage Port
Having finally stopped work late on xmas eve, I am enjoying the chance to have a few days when I can catch up on editing shoots from the autumn and summer. In truth, I fell even more behind that usual this year due to other demands on my time.  But it's nice to site here by the stove and be reminded of some of those glorious summer days when I was able to grab the chance and head out on a shoot, usually accompanied by a lovely model.

I've uploaded a set today from my second shoot with the wonderful Sara.  We first met last year when she ventured down to Devon, so I was pleased that we were able to hook up again for a few days at the end of this summer.  Although the weather wasn't great, we did manage to get some great images from a variety of locations. 

Sara has an instinctive ability with her modelling; I keep telling her she should act as she seems able to become a different character with each setting.  She is able to convey a huge range of emotions and atmosphere, by the way she reacts to the place with her posing and her facial expressions.  She can be simultaneously vulnerable and seductive, lost and empty yet femme fatale.  A fascinating mixture of a woman. Very down to earth too, which made for a relaxing couple of days.  Roll on next summer! 
  • Listening to: 'Lola's Lullaby' - Anoushka Shankar
  • Reading: 'The Places in Between' - Rory Stewart
  • Watching: Mock the Week xmas special
  • Playing: New sounds on Garageband
  • Eating: Cornish blue cheese & red grapes
  • Drinking: Taylors Vintage Port
Last weekend I attended a figure photography workshop at a country house.  Over the course of the day I was able to shoot with three terrific models, two of which I'd worked with before and one I hadn't.  I spent a wonderful afternoon with Artemis Fauna, who I have known since she started modelling about 5 years ago.  I recall from our very first shoot, when she was only a couple of weeks into her modelling career, Artemis had an instinctive understanding of the art of modelling, she produced some wonderfully expressive poses that inspired and impressed me.  Our paths have crossed regularly over the years so I was delighted to get the chance to catch up and work together again. 

We have generally shot outdoors, so this exercise provided an opportunity to try something different.  The ambient light was fading quickly but we managed to get some very feminine portraits and figure studies beside a large window.  Then as the afternoon wore on we tried a different tack, experimenting with just the light from table lamps and standard lamps.  This is something I hadn't tried previously but at Artemis' suggestion and given her penchant for creating a character when she's modelling, we went for it.  The resulting images I've uploaded today have a lovely warmth to them. Some are tantalisingly sensual; catching a glimpse of beauty in the mirror.  We were going for a retro feel, glowing glamour if you like.  Something very different for me but very enjoyable as a result.  Thanks to Artemis for continuing to inspire! 
  • Listening to: Coldplay concert on BBC2
  • Reading: 'Gray Mountain' - John Grisham
  • Watching: The clouds slip across a blue sky
  • Playing: My gorgeous Gibson J-45
  • Eating: Salted cashews
  • Drinking: Dark caribbean rum
I had a nice surprise when I logged into today - one of my images was chosen for a DD on 28th October!  A first for me!  Thanks to everyone for the lovely comments - that's much appreciated.

The photo was one from a set I produced with the amazing Raphaella, (www.raphaellawithlove.com), a model I have been fortunate to work with a number of times but who never ceases to surprise and inspire.  The image is part of my ongoing project "Sirens and Seascapes" exploring the land revealed between the tides.  I remain fascinated by the fact that there is another world that is only accessible for a limited time each day, and in some cases, only on certain days of the year.  That transient, temporary window is something that attracts me strongly - the fact that there may only be hours, sometimes only minutes to work in a particular setting before being engulfed by the rising tide.  

That was the case on this particular day, when Raph and I were clambering over a really dramatic rockscape near one of my favourite beaches.  About 1/2 an hour after this images was shot and with an eye on the sea to the side of me, I decided we needed to make our escape.  We got to the top of the beach, only to find waves breaking over our exit route.  Being pragmatic, I took my boots and socks off, rolled my trousers up and waded through the water.  Ralph on the other hand scaled a 30' boulder and appeared before me on the other side, quite unperturbed and smiling cheekily at my windswept and wave splashed appearance!

I had scouted out this location prior to this shoot and could see the dramatic potential in this particular fissure in the rock face.  I tried shooting from below to exaggerate the sense of the model's elevated position.  I then realised that if I climbed the rock formation opposite, I could frame the shot from a point level with her.  I should point out that her position is not as precarious as it looks - I would never put models in real danger.  That said, Raphaella is incredibly brave not to say tenacious - once you give here a challenge and if there is the prospect of creating a great image, she goes for it without a moment's hesitation.  Her background as a dancer means she is very flexible and capable of holding amazing poses in difficult conditions.  I am thankful that she was my muse that day!  This remains one of my very favourite things I have ever produced with a camera.  

one giant leap by imagesse
  • Listening to: 'You don't love me and I know now' - Dawn Penn
  • Reading: 'The Sunrise' - Victoria Hislop
  • Watching: A grand tour of Scottish Islands
  • Playing: On a recent holiday in Jamaica
  • Eating: Smokey honey coated spare ribs
  • Drinking: Westons Vintage Perry - my namesake!
I've uploaded just one image today, but it is one I am absolutely thrilled with.  Once again, my wonderful muse Rosa is the subject, but for once, I feel I have done her justice.  Each time we work together, the experience is more enjoyable than the last and each time, I am discovering more subtle nuances to her as a model and as a woman.  This particular image is the the one that first jumped out at me from our last outing a couple of weeks ago. Rosa's beauty just shines like a beacon and she continues to inspire and amaze me in equal measure! More to come in a few weeks...,
  • Listening to: First Aid Kit - gorgeous uplifting harmonies!
  • Reading: The new Lee Child
  • Watching: The Book Thief
  • Playing: Watching United v West Ham
  • Eating: A Thai restaurant in Manchester
  • Drinking: A smoky chardonnay
Here are the first images from my last outing with the wonderful Rosa B.  We spent a couple of days in Cornwall which as ever, gave us some terrific locations to play with.  The ruined mining buildings that dot the countryside are always atmospheric to shoot in. We had fun exploring a few such settings, along with quarry lakes and of course the sea.  Sadly the weather wasn't great which meant shooting in shorter bursts, but Rosa's enthusiasm and energy more than made up for that.  More to come as the editing progresses...,

A few more selections added 21/09/14!
  • Listening to: Charles Aznevour - indulging my guilty pleasure!
  • Reading: The Mistra Chronicles
  • Watching: The Book Theif
  • Playing: Even less often!
  • Eating: Ribs (a la Nigel Slater)
  • Drinking: A mellow merlot
A little while ago I had the pleasure of a new shoot with Ivory Flame, who is well known as one of the very best art models around today.  She contacted me to say she had another shot booked about an hour's drive from me and asked if I would like to work with her again.  Having done so with great pleasure three times before, I juggled my schedule to make sure I was available that day. 

Whilst I prefer to work outside, the vagaries of the English weather to prohibit that quite often.  In this case although it was spring, a dank mist and chilly wind conspired to prevent us from venturing outdoors.  Fortunately I had a plan B in the form of an empty old house that I had access to for a time.  The attic in particular made for an interesting backdrop; the dusty beams and peeling paint combining with the spooky emptiness of the place to produce quite an atmosphere.  

We tried some natural light figure work, which with just the light from a single window, proved quite effective and Miss Flame soon got into the character of a maid servant, banished to the attic!  We took the idea of playing a character further with an experimental set of images of her in a flowing white dress, using a longer exposure to evoke a ghostly feel.  As with all experiments, it took a lot of fiddling and various takes to get the kind of image I was looking for.  But the result was satisfying and something a little different from my normal fare! 
  • Listening to: Lucy Rose
  • Reading: Crossing the Pyrenees
  • Watching: Game of Thrones - far too addictive!
  • Playing: On the beach
  • Eating: Prawn & harrissa salad
  • Drinking: Sharps Special
So there I was, resting in an ancient wood late on a summer's afternoon, when the twisted mossy branches began to take human form in my imagination and a goddess materialised...,

To quote the immortal lines of Robert Frost:

"The woods are lovely dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep."

With thanks to the sublime Rosa B - another shoot in our year long project!

  • Listening to: Jose Gonzalez
  • Reading: Crossing the Pyrenees
  • Watching: The Artist & The Model
  • Playing: Learning to sail
  • Eating: Less now its summer!
  • Drinking: Mr Weston's finest!
Here are a few more images from my recent shoot with Bridie.  As you'll see, I've strayed a little from my usual genre of art nude and have played a little with boudoir.  I felt the high ceilings and grandeur of the setting warranted a little experimentation!  Fortunately Bridie has a versatile look and is able to adapt well to the feel of different genres.  As always seems to happen, the afternoon passed far too quickly.  But we both went home with a sense of achievement and looking forward to our next collaboration. 
  • Listening to: Midlake
  • Reading: Travels in Roman Britain
  • Watching: 12 Years a Slave
  • Playing: First cycle ride of the year!
  • Eating: Cassoulet
  • Drinking: A plummy Chilean merlot
Here is the first set from my second shoot with Bridie.  I hired a room at an historic country house hotel for the afternoon and we had a great time exploring different settings and backdrops.  This set is my favourite combination of a figure in a window, using only available light which gives a softness that is so appropriate to the subject. It was a very relaxing adventure and we got lots of super images, so there will be more to come from the day!  
  • Listening to: Costa del Mar Radio
  • Reading: The Old Ways - Robert Macfarlane
  • Watching: Gravity
  • Playing: My lovely new Gibson J-45, yet still!
  • Eating: Thai Red Curry
  • Drinking: McEwans Champion Ale
I finally started shooting again the weekend before last after what felt like an eternity.  Whilst I tend to have a break from shoots over the winter months, this year's break was much longer than usual due to life being just so busy.  So it was with a real sense of excitement and optimism that I travelled to my first shoot of 2014.

This year I am intending to work with a smaller number of models than in previous years but develop an ongoing series of shoots.  I have found in the past that working regularly with someone brings many benefits, not least in that as you get to know someone, you both become more relaxed and the creativity seems to flow more easily.  

I sense that will definitely be the case with Bridie, the model for this initial set of images.  We did work together once by the sea on a breezy day last May and my initial impression was that Bridie was someone special.  She has an incredible positive energy about her and bags of enthusiasm which makes a photo shoot a really happy experience.  Although she doesn't yet have much experience, she has a lively mind and an intelligent, thoughtful approach to modelling that made a strong impression on me. Combine that with an amazing figure and wonderful natural beauty and you have all the ingredients to inspire any artist!

The weather the other weekend was still too chilly to shoot figure work outdoors, so we headed into a smart little studio in Plymouth.  Sticking to the KISS principle in order to get the creative juices flowing and ease us into the project, we worked on a series of low key figure studies. These mainly used a black backdrop to show off Bridie's figure as an abstract form.  I've used this approach a number of times before, but am always pleased by the different shapes and poses that arise.  Sadly, the afternoon sailed past all too quickly, which must be a good sign.  

Our next shoot in a fortnight promises to be something special, being based in an historic house!  Watch this space for the next update.....,
  • Listening to: Costa del Mar Radio
  • Reading: The Old Ways - Robert Macfarlane
  • Watching: Gravity
  • Playing: My lovely new Gibson J-45, yet still!
  • Eating: Thai Red Curry
  • Drinking: McEwans Champion Ale
This latest set is from a shoot with Faith, a fabulous model who came down from London last year to shoot with me.  I think the rural nature of my part of the world was something of a shock to her as was trekking a couple of miles to shot locations and narrowly escaping being cut off by the tide, but she took it all in her stride with a constant smile.  

Faith is the first non-caucasian model I have worked with and I have to say I was struck by her physical beauty.  When she looks at the camera, her gaze is so compelling. She also has the most beautiful skin which the camera just loves.  She also took a keen interest in the concept and setting at the various locations we visited, her inquisitive nature always wanting to try harder to find some original representation of an idea.  

I had expected to keep all the images in colour, but when I tried mono processing on a few, they seem to take on an altogether more intense feel.  Hopefully the samples I've included with this update will let you draw your own conclusions dear reader!  I certainly hope to team up with Faith again this summer.       
  • Listening to: Secret Agent Radio
  • Reading: The Orpheus Descent
  • Watching: Dolphins - Spy in the Pod, again!
  • Playing: My lovely new Gibson J-45, still
  • Eating: Moules mariniere
  • Drinking: A crisp NZ sauvignon blanc