This is a very long overdue write up for which I do apologise!
So, several months ago a friend convinced me to come accompany her to an introductory workshop into 'Shibari' the art of Japanese rope bondage. It was something I had vaguely heard of, and although I don't have any desire to get tied up, I thought it might be interesting to watch and so agreed to go along, not really sure what to expect and ready to run for hills if any big sweaty BDSM types came at me with a set of manacles!
As it turns out I was presently surprised, the people running the class were friendly and very willing to explain the different aspects of their 'hobby'. Plus I enjoyed learning about the patterns made by the different ties and the way the practitioners used it to support and accentuate different parts of the body.
All in all I felt that this was crying out for a photo shoot, and as luck would have it in the interval I got chatting with veteran rigger Jessica Wabbitt who was all in favour of collaborating. Jessica was first introduced to rope 6 years ago and discovered it quickly went from hobby to all consuming passion, she now teaches classes and has since attended rigging working shops around the world from Berlin to Tokyo!
She was very positive and so we swapped details and began plotting!
Buoyed with enthusiasm I went off to explain the idea to fashion photographer and occasional collaborator Chris murray he was a little skeptical to start with but eventually agreed on the basis that it would tie in (excuse the bad pun) with some other projects he was working on http://chrismurray35mm.com/projects-2016
The only problem was finding the right model - for some reason if you try to go through the usual channels people get a bit funny when you say 'Japanese bondage' and tend not to return your calls! Fortunately I was lucky enough to run into artist and model Beth Guiness who was entirely unfazed by the prospect by the prospect of being tied up and hung from the ceiling and so we were in business!
The day it's self was a bit surreal but a lot of fun about as far from the '50 shades of grey' fetish idea as you can possibly imagine! Jessica invited us into her home and we spent the day exploring the various aspects of her special rope tying room, she even made us a delicious dinner. Plus I think we got some wonderful images, but you'll have to judge for yourself……
for anyone invested in learning more... about rope tying the place I went to was called Anatomie studios in south London then run regular workshops and you can check them out here https://anatomiestudio.com
One thing I really love about this job is the variety over the years i've ended up working with everyone from Irish travellers to Philipeno beauty queens so when I saw an advert on model mayhem looking for someone to work on a photoshoot for up an coming islamic clothing company 'The Cloak' I thought 'oh why not' and applied not thinking any more of it. so I was pleased when a few days later I got a reply from company founder Kahlida inviting me to work with her...
On the day of the shoot I rocked up with my wheelie case not really knowing what to expect and I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised. They were lovely bunch to work with, not only that but every single person seemed to have an interesting back story, khalida in addition to her career as a fashion designer also juggles motherhood with working as midwife.
for the models part Jamaican part arabic Sharea (above right) is an actress by trade who has had some interesting career highlights as well a lead role in 2004 British gangster movie 'Bullet boy' she is currently gracing your collective consciousness as the lady who gets groped on the tube in an advert for TFL. check her showreel here http://shareasamuels.com
Sophia (above centre) in addition to having a physics degree is also a trainee human rights lawyer working currently working to get people off of death row in Pakistan,
and When she's not in front of the camera Hong Kong born Suky instagram @Sooki_P is forensic scientist for the MET!
My fellow make artist on the shoot Nusrat @nusratkhan13 is also a maths teacher and I was impressed with her multitasking abilities as she marked pupils homework in-between touch ups!
Although I think the star of the show was Aneesa our Hajib stylist (Yes that is actually a thing!) Check this lady out on instagram @lookamillionhijabstylist and be seriously impressed by what she can do with a headscarf and a few pins...
The Photography was done by Katherin Werner currently studying at London college of communications if her website www.kathrinwerner.co.uk is anything to go by this lady is going to be very much in demand in a couple of years time (so book her quickly while she's still affordable!)
I have to say the robes looked extremely elegant, and when surrounded by these very demure yet immaculately turned out muslim ladies it definitely made me feel that the white people were letting the side down a bit and perhaps we should be taking be a leaf out of their book.
Although I have to say I will not be pulling a Nigella and taking the veil any time soon, when 'The Cloak' has its official launch in June I will definitely be checking out their range of beautiful long jackets and flowing skirts.
Having just spent vast sums re purchasing my domain name, I am beginning a bit of an over haul of this website. (I will update more regularly, I will write more blog posts I will promise promise!) but thats not the point
Another shoot with lovely husband and wife outfit the Silent Tapes who I last worked with all the way back in may on a commercial for Kite/zeiss. This shoot was a little different we were making a music video for dutch house DJ Frankie Rizardo featuring vocals by veteran dancehall MC Feral is Kinky
Purely a performance video in which the model (Jamaican born Aneita Moore - Models 1 ) Dances to the song in front of a green screen, with all outfit changes this required numerous play backs and I'm pretty sure we all went home that night singing 'Zombies to the rhythm! Nonetheless great song , great video, and Feral if you'r listening I still want to paint your face!
Muslim Charity Penny appeals campaign for Qurbani 2015.
For those like myself who aren't followers of the muslim faith, Qurbani is the act of sacrificing a livestock animal. It takes place after Eid-Ul-Adha prayers, marking the conclusion of Hajj. Millions of Muslims around the world honour the tradition of Prophet Ibrahim by sacrificing an animal and then distributing the meat.
However Penny appeal have come up with the rather brilliant idea that rather try to do the whole messy business yourself they will sacrifice an animal on your behalf and distribute the meat amongst the poor and needy for a very reasonable £29! - This cause seems especially relevant with the recent Syria Crisis, and the terrible situation this has created for all those forced to flee their homes.
However it is difficult to stay in sombre frame of mind when you are walking around Harringay Green Lanes at 8am with a sheep in tow!
Animal handler Nathan was clearly an old pro but nonetheless we attracted a lot of attention from children and other interested passers by, fortunately our acting police officer was there to keep them in line!
For me it was a fun little advert in more ways than one, because much as I love make-up it always an enjoyable challenge to switch over to wardrobe and styling for a change.
When sourcing pieces for this commercial I discovered a brilliant local hire company called The Costume Studio In Dalston run by a very nice gay Welshman who didn't so much as bat an eyelid when I told him I needed full muslim regalia and a police mans outfit, but instead pointed me to the relevant sections of his Aladdin's cave of outfits and let me browse to my hearts content. An absolute must for anyone with an outfit to source!
FOCUS PULLER: KARL HUI
CLAPPER LOADER 1ST AC:HOWARD MILLS
STEADYCAM 2ND AC:DAVID PULGARIN
DIT: LIRAN BARLEV
GAFFER: VINCENT PRUNIER
SOUND RECORDIST: SIMON PAUL HORNETT
WARDROBE STYLIST:SIWAN HILL
CATERING: KEVIN VANTHEM
ANIMAL HANDLER: NATHAN ANDERSON-DIXON
About two weeks ago I was idely browsing through Facebook when I saw a post from a lady called Lucy Young (with whom I attended Greasepaint college back in the day) she was looking for a make-up artist to help an actor friend out with his show reel.
I wasted no time in responding and Lucy put me in touch with Alastair Natkiel who was soon to be jetting off to L.A and wanted to shoot some new material with which to impress casting agents!
We shot two scenes, In the first one Alastair plays a rather paranoid individual who has just murdered his wife after getting suspicious about her acting career, in terms of make-up it was quite fun, making alastair look sweaty and disheveled and after a bit of discussion we decided to go with a scratch under his eye as if the dead wife might have caught his face with her wedding ring in self defence.
For the second (which featured Alastair as a recently released prisoner talking to a therapist.) Alastair had drafted in an 'actress friend' to play opposite him. this turned to be none other than Tamsin Greig (star of Black Books, Green Wing, and Debbie off The Archers)
After giving Alastair a bit of a tidy up, and helping Tamsin with her make-up the pair swung into action you can see the final results here https://vimeo.com/140297283
I think it looks pretty damn fantastic if I say so myself!
Alastair here's wishing you all the best finding work in the states - don't forget us when your rich a famous!
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This is the first of three short films, directed by Silent Tapes. Directed and produced by Silent tapes. Production Design and Styling by Duane Nasis Modeled by Silke Hujunga
The second of the Jaguar series! This was also an interesting one, we got to spend the first half of the day up at Jaguar HQ in the midlands, alas I didn't get to see much as I was kept busy trying to keep people looking neat and tidy in a wind tunnel - Not the easiest job I'll have you know!
The latter half of the day was spent filming a cycle track, unfortunately we weren't so lucky with the weather, the heavens opens shortly after we arrived and Dominic our poor cyclist got stuck doing laps in the rain while the rest of us huddled under umbrellas at the side of the track! However despite the rubbish weather people had literally turned in droves to watch what we were doing, I don't know if they were car enthusiasts of cyclists but it was very encouraging either way. I hope they've all had a chance to see this amazing video and were as pleased with the end result as I am
Produced by Squire Directed by Jess Scott Hunter
This is the first of several projects I was involved in for Jaguar; making a series of small online on line documentaries to show case the new XE model that will be hitting the roads later this year I am going to put them up in sequence otherwise I will just end up getting confused!
This one shot on Lasham airfield in surrey was probably my favourite, it was a glorious September day and the staff and pilots at the air field were only too keen to show us round and it was great fun watching the planes and gliders taking off. (Alas we weren't allowed to go for a ride!) And as you can tell from the video Sarah Kelman was as interesting and informative about gilders as Wayne Burgess was about cars - Enjoy!
Produced by Squire Directed by Jess Scott Hunter
I've been getting my hair cut by the lovely folk at Trevor Sorbie for the last couple of years now, its always hard to find a good salon so I was really pleased to discover these guys, as not only do they do a fantastic job but they also provide you with free coffee and plenty of trashy magazines to look through while they're doing it- Happy days!!
So I was a bit surprised when I got a call from trainee stylist Agnes saying that she's been given my name by one of her clients who was the girlfriend of the sister of an old acquaintance of mine (Talk about 6 degrees of separation! ) Anyway she was doing her final exam in which she would have to do a back breaking 11 different hairstyles and would I be available to help out with their make-up? Well of course I was only too happy to come along and get involved, (especially if it involved free coffee and the possibility of a free haircut!)
(below) Agnes in action
It was a fun but chaotic day, Agnes went above and beyond creating 11 different looks on 11 very different ladies, it was very interesting to be at the next chair to her and be able to watch her watch her work - The lady certainly knows her stuff when it comes to hairdressing! And I'm pleased to report that she passed with flying colours and is now taking booking at Trevor Sorbie's Hampstead salon : 42 High Street, Hampstead, London, NW3 1QE Tel: 0207 112 1712 Why not drop by if your in need of pampering?
Putting make-up on people since 2010