Sunday, August 17, 2014

Pretending to play the violin and dying in a pool.... and Delightful Turkish Food

My first job here in Istanbul was for a music video for a Turkish artist. The concept was quite interesting but it did mean that I had to pretend to be able to play the violin, which sounds like a pretty simple task. Not for me!
I found it really hard to hold it correctly, its actually not as easy as it looks but after getting the real violinist to show me, about a 100 times, I managed to hold it like you're supposed to, kind of. The noise that I made with that beautiful instrument was just horrendous, I felt so sorry for the team, its was a killer and I had to do it several times!

I have only done a few music video's before and I knew it was going to be a long day, it always is, 16hrs later I managed to stagger home and pass out on my bed lol!

Delightful Turkish Food

I have discovered some really nice Turkish treat, and the food here is pretty cheap as well which is great.
I have to say that two of my favorite things I have tried are Baklava and Simit.
Baklava is sweet and made of pastry, walnuts and almonds. I have a real sweet tooth so I  really love this, but its pretty rich so even though they are really small, one is enough.
In Istanbul they have pastry shops pretty much on every street corner selling Baklava and other pastry treats.

Simit is something pretty simple, its basically a bagel with sesame seeds. They have different types as well, one which is slightly lighter with olive paste inside, my favorite! When I bought it I thought it was going to be sweet as the bread looks similar to a croissant. The olive paste it looks like its filled with chocolate, but they are so yummy!
They are sold fresh in the morning by a man with a little box on the street and they are sold with fillings in the cafe just down the road from our apartment.

This weekend I am flying to Mardin so will try and get some images, apparently its a stunning city so am looking forward to it :)

Em xx

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Day 1:
I arrived in Istanbul late Monday evening, and as soon as I stepped out of the plane I realised how much hotter it is over here! Even though we have actually had a decent summer in the UK, Turkey win hands down. It wasn't just hot, was baking and this was in the evening!
Anyway I quickly regretted wearing jeans, a jumper and black boots :P
I got picked up from the airport and driven to the model apartment, driving from the airport to the city there was this absolutely stunning bridge taking into the city.
It almost looked like a blue, glistering waterfall and whilst on the bridge you could see all the city lights and it was just beautiful.Unfortunately my phone had died by this points so no pics(see the image above the picture is not mine, I found it on )

It was pretty impossible to get any sleep just as it was so hot, needed a few more hours of beauty sleep to be fair but when I arrive to a new place I always find it hard to sleep properly the first night anyway.

Day 2: We had 6 castings in one day, which is usually pretty full on as in most places you need to get there yourself and with tight casting schedules it can be really stressful, but, we are pretty spoiled as we have a lovey driver that picks us up from the apartment in the morning and then makes sure that we make all the castings in time.
My agency Artroom Models is absolutely lovely, the bookers are so welcoming and nice and the other girls are lovely too, so all good :)

So far I haven't really seen that much for Istanbul as we have spent most of our time in the car, and the city is pretty big so am glad we are travelling by car.

As soon as I have some time to explore the city more I will take some images, from what I ahve seen though, Istanbul is gorgeous!

Em xx

Monday, September 23, 2013

My model Must have! Paraben free!

My make-up remover nightmare is over!

Something I always find myself doing after a shoot is using baby-wipes to get my make-up off.
I know that's something you just should not do, but I have never found a good make-up remover that doesn't cost the earth and isn't super greasy(or feel too much like a toner for that matter)
I have been looking for absolutely ages for a product that doesn't irritate my skin and actually removes all the make up after a long day of shooting, and I have finally found one that fits the bill!
Boots Botanics range - Soothing eye make -up remover All bright is a clear winner.

I find that after (especially doing a beauty shoot) its really hard to get the eye make-up off and usually I have to rub off the make-up which is of course a big NO NO as it really aggravate the skin under my eyes.
Its not greasy, it doesn't have loads of unnecessary ingredients(Paraben free) and most importantly, it doesn't irritate my skin.

TIP: It works really well with non perfumed baby-wipes or just simple cotton wool pads.
You don't need much, just poor a little on a wipe or a cotton pad and the make-up will just glide off your eyelids :) It works well for the rest of the skin too!
One other huge plus point is that is very cheap.
You can find it in most Boots stores for £3.99 and its on special offer at the moment, £2.66, you just can't go wrong :)

Em xx

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Fashion - Images I love

I find that the word Fashion is used in many different ways, some use it to describe clothes,others to describe certain trends,and some use it to describe art.

I consider it to be art. Like a painting. 
Before I started modelling I didn't really care about fashion, I just followed some trends that I thought kind of suited me. 
I used to just see it as showcasing clothing, but now I do consider fashion to be more of an art form. I appreciate it in a completely different way than I used to. 

To me editorials are a collection of images, they capture a feeling, a story and it requires creativity.
Editorials use clothing to express a certain emotion and to tell a story,and I find it really interesting. 
Don't get me wrong there are loads of (not so good) editorials out there, boring, mainstream and some just damn weird. Unfortunately some people seem to think that just because its weird, its editorial. No! Some things are just not good, simply weird.
Of course there is a matter  of personal taste sometimes but if an editorial is done well it can be amazing!
Here are some images taken from editorials I love.

Em xx

Monday, September 9, 2013

On a serious note.....

Abuse of young models....
Illustration Dan MacDonald

This is something that I actually asked quite often from friends and other people that are not working in the industry,
- Have I ever worked with a sleazy photographer?
Unfortunately the answer is yes.
The reason why I mentioning this is because I do keep on coming across girls telling similar stories, don't get me wrong it does not happen to ever model but the fact that this is happening in the industry is pretty creepy.

One of the most famous photographers out there, Terry Richardson, famous for numerous big profile jobs, campaigns, photographing
the industries finest models and celebrities, has been accused of sexually harassing young models, often girls who's first language is no
t English and are working far away from home.
I don't know if any of these allegations are true but I do know that there is a lot of things like this going on in the industry, which is pretty shocking.
One  of the many stories that springs to mind that I have been told was a model telling me that she went to a high profile casting for a huge campaign, and she was told that she would (for sure) get the gig if she was "easy-going" and entertained one of the people in charge, basically, if you sleep with him, you will be the face of the campaign.
I suppose this isn't extremely shocking but what shocked me the most was the fact that when she told her agency, the response was:
-  Well its a lot of money and a fantastic opportunity for you, maybe you should do what ever you can to secure the job?
This is horrendous, that the agency is telling this girl that she should perhaps consider it?
I am sure that this does not happen all the time but I think it does need to come to people's attention when it evolves young, usually under aged girls.

During my years of modelling, only once have I ever experienced a situation similar-ish to this. I didn't start modelling until I was pretty "old" in modelling terms. I was already old enough to feel confident to say no and walk away. But it would have been different if I was 16 and just arrived in England, I don't know if I would have been strong enough to say no then.
This happened a few years back and I was told by my agency to go to this test shoot, I was excited as I hadn't done a lot of shoots before so I was really looking forward to getting some new pictures and more experience.
When I arrived everything seemed fine, although there weren't any stylists or make up artists hired for the shoot, just me and the photographer. Its pretty normal, especially when its a simple test, which this was.
I noticed that the photographer was talking a lot about sex, and how he sleeps with a lot of models bla bla bla. My response to that was simply: Good for you :) 
We started shooting and he kept on saying that my agency wanted nude shots of me, I declined and said that I was not up for doing that.
He kept on telling me it would be good for my book and after telling me to take my clothes off he tried to get really close and "moving my hair" off my shoulders, of course people do that all the time but as I could feel the tension and the fact that he was very "hands on" all the time I shrugged away and made it quite clear that I was annoyed.
I felt so extremely uncomfortable and eventually left the shoot when he would not stop insisting that I should take my clothes off.
This has only happened once and I suppose I am lucky, I usually work with extremely professional teams and they always make you feel welcome and comfortable.
I wouldn't say this experience is anything close to the other story I mentioned but if I wasn't strong enough to say no, if I did take my clothes off, would it have stopped there?

Just read this article about Terry, I am not saying any of the allegations mentioned are true, but its still important that people are aware of this problem as I said before, many of the models that are just starting out are under aged and very vulnerable.
 Of course there are models that actually are enjoying themselves,they are having fun, meeting new exciting people. And of course I don't think photographers having relations with girls that are up for having fun are doing anything wrong, but what I'm saying is that girls that feel like that they are forced into this need to be protected, guided and supported by their agencies if they are under aged.
It's important for people to be aware of what's happening.

Article about Terry Richardson:
Em xx

Friday, September 6, 2013

Inspiration- Art

There are lots of different things that inspire me but I just find these incredible.
I don't know what it is with these particular images but they captivate me, I find myself just staring at them and and my mind travel elsewhere.
Don't worry I am not going crazy :P But I do love looking at things, that evoke different emotions and it really fascinates me!

Here is a little selection of images I love and I suppose in a very strange way, create a stillness in my mind.

Joan Miró

André Breton

Joan Miró

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Arushi Dubai Campaign shot in France

Hello everyone,
Just thought I would also share my shots from a campaign I did for Arushi Couture Dubai.
This work trip was absolutely amazing, we shot this in a wonderful place called Dinard in France.
The lovely business owner of Arushi Couture Mireille invited us to stay in her farmhouse( I would describe it more like a Farm-mansion) for a few days whilst shooting the campaign.
The farmhouse was on the outskirts of Dinard and when we arrived there it felt like you arrived to this magical, calm and quiet place where you could just relax and enjoy life.
We were also extremely lucky with the weather, at points it was actually so hot that wearing the heavy wedding gowns felt quite difficult(but a model should never complain about the heat, us models know too well how it is to be shooting in the freezing cold for hours, we rather feel a bit flustered :P)

I cant even begin to describe the gowns, all handmade, beautifully decorated with crystals, embroidery and when I was wearing them I just literally felt like a fairy-tale princess.
I am not usually a massive fan of wedding dresses, I find them usually heavy and just a bit too predictable, but Arushi's designs are just incredible. All the gowns are so unique looking and so well made.

The whole trip was just lovely and Mireille and Peter(her husband and business partner) really looked after all of us, cooking gorgeous food for dinner and treating us to a little excursion on our last day to see the lovely sea side town of Dinard.

I have attached a few images from the actual campaign and some shots of the house and the team.
One of the best teams I have ever worked with, just such a lovely bunch!

Em xx

Arushi couture Dubai
Photographer: Robert Coppa
Stylist: Mandi Kingsbury
Designer: Khaled Al Kuntar
Make up and hair: Farhana Ali
Special thanks to Mireille and Peter