Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Stolen images

"Dancers"  Photographer: Alex BPhotography
The handsome Brazilian model who posed with me for a series of images taken by Talkingdrum (Neil Huxtable), back in 2008, got in touch with me the other day. He sent me a message through ModelMayhem complaining that an image from that series seems to pop up on porn or semiporn sites. I don't like that even a bit, he said. Do you think the photographer sold the images to those sites? Can they be taken down?
I was not happy when I checked the links he gave me. It is neither possible nor advisable for me to communicate directly with the photographer as our relationship is anything but cordial and I know that requesting to take the images down is at his discretion. I suggested that the model should contact the photographer directly and hope for the best.
But I seriously doubt it that the photographer  has sold the images. It's more the case that his pictures have been stolen - quite a few, not just of me and that particular model, but others too, like one of a beautiful Punjabi young woman who'd be horrified to see herself on these sites. Maybe he needs to step up security? For example resize the pictures he displays in his online folios and disable the download facility?
This raises an issue which I put to my readers.

Photographer: Nagib El-Desouky Model: Myself
As models,we can say that we don't want to be seen on a particular site but photographers own the copyright of images so there is not much models can do, they cannot serve DMCA notices. To some extent it is the photographers'  responsibility to ensure that their images do not end up on unsuitable sites and it's only courtesy to protect the model who posed for them  for a genuine fine art nude.
Reblogging is permitted by sites such as Tumblr which seem to have a lot of material that is not everyone's idea of artistic nude.
The other day I found a picture of me on someone else's profile and requested it should be removed. I wrote a post about it. All I can do here is to appeal to photographers that they should help their models rather than siding with those who exploit them.  Posing nude for someone makes you vulnerable.

Unbearable Lightness has a very interesting post about this topic with tips on how to avoid art theft. Have a look at it, if you read this post of mine.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Model impersonation

The other day a deviantArt member alerted me to the fact that someone on a different site, which shall remain nameless,  had taken one of my pictures and posted it, making out she was the model in the image. I contacted the site and the image was taken down within hours.
But I could not help wondering at how bizarre this was. I know that photographers often have their images stolen by someone purporting to have taken them. But models having their image stolen by someone purporting to be them...well, I had not heard of it at all until it actually happened to me.
In many ways I am flattered, someone wants to be like me. There are many women whose looks and personality I admire, for example,  I am a fan of Monica Bellucci and I would be happy to look like her - who would'nt, honestly? But I have not gone as far as taking one of Ms Bellucci's pictures and pretend I was the model nor could I ever do it. Because Monica Bellucci is who she is and I am me, it's that simple. I may however have tried to dress like she does - high heels, pencil skirts, long hair curled at the ends. That is because Ms Bellucci is a style icon and as such she is imitated by thousands of women. This, however, is not quite the same as attempting to impersonate her.
What kind of satisfaction does pretending to be someone else give you? Imagine if , as a model, I  created an online profile  using Monica Bellucci's photos.  I'd be lucky if I were not found out within 24 hours, considering Ms Bellucci was, and still is, a supermodel and her face is well known. What would I get out of it?

In my case, as I am no supermodel, it took about seven months for this woman to be found out. So maybe this goes on quite a lot, only we are not always aware of it. Someone may steal our pictures and pretend to be us.  I had always associated identity theft with credit card frauds and  bank account scams. But I had not considered this could happen with images. At least not amongst adults.
I was very intrigued by it all and did some research on people pretending to be someone else online.
Impersonation (pretending to be someone else that exists and acting as if you were that person) is mainly illegal. Creating a fictional alias is not. When you create a fictional alias you do not use other people's images and/or details. You simply use a different name for yourself and some of your details are withheld. For example "Alex B" is my alias. This is not the name that appears on my passport. But in naming myself Alex B I am not breaking any law, in fact I am protecting myself and my privacy. If however I claimed  to be Monica Bellucci and used her images in my folios to gain work as a model that would be impersonation and I could be prosecuted. I could, though I would not necessarily be, it would all depend on how far my impersonation went. Look at the proliferation of celebs sites on FB, many of them are not genuine at all. There are also times when impersonation is absolutely OK - there is a particular type of modelling, where models are 'lookalike' and may be asked to come along and act like the famous person they resemble (and get paid for it). This is however impersonation as a form of entertainment.

The question to ask is why want to be someone else? One could write a whole book about it and indeed there are many books on this subject. Wanting to be someone else is in all of us. What we do with it, how we channel this desire differs, and comes in many nuances. As a model, as a performer, I can be a bit of an impersonator in my photographic work, and that is absolutely fine. What is not fine is to cross that boundary between the real and the non-real and of course, intent matters.
The woman who impersonated me on that site was not really doing any harm, you may say. Well, not quite. That site is not to my taste, it is overtly erotic and having my own pictures on it does not suit me at all. That is the reason why I insisted on having the picture taken down, I would not want anyone to see my images there and get the impression I do a certain type of modelling work. No offence to those who do, it is simply not my cup of tea. I dont know what the woman was getting out of it, but her intent was not benevolent.
The bottom line is: if the intent is fraudulent or can be construed as fraudulent or causing concern or distress, impersonation is illegal. If the intent is to caricature or imitate someone, especially a public figure, in a context where it is fully understood that it is only play acting, then it is fine.

(All photos in this post by David Nuttall and modelled by Alex B)

Monday, 16 April 2012

A character in search of an author or an unwritten murder story

Photographer: Neil Richard Huxtable  reprocessed by me

I began watching Montalbano when BBC4 screened the first series. I had already read one of the books by Camilleri, the writer who created Montalbano and I liked the character immensely. I loved the story  Il gioco degli specchi (The mirrors' game), somewhat inspired by Hitchcock's Rear Window and loved the use of Sicilian dialect mixed with Italian, as this is the way people speak in Sicily,  though I noticed that in the TV series people's speech has been  'Italianised' more than it would have been in Camilleri's books.
Hungry for more, I tuned in to RAI , the Italian national TV network, to watch on iPlayer episodes of other Montalbano series (he has been around since the end of the 1990s) not yet sold internationally. I think I have seen most of them, including the prequel Il Giovane Montalbano, which you can see on youtube without subtitles (I dont need them anyway) and in which we observe a young Montalbano farsi le ossa, cut his teeth.

Montalbano is endearing, with his volcanic temper and love of food (his meals are absolutely mouthwatering), the scenery of the films is spectacular - I know quite a few people who, inspired by the TV series, have booked holidays in Sicily. The storylines are believable.  There is the  Mafia thread in the background - yes, Sicily has seen and sees quite a number of Mafia related crimes. In the books and in the series the issue of the authorities' collusion with Mafia criminality is addressed  as well as the work of those people, represented by Montalbano, who are profoundly anti-Mafia and ready to risk their lives to combat it. But Camilleri has made it clear that the Mafia is not centre stage in his stories, it would be too predictable. Thus stories of unpaid pizzo and related murders intermingle with more passionate dramas revolving around the reality of human relationships.

Not long ago, after watching an inspector Montalbano story, I toyed with the idea of devising a storyline for a Montalbano case which had as  main character  an elegant and rather debt ridden Sicilian woman, a divorcee, pretending to her lover of a few months, a well to do man, that she was pregnant by him in order to extort  money from him.  I had the lover murdered in my story.  I also had  him not convinced she was pregnant by him.  Did she kill him?  I never fully developed that story, I have not got the hang of detective novels. Would I start with the murder? Would I imagine an altercation between the two? Was my character really pregnant or was she pretending to be pregnant altogether? When confronted by her lover would she deny the pregnancy or would she admit she might have been cheating so that the pregnancy would not be doubted, only his paternity? Why did she need money from him and how much? Was there a mafia connection? Was she being blackmailed because of a shady past which she was trying at all costs to cover up? and who murdered him? Did she do it?
As I said I never wrote the story. But I researched it for fun. The idea came when I read about the  rumours around Beyonce's  pregnancy - it is said she did not give birth to her child, a surrogate mother did, and it has been speculated that at some point during the 'pregnancy' Beyonce faked her bump . Somehow it  made me reflect about women who fake pregnancies and why they do so. Thus my possible detective story. But helas, I am no Camilleri so I cannot get Montalbano to solve the murder. Now, can you see why I did not pursue it?

In the course of  my background research  I discovered  that  femme fatales in Hollywood  movies often use the ruse of fake pregnancy in order to gain financially. This was definitely the case for Mildred Pierce (1945). The infamous Alex  in Fatal Attraction does not fake a pregnancy for money but she does so that she can continue to see the man she has obsessively fallen in love with.
So what shall I do with my very own femme fatale? I dont know really, I have not written that story. I am ambivalent about her. To my mind she fakes the pregnancy for money but she has second thoughts and does not take her lover's money and tells him he may not be the father. Later, under pressure by her blackmailers, she fakes her own suicide and comes back to kill her lover, who by now is with another woman. Or something like that. I cant have her motivated by money alone. I would like to think of her as someone a bit confused, passionate about life but able to take her responsibilities, despite everything.
Not a stereotypical femme fatale after all.
(In the title of this post I could not help referencing Pirandello and his Six characters in search of an author, something Camilleri does too when he makes Montalbano rebel against a gruesome storyline by addressing Camilleri directly, in Pirandello style)

( Model Alex B)

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Giving feedback to models part II

Everyone seems to be wanting feedback these days and it has to be constructive and full of praise for someone's potential development - even though that potential may be very hidden.
As a dA group moderator, like my fellow mods, I keep on getting requests for feedback on every single submission that is rejected. Occasionally people will resubmit the same item more than once even after it has been declined, demanding 'feedback'. The thing is: if you apply for a job and dont get it, you cannot expect feedback to be given to you. When my agency sends me  to a casting and I do not get the role, I do not pester the client to let me know why I was not chosen. I do my own assessment of the reasons why it did not happen, I might discuss it with the booker,  but I do not insist on finding out from the client. When I apply to a casting independently  and end up not getting the job, I do not ask why. It can be counterproductive.
But  I am digressing.

Photographer: Nagib El-Desouky

Imagine how  puzzled I was when, as editor of UdA (please see our latest feature), I got a request from a young model  to give her feedback on her work. I wrote a blog post about this nearly two years ago - time flies, I have been blogging for some time now. I wrote about models wanting and needing feedback. But this request was out of place. So here is Giving feedback to models part II.
 First of all the model in question asked UdA for feedback, rather than me, even though she could have reached me easily. UdA is an online publication which features photographers and models who already have, by and large,  an established and varied portfolio. The request I received was from a  newbie who sent a handful of pictures taken by one photographer. Why write to UdA? I could not help feeling this was because the young lady was fishing for a feature. So I politely declined to offer any feedback and to offer any feature because the sample sent was not sufficient to warrant one.
I also found I was at a loss as to the type of feedback I should give her. The photos were not particularly good. Forget the model. It was the photographer who needed feedback, badly,  and he probably would not have liked it.

She wrote in a huff saying she just wanted feedback, not a feature. Hold on girl. The feedback was already there when I mentioned a varied portfolio with images by talented photographers.
So feedback is something that needs to be understood, as it is often given implicitly.
What kind of feedback do you give a young model who has just started and has probably been told, rightly or wrongly, that she is destined to stardom? Well, keep your wits about you, girl. If you are twenty and modelling remember that there are thousands of other young models who also have the potential of becoming stars. Whether they all will remains to be seen. Work with as many good photographers as you can, build up a good portfolio and then features about you, no doubt, will abound.

(All photos modelled by Alex B)

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

The allure of David Hamilton...

Photographer: Nagib El-Desouky

Holiday time for me, so more time for blogging, time I will soon not have - be prepared for a short hiatus in the forthcoming weeks!

Following my post on Pavel Kiselev, a photographer friend whose opinion I hold in high esteem urged me to look at David Hamilton's work, which I was not fully familiar with. I know, I should be ashamed of my ignorance as it turns out that David Hamilton has been one of the most influential photographers in the English speaking world. This photographer friend is not so enamoured of Pavel Kiselev's work. He articulated, in his note to me, a dissent that is worth noting:

"Kiselev obviously knows what he's doing and also seems to have access to a great many stunning models. However, I personally don't like the dynamic that he seems to build up with his models. On most of his images they seem completely vacuous, powerless, passive. I dislike that, especially with photography that has an erotic slant to it. His work reminds me a little of David Hamilton's. Hamilton is a much better photographer but the relationship between model /photographer is similar. The photographer has all the power, the model has little or none and looks like she is there primarily because she is getting paid or some other non-creative reason. I should say though that in David Hamilton's work, there is the added factor that many of his models were actually underage. In today's climate, he would probably be arrested for the pedophiliac suggestions".

Thanks, photographer friend, for this very thoughtful comment. Let me clarify. This blog post is no longer about Pavel Kiselev. Now that David Hamilton's name has been uttered...let's talk about artistic "child pornography", for this is one of the accusations that has been levelled at him.

In 2005 The Guardian newspaper published an article which declared that David Hamilton's books had been deemed to be indecent by the Guildford Crown Court, following which the book chain WH Smith withdrew Hamilton's books from sale.

Photographer: Nagib El-Desouky

Was Hamilton really guilty of child pornography? Or was this a hysterical reaction?

Children are sexual beings, it would be foolish to pretend otherwise. Hamilton's pictures of unnamed teenage girls do portray their eroticism. In his images they become erotic objects, something that is emphasised by the soft focus of the composition. But...the portrayal of children's sexuality for the consumption of adults is disturbing to the point of being unacceptable. Inevitably the relationship between adult and child involves a power imbalance, in favour of the adult. The child does not have the power, and lacks the courage, to say no to the sexual demands of the adult.

Hamilton's work is well composed. But it remains predatorial. When I look at it I am reminded of what a less famous and undoubtedly much less talented photographer told me during a shoot articulating a desire that is often not so well concealed: "I would love to photograph teenage girls in the nude. Those firm breasts..." he was positively salivating as he said it and I could not help feeling somewhat queasy about it (and totally out of place in that studio).

Photographer: Nagib El-Desouky

Hamilton's work is disquieting. I am not sure it is child pornography but it is not the kind of erotic artistic photography I am drawn to. I fully agree with the analysis given by photographer Daniel Lewis in his essay, which I urge you to read, on the child's body, and his comparison of Hamilton and Sturges:

"If Sturges photographs the naked then Hamilton pictures the nude. In his pictures we behold the mysterious and forbidden; young girls beginning to realise the changes in their body and perhaps exploring these changes for the first time. By this the pictures are made to appeal to the sexuality of the spectator and have nothing to do with the sexuality of the model. They are made to arouse and if ever there is any doubt as to whether or not this is true his books provide us with helpfully erotic quotations that accompany each image to reinforce this...his pictures apply the same techniques that have been used for hundreds of years to romanticise youth. Within them he presents us with an object rather than a person and so those he professes to represent are ignored for who they are and instead become a possession to provide gratification for the collector."

A couple of years ago I became embroiled in an unnecessary controversy over the way some photographers, mostly amateur, produce what I now understand to be a form of Hamiltonesque photography, Hamilton having been so influential on the development of art nude. They use models that are not underage, but who could be reimagined in the role of an eroticised teenager. At the time I was not able to name my discomfort and was not able to link such work with that of Hamilton, whose images I had not seen. I can now. For this, I thank my unnamed photographer friend's sharp observations on gender imbalance in erotic photography and the thoughtful essay by Lewis on the representation of children's corporeality.

(All photos modelled by Alex B.)

Banned photographer Pavel Kiselev

Photographer: Nagib El-Desouky
I have been a member of deviantArt for almost four years and during my time there I have had my share of runs-in with the admin and some fellow members. I have also encountered photographers whose work I truly admire and Pavel Kiselev, from Russia, is one of them. Imagine my disbelief when I realised his account, in the name of Photoport, had been banned from dA permanently.

I could not help writing a journal on dA asking people whether they knew anything about it. I received many comments, but no, no one had a clue. Lightness did however contact a dA admin and was told that according to the site's policy bans are only given when there are repeated breaches of policy and offending behaviour. Lightness added that Pavel is a very private person, basing such a comment on her experience of interacting with him as a group moderator.

Photographer: Nagib El-Desouky

"I've come to realize that what each of us considers unacceptable and inappropriate is not universal" she goes on to say in her comment. "What offends me may not offend someone else. So you learn to click away and not look at works you don't like. For me the line is with child pornography - zero tolerance, and I will report it.". I totally agree with you, Lightness. We all have different values and different ways of dealing with what we regard as offensive. I too cannot tolerate child pornography. But it just seems so unbelievable that Pavel should have been guilty of behaviour so unacceptable as to warrant a ban. His work is tasteful, really beautiful. As a dA member he was amongst the most popular with over three million page views.
Fortunately, his work can still be seen on Art Limited, Flickr, Facebook and his own website. He has been featured in Univers d'Artistes - I particularly like his "Soft Geometry" series (I am reproducing below one of Pavel's photographs with due acknowledgment).

Wishing you all the best for the future, Pavel. I hope your photography continues to blossom. I cannot tire of viewing it.

Photographer: Pavel Kiselev. Model: Unknown

(All photos modelled by Alex B unless otherwise stated)

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Older dancers

Photographer: Nagib El-Desouky
How refreshing to see that the dance world is interested in older dancers. Lloyd Newson of DV8 Physical Theatre has always been on the lookout for older performers, since the 1990s.
Wendy Houstoun is fifty-four.  She has performed with DV8 and is now with Candoco.
And then there is the extraordinary Liz Aggis, sixty this year, the Vivienne Westwood of the dance world.
These are incredible performers, see below for an example of Liz's work.
I will keep it brief.  Who says that after forty you can no longer dance? Martha Graham continued till she was eighty!
An older dancer has plenty to offer. Dance is not about being able to perform acrobatic moves, not quite so. I like the stories that older bodies tell, the depth of emotion is different.
I am so enthused by seeing these older performers that I am seriously thinking of returning to performing myself.

I totally agree with Lloyd Newson when he says:

" I am very eager, as I get older, to work with my peers. I don't want to talk too much about life in one's fifties, because I don't know that yet. But I find it a bit arrogant when I go to performances and see eighteen or nineteen year-olds trying to tell me about life — and most of the audience is double their age! So I'm very eager to take movement, maybe not pure movement, but I want to be able to look at how older people's lives are revealed through their movement. And that, I think, offers a really exciting future and new areas of development. So when most people start getting frightened about their careers coming to an end when they are only in their mid-thirties, I feel mine is only just beginning.

The danger you often have is with older dancers, some who are in their fifties and you say, "My god, aren't they incredible" — and they are still trying to imitate younger people! I'm not interested in that. I want to explore their qualities as people in their fifties, find out how they really move, how their bodies act, not make them look like they're thirteen or nineteen or twentyfive".

He said that in 1992, in an interview with Nadine Meisner.

Despite everything older dancers are still regarded as a rare species. A bit like older models.

(Photos modelled by Alex B.)

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Jealous wives and girlfriends

Photographer: Nagib El-Desouky
It happens to all art models at some point in their career. Some wife/girlfriend of the photographer (or artist) they have worked with will send them an irate email, saying 'Never contact my husband again' or some such. Hey,wait a minute. These men who take up art nude photography (for many only a hobby) and look for models who can pose nude are always the ones that contact the model and pay for the session. It is hardly ever the other way round! Why take it out on the model?
When I first started modelling I was proactive in looking for photographers whose work would enhance my portfolio, and did a lot of TF shoots, now I am less bothered, I usually get enough offers to fill my schedule quite quickly. So I am not a model who seeks out photographers, really. And if and when I do it, it is ONLY for modelling work.
I got one such emails yesterday. The woman who wrote it was obviously very upset to the point of saying and doing irrational things.  Maybe she did not know her husband did art nude photography and  decided to take it out on me, even demanding I should stop blogging (!). At first I laughed. Then somehow I felt really sorry for this woman who was probably reacting like that out of a sense of betrayal. The photographer in question is a real gentleman, who booked a good studio for our shoot, which took place many months ago. I never heard from him after that, there was no reason to keep in constant touch, he kindly sent me some lovely prints and images on CD which he even allowed me to postprocess myself, he was not too bothered with who did what, so he said. Incidentally, this post does not have his photos, I really would not want to leave clues as to who he is.
Photographer: Nagib El-Desouky
Of course we planned to do other shoots, but these are things people always say, I know of photographers who routinely write references on model sites saying they will certainly book another shoot  very soon with the model they have worked with and then that never materialises, nor do people particularly want it to happen, not always. It's just a polite thing to say.
Jealousy is a very difficult thing to handle. I wrote about it in an earlier post when I was still co-blogging with Unbearable Lightness  I will not repeat here what I said in that post.
I simply want to say again that jealousy is a difficult emotion, one that feeds on fear and anxiety. It can turn someone totally blind to reason. I have myself been affected by it on occasion, in the course of relationships in which I felt somewhat insecure about myself and my role. I would suddenly feel as if a rug had been pulled from under my feet, unloved, unwanted, going round and round in circles with the same thought, feeling angry, knowing I was making things worse, probably imagining things and not being able to stop myself.
When I first began nude modelling I felt quite insecure, even though I always came across as having  heaps of confidence. I was very vulnerable and I sought the approval of people I held in high esteem.  I was  devastated when some of these people completely withdrew from me, some were unkind and even abusive.
Photographer: Nagib El-Desouky
But rejection has made me much stronger.
The woman who wrote to me reminded me in some way of situations I went through in my life. I felt her pain even though I could not help laughing at the silliness of it. I do hope she becomes reconciled with the whole idea that modelling nude for a photographer does not automatically mark the beginning of an affair!

(all photos modelled by Alex B)

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Fake nails? No thank you

Photographer: Nagib El-Desouky
On Sunday I was shooting a fashion film directed by Marie Schuller from Showstudio.  I wore an incredible number of outfits, including a number by Paco Rabanne, with a final scene in which my naked body, adorned with jewellery  is reflected in broken mirrors - I wore a real diamond for that. A good experience, definitely.
But what I will always remember about this shoot is the long, pointy, fake nails I had to wear. I had never had fake nails fitted prior to this shoot and had absolutely no idea of the problems it would cause me. I am a short nail person. I use my fingertips constantly. But with those nails it was as if the tips of my fingers had been chopped. Such a weird feeling! It slowed me down tremendously.
I had to have the nails fitted on Saturday, the art director booked an appointment for me at a Wah Nails parlour for 5.30 pm . I had made plans for the evening, I wanted to travel to South London for an evening of improvisation scheduled at the Siobhan Davies Studio - some people known to me were performing there. A friend laughed when I told her I had to have an inch long nails fitted "Wait till you have those nails on, you may find it difficult to do things" she said. "Why? I will wear gloves and noone will see them".  She laughed even louder."Gloves? No way!"
When I saw the nails at the parlour I nearly fainted. How was I going to do anything at all with those claws? I suddenly was made aware of  the countless gestures we perform everyday from washing, doing up buttons, opening doors, even fishing out keys from  hand bags - I just could do nothing.

Photographer: Nagib El-Desouky
I cancelled my plans for the evening and went home feeling incredibly uneasy about these claws attached to my fingers. Miraculously I had my Oyster card in a pocket and was able to travel back home on the underground daintily sliding it out of the pocket, holding it between my thumb and index finger knuckles. I arrived home, thankfully my son was in. I sighed in great relief because it meant I would not have to search for my house key in my handbag. So I pressed the buzzer with a knuckle but I put too much pressure on it and it got stuck, making a racket with its continuous buzzing sound. Immediately my son opened the kitchen window - we live on the first floor - and began to shout "Oy you what the f...ck d'you think you're doing?" believing I was some kid playing a prank.
"It's me" I said - by then other neighbours had appeared at windows. "What's the matter with you? I have heard you" he retorted in complete disbelief "The button is stuck" I shouted amidst the noise.  "Unstick it, the door is open" I had obviously torn him away from watching a football match because he spoke in a most belligerant tone. "I can't,  I have long nails". As I said this I could see he positively thought  I was raving mad. But he came down and unstuck the buzzer. Our neighbours had disappeared indoors, probably laughing their heads off.
Things got worse. My son went out, after mumbling something about the silliness of it all and I was left to my own devices.  Even removing my contact lenses was a major ordeal.
On sunday morning I was an hour late for the shoot, it just took me so long to shower and get myself dry. On location things were easy, there was a team of people from stylist to MUA and various others, whose help I enlisted to fetch things - there was even someone who helped me to get dressed and helped with the shoes! At the end of the shoot I cut off those horrid nails but the ordeal was not over. They were so stuck to my real nails the only way to remove them was to go to the parlour again and have it done by a nail technician. Which I did yesterday.

I dont know how other women manage but no, I cannot wear long fake nails. I wrote about it on FB and a friend commented that the whole point of having them is not to do anything at all with one's hands. Unfortunately I do not have a whole retinue surrounding me to fetch me things. And I quite enjoy typing away  on my keyboard, thank you very much.
Long fake nails? No thanks, not for me.

(All photos modelled by Alex B.)