Thursday, 26 December 2013

Christmas gone, new year approaching

Photographer: Steven Harrison Brown. Model: myself
Christmas was yesterday - belated Christmas greetings to everyone who follows and/or reads this blog. Next week the new year begins.
I love Christmas for the opportunity it gives to be or speak with loved ones - are we not lucky in this day of Skype communication? I also understand that people want to make an effort to be together and so this is the time when food is aplenty, even too much of it. People eat and drink to their heart content and it is difficult to say no when delicacies are proffered.
Today I woke up with a slight headache, the result of yesterday's excesses and the only thing that cured it was a session at the gym, usually crowded, but incredibly empty today - I had the pool all to myself!
I was given a great Christmas present - a day at my favourite spa - and will be making use of the gift voucher on New Year's Eve, with an overnight stay in Bath, where I will be visiting the Thermae. I fell in love with Bath when I went there in 2012 as part of the Hysteria tour and it will be good to visit this wonderful city once again and make use of the terrific spa facilities.
Why do it on New Year's Eve? Why not? It is a good way to end 2013 and start the new year, with a thorough cleansing and much pampering.
It has been an eventful year, at a personal level and worldwide.
I feel I am hybernating right now, but I expect to wake up once the new year's celebrations are over.
I did a great shoot with Mark Bigelow last week and it was my first time working with model Ella Rose. I really enjoyed the session, Ella Rose is incredibly talented and beautiful and Mark has a great sense of humour.

Photographer: Mark  Bigelow. Models: myself and Ella Rose

Not much more to say, really. 2013 ended on a very bright note, with one of the pictures of me taken by Steven Harrison Brown being published in Vogue Italia (PhotoVogue). It has also seen my greater involvement with All Walks Beyond the Catwalk.

All Walks : Diversity Now from Lee Jones on Vimeo.

Indeed, what will 2014 bring? I can't wait to find out.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Safety, internet model/photographers sites and Equity Models Network

Photographer: Rosa Rendl

A friend posted today on FB a warning advising models  to be careful and be safe when arranging photo shoots through model/photographer sites, with a link to some news about one of such sites, found to be linked to a case of rape and human trafficking.
I had heard about the dark side of this particular site from an American model and blogger, Unbearable Lightness. However, it is also true that this site has members who are very genuine people. I have certainly met some of my best collaborators through this site. Once I was approached by someone who sounded suspicious and reported his message to the site moderators. The matter ended with him being removed.
 It is very important to remember that wolves in sheep clothing abound and models, especially younger ones, are most vulnerable. Site owners should be screening would be members but let's not forget that people who are up to mischief will be careful and will present a flawless profile. They will clearly not declare their true intentions, certainly not publicly, until much later, when they have the opportunity to pounce on the unfortunate young woman who has approached them and who has disregarded basic safety precautions.

Photographer: Rosa Rendl

Therefore it is all of such sites that should be treated with caution - always check who you are meeting and make sure other people know where you are when you go for a shoot.
Model Roswell Ivory has recently posted on her blog about a photographer she outed in 2011 and whom the police is currently considering prosecuting - yes, it takes that long. She has been brave and courageous, going public about this and taking the initiative to speak in a public forum, to help other models.
I have to admit that I did work with that photographer and though I was not over the moon about the images, my experience was not particularly negative. I am saying this because people behave differently and they may attack those whom they perceive to be  vulnerable and be perfectly normal and pleasant with those whom they know would fight them back or they have no interest in. He clearly made a mistake with Ros, totally underestimating her.
In the fashion world today everyone is aware of the allegations made about photographer Terry Richardson, regarded by many as a pornographer and an abusive man. Model Alliance has bravely taken it upon themselves to out him, collecting testimonies from models that have been the target of his predatorial behaviour. Richardson is one of the highest paid fashion photographers in the world and is the one who directed Miley Cyrus recent video 'Wrecking Ball'

 Which brings me to the point I have made again and again. Models in Britain, whether you are agency represented or freelance please consider joining Equity Models Network. If you have problems and concerns please contact the Network. Founded by models and for models, and linked to Equity, the union of performers, the network is there to protect your interests and help you no matter what the issue might be. American models may find the Model Alliance of help.
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(All photos modelled by me. The photographer has absolutely nothing to do with the topic of the post but she is someone I came in contact with through the model/photographers site I mentioned. The shoot was for Sager Forsberg's look book)