Guest Blog post – Modelling advice with Jenny Bee!

Hello! In a first of I hope many, I invited models and photographers to write up something about their experiences, perhaps advice, funny stories and so on. The first to arrive at Starglider Towers was this from Jenny Bee. I hope you enjoy it!



Jenny Bee

I had my first photo shoot in 2008, I model purely out of enjoyment, and for a confidence boost.

There is a lot of preparation that goes into modelling!
First of all, set yourself limits, know what you want to do and stick with that, never go over your limits to please a photographer, a good photographer will respect your limits. Personally, My limits lie with concealed (you are topless, but never is any nipple shown, you are naked but never any fanny is shown). I will never show nipple or fanny. Just remember once the photographer has any picture, there is no taking it back, especially once it’s exposed to the World Wide Web! And that has no limits!

Secondly, Know what you want to achieve from modelling. If you want a confidence boost, to feel good about yourself and an awesome collection of pictures then model on a TF (time for) basis. This means you exchange your time for the images from the shoot. If you want to be paid you are going to have to put the work in and pull out all the stops to get yourself noticed.

I paid for my first photo shoot so I had a nice collection of images to get a portfolio started. Since then I haven’t paid for one shoot and I’ve got some absolutely stunning images! Made some great friends with photographers! And couldn’t be happier!!

159When booking/arranging a shoot, do the research into the photographer, and read references! Contact models you can see the photographer has previously worked with. When I first started, a photographer contacted me via Purestorm, he had a lot of pictures on his profile, but no references. I was so taken back by his work, I went for the shoot, I was able to take a chaperone, so I thought all would be alright. All was going fine on the shoot, then it came to a set using a chain suspended from the celling, my wrists were tied in front of me and he pulled the chain up so far and fast my boobs were uncovered and he started taking pictures. I said to stop, I felt uncomfortable, and he did eventually when David, my chaperone heard and came back into the studio. I never heard or saw anything from this photographer after this day, phone number disabled and profile shut down.

Believe in yourself and Don’t let the buggers get you down. I have been knocked back by photographers also, been called fat, a “fucking twat” (because he could see my arm in the shot) been told “you have fat thighs, but that’s because you horse ride”.  Sometimes it’s hard being a model, because you can’t see what you’re doing, so what feels right to you, can look completely wrong on the camera, sometimes the most uncomfortable and unnatural poses end up looking the best!

On the positive! I’ve got a small handful of photographers I like to work with, I know them, they know me, we know how each other work, and we work well together, and most importantly, there is trust.  I will continue to work with these guys, as long as I can!

132Having shot in studios, from home and on location, in my personal opinion is there are pros and cons for all! Studios are good because you are covered, you are likely to have access to facilities, lights are usually easier to set up and arrange (so more shooting time!). Down sides are you will sweat under the lighting! But then if you have a wet look shoot inside, it can get chilly! To shoot from your own home is just great, you have access to all your clothes, make up, hair dryer, and facilities! If anything thing goes wrong or not according to plan, it’s so easy to rectify from home! No travelling for the model either!

Location, this is fun, if you’re shooting in a public area people will stare! On the beach, the sea can be cold! And kneeling on stones is a killer! You have to face the elements, sun, wind, rain, hot, cold, and you still have to pull off the perfect poses! If you are successful with your game face,  I think beach shoots are just gorgeous! In the woods, it’s ‘okay‘ (in my opinion!), not my favourite as I’m not at one with nature and spiders!

Bucket list:
As for the future, on my photoshoot bucket list, I would still like to do a swimming pool shoot, a made into a mermaid shoot, a shoot with wings, and would love a shoot photoshopped with a dragon/mythical creatures.

Most important advice:
Believe in yourself and be comfortable and happy with what you are doing!

Jenny Bee primarily resides on the portfolio hosting site Purpleport. Her full portfolio can be found here:

Taking a chance… Sophia West


Sophia West, 2015

When throwing out casting calls for models, you do have to sift through the applications. Now I’m not overly picky but after many years of this (and the growing number of ‘models’) you do get an increasing number of people who want to be models, but for a variety of reasons you just get an instinct to say no. It could be:

  • The way they write – lots of text speak, ‘hun’, ‘babe’ or others used in messages etc…
  • Having zero experience but asking for paid work (or as it’s written incorrectly many times, ‘payed’).
  • Having some really terrible photos on their portfolio (selfies are fine as long as they’re not while out clubbing, or not clear at all).

and so on…

Occasionally though there are some surprises, and with Sophia, she was an epic surprise.

She was new to Purpleport, she had very few images and no references. But what few images were there interested me. She looked great, and the comms were prompt and she clearly everything said in the communications on board. And the moment we met, I just knew today was going to be a good day.

As a professional dancer, she knew how well her body could move, and because she is active with dance shows her figure was fantastic. Unfortunately dance jobs are not frequent enough so she wanted to see if modelling could be a good route to more regular work. Normally I tell women who are interested in modelling not to do it unless they are committed, prepared to be knocked back and turned down, confident and most importantly, aware of the fact that once the pictures are online, that’s it – there’s no going back. But since Sophia was already in the public eye with her dancing, and fully aware of the exposure, this was a whole different story.

Not to say she hadn’t done any modelling before, but more of a case of promo, or with friends, and once she tells me with a German photographer which didn’t go too well! So this was I think (and I am happy to correct this if I’m wrong) pretty much her first proper shoot, and one where she could also input ideas into it too.

The shoot itself was a dream. I couldn’t have asked for a better day. We zoomed through so many setups, and the results were amazing. If I’m being honest, a couple of the images I took I look at and think ‘I didn’t take that!’. Sounds stupid, but the quality of the result is something a little beyond what I thought I was capable of (Let’s remember that I’m an hobbyist and self taught, and I know that I muddle through camera settings that a total expert would probably facepalm at!).

After the shoot, what shocked me the most was the dedication Sophia put into the whole day. I thought she wasn’t that far from me, maybe an hour by train. No, she was over three hours away! She told me before the shoot that she had no plans so there wasn’t really any time limit for our collaboration. Had I known that she left at stupid O’clock in the morning to get to me, I wouldn’t have taken my time!

Sophia, you are a star. And most importantly, with your dedication, you will go far.

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Wasting my time…

This is a very short entry, with a very simple suggestion.

Models, if you want to work with a photographer, make sure you actually like their style of images before committing to a shoot. Doing the shoot and then afterwards saying you don’t like any of the images because it’s not the style you personally like wastes everyones time.

Nina Swan

Nina Swan – August 2015

Good day to you folks! Well today I had the pleasure of finally working with Nina Swan, an old friend and model, who had been out of the modelling game for two years. Recently however she had been feeling the urge to get back into it again, and once she got in touch with me it was clear that a shoot was on the cards!

Understandably she was a bit nervous when she popped over to my home so we sat out in the sun and chatted for a good hour. We could’ve chatted for a lot longer but there is only so much time in the world and it was a lovely day. Proper sunny and very little wind. If I was going to make the most of it we would need to get started pronto as it’s quite easy for us to lose track of time and not get anything done.

So the plan was to do some fashion and perhaps some lingerie. Since it had been two years since her last shoot, the confidence to do the levels she used to work at was a bit daunting, so I was happy to work at her pace.

However about a minute before we started, she said ‘fuck it, let’s do nude’ and before I knew it she had stripped down to nothing and was pretty much ready to go.

This is why I love her!

Very quickly she got her groove again, and was posing away. We did have to break a little more than usual because (surprisingly to many) modelling can be hard work. The bizarre poses that are required to make the image work does really put a strain on anyone who is not used to it. But she soldiered on! After all the studio related stuff was done, we headed off to my towns main public park for a little location work.

Now I do have a day job, and sometimes I work in other locations when needed. When I do, I like to walk back home (which can be several miles), and when I do I sometimes take vast detours to explore areas of my town that I’ve never been to before. And last week I hit the far end of the park. It’s massive there and I had never actually explored all of it before. While I was walking along a path under some trees I suddenly came across a big field full of long grass. It was perfect for a shoot!

So lo and behold, that’s where Nina and I ended up. Not long, but we rattled off a few shots there. It looked fantastic.

So there you have it, Nina’s back in action and I got some wonderful images!

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Ifa Brand

Ifa Brand, 2015

Ifa Brand, 2015

The second shoot I had over the weekend was with the delightful Ifa Brand, who had come over to England from Belgium on a little tour of London and the South-East. She lovely! Beautiful figure, lovely eyes. Hell, there’s nothing not to like about her!

Oh, she does like black! I mean pretty much everything she came with was black. Fine by me! works great for high-key lighting and can really stand out!

I met her at the train station and headed back to my place. I live in the centre of town, only a few minutes walk from the station, but to get home we pass through the main shopping street in town. That’s where she discovered Ann Summers.

Ifa had been aware of the name, but didn’t really know what it was. That soon changed! I suggested we just pop in to have a look as it’s nice to see what sexy outfits they might have. Her mind was blown. She immediately picked up a tasselled waist thing and also a whip thing that here cost about £20. Apparently the same thing in the Ann Summers equivalent is around £100.

She immediately realised that any model she might earn from her tour could quickly go again if she wasn’t careful!

Once we got back to my place, it was business as usual, a good natter and great photos!

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The name’s Bond… Jenny Bond.


Jenny Bee, 2015

Hey ho! Well I have been a busy bee this weekend. Two shoots for each day. That’s not common for me. I have a day job and rarely do I have two days off together, so it’s nice to have what feels that extra time off (although in reality it’s not any different). Anyway the first shoot was with the wonderful Jenny Bee, someone who I have worked with a number of times. I don’t think I’ve ever met a model though who is just as geeky as me, especially when it comes to Star Wars! She also has a fantastic smile. I mean it, when she smiles she beams from ear to ear.

So it had been a little while since we last worked together and with the warmer weather she does like to go out and about for a shoot. But also she was my guinea pig for my new ring light I got for my birthday. It’s only a cheap one from ebay and not massive, but it is a starting point and I did make sure I got a fairly bright one (it’s continuous light, not a flash so you have to ramp up the ISO a bit for the best effect).

To begin with it was studio stuff. Bit of lingerie, bit of fun, a little fashion. Nothing too bizarre or epic. Kinda warm up and practicing with my light!

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After that we headed off to the coast. Time was against us as I wanted to go to a golden sandy beach but where I live they were simply that little bit too far to go, so we went to a place we had been before, the Isle of Sheppey. The beaches are a bit more of a combo of darker sand and pebbles, but it would do for the shoot. But as we were heading the beach we had used before, the road was closed, just about a couple of miles short of where we wanted to be, with no alternative route to get there. No idea what was going on, we were however near a junction that turns towards the coast. So we took a chance and headed off with the hope that there was a usable location.

There was.

And looking back I think we got lucky as there was more to use for shooting than the beach we were originally heading to. The original choice was just a beach. Here we had a little beach, rocky terrain and an angled storm wall. Result!

Anyway we got cracking, but with an idea that Jenny had. She loved the idea of a tribute to the Bond girls (I don’t need to explain that to anyone!) and I liked the idea of making it a little more modern. It’s a beach, it’s a model, there’s only one image in anyone’s mind when it comes to the iconic Bond girl beach image (Again, I don’t need to explain that one – google those words and you’ll get it!). But gone were the white bikini and knife. This time it would be black, guns and holsters (I suppose you could also say Tomb Raider as well, but we were aiming for Bond!). They came out fantastically! We also did a couple of other setups too but it’s the Bond girl pics we were after!

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Models – Sophia and Ecce

So in all the years I have done shoots, one area I hadn’t really touched before was a duo girl erotica shoot. Now I know that it’s been done to death by a million other photographers, but when it’s something you yourself haven’t done before, it can be both exciting and scary. And finally I had a chance to give it a go. First I had to find a couple of models.

The first who was up for it was Sophia. She had experience in girl/girl shoots, and was excited to help out, especially since she had mainly done ‘glamour’ style duo shoots and I wanted to make it more dark and erotic instead. Then I struggled a little bit for a couple of days to find a second model. Luckily Ecce was also up for it, despite never having done that sort of shoot before. However they both were roughly the same height (which trust me is very important when doing duo shoots!) and totally comfortable with nude levels.

It was a shoot of two halves. The first couple of hours was just Sophia and myself. She had been away from modelling for about a year for various reasons and was now just getting back into it. So we had a bit of a laugh and did some great images. Then Ecce joined us in the early afternoon, and after some chat we got started.

Straight off the bat I want to thank Sophia for being an utter star. She essentially co-directed the poses with me and helped Ecce get comfortable, guiding her with poses, stances and where to place hands, legs, head and so on. It made my job much easier, and I could concentrate with the lighting, only changing poses slightly when needed.

Towards the end of the shoot it got quite racy! I do believe Ecce and Sophia really clicked and got on very well during the shoot, and the photos I feel clearly shows, with very intimate images showing a love between two women. It’s certainly something I want to do more of, perhaps on location next time…

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The definitive list…

Okay, so every so often on Purpleport you get people asking questions in relation to modelling, photography, bookings etc…

No, strike that. You get these questions asked a lot. I mean almost every week. So very simply here is a list of questions (and answers to them) that get asked all the time.

1. Fake tan – hell no.
2. Chaperones – Most say no, few will agree to it. Up to you, but don’t be offended if they say no. It’s the photographers choice.
3. Bad shoot experience? Leave a negative reference.
4. Comms – Keep it on PP, not on Facebook, text, phone call, Whatsapp etc…
5. Lingerie – Matching!
6. Travel expenses? Talk to the photographer.
7. Rates – try a figure, if it doesn’t work, lower or remove them.
8. Thong caught in the heels? Terrible cliché.
9. Tattoos an issue or not? Dunno, ask the photographer you want to work with.
10. FPI*s, you want one – then have a phenomenal photo taken and hope that one of the selectors will see it.
11. FPIs part 2. Your primary goal in life – you are doing it all for the wrong reasons then.
12. Someone being an arse? – Block them.
13. Should you name and shame? – Not if you want to stay on PP.
14. Payed work? – It’s ‘paid’, not ‘payed’.
15. Someone left me a negative feedback – Okay, fair enough. Not a lot we can do about it on the forum! If you have an issue with it, go raise a support ticket!
16. I’ve been blocked, why? – I don’t know, it happens, move on.
17: Tell the truth about your age – Pretty self explanatory!
18: Swap mobiles numbers at least 24 hours before a shoot – emergencies do happen, people get lost, trains are late
19. Y u no reply? – Txt spk m8ks u look thick lol
20. Should I get a boob job? – Up to you.
21. Does my bum look big in this? – You’re asking the wrong people!
22. I have just been offered $10,000 for a 1hr shoot in America. Is this legit? – Hell no.
23. Should I start to model nude? – Up to you, but think of the consequences.
24. TF Shoots, what to expect, and what should I get from it? – Depends what you both agree to beforehand.
25. Why so many naked shots? – Why not?
26. Why are all the castings for nude work? – Why not?
Pubic hair or shaved? – Up to you.
28. Tog – It’s Photographer, not Tog. Get it right.
29. Good shoot, images/payment delivered – Remember to leave the positive feedback.

More will be added as they crop up.

*FPI – Front Page Image. A picture selected by a small number of members of the site that deem the image worthy enough to be placed on the front page for promotional purposes. The result of getting one is a vastly increased amount of views, comments and loves of that image. It dies down after about a day and then it’s business as usual. But some people seem almost hell-bent on getting one.

The Petite A.J.C.

Model – A.J.C.
Shoot – 23rd June 2015

Oh wow.

I had such a fun day yesterday. It had been two weeks since my last shoot because of a pesky thing called a holiday abroad getting in the way. How rude. But anyway, once I got back I had about 3 days of solid admin and catching up to do. I also had a spare shoot slot from a cancellation. If I didn’t fill this slot, it would be three weeks without a shoot. For me that’s far too long, and I’d go mental if I wasn’t snapping someone in my home studio (others have said to me to just go outside with my camera and shoot, but I’m not wired that way. Landscapes rarely give me the same thrill.

So up went a casting call on Purpleport (For those who have been living under a rock all their lives, Purpleport is the largest photographer/modelling/studio/makeup portfolio site in the UK). I usually make the casting call a bit of a laugh. I don’t take myself too seriously on shoots, and I like to try to give that impression when I’m looking for a model.

A.J.C. stepped up.


A.J.C. June 2015

She’s tiny – like 5ft tall – born in California, moved to Hong Kong with her family a few years later and now staying in London while studying. But OMFG she’s beautiful and so much fun to have around! She replied to my casting call and Was totally happy to take the trip down to my hometown for a day of shooty fun time. When she arrived she had a relatively average sized bag over her shoulder, one that wouldn’t look out of place had she been shopping for the day and bought a few bits. But she was the master packer, and had managed to fit a whole variety of outfits into this bag.

We had the obligatory natter, and I had introduced her to the Calippo ice lolly. If you haven’t had one of these before, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU??? Go get an orange flavoured one and eat it. There is an artform to how to nom one of those lollies, perhaps I will write a short blog entry ‘Zen and the art of eating an orange Calippo ice lolly’.

Really it was a shame not to have taken images of her face while she slurped down the last couple of inches of that lolly.

And now I’ve suddenly realised how wrong that sounds!



We decided on the plan of action, bikini swimwear, git of glam by mixing that up with some fashion/casual, and then ending up with some more edgy wet look images in swimwear. A.J.C. hasn’t had a lot of shoots in her time as a model (around 10) but it really did not show in the shoot. She really knew how to pose her tiny frame, totally body confident and looked fabulous in every pose.

She was also full of energy, and whenever I offered to show her the images from the back of the camera, her eyes lit up and she got all excited! It’s those sorts of things that really makes a shoot that much more satisfying. Yes getting great images is a huge part of it, but I can’t think of anything worse than doing a shoot with a model who I don’t connect with. It’s happened a couple of times in the past and no matter how good the photos may come out, the shoot itself becomes a bit of a chore.

We managed to zoom through all the setups we wanted to do in about 3 hours. And believe me, we got through a good number of outfits! If it weren’t for the fact that she had to go back to London for a prior engagement, we could’ve gone on for much longer.

But alas, time was up, we finished, she packed her stuff away and then left. Then it was on to the editing. And now you can enjoy a few of the results from the day! Laters

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I wanna do this…

Marliyn D

Marliyn D

A couple of days ago the lovely and fun Marilyn D turned up for our second shoot together. Marilyn is one of those models (and I’ve only worked with a few like this) that really trusts what I am trying to do, no matter how crazy it sounds. Many times I am trying to explain the idea in my head and sometimes the idea is hard to verbalise. It’s not that I am not very good at speaking – hell, I was an actor for 16 years and did much Shakespeare, even understanding most of it! But when you try to verbalise the image I have in my head it can sometimes sound a bit odd.

But to Marilyn, she just goes with the flow. And that’s great, because then I can just get on with the shot and hope that I at least did my mind justice in the execution!

The idea in question came into my mind the night before as I was just wasting time doing nothing. It involved bandages. Now it’s not the first time I’ve used them. I’ve even got a little stash of rolled up bandages ready for shoots that require it, but I just wanted to try a look that was more about bondage than bandages, and making it look more like a mild torture scene or something along those lines.

Can you see how my thought processes work now? Yes, hindsight tells me I could just draw the idea, but I never think of that at the time!

137Before that thought we did do a little more straightforward studio work. I wanted to expand more on some of her glamour and lingerie portfolio images and she wanted to do a great little idea involving denim. But when she arrived she had to admit that although she had the jeans she wanted, the jacket she didn’t have. We had loads of time and since I live and shoot in a flat that is located right in the centre of town (literally, there’s a nightclub just 30 metres away from me), we went into town to do a little shopping.

I always thought denim was cool, and never went out of style. But bugger me, so many womens clothes shops do not have denim jackets! Finally there was one shop that did a standard no frills denim jacket with nothing on it to make it more ‘stylish’ (in other words, ruining it). Primark.

I tell you, that shop should concentrate on supplying clothes for models all the time! Whenever I need something specific for a shoot, more often than not you can rely on Primark to help you out – at a reasonable cost!

So that’s about it! We did the shoot, I did my idea. How did it come out? See below!