Saturday, 18 June 2016

UV Photoshoot with Stephi LaReine

Ever since I was a teenager, I've been an advocate for breaking stigmas and intolerance towards people who choose to express themselves differently. That has led me to become a part of the revolutionary Alternative Fashion Fest. I challenged myself to try something out of my comfort zone in the name of what I believed in; it's introduced me to some fantastic people who all feel the same way I do, and want to bring positive change to our societies.

One of those amazing people is my fellow blogger Stephi LaReine. She organized a photo shoot to showcase the idea of unique beauty, and I put my name down. The interesting thing was, it would involve a lot of UV paint. Because we would be expressing ourselves and our stories in glowing body artwork.

Being me, I went with the idea of a dark faery. I wanted to illustrate how books and fantasy had influenced me in all aspects of my life: both reading and writing them, sparking my imagination constantly. When I was a child, my teachers often said I was "away with the fairies", too lost in my own mind to potentially make anything great of myself. Creativity has always been a light in the darkness: an anchor that has helped to pull me through trauma and mental health issues to become optimistic and determined. So I donned my pointy ears, dressed in black, and headed to the studio.

Some behind-the-scenes pics that I snapped while painting myself up. L: left arm, with a quill going down my finger. C: in normal light and UV light. R: right arm, with ivy leaves.
First and foremost, it was a load of fun. All of us sat around talking, helping each other with designs, and laughing about how we all looked as though we'd turned into Na'vi. I was second to get in front of the camera, and it felt magical to be sitting there with my skirt spread all around me, book in hand, staring into the air at something only I could see. I was truly away with the fairies: embracing and yet breaking everything that might have been expected of me. Being creative had never hindered me. It shaped me into who I am, and as that otherworldly glow seemed to resonate from under my skin, it was now on film for everyone to see.

In 2013, some writer friends came up with a little tagline that they said suited me to a tee: Sweetness and Light in the Dark. I loved it, and still do. But back then, I didn't think I'd be personifying it literally!

To see all my modelling photos, including this series BeaUVty is in the Eye of the Beheld, visit my website by clicking here.

Thank you so much Stephi, for letting me be a part of this amazing project!

If you want to find out more about Stephi and follow her blog, then visit her website by clicking here.

The series of photographs will be appearing later this year in magazines and galleries.

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