Today’s feature is with a new talent on my modelling radar. Brought to my attention through the wonders of Facebook, I’m delighted to be able to welcome Steffie B to the Alt Girl botherer blog. She’s a stunning model and budding writer of songs and poetry, Steffie’s pictures are what inspired me to get in touch about a possible feature here on my blog, and her enthusiasm and accommodating nature made writing this piece a pleasure. She’s the kind of personality I love to promote, and the very reason I have chosen to dedicate these pages to encouraging aspiring models. Please enjoy our collaboration and Steffie’s terrific pictures.
Welcome Steffie, it’s wonderful to be able to feature you on my blog today, how are you doing?
I’m good, really happy you want me to feature on your blog! I really appreciate it! So thank you.
You’re an agency represented model whose work I have recently been introduced to via Facebook and ModelMayhem. But where did it all begin for you Steffie? Is modelling something you’ve wanted to do since you were little? Where and by whom were you “discovered”?
I had my first shoot when I was about 9 or 10 years old, it was for my Mum’s company at the time. Honestly I had no idea what I was doing (obviously we were directed) and I found it quite annoying because all I wanted to do was play with my brother, who was also taking part in the shoot. So, at that age I had no real interest in modelling.
When I was 16 I was scouted in central London. I wasn’t sure about it as everyone always said they were scams, but I was with my Mum and she thought it would be a great idea. On the day of that shoot I had the best time ever and it’s definitely not a scam. It’s probably one if the easiest ways to ease yourself into modelling.
When I turned 18 I met a photographer called Pete Baldrey. I can’t remember how I met him; it may have been on ModelMayhem or Facebook. He gave me the real push and support I needed. He was literally the guy who made me realise modelling is something I can do, and do well if I tried hard enough to overcome certain personal barriers.
You’re a stunning and very statuesque looking beauty; did you have a particular modelling genre in mind when you started working? Or were you happy to try all sorts?
Ha-ha, thank you and that’s great you think that, I’m only 5ft6! I guess I’ve mastered how to look taller in images!
I have always adored fashion but I don’t think I am slim enough to even consider it. I love glamour and I do really well in that genre, so what I try to do is mix fashion and glamour so at least that way I’m still doing what I love.
Fetish I also love! But sometimes it’s hard to get the images to turn out right. I remember I did a fetish shoot and OMG, I am so glad I have experienced how not to do it ha-ha.
I think what I have learnt about myself is that I like to keep thinks sexy yet elegant and sophisticated in my images. Maybe that’s me playing it safe ha-ha.
Anyway! Beauty; I love to do it and I have noticed photographers like to use me for beauty shots more than anything else.
Umm… I realised I haven’t answered the question yet ha-ha, I didn’t have any genre in mind starting out, I love them all!!
Modelling is a very strange thing to participate in, did you find it difficult or nerve-wracking stepping in front of the camera those first few times?
Oh god, every time! With photographers I have worked with before I find it easier because I know them and we have bonded over time, so I know they know how I am. With new photographers it’s always nerve-wracking, so the first couple of shots I am like an ironing board! But I quickly find myself and relax. I think, unless you’re doing shoots every day, every day, every day, it’s going to be a little nerve-wracking. But if you have uber confidence I guess you’ll be fine ha-ha.
I’m always interested to discover how models find out they can actually model? Where did you first realise you had the ability, and where have you learned/improved your technique?
Well as I mentioned before, when I was 16 I had my first real experience at a shoot. I was guided through every pose so it was more me realising my face looked good enough to photograph ha-ha. When I met Pete, he guided me more. I had my first outdoor shoot with him and that’s when I realised outdoor shoots allow me to explore my creative side. So whenever I feel like I need inspiration for a shoot, I literally go outside and put myself in a story.
There’s always something exciting going on behind your eyes in shots, what goes through your mind when you’re being photographed? Are you in the moment and running with it, or are you keeping in mind the shoot and any particular poses or looks you want to incorporate?
I like to go with what feels right because it comes across more meaningful and not forced. Obviously that does mean I may need to be repositioned slightly as the photographer is the one that can see if it doesn’t look right or might come across as awkward to look at! Sometimes I find that if I think about my next pose, I get cloudy headed and just don’t know what to do, so I definitely prefer to just go with the flow.
You’ve worked a number of different styles, from gorgeous lingerie shoots to fashion and beauty work. What would you say is your favourite type of shoot though? Are there any styles or themes you’d like to do more of?
It could be that I do it more than others but I really enjoy doing lingerie shoots. I can be cheeky and not come off as trashy so that’s pretty cool. I would love to do more fetish shoots. I love latex clothing. I had my first latex shoot in 2011 with a designer called Kitty Crème. I loved it, can’t wait for another opportunity like that to come along again.
You’ve produced some great imagery working with a variety of different photographers. Who have been some of the best you’ve worked with so far?
Pete Baldrey and Ian Howard are the best photographers I have worked with. I think they both realised I was (and still can be) quite shy and they both gave me the boost I needed to even still be modelling today.
How do you like the relationship between you and the photographer to work? Do you like a lot of direction, or are you happiest when you’re free to do your own thing?
I like the relationship to be relaxed! So I do my own thing and I also take direction because it’s all about producing images for each other. Obviously it’s not always going to work like that, but it’s nice to think it ha-ha.
I particularly enjoy the images of yours that can be seen on Grimbo.com. There’s a fantastic mix of sexy sleek pictures that incorporate the “pop-alt” styling seen in the likes of FRONT magazine etc. Are magazines like FRONT a goal for you Steffie?
They are, I love FRONT and a lot of my images tend to be that style. So maybe one day. We’ll see.
The word alternative is used a lot these days, but the meaning seems to have gotten lost. FRONT magazine champions alternative models, yet their content regularly includes petit white models with alternative traits limited to hair and tattoos. It’s somewhat less stringent within the Suicide Girls community, but there’s still a disparity. Do you see that lack of diversity within Alt modelling as an issue Steffie?
There is most definitely a lack of diversity and it’s one of the reasons I don’t push myself that much anymore. I have applied/sent images forward to be in a magazine before and was told they weren’t booking girls at that time. Sadly, they were because I applied the exact same time a friend did (who is white, petite, tattooed etc) and she was featured! So it was slightly disheartening and it is a real issue. They’re pretty much excluding anyone who isn’t white, small framed with tattoos and coloured hair. There are so many beautiful, alternative coloured women that aren’t getting the recognition they deserve.
Your beautifully elongated figure is perfect for achieving the angular poses you exhibit, do you practice posing away from the camera at all?
I’m a serial poser at home ha-ha. I love to put on music, put my heels on and dance/pose in front of the mirror. I do it just for fun but I’ve noticed it does help when it comes to shoots because at the back of my mind, I’ve obviously been practicing, whether it was just me being silly or serious.
You’ve flirted with topless work and have done implied nude also. How do you feel about those more revealing shoots? Is it something you’ve gotten used to now, or did you not really have an issue with it in the first place?
I honestly have mini panic attacks every time ha-ha. I don’t mind doing topless and implied but I always worry that it’s not going to come out right and they’ll look awful. They never do so I should stop worrying but I can’t help it ha-ha.
You’re currently taking a break from modelling to heal after a knee operation. Will the op have any lasting affects on your ability to move around a set and work in the future? Are you looking forward to getting in front of the camera again in a few months?
The operation was to improve my movement so I’m hoping it has worked! I have tried not to let my disability limit me so I’m now excited to see if I can do more or if I always was able to do more and just thought I couldn’t… Does that make sense?
I’m actually looking into booking a shoot in a couple of weeks with Ian Howard. He knows about the surgery and even before it he never pushed me passed my movement limits.
This will be the only shoot until possibly July. I’m still scared to walk so probably best not to book too many shoot too soon ha-ha.
Away from modelling you’ve also dabbled in writing poetry and music. Where did that passion come from?
School! I didn’t like school because I used to get bullied but for music and English lessons I was first at the door every time. It’s like my escape from reality.
Have you ever performed your lyrics for anyone else? Would you like to write songs someday to be performed?
I have actually. In school, year 9 I think. I was 13/14 years old and I sang a song that I had written. I don’t know if anyone liked it because at that age in school people out of respect clap for you and support that you’ve tried. So for all I know it could have been terrible ha-ha.
I would love to write songs to be performed. I always thought to myself, if I didn’t succeed in modelling, I may try and do something with my music/poetry. I honestly believe the future is already set out for people so we’ll just have to see what mine has in store for me.
Another artistic outlet you have is your body art and the tattoos you’ve adorned your skin with. At first glance it looks like you’ve had multiple trips to the tattoo studio, but you’ve just opted for two larger pieces. What inspired the designs first of all, and why did you choose such big pieces for your first few?
Well my first tattoo was only a baby one. A small rose on my right hip. My Dad always said to me “your body is your temple, so if you’re going to deface it make it meaningful!” I took that advice and decided anything I get tattooed on me will be to do with my family. I honestly don’t know why they’re so big ha-ha, I guess I like pain!
I really love your side piece in particular; did you have much pain with that tattoo being so close to bones and sensitive areas?
YES OMG!! I lasted 4 hours and had to stop because I was low on sugar and ended up shaking. But the guys in the parlour said I did better than the men that get tatted ha-ha; so I left crying from pain but with a massive smile on my face because I’m a tough cookie!
Have you got plans for further additions in the future? What might they be?
Yeah, I’m currently designing a piece now for my thigh. Once again, it’s most likely going to be quite big! This one will be even more personal as it’s about me. So once it’s on my skin you’ll be one of the first to see the image! I would describe it but I don’t want people to think it’s just a common tattoo (it kinda is), I take tattoos seriously and honesty I believe they should have a real meaning behind them.
Finally back to modelling and although you’ve got this lay off right now, where do you see yourself going with your work in the future? Have you looked into booking any future shoots yet, or is it all about recovery right now?
Right now it’s all about recovery. It was quite a small but serious operation. So I’m number 1 for a while. Having said that I do have one shoot being planned for a couple weeks and I also have a magazine shoot waiting for me once I am able (and comfortable enough) to put a pair of heels on again!
Can we please end with Bernard Pivot’s questionnaire Steffie?
What is your favourite word? Va-jay-jay, ha-ha makes me giggle.
What turns you on? This might sound weird, but because I’m dyslexic I really love to listen to someone if they are quite articulate. I also love curly hair; it’s a serious weakness ha-ha.
What turns you off? Bad breath! You could be the sexiest/richest/most well-known man or woman EVER but if your breath stinks, I will run away from you in a heartbeat.
What is your favourite curse word? Fuck. It can be used in so many ways, I love it.
What sound or noise do you love? Bubble wrap!!!
What sound or noise do you hate? People eating with their mouth open. That’s an awful thing to hear.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I’d like to be a teacher in a nursery or Primary school. I love children!
Working with ladies like Steffie is what I love about this blog, and what keeps me posting about and interviewing new models. There’s such excitement about producing pictures and sending them out into the public. I wish Steffie every success in everything she does from here on out. It’s been a privilege sharing her work with you all, and you can check out more of it at the following links:
The images used in this piece were selected by me and okayed by Steffie. They are the results of collaborations with the following photographers: Graeme Allon, Andy Boweman, Gerry, Aristomenis Xanthopoulos, and Pete Baldrey.