I have been wanting to write about Sorrel Price since the birth of this blog. If I am a wheel, Sorrel was the first person to look at the cube that I once was, and see what I could become, with time, hard work, and a bit of supportive pressure. I owe nearly my entire modelling journey to her.
Now before this becomes a soppy love letter, let me give you some context.
Sorrel and I met through mutual friends; I was playing Julie in 'Amateur Girl', a one woman show written by the incredible Amanda Whittington. It was the first piece I've ever read that I instantly felt I needed to be part of. At the time I was working almost inseparably with Birmingham based Gritty Theatre, of whom the late, great, and devilish Ian Moule was the Artistic Director. Ian and his co-founder Dom Thompson had arranged for Sorrel to shoot the promo material for the show's run. Now, I'd heard nothing but praise for Sorrel, for her work and her professionalism, but that doesn't mean that I had zero anxiety about standing in front of a relative stranger in lingerie and a nurses' outfit.
Seriously. Read. The. Play.
So there I am full of anxiety, barely dressed, and in spite of myself... laughing? Not out of the aforementioned anxiety: instead out of sheer joy. Because Sorrel is genuinely funny and her kindness and her warmth, even 5 minutes in, were calming me down. I'm of course used to acting through my own feelings, but to me there was something much more intimate and daunting, about having my photo taken in comparison to the adrenaline of performing on stage. After all I had always been on stage: as soon as I was allowed to join youth drama clubs and amateur dramatic societies, I did. I then studied Drama at A Level and gained a First Class Degree in Acting in 2016. Acting I could do. Posing, well... perhaps there's a reason that Julie has no head in the poster... It's fair to say that having my photo taken didn't always sit well with me.
Around the same time as the 'Amateur Girl' shoot, I had grown out my fringe and dyed my hair so I was in need to new Actor's Head Shots. And having had such a great experience with Sorrel while my clothes were off, I figured who better to book and feel confident in front of with my clothes on?!
We shot and re-shot what would become my acting calling cards and I became more confident and comfortable with each shoot. As I'm sure you can tell with the centre shot, I was living for myself in that Beyoncé-hair-blowing-autumn-breeze. The third shot was taken just a few months ago at Sorrel's home studio after a creative shoot: a quick headshot update for the sole purpose of hounding Modelling Agencies. So if you're a scout; hi! If my brow game can improve THAT much in 4 years and my smirk can become all that much more natural... imagine what I could do with a contract for brow gel? Eh?! Call me. 📞😘
Shameless self-promotion ✅
Back to it...
Within a couple months of our first meeting, Sorrel approached me about modelling for some friends of hers that were completing their Professional MUA courses at BCU. I was thrilled and quite frankly, shocked out of my brain to be asked.
Although I was barely dressed during the 'Amateur Girl' shoot, it took place indoors and in summer, so between the mid-day sun and my own initial stress, I was far from chilly. The Star Sign shoot that took place in late November in the hills of Kinver, while my hair was wet and gelled to my face, however, was a lovely -5. But boy was it worth it; MUA Laura Jayne Smith worked on 12 different looks based on the astrological signs, and she transformed me from a Black Country Wench, to a Shore Bound Siren inspired by the water sign, Cancer. Fellow MUA Elysia Stretton was on hand to create the beachy waves, and provide us all with warming encouragement on such a challenging day.
The fierce grungy, Punk look was created by Sophie Rafferty, and thankfully, saw us back in Sorrel's (warm and dry) home studio. *Disclaimer: these shoots took place in 2016 and social distancing was still in the socially distant future at this point so we were safe to be in a home studio.
2017 saw me head to America for the Summer and between working to save for that first big stretch of travelling it was the end of that year before Sorrel and I worked together again. As with our first creative shoot, it was officially winter, my hair was wet, and I was cold. And as with our first creative shoot, it was worth it.
We had driven out to Far Forest Studio in the heart of Worcestershire's Wyre Forest and MUA and hair guru Elysia Stretton worked her magic before we dove head first into the shoot. KIDDING. I wouldn't risk such gorgeous and haunting make up in that way.
Also... are you bloody mad?! It was OCTOBER! Those goose bumps are the real deal. ❄❄❄
A 'Happy New Year', another trip to the States for 4 months, and a hair change (a frequent hobby of mine) saw Sorrel and I collab again in 2018, this time to benefit her own portfolio and to flesh out my own. Having done quite a few mystical looks previously, and now really wanting to see if I could pursue this thing, we decided on looks bordering more on the subtle and romantic side of things, to show a little versatility.
Naturally with this in mind, Sorrel purchased a slinky.
Subtle and romantic.
That being said, three years on, those It's-Britney-B***h-Pompom-and-Slinky Shots are honestly still some of my favourites. And that set with the smoke machine? Hun. Who told Sorrel she could be that good? 😩
It was amazing to have a full day in the studio with Sorrel; to really discuss our own ideas, to laugh and get to know each other better. We had worked together a lot by this point in retrospect, but it was never really quality time like this. I was finally feeling truly confident in front of the camera; my imposter syndrome had eased. And Sorrel was working on something she had envisioned for her own body of work, so we were both feeling passionate about what we were doing. Without time constraints, and the creativity flowing, we were bouncing ideas between one and other and ended up shooting more looks than we had intended; looks which we loved.
And it's those looks, along with another hair change (and also finally working with other photographers; broadening my portfolio, gaining experience and developing my modelling approach) that saw me and Sorrel reunited much more frequently in 2019.
That's right, a third trip to the states (which is honestly new a unit of measurement for me when it comes to my diary), 5 inches cut off my hair, and a stressful drive to Stratford, saw me "absolutely smash" a trial shoot at Gemini Woman. I signed on the dotted line that day and have been shooting there professionally since October 2019.
Jumping from creative shoots to Fashion shoots was a steep learning curve; according to Sorrel I didn't falter, even if that sneaky fiend imposter syndrome was waving at me and trying to hang out again. But it's a faster paced working environment and the client's needs are very different to what I had experience up to then. I'd gone from quite often 'giving face' to show off a makeup look, to "selling the whole look" and having three people prodding at various parts of my outfit to get rid of creases, pull a trouser leg straight, or smooth down my hair. It's a different world.
With each shoot I gained further understanding of what the brand needed from me and I have developed so much as a model by working with the Gemini Team. After almost a year, we've covered a full range of seasons, I've managed to keep the same hair style (a shock I know) and have had the joy of working (and laughing) with Ellie Ryan and Sharon Barnard, fellow Gemini Models.
And throughout nearly all of that, Sorrel and I have bonded to become not only creative colleagues but fierce friends. And boy is she fierce. For proof, you need only read about her latest venture...
Sorrel Price: Instagram; @sorrelpricephotography
Gritty Theatre: Facebook; https:@grittytheatre
Elysia Stretton: Facebook; @elysiacharlie.mua
Laura Jayne Smith: Instagram; @laurasmithmua
Sophie Rafferty: Instagram; @sophieraffertymakeup
Gemini Woman: Website; www.gemini-woman.co.uk