“It’s really hard to sit around and look pretty all day.”
I am going to clue some of you in, if you didn’t already know, to what the world of modeling is really like. This is a typical photoshoot day for me, so when I say something like, “it’s been a long day” or, “I’m exhausted” you won’t send me stupid messages like the one above. I wake up, generally at some ungodly hour in the morning (my last two photo shoots I woke up at 4am and 5am) to get in to hair and make up. Once in hair and make up, people that you generally do not know poke at your face and eyes and pull your hair, spray your head with an untold amount of chemicals, and breath all over you, generally with coffee breath, because they too need coffee to retain some semblance of humanity in the early hours of the morning. This goes on for anywhere for 2 to 5 hours. (Repeat these steps if doing multiple look shoot)
Then comes the actual shooting in which you are required to use a range of facial expressions that most people cannot even compute because the minute changes in the muscles of the face can make or break a photo. You are required to know your angles, body type, and poses. These can set you apart from someone standing in front of a camera, and an artist. At some point during the photo shoot you will be holding a pose, and a tiny hair is out of place or the clothing is falling the wrong way. You will then be required to hold this pose for the next 30 seconds while someone fixes the problem. This will happen at least 5 times. It is important to remember that even though as a model, you were chosen for your look, the ultimate goal is to sell a product. To understand modeling completely though, one must understand that you sell yourself just as much as you sell a product. If you are misrepresenting either, the chances of you getting booked again are slim.
During hair and make up, the shoot, and all other communications with the customer, a photographer, hair and make up artists, you are constantly being watched. People are watching the way you act, they are paying attention to your personality, they are looking at your body and face, and sizing all of them up, simultaneously. Each one of these things contributes to what people will say about their experience with you. If your photos come out amazingly, and you showed up on time and did everything you needed to do, and you weren’t very animated or fun or vibrant on set, that’s what they’ll remember about you, and that’s what they will tell people when your name gets brought up. Every. Second. Matters.
After you are finished shooting, you will go home and spend approximately an hour combing out your hair and scrubbing your face in an attempt to look like a normal human being again. Your face will be raw and occasionally you will have a serious mishap like I did on the last shoot (my eyebrows had been glued down and whited out. When I took the glue off, (glue that was supposed to come off ‘no problem’) half of my eyebrow was ripped off. I screamed, and then cried, and then convinced myself it didn’t look ‘that bad.’ Then all my friends convince me it didnt look ‘that bad.’ Not sure if I have really nice friends or if it’s not too horrible. I am still drawing on my eyebrows in the morning.)
I realize I’m making it sound horrible. That is not my intention. What I am trying to do is explain that modeling is not about sitting around and looking pretty. It is work. It is HARD work. Models are artists, creative souls, and at the end of the day, it is about being competitive with yourself, pushing your own borders.
I have wanted this more than anything in my entire life. I have wanted this more than I ever wanted to get in to med school or an art school, more than I ever wanted to be on US Team, more than I ever wanted to win gold at Worlds. I am putting my heart and soul into what I am doing. It is an insult to consider modeling anything other than an art, and models anything other than artists.