Putting In The Work

For the past two weeks I’ve had the amazing opportunity to work with a close friend, and team mate, on a project that she had always considered as out of her reach.

When I first broached my friend about modelling she scoffed and said, “I’m not really photogenic,” and upon reviewing her Facebook images, I kind of had to agree. So, I dropped the topic for about a year.

Eventually I decided that her inner athlete and her ability to be coached should supersede her photo-hesitation and so I broached the topic again.

Three progressively challenging sessions later she produced a series of stunning images that I couldn’t be more excited about. I’m confident that her hard work will make her test shoot with Sophia Models Int a breeze.

If modelling is something that you think you can do, I encourage you to reach out to friends in the industry and put in the work to make your dreams a reality. Heck, you can even reach out to me, your internet friend.

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Wellness is not Separate

“I could never do that”
“I’m going on a diet” 
“I’m trying to eat clean”
“I went for a run today”
“New day, new you”

We are inundated with messages of wellness as other, or separate, from normal/average practices. We speak of clean eating as though everyone else is eating dirt, we speak of making exercise changes as if what we were doing before was absolute inactivity, we give up “bad habits” for “good” ones.

What if this forced dichotomy isn’t quite true?

What if real, sustainable wellness comes in the form of noshing on beaver tails while walking around the zoo?

Although we talk about lifestyle blogs, urban and rural lifestyles, athletic lifestyles, student lifestyles and many other descriptor variants of “lifestyle,” the idea of lifestyle rarely seems to encapsulate what, by definition, a life style is.
The pursuit of health or wellness is a component of many different lifestyles but, it is rarely (with the obvious exception of athletes) considered as an integral component of absolutely everything that an individual is already doing.

So, dodge that diet change and skip the guilt trip about the gym and start unpacking all of the ways that you pursue wellness in your day to day life.

For me, it involves not only my identity as an athlete but my decision to cook my food from scratch, my walks with my dog, walking to work, being obsessed with tea, gardening in the evening with my partner and running away to play in the mountains as frequently as possible.

With all that on my plate, it hardly matters (from a wellness perspective) if I miss a date at the gym.

Why Representation is Useful

The past week an awesome opportunity to compete in an international model search came up and, on the counsel of a friend, I approached my local coordinator looking for information.

For those of you who aspire to model, I wanted to share some of the red flags I encountered this past week and why, through experience and representation, I ultimately decided not to pursue this opportunity.

The first thing that I found really interesting was that my appeal for more information was completely ignored by my local coordinator. It wasn’t until I cc’d the CEO of the company that I was given a very short, useless piece of information by my local representative: It’s a bikini contest.

My original email requested details pertaining to image rights, the fact that I have a mother agency, and pay. All of these super important details were completely ignored and I was simply informed, as though I had some how lost my marbles, that it was ultimately a bikini contest.

The second thing that I thought was really interesting was that when I received an email from the CEO, it informed me that, due to time constraints, they did not have time to deal with my agency. This was kind of fair in my mind, I had been invited to participate on very short notice and, for sure, there was no time to sit down and chat.

However:
A reputable agent and scout should understand, or at least have a standard operating procedure in place for, how they interact with mother agencies. As a scout for an international competition, how could you not have something in place?

Third, I checked out my competition and inquired after the contract details for the winner. My competition was composed of wonderful, pretty girls but, for the most part, they were not models. By this, I don’t mean that they weren’t signed to an agency, I mean that, all though beautiful, most of these girls would not make many of the standards that agencies require their girls to have (I’m not arguing that these standards are for everyone but that they are expected in industry). The prize amount was not announced until the day of the competition and the sum was what I would make in less than a day’s work modelling locally.

When I apologized and wrote to both the local and international representatives from the model search saying that I would not compete, they lamented that my agent was hindering my opportunity for international exposure. My eyeballs just about fell out of my head.

Ultimately, if you want to model, I’d suggest that it’s super important that you don’t do things that make you uneasy. If you disagree with something, talk to someone else in industry about it. For me, talking to my agent was the best thing that I could do. He stated that, if I wanted to, of course I was welcome to take up this opportunity but, he asked me if it was in fact, a company that I wanted to take on as a client.

The answer to that became an overwhelming no. Someone who treated me so poorly and with so little consideration through out the application process, and who heeded my questions, needs and legal obligations so little does not deserve me as a representative for their brand.

It is ultimately up to you to decide who deserves to have you as a model. It might seem exciting to be asked to do a photoshoot or compete for a contract but, if it feels exploitative, I’d suggest walking away.