Hello everyone! This is a long post, sorry.
'In November 2003, I took the advice of a splendid photographer called David Linaker and put an embryonic modelling portfolio up on the big site of the day, OneModelPlace.com.
I expected to get a shoot or two a month, to give me a chance to use my dance training (which I’d had to abandon due to injury) and to supplement my tiny income resulting from being one of many young actresses living in London. Immediately I got a week’s worth of paid bookings (I think the industry absorbed new-comers more quickly 10 years ago) and I quit my temping job. By January ’04 I’d started describing myself as a model rather than an actress, and was flabbergasted to realise I could make a living from doing something fun, without having to take human statue gigs and typing jobs to get by.
10 years have flown by, and I’ve never stopped feeling lucky. I know I probably started modelling at a great time, maybe even the ‘Golden Age’ of internet modelling. Having a USP seemed less vital than it feels now - being pretty and friendly with a good figure and a comfort with nudity seemed to be enough to guarantee plenty of bookings. I’m not sure it’s as easy for models launching themselves into this career in 2013.
And I’ve certainly seen plenty of changes. The necessity to to publicise ourselves feels like a big one; for the first couple of years of my career I hardly even needed to update my portfolio with new pictures - I probably only did it once every 6 months but it was enough to have a full schedule of bookings. But as time’s gone on I’ve become anxious about being left behind by the industry’s progress, which has resulted in my having profiles on 6 or 7 modelling websites worldwide, Facebook pages, a Twitter feed, and my own website and blogs (which I never have time to post on). Honestly I don’t know if these things are really necessary, and they definitely suck up my precious time off, but having a constant internet presence feels as though its more or less expected, in a way that it didn’t in 2003.
But in other ways, my feelings about this beautiful industry have remained the same. The tremendous, courteous and thoughtful studio owners who provide dressing gowns and cups of tea. The other models I get to meet, who are often so intelligent, imaginative and ethical in their approach to their careers. And of course, the photographers who support us. I’ve lost count of the number of photographers I’ve worked with, but bad experiences stand out only because they’ve been so very scarce. I’ve met such a lot of lovely people, and I’ve found many of my friends (including my husband) from the seemingly endless pool of photographers who’ve been happy to take the risk of inviting me to their studios and hoping that I’ll be worth it. Thank you thank you to all of you.
This is beginning to read like a retirement speech, I’m snapping out of it now. I’m not retiring. I’ve just been promising myself that I’ll mark my 10 year anniversary in some way, and if I don’t do something about it now, I’ll get booked up and it’ll pass without my celebrating it.
I'm hoping to create a 10 Year Comparison Project
If you photographed me in 2003 or 2004 I’d love to try and recreate one or two of the original pictures we did then so they can be exhibited side by side. Obviously the pictures would belong to the photographer , but I’m hoping they might allow me the right to use them in an online exhibition (probably on my blog) with appropriate credits of course.
I’d love to see what 10 years really has done to my face and body! I see lots of discussion about people casting for specific age groups, and my internal jury is out on the subject really. I suppose that most of all I believe that the person doing the hiring has the right to word castings however they like. But I’m hoping that my 10 Year Comparison project might be illuminating in some ways, even if it illuminates the reason why art nude photographers sometimes want under 25’s for their pictures!
And I want to say ‘thanks’ to the people who took a punt on booking me when I was a complete unknown (as opposed to only semi-unknown) so I'm planning to reduce my rates for everyone from the start of my career who books me again. And of course there'd be no obligation to recreate images; when the photographer's paying he or she should get to choose what they do.
I'm going to put up a casting call separately, but I wanted to share my feelings about 10 years in this industry here first. Hope it's interesting to someone, and I'll hope to post the results on the forum in case they're of interest.
Thanks for reading!
2003 was the year Canon introduced the EOS 10D which was the first proper digital SLR........
2003 was the year Canon introduced the EOS 10D which was the first proper digital SLR so you are the definitive Model of the Digital Age