Wonderland

On March 6th my alarm woke me up at 4:30am for another days work. I forced myself out of bed questioning myself why do I model? Why do I put myself through this? IT’S 4:30! Nobody should have to be put through this torture! Once I had a cup of caffeine, though, my grumpiness turned into excitement. I was on my way to shoot for Wonderland magazine. However I was travelling from Manchester to The Loft Studios in London, which took nearly 4 hours. That journey has put my off commuting in the early hours of the morning for life.

I arrived at the studios at about 8:45, sat down for a few minutes with another cup of coffee, then it was into hair and make-up. The hair was how I would love to wear mine every day, very grungy with a wet look, pinned up in sections. I’m no hair dresser so that’s the best I can describe it! Every item of clothing was Vivienne Westwood as this editorial was a designer spotlight shoot. It’s at times like these I wish models actually did get freebies! Continue reading

London Fashion Week A/W12

On Monday 13th February 2012, I began castings for London Fashion Week. I had a vague idea of what to expect, but nothing can prepare you for fashion week until you have done it. On Monday I had 11 castings, and each day closer to LFW the number would rise. By Thursday 16th I had 20 castings in one day! But even during fashion week between the 17th – 22nd, there were still castings and fittings in between the shows, so it became even more hectic.

My agency, Next Models, even gave me a fashion week survival bag with the phrase “Speak To My Agent” imprinted in bold colourful letters. It was full of useful things to get me through the week such as cereal bars, little cans of deodorant and dry shampoo, concealer for the bags under your eyes from being so tired, cleansing wipes, and a handful of other little things. It really was a little life saver when you had to look presentable and refreshed to clients on hardly any sleep! Continue reading

Morocco

My whole life I have never really travelled as my family holidays in the summer were always Wales or Scotland, (I’m not complaining, I love Wales and Scotland). I went to Disneyland Florida when I was 8, but the only thing I really remember was the Tower of Terror nearly killing me. I also went to Kefalonia for my 18th birthday last summer, which was the first culture change I had ever really experienced. Anyway, in January 2012 I was told I would be flying out to Morocco for 4 days to shoot for the Telegraph. I remember calling my parents screaming down the phone “I’M GOING TO AFRICAAAAA!” My dad had to send my passport to my agency first class delivery that night.

I was picked up on the 26th at 5:30am by the whole team, and I was  ridiculously excited. I was finally going places! The plane journey was only three and a half hours which really surprised me. You can fly from London to Africa in under four hours. Crazy. When we arrived we drove through Marrakech , everywhere I looked there were camels and palm trees. I kept on begging everyone to do part of the shoot on a camel, which we did! Pictures are just below 😉

We stayed in a Sofitel hotel in Essaouira, which I think is the first 5* hotel I have ever stayed in. There was a Moroccan man with a cool beard who greeted us in the lobby with mint tea and what tasted like banana fritters on arrival. I could not stop giggling, it was all so surreal. At this point I realised how lucky I was, and I appreciated every single moment. Here’s some quick phone pictures of the view from my room, the hotel garden, the lobby (with tea man in the corner), me loving life on my camel, and the best slippers I have ever purchased.


We spent the next two days shooting for about twelve hours each day. We did a million looks and the clothes were so lovely. After the shoot I was converted into a Sunspel lover, believe me, the best cotton t-shirts you will ever wear.

We ate out for lunch and dinner everyday, where fish had invaded the menus. The waiters would actually laugh when you said you didn’t like fish! I really should of expected this seeing as we were staying in a sea-port village. However, we did find the best restaurant tucked away in a side street which did the most delicious juicy steak I have ever tasted in my life. I would fly all the way back to Morocco just to eat that steak again. Seriously.

Here’s some of the final shots that were published in the fashion supplement on the 10th March!

Castings!

95% of a models time is spent waiting at a casting. I made this figure up, but I am pretty certain it’s close. One of the first things I learnt was what to take on a full day of castings – and the list is not short.
In your bag should include the essentials: Portfolio, a pair of high heels, an A-Z map of London (or other), phone (preferably with google maps), money, large bottle of water, lots of easy snacks to eat on the go (because you never have time to sit down for a meal), and something to keep you entertained whilst you are waiting in a never-ending queue of models such as a book, ipod, or monopoly.

It’s also important to dress correctly in skin tight/body con clothing so the clients can see your frame easily. I just raided H&M for skinny jeans and plain T-shirts. On occasion I tried to be a bit more fashionable wearing some high waisted American Apparel riding pants, but my bookers told me to go home and change because they didn’t want to send me to a Burberry casting with a big bum. One other time I wore a padded bra and my bookers noticed straight away telling me to never wear it again for castings. I found it all so peculiar in the beginning, I didn’t understand why something like a padded bra would make such a difference in getting a job or not, but I soon learnt it’s a whole other world where every little detail matters.

In my first week of castings in November, I was overwhelmed. The speed at which you have to get from one casting to another is ridiculous! I remember staring at this sheet with five castings on, which at the time I thought was a busy day. After doing twenty castings a day for fashion week, five castings seems like a walk in the park. By the time I was on my fourth casting, my back was aching from lugging around this heavy bag, and my feet were sore. I spent about four hours sat on the tube that day.

In that week of castings, I booked two jobs. The first was for GHD to promote the new hair dryer. The call time for this was 7am which meant a 5am start to the day. If that wasn’t bad enough, on my way to the location, my google maps app on my phone took me to the Playboy club instead. I started to panic as it was 6:55, and I was stood inside a building decorated with bunnies. I called my booker frantically who helped guide me to the correct hotel. The team at GHD were lovely, I ate three bacon butties that morning. Here’s some quick shots that were taken –

The second job I booked that week was for the Peter Jensen Fashion In Motion show at the V&A museum. This was the first big catwalk I had done, and stepping out onto a catwalk that long with thousands of people watching was unbelievable. There is nothing like the adrenaline rush I had that day. In my head the whole time I was saying over and over again “please don’t fall please don’t fall please don’t fall”. We did the show four times, and during the second show my dresser backstage didn’t fasten the buckle on my right shoe. Half way down the runway I felt the strap loosen completely and I walked the rest of the way with my toes clinging onto the shoe for dear life. I even heard somebody gasp near the end as my foot wobbled. But I didn’t fall! huzzah!

Here are a few shots from the show of me absolutely terrified:

Just A Little Introduction

Firstly, I should have started this blog a long, long time ago, (6 months ago to be precise), when I began modelling full time.

I basically just want to write about my experiences in this industry, because I have been stereotyped and judged for what I do, and I want you all to see that it’s by no means an easy job.

I did my first photoshoot when I was 14, and it was the scariest day of my life. It felt like somebody had shoved me onto a stage with a full audience watching me in silence, just waiting for me to entertain them. I remember standing in front of the camera shaking. I felt like I was going to puke. You can see the fear in my eyes and the way I posed. (Maybe one day I will share them just for fun).  Believe me, it takes a lot of practice to learn fluent posing, and to be comfortable in front of the camera. Anybody that says their first shoot was effortless and easy, is lying.

I worked as a freelance model in Manchester for 4 years, modelling part time whilst in full time education. It was great to work with local photographers to build up my portfolio, and more importantly my confidence in front of the camera. This eventually led to paid work and some great connections in my area. I fell in love with doing shoots, so much that I wanted to drop out of school to do it full time so badly! I never did though. I waited. However, I must admit I did miss a few school days to shoot which was terrible to do, but I don’t regret it in the slightest. I achieved my GCSE’s, and then my A-levels, and in the summer of 2011 I took the train to London in search of an agency.

The first agency I went to turned me down in quite a harsh manner which shook my confidence. I remember waiting for the tube holding back tears because I thought all the other agencies would say exactly the same thing. I then headed over to Next model management. They browsed through the portfolio I put together myself, took some clean polaroids with no make-up on, and asked me to walk in some killer high heels they had. After I wobbled a walk for them, they asked me to walk again but with larger strides. I did as they asked and slipped, nearly doing the splits. I thought after that embarrassing moment they would turn me away like the last agency, but they said they wanted to take me on! I just remember replying “YAY!”. I can’t even comprehend how happy I was. Let’s just say I celebrated a lot in a London pub that night.

My booker asked if I wanted to do London Fashion Week S/S12 which was less than two weeks away, in September. I was so stunned that they wanted to push me for the shows so soon, I thought I needed months of catwalk practice before being thrown into fashion week so I declined in panic saying “I’m not ready for fashion week!”
So we waited until next season in February 2012, which was the most nerve-racking week of my life. But I’m getting ahead of myself, I will blog about aaaaall of that in another post.

In November 2011, I stayed for a week in the model flat by Old Street for the first time. I had heard many stories about model flats, and I have seen the horrifying drama queens on Americas Next Top Model. I expected bitch fights every night and girls stealing my shoes. Thankfully, the girls were nothing like that, completely the opposite! The flat had 3 bedrooms and 7 beds with a large living area. Quite liveable!

In my next blog post, I will talk about how I had to prepare for castings, and the jobs I confirmed in that week.
I also promise that my other posts won’t be this long. It’s just I have so much I want to tell and it was my first post!

I will leave you all with some of the shots I picked from my Manchester portfolio when I went in search of an agency last year.

India Hobson photography