Being on the opposite end of the camera has brought up many complications but it also brings up alternative opportunities and mindsets. I like stepping outside of the normal box, it is a part of my individuality, I have gripped on to it throughout education because it seemed easy for teachers to dislike the way I process things. I strongly encourage creativity and challenging yourself.
There is a quote I want to remember who said it, it goes along the lines of, "if something makes you feel anxious, do it because it will be the best thing for you." That quote has stuck with me because for a lot of my life I avoided stepping outside of my comfort zone, I feared anxiety. One day I was fed up with my emotional behaviour and despite my anxiousness and being scared of what is going to happen, I took that first step and did something I feared the most, public speaking and now I enjoy it. Before I took the flight to Iceland I had a panic attack but I procrastinated coming back to England.
I started regularly modelling during my time at University, this was when I was studying Press & Editorial Photography. At the time, I was researching for a presentation on "self-confidence in the fashion industry," which is something I am very interested in, I have had self-image issues, in some parts I still do, I dislike my nose but as I do more modelling and on-stage acting, that confidence has increased and I am learning to accept what I look like. I am a rather laid back person, I acknowledge there are worst things in the world than caring about what my nose looks like and I am not fussy with how my feet look and I don't diet. Since my hiking trip in Iceland, I learned a lot of survival tricks, especially when speaking and confronting certain people and savouring food and money.
When I was 14-15 a lot of my peers were obsessed with fashion magazines and wanted to look like those models, while my art teachers and sister were asking me to try out modelling, I didn't because I had such a bad self-confidence issue, I was that shy kid in the corner of the room just wanting to get home and practice photography and writing. I got out of that mindset once I started studying filmmaking in college, I wanted to direct and write a short film about the woman in white, and during that shoot, it felt like my problem-solving skills were turned up to 100 and I felt extremely confident in myself that I could do this, I was at home. Although the film was absolute garbage, we had a team of three, the actor dropped out on the day of the shoot, and we lost the audio but I enjoyed finalising it, it is something I want to do again, especially since I am doing modelling and acting work here in Manchester.
I have done 'controversial' modelling; partial nudity. I have also experimented with nudity creatively and in my writing. I am very cautious about nude art, I have to trust the photographer 100%. The project has to resonate with me for me to go ahead with a photoshoot. The profile picture in all of my social media accounts was my first controversial photoshoot because it was about the intimate parts of the body.
I call it controversial because a lot of my peers had negative reactions to it. After all, it can be an uncomfortable subject. A few people completely disregarded the message and saw them as sexual.
For my first few photoshoots, I did not sign a contract. What a modelling contract is, is you making sure nothing illegal happens to those photos and that you are permitting the photographer to use those photos and your portrait where ever they please. In case of no contract, those photographs are officially the models. So please make sure you have a contract, for the model to sign.
Since I have been modelling it has given me a different perspective on how to photograph portraits because I have an idea of how to be directed, I have a better concept of what the model is expecting and feeling but it is also an excuse to get out, meet new people and develop new ideas.
The saying goes "no idea is original" but if you put four photographers in the same room, you will get four different photos.
Today I still get scammers calling me, asking me to model or to congratulate me for completing a sign up I never did. The way I handle them is, that I bluntly tell them I don't recognise their company name and that I never signed up. They are pretty insistent and because I have my contact details available to the public and my social media is tagged in photos, they can find me easily.
You can recognise a scammer by the mention of money, most if not all professional companies won't ask you for money, and this isn't just regarding modelling either. Scam modelling websites have a list of subscriptions and payments for advertisements, photoshoots etc. run away.
The best chance to get into modelling is asking, ask photographers who are looking for you. This could be through social media or their website, if you don't know any photographers ask independent fashion magazines.
During college I studied photography, one assignment was practising portraits, me and other classmates volunteered as models. This piqued my interest in the idea.
I have to say modelling has changed my perspective on fashion, how I dress and how I see other people's ideas of dress wear. I think the way someone dresses can tell a lot about
This slowly made me gather a weird and creative collection of self-portraits;
If you have any questions about photographing portraits or modelling, comment below or pop me an email.