Monday, July 31, 2017

How I Started Modeling

First off, I'm so excited to show you this cover, I just received it in the mail today and I'm still feeling giddy about it!

Well this got me thinking about a question I've received a few times and I figured why not answer it here.
I'm 5'4, and I'm a freelance Model.
It took me a very long time to actually say that aloud and I don't really claim this when people ask me what I do.
To be fair I haven't done it as much since moving and getting married but I still dabble here and there.

So I'm going to start off with, not when I started but when I didn't...
I know that sounds nonsensical but stay with me!

When I was around 6 or 7 a woman at the mall told my mom she should consider putting me in modeling and gave mom a card.
Since I was there and I heard the conversation I was excited and wanted to do it, My mom thought otherwise.
Some people reading this are probably thinking, "That was mean of her to do." but HOLD ON!
I'm forever grateful!
Anytime someone would say I was cute growing up my mom wouldn't say thank you she would immediately say "She's very smart" or "She's very kind".
She wasn't being rude or disagreeing with anyone. 
She wanted me to know that looks don't define a person, their actions do.

Now for the part where I really did start modeling.
It's going to sound silly but photographer friends wanted to practice or had editorial type shoots in mind and asked if I would model.
Since I had never modeled before but I had acting experience I simply acted like I knew what I was doing.
They would give direction and I would follow it, a friend of mine has a vintage clothing store on Etsy, I didn't know her at that point but she asked if I could model some of the pieces.
I started to meet more photographers, makeup artists and stylists who would recommend me for jobs.
Instead of acting like a model I started to be one.
 I worked hard at the photo shoots.
Modeling is rarely as glamorous as it appears in the printed outcome.
I've hiked to locations in insensible shoes, sat on and surrounded by ice in a very thin dress and worn layers upon layers of clothing on blistering summer days.
I offered to help carry equipment and enjoyed getting to know everyone involved.
I wasn't always paid and many of the first photo shoots were creative collaborations for everyone to stretch their muscles.
I've met so many talented people along the way that I can honestly say that is my favorite part of all of it.

Do I think I'm a Supermodel? Absolutely not. 
Does this experience make me an expert? Nope.
Will I ever be represented by an agency? Most likely no.
Am I bragging? I'm not really that sort.
(I think you already knew these things though.)

So now that you know my start came form dumb luck and hard work I'm going to share with you some tips from what I've learned as a freelance model and a photographer!

  1. Instagram is a great tool to connect Models and Photographers. 
  2. Practice with a phone camera or regular camera to find your best angles.
  3. NEVER meet with a photographer by yourself and in a private location if you don't know them. 
  4. Reach out to new photographers in your area to collaborate and build mutual portfolios.
  5. Don't ask an experienced photographer if they will photograph you in exchange for "exposure".
  6. You may have to do your own hair and makeup sometimes so practice.
  7. NEVER let someone talk you into doing a photo shoot you are uncomfortable with.
  8. Accept the fact that your feelings will most likely get hurt at some point.
  9. If you are under 5'6 (more like 5'8) you most likely won't be doing high fashion, that's okay.
  10. Stay humble and kind, people will want to work with you more if you remember that.   

All of the modeling I've done has been mostly local and respectively on a small scale.
 I wanted to post this as a disclaimer since I'm sure someone will read this and shout "Imposter!"

Piper Arielle

All of the vendors websites will be linked below.
The Magazine is Gulf Coast Bride
Editorial Photography by: Taylor Kaderly
Concept, Hair and Makeup by: Rachel of Dear Bride
Venue Coordinator: Avis Glenister
Jewelry: H.M. Willow

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