Before Reading: I don't consider myself to be a so called "model". I consider myself to be Hannah, who happens to like the creative aspect of social media & modeling in general! This post is my story of how I STARTED in the modeling industry, which was then followed by influencing work (post coming soon). Everyone has their own unique path and I still have SO much more to learn, but here is how my journey started & hopefully this series of posts help someone along the way!
You know how the whole modeling thing just comes natural to some people? Well not this chick! I showed up to my first shoot ever (as seen above) with no joke FIVE poses that I googled & memorized the night before, hah.
The Last Person You'd Expect to Model
I was never destined to be a "model". I had braces until like 10th grade, darker hair, zero clue about makeup, and had only participated in myspace photoshoots with my friends (thank god many of those deleted along with my myspace). But really, any of my piers from High School are probably as shocked as I am that I do modeling now... I'm so thankful for the years where I blended in WAY more than I stood out, that's really the key to growing who I was. Although I'm SO grateful that some clients like my face for jobs now, honestly having years to grow your personality and how you treat people are even more rewarding. I truly think one of the reasons I sometimes get reoccurring modeling jobs (aka the most important ones for me) is because of how I treat people, I'm not in to all of that "fake/too good for something" kinda attitude. Not my ish.
What I learned? Be humble, sit down... as the notorious Kendrick Lamar once stated. But seriously, being nice & easy to work with is simple, plus it grows relationships & makes things so much more fun for EVERYBODY!
How I "Entered" the Industry
Any who... around 2013 I had a few friends tell me I should try out for Birmingham Fashion Week (a local fashion show that I NEVER thought I would be able to make) where I somehow got booked for some awesome shows- little did I know this random gig would be life changing! There, started my modeling relationship with two of my favorite brands: Soca Clothing & Show Me Your Mumu. Soca, a boutique in my town ended up being one of my first shoots ever, and I ended up getting practice with them almost WEEKLY for years! Show Me Your Mumu booked me for a shoot a few years later and I really credit all of my modeling, inspiration, connections, practice, and more to these two companies (both run by some AMAZING people) ----> could talk about these brands for hours, but I'll leave it at how amazing they are.
What I learned? SO much of it is connection based and sometimes you have to get over the awkwardness of reaching out to others because sometimes they aren't always gonna reach out to you!
My Obsession With Both Sides of the Camera
In between all of these shoots, one huge part that I loved/craved was getting in practice shoots (unpaid mainly). I wanted to add anything and everything to my portfolio and it was so fun for me to create- this was before Instagram was even really a thing. With a background in photography, I would spend every weekend either behind the camera or in front of it. I simply just wanted to take pics, then when Instagram got big it just worked out that I was already taking tons of content for funzies! With all of the shoots I was doing came more and more connections, magazines/styled shoots/and more were asking to work with me... and even with college, sorority stuff, internships, AND work, I was dedicated so I made it happen.
What I learned? They say practice makes perfect & I beleive in it! If you have a passion, then every single moment you have you should be working towards it. Some people get lucky and things like this are just placed in their lap, but not for me! Working my a$$ off didn't even feel like a chore because I was so passionate about it.
Making Modeling a Job Instead of Just a Hobby
Throughout all of the experience I was getting I knew it was time to look up some modeling agencies near by (to start hopefully getting bigger jobs & well, paid work haha). I got a mother agent, signed in Atlanta, and later signed in Nashville as well! Getting signed was a game changer and it opened the door for so many more opportunities + making those small local connections into big connections in the industry. Getting signed in a bigger city is hopefully on my list. It's much more of a commitment for living + much more competitive, but wherever my modeling journey goes (big or small) I'm extremely humbled it's been part of my path.
What I learned? Yeah, yeah, I've been lucky... I'll admit it. BUT I've also been told no way more times than I've been told yes. Being rejected is one thing, but the jokes on YOU if you give up from it based off of one agency who declines you! A basic formula for getting signed---> (test shoot with local photogs to build portfolio + send in pics online to agencies OR visit an open casting + if they like you then they will do lots of the work in finding you jobs). Easy as that!
A Good Combo of Interests
Trying to wrap this novel up... I went to school wanting to study photography (I started this interest years before I even thought about modeling), it then changed to business marketing after seeing all of the behind the scenes stuff from modeling. As soon as Instagram started making it's mark on the world, I was like FINALLY, a place where I can combine my modeling work AND photography work! I was also a stylist for Soca Clothing part time for a few years, so I also had a knowledge and newfound love for fashion! I think all three of those passions combined together and morphed into what I'm doing currently on Instagram + on my blog. I know I wear a ton of different hats & I don't know exactly how to label myself... but that's sort of the gist of how all this ish started for me. Cue the "rest is still unwritten" song.
What I learned? It's really random (but awesome) that all of these interests of mine have been able to morph into the social media world, too! Honestly, most of the time I'm just winging it & doing things/posting things that I like. I'm constantly wanting to learn more about it all... but having fun with it is a good start- that's really what all of this is about, right?
MORE POSTS ON TIPS, TRICKS, AND HUSTLING THAT HAS WORKED FOR ME IN ALL OF THESE INDUSTRIES... STAY TUNED!