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What It Takes To Be An Internationally Published Model


What It Takes To Be An Internationally Published Model

Since age 13, I was my best friends’ muse for art, over the years she photographed and painted me, some of her work that I had featured in was displayed in exhibitions and art shows. When I turned 18, a friend had recommended that I should join some modelling platforms and online websites, I gave it a go, added some photos of myself and overnight I had floods of messages from photographers asking to shoot with me and saying that they wanted to help me build my portfolio. I did some time for print, which is giving your time in exchange for images. After three times for print shoots someone asked for my hourly rate, I was confused and didn’t know what to charge. After a few months, I started gaining quite a lot of paid work for myself and I was published for the first time in January 2018.

I continued to model alongside my philosophy BA degree which was a great part-time job alongside my studies. When I graduated in Summer 2019 I went straight into full-time freelance modelling. I assumed it would only be for a month or so and now it’s eight months later and I have continued to remain a full calendar filled with photoshoot bookings. I have particular enjoyed doing tours around the UK and Europe and really enjoy doing studio days, portfolio builders and events.

Photo: @frankinsella / @auroraphoenixmodel

Photo: @frankinsella / @auroraphoenixmodel

Challenges I Face As A Model

My family weren’t pleased when I mentioned that I had got a huge interest online from modelling networking platforms and advised me not to meet up with photographers and organize shoots. I kept my first three months of modelling hidden from my family, snuck out in the early morning and did my makeup in public bathrooms for location shoots.

I first announced my modelling to my family once I was published. I still have issues and there is a huge stigma attached to modelling, especially glamour and lingerie, but my family are proud of me for making my own independent income, however I only share fashion images with my family and friends opposed to lingerie and implied imaged that I show to my fan base and showcase in my online portfolio.

Photo: @lothosphotos / @auroraphoenixmodel

Common Misconceptions About Modeling

You must join an agency to model? There are plenty of modelling networking sites and lots of ways to promote and market yourself online. There are lots of opportunities to gain paid gigs on your own accord. You can also go and message companies directly. I personally have been agency free for the full three years so far of my modelling career and have till managed to be involved in some big projects. However, being self-employed does take on a huge amount of responsibility; you have to take care of your own tax returns, promotional work and admin, organize your own schedule, sort out travel accommodation etc.

Photo: @lothosphotos / @auroraphoenixmodel

Is The Modeling Industry Very Competitive?

Yes, the modelling industry is competitive. What I do to stand out is offer a completely varied and diverse portfolio. I do all sorts of modelling such as high-fashion, lingerie, pinup, vintage, boudoir, lifestyle and much more. I also always step outside my comfort zone and show people in the industry that I am not afraid to try new things. What I love about freelance modelling is creating your own castings and marketing your own ideas and projects. A lot of photographers don’t know what to shoot and some are blank for ideas, it’s up to you to present clients with as many options as possible when necessary.

Photo: @johnleigh / @auroraphoenixmodel

Advice For Aspiring Models

Practice by watching tutorials on how to pose, read books, work on your facial expressions and emotions within images. Do a lot of time for print work with photographers and collaborations to get your portfolio as diverse as possible. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and keep pushing, you will get there eventually.

Aurora Phoenix – Full-time published model and makeup artist, with three years’ experience. Natural redhead with pale skin and green eyes, dress size 10, bust 30F, Hips 29, waist 28.

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Studio day at Studio Fifty Eight – 9th of May

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Aurora Phoenix

Full-time published model and makeup artist, with three years’ experience. Natural redhead with pale skin and green eyes, dress size 10, bust 30F, Hips 29, waist 28.


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