I took a trip down memory lane this weekend. Buried deep in my garage was a dusty box of old tearsheets, prints, slides and negatives of me when I was a model. My husband fought the dust and spiderwebs to retrieve this box of memories for me. I have a project I’m working on that required those images. Plus, many, many people and especially my employees and friends, have begged me to see these images, I guess to prove that, yes, I could actually model (I know they can’t imagine it now). It was another life ago for me.
I have faint memories of modeling in Paris, Munich, Milan and L.A when I was 20. I do know that my first job was for Elle magazine and the highly-respected photographer Toscani who created all those colorful Benetton ads. Also at that session I was accompanied by Carrie Lowell and Paulina Porzikova. I thought that was a good start.
I was, back then, a bit on the old side to start modeling, which stuns me especially since I was so naive and innocent then. If my children ever feel the need to model, I will discourage it or make sure to chaperone them because it can be a harsh world, the modeling world.
I learned my craft there on my “tests” and “shoots”. Hanging out with professional photographers was the best part of my job then. I didn’t know then that I would actually be a professional photographer one day, but I knew that I respected photographers and was very curious about their lives. While the other models were hanging out with each other I was trying to talk to each photographer and gather any tiny morsels of information from them.
What did I learn in that other life? I learned that I was too sensitive to be a model. I learned that it was an incredible jolt to be in a studio and on a set. I learned that worrying about my weight, my nails, my looks or my skin makes me crazy. I learned over many many attempts the skill I use today to help my clients – – the art of acting natural in front of the camera. I learned that the 80’s was a funky style period. I learned that with all the effort in the world a perfect image can’t be created unless you let go, which is what I work hard to do for my clients in their portrait sessions.