How do you stay strong in an environment that understandably judges you for how you look? How do you handle the pressures of castings and photoshoots while staying true to yourself and maintaining a healthy self-esteem? How do you deal with not knowing when your next working day is?

These are just a couple of examples of topics that I as a coach deal with, all topics relevant for fashion models and others who have the photo studio as their working office (photographers, stylists, make-up artists, art directors, assistants). Through a series of coaching sessions, we will explore these topics, from two sides: understanding better the fashion business and understanding better yourself.

Introduction

‘Ah, you’re a model! So, you fly around the world to nice places and you get your picture taken. That seems pretty easy.’

This is the reaction I have received so many times over the years that for a long time a big part of me believed it as well. However, to do modelling as a job involves a lot more than one imagines. I think, especially in the beginning years I would have agreed with those who said this. Yeah, piece of cake.

Yet now I don’t agree anymore with this ‘modelling=easy’ reflex. So what’s changed? The actual work? No, I don’t think that has changed for me. What has changed my mind more and more is all the other circumstances that you must deal with as a model, which are foreign to most other professions.

Think of both job and personal insecurity. Think of the times away from your normal social environment: family and friends. Think of what to do when you don’t get booked for a while (not sure how many models will admit it, but 99,1% of us do hit the occasional dry spell). Think of the temptations a model faces when he or she decides to party a bit, or a bit too much. Think of how to deal with disappointment if a big option falls through. Think of how to handle too many compliments at an impressionable age. Think of how to handle too much critique at an impressionable age. Think of the pitfalls of the irregular life. Think of how to prepare yourself for a life after modelling (it does arrive for most of us). And I’m only getting started!

This is all part of a model's life. A part that is many times understandably overlooked, and in my experience also not openly talked about. Yet still a part of it.