When I moved to a new city in 2011, something happened that was COMPLETELY off the wall from what I expected to happen when I moved here.
I came to continue my career in sports after working for WVU Sports Communications (go Mountaineers!), because unfortunately, my hometown doesn’t have any professional teams… no offense Seawolves 😉
As a girl who is almost 5’10” – with 90% of my body taken up by my legs – I have heard “you should be a model” a lot in my lifetime (or more often “do you play basketball?”… yeah, you know who you are. Even BuzzFeed knows who you are). Although flattering, most people who tell me I should be a model have 0 knowledge of the modeling world.
Long story short, I was approached at 22 right after moving about signing with an agency. I took the business card from the stranger and threw it in a pile with the stack of other cards I had from random tradeshows, career fairs, club promoters, etc. About 6 months down the road, I was watching the Ellen DeGeneres Show, who just HAPPENS to be my spirit animal, and Brooklyn Decker was being interviewed. Come to find out, she started out with the same agency that I was approached by. So, feeling stupid, I went back through my pile of business cards and found it! Three months later, I was signed.
Anyone who knows the modeling world, knows that you’re basically a senior citizen at 23 years old, but I had a little commercial appeal, so I’ve been booked for some cool stuff in the last few years. Despite the fact that I’m not a huge fan of wearing makeup, scandalous clothes (or lack thereof), or styling my hair, what I can appreciate is that being on set of a photo shoot is a blast!
I’m not talking about being on the cover of Vogue, I’m talking about just a simple photo shoot. The most fun I’ve ever had at one was an unpaid shoot with a local photographer (Emby Taylor) who needed to build her marketing materials for her wedding, engagement and bridal boudoir (groom’s gift) photography business.
This past weekend, I worked at a bridal show to help her promote her Groom’s Gift product to thousands of brides, since I had done a shoot with her myself. What I realized is that
- More and more woman are LOVING the idea of doing this (great product!).
- The only reason they’re hesitant at first is the idea that to do a photo shoot, you have to look like a Victoria’s Secret model. NOT TRUE.
A good photographer understands bodies, facial structures, curves, and so on, and can make anyone feel their best! This goes for any gender, body type, race or age.
To Add To Your Bucket List: DO A PHOTO SHOOT!
Whether it’s for professional headshots, engagement photos, tasteful boudoir, or just with something you love – your dog, your motorcycle, your workout gear, even your dang garden (Gram) – in the wise words of Nike, “JUST DO IT.”
(Instagram selfies don’t count ladies…)
It’s fun, it makes you feel good and I PROMISE you’ll be surprised at how good it turns out. Even if you just save one photo, you’ll be happy that you have something to look back on and smile. So hit up your local fashion, bridal, fitness or business photographer to set something up. If you’re blaming not doing this on the cost, guess what, you’re not off the hook. Reach out to your local college’s photography program. Many of those students are looking to build their portfolio in any way possible – fo’ FREE!
If you want to go the fashion diva route, look up my brother from another mother, Bryan Whitely’s work (@bryanwhitely) for some ideas. 100% Guarantee To Be Mind-Blown.
Wow, I feel like I’ve been talking forever.
…Fine Tyra, I’ll shut up.