Sunday, 29 May 2011

All good things...

While away in Scotland, I took some time out to do some thinking. It gave me an opportunity to formulate some ideas that have been going around in my head for some time now.

After careful consideration, and almost a decade of modelling, I think the time has come to re-prioritise my life. 2011 is likely to be my last year of modelling officially. I am not 'retiring,' (mostly because I absolutely despise that term, and at 31, I'm damned if I'm old enough to 'retire.') I don't intend to quit entirely. But I also can't keep leading my life alternating between two unreliable jobs, in the hope that they will add up to something resembling one reliable income (many of you will know that I am also a singer/actress, and have juggled two careers separately for years).

There has been a spate of high profile models moving on from the world of internet modelling of late. Many of them have quit because of negative or bad experiences within the industry. So rather than add fuel to that fire, I would just like to take this opportunity to say that my decision to re-prioritise has absolutely nothing to do with falling out of love with modelling (and this isn't something I'm saying just because I think I ought to). Of course the modelling industry isn't perfect, and like anyone else, I have my rants and bugbears. But while over the years, I have become increasingly resentful towards my singing/acting career, (which is full of people who are very willing to waste your time for minimal rewards), my modelling career has actually kept me sane in times when I would otherwise have had no creative outlet. Far from growing resentful, I am genuinely grateful for the opportunities I've had, and the many people I have met through the modelling industry. It is because I genuinely love what I do, that I am unlikely to completely stop doing it.

I am proud to have been modelling for a decade, and I absolutely will NOT be moving on because of my age! I know there are many who feel that there is no place for older models in the modelling world. I personally would argue that if you are creating art, the emphasis is on creativity, rather than youth or conventional 'beauty,' and age should not be a factor. We live in an increasingly ageist society, where despite the fact that the vast majority of our population falls into an 'older generation,' that generation is not represented by the marketing images we are constantly bombarded with. As much as I would like to make a stand against that ageism and continue creating artistic work until I am in my 90s, the fact of the matter is that if I were to do so, it would more than likely not be on a profitable basis.

I would love to continue doing what I do just for the love of doing it, but sadly bills do need paying and travel is not free. As such, I need to rethink my priorities, and I just can't remain available indefinitely for bookings at any given time.

I have no intention of making sudden or drastic changes, and I will definitely continue to be available for bookings throughout June and July. I will probably be available in August, and possibly even in September. I do intend to continue modelling work up until the end of the year, and while it is unlikely that I will stop entirely in 2012, I also can't guarantee that I will continue, and will be gradually tailing off work throughout the remainder of 2011.

I would love to go out with a 'swan song.' There are many photographers I would still love to work with. I've had conversations with several people towards the end of last year and early this year, but due to various other commitments (illness, a European tour, and a foster dog who won't travel and took longer to re-home than expected), I haven't been able to tour the UK and haven't been able to see those plans through yet. I fully intend to tour the UK over the summer, and I hope to work with many of the photographers whose work I have admired in the past. I do already have some very exciting shoots booked, and I can't wait to complete those and share the images.

However, all good things must, eventually, come to and end. If you are one of the many people with whom I have communicated in the past, along the lines of 'we really must work together one day,' can I suggest that you book me sooner rather than later. I would particularly like to fill June and July, so please do get in touch and send me some dates. I will be the first to admit I am hopeless at email tennis. I am very efficient when it comes to confirming a booking, but it makes it so much easier to get to that stage if you can start with some suggestions for when and where.

I am definitely planning to visit the south coast over the summer, and am happy to travel anywhere in the UK as long as it is financially viable to do so - I just can't afford to do it at my own expense. One of the major factors that has influenced my decision to re-prioritise is the increasing cost of travel, which makes it so much more difficult to make modelling trips profitable. If you are based further afield, then please let me know where you are based and give me a rough idea of when you would like to shoot, and I will do my best to coordinate my travel plans to include your area.

I am genuinely very grateful for the opportunities I've had through modelling, and the people I have met. I do intend to continue creating art, and I love doing so. I'll keep updating this blog with forthcoming shoots over the summer, and I hope to fit in many more fantastic shoots before 2012.

Many thanks for your support over the years.

Lastly, here is another image from my recent Scotland trip,
by and copyright of Alex Ingram.


  1. It would be great if you could tour America as a swan song. :)

  2. I dont model full time, I'd go crazy if I did. Doing it as and when I want to and knowing that paying my bills does not depend on it makes it possible to work only with those I want to work with. I wish you luck in everything you do and I am sure I will continue to see your beautiful photos!

  3. Good luck! I just found your blog through Alex's blog. Follow your heart and your instincts. Your work is fabulous and inspiring, and it will always remain that way!

  4. Perhaps I need to clarify something.

    My motivation for the work I do - whether modelling or performing - is not money. It never has been. If I were motivated by money, I would have ditched both these careers long, long ago, and taken up something 'sensible' to boost my bank balance while continuing them as a hobby.

    I have, however, tried to make a living out of doing things I enjoy. If I can make a living from being creative, why on earth should I not aspire to do so? If I can spend my time doing things I love, and pay the bills, then that would be an ideal way to live my life. ('Ideal' being the operative word).

    There is no shame, if someone appreciates my efforts and wants to work me, in accepting payment for my time and the effort I put in. This applies to both walks of my life, and I am proud to have made a living for so long out of my combined interests.

    Equally, however, in both of my careers, I have put an incredible amount of time and energy into doing it for the love of it. I may have been paid for what I do, but there have been just as many occasions, both as a model and a singer/actress, that I have invested my time for the sake of it.

    With regard to my modelling, it makes no difference to me whether it is a paid shoot or not - my intention is, and always has been, to create beautiful, meaningful images.

    Many of the images on this blog were not created for profit. I don't differentiate between those that were, and those that weren't. Why would I? It is the same to me, whether I am paid or not, my goal is to create images that myself and the photographer are proud of.

    I am not 'quitting' modelling, I have said that I intend to continue - because I enjoy it - as and when I can. I have also said that I will have to cut down on the amount of time I spend doing it, because I simply can't afford to be available 24/7. That's life. Realistically, money gets in the way of our creative desires sometimes, but we can't bury our heads in the sand and pretend that material needs don't exist and don't need tending to.

    The work I have created as a paid model is created with no less integrity than the work I have created for the sake of creating it.

    You are mistaken if you believe I have been motivated by money, and also if you believe I am 'quitting' for the lack of it.