Welcome to The Model Diaries, a 3-Part feature exploring and exposing The Good, The Bad and The Bat Shit Crazy events and experiences of my life as a glamour model. Parental Warning: Expect nudity, alcohol, guns and lots of WTF moments.
I wanted to kick this series off with the good, because boy there sure was a lot of good. Being in the World of modelling and I guess on a wider scale, you could say the entertainment industry, was as electrifying and intoxicating as you could imagine. There was a sort of provactive appeal to the uncertainty of the career path ahead, which enticed you in with it’s “what if’s” and the “could be’s”. An appeal in which I imagine only the most
fucked up optimistic of individuals would decide to enthral themselves within instead of arming themselves with the security of knowing you had a job to wake-up to in the morning. Nevertheless, the potential in which lay ahead was far too alluring for a vibrant young soul with a creative mind and a lust for life (yep that’s me). I left for University at 18 with no desire to become a sociologist, but a loose plan of crawling my way through my course with as little enthusiasm as possible whilst being closer to London- which equalled closer to my modelling dream. I never actually wanted to live in London mind, you can take the girl out to Wales n’ all that.
I could start reeling off good memories from day one of my first ever photoshoot, right up to the present days of weird-posing my way through a May Contain Girl (MCG) set with a slightly podgier belly and a-lot less flexible legs. I know my sullen-and-yet possibly over the top previous declaration that my modelling career is over whilst continuing to post new pics’ from shoots on social media has confused a few of you (no need to be so desperate for me to retire god damnit) but the truth is modelling is no longer a career for me, I.E: I don’t shoot enough to make a living off it, I.E.I.E: A bitch needs too eat. But I still shoot with MCG because I adore it. The team which is behind this website have been a part of so many of my most cherished and memorable moments throughout my career. I shot with these photographers on my second Nuts Magazine Shoot, one which brought about a kind of “I could really do this” realisation moment in my life. One which also brought about a certain Ms Fisher into my life. That’s right, Joey bloody Fisher. We met on set of said Nuts shoot, “Lucy Vixen’s Busty New Babes” one believes, and instantly hit it off. The moment of meeting in which many of you have asked about and are probably hoping was a lot more exciting than the reality really is went a little something like: “You’re from Wales? I’m from Wales!”, “Ahhh, you’re from Wales? I’m from Wales!” “Oh class”. And the rest, as they say, is history. Six-ish plus years on myself and the Fish are two-peas in a pod, floating around a pan of boiling hot water screaming “EVERYTHING IS FIIIIINE”. The Good in which I owe to my modelling career is most definitely a plethora of friendships.
Another “good” in which derives from these awesome photographers was my first shoot for FRONT mag’. Shot in the kitchen of what I can only describe as someone’s Nan’s 500-year old townhouse with possibly the filthiest oven I’ve ever seen, blossomed a coming-of-age shoot for myself, a creative style I had never been a part of before. Whilst still being relatively new to the industry, all my previous photo shoots had been of the typical glamour type. Big tits, Big Hair, Red Lips, Sexy lingerie. You get the picture. But this one was different. This one was fucking cool. The concept was me baking, which was ironic considering no one had probably used this kitchen in a fucking century. My props? Some fake cake mix, a mixing bowl, a spoon and some trays. My outfits? A pair of tiny denim shorts, a beanie hat and some knee-length socks. My make up? MINIMAL. Cue me asking the director if he was sure he didn’t want me to wear any more eyeliner. The typical glamour poses went out the window as I broke my back rolling around on the cracked tiled floor and smothered myself in cold flour mix. This was the my first taste of fake cake batter, my first real taste of the diversity and possibility which aroused in the layers of this industry, and where I first fell in love with the idea of creative direction as a job. This was also where I declared Piers Morgan as my most hated individual in the post-shoot interview (that’s right, I was in the I hate Piers Fan Club before it was cool) – which still stands to this day BTW.
I couldn’t talk about good memories, friendships and diversity in this industry without mentioning the Hot Shots Calendar. I still vividly remember looking at the “pin-up girls” 2013 calendar images online and thinking I want to be one of those girls. The entire concept and production looked so sleek, never mind the rest of the package that came with it; They travelled to America, they got to shoot a load of guns, drink loads of beer and most importantly it was all to raise funds for an amazing cause, Help For Heroes. I don’t know if any of you believe in the Law Of Attraction but I truly believe I thought this opportunity into reality for myself. No one could tell me otherwise, my sights were set and I wanted to be a Hot Shots Girl. Whilst not knowing how the fuck I was going to make this happen, I had utter faith that it was going too. Cue their first ever open casting call for the 2015 Calendar. I had never had a successful casting before. I’d come close, had a couple call backs, but I knew I had to nail this one. I remember the day in London in a small plain white studio, there must have been at least another 30 girls there and it was safe to say I was shitting myself. Which is why when someone cracked open a crate of Corona I was more than happy to take up their offer and get some Dutch (or Mexican) courage in me. Well one beer turned to two, and two beers turned to three, and by the time my turn came around on said casting couch – ahem – with Daisy, Kelly and Rosie I can’t really remember what the fuck I was saying. We were given a crash course on how to hold a gun (unloaded of course) and soon after I slithered into a bikini to have a few pics taken, trying desperately hard for my beer goggles not to show. After the casting had finished a load of us carried on the erm, work? Elsewhere and had a few drinks at a pub. I think maybe a shisha bar was involved. But my alcohol riddled memory bemuses me. As you can tell, this casting went really well.
Not long after the casting my manager phoned to let me know I’d made the cut to the last few girls. This in between stage of waiting is kind of a blur to me but I remember the excitement and gut-wrenching nervous feeling of ‘What If I don’t get it’ rising in my stomach, but I tried to never lose faith, this was my gig. And on my 21st Birthday I got that call that I had been waiting for since I’d first seen those 1940’s inspired images sprawled across my computer screen; I’d made it, I was a Hot Shots Girl.
This adventure led to me travelling outside of Europe for the first time and visiting America; Salt Lake City of all places where the Mormons didn’t exactly welcome our British drinking culture and where they had some god damn awful rule that the server would not take your order for another drink until you’d finished the one in your hand. Little did they know this just encouraged us to get even more fucked up by downing the drinks we had as fast as they were given to us- Cut to us riding a Tuk-Tuk around the city flashing to the poor innocent passers-by #BritsAbroad. The photoshoot took place on an Army base, which caused quite the commotion over the pond when the News got wind that there were “babes in bikini’s” driving tanks on government property. *Insert footage of us waving from the top of a tank on CBS and ABC news*. Although the trip of a life time, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for me as the new girl. Honestly, I was way out of my depth. These girls were veterans when it came to the industry, I was merely trying to keep a-float. I wasn’t confident with what to do with any of the props and equipment. I was out of shape but refused to admit it. I wasn’t really that confident or comfortable in myself. I was supposed to be featured in two months of the calendar that year but got dropped out of the second shot, and the modelling aspect of the trip was basically done for me by Day 1, meaning I had to watch everyone else smash their scenes all week whilst experiencing the overwhelming yearning of wanting to be just like them. Although not all woe is me of course; My spirit soon picked up when I got the chance to shoot some guns for the first time (All supervised and at targets I must add- shooting at people and animals is not cool kids) including a machine gun…whilst wearing a bikini, health and safety this was not. After having a Fat Amy “I’VE JUST BEEN SHOT!” Moment when a scorching hot bullet casing flung behind me and landed down- yes down- the back of my bikini bottoms leaving a small burn scar which is still there to this day (tells a pretty badass story if I do say so myself), we ended our trip sitting round a huge campfire in the middle of nowhere, eating the juiciest beef brisket I’ve ever experienced, drinking case after case of Corona, toasting marshmallows on the open fire and basically winning at life.
I could write forever and a day about my experiences with Hot Shots. Going to Vegas for the first time and realising that- fuck Disney land– this is the most magical place on Earth. Visiting Tedworth House Recovery Centre and meeting veterans and the volunteer’s who do amazing work for Help For Heroes. Getting my first lap dance in a strip club whilst battling with the feminist in me whether this was okay or not. Puking up baked beans in my mouth on the take-off to Vegas after another heavy night of drinking, and being handed a can of beer to swallow it back down again. Dancing on tables in fancy restaurants. Running off on the 10-mile trek to the nearest toilets of the Venetian Hotel to be sick mid-calendar signing (can you see there’s a theme here?). The list is endless. Turning my vision into reality and going from dreaming of being in the calendar, to sorting my shit out and being on the front cover two years later, is the proudest achievement of my career and the time I spent as a Hot Shots Girl are memories in which I will cherish forever.
Another huge “good” career moment for me was working with the independents; the photographers you collaborate with just because you both admire and appreciate each other’s work and want to create something amazing. These images would always be shot as TFP (time-for-prints) or with the vision of selling them on afterwards. The best thing about these shoots is that there was never any pressure to follow a certain storyboard. You wouldn’t have to wear shit you didn’t want to wear, do poses you didn’t want to do, in a location you don’t want to be at. You were both here because you wanted to be, exploring vision’s you both want to deliver and with total freedom when it came to the creative direction and styling. Basically, its foundations pave the way for some pretty awesome fucking pictures. In fact, my most treasured images of myself from my 7-year stint as a model have come from collaborating with these immensely talented photographers, who’s work I still hugely admire and am a fan of to this day. Memorably Jordan Green, Matt Comer, Haris Nukem, Adam Flowers and more recently Sam Jordan-Richardson (who shot my 2019 calendar which you can purchase here BTW- you are welcome) I’m honestly so humbled that I’ve had the chance to collaborate with individuals who are such masters in their field. Seriously, take the time to check out their work, it’s incredible.
I could continue spawning tales of nipples and tipples for as long as it would take for me to muster up the courage to go to my spin class (FYI it takes a long ass time), but I must refrain from revealing too much all at once, or else you might never come back for part two. Plus, I really need to get my ass to this spin class (the Christmas diet has not been kind).
Keep an eye out for the 2nd Part Feature of The Model Diaries, aka The Bad coming to Jabber With Jess soon! Whilst you wait (on tenter hooks I’m sure), indulge yourself in some of my previous blog posts and let me know your thoughts!