Modeling was never on Lindsey’s radar until a colleague invited her to partake in a test-shoot. Her burgeoning career is the result of her passion, smart business moves, and diligence. Check her story out below.
Say hello to Lindsey:
Where are you from? Where have you been?
I am originally from Gaithersburg, MD – a suburb of Washington, DC. I have traveled up and down both coasts of the U.S., but still have some exploring to do in the Midwest. Internationally, I have been to Italy, France, England, Switzerland, Greece, Canada, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic…and I’m sure I’m forgetting some!
Are you currently working as a freelancer or through an agency?
The short answer is both! I have non-exclusive representation with a couple agencies and also work hard to network and develop my own connections and opportunities. I didn’t want to limit my potential and growth by closing the freelancing door, at least initially. When you’re starting out, you have to cast a wide net and utilize all the resources available to you to help build your momentum. Often times, that includes resources outside of an agency; especially today with social media being such a big, influential, and valuable force.
Tell us about your career. How did you get into it?
I wasn’t looking to be a model. It wasn’t even on my radar, which is why I like to say the modeling found me and not the other way around. I stumbled into it much later in life than the average model. I was working in TV at Fox 5 in Washington, DC right after college. A colleague of mine, who was an aspiring photographer, invited me to be part of his portfolio building. I accepted, received my first set of photos (one of which is below), and my modeling career was born! I continued to pursue it, but as a hobby alongside other professional and academic pursuits. It wasn’t until years later that I decided to go after it full time. I am a year into being a full-time model, and am proud of the progress I have made in that short time. I am excited to keep things moving and see what year two has in store!
What was the moment you decided to get into modeling?
It was a Friday night in July, and I was sitting outside at a restaurant having dinner with my boyfriend. We were both talking about how bored we were with our current jobs. He asked me what I loved to do and I thought about it for a few seconds, and said “modeling.” I told him how happy it made me and how exciting I found it. He encouraged me to go for it and I couldn’t be more grateful for his support and confidence in me. A few months later, I quit my marketing job and a year later, here I am! My first shoot as a full-time model was for a group of wedding vendors. It was eventually featured in both Style Me Pretty and Magnolia Rouge. One of the photos from it is below.
Who has had the biggest influence on your modeling career?
Lauren Deckert – my mentor. She has been in the industry for years and really knows her stuff. I was fortunate enough to be introduced to her shortly after I began my full-time endeavor. We had both worked with a photographer who put us in touch. She has been invaluable in providing guidance, connections, and resources. Lauren is also such an incredibly kind person, which makes her even more special. I can easily say that I wouldn’t be where I am in my career without her. The below photo is one of her favorites from my portfolio.
What is the best thing a photographer can do to bring out your personality?
I love when photographers give insight into what they are seeing behind their lens. Knowing what is working and what isn’t really, propels me forward and helps me evolve throughout a shoot. It also fosters a working relationship with the photographer. We become a team and get to know one another as we communicate about our work. This fosters a sense of trust and confidence, which in turn makes me comfortable and relaxed, and that is when I am most myself.
What do you like most about modeling?
It’s hard to pick just one thing. I obviously love the creative aspect of it; the fact that every time you step in front of the camera or onto a runway, you are creating and capturing something – a moment, a feeling, a look. I think all models love this piece of it though. Something perhaps more unique to me specifically is the constant pursuit of a goal. I love that there is always a challenge to be met and a goal to be reached. I am a naturally ambitious and driven person, but modeling has really accentuated those qualities. It has also shown me how resilient and capable I am; that I can take an idea or hope and turn it into reality.
What’s your philosophy when it comes to being a great model?
I think great models are professional, personable, and versatile. They are pleasant to work with and can give their clients exactly what they need, whether that be a soft, angelic look and feel, or an intense, edgy vibe. Being a chameleon of sorts I think makes a model stand out – at least initially. Obviously, there are models who make their living just doing lingerie, or fitness, or swimwear, etc. Until that big contract comes, I suggest showing your depth. In short, a great model is someone that a client wants to work with again because of both who he or she is and what he or she can do.
What are the top 3 tips you have for aspiring models?
- BE PROACTIVE: I think, too often, models get signed with an agency, or put up a Model Mayhem profile and expect the work to come to them, and that’s just not how this industry works. You have to be willing to constantly network, search for opportunities, and be your own advocate. The modeling industry is nitty gritty, and that’s the part industry outsiders don’t see or recognize. Every model wants to get to a place where work does come to him or her, but that doesn’t happen without a lot of effort and drive at the forefront.
- GO WITH YOUR GUT: Every model will have internal debates about whether to take certain jobs for whatever reason. The bottom line is, if it feels off or uncomfortable or sketchy, then it’s probably not something you should be doing. It’s very easy to get sucked into something for a paycheck (especially in the beginning), but stick to your guns and do what feels right. Every model’s boundaries will be different, so don’t base these decisions on what other models are doing. You do you and be proud of that!
- BE OPEN MINDED: There are many types of modeling, and you have to be open to things other than high-fashion editorial shoots if you actually want to make your living as a model. So be patient and humble, and recognize that you have to work your way up.
What do you think is your best feature?
I really love my freckles. They’re like my own built-in accessory. They can be used to create lots of different looks when combined with various hair and makeup styles. My favorite one is on my upper lip.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I tend to be a worrier and pretty self-critical, always thinking about how to avoid the pitfalls or do things better. It would be nice to be more naturally carefree and give myself credit where credit is due more often. I’m workin’ on it!
What’s something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t?
I have always wanted to live somewhere outside of the MD/DC area. I think the main reason I haven’t is because of my friends and family. I have such a strong support system that it’s tough to imagine not having it close by. That being said, as one matures, it becomes apparent that relationships are defined by way more than proximity; that just makes things easier. I know my friends and family will still be a big part of my life even if I move. Plus, I’m anxious to explore other modeling markets, particularly the west coast. So we’ll see what happens!
For anyone who wants to get in touch with Lindsey, here’s some contact information:
Lindsey, thank you so much for sharing your story with us! 🙂
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