I'm an aspiring model, and the most common thing I get asked is how I got into it. Now, I'm not yet what I'd call successful, so take everything with a pinch of salt, but I think a lot of people would agree with the things I have to say about the power social media can have on success. Though I haven't reached my peak yet; I'm not Insta Famous and I don't have tons of contracts with big brands. I've had a few big successes in my eyes, and I owe a lot of it to the way I've learnt to manage my social profile.
Before I get properly into it, I want you to think how you got to this page. Was it through the Instagram or Facebook link I shared? If not, think about the last time you used either of those platforms, and if it was within the last 24 hours, keep reading.
It all started just over a year ago when I was working in a retail store and a colleague called Sam (@samueljperkins), who was a model himself, told me I should try it. I kinda laughed him off because in a family of two brothers I was the less good looking of the three.
He suggested approaching local photographers who were in need of developing their portfolios — something called "Time for Print." Usually if you need to have a portfolio built, you can end up paying around £500 for some decent shots and, whilst it seemed like the easiest option, I wasn't about to spend my hard earned wages on my mates hunch that I might do well. Luckily the city I live in has a university well known for photography, so I joined a Facebook page where anyone who needed models would post in there and the payment for your time and face would be the prints for you to use royalty free. Notice how my first use of social media was the initial gateway to where I am now.
I then listened to Gary Vee, a motivational speaker, who said that you should invest time into researching Instagram hashtags to explore different creatives and get in contact with them.
Within three months I had a well rounded portfolio showing different styles, be it modern fashion, vintage fashion, or high fashion. I also had a range of editorial shots as well as e-commerce style shots. Versatility is key.
I used these shots to gain a larger social profile by just putting myself out there and not being afraid to fall flat on my face. As I mentioned before, I was the less good looking of the three Warner lads, so I anticipated a lot of pushback from my peers. Luckily, I had recently left college so the people who may have had something negative to say about me were no longer an issue, and to be honest, everyone I'd spoken to about it gave me every bit of support I needed.
Little side note before I go on:
As life is, you will always hear that behind your back people don't think you're good enough or look silly, but as a general rule I prefer to only listen to criticism said to me personally. The people who say things that they actually mean rather than out of jealousy will make the effort to come tell you directly — it's human nature.
Back to social media, I continued to try and grow my social profile by posting more and researching more. I found that the more people you have posting photos of you, the more growth you get because I actually had photographers coming to me to shoot because of what they'd seen elsewhere. Finally, after ten months of free shoots — which wasn't a lot compared to others, granted — a Manchester based agency called Nemesis approached me through Instagram and asked me for a casting. I was successful and they're the agency which I am currently in association with. Tap this link --> Nemesis Agency
I continue to post updates on Instagram (@warner_) which you can go follow if you haven't already, I'd appreciate the support.
To summarise, in ten months, by using social media to my advantage, I've gone from being told I should probably start modelling to shooting for BooHoo and other clothing brands professionally. I've had a lot of help and still have a way to go, but I'm on my way and in the right direction.
Thanks for taking the time to read, I'd welcome any comments or constructive criticisms if you have any :)