Bit of a cheesy heading to say the least but heh it does what it says on the tin. Over the past two years I have shot three models from Britain's next top model (BNTM) , one of the winners and two other models which have been amazing to work with. In fact Imogen Leaver was one of my first Professional models I had shot. Now I'm not going into the whole pro model debate (who is a model what one is and people which class themselves as a model) we would be here all day and to be honest I just want to talk about my experience .
I have been an avid fan of BNTM since its first incarnation over the water in the big apple. I'm pretty sure I have never missed an episode and as every TV addict I've sat shouting at the screen (even prior to knowing anything about models or photography). The TV show I don't really need to explain if you are still confused please google it! Now only with in the past six years have I been honing my skills but I have come along quite a bit (not just final product but the industry as a whole). Now when I had been shooting just people and other random objects which took my fancy I had stumbled across instagram , and like all new social media I was not actually that bothered about it. Anyway after doing the usual and posting boring photos of my face and food and all the other important issues which I need to get out to the world I soon discovered people who I had an interest in.
I am far from a celeb hunter or am I interested in any shape or form but I vividly remember that series of BNTM and thinking Imogen was an out right winner. Imogen came across so strong and personable , plus she was versatile in all shapes. So going back to instagram, as I was taking pictures of people at this time and some limited models I remembered BNTM adn just goggle searched contestants from the last series. The series had finished not long after this series for some unknown reason. After my quick search I saw the names pop up and then popped over to instagram to cross reference or (stalk as some might say) I didn't stalk as she will read this!
So a long story short I messaged her and went through the agency if I remember rightly Nevs and a shoot was on the cards. It did feel very odd at the time as i was still very amateur and winged it a lot. I did mess up though i managed to put in the sat nav shoreditch and it assumed it was the shoreditch in somerset . Any one who wants a trek try doing that , its not funny or clever. We hooked up, shot for forty minutes and came away with one of my favourite shots of all time (classical pose, monochrome) but most of all she was great to be around knew her stuff and was relaxed. It was a baptism of fire for me at the time but something which will stay with me as the proper starting point of my career. Since this time I have met up with Imogen and we have done another shoot together , besides all of this she is what I would say is the perfect concept of a model. Polite, personable and doesn't take herself seriously.
Since this time I have shot Jayde who won that series with Imogen who again was amazing and really demonstrates how much work and dedication it takes to be a model. I had the chance to shoot Hannah Devane also , another amazing woman from BNTM with different looks and styles . To be honest as a program like most we all sit and watch we will never understand the work and what the contestants go through. We almost make it seem like a joke and not real, but in fact it is quite the opposite. We are all real and we have passions and drives which effect our future. After meeting these people and working with them I can see how they have changed since the program and are doing what they said they would do (be a model). It really has defined my opinion of what I do and how I perceive others with in the industry too.
After all of this I haven't had much to do with shooting any models from the TV show. But that changed this week with a great opportunity (location) and a recent contestant form last year 2016. I sometimes have this luck of things falling into place at the last minute, all week I had been in contact with an agency J'adore in Manchester . I had some work fall through and J'adore at the last minute could not fill the spot. Not to worry and on the off chance I emailed back to say I have some time the following week to shoot so if they could put a package together for me. Anyway it turns out the model they sent was Alex Kelly (Lexi Kelly/model name) . Now I had watched her from last year and very similar to Imogen had my money firmly placed to back my "I told you so". So as far as I was concerned I had a great model and had a mood board in place . With in the space of two days I had an offer come through from a simple request on facebook to use a great large mansion with pool , my mood board went out the window and I went with the new concept that "run what you brung" well not as loose as that but close enough.
The place was pretty much flawless and I could of shot in the dark and it would have been epic. It was sunny , not the hottest sun in the world and the pool shots were quite an ask for Alex, but no complaints she just cracked on and smashed it . It took in total just over an hour to get five sets in with changes and make up and we were done. This again reminds me of how important all aspects of shooting is . Location , makeup and clothes, you cant expect to wing it all the time and come up with the goods. We all had short notice but had the right pieces of the puzzle, we had an epic established model with and ultra location and cars to shoot with. Don't get me wrong it could have been a nightmare but we had all the precautions to limit that.
Its been another great week in the Hoskins camp and working with immense people. Everyone did their job and the outcome was super. Make sure you take a look at the Lexi Kelly tab to see all of the images form the day.