Courtney Lee: gaining the confidence to become a model
Courtney: You are new to modeling. How did you get started?
When I was little, I started getting interested in wanting to be a model. I would always tell my mom that’s what I wanted to do when I got older. When I was in elementary school, I remember a behind the scenes show on VH1, of what it is like being a Victoria’s Secret Angel model. I ran to my mom saying “I want to do what they do!”.. But, I was a shy child growing up, and it wasn’t till I was in high school that I started opening up more…I never gave modeling a try until about a little over year or so ago. Most common question I get asked with the photographers I have shot with, ” Why did it take so long for you to get started?”. Confidence… You can have everyone tell you, “You’re so tall and pretty you should be a model!” but in the end, it’s you who has to believe it. That is what took me the longest to get started. So about two years ago, I started working out a lot, and focused on making myself healthy on the inside and out, and finally I decided to give it a try.
What do you think of modeling so far? Is anything different than you expected? If so, what?
I love modeling 🙂 I knew I would, because I’ve wanted to do it for so long. I’ve watched a ton of America’s Next Top Model shows, and I would always look in magazines, not just for the clothes, but to “study” how the models look and pose. Since I watched a lot of those shows, I had a better idea of what it would be like. I believe though, a lot of people think that modeling is just a stand there and look pretty kind of thing, but it is much more than that.
What are your goals and where do you see yourself going in modeling and what steps are you taking to try and reach those goals?
When I go/try for something, I never want to limit myself to one set goal, or expectation. I love the saying ” The sky’s the limit.”, that is how I want to look at this for me. When it comes to fashion, I love all kinds of styles.. Since I am new to it all still, I want to try everything and see what I like the best, and/or what direction ends up being the best for me to lean towards. I would love to sign with an agency, so right now I am just trying to build my portfolio, get more comfortable in front of the camera, and to continually learn something new from each shoot I do. But no matter where I end up going, I know I will give it my all.
What advice would you give someone interested in modeling?
Go for it. No matter what age, or size, if it is something you really love and want to do, then do it. If you are hesitant and have the same fear of confidence in yourself, like I did, then focus on doing things to change that, so YOU can believe in yourself.
When it comes to knowing where to start, have an idea of what kind of looks you want to take. Make sure as well, before picking a photographer, that they have a good reputation, you like their style of pictures they take, and the way they edit them. Get a good variety of photographers and looks for your portfolio, and if you decide you want to go to an agency, give it a try, the worse they can say is no… No matter what, don’t give up.
Can you talk about an enjoyable photo shoot you were on? What made it enjoyable?
Each photographer I have shot with so far has been a good experience. I’ve learned new things with each shoot, whether it’s angles, lighting, certain looks, and just overall trying new things. Each time I get more and more comfortable, so my latest shoot, with Ben Scott, would be the most enjoyable. When you’re able to have good conversations, and never feel awkward, it is always a much more comfortable setting, which I believe helps result in good pictures. He works with you and gives you advice and suggestions very well. I guess in the end, it’s all about the good vibes. Good vibes lead to comfort, which lead to a good shoot, which (should) lead to good pictures 🙂 I think the shoot should be enjoyable for both the photographer and the model. Each person you meet and work with leaves a mark in you as you continue to grow, so it’s always best to make sure it’s a good one.