“Fear is stupid. So are regrets.” Said Marilyn Monroe. I therefore think she’d be right behind my recent career change into modelling!
Today we were visited by the fabulous Katie Isles. We had a fabulous fun photo shoot and here Katie tells us about her brush with modelling as a teenager, and why she has now in her early 40′s decided to give it another go… we say go girl!!! Katie Isles… You see, when I was just 16 I was invited by the super-cool-teenage-must-read ‘Just Seventeen’ magazine down to London to have an amazing makeover with a top London photographer and it rocked my world! I knew that I wanted to head back down south at some point in the future and become a model. I scoured magazines, recognised photography styles and could name all the top teen and supermodels of my era. In the meantime, I entered and won the odd modelling competition, one… erm, not so greatly named now that we’re in 2015… ‘Face of the 90s’ at 16 and another ‘New Faces’ competition when I was 19. I won modelling contracts, photography shoots and £250 (big time money for a student in the 90s!) among other things. I moved to Manchester to study languages at uni and was represented by Boss Models up there in my first year. This was a great experience as I did my first proper modelling including walking the catwalk at Earls Court and appearing in hair magazines. I was never going to be Kate Moss but this Kate was well proud! Then, I went to live abroad and a more ‘traditional’ career took over and modelling became something I had dallied with as a teenager before real life got serious! And I’ve always had that regret. (Sorry Marilyn!) Why didn’t I give it a go while I had the chance and the opportunities? Why didn’t I try it while I was young, smooth skinned and skinny?! For the last twenty years I’ve had a brilliant time taking an incredibly winding career path from marketing for Bentley Motors to Education Manager for a charity for disadvantaged children. I have been a holiday rep in Mallorca and finally a tutor at Manchester University. Then 2014 happened! I became a features writer for super wedding blog Love My Dress. I entered Specsavers’ Spectacle Wearer of the Year and made it to the semi-finals and, I got married. For some reason those gave me the confidence to consider modelling again at the ripe old age of 41.
Things snowballed rather quickly and before I knew what was happening, one icy cold December day, I found myself sitting outside in just a towel in the photographer’s back garden. Apparently I was a model again. Not that it rolls off the tongue very easily yet. I feel a bit of a fraud, especially as most people see me in my scruffs on the school run!! My first couple of jobs were both for television. I’d expected a nice, old-fashioned knitting pattern job and here I was demonstrating fitness equipment on live TV!
The pros for me include the unpredictable nature and range of work. I find this exciting. I love change. I adore meeting people. I like trying new things and challenging myself in new situations. I’ve discovered that I can take direction well and that I’m not fazed by things most people would shy from. A real plus about starting out in your 40s is that, while I’m a typical woman – never 100% happy with her looks – I’ve reached an age where I don’t obsess about it either. I’m fitter and healthier than I’ve ever been and pretty comfortable in my own skin. However, one of the major cons for me is that so much is out of my control! I’d like to think that I’m passionate, driven and hardworking and in all my previous roles, this has guaranteed my success but in modelling obviously, first your face must fit before those attributes are even relevant.
So if any of you reading this have any experience, tips and advice for this newbie please find me on Twitter. I’d love to connect with other models and industry specialists. In the meantime, have no fear Marilyn, this girl has no regrets about becoming a classic model. In fact. Bring. It. On!
Photos: Lance Burkitt: Follow @burkittphoto
Model/ Words: Katie Isles: Follow @Isleskate
Hair & Make up: Candice Redford: Follow @candiceredford