[Maddy] How long have you been a plus size model? [Erin] It’s been almost a year now. [Maddy] What steps did you take in order to become a plus size model? [Erin] It’s actually a funny story. About 4 years ago, I was encouraged by a family member to go to an open call for a local modeling agency. After meeting with them, they told me that I wasn’t a good candidate for plus size modeling because of the size of my nose (granted it’s not perfect, but I never thought that would be an issue). I was pretty bummed, but quickly moved on, earned my esthetician license, and started my esthetics career at a popular day spa. I was jaded by one person’s opinion, (how that has changed…) and the allure of a modeling career was pushed to the back of my mind.
Three years later, I was on a blind date when a woman approached me, introduced herself as the president of Heffner Management (A local agency here in Seattle), and asked if I was interested in modeling. I was cautious and skeptical until I did my research and decided that I nothing to lose! I believe in fate, and I was fortunate enough to be in the right place, at the right time.
[Maddy] Tell me about your decision to become a plus size model? [Erin] Before I signed with Heffner, I researched both the agency and what it took to become a professional model. I learned all the basics; from what it took to have a proper models bag, building client relationships and learning how to work and move in front of a camera. I knew that in the beginning it was going to be an investment of both time and money, but I was hopeful that it would be worth it. [Maddy] How did you develop your posing techniques? [Erin] Practicing in front of a mirror definitely helps. I often study the poses and looks of models in magazines and advertisements. It is a bit challenging, but with every shoot, it gets a bit easier. [Maddy] Have you ever desired to be a straight size model…and why? [Erin] Absolutely not. Straight sized models are beautiful and definitely have their place in the fashion world, but it’s not for me. I have always been naturally curvy, and would never be able to maintain a size two. I work out regularly, and live an active and healthy life. My body feels healthy and comfortable at a size 12. [Maddy] What has been the most fun modeling job you have done so far? [Erin] Believe it or not, this one! Working with an experienced model like Katie was a bit intimidating but it was such a great learning experience. She was so sweet, and really taught me quite a bit. The stylist, photographer and makeup artist were so warm; they really made me feel welcome and comfortable. We all had so much fun and I hope to be able to work with the entire crew again one day! [Maddy] Many aspiring models do not realize how much work modeling can be. Can you share with us when you realized that modeling really is a job? [Erin] Well, to begin with, there is so much prep work! Between shoots, as I mentioned earlier, I try to work out and eat a balanced diet (although I have a serious weakness for chocolate). About a week before a shoot, I have a checklist of everything that needs to get accomplished for that week. It involves everything from researching the client, to keeping my hair, skin and nails healthy and fresh. I make sure to fully stock my models bag (invoices, extra bras and underwear, shoes, etc.) and confirm all of the details with my agency prior to the shoot.
There also is a lot involved within the actual shoot itself. You really have to stay focused, work well with others and be willing to take direction quickly. Confidence and professionalism are two key factors in producing outstanding photographs.
If I were not a model, I would be A World Traveler (If there is such a thing!) or an esthetician. I am very comfortable and quite happy balancing these two careers; I get the both of best worlds. As an esthetician I make women feel pampered and beautiful in a relaxing spa environment. I get to accommodate and spoil women on a daily basis. As a model, I’m the one being spoiled and pampered. Who wouldn’t love to wear amazing clothes and get their hair and makeup professionally done on a regular basis?
My ideal Friday night is anything involving amazing food, great company and a nice bottle of wine.
My favorite movie is ANY of the Lord of the Rings movies (I’m a fantasy nerd!).
If I could trade places with one person it would be: No one. This may sound a bit optimistic, but I feel that there is nothing I cannot do or achieve in this lifetime. I have lived, and will continue to live, a life of love, possibilities, and incredible opportunities.