Katie Reed was our first unsigned model to grace the cover of PLUS (January 2009). Her look, her pictures and the way she moved gave us enough confidence that we decided to shoot her and bring her to the public for everyone to meet. What happened next is nothing less than the dream that most aspiring models have. Getting signed and working as a plus size model. Catch up with Katie…
[Maddy] The last time we met with you – we were planning the January 2009 issue. You were our first unsigned model to grace the cover of PLUS. How has your life changed since then?
[Katie] After I did the cover for PLUS, the ball started rolling. I was discovered by my manager, Jacquelyn Willard, who works for Matrix Models in New York. She developed me a little more and gave me some great insight to the business side of modeling. She set up a meeting for me to meet the agents at Wilhelmina. I walked out those glass doors with tears in my eyes and with the contract in my hand.
[Maddy] Tell me about being signed with Wilhelmina. Can you tell the numerous unsigned models who read our publication how you prepared to meet with them?
[Katie] The main thing I focused on before going in was how I would feel if they said no. I knew that if Wilhelmina didn’t sign me it wouldn’t mean that I failed. I really felt that I had already succeeded just by moving to LA to seriously pursue my dream. So for me, I had already made it.
[Maddy] You are incredibly fluid in the way you move… How did you become so comfortable in front of the camera?
[Katie] Well thank you! I shot with a lot of photographers and had plenty of mirror time to help me with that!
Maddy] What has life been like since you became a signed model?
[Katie] Honestly, it’s the same as it was before I was signed. I still work my butt off on shoots. I still hunt for opportunity. Only now, I have some awesome people pushing the door of opportunity open even wider. There’s definitely more pressure to impress. Before being signed, I was representing myself. Now I represent a corporation.
[Maddy] What have you learned that you did not know about being a signed model?
[Katie] I learned that flawless Polaroid’s play a vital part in getting signed and booking jobs. I had never taken Polaroid’s or just simple digital shots of my face, my profile and my body. You would think that a strong portfolio would get you the job, but if the agents or their clients don’t like the way you look without makeup or Photoshop, you most likely will get a “No, thank you”.
[Maddy] What has been your most favorite experience so far?
[Katie] Wilhelmina is sending me to New York City this month, so I have a feeling that’ll be an experience I’ll never forget.
[Maddy] What is your advice to models looking to take the step and become a signed model?
[Katie] Never let regrets take the place of your dreams. Just go for it already. Photo Credits