Flashback to two months ago, in my best friend and stylists kitchen. I received an email from the editor saying she loved my writing samples AND my modelling and would love to have me contribute something to the magazine. I was assigned a 600 word article with min 2 pics within 3weeks. It had to be about something extreme. So, I figured, why not let the good ol UK in on what it’s like to model, in winter, in canada.
To subscribe and view the rest of the magazine (last month there was even nudity with quite a few nice sets of breasts I might add… Just sayin)
Thank you to Dan Chabot for the photos
And to Jo for the one of my butt
And my apologies to my family for my butt!
I DEDICATE THIS TO ALL THE MODELS:
who have been burned, bruised, bashed
hair pulled, tightened into corsets, walked in shoes 3 sizes too small… you know who you are.
Modelling in Canada
Welcome to Canada. An enormous, beautiful land mass stretching 9.9million square feet in size. Her landscape boasts mountains, lakes, desert, trees, and arctic tundra. There is only one province (similar to a county) that gets to experience all 4 seasons, and that is British Columbia, coincidentally, (not unlike it’s namesake), it rains often there as well. The remaining 12 provinces get about 4 months of beautiful heat and sun, then spend a minimum 7-8months of the year in a cold, freezing winter.
So, one might ask, how does a model earn a living in these extreme climates?
A true model has no fear of her set or surroundings. She can be posed with a live, predatory animal and will stare it down until it becomes her subordinate.
There is no end to the extremes myself and my colleagues push as models here in Canada. We shoot outdoors in temperatures as low as -25 (it goes lower than -50 some days). Frostbite sets in at that temperature within a 10 minute time frame. In order to combat that we typically purchase small heating pads (called “instant heat packs”) that we place on the base of our heels in a vain attempt to feel some warmth. It works to an extent. We usually keep a car running close by and shoot 10-15 minute sets before warming up for 5 and then doing it all over again. Which, is almost worse as you just warmed up and then go right back outside to freeze again. We shoot in blizzards, in thunderstorms, in rain. We do whatever needs to be done to get the shot.
As a model it is critical that one does what one is told. So when a photographer says,” I want a picture of you completely naked in the snow holding nothing but a rose,” guess what? It’s not him that’s about to get naked, or really cold for that matter.
This past winter I did 9 shoots outside in the snow, most in lingerie or nude. It’s one thing to pose in the cold, with the wind whipping your face and hair. It’s a whole other matter when you add a sheet of ice beneath your high heels and then try to pose on it. More often than not I’ve found myself on all fours like Bambi, spread over the ice with cuts on my ankles or shins from sliding. One pose resulted in me slipping on the ice in 5-inch stilettos, tearing the bare flesh of my frozen ass on the extremely jagged bark of a tree, and consequently ripping the skin on my right bum cheek in 2.5 giant tears. I still have the scar… It literally looks like I had sex with wolverine.
However, I did not cry, I did not complain when my entire body was numb and shaking, trying to rewarm itself. I went somewhere else in my mind, somewhere warm, I made the photographer become someone I loved… and I nailed the shots.
I find it funny when people think modelling is easy. If you think intense yoga for 2-3 hours is easy then good for you! Now strip down to your underwear, put a set of 5 inch heels on and do it outside in -25 freezing cold on ice.
Now tell me how easy you think it is.