Breaking into modelling

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From having walked catwalk shows at London Fashion Week to being signed by a professional modelling agency, Emily-Kate Smith gives us an insight into juggling her academic studies along with her modelling career. She talks through her journey with Karishma Patel, and her recent photo shoot with the Fishergate Centre.

Preston-born Emily-Kate Smith began modelling at the age of 13 for friends who were studying at university.

Although she was nervous to go ahead with her first photo shoot, the support she received has given her the confidence boost she needed to go ahead.

She said: “People from my school who I didn’t really know, started asking me if I did modelling and encouraged me to try it.

“Friends and family had always told me I had the right height and looks to succeed as a model, which boosted my confidence.

“When I was first asked to model I felt nervous because I wanted the images to look good.

“I had never modelled before so I thought it would be a challenge, but it felt exciting to try out a new thing and it felt natural to be in front of the camera.”

After applying to a few agencies and getting a lot of feedback, Emily, 16, was overwhelmed with the responses and was called to Manchester and London.

She says: “All this interest I was getting at this point was a huge deal but at the time, I didn’t feel ready to work through an agency as I knew I was going to be starting exam revision that year.

“I didn’t want to let any one down so I decided to work freelance.

“This led me to look for open casting calls online and applying to work at London Fashion Week 2013.“

“I was called to London and Manchester for some model training on how to walk the runway and to meet with agencies and designers, it was a new experience for me.”

Emily, who is currently studying art and design at college, walked for several London-based fashion designers including Luna Sky, Gianni Lilliu, Yuvna Kim. “I loved my experience at London Fashion Week it was so exciting!

“Their garments were amazing, and suitable for many different occasions.”

At this point Emily had been working for three years, participating in test shoots and fashion shoots.

It was through this that she met a model from Clichè Model Management, where bosses encouraged her to apply to work for the agency.

“I was getting a lot of work which became harder for me to handle, so I applied for Clichè and thereafter signed with them.”

Melissa Drummond, owner and manager of Cliché, said: “Emily is hardworking and is such a pleasure to work with; we are always looking to raise her profile as a model and improve her work.

“We signed her on to our team of models because she has a very unique look. She is a blonde fashion model, who is tall and slim with lovely hair.

“No one else at Cliché looks like her, which benefits her greatly as a model.

“At cliché we like to promote diversity and sign models from lots of different ethnic backgrounds, this is in order to address the fact that we are all different and not everyone has to look the same.”

Emily added: “ I love working with Clichè Model Management, as they offer amazing opportunities and focus on each model, giving everyone the chance to go out into the world of modelling.

“I have had some amazing jobs, fantastic photographers and travelled to some amazing locations.”

This young and busy fashion model was recently scouted for a race-themed fashion shoot at Avenham Park showcasing the pastel trend with tea length and 60s style dresses.

Laura Jones, both stylist and PR manager at Think Publicity, said: “We wanted Emily to model for us because she is a local model from the Preston area and has a very unique and elegant look.

“She is a professional, experienced model who fitted with our brief so she was perfect for this particular job.”

Emily said: “The make-up artists were very helpful, not only talking me through step-by-step what they were doing to create the look but giving me advice on what suits me and which products are good.

“I honestly couldn’t choose which photo shoot has been my favourite because I appreciate all the effort and work that goes into each shoot and feel so welcome and honoured to have been chosen for the jobs I get.

“There have been so many highlights in modelling so far, I have travelled the country and learnt new things and have had offers to travel abroad.

“Modelling is amazing but it’s not always glamorous! There are knock backs but you have to be strong as you can be told you’re not suitable for certain jobs.

“Some of the places you work are cold, you wear painful shoes for too long, tight dresses that are uncomfortable but everything is worth it because it’s what I love to do.

“If I was to give advice to someone that wanted to become a model I would tell them they need to be strong, as it is very likely they are sometimes going to get knocked back and told no.

“Waiting for the right time helps too, the last two years of high school can be difficult because exams can get in the way making it difficult to get to castings but remember that education always comes first!”