I think the idea occurs to many young Gothlings at some stage, whether it be during the floundering babybat years, or that horrible moment when you suddenly realise that your blue hair and spiderweb tattoos aren't going to go down well in the job market. "I know - I'll be a Goth model!"
Goth models are one of the most common sources of fashion and make-up inspiration within the subculture; I've had the pleasure myself of meeting Lady Amaranth and Nenedhel Absynthium at DV8 Fest and I can tell you that, in person, your 'average' alt model is usually the best-dressed person in the spooky club. Some Goth models are very well-known and have a huge fan base - I'm sure you'll have heard of at least a couple of the following: Razor Candi, Adora BatBrat, Wednesday Mourning, Drastique, Aprella, Donna Ricci, Countess Grotesque, Mistabys, Cienwen Noor, Nephania, Amanda Tea, Laureli Slaughter and more besides.
With these examples in mind, when I turned sixteen I began attempting to break into the world of Goth modelling, under the name Artemis K. Now, there are thousands upon thousands of Goth models, so it isn't an easy task even if you have some knowledge about the industry. Which I didn't. Nevertheless I set myself up a Model Mayhem account, hoping to book some TFP shoots (time for prints; free shoots in which you and the photographer exchange your valuable time in return for, hopefully, some good pictures) and begin building my portfolio. I put up various amateur snaps that Dan had taken to give people some idea of what I looked like - including, aargh, some of the dodgy babybat snaps I posted for your amusement a while back. Well, I told you I was proud of them at the time!
Did the offers come rolling in? Haha, not quite. In fact, the first few comments I had advised that I should do something with my hair (which turned out to be good advice, actually, but wasn't exactly the response I was looking for).
The first offer I received for a TFP shoot was, again, far from what I was looking for. I was underage and not interested in fetish or nude shoots anyway (I know they can be very beautiful and artistic, it's just not something I'd be comfortable with), so I was quite startled when I checked my inbox and received a suggestion for a 'striptease' style photoshoot, starting with stockings and suspenders and ending with, uh, rather less than that. o.O My response, a tad unprofessionally, can be roughly paraphrased as, "Dude, I'm SIXTEEN."
At last a nice chappie (who's name, in a terrible lapse of memory, I can't remember) tentatively suggested that my chaperone (read: mother) and I meet up with him for a coffee to discuss some ideas. I was overjoyed. I printed off a stack of images that inspired me, and got dressed up in what I felt was a cute-but-casual Gothy outfit, and we got on the train to Basingstoke.
We met the photographer at Starbucks. He was a pleasant, quite young man with ginger hair and a very expensive laptop, which we huddled around as he proceeded to show us the images he was inspired by, and a few he wanted to attempt recreating. I was pleased to note that some of the images we had each brought with us were the same. However, I think my downfall was that I was (and still am) shy almost to a fault, so I didn't say much at all or put forward any of my own ideas. Worse yet, my mother had loads of imaginative ideas and comments that she was happy to share! I'm not sure whether I came across as a sullen teen or simply someone with no ideas whatsoever, but after a cup of coffee and a pleasant chat, we went our separate ways and I never heard from the nice photographer again!
The second photographer I met up with was named Andy. I was INCREDIBLY nervous before my first - and as it turned out, only - shoot, not least because I knew we were going to be shooting in public places around my hometown!
My first mistake was to dress down and keep my make-up simple. I'd like to say I wanted to be a blank canvas, but no - I was too scared to walk into the coffee shop where we were meeting in full ubergoth regalia.
And again, my shyness caught me out in a big way. As soon as Andy lifted the camera, the hours I'd spent practising flattering and dynamic poses fell out of my mind - all I could think to do was to look moody and put my hands on my hips. In. Every. Picture. With heavy direction Andy did manage to coax a few decent poses out of me, but I still looked somewhere between sullen and terrified in each and every shot, as well as being half-blinded by the reflectors and unable to change my facial expression. My face just froze!
After I received the four snaps that Andy managed to salvage from the day's work, I didn't hear from Andy again, either!
And I have decided that, just maybe, the life of an alternative model is not quite the right career path for me! Well, at least I got to have my photo taken by a professional... :-)
|I regret wearing the white bra... :-/|
|This was described on Model Mayhem as a 'soft expression on a tough exterior'. |
Nope, that's terror.