Creativity and the Pursuit of Passion
When I first started modeling, I fell in love with the people, images and creative nature of the business. What a lot of people don't realize (since most of you are recent followers/subscribers) is that I used to only really do art modeling (with clothes on) and creative work. I was hired to shoot some really cool pieces, but you can't stay in that realm forever, at least in my case. Recently the creativity aspect has significantly dropped off from my life. All my shoots have been corporate, my day-to-day clients have been booking me more, and I stopped doing TFP shoots for a long time. A couple of weeks ago, that changed.
I saw a post Victor had shot and remembered why I loved his work. It's colorful, creative, fun and interesting while staying true to himself and the model. I reached out and asked to shoot. It's been so long since I've done something like this shoot, but man I've really missed this.
This for me was really a passion shoot. It's something I never get to do, but I hope my friends/followers love seeing something new/fresh on their screens. I hope that the passion and love Victor and I have for this shoot translates.
Oh yeah, and I got to bust out my gorgeous bathtub (which, yes, has jets), and obviously BUBBLES!
Images by Victor Von Goethe
If you've been seeing me all over Chicago and want to see the details, here they are!
First of all, working with these people for this project has been a dream come true! I worked with people who I'm friends with and people who I've DREAMED of working with for awhile.
The song is really a story of where hard work and determination will get you far in life. It depicts a strong woman who is the BOSS. Specifically this year has been such a source of growth in all the ways possible and, for me, this project is the embodiment of that hard work.
Listen to the single out NOW!
Thanksgiving is always my favorite time of the year. The holidays are in full swing and it's time to celebrate and reflect on everything you have. In honor of Thanksgiving last week, here's a quick list of things I'm thankful for along with my new morning reflection exercise.
My incredible friends/family/support system. This past year has been particularly tough, but my friends and family have really been incredible!
My new clients/opportunities that have opened up. 10 years into modeling and I still find myself busy as ever with work. This year has brought on new clients, more than I ever thought possible, and new opportunities to grow as a model and person through my bookings.
My traveling schedule. I've been so blessed to travel to Asia the past two years along with visit various parts of the US. Experiencing other cultures, while doing what I do, is so fulfilling and humbling.
I've been trying a new morning routine which includes reflecting on the every day things to be thankful for. For example, I'm thankful to wake up every morning and be healthy enough to go to work and move around comfortably throughout the day. By having a new mindset, I find myself less anxious and more prepared to take on the day!
I feel like this set perfectly sums up what I'm loving this fall and what my go-to's are. And after last week's serious blog post about e-commerce work (if you haven't read it here), I needed to blog about something light.
Fall favorites (what I'm wearing, and will continue to wear this winter):
Western accessories: A serious trend everywhere is western accessories, like hats and (my favorite) belts. While I'm not the biggest hat person, except my favorite black baseball cap, I am getting so into the western belt trend. Unfortunately, I don't have any links for western belts, since I bought all mine through thrift stores. Some thrift stores that may have belts (in the Chicago area) are Lost Girls Vintage, Second Chance Thrift and Village Discount.
Comfy black jeans: I'm always a fan of jeans, but when I can find a pair of sleek black jeans, I'll always choose them first. For the best jeans visit the jean queen, Catherine, at Felt.
Medium crossbody bags: Crossbody bags are so convenient, they're a staple in my wardrobe. For the fall and winter, they're so important to me so I can store my hats/gloves/etc. (since Chicago weather is 20 in the morning and 40 in the afternoon). My favorite crossbody bags that you'll see me using a lot this season are my Louis Vuitton (as seen here), custom Drame Designs and my waxed canvas Bookhou bag.
Booties: I love to mix up the trends in my shoes, like shearling booties and western boots, but I love anything bootie. Not only are they comfy, but also something you can wear year-round. Some cool booties are Marc Fisher, Dr. Martens and ANYTHING Archive.
A QUICK HEADS UP FOR NEXT WEEK! Due to Thanksgiving there will be no blog post! I hope everyone has an amazing Thanksgiving!
Images by Trevor R. Parker
One of the most lucrative ways to make money for a model is through e-commerce work. This type of work is one that will never cease to exist, since there will always be items to sell. It's both an easy, but challenging job. This job isn't just about how you look, but how you SELL their products to the general public. So here's my break-down of e-commerce work:
What is E-Commerce?: E-Commerce is a type of modeling that is meant to show off products for the use of sale. USUALLY, not always, it's images from the neck down (cutting off your head) to showcase how clothes fit for a better view. This can also extend to accessories and shoes. Accessories, depending on their type, may review shots of your face, but not always. The images will generally use the images on their website, social media or advertisement to sell various products, so you do not own the right to the images taken.
Pros and cons of e-commerce:
Pros-- paid well, consistent work, meeting new people in a commercial setting for more commercial bookings, cool clothes/items
Cons-- long hours, maintaining consistent poses (can become monotonous), a lot of prep (waxing, nail care, etc.), can be treated poorly (depending on the company!!!)
How to book e-commerce clients: Most of my clients are small businesses, but I have worked with larger companies. Typically companies that are larger use large agencies to book their models, however this is not always the case. I either book my clients through connections or by circumstance. Connections include photographers (both friends and fans of my work) who recommend me for gigs. This is the best way to get business since companies use people they (and their crew) trust and know will be on time and work hard. When I say I book jobs through circumstance that means a variety of things: I've made clients by just walking into a store and shopping. I've also made clients through tagging companies who I wear on Instagram and Facebook. There are a million and one ways to book clients, but utilizing your connections is the best way to start.
How to KEEP e-commerce clients: When you have the client, keeping the client is more important. Sending professional emails is great to set up your shoot for success, but when you're on set and after is the most important. Keeping a positive and happy attitude is number one. No one wants to work with someone who has a bad attitude. Be thankful for every booking and take pride in your work. When you do the images will shine through. Bringing more than what is asked for the shoot can also help your client. If the client only asks you to bring one sweater, bring a couple of options so the client can choose if they like another more. Bring extra makeup products for touch-ups or if they aren't happy with hair/makeup so you can fix it. Using manners on set, and after, also helps maintain your connections. Always saying please and thank you and also sending a thank you (follow-up) email is a great way to solidify you are thankful for the opportunity and you enjoyed working with them.
Going above and beyond: When you have consistent clients, it's important to make sure they know that you actually care about them and their company. Writing thank you notes and sending holiday cards is a good basic way to make sure they don't forget you. Once you establish a relationship, you can also connect with the owner and notify of them of a need they may be overlooking.
My biggest tip!: The biggest thing I can say is make sure to bring snack food. Oftentimes you will not be fed on set, especially since shooting will be very quick and with a lot of product to show off. Don't bring a full meal, but having a full breakfast (or eating before set) and having a snack bar or something small to much on. You don't want to be hungry, or worse pass out!
Below are three different companies, all with different styles to give you some examples of e-commerce work.
First set: Felt Chicago
Second set: Local Eclectic
Halloween is next week, so here are 5 Various Spooky Favorites for Halloween:
This week, rather than a traditional (educational) blog post, I wanted to do something more fun that fit with the time of year. This have been a bit hectic lately, so I really appreciate everyone's patience and cooperation!
Images by Kiah
Summer Reflections and Fall Notes
It's officially fall! With the cold weather upon Chicago, I saw some bloggers discussing their summers, what they accomplished and what their goals are for the next season. With the leaves changing, this set showcases the bright fall colors while reminiscing the lush/green summer days.
Summer Reflections: This summer was crazy busy for me. The biggest thing that happened this summer was my trip to Vietnam for two weeks. There was a lot of work this summer, so while it may look like I wasn't active on social media, I was working more than ever behind the scenes.
In the realm of modeling, I booked more paid gigs then ever before. My two biggest areas of growth was visiting photographers (photographers from international locations visiting Chicago and paying for portraits/fashion/editorial work) and e-commerce. By focusing on e-commerce this summer, I felt I was able to grow stronger relationships with my clients and business connections while growing as a model. My specific new clients were a jewelry company, high-end small boutique and bridal company.
On a personal note, this summer I had surgery on my nose and mouth, which put me out of modeling for a month. This was a summer of a lot of emotional changes.
Fall Notes: Notes, in this context, are things I want to accomplish over the course of the season. Summer was a lot of behind the scenes, but here are some things I'd like to do in fall.
Images by 606 Photo
Why I Started a Blog and How It Enhances My Modeling
While shooting recently, I was asked the question about why I started my blog. Since starting "Lauren's Not Borin'" (I know, cleaver name right?!), a lot of new clients/people have assumed and asked if I'm just a blogger. For those of you who've been following along for awhile, the answer is a resounding no. But I realized this would be a good opportunity to break down why I started a blog, what it is in the context of my brand/business and how it adds to what I do as a model.
Why start a blog?: I've had a website since a couple of years into modeling since I found it was a good way for people to view your book. When Instagram became the best way to quickly glance at a models page (yes I've been modeling for that long), I found myself wanting to share almost all the images from a shoot, but didn't want to post too many to the Instagram feed itself. A blog was a great way to show off all the images, without harassing people's feeds (and thus making them sick of me). When I first started, I wasn't very dedicated, occasionally posting when I felt like it or there were images I was dying to share. Slowly I got back into it again, but I was only posting images, nothing more. THEN I got a job working for The Hub. I got my job working as a blog writer, which was a job I'd done before for other companies but it was related more to my personal life than professional (and I did not want to share those articles on a professional platform). The job was a perfect way for me to create business content (while being paid). From there, since people could not find my articles, I would post them to my blog with corresponding images so people who were fans of my photos and writing could find them in one place. Ultimately, I wanted a place to showcase my talents and what I love doing (a.k.a. writing and modeling).
What does it add: By curating this blog, I found my engagement on social media posts went up, engagement went up and clicks to my website went up (making my website climb on the Google search pages). The blog is a great way to showcase the fact I am constantly working and growing as a person. The writing is meant to add a portfolio for other writing jobs and give people who view my content a way to think about my brand. Is it thought provoking? Does it help you in your business and understanding of modeling? Lauren's Not Borin' adds a voice to the otherwise speechless images while giving you content you'll always want to come back to week after week (since there will always be new articles, not just images).
How do you make money from your blog?: To me, the engagement speaks to itself. When you have more engagement, more people will find you when searching. Through this, they'll book you. I've also had photographers book me just to have a place on my blog, which is pretty cool, and obviously you can charge for that. I also make money from sponsored content. This primarily includes clothing companies paying me to take photos in their clothes and blog about them.
Enhancing my modeling/IT'S MORE THAN JUST A BLOG!!!: Through having a blog I've met so many more people because they've happen to see a link that was shared or through a quick Google search. Having a blog isn't just about making money or having a collective of where you can view more fun work (rather than just view my basic portfolio). Blogging takes a lot of time and energy to work on. It's a tool to help me interact with people and photographers along with tell stories and give advise.
At the end of the day, I like to think of myself more like a model that uses stories and articles to enhance her images and help my modeling. While I understand people think of it more as a blog, and thus me as a blogger, I like to think of myself as a model who uses her blog to reach more people and connect with others in a meaningful way.
Images by Emily Mulder
Photos by the incredible Jack Soltysik
A little preface to this shoot: I had three shoots, my day job, an office outing and closing on a new house ALL THE DAY THESE IMAGES WERE TAKEN. I was about ready to pass out when I got to the shoot. I showed up late, makeup melting but thankful I was able to shoot with one of the sweetest people I know, Jack!
With every shoot what you're seeing is the final product. You're not seeing what happens leading up to the shoot or how a person is truly feeling. You're seeing the images the model and photographer (and the whole team in general) choose to show to the world. Every model is different, but here are some of my #modelproblems:
Finding Peace in the Chaos
Trying to balance your life is tough, finding the peace in that chaos is the hardest challenge. Not only do I model, write and , but I also have a desk job that's a bit more than a 9 to 5. When I would work as a full time model (throughout my teens and early twenties) there was a struggle to find happiness in what I do, and not just looking at every gig as a job or even a way to propel me further into the industry. Now that I'm a bit more removed, I was able to find a happy medium between the industry, my career and my happiness.
I've actually been a fan of Katharine's work for a long time. We both followed each other on Instagram and I was waiting for the day we would work together. Finally that opportunity came for an e-commerce job she recommended me for. From the second we met, I knew we would click! She's so sweet and funny and kind. Happy Place was doing their pop-up in Chicago and I wanted to go, since I was seeing everyone's fun shots. When I asked Katharine I was stoked she said yes and hence this shoot was born!
All of my friends are in the industry, in one way or another. Separating yourself from rough environments and drama is the healthiest thing to do, but when you're completely wound up in the lifestyle it can be difficult. An important thing for me to do was step away from all the issues. I had moved, but when I moved I also emotionally separated myself from the "friends" that were causing the most drama.
No matter what your career is, taking time away and for yourself is key. Whether it's going on vacation (cause hi! first week back from Asia again) or turning off your phone for even as little as an hour, self-care is crucial to making yourself, your relationships and career happy.
Photographer: Katharine Hannah Klema
As a model for almost ten years, I find myself learning new things everyday. This blog is a way to share my stories, images that may not be on my main board, and interesting things abut modeling and my life.