Hi guys, it’s been a while since the last post on Mannequin Et Stylist, but even stylists and models have to take a break sometime you know? Anyway, Happy New Year to everyone!
This piece is the first of a series and which, like the name suggests is dedicated to memoirs of my rookie activities in the fashion world, hope you can relate to some of these or otherwise learn from them.
The very first shoot I had seemed doomed from the get-go, yhup. I was in school and had just started operating my Instagram page (something my friends had been trying to convince me to do for a while, and when I remained adamant, one of them actually opened one for me and started operating it himself), so I was quite new to all the insta shenanigans.
While I explored, I found an ad saying: models needed, on the page of a very prominent photographer whose work I had been following for a while.
At first I was elated, here was a chance to work with a very good photographer which would mean excellent publicity for me and a very good first picture for my portfolio, but then, like the very excessive thinker that I am, I started wondering why a prominent photographer who probably had a gazillion models at his beck and call really needed to place an ad for models, couldn’t he just pick one from an agency? But I told myself to snap out of it, stop over-thinking things and just go for it (which by the way, is the advice I always give others but haven’t gotten around to practicing myself).
That being said or rather thought, I slid in the DM of the photographer, said hi, introduced myself and stated why I was in his DM. He gave me a cell number and said to call instead when I got back to Lagos which I did. When he picked, he sounded groggy like someone who just woke from a serious hangover. His speech was slurred and anyways you get what I mean. We set up a meeting for the same day, *whoa that was fast, I thought*, as I prepared to leave home.
His studio was close so I wouldn’t have issues calling my peeps and giving impromptu notice that I had to leave and to where.
When I arrived at the studio which also doubled as his home, I kept thinking about how quite unusual the area seemed and how very much it looked like the description of a kidnapper’s hideout I had read about some time ago.
I laughed at my thoughts and called to say I was on the street so he could come or send someone else to pick me since I couldn’t find the address. While I waited, a strange looking man came up to me and said ‘Hi, are you Pat’? The first thing I thought was, ‘Omg! This guy smells like a bar, all alcohol and smoke’, and it wasn’t even noon yet.
Thank God for the politeness that had been forced down, I smiled and said ‘Hi, I am’, then asked if the photographer sent him only to get a retort of ‘I’m the photographer’. I was lost for words as I had seen pictures of the photographer several times and knew what he looked like and that was certainly not him. I smiled awkwardly while he asked if the photographer I mentioned was the one who sent me, it was at this point I realized the photographer was just helping this particular one publicize his ad.
While we walked towards the studio I remember thinking, ‘Shit! I should just go home’, the makeup artist and another model were already there so it must be legit, I assumed. The studio was very unkempt, while he had all his equipment standing and in good condition, everywhere else was dirty, the floor was filled with dead roaches while the air felt dank and smelt like alcohol.
To say I was uncomfortable would be the understatement of the century, but I sucked it up, sat to have my makeup done and became the designated poser.
Though the pictures came out almost a month later, they were really nice and worth it, plus the photographer and I became friends as I became a muse (trust me, I got him to always clean his place before a shoot and kept dropping hints that drinking before a shoot was not a good idea, which he still ignores by the way)!
I learnt from this, to always be thorough in making inquiries before embarking on any new phase of a chosen field in order not to get side-tracked. I also learnt to always be very polite (trust me, it does wonders for work relationships).
That’s it for now guys, hope this was a fun read.
Till next time,
Pat Ada Eze is a model and stylist who is very passionate about fashion and is trying to gain ground, affecting the populace with her dose of both.