Run With It: Advice from Three of Our Runway Models

Run With It: Advice from Three of Our Runway Models

In October of 2019, Northeast Ohio Weddings Magazine had the pleasure of hosting the second Northeast Ohio Weddings Magazine Weddings Showcase. Housed in the beautiful location of Market Square in Crocker Park, the showcase was bustling with brides, vendors, and professional demonstrations. While the entire event was engaging and fun, for many guests, their anticipation lay in waiting to see the fashion show. Filled with beautiful gowns and stylish suits, Catan Fashions made the runway come alive with such beautiful wedding daywear. Of course, many thanks must also go out to the wonderful models who presented these clothes in such an elegant manner. Since we were unable to host our popular show this year due to the COVID 19, we wanted to look back on the day and give you a model’s eye and give you a model’s eye view of what it is like to be in a Northeast Ohio Weddings Magazine fashion show.

While everyone’s eyes at the show were watching the models walk down the runway, guests in the audience may wonder what it was like for the models, as they looked out over a sea of people. Fortunately, I recently had the pleasure to talk with Angel Joy Burgess, Ryan Polk, and Natalie Hill, models who were in the fashion show, and they generously shared some behind-the-scenes insights into the modeling world.

When first asked to be a part of the Northeast Ohio Weddings Magazine Weddings Showcase, each model shared a similar experience. Burgess recounts how excited she was to have been chosen. She continued on to note that for most shows, models are not given time to rehearse beforehand, however, all models were given time to rehearse for this show and she appreciates that added benefit. Polk was equally as excited to have been a part of the fashion show. “My first impression of being part of the fashion show was [that it was] very organized [and] a great atmosphere. [It was also] just such a relief to myself because I never thought I would get the chance to be featured in a fashion show,” Polk said.

Hill equally shared the excitement and anticipation as the other models. “I am so grateful that I could be a part of [the show]. It was my first bridal runway show. My favorite part was getting the opportunity to start the show. I have never been able to start a show, so it was a huge blessing,” Hill said.

While not all models have had the opportunity to appear in a fashion show, most models have had the opportunity to be a part of a photo shoot. When the photos from these types of shoots are finished, they always look polished, professional and the models make everything look easy and flawless, but there is often a lot more that goes into these shoots than what people may initially realize. “The easiest part in a photo shoot is when the photographer tells you to create your own thing,” Polk said. “The difficult part is when you are trying to get a certain pose or objective right.”

Hill additionally shared her insights on photo shoots. “When it comes to photo shoots, I would say the most difficult part is knowing your angle. Everyone’s body is different and not everyone can pull off what you pull off. This is what makes us all unique and beautifully made,” Hill said.

With their unique backgrounds and varied experiences, I found it interesting to hear about how each person has their own techniques, yet they each share a similar passion.

When she was just six years old, Burgess entered her first fashion show, “It was for some local dress company down in Cincinnati. I’m not even sure how I got the gig; something my mom saw in the mall or from an old friend of hers I think,” Burgess said. Although a few other opportunities arose throughout her childhood, it wasn’t until just a few years ago that Burgess began modeling more seriously. In just a few short years, she has already worked some brand ambassador spots on Instagram, she has walked multiple runway shows and she has done some promotional modeling for her school.

Model-recommended tips and tricks from Angel Joy Burgess:
-Always prepare ahead of time how to handle an issue, such as the music stopping, or if you trip, but no matter what, just keep going.
-Don’t get too stressed. Relax, take deep breaths, enjoy yourself and have fun!
-Staying hydrated will help keep your mind and body in the right place.
-Try to eat a healthy meal before a shoot or show, but don’t forget to pack some snacks; some modeling gigs will make for long days.
-If you’re a music person, don’t forget to pack some headphones and listen to your favorite songs before the show. This can help get you excited, while still calming your nerves.

Hill began modeling back in 2012. Since then, she has done some modeling on and off, but after picking back up in 2016, she hasn’t wanted to stop. “I love modeling because it is my passion- fashion and runway. I feel it’s one of my purposes in life, “ Hill said.

Polk more recently began modeling, having done his first photo shoot in 2017. He notes that whenever he began modeling, he was surprised about the amount of positive energy that was involved. “I used to think that if you never had any experience or if you did not have that certain height or weight, then you could easily get rejected,” Polk said. He continued on to mention that although there are still modeling agencies that do look for that “specific body type,” there are many modeling agencies now that will give people a chance, no matter their appearance.

Whether it be the positive energy, the chance to be in the spotlight, or the opportunity to meet so many new people, it is obvious that each of these models loves and is passionate for what they do. When asked if they had any words of encouragement for others who may be interested in modeling, they were each more than willing to share some helpful advice.

“My advice [for someone who] would want to go into modeling- have fun and go for it. Don’t be worried about your appearance,” Polk said. He also mentioned that if modeling is something you want to do and you can picture yourself enjoying it, then just stay focused on achieving that goal.

“There’s a quote that says, ‘A model is an aspiring model that tried one more time,’” Hill began. “My advice is just keep trying and if it is something you really want, never give up. Work hard and study your craft. You won’t get a ‘yes’ every time, but that’s okay, because no one does.” Hill also explained that a great way to start is to simply look for local opportunities and to have some modeling photos, including headshots, on the ready, even if these photos were taken by a family member or friend. “And when you do get that email or phone call that starts with CONGRATULATIONS, it will be so exciting and so worth all the hard work you did to get there. Believe in yourself,” Burgess concluded.

“Some encouraging words I would say [are] ‘love yourself, in and out, no matter the insecurities you feel and no matter what others say about you.’ You are beautiful/handsome just the way God made you. Whatever you do, be confident in and love yourself,” Hill said.

As a model, you are not just given the responsibility of walking down a runway, or posing for a shoot, but you are also given the opportunity to represent others who may be just like you. In recent years, many people have pushed to begin normalizing the diversity and unique beauty that so many people have. So no matter your height, weight, hair or skin color, your ethnicity, or sexual orientation, if modeling is something you are passionate about, then do as these models do and go forth with confidence in yourself.

Author: Emily Warner