A Day In The Life Of a Model #3….Covert Operations

So! It’s been a busy few days for me – shooting every day Wednesday – Monday dotted on Saturday with a rather lovely day of wedding dress shopping in Bristol for one of my very best Uni friends (which was really rather emotional!)

Friday saw a rather entertaining shoot, which summed up why I love my job. It had all the worst bits of modelling – early start (7:30 AM), outside in February and getting changed in public toilets – but was more than outweighed by the best bits – a fun team, nice clothes and coconut macaroons.

So it started in the offices of a National newspaper who I shan’t name, as activities involved were *whisper it* ILLEGAL! I had been informed that we’d be doing a location shoot, and I assumed it was in the country so I’d packed my trusty hot water bottle (on of THE best tips I could give you).

Upon arriving, I was told we’d be shooting around London and that we’d be done by 1. RESULT! Our first two shots were five minutes away from the office and done within half an hour.

yellowsnowShooting in the street. Don’t tell Billy Bookings I draped my coat on my shoulders!

(NB: You might think shooting in the street would make one feel uncomfortable, but in London, people mainly ignore you. They’ve seen it all before, and you’re in their way.)

Next, the stylist breezily said we’d be making our way to Hammersmith from Kensington (a straightforward journey) and shooting a look on the tube on our way. Easy peasy!

Well, no. It’s actually illegal to shoot on a platform without a permit, and to use flash photography. Also, trains are at the station for about 15 seconds, so to get a shot of me ‘casually leaping off’ onto the platform without being blocked by a genuine commuter every time a train deigned to go past (irregularly) was pretty hard!

We had to skulk around looking like we didn’t know one another, only to leap into action for a brief 15 seconds. Although it never happens like that, as I’d get into place, then the stylist would come and fiddle with belt placement, the makeup & hair would run up and finger my curls and blot my nose and run away, then I’d have about 5 seconds to get the pose right to a very panicky photographer!

(NB: why do they never do this before the shot?!)

Well, unsurprisingly our flamboyant party were sussed out pretty quickly by the TFL staff, who came and warned us about illegal activity and skulked around close by, like comedy spies.

So did we get on a train, obediently, and make our way to the next station like a law abiding citizen such as myself would prefer?


We carried on, hoping not to get caught, until it was time to make a speedy getaway. Seriously reader, I am a very well-behaved person and I hate breaking the rules. My poor heart was racing and I just wanted to go and shoot somewhere nice and legal, preferably warm and, by this point, with a toilet as my bladder is notoriously sieve-like.

Shot 3: nailed. What was shot 4? Well, shot 4 was to be on a train. But, as we waited at Earls Court for a train to come along to take us to Hammersmith, the stylist decided that she didn’t like the ‘old’ looking trains (90% of them) so could we wait for a new looking train going via Hammersmith? Wait we did, for around 30 minutes, until we realised that the new looking trains were going the wrong way.

When people dream of modelling, I think they imagine Gisele cavorting on a beach, or Karlie Kloss striding down the runway in jewels and fancy gowns.

I don’t think they picture standing in the cold, on a platform, waiting to shoot on the Tube. That 1pm finish slipped away from my grasp (never bank on finishing on time. Ever).

tubegreenStill – I think you’ll agree I styled it out! I want those shoes. Shall I? Pic by the MUA Julie Read

The whole day carried on like this, and I should have hated it. I had to wear heels all day, it was freezing, and my heart kept pumping at all that wanton rule-breaking. But that’s not what modelling’s about. Modelling’s about going ‘you know what – yes, I can’t feel my toes and yes, I am spending most of my day waiting for trains – but I love the people I’m working with, it’s rather fun being stared at while I model on the tube and I’m getting paid right now!

Plus it’s all fodder for the blog.

Rebecca x

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  1. Anthony wrote:

    What a great pic! Can’t fathom why TFL are so hung-up; this shoot would have brightened my tube journey up no end. Certainly beats a carriage full of football fans!

    • modeltypeface wrote:

      I totally agree, Anthony! I suppose if it was allowed we’d all be using professional flash photography, which would be a risk to epileptics etc. Still, it was great fun and glad you like the pic! x

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