“Modelling came to me when I least expected it. I was in college in Delhi when my friends suggested that I take up modelling as a part-time job. However, I didn’t know a thing about the trade and relied on every little clue I got from people and other fellow models. Every country and region is different. For instance I might not land a modelling gig in Bhutan but in India, where people with East Asian looks are a minority, multiple agencies signed me. I did mostly print modelling for online shopping sites, and my earnings helped me pay for my tuition and my bills on time.

The initial days were not easy. In order to find work as a model, the first step was to build a portfolio with pictures taken by a professional photographer. I met a senior photographer whose fees of 50,000/- was way beyond what I could afford. He offered to do it for free if I agreed to sleep with him. I was in complete shock. He continued to try to convince me via text weeks after our meeting. I couldn’t give in to this and knew in my heart that there was surely another way. It took me a long time to finally get a portfolio done, which I then sent around to modelling agencies and designers. As a newcomer in the industry, one could face a number of exploitations and rejections. An agency, on finding out that I was a newcomer, asked me to work for free and even pay them for the shoot. I refused. I had worked hard for my portfolio and didn’t have any more patience. You are often forced to ask yourself if you are worth the profession if struggle is all you have ahead. However, with time, we learn to be strong and believe in ourselves.

When one hears of modelling, they always think about exceptionally good looking people with perfect bodies; this is hardly true now. Modelling is like any other job where people may not be perfect but still manage to do good. With the industry becoming more progressive and designers looking to cast models of diverse race and ethnic backgrounds, anyone could become a model. All you need is confidence and the determination to not give up.”


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