7 May 2013

Model Behaviour: The Kirsty Buttle Interview

Fashion models have always intrigued me. Nowadays - no matter what age, shape or size - they are portrayed in the media as beautiful, glamorous and practically perfect. But I always wondered whether life behind the scenes as a model is as perfect as it seems. The fabulous clothes, working with famous people and earning hundreds of pounds per shoot – is it all really true?
As a child, I explored modelling as a potential career path as I’m sure all young girls who are besotted with fashion do. But not all of us are of the right weight, height or have the general ‘look’!
Step forward, Kirsty Buttle.

Photography: Thierry Sewell
MUA: Jess Tressidder
Clothing: Jes Coates
Kirsty is a 21-year-old Freelance Fashion Model who has just started out in the industry. Having previously worked with her when we were both Sales Assistants at Faith Shoes in a shopping centre in Leeds, I can confirm that, not only is she stunning, but she is a beautiful person on the inside too.
There is always that question of: do these people, who make a living out of their looks, actually have brains? The answer in Kirsty’s case is yes. I wanted to talk to her about what it’s really like to be a model - the upsides, the downsides and general model behaviour – and see whether the media portrayal matches the reality. So, without further ado…

Me: How long have you been modelling for?
Kirsty: I've been modelling for about two years - since I was 18 - so not too long really!
Me: What made you get into modelling and how did you do it?             
Kirsty: People always commented on my figure; they said I was thin and that I should be a model. I didn't do much with the comments when I was younger. To be honest I was bullied quite a lot in school for being so thin, so I didn't want to attract attention to the fact that I was so slender. High school was the worst - I would get laughed at if I wore a skirt. They called me anorexic or 'chicken legs.' It was horrible and it made me hate the way I looked! I would try and wear bigger jumpers or clothes to hide it. When I turned into my later teens, I started to fill out more and became slightly curvier. I started looking at fashion shows online and decided that I would cast for one. I applied for the End of Summer Fashion Show in Leeds, and was delighted to get a call back. I drove there on my own and got stupidly nervous at the fact that I was a beginner. Girls had massive portfolios and business cards and I just had... well, myself! But after a week or so, I got a call saying I’d got the job and things spiralled from there! I met designers, photographers, models and I worked hard to build up my modelling business.

Photography: Sophie Abbott
Hair/Makeup/Styling: All Kirsty’s own
Me: How often do you model?
Kirsty: It can vary, as I still do have a full time job that I work around. Some weeks I can do three or four shoots, then not do anything for a while. It’s about finding the right balance.

Photography: Amie Parsons
Styling: Hannah Raymond, Lucie Palmer, Georgia Littlewood, Kim Ryder & Sasha Jones
Me: What else do you do alongside your modelling?
Kirsty: I studied Fashion Journalism at college and enjoy writing my own blog, alongside a column for On: Yorkshire magazine. I am a Freelance Fashion Writer and submit articles as and when I can. I'm also toying with going to university at the moment, but I'm not 100% sure and don't want jump in and commit myself. I also work as a deputy manager for Mint Velvet in Harrogate. I absolutely love my job!  Mint Velvet is such an amazing company to work for. Working there fulfils my fashion craving every day. Aside from fashion, my hobby is poker.
Me: What's your favourite shoot you've ever done?
Kirsty: I've done so many shoots with so many amazing people! I would have to say the ‘Marry The Night’ shoot with Emily Bailey Photography. The entire team were such a laugh to work with, and the talent and magic she works with a camera is astonishing! Rina Deb was the Make-Up Artist and she's a wizard with a make-up brush! Then there's Lou Marie Wheatcroft  - the Stylist. Her style is awesome - she definitely reflects her work. I worked with another model called Pippa and we had our hair done by Tony Waterhouse at Rebel Pin Up Hairdressing in Leeds. The shoot took place in the Outlaws Yacht Club; the atmosphere was electric and it made it so relaxing and comfortable to work in.

Photography: Emily Bailey
MUA: Rina Deb
Hair: Tony Waterhouse at Rebel Pin Up
Styling: Lou Marie Wheatcroft
Clothing: Birds Yard
Me: Can you talk me through 'a day in the life of' a model?
Kirsty: This is when people get surprised at what models say. They expect a glamorous charade of being chauffeured everywhere and being pampered. I'm not quite there yet. It’s seriously hard work - a lot of travelling, trains, buses, maps and walking – as well as long days. You can be at a shoot or a show for six hours, or more, just waiting around to be fitted in the clothes or have your hair and make-up done. Then, when you're ready and made up, it's a waiting game with lots of rehearsals making sure that the timing is right. Or, if it's a shoot, it’s being in front of the lights, getting my hair and make-up being touched up every few minutes, changing outfits and getting going again. But it's what I do, and I love it.

Photography: Amie Parsons
Styling: Hannah Raymond, Lucie Palmer, Georgia Littlewood, Kim Ryder & Sasha Jones
Me: What are the pros and cons to modelling?
Kirsty: There are many pros to modelling; you get to travel, meet some amazing people - different photographers, models and make-up teams – and be involved in creating art. However, there are cons too. Aside from the days being long and tiring, there's the prospect of things not going to plan. As a model you have to be wary - wary about the people you work for. I tell lots of girls who are starting out 'don't pay for photographs.' Too many girls think that they need to pay for fancy portfolios. It's not true. I haven't paid for a single shot that I've got in my portfolio. If you have an agent, they'll sort everything for you. But if, like myself, you work freelance then you are your own wall of defence. Always look into people you are planning to work with. Ask to see portfolios or people that they've worked with and be sure before you agree. If you want to bring a chaperone, then you should do. Do whatever it takes to make you feel comfortable on a shoot. If you're comfortable, it shows, reflecting in strong photos.
Me: What is next in your modelling career?
Kirsty: Although I work freelance to fit in with my job and lifestyle, I would love to be signed by an agency. Getting regular work and being able to do what I love everyday would be amazing. I'm working hard to strengthen my portfolio and build up a good client base. Hopefully that will result in a positive future.

Photography: Amie Parsons
Styling: Hannah Raymond, Lucie Palmer, Georgia Littlewood, Kim Ryder & Sasha Jones

So there you have it. Believe it or not, modelling is just like any other job - with positives and negatives. The final results that are portrayed in the media may look perfectly glamorous, but they are the end product of a process – a process that people have spent hours and hours working on and fine tuning.

I think we can all agree that Kirsty’s work speaks for itself – these shots of her are gorgeous, and only a small slice of what her portfolio has to offer.  She works hard, but she gets the results, and there is no doubt in my mind that she will achieve the ‘positive future’ that she says she is striving for. I wish you all the luck in the world, Kirsty!

Do you want to see more of Kirsty’s portfolio? You can find her work on the following social media sites:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/kirstybuttlemodelling
Twitter: @KirstLeedsModel
Instagram: @KirstyLeedsModel
Model Mayhem: #2328291

(What do you think to these shots? Is the life of a model what you thought it would be like? Until next time… Katie-xo)


  1. What an interesting interview!

    Just shows there is more to models. It's shocking to hear she was bullied at school. Who would have thought a model was bullied?

    She is absolutely stunning!


    1. Thanks, Halima! I know, it's crazy! She is so gorgeous and such a lovely person. I'm glad you enjoyed the interview! Xo


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