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

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

Hannah Raymond, Lucie Palmer, Georgia Littlewood, Kim Ryder & Sasha Jones

Me: What else do you do alongside your

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

Hannah Raymond, Lucie Palmer, Georgia Littlewood, Kim Ryder & Sasha Jones

Me: What are the pros and cons to

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

Me: What is next in your modelling

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

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:


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…


  1. May 20, 2013 / 10:55 am

    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!


    • May 25, 2013 / 7:29 pm

      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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