I am a wife and a mother of three.


Female model interview with Nicole Rayner 22nd April 2018

Hi can you tell us a little about yourself ?

My name is Nicole. I'm 23 years young. A lover of Tina Turner, who I am often singing too in the shower.  My life goal is to be happy and there is nothing I love more than making people smile. 

How did you feel when you did your first 
ever photo shoot? 

Mainly I felt determined. I really wanted to do well and prove myself. Though I also felt quite cold as my first shoot was in January, in a garage, nude, covered in fake blood. 

Who was your role model as a child an how did
 that help in being a model? 

My role model was and is my Mam. She taught me to be independent and it is that skill which has allowed me to pursue freelance modelling. 

How do you feel about the controversy of the size 0 debate in the industry ?

I think its very sad. The industry is a huge influencer and it saddens me that people all over the world are being encouraged to conform to unrealistic expectations about weight, looks, style, attitude, relationships, and lifestyles. 

There are millions of women worldwide that would love to do what you do. But are to scared because they are plus sized women. As well as being plus size they have to deal are some narrow minded people about there size dictating that modeling is for girls of a certain size. What would you say to them?

I'd say that what I do is about so much more than the way I look. I am not a size 0, nor am I a stereotypical model as I don't have angular features, I'm not 6ft tall. I'm a size 8, (sometimes a 10) I'm 5'2 and I have a 32E bust (natural) which means that I'm considered a 'plus size' model by many myself. My advice, and what I do, is own what you have! I don't get jobs based on the way I look, I get jobs because of the presence I have in front of the camera. Which comes from being confident in who you are. Though I am also not unrealistic. I accept my limitations, I know I will never be a catwalk model or shoot a high end fashion editorial, and I accept that. So I would say go for it - accept your limitations but play to your strengths, and OWN THEM! 

How do you cope under the pressures of 
being a model? 

I'm not quite sure I've figured that out yet. I've just finished my first year of being a model full time, and I am always stressing about something - stressing about weather or not I have enough bookings, stressing because I have accepted too many bookings and I've not given myself enough time off. There always seems to be something! I just try and deal with it as best I can and try to keep smiling no matter what. 

What do you do like to do in your spare time when you are not working?

I don't own a TV but I do have Netflix and I love watching David Attenborough documentaries.
 I love spending my days off in coffee shops watching the world go by or at the cinema stuffing my face with popcorn. oh, and I am a bit of a shop-a-holic. Its probably pretty obvious
 that I live the party life!

Do you have any strange or weird habits?

hmmmm, well, I wear perfume to bed. oh, and I brush my teeth whilst
 on the toilet (possibly TMI?) But It saves time! 

What are you like in the kitchen, what is your favourite dish?

I am a very messy cook - there is always stuff all over every surface! Though I am very good at One-pot dishes! Curries and soups I'm great at! My technique - put stuff in until it taste good. I also make a great lasagna! But I rarely cook! I only cook if I'm doing so for friends. 

What are guilty pleasures food wise? 

Biscuits! - I can easily go through an entire packet so I have to try and steer away! 

What is the most romantic thing a partner has done for you?
I've not really had a proper partner so I'm yet to experience something romantic. Que the 'Awww'

When you were single what was the cheesiest pick up(chat up) line 
used on you? Did it work?

I try and erase the terrible cheek lines from my memory. They've not worked yet. 

You come across as bubbly, sweet and level headed girl, how would 

your mother describe you?

Probably exactly that. She thinks I'm brilliant, as I assumes 
most mothers think of their daughters. 

What is your favourite movie?
I don't have one - My film choices differ with my mood. 
Though Harry Potter is normally my go too! 

Most men and women love their toys, are you a bike or car lover and what do you drive?
Neither really. Cars aren't that important to me. Its a way of getting you from A to B. 

Do you have any limitations when modeling, is there anything you wont do?
I won't model above my levels. And I have limitations as far as my height and size goes - so I don't often shoot editorial. 

How often do you exercise or go to the gym? 
I don't really go to the Gym. I go running if I'm at home. I do ab exercises before bed, like the plank and crunches. My job can be very physical so that helps too. 

How would you describe your personality?

Who is your inspiration?
Maya Angelou. - She was kind at heart, which is the best thing anyone can be. 

Had you always wanted to be a model?
I didn't want to be a model. It was something I fell into and fell in love with. 

Are over there have any advantages and disadvantages with 
your height from a female perspective? 
I quite like being a bit small - I was always happy with my height - it is only the restrictions it poses for modelling that is a negative. Oh and somethings I can't pull off certain outfits. 

Are there any misconceptions that people have about modeling that is not true?
People think you just stand in front of a camera and look pretty - they don't realise just how much hard work modelling is, and how much we do when we're not shooting. 

What has been your best experience
so far?
I was modelling in Switzerland and the sun was 35degrees and I was laying on my side on a blanket of ice - one side of my body was warm and the other cold. It was very unusual and a beautiful place to be and something I'll never forget. 

What did your parents first think of you being a model and where they supportive? 
My Mam was very supportive, she is very proud of what I'm doing. My Dad is slightly more fearful of the situations I am put in. But he still supports me. He just worries. 

Do you have goals, Plans, checklist?
My goals revolve around places I want to model. Modelling in Australia was my end goal, but I'll be doing that next month - so that is ahead of schedule. But now I've made new goals and have new places I want to visit and model in. Tokyo has replaced Australia. Oh and I would like to be able to do the splits. I am working on it! 

What beauty tips do you swear by? 
White eyeliner/ eyeshadow In the corner of the eye! 

If a young girl/boy wanted to be a model what would your advice for them be?
Make sure you know exactly what being a model means, and if you
 still want to do it, then go for it! 

Do you have a stylist when do a photo shoot and if you didn't
 like anything would you tell them?
I have only had a stylist once - and when she dressed me I did think 'oh god I'm not sure about this' as she put a massive flower on the top of my head - but I kept my mouth shut and did my job - and boy did it look good in the photos! So I have quickly learned to let the experts do what they do best. 

Is your tan real ? I know some like to use sunbeds and fake tans.
I don't have a tan - I love my English rose look and my pale skin is a big part of that so I try and stay pale. I once got a spray tan when I was 10 - We were going on holiday and we were trying to look less like tourists so though spray tans would help. I cried when I came out as I looked bright orange. I've never had a false tan since. 

Do you like to read and if so whats your favourite?
I do like to read, but having studied English Literature for 5 years at university (finished last year) I've not got back int reading for pleasure yet - though I will. 

If you could be on a cover of any author's book in the world. 
Who would you choose? 
Zadie Smith 

Have you been on any book covers ,magazines or been 
used for advertosing yet? 

Nope not yet.

If you could choose one place anywhere in the world where would
 you like you picture to be seen?

How do you feel knowing your that there are loads of pics of your face and body everywhere and men and women drooling over them ?
I tend not to think about it too much. I know it happens but its not why I do what I do. I mean I don't mind - its a compliment really.

Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?
Happy. Fulfilled. In 5 years I would like to be retiring from modelling
 and starting my food photography business.

Can you tell us how you were “discovered” and how your 
modeling career all started?

I am a photographer first. I photographed models and some would 
say that I should be a model. I didn't listen but they kept saying it and I thought oh, well why not. I was on a model/ photographer networking site as a photographer already and I found a casting asking for people to shoot - they didn't have to be models, so I thought I would give that a go. The shoot was a very unique one - a photographer was teaming up with a writer and they would produce a book with horrific and thought provoking imagery and writing - all the proceeds of the book would go to mental health charities. The project is called 'Born in Blood'. SO it meant that for my first shoot I would be completely naked and covered in fake blood. But I gave it all I had - and I really enjoyed it! The photographer said that I was as good as the professional models he had shot and that I should be a model. So if models were saying it and now a photographer, I thought to myself, well ok, I'll give it a go. I did and now its my full time job! I feel very fortunate!

What has been your favorite shoot / campaign / work to date?

It was in York - myself and one of my favourite photographers to work with got up very early in the morning and headed off too a Merry-Go-Round!! We had gained permission to use it for an art-nude shoot. It was brilliant! The weather was good. It was so different and fun! Then when we had finished the owner turned the merry-go-round on for us and we got a ride! It was a lot of fun and resulted it some great images! A lovely memory that I'll always cherish.

What was it like working with the charming Phil Bruce?
Well brilliant of course! Phill is a lovely chap and very easy to get on with. He's really fun and so easy to work with. He is really great at what he does. Down to earth, so working with him is always fun. 

How would you describe your personal style, Where do you pull your inspiration from?
I have quite a sophisticated style. I like to dress up and tend to favor looking smart over casual. I remember wearing jeans to uni once, I don't often wear them. Of of my best friends said 'I think this is the most casual I've ever seen you look, and I've seen you in your pyjamas' (which are silk btw) - It made everyone laugh! Though annoyingly I have to dress quite casual when going to modelling jobs. As a nude model I can't have underwear marks or lines from tight clothing, so I have to wear loose baggy clothes when going to jobs. So am sometimes not as smart as I'd like to be.

Do you have any hidden talents?
None at all. If I was lucky enough to have a talent I wouldn't be hiding it.

What is the worst job you have ever done?
I once worked at JD sports. I hated it! I was so bored all of the time. I like to be busy and moving all the time, so standing around on an empty shop floor waiting for customers was my idea of a nightmare.

Do you get to travel a lot for your work? If so what’s your favorite city that you have visited?
Yes I do! And I am trying to travel more as it is probably one of the best things about my job - the fact I can do it anywhere and see the world when doing it! Though I must admit, I rarely actually see the places I've been. I tend to see the train stations or airports, and then thats it. I really need to take more time to see the places I visit! 
My favourite to date has been Madrid. It was a beautiful city.

Sometimes the modeling industry gets a bad rap with the jealousy and egos encountered between other models and agencies. Was this true for you? Have you managed to tough it out and make good friends?
I do think there are a lot of fake people in the industry and I do find it very hard to know who to trust if I'm honest. I've not really been doing it that long, so have not met that many models yet. Its very difficult when we're all over the country. Though I have met some really lovely people and I am lucky enough to be developing friendships with some really inspirational people. Though, every model will tell you how lonely this job is.

Do you ever get shy in front of the camera? 
I don't get shy - I sometimes get self conscious, if I feel I'm not looking my best. I am always better in front of the camera when I feb confident in the way I look.

Is modeling an easy job or more strenuous than people realize? (How so) 
Its much harder than people realise on so many different levels. 
Firstly, the actual shoot is so physical! Its not just looking pretty in front of a camera - its hard physical exercise. Tensing muscles getting into uncomfortable positions. Jumping, running, stretching, holing, breathing in. Sticking everything out further than you ever thought you could stick it out. And that can often be for 4 hours straight! If you're in an outdoor location you can be climbing trees, rocks, posing in the sea or near a waterfall - making sure you don't fall to your death whilst also pulling an amazing pose. I once did a crab with my leg in the air, or slippy rocks by the sea. That's just a hint of the physical side. Don't forget you have to travel to your jobs, so may have had a 2 hour journey on the train before your shoot (and then again after to go home). You would have gotten up an hour earlier to spend an hour doing make-up and hair (possibly more). Unless you hit jack-pot and have an MUA on your shoot - that always makes me super happy as I get longer in bed. And you'll often have days without a day off. And when you get a day off, you'll be doing admin. Which you do on all your other days anyway, like an hour of admin before bed, even though you got up at 5am, and got home at 10pm. I usually go my admin on the train home but lots of models drive so can't be doing admin then so have to do it when they get home. And on their 'days off'. We have to answer emails, messages, Book shoots, finalise shoots. Apply to castings. write references, check references. Confirm dates. Plan tours. Book train tickets. Advertise studio days. Write castings, Update portfolios. Oh and don't forget keeping track of receipts and income for tax because we have all that self employed stuff to figure out too! Oh and somewhere we have to find time to exercise because our job requires us to look good. And the other upkeep like hair appointments, nail appointments, waxing. And of course, this is the short version because I don't have time to write the full extent of the job because as you can tell, models have a lot to do! A lot more than people think! so no, its not an easy job - but we do it because we love it! That's why its so hurtful when some photographers say we only do it for the money, (yes that is of course a factor of any job) - but would we really put ourselves through all that stress and difficulty if we didn't love what we do. We could earn money in a much less stressful job! But we model because we love it! 

Was modeling something you always wanted to do, or did it just kinda happen? 
It just happened - and I am so glad it did! I adore what I do and I feel so blessed to be able to say its my job ! It has really helped me grow as a person.

What’s your favorite band / music at the moment? 
Again, the music I like always depends on the mood I'm in - I listen to such a variation. But Paulo Nutini is always a great one!

Give us 5 facts about you people may not know.
1 - I used to live in a pub.
2 - I love doing manual labour. 
3 - I am a volunteer for age UK. 
4 - I don't like Gin and Tonic, though I wish I did. 
5 - When I was 16 I had the privilege of meeting Her Majesty The Queen. 

How did you feel the first time you did nude shoot?
I was surprised at how comfortable I felt. Though it was probably because I was focusing more on doing well. 

Can you model bits of yourself- legs , face etc?
I can. Isolation is an important part of modelling.

Do you have any tattoos or piercings?
I have 4 tattoos - which if I knew I was going to be a nude model I wouldn't have got done, but at 15 I didn't plan on getting naked for money haha!

What would a guy have to do to grab your attention ?
I like confidence (not arrogance) - so few guys are confident enough to walk up to a woman and say, 'gosh you're beautiful'. That kind of confidence would always impress me. Though it hasn't happened yet!

What would be your ideal first date?
Something fun first, like crazy golf, with lots of laughing, followed by a lovely meal at an intimate restaurant with good food, good wine and better conversation. 

If you could pick a shoot and a male model, what shoot would it be and with who?
I would love to do a beauty/editorial shoot with a male, because its not something you see vey often. Something quite edgy perhaps. Lots of attitude. It would have to be with Phil Bruce. He is my male duo partner :D We look pretty great in images, even if I do say so myself. 

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful interview with one of the best in the business.I had a first shoot with Nicole in March 2018 as photographer I was slightly nervous but needn’t have been she was so down to earth it made the shoot go really well,couldn’t have wished for better.I Have second this September and can not wait.