where the writers are
On Modeling and the gap
Jennifer Lyn King, www.jenniferlynking.com

Yesterday, I received in the mail the recent Frontgate catalog, a beautiful collection of high-end home things. Funny thing, though, I’ve done some modeling for them recently, which, given the turns my life has taken, is amusing in and of itself. Anyhow, several of the shots inside this particular catalog have a version of me there, including a new shot featuring a gorgeous set of cashmere loungewear.

Being me, it’s laughable to see the gap between what I experienced that day on set and what comes across in the photograph.  And so, I have to share some of those things and hope you’ll join me in a laugh …

Picture this:

Walking up to the location, which happened to be a home belonging to a real-life family in historic Glendale, the four-legged kind of family member greeted me at the front steps—a 200 pound Newfoundland dog. He was super-friendly and wanted to play, of course. I smiled and asked him to sit, like I would’ve done with my own (much smaller) Boxer. Instead, this gargantuan Newfoundland confused “sit” with a two-pawed “shake”, and pounded his (wet and muddy) paws onto my chest. Lucky for me, the photographer happened to grab the dog’s collar at just about the time I should’ve fallen backward, and allowed me an escape inside.

Getting hair and makeup done while sitting on a preschool-sized Barbie chair in the girls’ play room …

Going back for hair changes about twenty times, all based on the modern-day ability for the office execs to see real-time photos, and give their feedback, interestingly, all the time, on any and every photo …

Delaying shooting for the cashmere slippers to arrive …

And constantly having to stretch my mouth to be more serious during the shots—it’s very difficult to keep a straight face through the Newfoundland pounding the door just beside the set, the photographer’s jokes, the constant feedback (and criticisms) of the execs calling the shots from their desks 10 miles away, and the unending adjustments to the cashmere pajamas and dusting of my face with powder.   

But, all said, the shoots for FG are always top-notch, and the folks are always professional, and the cashmere is always amazing. It’s great to keep my feet wet in the industry, and a humbling privilege to be asked to do it.

These experiences are relevant for me, as a writer, because my first novels are written and loosely based on my personal modeling experiences in New York City and Paris with Elite Modeling Agency, which I might add were a LONG time ago. The fascination with modeling lies, I think, in the gap between what is seen and what really goes on. Great fiction for me is most powerful and engaging when exploring that gap between perceived reality and actual reality. So, tapping into those modeling experiences has been and will continue to be a rich ground for growing novels.

I love to hear your comments … Back to writing novel #2.

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modeling

Sounds like a great perceived reality of an actual reality.   Really!  

I like your description and I wish I could have been there.   You're right: that's the kinda stuff that makes great novel scenes.  I think they should have put that dog in your photo shoot too.  Maybe with a pair of cashmere slippers and a night cap!  

You're so real, Jennifer.  You rock!  I want to go and buy me one of those catalogs!