A BC Born Girl’s Journey to NYFW!
I had the pleasure of meeting Natalie at the start of her modeling career. We shot several times in 2013 and once in 2015. We lost touch in 2014 just as her career took off. She began appearing in magazine after magazine and now she’s headed to NY to audition for New York Fashion Week (NYFW).
As a photographer I’ve fantasized about being in the media pit at NYFW. However, I can’t imagine the swirl of emotions and anticipation she must be feeling. With a sense of curiosity I suggested an interview.
Tall, slender and striking, Natalie fits the stereotypical ideal of a model. However, I was quite shocked when she said she felt she has an unusual look. Perplexed, I pressed for details and she shared the bone structure of her face and her thin lips give her a different look. Instead of being self-conscience she said…
“Don’t try to be a Barbie doll, love yourself for who you are and find a market/agency that likes your look.”
One aspect of modeling that’s often overlooked is personality. Reality shows like “The Face” and “America/Canada/Britain’s Next Top Model” overemphasized (and perhaps manufactured) the dramatic and bitchy side of modeling. However it’s the warm, attentive, polite, fun, hardworking models that get hired repeatedly. Add in a dash of good natured optimism and close family ties and you’ve just met Natalie. She smiles easily and isn’t afraid to work hard.
- Natalie was so excited. It was her first runway show!
- We attended Vancouver Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2013/14
- The 1980s song “Walking On Sunshine” came to mind during this shoot. The grocery store owner wasn’t too happy with our photo shoot!
- A little boy walked by and said, “Look mom, she’s a Super Hero!”
- I was inspired the strong female leads in Vikings and Sucker Punch.
- The black dress below didn’t fit…
- So we improvised with an impromptu shoot!
- Natalie brought the designer’s creation to life
- An Uptown Girl in Yaletown!
- I broke with my classic timeless inspirations and wanted an explosion of color to match the house (art installation). Natalie liked the 4″ pink platforms so much she kept them after the shoot!
- Magazine: Shift, Photographer: Ehsan Mandizaden
Makeup/Hair: Neetu Sahota, Wardrobe: Jerome Insorio
Assistant: Silvija Kristo Crnjak
- Magazine: Book 2, Photographer: Ming yang Sun
Makeup/Hair: Any Leigh Portras, Wadrobe: Nicole Guzzo
Jewelry designer: Andee Karleen
- La Biosthetique hair show
- Ariel from the Little Mermaid in Brilliant’s charity fundraiser
1 on 1 With Natalie Lunter
Several days before her flight to NY, Natalie and I chatted on the phone for an hour.
- SR – You’re headed to NYC. How were you invited to NYFW?
NL – Photographers saw my work on Instagram and contacted me. They know designers at NYFW.
- SR – How did Smart Model Management (SMM) discover you?
NL – They found me on Instagram also. They’re organizing my schedule and are scheduling castings, auditions, fashion film shoots and photo shoots.
- SR – Will there be photos of you on the runway?
It’s a possibility but not a guarantee.
- SR – How are you preparing for your big trip?
NL – SMM put together a Press Kit for me. I’ve been going to the gym every day. I’m making sure I eat healthy meals and drinking lots of water. I’ve also been messaging photographers to let them know I’m coming.
- SR – How long have you been modeling?
NL – I started modeling seriously 3 years ago.
- SR – What were some of your first gigs?
NL – “Keep the Music Playing” was my first fashion show. I was so excited to be on the runway. My photo shoot with you, was the first time I was published. I still have the Asian Pacific Post newspaper clipping. I got published in Glass Book and Ellements magazine and Eco Fashion Week helped me gain exposure too.
- SR – What advice would you like to share with models starting their career?
- NL – Get out as much as possible and promote yourself. Go to all the fashion events you can. Talk to people and give out your business & comp cards.
- Meet with a few agencies before signing with one. It’s easy to be flattered when an agency wants to sign you but it may not be the best fit so it’s best to explore your options.
- Realize that modeling is hard work. It’s a lifestyle. It means changing your diet and exercising regularly.
- Be careful when selecting photographers. Do a background check and have your agent or parents look at their work.
- Also love yourself for who you are. It’s not about being a Barbie doll. Rather than change yourself, try to find a market that finds your look appealing. What they want in NY is different from Tokyo. Do your research and an agent can help you find markets that cater to your look.
- SR – What expectations do you have about NY?
NL – I want to leave it open and see what opportunities arise but it would be nice to visit with designers, wear their clothes, shoot a lookbook and walk in some fashion shows.
- SR – Do you have a website?
NL – No I don’t. Instagram is my main promotional tool. I also use Facebook.
- SR – What appeals to you about modeling?
NL – I got inspired when I started watching America’s Next Top Model. I wanted to meet Tyra Banks. Even in grade school I was in plays and musical theater. I liked being a different character and playing a role. It gave me more confidence. Now when I model I like wearing different clothes, being in the moment, feeling the emotion and transforming into a different person.
Thanks so much for your time! Good luck in NYC and may the “fierceness” be with you!