Model on model, Katie Ball…
Being a working fashion model is a unique experience, just ask Katie Ball, who has spent her entire adulthood and a good part of her adolescence with her life packed into a suitcase. I met with Katie to discuss the ins and outs of the industry, what makes a successful model and what she’s loves most about being in front of the camera.
“I wouldn’t be doing this job if I didn’t really love it, I like the fact that you can work with teams of talented people everyday, where you get to be a different person each day or a different facet of yourself.’
Katie’s vivacious personality, dedicated work ethic and brunette ‘Bardot’ features ensure that she’s a constant in an industry bound by change. Working with Katie to take these pictures was a delight, she’s a natural in front of the camera, its easy to see what sets her apart in an industry with its fair share of personality free droids. It is a special kind of girl that has staying power like Katie, who’s been working for almost ten years.
‘I’ve always been wary of the pitfalls that come with being a model, the drugs, the anorexia, the nightclub lifestyle. I really love my job, its important to be professional and maintain your skin and hair, your body. You have to make sure you look after yourself because often girls are just swallowed up and although I do love this industry I’m aware that it can be very ‘use and abuse’.
The recent years have seen the competitiveness of being a model escalate to extreme scales. Rates haven’t seen a rise in around 10 years, despite inflation, and the kinds of demands placed of young girls have become severe, with youth and the ‘coat-hanger’ thin trend gripping the industry. Agencies are flooded with girls and its absolutely crucial that each has the ability to set herself apart from the pack.
“You have to have the right mindset about it, the day of the model diva is most definitely over. It’s important to never whine or complain!
Traveling so much means that certain sacrifices with regard to personal lives need to be made. Many models find it difficult to maintain relationships and keep friendships because to stay in demand, its optimal for each girl to spend only a few months in a city, before moving onto the next. Each time Katie lands in a new place she makes it a priority to experience culture and capitalise on the travel experience.
“So many girls find the loneliness and solitude difficult, they’ll spend all their time sitting in the model apartments surfing the internet and using skype, crying to their boyfriends, rather than experiencing the sights, a gallery with paintings hundreds of years old or around the corner a boulangerie that makes the best baguette in Paris.’
Katie’s next port of call is Los Angeles, where she’ll spend a month working with an acting coach, then its to New York, London and wherever else the job takes her.
“This past year has been 36 long haul flights, its been a little stressful because there isn’t any certainty, when your agencies are holding on to your schedule, you’ve got to be ready to go anywhere. I do love it though, I’m a girl from Perth – I’ve lived in New York, London, Spain, Germany, Los Angeles – how else would I have gotten the opportunity to do that? I’ve had such an amazing lifestyle and I wish more people could do that, solely because of how its broadened my perspective and given me an education like no other.”
Katie Ball, Age 23, currently in Sydney represented by Priscillas.
Words and photography by Zanita Whittington