How I Became A Sports Model

Imagine me, at 15 years old, being told by some sleazy scout that I had potential to become a model for their agency. When you’re 15 years old, and you hear that, all you think is FAME, MONEY, FASHION, TRAVEL, MORE MONEY AND MORE FAMEEEEEE.

I don’t know what it is about these model scouts that prey on us young females, but someone’s gotta stop them. They’re literally the worst.

circa2009

circa2009

circa 2009

circa 2009

After having been told by two different agencies while growing up in Calgary, that they could potentially sign me on, my mother and I went to go check them out. From my rather blurred memory, I remember the first agency we went to was in this big white house with a desk at the front door. There was a whole slew of other young girls there waiting, that had also been told they could be models as well someday. After seeing some of the other girls in their bikinis, sadly enough, I felt as though I wasn’t skinny enough to be there (seriously I weighed like 90 lbs at the time – SO. RIDICULOUS). After having a few polaroids taken, they told me that yes, they could sign me onbut I would have to pay for my own photoshoot to start a portfolio. Their photoshoots with their photographer and hair/make-up artist started at $600.

This is where it begins.

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Circa 2007

These agencies often tell every aspiring model they are interested in bringing on, that they have to pay for their own portfolio. I’ve heard of instances where girls have done it before, and never saw a single job come out of it. Then they get started on your height, your weight, your looks. They use these as excuses for why you haven’t booked a job, when in fact, they probably shouldn’t have signed you on in the first place.

The second agency that I went to was even WORSE. They offered to bring me in for a trial to get my hair and make up done by a special artist. Again, my mother drove me there and dropped me off. They brought me in, and made me wait with 4 or 5 other ‘models’ who had also been told to come in to get their hair done. There were so many girls, and only two make up artists, that they made us sit in the back-room, and put together IKEA CHAIRS FOR THEIR OFFICEI kid you not.

Had I not been so young and naive, I would have stood up, laughed in their face, and told them good luck with their unprofessional manners and joke of an agency. Sadly, I put together two chairs in record time, before my mother came and picked me up again.

Version 2

Shoot with Lululemon – proud moment for me!

Even given these two bad experiences, I talked with my mother about putting my money towards paying for one of these photo-shoots so I could get started. One of the most important things she said to me (although I didn’t realize it at the time) was this:

“If an agency really wants you, and believes they can find you work, they will pay for you to get a photo-shoot done out of their own pockets.”

Of course that just made me angry (because neither of these agencies offered to pay for me), and I yelled at her saying “THEY NEVER DO THAT! OBVIOUSLY YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR IT  YOURSELF!!! YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE A MODEL”

Anyway, long story short, she was right.

Looking at it now, these agencies should never have said they could bring me on. I was already considered ‘too big’ for their fashion standards, and ‘too short’ for any runway work. I never would have booked a job with that sort of agency, and they knew this. But still, they insisted on representing me, if I got the photo-shoot done.

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UBC Charity shows

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UBC Charity Shows

Fast forward about 7 years. I never ended up paying money for a photoshoot (thank you Momma), and I still hadn’t signed on with any agency (I had basically given up that dream for those few years). I ‘modelled’ while I was at UBC, doing charity fashion shows for different conferences, but that was about the extent of it. My lucky break finally happened when I noticed one of my room-mates (a swimmer), was getting dolled up before going out for a casting. I asked her who her agent was and she kindly passed on her information to me. She told me that this agency was great, as they worked primarily with athletes, ‘real’ people, and sports models. In fact, a lot of the varsity athletes that played at UBC worked with them. That week I Skyped with the agent of Reel Athletes, and to my delight, got signed on!

After about a year of going to castings and not getting booked, my agent graciously offered to send one of best photographers to shoot me and another model completely for free. (Like I said – my mother was right). After getting those shots done by the amazing Hubert Kang, I started getting more and more opportunities. MEC was my very first paid shoot, and right after that Lululemon inquired about me. Since then I have worked with Reebok, Sugoi, Fitness Depot, Power Footwear, and others. I have been SO lucky to have received amazing support from both my mother, my agent, and friends throughout the entire process. I definitely thought it was my dream to work as a model full-time, but as I grew older I realized that it definitely was not feasible as I once thought. I am lucky enough to be able to take days off work whenever I book a job, and grateful every day to be given any opportunity.

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My cheesy end to this story would be this: Don’t lose sight of your dreams, no matter how long they may take (mine took 7 years!). But while you’re aiming for it, don’t lose sight of what you’re worth, and don’t let anyone take advantage of your passion.

Enough about me, what about you?!

  • Have you ever wanted something as a teenager that took years before you could finally get it?
  • What was your dream career, and has it changed as you grew older?

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  1. Loved reading your story! So interesting the modeling world. I can only imagine!! Kudos to you for going after your dreams. And that Lululemon shoot?! How awesome!! Congrats 😀 <3
    I think I actually am in my "dream career" from when I was younger (fashion designer for dance/gymnastics/activewear). I've just added health, fitness and wellness in there too! 😉

    • beverleyc

      30 September

      Awww thank you Ashley!! You’re so kind! And i had no idea that you did design for active wear :O What is the company you work for!?

  2. GiGi Eats

    29 September

    Everything I have ever wanted in my life has come true. Of course, when I accomplish one thing, I set the task of accomplishing something else, so my life continues to have meaning, but what I am getting at is that — I work so very hard for what I want in life, and I know with hard work comes success, regardless as to how hard it might be to get it! You’re the PRIME example of that too!!

    • beverleyc

      30 September

      Gigi your comment made me smile so much!! I love how you are such a go getter and that everything you have wanted you have got. It is so inspiring 🙂 Thanks for sharing that

  3. Kat

    29 September

    Wow – what an inspiring and raw story about going after your dreams! I think its super awesome that you went from “need to be thin” model to “want to be badass” model. That transition normally doesnt happen, and you should be proud of the steps youve taken to get there! And you have definietly deserved all of the success that has come your way!

    • beverleyc

      30 September

      Thank you Kat! Your words mean a lot to me 🙂 I too am glad that I managed to get out of that ‘thin’ headspace, and managed to turn it to a healthier outcome

  4. OH I love love love this post! You are such an inspiration! Thanks for writing about your journey and inspiring others (like me) 🙂

    • beverleyc

      30 September

      Thank you Chrissa!! So glad that I can help inspire in whatever small way it might be 🙂

  5. Ok so you are just super inspiring. Love this story and yay for your mom for knowing better. So many people get caught up in that when they are young. I’m sure working for some of these companies was awe inspiring. Love that you are making strong look stunning, well done!!

    • beverleyc

      30 September

      Thank you Sam! You too make strong look amazing 🙂

  6. Moms are always right!! Glad to see that you stuck to your beliefs and followed your dream. You look strong and amazing. Congrats!

    • beverleyc

      30 September

      Haha, they always are, aren’t they? Thank you Deb 🙂

  7. Lizzy

    29 September

    Can’t believe how you were treated back in those shoots back when you were 15! You’re doing so well now though 🙂
    Lizzy | by Lizzy x

    • beverleyc

      30 September

      Haha, I was just one of many many girls treated that way. Thanks Lizzy!

  8. What a great story! I enjoy hearing about how people achieve their dreams. You take gorgeous photos!
    My dream for so long was to be a TV News Anchor and I did that! But it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, so I’m working on new dreams now!

    • beverleyc

      30 September

      Thanks Julie! I remember reading your post about being a news anchor. I always thought it was such an exciting and fabulous career as well, but things change. Can’t wait to see whats in store with your new dreams 🙂

  9. Annmarie

    30 September

    Love learning more about you and reading your story! Happy that you stuck with it and pursued your goal, you make a great sports model! <3

    • beverleyc

      30 September

      Thank you so much! So happy you stopped by to read 🙂

  10. Christina

    1 October

    They made you put chairs together?! What in the world?? I’m sure your mom was NOT happy about that!! What an inspiring story. thank you for sharing!!

    • beverleyc

      5 October

      Haha i KNOWWW. So awful, right? Thanks for the love <3

  11. I love every single thing about this post! Your mom was totally right! I was an aspiring model back when I was a teenager too – although it was a long time ago. 🙂 I totally relate to everything you said and congrats to you for all that you have accomplished and for staying true to yourself!

    • beverleyc

      5 October

      Ya so you can totally relate! It’s so frustrating and unfair how they exploit naivety and eagerness when we should be celebrating it

  12. The modeling world is a fascinating one…to say the least! Hehe. You are SUCH an awesome sports model. Yay for sticking to it!

    • beverleyc

      5 October

      Thank you Jess!

  13. So interesting to see the behind the scenes. Things happen for a reason, right? So it seems you were meant to end up doing sports modeling. And you look so happy in the photos, in addition to beautiful!

    • beverleyc

      5 October

      Yes! I am so happy I found my place 🙂 And thank you so much Katie!

  14. R

    4 October

    Your story is inspirational.I too have been waiting for the last 7 years and still waiting. I wish my story to end in a good note as well!!!

    • beverleyc

      5 October

      Ahh I hope it works out for you! Sometimes the best things in life take the longest time.

  15. Cris

    8 October

    Such a beautiful and inspirational story, Beverley! 🙂 Congrats! I also believe that all our dreams come true (at some point).

    • beverleyc

      8 October

      Thank you Cris!! That is so kind 🙂

  16. Ivanna

    17 October

    Thanks for sharing your story I think people think it is easy or luck that get people these type of opportunities. Thank you for sharing that it takes hard work and patience.

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