So it’s Valentine’s morning. The suns shining. People are waking up to cutesy, romantic (uber cheese) but uber cute displays of affection from their significant others. I’m up at 6am to catch my flight to Stockholm. Not so romantic. My fiancee and I have somehow managed to achieve some sort of award for most miles put between us specifically on Valentines Day. I, on my way to snowy Sweden, he waking up to the oh so beautiful but mentally cold mountains of Montreal. Both on work trips. How very unromantic but also pretty darn cool given how much we both love to travel and explore the world!
Whilst en route to Stockholm it suddenly struck me that I get asked a ton about my modelling shoots but have never actually blogged about them. So this week I’m letting you into my weirdly wonderful, usually random, always fun and adventure filled world of modelling. Needless to say as I’m also a personal trainer, fitness instructor (and blogger!) my days gets pretty busy. This week is no exception…Here’s what the beginning part of my week looked liked. Stay tuned for more later this week…
Kim the Fitness Model
Although I modelled for 5 years as a fashion model with some of the top agencies in London (Storm) and New York (Wilhelmina) . It’s now that I feel that I have found my feet and my real “model flow”. Much more often the case nowadays I find myself modelling for brands or shoots which increasingly have a more athletic theme to them. Whether it be for a fitness brand, a fashion brand with a fitness division, workout videos or for health magazines.
My now London agents MiLK Model Management and W Model Management (my sports agency) have seen a huge increase in the amount of brands getting involved in the London ‘fitness movement’. As a trainer it’s also great to see this movement. More and more people want to know more about fitness, how to keep in shape and how to look good whilst your doing it. No longer are the people of London worried about being seen in their gym wear, or post sweaty gym sesh. Many usually hitting some sort of new hip and trendy health hang out, Londoners are getting the ‘health kick’. So the move to more fitness based shoots was a naturally extension of my modelling and fitness career. Living life in the sweaty lane was something I learned to adore and completely immerse myself in when I was living stateside in New York. So it’s such a wonderful thing that more and more people in London and the globe over are starting to warm to this way of life and join me in that fast, fun, exhilarating sweaty lane.
So without further ado this is a glimpse of the first part of my (completely hectic, crazy but fabulously exciting) week in my fitness modelling/training world…
Day 1: Stadium Shoot, Stockholm – A V-day city break with my #fitfam
Why yes of course the week starts on a Sunday! It’s go time! I’m on my way to the airport for the snowy sights of Stockholm. It also happens to be Valentines Day….so sticking with ‘that’ Valentine theme…I’m off to meet another model from my agency who is also shooting with me in Stockholm….Portia – one half of ‘Model Fit Life’ (from W model management) and whom I have now appointed my Valentine for the day. We fly in separately to Stockholm because of our different work schedules. The plan is to meet in the city centre once we catch up with one another – yeaaah good luck with that! Haha. On the cards….we’ve been lucky enough to be flown in a day early for our shoot. Meaning we get to go and explore the city as much as physically possible for Sunday afternoon and evening before shooting on Monday. Sunday afternoon in Stockholm should be interesting considering we’ve been told that is apparently notably the quietest time we could have (not) chosen to play in the city. But we won’t let that us stop us. We also won’t let stop us the fact that it is going to be F***** freezing. We proudly sport our most tacky tourist hats, city maps and cameras at the ready. Both being ‘that’ kind of fit gal, we’re definitely keen for a workout too at some point if we can…maybe that will be all there is to do on a slow Stockholm Sunday 😉 but I very much doubt that!
So after some cracking (geddittt 😉 ) eggs and avo for brekkie and the standard airport mooch, I’m on a plane and landing in snowy Stockholm. As I glimpse at the ground from the plane…crap it’s actually snowing. Of course it’s snowing. It’s Sweden. In February…. I’m wearing 7/8 leggings (WITH mesh), ankle socks & trainers. Bravo Kim. People are looking at me like I’m nuts. I am nuts. People have also taken to presuming I’m Swedish which is quite amusing. They definitely think I’m heading back to “the motherland”. Yes my aunties Swedish. Yes my cousins are. Yes I’m blonde & blue eyed. Nope still not Swedish! Fun to pretend though hey!?
So my day embracing full on tacky tourist was quite sweet really. The other model was delayed on the flight over (poor Portia) so it was little old me playing Dora the explorer by myself. Something I’ve learned to embrace and love on these work trips. Even if I only have a matter of hours I try to really make an effort to go and explore, even if it’s just for a quick stroll. I managed to explore quite a bit in the short time I was there, but geeeez it was cold. My knee wripped jeans & ankle boots were definitely not snow material! – Again, kudos on the packing front Kimmy- still not smashing that part of the travels! A lot of the afternoon was spent ordering a vast array of hot beverages to keep my hands from freezing off, the pinnacle of which was my delicious hot chocolate and marshmallows (it was THAT cold). Whilst my hands warmed I planned my next (all be it extremely vague) route.
I pretty much got a taxi to drop my smack bang central of Stockholm where I really enjoyed just walking around, seeing the beautiful building, shops and coffee bars. I some how navigated my way back through the Old Town and on to hip and trendy Soldermalm where Portia finally caught up with me – starving and raring for some grub!
Portia & I then proceeded to have the lovely kind of fitfam date I’ve come to expect from my fellow fitness girls. We found a “Banana’s” (literally the name of it) eatery which had a vegan menu that was thaaa bomb – We also ordered so delicious tuna and vino! We were starving! The Swedes have definitely got the right idea about food. Healthy and delicious….Happy Kimmy! A glass of red wine down & we were back to the hotel ready to get some sleep for the shoot tomorrow. That workout may be a little over optimistic and do you know what…that’s just fine by me. Balance, moderation and doing whatever you can with what you’ve got, when you’ve got a feaible time to do it is the key. This trip was always going to be a flying visit and full on from the get go. So maybe we don’t workout. What I’ve learnt is that you have to give it all to your workouts, staying healthy where you can. Not beating yourself up where you can’t, but later damage controlling that by getting back on the health kick. A happy (non stressed) body is a healthy body that glows from the inside out.
Day 2 – Oh we’re actually here to work? OK Let’s shoot!
Shooting for Stadium
So being Kim and a little how shall we say “blonde” at times I may have taken my agents description of my shoot for “Stadium” a little too literally. I soon learn we’re not actually shooting for the Stadium of Stockholm (as I’ve so proudly told so many people – doh!), but for the fabulously fashion forward Swedish activewear retailer “Stadium”. Portia got this. Kim did not. Haha. Either way, we were both super excited to get shooting together and knew we were in for something super cool.
Up and at ‘em in the morning we had the luxury of the studio being right next to our hotel – unheard of. Soon we’re chomping on Swedish style brekkie – think the standard bread, cheese & hard boiled eggs before getting into hair and make up. Luckily were in the studio all day today – don’t quite fancy the minus 4 degree weather outside. Although on a side note that’s not unheard in modeling industry. You never quite know what to expect. There are a huge number of icy cold shoots that take place outside – usually in swimwear. Usually the depths of winter. Oh the joys of the fashion industry and its seasons. I digress….so lucky today we’re bringing the summer to Stockholm in the studio. We’re shooting beach activewear. Think tan to the max, extensions, bronzer, bronzer & more bronzer. Actually a great little esteem boost for the bod – in my opinion everyone looks better in a tan! Better still one bought about without the sun damage. So we’re feeling fresh and happy. The shoot is a rather epic 12 hour one (there goes that workout) but it’s super cool. Without being able to divulge too much information. Think splashing around in water, fresh super cool swimwear meets activewear – my kinda thaaang! Great people. Great fun. Awesome shots! Keep an eye out for our campaign out in store and online for Stadium in May. We can’t wait to see the results! Thanks for having us Stadium!
Finishing up at 9pm we didn’t get too much of chance to explore Stockholm in the evening. We settled for a super laid back (but still lovely) dinner in Soldermalm recommended by a local we spoke to. Then it was off to bed. I was flying out first thing in the morning. I’m taking a flight from Stockholm to London, then straight from London to Marseille to my next shoot.
Day 3 – Bye bye Stockholm….Hello Marseille
So now having been in Stockholm for the best part of a day and half and settled (sort of) into Stockholm we’re straight back on the plane home to London again. I grab a quick bite to eat and then am on my way to the airport. Sweden has its gorgeous sunny hat on to wave me off the airport. I take one last glance at the city from the cab (grab an obligatory Daim bar) and then head off for my flight home. No sooner do I land back in London I’m back on a flight to Marseille for my next location shoot. Tough job but someone’s gotta do it riiiiight? 😉
Traveling has to be my absolute favourite thing about modelling. I adore the people I work with and especially now modelling fitness which is completely in line with my love of ‘all fitness evrrrrything’ that you would come to expect from a personal trainer and avid gym junkie. But the travel…how lucky we are that our job allows us to explore places people dream of. I’ve always been grateful for this. Another huge bonus of this type of work based travel is that the shoots are usually on location because we need a great back drop – hence we go to the coolest places! Next up on my adventures…France where I’ll be shooting for the brand Zakti yoga.
In my mind I’m thinking….swim suits and yoga attire on the beautifully sun lit coast of the South of France (obvs its going to be boiling….right?!) ….yeah not so much. My so called “friends” enlighten me that it is indeed still winter. That ‘boiling hot’ rivera, might be much more breezy and blustery than I planned. However, I plan on sacking it up and making the flippin’ most of it! I plan on grabbing some very French dinner (my favourite!) and hitting the hay nice and early, ready for shooting tomorrow! It’s been a busy couple of days!
Stay tuned for the rest of my week avec shoots, training and teaching my favourite fitness classes all to come!
Till then, sending health & happiness,