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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Just Eden, A Glamour And Kinky Model Based In London



Just Eden is an independent photographic ebony model based in London England. She have been modelling now for nearly 5 years.
In this interview, She talks about life and how her journey in the modelling industry began. Enjoy!

What is your name?

Eden. But you can find me better online as
Just Eden. There’s a whole bunch
of Eden’s out there ain’t there?

What type of modelling do you do?

I am a glamour and fetish model. This
means I can make anything look sexy,
and even when I am scary I am still sexy.

Where do you work from/ are you
located?

I am based in London; England. But I do
travel around the UK and the world,
so I work from pretty much everywhere I
want to.

Are you affiliated with an agency or
are you independent?

I am an independent model Meaning I find
my own work and negotiate my own
terms.

Who is your role model? How did they
inspire you to become a model?

My role model would – and don’t stereotype
me on this – most definitely bemy mother.
She’s always believed in going for what you
want and doing it, regardless
of what the rest of the world wants you to
do. She has achieved so much
with her personal life; she only got her first
Degree after she got
married! But then went on to do a whole
bunch of learning and some pretty
impressive stuff within her working career.
All while raising three children and running a
small home-based business.
Impossible is definitely nothing!

How long have you been modelling?

Since August 2007. Let’s see, we’re in 2012,
so that’s nearly five years
now! But for a few years I just did it as a
hobby. I love creating, so that
gave me an outlet to do so. And when I
finally decided I would take it
professional that was last year. And I took
up my two favourite things,
glamour and kink.

How did you get into modelling?

A friend of mine was holding a pageant
show, and they needed some extra
contestants. So she asked me to be a part of
it. I had no catwalk or
modelling experience, but I thought why
not. And I ended up winning 2ndPrincess! I
loved every single minute of it!

Can you remember your first
photoshoot? What was that like?

Erm, my first photoshoot was a test shoot
with a photographer called Andy.
We had only 2 things to do: headshots, and
girl-next-door kind of look. We
ended up experimenting with loads of
different looks and feels. We also did
some stock type photography, as well as
some playful glamour. I still look
at those pictures today and think.... wow..... I
was soo green. Complete
difference to what I produce nowadays.
Not that the images were not great.
Just that when we did them it was more a
getting comfortable in front of
the camera. I had no idea about angles,
highlighting my best parts,
make-up, none of that. But we had a whole
bunch of fun! And that was well
worth it for me.

What, in your opinion is the most
difficult thing about modelling?

Early mornings!!!
I can work 23 hours a day if I have to. And
working for myself I sometimesdo.
But one thing I can definitely not do is early
mornings. I am a zombie in
the morning. My eyes are puffy, my sinuses
hate me, my whole body just does
not wake up until at least 10 am! So when I
have to get up at like 4 or 5
to commute for a shoot I am a monster for
hours!
But thank God for coffee, eye moisture
cream, and some very patient
professionals.

Do you really enjoy modelling? Or is it
just another job for you?

I absolutely enjoy everything about
modelling. Maybe because I started out
as a hobbyist. So I never really felt the
pressure to conform, or do jobs just to make
a quick buck.
I can imagine though that for a lot of other
people in this industry there
is a lot of pressure, and it is a cut-throat
industry. Especially if you
are in sections that are always hungry for
youth. And believe me there are
a lot of hungry youth out there.
So when I made up my mind to capitalise on
my hobby I was aware that there
would be ups and downs. I am also quite
fortunate that I started the whole
professional thing quite late on. Because I
have experienced – in the quest
for the cash – quite a few challenges.
Like most jobs though you have to accept
that you will have ups and downs.
You might have the best product on the
market, but that product is only as
good as its last failure. Also that product is
not going to be everyone’s
cup of tea. So when people turn me down
for jobs, I just brush my shoulders
off, pick myself up, and try the next one.
Because after all, for me it is about the end
goal. Looking at those
images, that video clip, that painting, and
going, “Hot Dang! I look
good....” Makes it all worthwhile...


What have you got planned for the
future?

What don’t I? I love my artist buddies. So
there should be more artistic
images and collaborations in my future.
Crystal ball called it. It’s gotta
be true.
On top of all that I am doing quite a bit of
work with Draken Photography.
He produces some amazing prosthetics and
leather fantasy warrior costumes.All in-
house, the guy is a genius!So we have been
talking about doing some more elaborate
themed work and
costuming.

Is modelling your main job or do you
do other things?

Modelling is my main job yes. But I have
various income streams within
that. Which is also why I chose to stay with
glamour and kink. They have
always brought me more interest and
bookings. Thank goodness for my curvy
body.

Does modelling have a cut-off age?
How can a model keep working in
such a competitive industry after age 30?

I think more and more you are beginning to
find models in their 30s, 40s,
50s, onwards.
Thankfully there are so many different
types of modelling, you would be
hard pressed NOT to find a niche. Glamour,
fetish, editorial, stock
photography, fitness, body parts, fittings,
beauty, promotions, catwalk,
artists’ models....
The list is literally endless.
I have found one common theme amongst
models who have managed to stay
‘relevant’ past age 30. And that is the ability
to diversify and adapt. A
lot of what I do is highly reliant on
observing feedback closely. Who is
booking me more? What types of jobs for?
Who is likely to pay me? And
repeat customers. Always repeat customers.
I have people that I work with
now that I have known since I started in
2007. And for me it is far more
important to continue to create quality
versus rack up a longcollaborations sheet. I
do collaborate with a fair few people, but I
find
the quality of stuff we produce gets better
the more I know them.
So to summarise I would say you can model
till you are long in the tooth.
Just stay relevant. Find what your clients are
asking for, and give it to
them. Adapt. The only constant thing in this
game is change.

If you weren’t a model what would
you be?

Haha, this is an easy one! I am a Qualified
Nurse. Already.
But my next step would be to go into Social
Research (yeah yeah yeah I
know... boring) or social media marketing. I
do have a Degree in Social
Policy so would like to do something with
that at some point. I am
naturally very curious about the world and
people. And I love to
people-watch, so its an easy ask for me.

What are the most common
misconceptions you come across in your
line
of modelling?

Oh Lawd! I wish this was a super long
section.
Waaaay too many to mention. Here are my
personal pet peeves:
a) Beauty and brains cannot co-exist. I
mean, seriously?!?!? I’m sure
Darwin never reached any conclusion that
normal evolution excluded brain
function from those of more symmetrical
features. But people do have this
belief that models are brainless automatons
whose sole purpose is to look
vacant while clothes hang off them.
b) Glamour models are all single and/or
very ‘free’ with their
affections. I know quite a few glamour
models, pornstars, kinksters and
professional fetishists. And some of them
are happily married, in very
monogamous relationships and very happy.
Again I guess the public and
personal persona have to inhabit different
spaces. So I respect that. And I
suppose there are fewer hang-ups in
relationships like that if both parties
know the score. Although I must admit I
often secretly wonder what a spouse
would say to his pornstar wife if she said,
“Oh honey, I’ve had a really
hard day at work today...”

Since you started modelling, what are
the most significant changes
you have noticed in the industry?

With the rise of the internet the face of
modelling in general has changed.
I have heard that the old way of doing
things would be to go off with a
lookbook and approach as many agencies
or agents as possible and hope to
get signed to someone. I don’t know if that
was the only way, but it is
definitely the picture I get of how things
used to be prior to the internet.
But nowadays, forget trawling through the
yellow pages. You can quite
literally approach anyone at the click of a
button or two. For the more
castings-shy, you can gauge whether you
have a chance by striking up a
conversation with an agent prior to
requesting a face-to-face interview.
You can enter competitions, you can get
public votes in your favour, you
can use social media to gain a following. All
of this was not possible even
5 years ago. On to the next question.

Has social media like Facebook, Twitter
etc changed the face of
modelling? Is this a good thing or a bad
thing?

With every convenience comes an
inconvenience.
I think social media has definitely made an
impact on modelling as a whole.
Thanks to social media you are now more
accessible than ever before. People
know literally every micro-detail about your
life. Whatever you put online
is written in indelible ink. Societal norms and
acceptance of what was once
seen as shocking has changed a great deal.
Some would even argue that
shocking is the new normal. And the old
normal is so last century. The
hunger for people to engage and employ
models is probably greater than ever
before.
Work is far more accessible. And not just the
work, there is now also the
expectation that models are more accessible
too. I mean think about it, ten
years ago would you have expected to be
able to have a conversation with
your favourite celebrity using anything
other than fan-mail or turning up
with the throng of fans dying for an
autograph?
So from the model’s point of view this
means that it is easier to apply for
work. It is also easier to engage with your
fans on a more personal level.
If you have a team working with you it is
then also easier to use social
media to create a buzz around you.
But for a lot of models starting out who
have plenty of questions and not
enough time to access and make sense of all
the information there is
definitely a glut of information. Information
overload. Everything is
possible. You don’t need an agent, you don’t
need an agency. You can sign
up to plenty of portfolio hosting websites
and find your own work. But which
sites are legitimate? And which sites attract
professionals and not just
guys with digital cameras? Because with
that there is the intrinsic risk of
being preyed upon.
My advice towards that is; if it seems too
good to be true it probably is.
Ask yourself questions, get your friends to
ask you questions about any job
offers. Check the person’s references. It
might seem like such an ego boost
to get a few hundred pounds for having
fun in front of a camera, but no
amount of money is worth your safety.

Do you support photoshopping
images? Or do you prefer images that are
not airbrushed?

Haha! I love this question. Personally I
would prefer images that are not
airbrushed. The main thing I would support
is skin work. Not being picky on
this, but sometimes we have bad skin days.
And my own personal cringe would
be to see my big fat zit all across a
headshot. So that is the only thing I
would advocate. But body and face
reshaping, warping, all of that? Hell
nah! Totally against it. I at least want to be
able to look at a picture
and recognise that it’s me.

Would you ever publish un-airbrushed
images of yourself?

Yeah I have actually. But then again I have
good make-up days and bad
make-up days. Big deal. The commercial
stuff always gets edited, but my
blog and a whole bunch of places have
unedited stuff all over them.


There has been a lot of debate in the
media about unrealistic body expectations
placed on females due to images used to
promote things like
clothing, beauty products etc. What is your
opinion on this?

I seriously think magazines and ad
campaigns, especially those accessible
to teenagers and children, should portray
realistic body images and looks.
I grew up in Zimbabwe where the average
teenager was a size 10 or 12. I was
a big child, and to be honest my size or
weight never meant anything to me
until I moved to the UK. Back home it was
literally a case of the bigger
the better. A complete opposite to here.
Even though I was old enough to
know better I did struggle with the whole
weight expectation feeling.
The androgynous look does absolutely
nothing for me personally as a woman!
And it doesn’t reflect the true diversity of
body shapes and physical
appearances in society. If children are being
fed a diet of unrealistic
expectations of their bodies and beauty,
should we be surprised if the
result is anxiety-ridden adults with poor
self-confidence and/or eating
disorders?
If I owned a clothing line or a magazine I
would take on models of all
shapes and races. That way children can
positively associate with ‘normal’
versus the twee notion of androgynous
perfection that somehow seems to be
the popular thinking.

If you have/did have a child would
you encourage them to go into
modelling?

Oh yes I would. Of course. I would probably
have plenty of sleepless nightsworrying
what exactly they were up to. But
I would know that once they wanted to do
it they would. Especially if they
were like me. Stubborn.
And I would so be a mother hen watching
over them like a hawk for
predators....

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