Being a model is something that all girls dream of. It has its perks, but as with everything there are difficulties too. Here Zainab Boladale speaks to NUIG student Emma Waldron about juggling life as both a student and a model.
NUIG student Emma Waldron never expected to find herself working in the fashion and modelling industry, “It just kind of happened out of the blue,” she said.
The 20 year old from Ennis, Co. Clare is currently studying undenominated science, and hopes to get a Zoology degree in the future. This contrasts greatly to the world of modelling that she’s become so deeply involved in.
She insists that when she was in secondary school she was a very unstylish teenager, and that hasn’t really changed. She thinks that the only difference now is that she occasionally bothers to wear makeup and she is slightly more educated on how to dress herself.
She initially got involved in modelling a year ago when a close friend asked her to meet her at a hairdressers. There she met Bridget Haren of Altamoda Hair in Ennis.
She made such an impression on Bridget that within a few minutes she said, 'okay, great. We're going to Frankfurt in three months and you'll be my model for the World Hairdressing Championships.'
Emma said she was so shocked that without thinking she agreed. “I couldn't say no to the money and the free trip to Germany,” she said.
She later found out that Bridget had asked her friend if she had any tall friends who didn’t care about how their hair was styled and her friend thought of her because she was notorious for changing her hair colour every week.
Emma said that getting the opportunity to model in Frankfurt at the Festhalle in front of hundreds of people was the most amazing experience, even with her hair shaved and dyed yellow. Little did she know then that this was just the beginning of her accidental modelling career.
After the experience in Frankfurt, she ended up modelling in different cosplay shoots with talented photographer Caroline Walsh and MUA Zoe Ryan. Emma and these two women became a bit of a team. She then had the good fortune to meet well-acclaimed Clare photographer, Paul Cooley.
She quickly developed a good portfolio while working with these people and she still continued modelling for Bridget.
While she enjoys modelling, she finds it hard to juggle it alongside student life. She works through college and she says that, “trying to balance everything really does put a lot of pressure on me.”
She says she hates letting people down so she always tries her hardest to do the shoots she promises to do, even when she doesn’t really have the time.
Even though it’s summer, the stress never ends for Emma. She is working through the summer and has an upcoming modelling show in August for Trend Vision and a show in the Royal Albert Hall in London to look forward to.
She also has a few shoots lined up before returning to college in September. Emma says she’s lucky to have parents who support and encourage her, even though they sometimes disapprove of the outfits she has to wear during the shows.
She believes that modelling has taught her to never turn down an experience, and has made her more confident than she ever expected to be. She knows how lucky she is to be where other people struggle to be, and has been made aware of that by other models.
When asked if modelling is something she sees herself doing long term, Emma says, “I would like to think so, but I’m not sure. If nothing more happens with it, I will just be so happy that I've gotten these opportunities.”