How I Got Started in Fitness Modeling
by Kelsey Byers
I want to answer this because I’ve been getting this question a lot lately….and I am happy to help anyone that I can.
I am no expert and am still learning all the time.
Before I got married, I was able to lose quite a bit of weight and fit in a size eight simply by going out to eat less and avoiding alcohol.
I had been interested in modeling since the age of 12, so I contacted a local modeling agency and sent in some snapshots my husband took with our camera.
The agency said they were interested in signing me, but wanted me to pay to take their modeling classes (they also had a school). My husband and I decided to go ahead with it.
I paid for classes on runway, posing, makeup and eating healthy. The classes were fun and I met some nice people, but looking back, I’m convinced I could have learned it all on the job versus paying for classes. I remember asking the nutrition teacher what “Clean Eating” meant….she had no clue and had never even heard of it before.
I signed a two year contract with the agency and was booked for several high end fashion line runway shows. I was tall and thin at the time, but my hips were still very curvy and I had little definition in my abs. I was 26 years old at that time. The models on the jobs with me were all in the age range of 15-22. While most of them talked about prom and ate pizza, I ate extra lean turkey, brown rice and read my fitness magazines.
I knew I wanted a NEW body and to branch out into the world of fitness. It was then that I emailed Jamie Eason on Myspace and asked her how she achieved her amazing physique. She referred me to my nutritionist, Kim Porterfield, and the rest is history!
The only regret I have is waiting about four months from the point of her email-to convincing my husband to pay money to inform us how to eat (as he put it)! We already ate healthy but I knew we were missing something! I wanted to learn about portion control and proper meal frequency. Boy, was that life changing! Kim’s knowledge blew “most of what we THOUGHT as healthy” out of the water!
After just four months of clean eating, I committed to my first NPC bikini competition- training for 12 weeks for the show. I won 3rd place in my height class, qualifying for nationals. It wasn’t long after that, that I heard from Labrada Nutrition with an invitation to represent their brand and supplement line. Since we hired my nutritionist, I had used their products and Lean Body shakes and they had become my favorite supplement line! Of course I accepted! Love my Lean Body team!
Since then, I have signed with another local agency who books me for local jobs in the area. As far as the magazine work, I hire the photographers that work with the magazines I love. I research the magazines- who they use for photographers, clothing they use, model body types, EVERYTHING!
Then, I book photo shoots and shoot based on those looks. When you book the photographers that work with the magazines, they have a relationship and rapport there- and can submit you for publication. It doesn’t mean that they will for sure publish you…but they will if you have the look they want!
I hope that helps you! That is exactly what I do and it has worked out pretty good so far!
I love working with the magazines to reach as many people as I can to promote a healthy lifestyle! That’s my passion! If you feel the same way, I encourage you to get out there and inspire as many people as YOU can!
“If your dream isn’t bigger than you are, then there is something wrong with your dream.”
Peace, Love & Muscle
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