The life of a model is exhilarating. Photo shoots, traveling, and being on the cover of magazines are just a small part of what girls do in the modeling industry. I admire models not only for their beauty, but their approach and mindset on how they attain success. One model you should keep an eye out for is Abigail Ratchford. Smart, beautiful, and determined. Abigail embodies all three qualities, and she was kind enough to tell me her experience and thought process on modeling.
Justin Marroquin: When did you first want to become a model?
Abigail Ratchford: I always was interested in it but never really took it seriously. A few years ago I did the Miss Pennsylvania pageant, which required me to have a professional photo shoot for the program book. After that shoot I realized it was something I like to do, and wanted to pursue. For the next year I had a few small photo shoots but never did anything with the pictures, this spring I made up my mind to get serious about it, had a ton of shoots booked for me, and then the pictures ended up in several mens websites, and the rest is history!
JM: What is the best part about doing a photo shoot?
AR: Well, the best shoots to do are the ones where they provide a hair and makeup artist. It’s nice to just sit there and have someone create this glamorous look on you, and you get to relax until it’s time to be in front of the camera! About 60% of mine I’ve had hair and makeup done, and those were the ones that I loved the most.
JM: Do you get nervous when modeling?
AR: No. Never. Just the first 30 minutes of the shoot you usually have to relax your face muscles. Sometimes they can tense up and you don’t get the “look” you want to come across on camera. Sounds strange, but it’s true. Besides that, it’s not something that makes me nervous, really.
JM: What is going through your mind when you are getting ready for a photo shoot?
AR: Hmm, make sure the clothes I wear will photograph well, some things look nice in person but photograph poorly. Also, if you have something too sheer, the flash from the camera can make it almost see through. So I always make sure about my clothing, and I will look at shoots that famous models have done to pull inspiration from, and study their poses, body language, facial expressions, etc. I try to make the final product as good as I can.
JM: What is your definition of beauty?
AR: Beauty is being comfortable with who you are. Don’t focus on your insecurities, celebrate your assets instead. So if you hate your stomach, don’t stress over it. Show off your amazing legs and realize all of the things that you are blessed with!
JM: Describe your top three goals that you want to achieve?
AR: I want to be in major men’s magazines, Maxim, FHM, etc. I want to get into acting and be in TV and films eventually. Lastly, I want to be a household name. I want to be a model-celebrity. There are plenty of models, models on the catwalk, models in playboy, models who do promotional work etc. If I’m going to do this, I want to be as big as I possibly can, and not only be a model but be a celebrity, like Heidi Klum or Kate Upton. They used their modeling careers to launch them into a whole other realm of success, that’s my ultimate goal.
JM: Give one tip on how to be more successful?
AR: You need a plan. There are steps involved. Very rarely do girls get “discovered” anymore like they used to when Cindy Crawford was discovered by a photographer picking corn. Those stories are few and far between these days because there are so many girls trying to be models, and the competition is fierce. The first part of the plan is figuring out exactly what you want to do, and finding someones career who you would like to emulate, and figuring out how to get there. For example, I would love to emulate Kate Upton’s career, but also be my own person, Abigail Ratchford. I just mean what type of model/public figure she is. Model, sensation, curvaceous, bubbly, and has a great personality. To do that, I had to get pictures taken that were sexy but not trashy, got them on men’s sites like SportsIllustrated.com, TheSmokingJacket, Men’s Humor, etc. I built a fan base which is very important. Then people who ran other sites started seeing me and contacted me to be on their sites because they heard about me. The first time I was on SportsIllustrated.com in the spring, the site owner contacted me and said he had a lot of good feedback on my gallery, and wanted to do a special American themed feature on me for Memorial Day, because of the great feedback. Th point is, you need people to make a buzz around you, and that makes you “marketable” for sites, websites, etc. because they know you will attract traffic. You can’t do it on your own, and just sit back and wait for it to come to you. I realize I have a lot more to do to get to Kate Upton’s level, clearly, but the more people know about you and support you, the better. I’ve done enough in these last few months since March to know I’m ready for the next step, I don’t just want to be on websites, I want to be in print magazines, make a career of this, and get real success and fame, not just internet fame. So remember: make a plan, build your fan base, study someone who you admire, and take over the world one step at a time, haha. You need to make yourself go VIRAL!
JM: How do you want to be remembered?
AR: I want to be remembered as someone who took a shot, no matter the outcome. There are so many people trying to do the same thing as me, and you are lucky if you make it as anything. I know I will certainly get much further giving it a shot and Moving to LA, then I would if I sat back and feared failure my whole life. I just hope the outcome is in my favor.
See more at: www.officialabigailratchford.com
Follow Abigail on Twitter: twitter.com/AbiRatchford
Like her page on Facebook: facebook.com/OfficialAbigailRatchford
Check out her Instagram: instagram.com/abigailratchford