I recently had the pleasure to interview Eva Fydrych for YouModels regarding her stellar career as a model, photographer and as the Founder/Art Director of her amazing blog "Fashion Studio"....
Above Model/Photographer/Blogger : Eva Fydrych
Eva what were the key factors that prompted you to venture into designing and commencing your own blog and website?ï»¿
I have always been interested in fashion and photography, I also enjoyed writing, but never really had time to pursue it. While studying in New York in January, I began thinking that is would be great to start something that would combine all my interests together and allow me to use my previous fashion experience. That's how I started Fashion Studio...
Do you find it difficult to maintain our profile in the modelling/fashion industry and be up-to-the-minute with blog entries?
Yes, you actually always need to make choices. There is never time to do everything, so while I'm more invloved in modelling or photography, I can't spend that much time on keeping the Fashion Studio blog up-to-date. And the other wat round. I try to prioritize and do most important things first, byt obviously you get best results if you do just one thing full-time and put all your energy into it. Fortunately, all those fields are connected together and that makes it a little bit easier.
Which venue do you feel brings the most traffic, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr to your blog or website?
Most of the traffic comes through my own website and another modelling portal/website where I have both my photography and modelling profiles.
What in your opinion makes a successful blogger Eva?
I think it's important to be different and have something interesting to say. You need to have your own vision of what you are trying to create and maintain the same high level of your articles all the time. There are some bloggers that just copy editorials or catwalk photos from fashion magazines and have no original content at all. I find it a waste of time. If you want to read what's already in Vogue or Elle, you can just buy those magazines. When I visit someone's website, I want to find something unique that I haven't seen/read before. That's the whole point.
Â One of the biggest mistakes is not updating the content frequently or writing about the events that are already in the past. You need to be fast and react quickly to what is happening. Fashion enviroments change very quickly, so to stay on top of things, you need to make sure that you are always up-to-date with all the information.
Â From the technical point of view, I think it's very important to be precise and make sure that all the links, pictures etc are displayed properly and the website is user friendly. The layout and graphic design make an important impression when people visit your website for the first time.
Â And of course, you should write about the subject that you are passionate about and have a good knowledge of, but make sure that there are people who actually want t read about it. I find reader's opinion is very important. After all, a blog or magazine is not for only you, but especially for other people. What they think is crucial to the popularity of your website.
What do you feel makes a stand out blog or website?
Originality, unique content, being different than everyone else and reacting faster than other people. Having a strong vision and determination to succeed, hard work and professionalism. Promoting and advertising your blog/website as much as you can is also beneficial.
The aim of your blog and website Eva is?
I want Fashion Studio to be an online platform where fashion industry professionals can connect and find all the latest news and latest fashion trends to interviews with models and photographers, street fashion and beauty tips. I would like Fashion Studio to become a high quality print magazine one day. I already have many talented people collaborating with me on a regualr basis, so I hope that we can make it happen one day...
How have you used your experience and network gained as a model to promote your career/business?
My experience as a model helps me both as a photographer and as a Fashion Studio editor. I have soem valuable industry contacts in the UK, Singapore, Toronto and New York - it always helps to know people and to know the industry in general. I'm never treated like someone from the outside, but more like a person who already knows the business.
I also used to work in fashion retail and in publishing in Lond, UK - those experiences are very helpful as well. And of course, travelling - being able to compare various markets around the world gives you a totally different perspective and a more global outlook of the industry.
What's your advice to a model starting their own business or blog/website?
Be persistent. Do the market research. Network.
Eva what are your best tips on social media marketing?
Social media marketing broadens your readership. Websites like Facebook or Twitter are a great way to promote your blog/website and what's even better - they are both free and easy to use.
Where were you born Eva?
I was born in Krakow, Poland.
Does modelling run in the family?
No, modelling does not run in the family, although my Mum could definitely have been a model when she was young. She looks beautiful in all her pictures. I started modelling quite late, only a couple of years ago. WhenÂ I was a teenager and in my early twenties, I was always busy with school (learning foreign anguages, playing the piano) and later with my studies - I have a Masters Degree in Philosophy - and that required a lot of time and dedication. Education has always been very important in my family.
Where do you currently reside?
I've been living in Toronto, Canada since September 2010.
Eva who would you rate as your favourite photographer at the moment and why?
Steven Meisel is one of my favourite photographers of all times. I admire his creativity and imagination, his beautiful fashion editorials and amazing work for Italian Vogue. His style is bold and unique. Recently, I had the pleasure to interview Cameron Carpenter - a very talented stylist from New York, who worked with him at Yasmin Warsame's photoshoot for Italian Vogue. The effect of their collaboration is fantastic!
I also admire Mario Testino and his ability to capture people's personality n the pictures. "Kate Moss by Mario Testino" is a must-have book for every aspiring fashion photographer!
And of course there are other great photographers that I need to mention: Richard vedon, Helmut Newton, Peter Lindbergh, Patrick Demarchelier, Annie Leibovitz and the list goes on...
Magazine covers or editorials that you have done?
I did a couple of magazine editorials, but not really the covers. I appeared in Scene Magazine (Singapore), Aeris (Singapore), Every Model Magazine (UK), Gold Coast Bulletin (Australia), Up and Coming Magazine (US), Hi Gloss (US) and some online publications.
Is there any type of shoot that you refuse to doÂ for example nudes?
Yes, of course. While I do shoot for lingerie and implied nude, I amÂ definitely not interested in nude/Playboy type of shoots or anything erotic/soft porn etc. And my main focus is still fashion and commercial modelling.
I would also refuse taking part in a shoot that I find morallyÂ offending, such as anything racist, discriminating certain groups of people, sending the wrong message or promoting contoversail types of behaviour. I would rather use modelling for a god cause by taking part in charity fashion shows or getting involved in other projects that bring something positive.
Eva casting calls, obviously you would have been turned down for some jobs. How did you handle the rejection, did you find it sould destroying in the beginning of your career?
Yes, in the beginning, it was quite hard to get used to being rejected and hearing "no" at the castings. You always keep thinking why it was someone else, notÂ you, getting the job that you wanted...But you slowly learn how to deal with it and it doesn't really affect you anymore. Every "no" brings you one step closer to a "YES". Rejection is such a big part of being a model or an actor; with so much competition around, it is impossible to always get what you want.
Eva, you of course do runway as well as editorial photoshoots, which designers have you recently worked for?
Most recently I worked for a Toronto based designer Joy Couture, African inspired Vansheek & Regalia and for Princess Approach as a photographer.
Latest work or campaigns that you are currentlyÂ undertaking?
At the moment IÂ am much more focused on developing Fashion Studio and improving my photography skills. My recent modelling photoshoots took place in May in Barbados and I plan to continue working as a model in Asia in November.
Canadian markets are not very good for models, fashion industry here is still growing, the ratesÂ of pay are low and competition isÂ veryÂ tough. It's much easier to find work in London or New York. On the other hand, it's quite a good market for the photographers and there are aÂ lot of interesting assignments and projects to take part in. So I'm trying to make the best out of it.Â
When not working which I am sure is rare, what do you do in your spare time?
I love travelling, so whenever I have a chance, I try to visit a new county and see soemthing that I haven't seen before. Travelling is a great inspiration for everything I do, and is such a big part of my life, that I can't imagine living without it. As Saint Augustine said "The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page".
I am interested in modern art, cinema and music. I'm definitely not a stay-at-home person and I like to explore the world. So even if I', not travelling, I go out quite a lot, I enjoy eating out, dancing and spending time with my friends. I go to a gym and always get involved in all kinds of outdoor sports and activities, like jogging, swimming and cycling. And of course I can't resist shopping...
Eva to keep fit, toned and healthy what is your fitness regime?
I'm a member of Goodlife Fitness and try to exercise a couple of times per week. I also take dancing classes from time to time: hip hop, salsa and ballet. They are fun and a great workout too. I always watch waht I eat and I don't smoke. I think staying fit and healthy is relly important, not only for the models and people in the fashion industry, but for everyone. It keeps you younger and improves your general well-being: your mood and everyday energy levels.
Eva do you currently have a boyfriend?
No, I'm currenly single. With all my travelling and changing places on a regualr basis, it's not easy to have a stable relationship. Even when I meet soemone that I like, I know that I will be somewhere else soon. I guess my partner should have a similar sense of adventure, be independent and open minded. I meet a lot of interesting men, but no one managed to keep me for longer lol.
Do you often feel when modelling, doing shoots or runway, that you are viewed as nothing more than a commodity for advertising purposes, does it bother you that you are not seen as "Eva the person" by collegues within the industry? Or do you see it as part of the job?
I would say it's part of the job. I would compare it to acting; sometimes you play a certain character that has nothing in common with you in real life. You try to portray them the best you can, but you are not really showing or expressing YOU as a person. When you model, you also play a certain role. Your main aim is to sell the product.
I think it's enough that people can see me as a real person in my private life, where I have a lot of opportunities to show who I am, say what I think, and be judged not only by the way I look.
Key points to remember when starting out as a model or wanting to become a model that you would like to pass on?
If you would like to start modelling or acting, you must really WANT it, have a lot of self-confidence and self-disipline. You must be very determined and have your own goals. Don't sit around and wait for someone to discover you. Go out there and start promoting yourself. Let people know who you are and what you want to achieve. There is so much competition in this industry that you need to work on improving yourself all the time. Practise our psoing, update your protfolio, experiment with a new look.
* Believe in yourself and don't give up.
* Be realistic about your abilities.
* Practise your posing in front of the mirror.
* Eat well, exercise and get plenty of sleep.
* Always be yourself and don't get influenced by people.
* Set your goals and know what you want to achieve.
* Ask questions.
* Help your luck and be proactive; don't wait to be discovered.
* Always be on time.
* Treat people as you would like to be treated.
* Enjoy what you do!
Some of the things that I learned along the way...Be punctual, professional and polite. Don't believe in everything that people tell you, trust your own intuition. Work hard and be persistent, don't expect that you will become successful overnight. Don't compare yourself to otherss, don't gossip, don't lie. Never do something that you might regret later. Always give 100% in everything that you do and make an effort to go the extra mile. Don't forget who you are and what is important for you in life.
To be a good model, you need to have both looks and personality, determination to succeed and strong will-power. It is important to be yourself instead of trying tio imitate someone else, have an open mind and an ability to learn new things and be flexible. You must show people that you are willing to commit and work hard to get where you want to be. It is although important to be friendly and have good people skills. You need to believe in yourself and be positive; tell yourself that failure is not an option...
I think it's very important to find a good agency that will represent you. There is only a certain amount of jobs that you are able to find as a freelancer and it also takes a lot of time that could be spent in a more productive way. Most serious clients and companies go directly to a modelling agency to help them seect the right model for their project or campaign. A good agency does a lot of work for you - they find suitable castings and go-sees,, prepare the comp cards and online profile. The offer feedback and advice which is especially improtant for the your inexperienced girls and guys who are just taking their first steps in the industry. Signing with the agency will help you to avoid a lot of troubles that you may get into without the proper knowledge and experience.
I am currently represented by eZen Modelz and Scout International in Singapore, Icon in Toronto, Rogue Model Management and Agent Models in the UK and UnU Models in my hometown - Krakow, Poland. My plans for the end of this year include doing some more modelling work in Asia and I have to say I'm relly excited about it! Agencies in Singapore and Hong Kong are very professional and reliable.
Thank you for interviewing me Tina, it has been a pleasure talking to YouModels about my work!