COVID-19 has created countless hurdles for many industries, including the fashion industry. Fashion weeks are no longer filled with shoulder-huddled events and many creatives have been left without jobs. We spoke to model, Wendy Louise, about what this past year has been like for her.
Wendy Louise, who goes by the name Renaissance, has modelled for 14 years, mainly working in studios across the UK. She also co-owns a photographic holiday company, arranging trips for models and photographers across Europe.
This past year has been difficult for Wendy to adjust to life without modelling. "For the first six months, there didn't appear to be an alternative solution for my career, so I spent a lot of time decorating, organising the home and praying for normality to return."
Having already acquired photography equipment, Wendy used her years of experience and knowledge and started learning about remote shooting. "I had heard of remote shooting and wanted to get back to work, so I started looking into it. At first, I had issues with tethering one camera to the various sites, and another camera wouldn't connect to the laptop - it just seemed to be one thing after another! Finally, after acquiring another camera, I was able to continue modelling remotely; however, the whole shoot felt really unprofessional as we kept losing connection."
Wendy's partner, Damian, agreed to become her in-house photographer to help her gain her confidence and be creative. "It felt like I had started in a completely different industry. Normally I only have to think about my next pose, makeup and styling for each set, I was now thinking about how to position a rigid camera on a tripod to get the best angles, the best lighting to get the most flattering shot - worries that aren't usually there for a model whilst shooting in a studio or out on location."
After several shoots at home, the quality of the work improved, and Wendy came to find that she loved more than just the modelling side of shoots. "Before lockdown, I wasn't really able to be as creative as I would have liked. Due to the time restrictions on studio shoots, it always felt very rushed as I was very conscious of the time taking to get ready for each set.
"Some of the images I have been able to produce at home have taken all day. From planning, preparation, creative makeup, shooting, picture selection and finally editing, all of which have been done at a leisurely pace.
"Once things settle down and I'm able to return to work as normal, I'll be sure to save some time for me and my creativity as it has been fun, and I've really enjoyed being as creative as possible with limited resources around the house. In the meantime, I will continue to shoot at home for my portfolio and gain the confidence to remote shoot with both new and regular photographers."