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"You're doing business here."

Being a model is not always fun, but it definitely can be sometimes.

What is defined as fun in this biz might be something different for every model. Some might say that they love the maintenance part: making sure hair, body, skin, and nails are maintained is fun (especially the tax write-off part!). For others, it's the opportunity to meet and work with clothing designers and photographers and hair and makeup artists. Some love the travel part best.

For me, being surrounded by creative people is one of the best parts. So much fun! There are a lot of people on the set of a photo shoot: There's the photographer and their assistant/s, the makeup artist, the hairstylist, the art director, the representative from the magazine or catalog, the clothing stylist/s, and other models. These people are creatives, which is what I, too, consider myself. Part of my "tribe"!

Creatives are my favorite types of people. When I'm collaborating with a bunch of very right-brained individuals, that's fun for me. There's a lot of laughing, brainstorming, and having a thoroughly happy time. It usually doesn't feel like work. But: It's important to remember that it IS work, and work must be taken seriously.

One of my first travel jobs was when I was 18 years old. It was for a magazine, and we traveled to Jamaica to shoot for more than a week. Jamaica!

We arrived in the evening and settled in. At breakfast the following day, the art director decided that I was quite pale, so for my first full day in Jamaica, all I was instructed to do was to work on getting a suntan....and I was getting paid to do it.

Day two, we began shooting. We worked from sunrise to sunset, because they wanted to use only natural lighting. That left every single night open for whatever we wanted to do!

The resort where we were staying was very posh. I found a group of people my age who were vacationing there, and we all got to know each other on that trip. For three nights, we all stayed up late and danced and laughed. Needless to say, when it was time for me to wake up and shoot, I was exhausted and just wanted to keep sleeping. Not good.

After night 3 of my staying-up-all-night, day 4 of shooting began. On that particular day, we were shooting on the side of a gorgeous hill by the ocean. As we were shooting, a boat sped by, and its passengers were my new "party friends". I was happy to see them! They floated closer and closer to us, excitedly shouting and waving, while I shouted and waved back and asked them to stay and watch us shoot. I even moved closer to the water to chat with them for a bit....while we were working.

I quickly learned that was a no-no.

The photographer made his way over to me and said, "Erin, you're doing business here. We have the client here watching you and wanting these photos to be beautiful, and they trust us to be professionals. Tell your friends that we need to focus because we are working. And don't do that again."

At that point, I had been modeling for only a few years, and had never had that much fun during a shoot. You live, you learn, and I learned that no matter how much fun and "vacation"-like a location might be for a modeling job, you must always behave like the professional that you a expected to be. Learn from my mistake!

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