Modelling and Motivation

The irony of trying to write about motivation when I currently have so little of it…

Motivation I think is something everyone struggles with. From the small stuff like getting out of bed on a cold Monday morning, to the bigger stuff like lifestyle changes in diet and exercise, motivation is something that is always hard to come by and maintain. So much research has gone in to motivation, and average people have risen through the ranks to “Motivational Gurus” and are now worth squillions of dollars just because they decided to give practical, blanket life advice on a public platform. Kudos to them, but there will always be a crowd that the blanket advice doesn’t work for. I’m usually a member of that crowd. 

For years I struggled to find what motivated me and to find what worked for me. The blanket advice given by gurus would work to a very tiny extent, but when the zeal wore off or reality kicked in, the average life advice became just that. There’s not a lot that’s motivating about stock standard life advice. It becomes mundane and hard to stick to because it’s platitudes meant for the masses. I’ll try not to be too banal and cliché with this post, but it’s very hard to discuss motivation without running that risk. It’s also hard to remember that while we are all very much the same, there are certain differences in  how we respond to certain things. What works for me may not work for you. What I find motivating, you may find ridiculous, and vice versa. Take everything – all life advice –  with a grain of salt. 

Over the last few weeks I’ve been given some interesting opportunities to do a little bit of modelling. I’ve been honoured and humbled by the choice to use me, but it’s also been a struggle to confront things I don’t like about myself. It’s also been a struggle to maintain the momentum and motivation built up by these opportunities.

The first photo shoot that was offered to me was for a friend who wanted to learn a little more about photography and expand her portfolio. She had a vision of tasteful nudes (or at the very least topless) with an autumnal setting. I leapt at the offer because I wanted progress shots of how far I’ve come in my fitness and weight loss, but I didn’t want the stock standard sad photo of me holding a newspaper in front of a wall. So this opportunity worked out well. 

The images have obviously been cropped for… boobs reasons, but even with little to no editing you can dig on just how Land-Mermaidy and autumny a vibe we ended up with by the conclusion of the photo shoot. There were some images that I loved so much I ended up pinning them to the inside of my wardrobe (again, for boob reasons – having them visible to everyone seemed rather invasive of everyone’s rights not to see breasts willy-nilly).

This photo shoot was pretty darn enjoyable. More than enjoyable though, it was motivating. I had such a good time I wanted to do it again, but I wanted to be better. I wanted to be fitter. I wanted to be able to do some of the positions the photographer wanted without my self-consciousness getting in the way. “Ewww, but my fat rolls…” or “Um, I get what you’re going for, but my body just will not look that good from that angle…” etc, etc. Thankfully the people I was with were super supportive and very rarely did those thoughts intrude my mind, but it is always a possibility. We are, after all, our own harshest critics. 

This photo shoot lead to another budding photographer asking if I’d be interested in modelling for him too. I accepted and sent through more photos so he could see what body shape he would be photographing. He had a similar vision of nude aesthetic, and it’s hard not to take it personally when the communication severs or drops off after the image exchange. It’s hard to reconcile the fact that you won’t float everyone’s boat, and your aesthetic may not be the one they needed or wanted for their vision, but that fact is totally OK. It’s also hard to rationalise that humans are busy, and the people around you have lives outside of their hobbies. It might just be they are currently busy, not that they’ve dismissed you. 

When Harry Millward asked me to do a photo shoot for him, I was so honoured. I’ve seen the models he’s used in the past and they’re all lithe, thin, model-esque women with the socially acceptable model aesthetic. And the men are usually pretty damn gorgeous too. The photo shoot required action shots to allow the camera to showcase the movement of the garments and to display the weave and texture of the fabric used in all of the pieces. It was challenging and enjoyable. It’s so interesting having to be aware of so many things your body is doing. You have to be aware of what your face is doing while remembering to keep this leg straight, but that arm bent, back tall, stomach sucked in, but breathe and look carefree… It’s an insane amount of unnatural movement to make a photo look natural.

Photo used with permission from Harry Millwards instagram

Being made aware of so many of my body parts is something I’ve kept locked up. It’s hard to be aware of your limbs and your stomach and not to dwell on them long after the camera has been put away and the photos have been edited. I’m still thinking about it. So much so that I’ve done some more soul-searching and tried to find more motivation to reach the goals I’d originally set out at the start of the year. I’ve now hired a personal trainer who competes in body building competitions and has a degree in nutrition. The idea is to get some pointers and have someone pushing me to my limits so I can continue to have the motivation. I’m also paying for it, so I have financial motivation too. 

I think the trick to motivation for the average joe is to find the things you love, and the things you enjoy and use them to drive you. It’s a no brainer. But for people who are a little harder to stimulate; find the thing you hate losing. For me, it’s money. I’m poor. I’m in debt. Money is not something I have much of, but I’m good with it. By investing a financial stake in my goals, I motivate myself to get up at 5am to go to the gym to train. I am motivated to follow dietician advice because I’ve paid for it and I know the end results are worth the pain/loss of finances. Find what motivates you, and use it like a weapon. Use it to push you harder and focus in on the small steps required to hit the bigger goals.

As promised in the Youtube video; Footage of things going delightfully wrong during the shoot for Harry Millward. We were doing some fun slow motion footage to display the Herringbone Draped Cardigan in motion, and well, the wind had other ideas. 

You can buy the gorgeous Herringbone Draped Cardigan and other garments at
You can also follow Harry Millward on his Instagram

Thanks to those of you who have subscribed to the Youtube Channel. If you haven’t, you can find me here at Tirades in Teacups.

Stay silly, kids.



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