A woman who swapped her journalism studies for a modelling career has revealed the industry isn’t as glamorous as it may seem from the outside.
Spanish model Claudia Bouza, 25, who now lives in Miami, Florida, broke into the modelling industry at age 16 after attending a photography event and loves her job, but has revealed the less than fabulous aspects of the job – from shoots that left her ill to changing in public toilets on a shoot.
Claudia has worked with a variety of brands including; OLAY, Alba Botanica, Hollister, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, ELLE, Lindsey Adler, ROCCA jewelry, Andrea Venturoli, Jordi Dalmau, Les Aimants Bridal, Ali Weiss, bikini.com and Randy Fenolli.
She revealed a single modelling job has paid her $10,000 plus residuals, however two years ago a big brand failed to pay her for its hair campaign and she’s still waiting for the fee.
And of course, there’s the constant pressure to stay looking flawless and not ‘exceed certain measurements’.
Claudia Bouza, 25, (pictured) who lives in Miami, Florida, reflected on her career as a model after breaking into the industry at age 16
‘Like any other profession that requires your full time attention and focus to succeed, modeling requires you to not exceed certain measurements and to embrace your own features by taking care of your skin, hair and diet,’ Claudia told Femail.
‘The pressure exists if you want to get jobs since you have other girls competing with you, so if you want to be the best just try your hardest to look and be your best self.’
Claudia revealed the similarities between modelling and acting attracted her to the profession as a ‘naive’ teenager.
She explained that no one was aware of her intentions when she began trying to get into the industry saying: ‘I went to a Go & See – go to a photographer’s studio or a casting facility and you’re seen. I got to shoot with some of the photographers in the event. From there I submitted to what was then my first agency.
‘I was really nervous and I remember not telling anybody I was attending, at the age of 16 and at 7am I packed a small bag with clothes and went to the venue.
Claudia (pictured) who has worked with brands including OLAY, ELLE and Grazia, revealed she’s earned $10,000 from a single modelling job
‘Of course I did not know I needed to go as natural as possible so I spent a good hour doing my make up, then it turned out that models aren’t supposed to wear make up. Being young and naive and with zero experience I hadn’t quite realized that yet.’
Claudia said since signing up with her first agency, she’s been able to build up a portfolio that attracts other agencies to contact her for work.
‘In the modeling industry we have what we call a ‘mother agency’ which is a placement agency. They sign you with agencies in other countries and they represent you worldwide,’ Claudia said.
‘I was scared of rejection but I overcame that a long time ago and to me that is a challenge, to be able to accept that rejection is part of the process. There is competition everywhere but it isn’t about the others, its about you and your goal. ‘Losers focus on winners, winners focus on winning.’ I really like this quote.’
She added: ‘I have always loved the feeling of interacting with the camera, I find it very interesting how wearing different looks can make me feel like different people, it is almost like an acting job, if you want to find the meaning behind this job you have to understand what you’re selling.’
Revealing the job is also physically demanding, Claudia said: ‘I follow a daily weights and cardio one hour workout routine and I try to eat as clean as possible.
‘I do however love Italian food and I personally can’t skip that for longer than a week so I try to have the best quality organic products.’
Claudia (pictured) revealed she has to follow a strict diet and exercise regime in addition to maintaining good skin
Claudia said in addition to her strict diet and exercise regime, she has to maintain a good skincare routine.
‘My friends call me the skincare guru- I have products for everything. I share all my secrets on Instagram.
‘I usually talk about skincare a lot since I try a lot of different brands and facial services from around the world. In every country that I travel to I find a good spot for facials. I usually do one or two facials per month,’ Claudia said.
Claudia added it wasn’t necessary for her to learn how to do hair and make-up to be a model but it has been beneficial.
She said: ‘I love doing make up and hair and most of the time when I am on set preparing with the MUA we talk about the products she is using on me and we discuss why are they better than others. I learn a lot from them and I actually have a bunch of pictures on my phone from beauty products that they used on me that I liked.
Claudia (pictured) revealed that she once got sick after doing a photo shoot that involved sitting in a freezing garage with wet hair
‘As a matter of fact, I travel with a big make up case and a big set of brushes that grows everyday more and more…my girlfriends always ask me…’what is this for?’, ‘How do you use this?’ I learn all those tricks from the make up artists and hair stylist. ‘
The model said people aren’t aware of how often they are expected to be on set in extreme weather conditions.
For one shoot she was expected to wear a bikini in – 10 degrees, as it isn’t uncommon for summer shoots to be in winter and vice versa.
Claudia said: ‘Once the team and I met downtown on a freezing day. Our meeting point was in the snowy Colombus park where there was a public toilet and where I was supposed to be changing my outfits…modeling isn’t as glamorous as it looks!
‘Another time we were shooting in a luxury cars garage with no heater as we needed to use one of their limousines for most pictures. What I did not know is about the ‘wet hair looks’, not only was I freezing for two hours on a chair in a freezing garage while the make up artist was doing her amazing job but also had someone spraying water on my hair every 10 minutes. Of course I got sick afterwards.’
Claudia (pictured) said there has been times where brands publish images with lipstick on her chin or a pimple on her face
Claudia explained that most casting calls last about three hours, however TV commercials can be a lot longer.
She said one of the hardest parts of being a model is the time wasted between sets, castings and transportation.
Claudia admitted it can be frustrating not having control over how brands edit her images, saying: ‘Once I did a jewelry campaign and I had a lipstick stain on my chin. Or when they forget to clear up a pimple. It is irritating to me because I am very meticulous with my work and I expect photographers to look after my image too.
‘However I understand that their priorities sometimes lay on different things as lighting or angles, and we as models have the tendency to check first on how do we look rather than appreciating the photography.’
Despite the frustrations, Claudia said she plans to stay in the modelling industry and direct photo shoots.
Claudia (pictured) said others hoping to become models need to develop thick skin and confidence to succeed
‘I love being the mind of an editorial, for example, since it involves a lot of creativity and vision. My career path, however, expanded towards the acting industry about three years ago. I attended The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in 2018 and completed a two year conservatory program.
‘I fell in love with Theatre and I performed plays every week from Edward Allan Baker to Tennessee Williams. I am hoping to pursue TV and Film as well. Acting is my passion,’ Claudia said.
She revealed her friends and family are supportive of her modelling career, despite keeping her desire to break into the industry quiet at the beginning.
The model added others hoping to get into the industry need to ‘develop thick skin’ and be confident, saying: ‘You decide what you’re worth is, nobody else is. At the end of the day this is a business like any other, be consistent and deliver.
‘I always encourage women to support women and I feel the need to say it since sometimes in any industry it can get a bit tough specially if competing with other talent. Just a reminder that we can be more powerful together.’