Modeling since she was 11 years old, NY based model Hannah Cassidy can’t believe how fast it all went. Having worked for Elle, Burberry, and Stella McCartney, today she tells us what’s important when working with photographers and key advice to make it in the fashion world.
Do your research, try to establish a good connection and be nice. These are some of Hannah’s recommendations in order to be successful in fashion. In this interview, we talk about her career and experience in the industry working with many photographers along the way.
Could you tell us about yourself?
My name is Hannah Cassidy. I am a model working globally. My mother agency is Storm, in London, but I am signed to agencies worldwide and currently based in NYC with New York Models. I worked with clients such as Zara, Burberry, Stella McCartney, and many others over the years.
How did you start modeling? For how long have you been doing it?
I was scouted at the age of 11 years old when I was shopping in Selfridges with my dad. At the time, I was the same height as I am now (175cm), so the scouts assumed I was around 16 instead of 11! I was signed by my first agency, now TESS Management, when I was about 12 or 13 years old and I have been modeling ever since. I’m 24 now and still can’t believe how quickly it has all gone.
Where would you see yourself if you were not modeling?
I’ve just graduated university with a Law degree so it would make sense to go down that path. I would most likely be a lawyer. If I stopped modeling now I would probably try and find some sort of middle ground between Law and the Fashion/Media industry. I feel like I’ve gained quite a lot of knowledge about the industry to let it go to waste.
Being a professional model is a dream for many but does not come true to all. As an experienced model, what do you think is important to master in order to succeed?
Be nice! Nobody wants to work with an unpleasant and unfriendly model. Many are the clients that I work with again and again because we get on well and have a lot of fun on our shoots. I think it’s also important to stay professional. Give importance to things like being on time and taking care of your body.
Why does fashion matter?
It’s a great way for people to show their personalities.
What are the biggest myths of the fashion industry?
That it is both easy and glamorous! When I was younger, I would go to countless test shoots (which are unpaid) just to get experience and build up my portfolio. Many of these images did end up in my book, but also many just weren’t good enough. I just had to take that chance. In the past, models wouldn’t have much creative input in shoots which is unfortunate. However, I think the industry is finally changing which is great.
How do you prepare for a photoshoot? Do you usually research the photographers or try to get to know them before the shoot?
A lot of the time models aren’t actually told if they are shooting the next day until the night before, which doesn’t give us much time to really prepare. But before a shoot, I’ll always research the photographers to get an idea of their style and how they might work. Instagram is really great for that. I generally try to take care of my body by drinking lots of water and working out, but when I’m really busy and traveling that does become difficult. Jet lag sucks!
From your experience working with many professional photographers, what are the things that some of them did that helped you as a model to do your job better?
I think the most important thing I’ve learned over the years is to just try and be truly fluid and natural on set. It’s really great when photographers come and introduce themselves and get to know you a little before you start shooting. So many still don’t!
It’s best to try and be really comfortable with the photographer so they can catch those little moments and moods which are often the best images. When you’re comfortable you might also try some cooler shapes which may also look great but can make you a little self-conscious.
What are some of the suggestions you’d give to people who just started out modeling when it comes to working with photographers?
The best thing is to form a sort of connection with the photographer so that you get the best out of each other when you are shooting. Also, it is a good idea to have a look at the mood board in order to can gauge what they want to achieve from the shoot.
What will be always in fashion no matter what?
A good pair of jeans!
What is the thing in your closet that you keep but never wear?
I’ve got a Burberry trench coat that I bought with one of my very first pay cheques. It’s something which is not very ‘me’ anymore but it’s so symbolic that I can’t bring myself to sell it.
To see Hannah’s work and portfolio visit her Instagram, here.
If you want to know more about fashion photography, read our interview with a seasoned NYC based photographer, Nima Chaichi. You can also find talented fashion photographers in our Cherrydeck Search Section or a diverse range of promising models. 🍒