Convit 19 Times and my Life as a commercial Photo Model

Series 4

At the end of February last year I went by train to Stuttgart for a shooting. We had heard about Covid 19 but didn`t know that it was already in Europe at that time, and we didn`t know very much about the symptoms.. I was soon to find out!! There were two Chinese tourists on my train and they kept going backwards and forwards to the toilet at the end of the train. Another passenger just across from me became uneasy and kept looking to me for my comments, yes I didn`t feel too well about the situation either. And then later I had to use the toilet also just quickly but didn`t know anything about the extra hygiene precautions I should take. Of course I washed my hands but had also to hold onto the railings as this was the end of the train and it was shaking around a lot. I guess I picked up the bug there as two days later, after I had arrived home I started to get the unusual symptoms, unusual at that time but soon to become well known to many. I had the Covid and I could only hope that I hadn`t passed it onto anybody else in the crew or other models.

I got over it after a long time by sleeping most of my time away and not tasting my food! 


It was a quiet year with no work at all, the business was dead due to lock downs etc. Then suddenly December brought a wonder, I got a very unusual shooting from my Zurich agent, in fact I was given three in one week. The one was for a Sunday evening, a live on line shoot with direct online connection to USA. The client could see and hear everything. Unusual situation but after an almost only `on line` summer not so strange anymore. Because of the time difference we didn`t finished till 12pm and then I had to look for my hotel in Zurich, this I found but had to be up again at 6.30am as I had another shooting that morning. Breakfast etc behind me I then looked for the nearby studio, found it and then carried my heavy model bag up all the outside stairs. I was given a great welcome from all,the star photographer remembered me from several years before, from a Swiss Bank shoot. He even produced one of the photos on his handy! Being greeted like that is so fine as in this job you meet many people but sometimes never see them again. Sometimes you have very personal talks but then at the end of a shoot it`s goodbye for ever. On this occasion it was different and the photographer had happy memories of our shoot.

OK down to work, a few photos had to be made then a couple of crazy videos and that was it. The client and the photographer were happy and I was satisfied having done a good job. Now back to the hotel, then one hours drive home, tired but relaxed.

A very few days later I was on the way again to another small town, a short shoot was planned. I had made a copy of the Google map but when I got there I discovered that MrGoogle had made a mistake. I was in the wrong place! I asked a lady the way but she didn`t know the address, so she telephoned a friend for help. With the new information she jumped into her car and told me to follow. After ten minutes we got there and I thanked the dear lady for her help.

I went into the large factory hall, now rebuilt for the days photo session, was greeted by all and then took my first coffee. Together with the creative director, photographer, marketing  and brand managers we discussed the clothing. I had brought most things with me and so we found the answer to the two scenes. They gave me an additional pair of braces , a bow tie, and then I was ready. They were just finishing off a shooting with another model so this gave me time to get my make up dealt with. Then I was called to the scene, first a demo video had to be made. The director told me what he wanted, I did it once and the shoot was finished and everybody was happy. Then on to the photo shoot, juggling around with small pill boxes and making lots of different actions. But mostly my free choice, it was a fun shoot with a good and relaxed team. The results I have not seen, it`s often like that , that you never see the finished product. Ok job done and everybody is happy, I have achieved my goal and so time to go home.

One month later I fought for another job, it wasn`t quit clear what was needed and there was talk about me being an extra in the days shooting. I explained to my agent that I don`t do that anymore and have been working as a pro photo model for eight years now. I was made an offer and I refused saying that I am worth more for what I deliver. I was told that the customer really wanted me and so I said okay he can have me if he pays for me!! He agreed, and we agreed on a big gage.

The time of the shooting came and as I had to drive some 1.5 hours I decided to stay in a hotel overnight. No problem, but yes there was as I got lost in the city and it took me along time to find the hotel. But I did and then all was well, evening dinner alone, a glass of wine and then to bed. Up early to make myself look good for the coming days shoot. Then off to the meeting point. I was made really welcome by all, the customer wanted to know all about me and then I was told to go to the make up. It was a tight schedule for me and everybody, no time to be wasted. I was informed about the days programme and who would be looking after me, then it was time to sort out the dress with the creative director. I dressed and then went to the two clients, I felt good and I had summery clothes on so I sang a little song - `summertime and the livin is easy`. The clients liked my appearance and attitude and so all went well for the whole day. 8 scenes had to be shot in two different places and two different studios. 

I was kept on my toes all day, serious work with a lot of fun, and the results are fantastic.

Yesterday I saw the first release on Swiss TV, prime time 8pm just after the weather and before the big evening film. 18 seconds of me doing my job as a commercial photo model performing in front of a camera, doing what the client wishes in order to obtain more sales.

I have a great profession and when everything goes so well there can`t be anything better.


Jim sullivan