Friday, October 14, 2011

Behind The Scenes at a Modelling Agency-Interview with David Hill Souch

David Hill Souch at Somerset House in London Fashion Week taken by Andy Barnham
SHOOTDHS Models was founded in 2010 by David Hill Souch, a professional UK male model who made his name during the 90's through retail campaigns and editorial shoots in national magazines. As well as being a successful model, David has also spent time in the Performing Arts industry where he earned an incredible reputation as an actor, director and script writer.

With all this experience and knowledge, he decided to break out of his comfort zone in 2010 and create his own agency, SHOOTDHS, in order to give back what he has learnt over his 20 year career. His philanthropic attitude has served him well and now SHOOTDHS has over 80 models on their books. Moda de la Mode has managed to secure an exclusive interview with the founder and Casting Manager, David Hill Souch to find out what life is really like in a modelling agency....

Leonie – taken by Tim Baker for client British Designers @ Fashion Capital

1) How did you get into modelling or did modelling find you?
I got into modelling when I was 17. It was at the time when full lips were deemed to be a huge fashion status, I was constantly being asked whether my Lips or (Jolies) as I affectionately refer to them now were collagen implants!!!!
I was talent spotted whilst out in London by a teen modelling agency and had previously been placed as a finalist for a leading catalogue as their search for a cover Model.

2) As a Company Director/Founder, what are the key elements you look for in a prospective model? What makes someone stand out from the crowd?
I really like good symmetry in a face, but perhaps most importantly I like our models to have great personalities and attitudes.
Most aspiring models seem to think modelling is easy and that is all about them. Whilst its true, a small part is indeed about them, there is so much more to it. Being or becoming a model takes vast amounts of passion and determination and the ability to take knock backs, pick yourself up, dust yourself down and move on.

3) With the recent television show, The Model Agency, has the number of walk ins increased for agency and do you think it showed an accurate portrayal of the industry?
When I first watched the programme I was actually setting up the agency, so it provided me with fantastic insight. It would be fair to say I was slightly alarmed at some of the attitudes towards the models.
I do however think in hindsight that it was a fairly accurate portrayal, I can sympathise with any agency the sheer frustration of getting a model a casting/opportunity and for a model to let you down.

4) Describe a typical day in the life of a Company Director/Founder!
Coffee always starts my day
Most days consists of finding new and exciting opportunities for my models, speaking/meeting with clients and photographers. Reviewing applications and meeting new prospective models and of course speaking with the current models - checking dates etc.
More increasingly these days I do get mobile phones thrust in my face when people find out what I do for a living – “what do you think of my Sister, Brother, Son, Daughter…” which is very tough as it puts you very much on the spot. Everyone seems to think they are going to find me the next Lily Cole or David Gandy.
Sarah S – taken by April Barrie for client Traffic People

5) If you could change one thing in the industry, what would it be?
I would like to see more diversity in the industry and the acceptance that not every person is the same. I do think we are slowly turning a corner after the recent cover for Vogue Italia using plus size models – it was totally refreshing and such a powerful and beautiful image.
I would also like to see much more planning into shoots. we do receive lots of interest for test shooting our models – but constantly alarmed at how little thought is put behind the concept. I do wonder if people think we models rock out of bed looking like we have stepped out of a magazine – sadly not the case just the foundations we need Makeup, Hair and a Stylist too.
6) What do you see as being the future of of the modelling industry? Do you think there will be an increase in 3D technology such as the hollogram of Kate Moss in the McQueen show?
I haven’t stopped and I practically work 24/7 so I know the demand for models is still very buoyant. I am not too worried about the increase use of 3D technology, as nothing beats having the real thing in front of your eyes.
7) Tell me about the transition from being a model to becoming a casting manager.
It’s been incredible, I entered my new role with a huge passion. It’s not easy being that new kid on the block, I appreciate there are many other agencies doing exactly the same as me, but I am gaining huge respect for my dedicated approach and willingness to succeed.
8) What made you decide to set up your own agency and what thoughts and emotions were buzzing in your head at the time?
I’ve always dreamed of running my own agency, But it took vast courage to strike out and give up the security of my previous job. Starting up a business no matter what the industry is seriously scary stuff! A real mix of emotions Excitement, Nervousness,

9) If you weren't working in modelling, what would be your preferred career?
A musical actor and star in a West End show.

10) Have you had or experienced any catwalk hick ups during your time as a model?
None - due to my height 5ft 11in - I sadly wasn’t tall enough to make it as a Catwalk Model, I’ve only ever done charity events where height is not such a huge issue and thankfully they always ran smoothly.

David Hill Souch taken by April Barrie

11) Which show would you most like to walk in or which magazine would you most like to be featured in?

For me personally I would love to walk for McQueen & feature in GQ magazine – Man of the Year 2012 perhaps
For my Models Vivienne Westwood and on the front cover of Vogue

12) What are your views on men modelling in womenswear shows such as Andrej Pejic in the Jean Paul Gaultier show?
I thought it was hilarious, and what a great publicity stunt to draw even more attention to your branding – It certainly worked on this occasion and hey always worth trying new things to see how they shape up.

13) With so many models competing to get jobs, what is the best way for them to get noticed?
Go the extra mile – research the client beforehand. Be confidence not arrogant, never to be late and ultimately know your face!

14) What advice would you give someone trying to break into the industry?
I think the best advice anyone can give is always be yourself, try not to take life too seriously and understand it takes more than just having a pretty face to succeed in this industry.

15) Describe yourself in one word and describe ShootDHS in one word?
ME = Dedicated
SHOOTDHS = Refreshing

David Hill Souch striking a pose at Mode Fashion Show
If you are interested in finding out more about David Hill Souch or SHOOTDHS then please visit their website!
Follow Moda de la Mode

1 comment

  1. thanks for the comment, very nice! ... She loves the blogging ... follow me if you like;)




© Moda de la Mode | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Created by pipdig