Lincolnshire-based model Sarah Campbell (Gypsy Rhodes) is a passionate and determined young model with an unrelenting drive for success. We chat with Sarah about some of her best experiences and future aspirations…
“I do modelling for passion and enjoyment, not for capitalism”
S] You have an impressive resume; however can you tell us what your defining moment has been as a model so far?
SC] The most defining moment in my modelling career is winning the Ultra Vixen vote for Bizarre magazine in their 149 issue. I have been a fan of the magazine for quite some time and the response I have received since has been awesome.
S] What or whom is the biggest inspiration in your life both personally and professionally, and why?
SC] I found that most of my inspiration has come from Alice Cooper and the Glam Rock era. I love his clothing style and his unique music video styles which are incredibly theatrical and entertaining. I find that these videos give me inspiration for certain styles of shoots I like to be involved with.
S] What would your advice be to other people looking to get into Alternative modelling, what are the three key ingredients?
SC] One…Have passion, two…Have Determination, three…Be Experimental.
You need the passion to be a model. You need to be prepared to put in a lot of effort and hard work but most of all to relax and have some fun. You need to have the perseverance and determination to get where you want to be and not to be afraid if you get knocked back a few times. Trust me, a few of my earlier works developed into nothing but wasted shoots, however my efforts of contacting further photographers and opening my mind has increased and my passion has grown exponentially.
S] What are the biggest aims that you have for the rest of this year and how do you hope that your career will develop?
SC] Currently, I live each week as it comes. I plan to increase my portfolio with more experimental ideas and test the waters with some more obscure shoots. I want to increase my presence around the UK and to get in contact with photographers further afield than my home county. Since I don’t plan any further than a month or two ahead of time, any new ideas, competitions or career-changing prospects that come up in the short run, I will be take on to help further my career. I do modelling for passion and enjoyment, not for capitalism.
S] In what ways, if at all do your friends and family support and encourage what you do?
SC] My family and friends are all very supportive. I have a great partner, who supports me fully and helps me come up with new ideas and runs my website. My parents and extended family are also happy to support me in my decisions and want me to do what makes me happy.
S] As much as you can, can you tell us about the most interesting shoot you have been on?
SC] The ice-cream-based shoot with Kaleidoscope Alchemist photography was a lot of fun, a very messy and cold experience but worth it for the shots we achieved. It was kind of like returning to childhood with being allowed to eat lots of lollies and ice cream and getting into a serious amount of mess!
S] What’s been the biggest challenge that you have had to face since becoming an alternative model, and how did you overcome it?
SC] The biggest challenge was to build up my self-esteem and confidence about myself. I had to come to believe that I could actually become a model and be happy with myself. Before I decided on a path to become a model, I found that I could not be compared to the majority of alternative models who are already out there. My closest friends encouraged me to do a first shoot. With the help of my partner, we did a quick shoot in our living room and uploaded it to a website. I feared the worst and expected a lot of insults. However, the response from the shoot was overwhelming and I had so much support from my closest friends and it’s that what has kept me going.
S] In as much detail as you can, please describe to us your ideal shoot (imagine that you are coordinating everything) and tell us what it would entail, location and anything else that springs to mind?
SC] I would love to be involved in a full theatrical photo shoot based on an Alice Cooper feel. It would have guillotines, electric chairs, padded walls, skewered baby dolls, giant spiders and the essential trademark that I would love to shoot with, would be a boa constrictor snake. All in all a very dark, surreal and nigtmare-ish feel.
S] On a different note what would your nightmare shoot entail – would you have high street shoes chasing you? Be as creative as you can.
SC] I think it would possibly underwater, I have a fear of the open sea, stemming from a fear of sharks, that stops me from entering even the local sea, despite knowing there is absolutely no chance of bumping into any relative of Jaws there.
S] You come from Lincolnshire, how difficult was it for you to find work in the beginning – we ask because people seem to assume that all the major work comes from down south?
SC] Not as hard as you’d think, there are some brilliant local photographers who are very talented such as the very talented Dean Wilkinson, and others such as ASYLUMseventy7 and Kaleidoscope Alchemist, who are happy to lend a hand to aspiring models looking for a place to start. However I am planning on travelling further a field to find other photographers with similar traits.
S] If you were given to someone as a gift, but there was a warning label – what would it say?
SC] ‘Gift appears innocent; however please note appearances may be deceiving.’
For more information visit the model’s Myspace and website.
* All photographs used with the kind permission of Gypsy Rhodes