Ready for takeoff

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I’ve been wanting to write about this since August.
Just in case, I waited until now to share.

Before I tell you where I’m at, I’d like to give a little back story.


Earlier this year I went to L.A. for the first time ever. This was a last minute decision and I was absolutely terrified. I had never travelled that far on my own and only told about three people why I was going.


It starts with modelling. Back when I was a shy and awkward fifteen year old out shopping with a friend, a dude who claimed to be a photographer came up to me and told me I should model.

Looking back, I was still a baby. I grew up in very small towns and my mom warned me about stranger-danger, so I simply said: “no thank you”, and walked away mortified thinking I had just successfully dodged a paedophile.

A year later I remember talking about modelling again with my mom and sister. My mom used to model when she was younger and my sister was doing some modelling stuff at the time.  I sent in pictures to a few agencies with the help of my sister and was asked to come in.
Again, I was still this awkward kid with zero self-esteem. I got scared and I didn’t reply.
They just wanted to make fun of me, I thought.


Fastforward to when I turned 18. Med school didn’t work out and I was having a mild identity crisis. The idea of modelling came up again and I felt a little better about myself, so I sent in pictures.
I was asked to come in and I did, with shaky legs and faked confidence.

“You’re a little bit on the short side.”

First time I ever heard this. Mind you, I am 1.73 or 5’8.
They also basically told me I was too big, which I remember hurt my feelings a lot. I finally felt pretty good about my body, so it sucked to have a stranger tell me that.

I told myself I didn’t want to do it anyway, and focussed on school. I was given the opportunity to do a testshoot, to see what I would look like on photo. I accepted, and the pictures turned out better than expected.

The agency I met with stood by what they said about me being short, though. I went back to school and never shared these images online.
When I did show them to people, I was urged to send them in again. The Netherlands might be small, but there are a TON of agencies there.
I don’t like the thought of giving up, so I’d try again.


At this point I had started doing photography myself and felt a lot more comfortable behind a camera than in front of it. Still, every time I would go into an agency or do a photoshoot I would be told to try modelling just one more time.
So I would.

I remember last year when I was on the phone with this agent pretty much at the end of my rope, telling him that this was it for me. I was done with people telling me I’m short, that I knew I could do it but wasn’t given the chance to prove myself. What he said did change my perspective.

“It’s not that you can’t do it, it’s just that you can’t do it here. The Netherlands is the land of tall people, there is too much choice. If you were based in say… Miami or L.A., you’d be working tomorrow.”


So there I was, in L.A., thinking this guy was probably full of it and trying to get rid of me.

Kid you not, I wasn’t even there for 24h and this lady getting a coffee next to me exclaimed that I HAD to model.
very over the top American, and I loved it.
She directed me to her ex-agent who took a couple polaroids and was ready to take me on.

Problem? I was only there for a week, and I’m not American.

She and someone at another agency did help me get an agency in the Netherlands, though. Which was awesome. Can’t thank her enough.


Unfortunately, it was very clear that this agency didn’t really want me from the start.
I started doing more work through friends, but never through the agency.
As good as I felt in L.A., reality hit hard when I got back. I realized that if I wanted to make this work and earn real money doing it, I’d have to move.
Because I spent a few years living in Belgium and have very fond memories of the place, I decided to check for agencies there.

It only took one phone call, I went in and I was greeted with the most welcoming and sincere woman I’ve ever met in this industry. It wasn’t even up for discussion whether I could sign with her; she just took me on right on the spot.
She actually treated me like a human being, which was refreshing.


Not only does she talk to me like I’m her equal, she listens when I say where I’d like to work.
That brings me to today.

I’m posting this as I’m back in L.A., where I’ll be for a month.
For now, I’m just doing a few testshoots and looking at schools while I’m here. Although modeling is fun, I don’t know if it’s something I could do fulltime.
We’ll see where I’m at in a month.
Maybe I’ve changed my mind and I’ll be happy to come back.
Or maybe not 😉

It’s the longest I’ve been away from my family so far, but I’m glad I’ve already been and sort of know the basics of the city.
Maybe some people consider this a negative trait, but I’m pretty naïve when it comes to stuff like this.
It helps me to not get too scared.


So with that said, I’m going to get my day started here.
I have a lot to do and very little time to get it done.





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