Model Q&A: Ivy Lee

Ivy Lee | VIP Member | Verified Credits (124)

Model: Ivy Lee; Photographer: Phlash Studios

Where are you from? Where are you based now and do you travel for shoots?

I’m from Central NY, which is where I started modeling. I lived in Florida for a few years, then moved back to New York, and now live in the Philadelphia area. I travel full-time for shoots around the United States, and though I’m married now I still travel more than half the year.

Who or what inspired you to become a model?

Honestly, I really didn’t think about it much. I watched shows like ANTM but it wasn’t something I ever thought I could do. I was short and too shy for the acting world. I didn’t ever have any goals to “be a model” when I grew up.

Model: Ivy Lee; Photographer: Linda Hollinger

How and when did you start modeling?

In 2007, when I was in college and 19 years old, I had a random college student at a nearby college contact me on MySpace and ask if I’d be interested in posing for him for a project. It was nude and actually a pretty “sexy” theme (strip beer pong). I don’t remember exactly what he said but I know that I just felt like, “Sure, why the hell not!?” I was never brought up to think nudity was weird and even though I had always been a shy person, I was comfortable with my body.

That guy introduced me to One Model Place. I joined that day and instantly booked a partially paid photo shoot. That person told me Model Mayhem was better (which it is, of course) and I’ve been focused on using MM for 95% of my work ever since. I modeled while in college for a bit and on the side when I had other jobs. When the company I was working closed down the office for in 2009, I started modeling full time.

What type of modeling do you enjoy most?

I enjoy shoots most where I get to have a creative team, unique styling, crazy hair and makeup, etc. It’s rare but when I do get shoots like this I’m very excited! I also like when photographers want me to be more “weird” or “dark” with creative concepts for fine art.

Model: Ivy Lee; Photographer: Michael Rosen

What do you look for when deciding to work with a photographer?

I’m really not picky when it comes to working with people. Modeling is my job, so I’m not selective about style and experience of the photographer as I’m typically getting paid. As long as the person is respectful of my limits, I’m happy. I’m also happy to be someone’s first shoot ever. My experience as a photographer has really helped me to help others. New photographers often seek my advice for lighting and camera settings while shooting. I think it’s really fun when I can help someone grow and become a better photographer.

Which models or other artists currently inspire you?

As far as other models go, I’d say Laura New is a good example of someone I’m fascinated by. She is a sweet, wonderful person who I was actually able to photograph last year and I really admire her skill to create such great styling. When doing a quirky shoot or creative makeup, I tend to say I need to “channel my inner Laura New.”

For photographers, I really love TJ Drysdale‘s amazing style as well as a couple people that my husband, Greg Gardner, turned me on to like Brooke Shaden and Lindsay Adler. I really like creative, surreal photography work.

Model: Ivy Lee; Photographer: Kimberly Meadows Photo

What would be your dream shoot?

That’s a tough one… I don’t think I’ve really thought about that too much but I think it would probably just have to be something along the lines of those photographers I love. I think TJ’s destination shoots with his partner are a good example. Fantastic locations with a bit of conceptual art, that’s my jam!

How important is social media in your success?

I think with the rise of Facebook, I’m finding it harder to find jobs on platforms like this, so it’s becoming very important, even though I don’t want it to be. Facebook and Instagram make it really hard for artists to promote their work and network and I really just wish it was back to my early modeling days where everyone just used sites like MM for finding models. I work hard at growing a following but it’s tough. I haven’t gotten lucky with big boosts of fans on Instagram like some models, but maybe one day.

Model: Ivy Lee; Photographer: Red Sky Photography; Clothing Designer: HMSlatex Designs

What else do you like to do outside of modeling?

I’m also a photographer and I really enjoy being able to hire traveling models for my Meetup group events and pay it forward. Besides the industry, I love to go out hiking. Even though I enjoy photography, I keep my camera at home and just enjoy the hike and stick to cell phone shots. I’m also a big football fan (Go Eagles!) and a little obsessive with TV binging.

What’s the best career advice you can give to new models?

Stay organized! I have so many spreadsheets and wish I kept up on them over the years. Having easy references to go back to for traveling really helps. Gaining contacts from other models is a huge help and one of the most valuable things I’ve done. Keeping track of your shoots and contacts is a big help. Keep an eye on people that add your photo to a list or comment, that’s your “warm market list!”

Model: Ivy Lee; Photographer: Krizanek Photography

Instagram: @modelivylee | Facebook: @modelivylee | Twitter: modelivylee

MM Edu

MM Edu brings you tips, advice, and knowledge in modeling, photography, post-production, style/makeup, and Using MM. The expertise comes from our beautiful and brilliant members!

More Posts - Website

Follow Me: