If you are a fan of our facebook page then you may have noticed that myself along with my son and partner were away last week for a paid family modelling job we got through our agency. It was a modelling job for Haven Holidays in East Sussex. The job was both a video and photo shoot and we were also joined by our pretend parents who were actually a real couple, also with the same model agency as us.
We were put up in a lovely little hotel right on the beach called The Cooden Beach Hotel. This was only 10 minutes from the Haven Holiday Park which we were doing the modelling for.
The hotel was very friendly and the view outside and at breakfast next to the beach was really beautiful. It was a little dated inside the hotel but was comfortable enough and had very nice food.
The drive to the job was very daunting for me as I am the only one who drives. My partner hasn’t yet passed his driving test so I had to do the entire trip in my little Hyundai i10 car with my two guys and a huge amount of luggage. I had never driven this far before and I was terrified, especially going around London. Going over the Dartford Crossing, I had no idea what the roads would be like once I got nearer to East Sussex, however, I have to say I really didn’t find it too bad. It was a very, very long day and we had to have so many stops for our little guy. But we treat the drive more like a day out so that way it didn’t feel like such a horrible journey, even if it did rain for a large part of it!
I was worried at how well our 19 month old, Reid, would cope with the journey as the most we have probably travelled with him in the car for is about 1 and half hours. He is such a good boy and doesn’t mind car journeys at all but this was a really big test to see how well he could cope. Reid couldn’t have been a more perfect angel. He is a really good little boy normally anyway and I have to give him credit as he is very well behaved, especially being the age he is at (approaching the terrible 2’s). He laughed, smiled, made animal noises, sang and danced the whole way there without a single bit of bother. We had lots of stops and, unfortunately, due to having to grab what we could whenever we stopped it meant a lot of junk food which we don’t give him often so he was obviously loving stuffing his face with chicken nuggets and chips. We stopped for a proper lunch in Peterborough and managed to find a little italian so we could sit and eat properly. Reid was being such a little cutie saying, ‘hiya’ and talking away to anyone who came near him. He was enjoying all of the attention he was getting. The journey there took us a lot longer than expected thanks to the dreaded traffic around London (even though it was a Sunday!). So from leaving at 10.30am from Durham it took us 9.5 hours meaning we didn’t arrive at the hotel until 8.30pm. I was very exhausted but I was jumping up and down feeling very proud of myself making that journey all in one day with very few hiccups.
The first night we arrived there we gave Reid his milk, put him in his cot and then ordered room service. I was trying not to stuff my face too much for the shoot the next day, however with limited options of what we could order at that time of night I ended up with a cheesy pasta bake..and a glass of wine. Then it was an early night for the boyfriend and I as we had to be on site at Haven for 10am the next day for a full day of modelling.
The following day we arrived at Coombe Haven Holiday Park which really did look like so much fun. It had an outdoor pool, a huge water slide, an outdoor play area and plenty of places for food and drink. It was definitely one of the best Caravan Parks I have been to but then again I have only been to a few. I had spent ages curling my hair and making sure my makeup was perfect for the shoot and as soon as we met the photographer he informed us that the first bit would be in the Jacuzzi. So as you can imagine I wasn’t too delighted at the thought of having to tie my lovely hair up in a bobble and get wet. But I thought, what the heck, it’s all part of the fun and was ready to start. It is quite daunting being in a swimsuit in front of a load of people pointing cameras at you who are fully dressed and there is only so long you can suck in your stomach for! The videographer and the rest of the crew were all so lovely and after a little while I felt totally comfortable around them and could just enjoy it. Reid wasn’t needed for this bit so for the first hour we were in the Jacuzzi with our (pretend) parents chatting, smiling and pretending to be very happy whilst we got to know each other a bit more. There is something weird about grinning at someone none stop whilst asking all the usual questions such as, ‘What work have you done before, and have you had to travel far?’. You all look a bit mad really but, on camera, once the sound is removed it all looks perfectly normal. We did quite a few different takes in the Jacuzzi. Including us all just sitting chatting, a take with just myself and my “Mum” in there, with the 3 of them in there already and me walking up the steps in the jacuzzi and a take of my partner and I walking passed the cameras towards the sauna looking happy. So basically for the first hour and a half we were being paid to chill in a jacuzzi and chat!
For the next bit we did a few takes in the gym, which both my partner and I found hilarious as we are not gym go-ers and I, especially looked absolutely pathetic using the machines, which of course we were all having a good giggle at. By this point little Reid (who was being looked after in the room right next to us with a lovely lady from the crew) was getting a little bored with the toys he had been playing with so I introduced his favourites which were biscuits and his new books. This kept him going for a while however he was exhausted as he had for the first time in a long time had an absolutely terrible nights sleep the night before. He hadn’t had chance for a nap and all I could think about was the fact that he was desperate for a sleep. He was still so, so brilliant and I was shocked he was lasting so long as he had never been so tired. After we had finished in the gym it was time for a lovely long lunch break. We got to eat complimentary food in the nice restaurant and we chilled on the sofas together with the other model couple and tucked in to some very yummy food. After Reid’s lunch he asked for a nap so I put him in his buggy and within 5 minutes he was sound asleep and I could relax as he’d finally had a nap!
The crew came back to get us for the next bit and after a quick emergency hair sort out in the toilets my hair was now poker straight and a little frizzy but it looked a damn sight better than it did right after the Jacuzzi shoot. We changed in to a different outfit and I wore jeans, some canvas trainers, a plain coloured top and we were ready to shoot the next bit, which was in burger king. We had all stuffed our faces at lunch and were now in Burger king being filmed ordering and eating the food. Reid was included for this bit and he was a very happy little man eating nuggets and chips, however I was struggling to eat anything. I still had my lovely big grin whilst shovelling chips in to my mouth, feeling very very full. This take took a little while as people on holiday wanted to order food so we kept stopping to let them order. It only took a few takes and then we were quickly moved on to the next shoot, right after another brief outfit change.
The next shoot was fun and was perfectly timed with the sun finally making an appearance. We were sat outside the bar in the nice rattan furniture and handed different flavour J2o drinks in tall glasses. Reid was sat on my knee and was loving sampling all of our different drinks. He is like the juice monster, as we don’t give him juice at home yet and only give him water, so when he gets to have juice he goes crazy with it! It was lovely and sunny so we just sat enjoying some drinks, chatting whilst we were filmed and photographed. Reid was doing all of his party tricks for everyone and making us all laugh. He certainly loves being the centre of attention.
We mixed up the shoot a bit, by rearranging ourselves and repositioning our body angle. At this point we were still having fun but we were all a little tired. I’m sure being tired from modelling sounds a bit ridiculous but it really is tiring, believe it or not.
We moved on to the next shoot which was near to some caravans on a grassy area next to a path. Obviously this was after another outfit change for us all. This time Reid was the star! He had a little flat cap on and the videographer and camera guy asked him to pose and smile which he did saying ‘cheeeeeseee’ and laughing. They then asked him to walk towards the camera and he did perfectly following them all on his own, which made me a very proud mummy to watch him being so brilliant. He was absolutely loving the attention again, which made me very happy as I would never push him to do modelling if it was not something he enjoyed. This definitely proved that he was like his mummy following in my footsteps as I started modelling as a baby and loved it. It is also a great way for my parent’s to save some money up for your me as any money I made was put in to a savings account for when I got older. After Reid’s solo shoot we did some lovely family ones of us walking together with Reid in the middle of my partner and I holding our hands. We were swinging him really high up in the air every now and again and he was killing himself laughing. We did this for quite a while and Reid was very happy to keep repeating this, saying ‘again, again’.
The last bit of our shoot was in a different bar and we had to change our top to something a little more ‘night-time’ which was really easy and great shoot for us. Especially since we were asked once we got there what we would drink on a night alcohol wise and I was handed a nice cold glass of wine and my partner was handed a beer. We sat chatting sipping our drinks and reflecting back on the day we’d had. As much as I was looking forward to a cold glass of wine, my body was so tired that I couldn’t actually drink it, so as soon as the shoot was over we said bye to the crew and photographer and that was it for the day. The day ended around 6.30pm so it was a mad dash back to the hotel to get some food for Reid as it was getting late.
I couldn’t believe what an amazing mood Reid had been in the entire day, especially since we had been on such a long drive the day before and he was so tired the day of the shoot and he’d had about a quarter of the amount of sleep he would normally have. He enjoyed some fish and chips back at the hotel and made friends with a lovely little dog who was in the hotel too (he is obsessed with dogs!). We decided since he had a bad nights sleep the night before (due to us being in the room and him not being used to that) we would push him in his pushchair outside and go for a walk until he fell asleep. Our plan worked perfectly and after a nice 15 minute walk he fell fast asleep and we lifted him in to his cot. He slept right until 9am the next day which was great as we were to begin our journey home. We had a really nice breakfast that morning and sat right next to the window overlooking the beach in the sunshine. We had a nice relaxed morning and then left for our journey at 11am.
We split the journey home over two days and stopped in another lovely little hotel on the way back which was definitely needed as I was just exhausted. We stopped off at Risley Hall Hotel in Nottingham and arrived there at 6pm, which was another old hotel which had beautiful gardens and a spa. As soon as we got in we decided to take little guy swimming to let him stretch his legs and because it is his favourite. We then had a late tea and before bed went for a run around the gardens at night to tire out Reid and because we were just enjoying his company so much. He was being such a delight and we didn’t care that he was going to bed late as we were having the best time ever as a family and he was so happy. This was one of my favourite parts of the trip, running around the gardens. We played hide and seek and ran through the grass and the bushes.
The following day we woke up after a good nights sleep but were all still so exhausted. Reid was still in a great mood however due to being tired just wasn’t up to breakfast and got a bit fed up in his highchair. So as soon as we got in the car and on the road he fell asleep and we finished the journey with only one stop for some lunch. We had bought Reid lots of presents when we had stopped because he had been so amazing the entire trip and we couldn’t have been more proud of him. My partner also suprised me with a little gift for the rest of the journey which was a Now That’s What I Call Disney CD, so we spent the remainder of the journey home singing and listening to Disney songs! It was a great end to the day and it was so nice to be home, but the trip was definitely worth it and is one I will definitely remember.
Here is a summary of the places we were at, you can visit them online:
Model agency: Tyne Tees Models
If you would like advice on becoming a model, family models or your children becoming models feel free to get in contact with me by sending an email firstname.lastname@example.org
I am happy to give any advice and know a lot about the industry. Please never pay an upfront fee with an agency or fork out a lot of money for photos with a photographer.