I first had the opportunity to work with Annie Dulin a little under a year ago and since that time I’ve not only been also to photograph her multiple times, I’ve witnessed her increase her fitness competition success, seen her appear in publications as well as in several commercial and fashion projects. Later this week I have the privilege of working with her on her first large media project. I wanted to share a bit about the background and goals of this talent who upon moving from Canada to the US self-taught herself English and began to develop a passion in fitness and modeling work.
James Patrick: What first motivated you to get in front of the camera for the first time and what inspires you to continue to do so?
Annie Dulin: I never really thought about becoming a model or getting in front of the camera. When I lived in Canada I did a few modeling jobs here and there and I started to get comfortable with doing it. The whole reason I finally did it here in the US was to do something fun for myself after competing at a regional NPC show. Since then a lot has changed.
JP: Shortly after your first fitness photo shoot, you started to book some fashion and commercial work. How did that happen?
AD: After my first show last year I started to get out there a bit more and was approached by companies and publications interested in my images and my work as a model as well as modeling agents and agencies. Since then – to be honest – everything arrived as a pleasant surprise and I am thankful to the many opportunities that continue to come.
JP: Presently you balance both interests (fitness and commercial fashion). How do you manage the two?
AD: I believe that the lifestyle of a fitness competitor, who is active competing at the regional and national level, makes it much easier for the person who is also involved in the commercial/fashion part of the industry because you are in the pursuit of constant improvement of your body as well as your image. You are used to the hard work involved in creating a professional and universal look.
JP: What are some of the ways that you presently market yourself as a talent to grow your resume of work?
AD: You have to be organized as a person and create tangible and realistic goals. In addition to having these goals, I have hired both a fitness coach who helps me plan my physical activity, nutrition and contest prep. I also work with a modeling agent who not only promotes me but makes sure I get the necessary education and training in the field of commercial and fashion modeling to meet the expectations and needs of many of the companies who many want to hire me.
JP: Can you share with us how getting signed to your agency happened?
AD: For me it was an important step in my career as a model to manage potential opportunities and maximize potential. This is not an easy industry to conquer and having an agent on your side makes it easier. I sent in submissions to several agencies and was fortunate to get a few wanting to meet with me. Every time I got new updated images I made sure to resubmit my information as well. At the end of the day, I want to continue to model and shoot for magazines, the web and the media. Having strong representation helps me move closer towards those goals.
JP: What upcoming modeling talent goals are you working towards and what are you doing to achieve them?
AD: I want to be known first for my versatility as a model as my desire to work to the highest standards possible. I am continuing to work with my fitness coach with the goal of becoming a pro at competing. I also am continuing my education as a model taking acting classes and since English is not my first language I am working to improve my communication skills with professional help.
JP: What are things you learned along this journey (albeit a short one) on what to do that works versus what not to do?
AD: Life is a gift and no matter what talents you posses, the same qualities that make people great must be respected and continued. Loyalty, respect to people, hard work and determination as well as to appreciate the opportunities that come my way. I also think it is very important to make a goal on how you want to market yourself in the industry and to not get off track.