Suzy Monty, photographed by Neil Hartley of Let's Pose Studios.
Suzy Monty is a mature model, who, at 61, still has a thriving modelling career. She is keen to let the world know that your modelling career doesn't have to end just because you are over a certain age.
Suzy started modelling as a young woman, after winning the Miss Cornwall Bikini and Miss Cornwall Swimwear beauty contests. "I modelled successfully in my 20's and 30's in London, but I am a country girl at heart – that's what keeps me fit and slim! I ran a national award-winning model agency, then retired at 40 due to a severe dose of Glandular Fever," Suzy says.
Suffering a nasty bout of glandular fever at 40 meant having to retire but Suzy was not to be deterred. She re-launched herself at 58, determined to keep on modelling no matter what. "Modelling for me is such a ‘creative’ process. I do all my own styling and make-up for my freelance work. When I was in London this year, modelling for a Good Housekeeping Magazine feature, there were so many people I met before I even got to the photographer! I simply love modelling. The places I've been to and the lovely people I’ve met through modelling are brilliant!" she enthuses.
Photo by Viv Taylor.
Despite the many stereotypes surrounding the world of modelling, those stating that you must be a certain age and size to be able to model, Suzy is confident that the industry is opening up to the wider possibilities out there.
"Mature models, which is what I am, are getting more noticed and booked more for work, thanks to the trail-blazing careers of Super Models like Daphne Selfe, who still models in her 80's! It is a tough business none the less, and you are always judged by your last photograph. I was thrilled to be on the cover of an American book, but realise I will never make the cover of Vogue. I keep positive, but realistic!"
Suzy believes that the modelling industry is really opening up to mature models now and encourages more mature people to try their hand at modelling.
"A lot of professional models go back to work after their families have left the nest. As long as you look after your figure and the camera still loves you, then why not! Age is no barrier, it’s how you photograph that ultimately matters. I even know a male model who started at the age of 46 in tasteful art nude modelling and is doing very well."
Suzy's top tips for those looking to get into mature modelling:
Have some photos taken by a reputable photographer on a time for photographs basis.
Work out beforehand what kind of modelling you wish to do – fashion editorial is usually handled in London by big agencies, so make sure the castings are accessible to you.
If you're not near London, try a few model agencies near you, or work freelance.
Create your own website and list yourself on as many modelling sites as possible.
Take a look as Suzy's website, Monty Models