Models gain experience

Invercargill Models Collaborative models, photographers and hair and makeup artists met for their first photoshoot at the Woodlands Tavern before the Covid-19 lockdown.

AN initiative aimed at filling a gap and creating a safe space for aspiring models has launched in Invercargill.

Southlanders Monica Toretto and Tania Horton founded the Invercargill Models Collaborative earlier this year.

Ms Toretto said the idea came after she realised there were no agencies in Invercargill for those wanting to get into the industry.

“There’s some really talented people here with no avenue to go down.

“We started reaching out to models and photographers we knew and then created a [closed] social media group for them to connect.”

While the collaborative was not an agency, it acted as a vehicle for community members who wanted to gain experience and get a leg-up in the field, she said.

“We really wanted to provide a safe environment, especially for the younger models, to introduce them [to the industry] and allow them to grow.”

Comprised of a group of models, photographers and hair and makeup artists, the collaborative took part in group photoshoots about once a month, as well as private shoots to share tips and build up their portfolios.

One of the best parts of the collaborative was the amount of diversity within it, she said.

“Some models have never done it before, we have girls and boys and it’s a really inclusive group.

“We have models aged from 15-50 years old, with all different [levels of] experience.”

Members of the collaborative met for the first time pre-Covid-19 lockdown for a photoshoot at the Woodlands Tavern.

Ms Toretto said the community came together to help out, including neighbours who noticed what the group was doing and offered to bring vintage cars to the shoot.

A second meeting was arranged a few weeks ago in Wachner Pl.

“I really believe it’s got somewhere to go.

“The models and photographers are really proactive… We’d love to get local businesses hiring them for their campaigns.”

The collaborative was welcome to anyone who wanted to “come along and give it a go”, she said.

“Parents are also welcome to come along with their children, we actually encourage it.”

  • For more information on the Invercargill Models Collaborative, go to

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