20 years in the biz: Lauren Vickers talks modelling, blogging & Insti
Modelling since she was 11, Lauren Vickers is no stranger to being in front of the camera – which ain’t such a bad thing in this age of social media. But this one’s not your typical model slash blogger slash influencer. From hitting the race track on her motorbike to having a “sixth sense”, Lauren has this undefinable edge to her that has us intrigued. Here, we chat to Lauren about everything life and career to find out just what it is that makes this one a stand-out…
You’ve been a model now for such a long time! How did you first get into it and was it something you always knew you wanted to do for a career?
I actually came upon it by accident – I was discovered at the Kirribilli Markets when I was just 11 years old. I was already 5’9” so they thought I was much older. I modelled as a child for about a week until they realised I was too tall for all the clothes and was booked as an adult from then on. This year will mark my 20th in the industry – which, although sounds quite terrifying, is actually really humbling that I’m still getting booked today. There were times where I walked away from it a bit throughout school and university, but I keep coming back to it. It’s enabled me to have such an interesting range of life experiences and I wouldn’t have traded it for a second.
What have been some of the biggest hurdles you’ve had to face as a model?
Honestly, the hardest thing is probably the rejection and dealing with how fickle the industry can be. Even today it can still be disappointing when you don’t get a job you had your heart set on, but I’m much more thick-skinned these days and conditioned to it than when I first started. It’s best to move on and learn how to adapt, change and better yourself so that you can align with brands that really speak to you.
You’ve worked both overseas and in Australia. Is it harder or easier to find work as an influencer/model in Australia compared to overseas?
I lived overseas for about seven years in total and I definitely loved it, but it’s much easier for me to book myself solid here because of the networking and connections I’ve developed over the years. People move around, start their own companies or take on new roles and it’s nice when they think of you to work alongside with.
Do you think being overseas helped grow your personal brand?
I think it helped me grow in every which way. Travel really broadens your horizons and gives you new perspective on things, and it can also really inspire you to see trends and influences overseas. My brand definitely diversified a bit, but the gypsy within me grew stronger and I love incorporating travel now into my work wherever I can.
Why did you decide to head back to Australia?
I decided to come back about two years ago now, and it was very refreshing for me. I had been on the go for so long, and it was great to come back to my roots, my family and friends, and feel a little more grounded again. It didn’t take long for the travel bug to bite again but Australia is definitely my bouncing zone.
How and why did you first get into blogging?
It was sort of a natural progression for me. I had some small clients that wanted media exposure, so I would do what I knew best and shoot for them, and then talk about them in my blog and on my social channels to give them a bit of limelight. I didn’t really realise it was blogging or being an influencer at the time, but it progressed from there. I also had a lot of questions from people that followed me and so I would turn those into blog posts and it grew organically from there.
Did you originally use Instagram as a tool for helping your modelling career?
I’ve always been quite proactive, so it just sort of went hand-in-hand, but I had been surrounded by media from day one in the industry with all these creative and insanely talented people – so it was great to be able to pull it all together. I don’t consider myself that much of a writer, but I’m honest and I guess my voice comes through authentically, I write as how I would talk to someone in a face-to-face conversation.
Can you talk me through a usual day in your life?
Every day is different but a typical week would be peppered with 5-6 workouts, lots of healthy food prep, some events that could be product launches, influencer networking or red carpet events, castings and meetings, photo shoots, editing, pitching for work and planning my upcoming social media content, as well as regular beauty appointments so I stay on top of all the maintenance required to be photo shoot ready. It can sound a little ridiculous, but there is so much more than just turning up to a photo shoot. At the end of the day, it’s a business and there are many aspects that need to run smoothly in order for the business to be profitable.
You’re a self-confessed “revhead”. Have you always been into bikes? Where has this love come from?
Much to my mother’s dismay, I have always been a revhead. We’re actually not sure where it came from because no one else in my family cares about cars or bikes, but it started at an early age and only continued when I bought myself my first motorbike at age 19. I ended up working for a motorcycle racing team and travelling around the world with them, so it’s been close to my heart for a long time. I would do track days and everything. To this day, it’s still a debate as to whether I’ll buy myself my fourth motorbike.
Four? Wow! Do you tend to ride them on the streets or do you also hit the track?
I’m very chilled out on the street because you need to be alert and aware of people who may not see you – you’re so vulnerable out there. The fun starts when you go to the race track, get suited up in all your leathers and protective gear and push your limits further and further with each lap. It actually teaches you a lot about your bike and improves your riding. I’ve ridden at Eastern Creek, Oran Park and Phillip Island.
You’re a model, presenter, and a personal trainer. Which role do you prefer?
I actually love the crazy balance that I have of all three, and they all compliment each other nicely. I think I would get bored doing the same thing day in, day out, so it’s good for me to switch it up and have new challenges. I’m looking to steer my career into more of a health and wellness realm, so I’ll keep learning how to push myself that way.
Is it hard juggling all three?
Sometimes one of the roles needs to take more of a backseat because something else is ramping up, but it’s great to not have all of your eggs in one basket in case of any set backs. My whole career has been built on versatility and adaptation so it’s nothing new to me.
What has been your career highlight to date?
Any job where I am paid to travel or work with animals! One highlight was last year creating a series of artworks for a gallery by shooting underwater for a week in the Solomon Islands. I had never been to a place so unspoiled and naturally beautiful. It was so peaceful, and both the weather and water were 28 degrees, so it was a dream to shoot in the ocean that week and really just get back to nature.
Like in any industry, sometimes you just have nasty people. People that discredit the industry and mar your experience, but they always teach you a lesson. I’ve been pretty lucky to only have encountered a few, but usually my instincts will ward me off a bad situation if I go with my gut.
You seem quite a passionate person and always seem to have such a great attitude…
I would hope so! I make an effort to notice and appreciate how lucky I am to a) do what I love and b) have had a full career of doing it. Hard work and a good attitude pay off when you’re willing to push yourself and take the chances that others don’t. I have my ups and downs like everybody else, but I think your mindset determines how happy you are at the end of the day. You need to back yourself and celebrate the little wins.
Do you think it’s this part of your personality that has led to you having such success on social media?
Social media can be a tricky aspect because it’s essentially a highlights reel for most. I try to speak honestly and genuinely, and that will often attract more people to your broadcast than something that sounds scripted or inauthentic. I know I’m drawn to positive people who sound honest because it’s refreshing, so I like to embrace that myself as well.
What are three unusual things about yourself that your followers wouldn’t know?
- Languages are a big passion of mine – I speak French, Italian and I’m learning Spanish (so I can understand your sneaky comments in there my Euro friends!)
- I’m a bit of an adrenalin junkie and will try pretty much anything once, but I am absolutely terrified of heights.
- I’m somewhat haunted. Weird things always happen to me – my friends laugh about it all the time. I get premonitions, lights flicker and go out around me, my oven and range hood are always banging even when it’s not windy, smoke detectors go off for no reason, suitcases will roll themselves down the hall and stairs, tables will break in the middle of the night – it’s endless. Maybe it’s like the sixth sense or something!
All images: @laurenvickers