By ROBIN CAUDELL
---- — CLINTONVILLE — What if …
Kristen Marie Perkins didn’t want to spend her life wondering whether she could have made it as a model, something she’s thought about her whole life.
“I started researching and contacting different photographers to start a portfolio,” the Clintonville native said. “I ended up coming in contact with Roy Cox from Baltimore, Md. He’s a photographer.”
Perkins was told by a lot of people she should get into modeling. She sent Cox photographs and asked him if she had what it takes. He agreed to do a photo shoot with her.
“He was the first one I ever worked with. It was a great experience with him,” she said. “He was voted best fashion photographer in the state of Maryland.”
Perkins said his work is very nice, professional and classy.
“He works with all different kinds of people. Under Armour is one of his biggest clients. He works with Ford and Next Model Management,” she said.
The 25-year-old describes herself as open-minded, a free spirit and family-oriented.
“I’m just a person that tries new things and (am) a little bit of a tomboy,” Perkins said.
“We have a pretty large family. They all mean so much to me. My father owns Perkins Trucking & Excavating. All of my family work for him. I’m the baby girl. I have two older brothers and a stepbrother. That’s where I get my four-wheeling, dirt biking and stuff I like to do.”
Genetically, she gets her curly blonde mane and her sapphire blues from her dad, Toby. Her smile and teeth she inherited from her mom, Brenda.
Perkins works as a dental assistant in Dr. Thomas Lamar’s office in Peru. She is a 2006 graduate from AuSable Valley Central School.
“I started doing that when I was 19,” Perkins said. “They trained me right there. They allow me to take the time off to go to casting calls. I can go back and have my regular 40-hour week job. They’re really supportive. I can’t believe it. They’re like family now to me.”
Recently, she signed a one-year contract with Orange Model Management in Montreal.
“It’s close,” she said.
When she was going to New York City for casting, she always took a friend with her.
“To make sure I wasn’t alone,” she said. “I’m working from here. It’s all over the phone and Internet. There’s no guarantee who you really are going to meet. In order to get a job, you need an agency. Any of these companies of beauty products, they use agencies, so you have to have an agent.”
Casting calls are last-minute. She may have a day or two heads-up at the most. So, she has to be ready to go at the drop of a Jimmy Choo shoe.
She gives herself facials a couple times a week. She uses nail strengthener and keeps them polish free.
“They don’t want nail polish on your hands; not going with their shoot or image,” she said.
She deep-conditions her hair and has it trimmed every three to four weeks.
“I don’t use much product. I don’t want to damage my hair,” she said, adding that her stepmother, Donna Perkins, does all of her oil treatments, trimming, waxing and the like.
A vegetarian, it’s all fruits and vegetables for her. Her exercise regimen is Zumba, running, crunches, squats, lunges and push-ups. Last winter, she trained three times a week with a personal trainer.
AWAITING THE CALL
She receives the most compliments about her eyes, hair and teeth.
“I haven’t had any major breaks yet. I cross my fingers and pray every night I will get the call,” she said.
Perkins’ stats: height, 5-foot 8.5 inches; bust, 33.5 inches; waist, 24.5 inches; and hips, 34.5 inches. Her dress size is a 4/6.
A dream job would be to model for Crest, Colgate or a hair or beauty product.
“There are so many models. You won’t believe the amount of models until you get in it,” she said.
Perkins is a commercial/editorial model.
“I’ve worked with a lot of different photographers in New York City. I can do that up until I’m in my 30s. It’s something you can do for a while to make extra money, travel and meet new people,” she said.
MONEY FOR SCHOOL
Her original goal was to model for several years to make enough money to put herself through nursing school.
“I would really like to be a registered nurse and practice alternative medicine. Someday, when I retired, I would go to Third World countries and take care of people.”
In the interim, she’s not averse to having her face on a billboard.
“That would be amazing,” Perkins said. “I would like to look back and tell my grandchildren, ‘That’s your grandmother.’”
Cosmopolitan, Elle and Glamour are her favorite fashion magazines.
“They always say if you’re going to be in the industry, get the magazines and look at their poses and practice posing,” she said.
When she goes to a photo shoot, she’s nervous beforehand, but once there, she’s comfortable.
“It’s weird. You just have fun with it, and it comes natural. After shooting, I’m like, ‘Wow, that went so well.’”
Since she’s immersed herself in modeling, she’s learned so much.
“It’s been really impressive,” Perkins said. “I look back at my portfolio, and I can see the difference from my first photo shoot and how much I’ve grown. You wouldn’t believe how much you actually change in less than a year.”
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