Jen Brook

I consider myself an artist trapped inside the body of one who cannot instead, I model...

More than ‘just a model’?

Why do I feel trapped in an eternal battle to prove who I am? It’s a chip on my shoulder I just can’t seem to shift despite how hard I try. 

When asked what I do for a living, I am never too sure what to tell them. The term ‘model’ is so pretentious and the assumptions attached are so far removed from the truth. What is a model anyway? This is mostly why I say ‘I model’, as opposed to ‘I am a model’. I’m not 6 foot 4 with double D’s and long silky hair, I truly wish I was. 

The question is always followed by a disconcerting eyeballing of judgement, as they skim you from top to toe, desperately searching for any hint of ‘model-ness’ about you. ”YOU? You model?” hmm… there is never a way of rescuing this and I usually resort to “I work in a shop" so their indigenous minds can rest. I wish I could tell them "…but I’m so much more if you just let me show you”.

Watch this short clip, 1 minute 27 seconds in…that moment, that’s exactly everything I’m trying to say… 

I model because it is an expression, a release and undoubtedly a source of income. However I am careful about who I work with. I work my ass off in a crappy minimum wage paid job three days a week as well as modelling so I retain that choice. I don’t need to shoot with every person who asks me because I need that extra cash. I work with creativity, drive, respect and an interest in what they are producing. Maybe that’s why I love workshops so much. Most importantly, ability level is never ever an issue. After all, I’m still learning myself. I don’t care how good or bad you are, just have passion! 

If you picked up a camera for the first time yesterday with a desire to develop, then you will always sit higher in my estimations than one with years of experience and a piss poor arrogant attitude. 

Indecent Proposal:


Call me a snob, call me a prude, call me a fool…call me whatever you like, I don’t really care…because this is something I believe in and I’ll continue to stand by it eating beans on toast every night for tea, wearing holey socks in jeans that should have met the bin three years ago….I just don’t need the money that much. 

I won’t plead poverty, I’ll just work harder. We all do things we don’t enjoy as much, because we need the money…but it doesn’t mean we’ll do anything and it’s the freedom to make that choice that defines you.

I mean, don’t you just hate it when you get that one person who looks down his/her nose at you for being ‘just a photographer’? Like anyone who owns an SLR camera is a photographer, so what’s your proper job? Yeah, I thought so. So you get what I’m talking about then. 

Perhaps one day I’ll lose the chip. Perhaps one day I’ll change my mind or perhaps one day I’ll change yours. I don’t know. All I do know is that I’m a grafter and I don’t feel that life owes me anything, I just work to make it happen…and if it doesn’t, then my goal was unattainable and it is edited accordingly. 

I have a joint honours bachelors degree awarded in English and Media. I passed my driving test first time, I have a freckle on my palm despite being told it’s not possible and I eat jaffa cakes back to front. I have terrible self doubt but I have been brought up by a loving family and friends whose support is my reason to live. Ok, I’ve had my share of ups and downs but who hasn’t? My sister poured yoghurt on my head in a raging argument when I was seven and I had my appendix removed when I was eleven. These are the things that define me, not control me…and that is how I like it. I am Jen Brook…maybe more than ‘just a model’. 

** and Twitter: @Jen_Brook_Model **

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