UNB Model Profile featuring Erik White
Erik White sat down with us at Underwear News Briefs to show us his portfolio and share some special moments from his experiences in his career and life.
UNB Kyle: What was your first modeling gig and how did you come to get it?
Erik: My first gig was a bride/groom runway gig at a convention center near Chicago. I modeled groom tuxedos for a designer called J. Toor. It was charity event so I wasn’t paid, but I was glad to gain experience and get a sense of what runway is all about. A freelance, Chicago based, photographer, and also friend, Joem Bayawa, submitted me to J. Toor to walk in the show.
Erik: It was kind of by chance. I’ve heard from some people that I should be a model. This was during high school and college and I always just took it as a compliment. I never actually thought I would pursue it. So I knew I’m not such a bad looking guy ;-). It wasn’t until I ran into Joem Bayawa in public that I pursued it. He was confident that if we built a portfolio together that he could help get me signed. He ended up helping me get signed with Ford Models.
Kyle: Not a bad looking guy at all! We thank Joem for adding that extra push. Which shoot do you consider your breakthrough in your career?
Erik: Definitely the shoots with Joem. They are what got me signed afterall. I didn’t have any previous experience to go off of like some models do. It was pretty simple. We did three shoots to build a portfolio and walked into Ford with no idea what the outcome would be. Then I came out with a contract. It’s an amazing feeling.
Kyle: Clearly the portfolio won them over and we can see why. Which shoot has been your favorite? Why?
Erik: I’m still new so I guess I don’t have any particular shoots that are my favorite. I enjoy all of them. Each one is different and has a different goal or challenge. Shooting with Joem is always fun and comfortable. Shooting with clients or doing test shoots with photographers is fun and you learn new things with every different person you shoot with. I’m always up for a challenge.
Kyle: Which shoot has been your most challenging? Why?
Erik: Probably a shoot which involved getting my smile down. Smile is everything in commercial and you want it to be inviting and real. The best way to have great smile is to not think of the smile, but something that makes you happy or laugh. For me, it is my 3 year old who was the ring bearer at my wedding this past summer. He wasn’t enjoying wearing his tux and after walking the aisle with the rings on the pillow, he spiked the pillow and rings down like a football. I wanted to yell TOUCHDOWN! I found it hilarious haha.
Kyle: I hope someone caught that great moment on camera! Are there any brands or photographers you would like to work with that you have not worked with yet?
Erik: I would really like to work with an underwear brand. Jockey would be amazing. Any clients such as Kohls, Macy’s, Sears, etc would be awesome too.
Kyle: Well I am sure some brands will be knocking on your door very soon. What is something that your fans don’t know about you outside of modeling that you want them to know?
Erik: Hmmmm how about something interesting. I spent my childhood years in New Zealand and moved back for high school. It was a great and amazing experience. It’s so much different there and of course it’s beautiful. Coming back to the US was a very strange experience for me but I’m glad to being living in the US now. I would love to go visit New Zealand again sometime soon. I haven’t been back since I was 15. Maybe I’ll get back that kiwi accent I once had haha.
Kyle: Probably would be a great reminder to visit New Zealand as well as eye opening as an adult. What kind of diet and exercise do you do to prepare for shoots?
Erik: I just make sure everything I eat, I eat in moderation. I love all the “cheat foods” just like everyone else haha. If I go out to dinner and have a big meal then I probably prepared for it and have a protein shake for breakfast and a light lunch. Before shoots I usually just lower my carbs about 2-3 days before the shoot. It helps me lose all that retained water and look more cut in the body and face. For exercise, I lift 5-6 days a week. I throw in cardio such as swimming into it too sometimes. I used to be a big swimmer when I was younger so I love to swim. Plus, it is a great workout!
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