Modelling isn’t all lights, cameras and glamour – it is about using the platform to gain life experience and help others says former Mr Nottingham Christopher Wells.
The Marlpool man was forced to take a break from his career for personal reasons, but is keen to get back into the industry which helped him overcome his painful shyness.
The 23-year-old was crowned Mr Nottingham back in 2015 and has travelled the country modelling, even taking part in prestigious fashion shows.
But after a change in personal circumstances, the former Aldercar High School pupil, had to take a step back from the catwalk.
He said: “I had to take a step back from all the modelling unfortunately and focus on a new full-time job however, I’m now trying to get myself back out there and go back to following my dream.
“It was a big decision for me to give it up for a while, and it took a long time to accept. I enjoyed the lifestyle and freedom that modelling gave me. Who wouldn’t love to be surrounded by creative, talented people everyday?
“The adjustment from having ultimate freedom over my days to joining a corporate world was quite a difficult adjustment. Despite thoroughly enjoying my job as an audio visual technician, I do still have that burning desire to model and have just started bookings and shoots again.
“I think its important to chase your dreams no matter what the situation, and we shouldn’t be worn down by every life that gets in the way.
“Modelling and winning titles is also an amazing platform to help others.
“I’ve got involved in some excellent causes to help boost charity pots, including being kitted out head to toe in pink and taking part in a 10k walk – it all helps.
“I also took part in a charity day with Nottinghamshire Clubs for Young People (CYP) – an amazing group of people that offer so much for children in the city. I was attacked by quite a few adorable little girls armed with nail polish though. They enjoyed themselves and I had multi-coloured nails by the end of it!
“But that is what is important – seeing them smile and knowing it is all worth it.”
And now Chris is looking forward to getting back to what he loves, with a few upcoming bridal shoots. But he wasn’t always model material and fell into it as a favour to a friend.
“My friend was studying to be a fashion designer and was hosting a fashion show. I got roped into modelling at the show and it just snow-balled from there. “After the show I got a few emails from people who had spotted me and wanted to know if I would be interested in becoming a model.
“It seemed crazy, but I thought – why not? And my love of it hasn’t stopped since then.”
As well as modelling, Christopher has also done some work as an extra. His most notable role is in Hood, a television programme which is a modern twist on Robin Hood.
And he even took part in London Fashion Week, which he labelled an ‘incredible and surreal experience’.
“The people you meet along the way is, for me, the best part of what I am doing. The job is really interesting, you get to see and experience things I could never have imagined or dreamed of a few years ago.
“Around five years ago I hated having my picture taken and would hide from the camera. But you can do anything you want – even things you thought you couldn’t!
“But I think that is a great message to get out there to youngsters. It doesn’t matter whether you are the most popular kid at school or the most shy, we can all achieve our dreams if we put our mind to it and don’t let obstacles stand in our way.”
So what does the future hold for Chris? A successful modelling career he hopes.
“It may be cliché but I’d love to head to New York City – the world’s catwalk – no dream is too big.”