The influencer series: Paris HK on getting into the modelling industry, creating content and growing her followers

The model and influencer has opened up about what she ACTUALLY does every day

paris hk instagram influencer series

by Eden-Olivia Lord |

Ever wondered what influencers do all day? Every week we're going to be chatting to famous social media influencers to find out exactly what they do on an average day.

This week we spoke to model and influencer Paris HK and she opened up about getting into the modelling industry, how to get the best Instagram content and how she plans to broaden her Instagram audience.

Name: Paris HK

Age: 27 years old

Social media platforms: Instagram, TikTok

Paris HK reveals how she blew up on social media

If you've ever had a browse on PrettyLittleThing (honestly, who hasn't?) you'll have definitely seen Paris HK modelling their clothes.

However, not only does she model for PLT, Missguided, Boohoo, Fashion Nova and other fast fashion brands but she's managed to gain 260k Instagram followers and recently started her own podcast (more on that later).

During our chat with Paris we had to ask how she managed to get into the modelling industry and lucky for us, she didn't hold back.

"I've got literally so many tips on this. I wish that more people would have given me the advice and I don't understand why people are so reluctant to help others in the industry," she began.

"I would say to get some portfolio shoots – you don't have to pay for these because you can collab with local photographers.

"Or if you do have to pay, don't pay silly amounts just to get some portfolio shots because you change all the time and you'll get new photographs.

"If an agent or modelling agency sees true potential in you, they would happily sign you and develop you just off the back of some digital or Polaroid photos, which you can take on your iPhone."

She then went on to explain how to take photos to send to modelling agencies.

"It's just a basic headshot, full length shot, your side profiles and maybe a smiling photo, just in plain jeans and a top.

"So if they see the true potential in you, and they're a good agency, they should be willing to develop you and get you that portfolio free of charge.

"Just keep putting yourself out there. There's a website models.com, and they have got a huge list of agencies all over the world and in the UK.

"I used to just go on there, have a look at the different agencies see what kind of girls they had on the board. And I've been signed off the back of applying for a couple of these agencies from that website."

She then advised, "Try and be safe as you can, don't just trust anybody. If you're going to a test shoot with a new photographer, take a chaperone with you.

"Even if you're working with a new photographer, ask another model friend who's maybe worked with them, just get some advice."

Paris then admitted that looks aren't everything - even in the modelling industry.

"Your personality is so key. You can have the most amazing look and be the next Kate Moss but if you're a diva and your personality is crap, you're not going to get anywhere because everybody just wants to have a good time on set.

"Nobody wants to be dealing with somebody horrible at work. So just be nice to people."

"I was going on Instagram lives and that was gaining loads of followers"

After getting into modelling, it didn't take long for her Instagram account to start growing too.

"With influencing, I kind of just fell into it. I was already modelling and I already gained a little bit of a following because I was doing these photos that not everybody can have access to.

"And then in the first lockdown, I was going on Instagram Lives with friends and that was gaining me loads of followers."

"Instagram Live definitely boosted engagement. It's quite fun to go on Live and meet new people on there.

"If I jump on Live with one of my friends, and then he invites his friend, I'm now chatting to this new person that I never would have come across before.

"I can follow them, stay in touch with them and then their followers can also see me and they might think I'm gonna follow her... So it definitely does boost your engagement and it can boost your following."

Paris, who predominantly has a male following on Instagram, has revealed that she's hoping her new podcast (that she's hosting with her friend, where they'll have guests who will discuss a broad range of conversations), will help expand her audience.

"I honestly think that the reason that most of my following is male is because I've got a quite a curvy womanly figure and I'm not afraid to be out here in a bikini.

"I think there's nothing wrong with posting on Instagram in a bikini. If you're feeling yourself, go and be empowered and do your thing. Do what makes you feel good.

"But I feel like I'm definitely starting to get more of a female following. I definitely get a lot of females commenting on my pictures and being supportive and saying that my body confidence makes them feel confident."

She added, "I'm hoping that with my podcast, it might attract a more female following, I would love to have a balanced audience."

What it's really like being a model

Now if you've ever wondering what models do during the day, Paris has explained her typical working hours.

"If I've got a shoot, I'll have to get up quite early. Sometimes the call time is as early as 5am, so you've got to be there for hair and make-up.

"But if I'm on my average shoot day, with PrettyLittleThing, I've got to be there at 8:30, so I'll get up have some coffee and water, have a shower, and I get my hair and make-up done there.

"I'll be in hair make-up for a couple of hours and then we'll start shooting. We'll have some lunch. Then after, sometimes when you get that late afternoon slump you're like, 'oh God, now I've got to go back for touch ups, and then go and model again'.

"The afternoons are almost the hardest," she joked.

"Then I'll finish maybe around five, six o'clock and usually after modelling I get home and I'm tired, so sometimes I'll have something to eat and then fall asleep on the sofa."

Paris' days slightly changes when she doesn't have to shoot for a brand and on those days she'll wake up around 9 o'clock and work on her own Instagram content.

"I'll figure out what is top priority for what content I need to shoot. I'll do my hair make-up myself and then I will start shooting.

"For me most of my stuff I'll just shoot indoors, I have a spare bedroom that I've got set up to be a little studio room, or maybe I'll do it in my living room or something."

Paris often uses a tripod and a video light and admitted that a lot of people don't realise how much effort goes into creating Instagram content.

"You have to be the hairstylist, the make-up artist, the photographer, the fashion stylist and you've got to then edit the photos. Normally at a modelling job there's six different people that would do that job for you.

"You've got to do it all yourself at home".

And when Paris wants to switch up the background of her photos she'll sometimes hire a studio or a hotel suite to create a "different vibe".

She added, "With friend sometimes we'll like go out around Manchester or London and find locations to take nice photos. It all just depend on the outfit and the weather and the mood."

In order to stay on top of all her jobs, Paris actually uses the Notes app on her iPhone.

"It's really hard for me to plan my days, I'm weird but I can't use the regular calendar app on my phone. I use the Notes app and write a list.

"That's what keeps me organised and sane. If not I'm honestly a hot mess and that's when I start having my anxiety attacks. It's really hard for me to have some stability because I don't have a regular nine to five job".

"My WhatsApp is constantly going off, that's what I can't switch off"

Being on social media is part of Paris' job but she's admitted that it's actually Whatsapp that she "can't switch off" of because that's where she finds out about all her bookings.

She has a management group chat where they'll send her Instagram related jobs and the brief about the content (when she needs to upload the post, the fee and any other opportunities).

Paris also has a group chat with her main manager and her modelling agent who will discuss the modelling part of her job.

"That's going off all the time and then obviously I have a social life and a family life and all those other things.

"So my WhatsApp is constantly going off, that's what I can't switch off".

Because Paris is technically a freelancer, she's admitted that there's difficulties when it comes to planning ahead and booking a job.

In fact, last year she booked a holiday to Turkey with friends but was forced to drop out because PrettyLittleThing wanted to fly her out to Italy for a shoot.

However Paris admitted that it was worth it, despite having to wake up at 4am, get ready for the shoot and head to the top of the mountain.

"We were stood on top of the mountain looking out over the valley and we [Paris and the other model] just kind of looked at each other.

"We were like, 'Oh my God, is this our job?' It was such a sick day.

"It was freezing cold. It was really, really hard but it was so worth it. I was full of adrenaline was super gassed afterwards".

Advantages and disadvantages

"I think with influencing and modelling, it is so similar, you have to have a tough skin. Getting trolled online or having people message nasty things is never going to be easy, but you have to try to ignore it as much as you can.

"Sometimes you'll get so many comments and you just laugh at them and shove them off. And then you'll just have one that really gets to you and upsets you and you'll want to retaliate or you'll get a bit of a complex about it."

She added, "I would say in the beginning, you've got to be prepared to work for free. You've got to be prepared to do the gifted jobs.

"Before things really kicked off for me was I was a make-up artist and I would work two days a week on the Bobbi Brown counter. And in the meantime, I had a modelling agency and I was going down to Manchester for castings and the occasional job. But it just wasn't enough for me to not have that security net of having a salary.

"[Also] try not to compare yourself to other people too much. It's easier said than done. I compare myself to people all the time, whether it's the influencers or other models that I see who've got jobs that I really wanted, or even just the way someone looks, I might see another girl with amazing curves but then she's got no belly and I'm like how?

"But you just have to remember that everybody's different and you are beautiful in your own way and you are successful in your own way.

"And just because you know things may be on popping off for you right now doesn't mean that it's not gonna happen tomorrow or next year or next week."

Getting good Instagram content

Opening up about editing her photos, Paris admitted sometimes she'll edit her photos on Photoshop - something she learned at university while studying Fashion Contour.

"It'll just be little things like cleaning up, for instance if there's a power socket in the background. I'll just edit that out just to make the photo look cleaner.

"And any kind of little imperfections that say I've got like a bruise on my leg or if there's hairs out of place I'll edit them out."

Paris went on to say that she believes there's a stigma with people editing their photos but said, "

I think it's okay, to edit your photos to a certain extent, as long as if you've got people looking up to you, like young fans or just even girls, be real with it. I'll edit my photos, and change a little bit or edit out imperfections but I'll be still on my Story with no make-up or I'll post videos of my body so people know, this is what actually look like."

Unfortunately we can't all model for PLT however Paris has still revealed how she manages to increase her engagement on the 'gram.

"I've just come back from Mexico, I spent a month out there, and it was great to get so

"When I'm at home my contents is against a white wall or sitting on the sofa and to me it gets a bit boring and sometimes your engagement can get a little bit stagnant.

"Whereas when we my friend were in Mexico, we were out shooting, we got photos on the beach, we were swimming in pools, we were in the jungle kind of areas and it really just gave the page a bit of an uplift that it seemed to need."

Check out: heat’s Rich List 2020: the richest TikTok stars

TikTok wealth estimated by Forbes

Gallery

heat's Rich List 2020 - TikTok stars

Josh Richards TikTok Rich List
1 of 5
CREDIT: Getty

TikTok's resident pin-up shot to fame partying with his Sway House collective in their LA mansion. Sponsorships with Reebok and Houseparty, plus a record deal, have made Josh plenty of cash, and he's also co-founded a talent management company, plus an energy drinks firm. He recently caused a flap by moving to TikTok rival Triller.

Loren Richards TikTok Rich List
2 of 5
CREDIT: Getty

At the start of 2020, US teen Loren had the largest TikTok fanbase, thanks to her videos lip-syncing to Nicki Minaj. Rae and the D'Amelios may have overtaken her, but Loren's still a millionaire through promotions with Skechers, Burger King and Chipotle, who made her do cringey stunts such as a "guacamole dance-off".

Dixie D'Amelio TikTok Rich List
3 of 5
CREDIT: Getty

Charli's older sister (above right) is no slouch in the social stakes, either. She's scored a record deal - first single Be Happy has been streamed 58m times so far - and has promo deals with clothing and cosmetics firms. With the Kardashians about to disappear from our screens, the D'Amelio sister act is poised to fill that space.

Charli D'Amelio TikTok Rich List
4 of 5
CREDIT: Getty

Charli has the most followers on the app (89.3m), but hasn't matched Addison's wealth yet, possibly due to her age. Still, the ex-competitive dancer charges a hefty £37k per Instagram post, sells her Charli-branded hoodies for £47 a pop, and has signed a deal to front US teen clothing brand Hollister, too.

Addison Rae TikTok Rich list
5 of 5
CREDIT: Getty

Became famous on the app last year after posting videos of herself dancing with her mum. Since then, she's picked up 65.9m followers, bagged a brand deal with teen clothing firm American Eagle, launched a podcast and merch line, plus become pals with Kourtney Kardashian. She's also just been cast in a remake of '90s teen comedy She's All That.

WATCH: Scarlett Moffatt talks mental health

Read more from the influencer series...

The influencer series: Anna Vakili reveals how she plans content, takes Instagram pictures and gained 30k followers BEFORE Love Island

The influencer series: Olivia Neill reveals how she blew up, her YouTube tips and how to go viral on TikTok

The influencer series: Jess and Eve Gale on their Instagram tips, content days and getting on Love Island

Paris HK's plans for 2021

Speaking about the rest of the year, Paris admitted that she likes to keep things close to her chest but did give us a teaser into her career goals.

"I'm going to be visiting LA and I would like to travel more and do content in different countries for the influencer side of things.

"But in regards to modelling, I'm going out to LA it would be fab if I could get signed out there."

She continued, "I've got a few goals that I would like to reach but Ijust take each day as it comes. My journey so far, it's been so amazing and it's been so much better than I ever imagined it could have been.

"So I just don't know I literally just take each day as it comes try to practice gratitude and hope that this journey keeps going on.

"It's so sick that I've been able to model, I'm working on starting my own fashion brand and to be like 27 years old and both of my dreams are coming true... I'm so grateful for the position that I'm in."

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