TOOWOOMBA photographer Cathy Smith is searching for the undiscovered beauties of the Garden City.
She's looking for people who defy society's idea of conventional beauty whether it's in age, shape or size; she wants to find the "black sheep" of the flock ready to tackle the modelling industry.
Together with her cousin, former international model Katie Paterson, she has founded Black Sheep Model Management.
Ms Smith is a resident photographer for one of Australia's top modelling agencies and has photographed models from around the world. For her, the new business venture came about after the years of witnessing models fear the camera because of self doubt.
"At first it was disheartening (to see), now I turn it into a challenge for myself to help these young men and women to overcome this," she said.
Co-founder Katie Paterson spent 15 years in the modelling world where she worked in Canada, New York, Greece and South Africa.
Since moving back to Australia seven years ago, she witnessed models enter the industry expecting glitz and glam when reality could be quite different.
So Ms Paterson will train the next generation of models and provide her exclusive insider knowledge.
"We call ourselves black sheep because here you don't have to fit people's expectations people when it comes modelling," she said.
Ms Paterson started modelling when she was 16. At the time, she, too, was a black sheep with her auburn hair and freckles.
"So many girls think they need be six-foot tall with blonde hair and blue eyes to model and they don't see that you can just be you," she said.
Black Sheep Model Management offers uniquely-designed modelling and self-development courses to educate upcoming models on the ins and outs of the industry.
The women hope to take the courses around Australia and have already received interest from people in Cairns, Bundaberg, Darwin and Dubbo.
Their first course kicks off in Toowoomba on November 12-13.
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