Model Spotlight: Tom Ernsting
April 12, 2020 • News
CJC: How did you get your start in modeling?
TE: It was totally unexpected… I left my job in New York in 2015 and moved to Naples, Florida…. and grew a beard. It was the new attention I received that made me open to a request from a stylist friend of mine to meet his friend …a modeling agent in Miami. They signed me on the spot… which has since led me to having agents around the country.
CJC: Who/what do you draw inspiration from during a photo shoot?
TE: I try to present a polished and confident look. I pull from different fashion models as well as commercial models. I still have a lot to learn.
CJC: What do you enjoy the most about modeling and what do you find to be the most challenging?
TE: My favorite thing about modeling is doing something that’s totally out of my comfort zone. I also enjoy meeting new people and understanding the nuances of being an effective model. My least favorite thing is the lack of professionalism and business acumen some exude in the modeling business.
CJC: In one word how would you describe yourself?
CJC: When being categorized as a model, what stereotype do you find to be the most untrue?
TE: That they are cocky. The majority that I’ve met are very self-effacing and generous with their time and information to help me grow in the business.
CJC: If you could have any costar for a photo shoot, who would it be and why?
TE: For a male model, Eric Rutherford as he has shown everyone how strong an image that men over 50 can present. A female would be one of the iconic women of my generation… Naomi Campbell, Christie Brinkley, and Christy Turlington. I think I would learn a lot from them.
CJC: Where would you like to travel to in the future?
TE: I’ve been fortunate in my life to have traveled the world with modeling and with other jobs. I do think a true adventure would be South Africa.
CJC: How do you stay in such great shape?
TE: I was a collegiate all -American swimmer and I’ve always looked at exercise as part of my routine. 10 years ago though I went through a series of three shoulder operations and it wasn’t until I moved to Naples that I got any semblance of fitness back. I’ve since been dedicated to working out every day to keep my range of motion open and keep my body in shape.
CJC: Do you have any interesting or unique talents?
TE: (Sadly no…..)
CJC: This industry can be harsh, how do you deal with criticism?
TE: I think being in my late 50s and having had a lifetime of successes and failures has helped me deal with the criticism and just understand that my look is not always what the director is imagining.
CJC: What is something most people don’t know about you?
TE: Most people don’t know that I will be 60 next month and that I went to the Olympic trials for swimming in 1980.
CJC: To date, what accomplishment are you most proud of?
TE: By far my relationship with my son is my greatest and proudest accomplishment.
CJC: What are your goals for the remainder of the year?
TE: Ahhhh with the world melting around us right now it’s to stay calm, be patient, be kind to others and look forward to the future.
CJC: What would be the best way for someone to contact you?
TE: Via email or DM Through Instagram… @tomdeanernsting
CJC: Any final thoughts you would like to share with the CJC Photography readers?
TE: I think many people approach each new decade as “I’m old, I’ll never get married, my life is over. I’m stuck in my career etc.”
I was one of those people… turning 50 was a major emotional hit. If only I had known what was ahead.
CJC: To see more of my work with Tom click here.
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