Hey, Im Leah Johnsen
Let me kick off the 'About Me' by explaining why I decided to build a website all about ‘Leah Johnsen’. This is something very new to me & to be honest I was a little hesitant as I'm not exactly one to devote a website to myself. To be honest I feel a little W@nky!
Non-the-less, I’m now a solo independent artist. I recently parted ways with my Melbourne, Sydney & Brisbane agencies to explore new adventures and living in a world where being present online is important. So I decided to share my portfolio and contact information so I don’t vanish from society.
So here we are, it was actually really fun to make this website. However, I’m a rookie so if you’re one of the unlucky ones that clicks a link and a virus eats away at all your private information, I apologize in advance.
I am Leah Johnsen, some of you know me as Leah Jay. The Jay is a little snazzy thing I changed online because for some bizarre reason people seem to spell my surname incorrectly. JohnSEN - with an E. Not Johnson or Johnstone or Johns. I usually don't mind, honestly. Majority of the time I get called LEE or LEIGH! I don't bother correcting anyone anymore. So welcome to the page of LEE JOHNSTONE!
Where did it all begin? Well, I began modelling when I was 17 years old. When I was 18 I applied for Australia’s Next Top Model. I was kicked off pretty early on and felt really disappointed about the entire situation. You see I have this annoying habit where I really enjoy proving people wrong & succeeding. And because of their lack of judgment on my ability to be great and more than what they expect, has lead me to take some seriously ballsy risks!
So Australia's Next Top Model didn't really entice me to model. But I really wanted to prove I was good enough.
From the age of 20-23, Modelling was a hobby rather than a profession or income. I was studying and working part time as a receptionist at a hair salon. However, when I was 21 I briefly moved to Singapore to model. And I say briefly as in 3 months, It was very interesting and I learnt a bunch. But did I see myself living in a model apartment with a family of 8 people? Um no, back home for me.
I met with agencies, tested with every photographer I could until I finally found my feet and started to head down the path I felt good walking down. This is when my passion for modelling really kicked in.
Now I'm fast tracking to 2015. At this stage I had really started to cement some great regular eccom work and the odd Look book. So I built my savings and headed to the United States of America, where dreams apparently come true. And for me, they kind of did!
I met with every single agency in the country. I really wanted an American agency so I could work in the states. I received so many no’s. More no's than yes's. But I only needed one yes. And I got it! I was now represented by FORD models in NYC, Chicago, Miami and LA. Holly F*ck!
So I returned Melbourne to get all my life sorted to move to the States and BANG! I was pumped with modelling jobs. Every single day there was a new job. Where on earth did this all come from? I'm a really big believer in things happen from a reason and I think this was now my time to really make the most of all my opportunities. I was requested to meet so many amazing people and clients. Some of which dress you in underwear and give you wings....
I stayed in the states for a long while. But I had some family commitments that bought me back to Melbourne. Once I was home, my life was extremely different. I worked everyday, even Saturday and sometimes twice a day. It really is incredible. I was being flown all around Australia to shoot amazing campaigns for brands that I couldn't even afford. I finally started to feel like all the persistence and patience was paying off.
Now this is my full time career and passion. I was so fortunate to have important people support me. But ultimately, I created this life for myself.
2018 has so far been another really interesting year. Where I stepped out of my comfort zone and decided it was time to share the real LEAH JOHNSEN on a national TV series airing soon... now this should be interesting.
So if you're still reading this far down I'd like to thank you for getting to know me and also congratulations on not catching a virus. Lets both give ourselves a pat on the back. Myself especially for writing this novel because I can barely construct a text message.
So there you have it. Please feel free to roam around!