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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Betts


Updated: Jan 9, 2022

“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” –AUDRE LORDE

Isn’t our LORDE amazing? Like seriously. Who wouldn’t want to shoot with her? And now SOUTHPARK have immortalized her...

I’d only seen and heard (having said that, she's SCENE not HERD) her when she was 14 singing at a Takapuna Grammar event I attended with Augustine. LORDE strode out on stage in an outfit I’d never suspect could work for someone of her age. I swallowed my words because she rocked that outfit. She cocked her head to the side, flicked her hair back, grabbed her mic with both hands. Then she let rip, her voice running through me like the wind of Wellington, making my hair stand up on end. As a model and talent scout/agent, I was like “Who is she? I want her! Augustine smiled that sweet “You’re-way-too-slow-on-this one, Amanda” smile. “She’s already well on her way”.

From what I've read, heard and watched, Lorde seems comfortable in her skin. She has her own thing going on – her own sense of self, knows what she wants yet doesn’t seem to act like she’s somehow more special than everyone else. She's kind, donating an invaluable prize so someone else could benefit because she didn’t need it. Not that I know that much about her.

Except that one time I spent with her while she was shooting with my model for her first publicity shoot for ROYALS.

I received a phone call from photographer GARTH BADGER wanting to book a model for a forest shoot. He asked if he could take my dog MONTY with him.

Now GARTH's always been a fan of #MONTYMODELDOG, and not just because of his long skinny legs and really pretty face.

It’s because MONTY is easy to work with.

MONTY wasn’t born obedient (amazing but true). I put hours of training, hard work and patience into him. Being mum to a pup was hard work.

The PERSEVERENCE paid off, though because he’s picked up modelling work including a profile piece for 1AM PET OF THE MONTH (wearing KAREN WALKER sunnies) GERMAN GQ by DAVID SHIELDS, NZ WEDDINGS MAGAZINE by MARISSA FINDLAY, a fun shoot for NICK VON K by ADAM CUSTINS and even a TV commercial. Then there’s all the MODEL DIGITAL SESSIONS I SHOOT he keeps making his way into. And he lets me dress him up (he'll do anything for treats. Like humans, really).

A few months later, GARTH requested MONTY, this time shooting with an ‘amazing talent’.

We rocked up, and there, with an understated beauty was ELLA (aka LORDE). And she was genuinely lovely to work with, so grateful to me for the use of MONTY.

Of course, the rest is history. And while LORDE’s journey is her journey, how great has it been, how proud do you feel, watching LORDE taking her extraordinary talent to the world in her own unique way? And she's paving the way for opportunity for the rest of us. Bigger hopes and dreams have become more possible, because of her. Even better, she's doing it with her own music.


TRAINING AND PUTTING IN THE HARD YARDS PAYS OFF. Whether it’s training a dog or in singing and song writing (LORDE did singing lessons for a year), a musical instrument, dance, sports, art, graphics, academics, Minecraft or PlayStation, you can’t and won’t get better nor enjoy the REWARDS of anything if you don’t put in the hard yards.


IT’S EASY TO BE LAZY. It’s your choice as to if you go the extra mile or not. No one can make you do anything, really, because it’s easy to master how to block out the nagging drone of that so terribly annoying, boring person trying to help you help yourself (or worse, your inner out for that a$$hole!). But you get out exactly what you put everything in life. Since no one can run the race for you, roll up your sleeves and get on with it. If you can’t be bothered (or keep putting it off) and you’re happy watching the “fit” ones win all the time, knock yourself out. If not, do something.

OPPORTUNITY IS EVERYWHERE. I know. Same repeat message. MONTY’s life gets to be immortalized for years because he was ‘That dog that posed with LORDE’. Let’s face it: MONTY wouldn’t have done the shoot if he wasn’t well-trained and I hadn’t taken up (read ACTIONED) the opportunities. We're now working on how we can turn MONTY's opportunity in shooting with LORDE to do good for others (animals especially) this space!

WORK TO BEING EASY TO BE/WORK WITH WHILE REMAINING TRUE TO YOURSELF. MONTY is easy to work and be with so he keeps getting given more (sweeter) opportunities. It's no different for us as people. As for LORDE, I can only judge by what I see. So if LORDE’s success is anything to go by, I’d hazard a guess that LORDE continues to be pretty sweet to work with too without compromise to who she is and what she stands for.


Here’s a short video WORK HARD, STUDY HARD by ERIC THOMAS. He's a no nonsense, hard-out but cool guy. I love this one: “It’s not about where you came from...being smart ain’t enough. You have to have HEART.

Thanks for joining me! If you pick up any info here that could be useful to someone, share it.

Until next time,

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