How 'Model Squad' Star Hannah Ferguson Stood Strong In 'Unpleasant' Shoot with Pushy Photographer

The model also reflects on facing rejection in the industry and what she hopes her new show clears up about models.

The stars of "Model Squad" hope to show the reality of the modeling world in their new E! series, a world they swear is nowhere near as glamorous as everyone thinks.

To prove their point, Hannah Ferguson was open about one of her fashion industry horror stories when speaking with TooFab, recalling a moment she had to stand her ground during a shoot that left her feeling "extremely uncomfortable."

"When I first started out modeling — I was with a different agency at the time — but I was working on my portfolio book and there was a photographer that I was sent to do a test shoot with and I was very against doing totally nude images," she explained.

The photographer, however, wasn’t against taking them and tried to get Ferguson to strip.

"He was pushing me, pushing me, pushing me to just do nude and I told him, ‘No, no, no,’" she continued. "He just was so adamant and unpleasant about the whole situation and for me it was kind of, I don’t want to say it was traumatizing, but it was extremely unpleasant. And it was kind of traumatizing in a way and I felt extremely uncomfortable."

Though she almost left the building and barely held back tears, she instead just stood her ground.

"He said, ‘Well I’m not going to be the only photographer that’s going to ask you to do this.’ And I said, ‘Well, I guess you’re not the only photographer I’m going to say no to,’" Ferguson said. "When I left I was very happy that I spoke up for myself and stood my ground, but that was probably the worst modeling experience I’ve had. I think I was 19 or 20 at the time. I can’t imagine, you know, younger girls that are in this industry and how difficult it must be for some of them in the situations that they are put into as well."

Now 26, Ferguson has some more experience under her belt, including shoots for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and Chanel. But as easy, breezy, beautiful as the modeling world seems, she’s adamant that it’s a lot of work.

"It takes a lot of dedication and hard work and you have to be mentally strong and just dedicated," she explained. "We grow up fast in this industry and most people think, ‘Oh, it must be so easy to just stand there and get your pictures taken.’ They just, they just don’t have the knowledge of what we actually go through."

One downside of the industry is the constant rejection, something Ferguson goes through during the series as she learns she didn’t make it in the 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. It’s a reality she didn’t find difficult to put on camera.

"We’ve all been turned down for our fair share of shows. And so for me — it was obviously and still is a goal of mine — but I didn’t have high expectations," she said. "I tried to prepare myself as best as possible — physically and mentally — going into the casting and all I can do is be my best version of myself and hope that I’m something that they are looking for and if it’s not that year, maybe it will be this year, you know?"

Ferguson said she was actually more emotional when she got her first callback for the runway show then when later learned they didn’t choose her. "All you can do is just try, try again," she added, saying she was still excited for her friends who made the cut.

"You never really know what clients are looking for, you know? I feel like every year there’s something new, something different," she continued. "You just have to kind of prepare yourself as best as you possibly can and you know, go in with your head up and shoulders back and do your best and see what happens."

Ferguson also told TooFab she was excited to throw a reality TV camera into the mix and is "super anxious" to see how "Model Squad" is received by its viewers.

The show debuts September 4 on E!

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