Watkins featured in Southern Living

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 22, 2003

When Emily Watkins was "a little girl" she liked to pretend she was a model.

When she got older, she pursued that interest and set a goal of, one day, appearing in a national magazine. She has now realized that dream.

Watkins was one of six members of the Auburn Modeling Board featured in the Summer 2003 edition of Southern Living Weddings that is on news stands now.

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"To be in Southern Living Weddings is very exciting," Watkins said. "One of my goals in modeling was to be in a well-known magazine, but I never thought that would happen. Southern Living is a popular magazine and I'm so proud that I had this opportunity."

The opportunity came as a surprise to Watkins, who will be a junior at Auburn University fall semester.

When she enrolled at Auburn two years ago, she became interested in the Auburn Modeling Board and decided to try out for the program. Around 250 girls tried out for the modeling board, but only 20 were selected. Watkins was among them.

"The Auburn Modeling Board does different shows - small shows," Watkins said. "We do runway shows for local stores, for student activities, pageants and other events. Being on the board is a lot of fun and good experience."

In January, Watkins was contacted and asked if she would be interested in doing a shoot for Southern Living.

Watkins is also under contract with the Elan Agency in Birmingham, so she went through the agency to make sure it was a "good shoot."

Southern Living was looking for models for the Summer 2003 'Weddings' special edition and searched the Auburn Modeling Board's website, Watkins said.

"They saw pictures of the modeling board on the Internet and called several of us and invited us to the shoot," she said.

Six Auburn Modeling Board members were given the opportunity to be in a nationally acclaimed magazine.

"We didn't get paid but our expenses for the three-day shoot were paid," Watkins said. "We all knew each other from the board so that made it more fun."

The young men in "Weddings" were not from Auburn and, therefore, new faces for the models and that was "interesting."

"Southern Living Weddings is a summer publication, but the shoot was in February and it was cold," Watkins said, laughing. "When we got there, they had dresses with our names on them and we were treated like professional models. At one point, I had someone putting lotion on my legs, putting on my makeup and doing my hair. It was great fun."

Watkins said appearing in Southern Living could open other modeling doors for her.

"I've been asked if I would like to do the 'Weddings' edition again next year," she said. "It's good to get your picture in a national magazine. And, I can use the photographs in my portfolio. I don't know where this shoot will take me."

Possibly toward a modeling career?

"I've always liked to model and it's a wonderful hobby and I would like to do more of it," Watkins said, but stopped short of saying that modeling is a career choice.

She has been accepted into the School of Nursing at Auburn University and plans to attend UAB to become a certified nurse practitioner.

Watkins is the daughter of Keith and Terry Watkins of Troy.