Getting all kinds of personal with twins Renee & Elisha Herbert
Heading to Bondi for a shoot and interview after travelling on a plane for 38+ hours probably doesn’t come top of my “Things To Do” list – but there was no chance I was going to turn down the opportunity of meeting twinning models and style influencers Elisha and Renee Herbert [even if it meant going directly from the international airport with camera in tow].
Hailing from the Sunshine Coast but in Sydney for their roles as the new ambassadors of the Le Tan UBER|DARK range – a collection that sees consumers able to tailor their tan to their skin tone – the 18-year-old sisters are not so quietly taking the Instagram (and modelling) scene by storm.
Commanding 900+ Instagram followers between them – since finishing school at the end of last year, the two have spent the last 10 months travelling around the globe while self-managing their modelling and Instagram careers. With the girls not normally doing too many interviews, we decided to lay it all out – asking them everything from how they got their start in the industry to being a triplet (plus making friends on IG)…
First off, we’d love to know a bit about your background. Were you models before becoming influencers, or was it the other way around?
R: I think it was both at the same time. We started to gain a following and straight away we were getting contacted by people.
E: We started modelling because we got scouted through Instagram, but at the time we really didn’t have a big following or anything.
R: We probably had 10 or 15K…
How long ago was this?
R: Ages ago! We were really young – probably like 14 or 15. It was crazy! We started with [fashion brand] Peppermayo – they pretty much found us. We had a lot of contact with them and we both grew together social media-wise. We were with them for one or two years. It was basically like we were the faces of Peppermayo. We used to meet up with them every week or so.
E: They were in Sydney as well, so we had to fly down!
R: We would fly to Sydney while we were in school – so we had to keep up with school and work at the same time. It was pretty hectic, but it was really good. After our contract ended, we signed up with a modelling agency and were with them for about a year. Now we are just doing freelance modelling – doing our own thing. We are managing our own social media and modelling, I think it’s fine like that.
Is it hard dealing with the admin side of juggling influencing and modelling?
E: Well, we’re always on our phones! We work together as well and so she [Renee] deals with some admin, and I deal with others.
R: We always get joint emails and I’ll be like “Lisha, you reply to that and I’ll reply to this!”
E: But no, we do okay. We’re always on our phone so we can reply and make it work. We’re good at managing ourselves…
R: It can be pretty stressful though, but it’s better because you know what’s going on and you get to be in control of everything.
You both have huge Instagram followings. When did you start seeing it take off and have there been any spikes in growth?
R: I think what started it was us working with more brands.
E: When we started our modelling career, people began seeing us more on other Instagram accounts. But it was also because we’re twin models.
R: Because we were the faces of Peppermayo and no one had ever done twins before as faces – it was this new thing. Everyone was like “omg, it’s twins!” – so I guess it was a different thing. We gained more followers from that.
Do you filter your images? How do you edit your images?
E: We use Snapseed to improve the lighting and saturation, and then we go to VSCO Cam to filter it.
Do you use the same filter each time?
R: No, it depends on the photo. I like M5, P5, and A6.
With modelling and influencer jobs, do you find you do most together as twins?
R: We try to do jobs together. I got a job in Hawaii and I was like “I wish Elisha could come with me…” and now it’s me and Elisha doing the job in Hawaii! We try to negotiate…
E: Even when they try ask for one of us – they can say “no”, but we might as well let them know we have a twin.
What kind of brands do you look to work with?
E: We try to look for those who are easy to work with and who we like their style. We like creative people.
Can you talk me through your recent collab with Le Tan?
R: Le Tan is like our OG tanning company, that’s where we started with our tanning. Now it’s cool because they have tans that you can tailor to your skin tone.
E: We always tan for shoots and stuff – so it’s good to work with Le Tan. It really suits our vibe.
They’ve just brought out a new range. What’s your verdict on the collection?!
E: There’s four types which are tailored to different skin tones. It’s kind of like makeup – but for your body! I’m wearing the Marula Oil tan. It’s really hydrating – so when your tan is fading off, it won’t be flaky or anything like that. It’ll be even! Plus, it’s really good for all skin types.
You mentioned you like to work with brands that match your lifestyle. What exactly is your lifestyle when you’re not on a job?!
E: Doing lots of travelling! Just doing lots of spontaneous things.
R: We’re never serious and nothing is ever planned with us – we just jump into things and make it happen. It’s fun! We are always staying active, always adventuring to different places.
Do you travel because of jobs or is it more for a holiday?
R: We like to find jobs that fit with our travel. We love jobs that allow us to travel…
E: That’s pretty much what we want – we want to be able to work and travel at the same time.
Can you talk me through what a usual day looks like when you’re in Australia? What would we normally find you doing?
R: It’s always different and always changing. If we’re at home, it’s mainly hanging out with our friends, family, and at the beach – we live five minutes away from the beach!
E: We’re always going on road trips to places like Byron as well. We just think of things and do it!
It seems from Instagram that a lot of your friends are other influencers. Would you say that’s true?
R: Not really. Most of our friends aren’t influencers, but there are some we’ve made friends with.
E: You can make friends through Instagram now, which is pretty cool. We’ve made friends with people overseas just through Instagram.
Did you reach out to them via Instagram or how does it work?
E: It’s just like everyone knows each other and then you meet them and just become friends.
R: You’re like, “Hey, I know you from Instagram!” It’s weird but cool.
What’s been the highlight of being an influencer?
E: Just being able to be scouted through Instagram is cool and being able to be our own manager.
R: Also being able to have fun travelling and working. That’s the best thing about being an influencer – you get to pick what you want to do.
Does being an influencer come with any hardships?
R: I think comparing yourself to other people and other models is a tough thing – you don’t feel as confident.
E: Girls are really competitive these days… especially if you’re involved in the influencer space.
When you were at school, did you know you wanted to get into modelling and influencing?
R: No, we didn’t really want to.
E: We wanted to do marine biology – that was our main thing. We really just fell into modelling.
Do you think you’ll go back to marine biology one day?
E: Maybe, I don’t know. Maybe one day we will.
Is your family supportive of everything going on?
E: Really supportive. They’re into it more than us!
Do you have brothers and sisters?
R: We’re a triplet, we have a triplet brother. We also have an older brother and sister.
You’re a triplet?!
R: Yeah, he lives in Sydney and studies science – he’s super smart.
What does he think of you two being influencers?
R: He’s not into that at all. He’s so not about it!
Do you ever try and get him in your posts?
E: He doesn’t let us take photos! We have like one photo of him.
So there’s five of you?!
R: Mum had the two older ones and then she wanted one more kid – but then she had three! She cried and everything – she’s like “that’s so crazy having to look after three little babies!
E: I would cry too. Sorry mum.
And lastly where do you see yourself in five years? What do you want to be doing?
E: The only thing with us is that we go with the flow – so we don’t really know. Just hopefully something cool, travelling the world.
R: This year we’re kind of deciding on all that. It’s our decision year. We also want to do acting as well.
Shoot photography, interview and words by Husskie Editor Yelena Fairfax.