5 Questions with Aakriti, California
- How were you inspired to start modeling?
My roommate, an engineering undergrad, wanted to become an actress after she graduated. One day I decided to also try doing my portfolio with one of her photographers. The pictures came out great and I started getting calls just from the visibility I got from the pictures on his website.
2. What are some recent projects you’re excited about?
My latest project was a 1.5 day shoot in Death Valley with 5 looks. It was exciting to get an all expense paid trip at a new, exciting location.
3. If you could shoot anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
Ooo! Nice one 👌🏼
I know it may sound a bit cliché, but I have always dreamt of doing a fashion shoot in Paris with the Eiffel Tower in the background 😆
4. How do you pick which modeling jobs are right for you?
I pick modeling jobs based on them meeting at least 2 of these three factors – Interesting concept, Good compensation, Convenience & good communication.
5. What advice would you give someone wanting to be a model?
Being open minded, not only about other variety of people in the industry but also open and accepting about your look and flaws is a really big step to moving forward.
5 Questions with Devin Merilatt, Anchorage
1. Tell us about your love for acting and directing and your duties at ACT (Anchorage Community Theatre).
Ever since I was 5 years old, I knew I wanted to do something creative in my life. I started
writing screenplays in elementary school, and was eventually given a camcorder. My friends
and I made ridiculous short films, which I would often direct and star in. In high school, I really
got into theatre. I absolutely love the stage… There’s something so magical about losing
yourself in your character. You can really escape your life for a little while and be someone
completely different. Directing is wonderful. You can take a script and turn it into your vision.
There’s so much freedom in directing… The stage and screen is your canvas, and you can use
it to express yourself.
2. You’ve written and directed some short films. Where do you get the inspiration and where can your films be seen online?
This is going to sound cheesy, but I get inspired by life and the things we struggle with. The
films I write are psychological dramas and thrillers, and deal with some sensitive subjects. I
think the mind is a very interesting and beautiful thing. Everyone has their own story, their own
demons. Writing them out can be so freeing.
All three of my short films can be found on my YouTube channel: Devin Merilatt Films
3. Acting, directing, writing, and now modeling! What do you like best about modeling?
I think the thing I like the most about modeling is getting to dress up! It’s super fun putting an
outfit or costume together, or just seeing what the photographer has for you to wear.
4. If money was no object, what photo concept (concept or geographic location) would you love to do in the future?
I would LOVE to go to Ireland for a fantasy photoshoot! It would be amazing to visit the
forests and castles, and get some really magical photos. I have two fantasy characters, and
plans for more. What better place to shoot them?
5. Everybody has guilty pleasures, movies, food, what’s one of your guilty pleasures?
I am a huge nerd and collector, so my guilty pleasure is sneaking off to buy something for my
collection! I have almost a whole wall covered with artwork, Pop! Vinyls, action figures, etc., but
it’s somehow not enough…
5 Questions with Sheena, Portland, Oregon
1. Your Instagram feed has a very fun ‘60s nostalgia vibe. How did this come about in your life?
I grew up surrounded by a lot of vintage music and fashion – my dad is a musician, and always wanted to expose me and my siblings to music and culture from every era. During high school I really began gravitating most to the 1960s vibes and that’s been a big part of my life ever since. (Instagram: @swinginsheena)
2. Your parents also are creative souls, aren’t they?
My parents are both creative, actually my entire family. My father is a musician, as are both of my brothers and I. Most members of my family are involved in the arts in some way too, whether it be painting, animation, fashion, or culinary arts. I also recently married into a very musical family too, so I’m always surrounded by music!
3. In your view, what is a satisfying photoshoot when you wrap and head home?
The most satisfying shoots are the ones where I feel like I fulfilled the photographer’s goals and vision, but also got something out of it myself creatively. Some of the best shoots I ever had were ones where there was a lot of collaboration, or spontaneity that resulted in great shots.
4. Is there a concept or theme you’d love to do in the future?
I’m actually pretty much retired from modeling at this point, because I’m now focused on a new chapter of my life, as a wife and hopefully mom soon. Over the 10+ years that I was actively modeling I go to do so much that I feel pretty satisfied with my career and the things I shot, but I would definitely do some artsy maternity shoots!
5. What advice would you give to an aspiring model?
I’d tell aspiring models that it’s really important to both take modeling seriously, and also to do it for the right reasons. I was always passionate about creating art – the money and attention never mattered to me. And I treated every shoot like a real job – you have to put in the time to prepare, be willing to do the travel, sometimes physically push yourself to get the shot. And it’s all worth it in the end. Communication is also a really big thing – most shoots come out better when they’re a collaboration of ideas.
5 Questions with Jocelyn Paine, Anchorage, AK
1. Where did you grow up and how did it help in the cultivation of your love for art?
I was raised in and near New York City. Before my family moved into Manhattan when I was age ten, my culturally-minded mother took me into the city every Saturday for several weekly events. Besides allergy shots, I would get a shot of art at one of NYC’s many museums. I took home the maximum of ten books from the NY Public Library (and got to say, “Hi!” to Patience and Fortitude, the stone lions in front). I practiced design in classes at the Museum of Modern Art. For a few years, I went to dance classes in either modern or classical style. After we moved from the suburbs into the city proper, I was given a subscription to the afternoon classical concerts hosted by Leonard Bernstein. Best of all, I got to observe the city itself, with its multitude of cultures and neighborhoods. I was a free-ranging child, able to travel by bus and subway alone. I took advantage of my freedom and educated my eyes. It was the best artistic upbringing possible and I owe all my sense of fashion and knowledge of art to those influences upon my early years.
2. Tell us about your photography background and have you modeled before?
My father (who retired before I was born) was a professional photographer, working in newspapers. My first long-term relationship and first marriage was to a man who wanted to be a fashion or architectural photographer or a film-maker, whichever came first. My “training” in photography and the development of my photographic eye was absorbed by on-the-job observations or through reading, front-to-back page, including advertisements, photographic magazines. I had a little instruction as I helped my partner in my next long-term relationship, which was with a man who was a professional freelance photographer for magazines, movies and actors. He owned a Hasselblad. Best camera on which to learn framing, old-fashioned film handling, lighting, etc.
I was an occasional art model, but I’m not tall enough, skinny enough or striking enough to be a photographic model on a professional level. Being in back of the camera, however, is a good way to know what to do in front of the camera. Being an art model is a good way to learn patience, meditation, and how to hold poses without cramping your muscles. Even when I was modeling nude I’d end up in a sweat, from the physical demands of long poses that were interesting. It is easy to lie on a couch; it isn’t easy to twist, lean, cant to one side, reach out through the whole body. I specialized in 20-minute long slowly changing poses that morphed at glacier speed.
3. If you could do any artistic project right now, what would you pick?
The artistic endeavor that pulls together the portfolio of my interests and skills is directing theatre. Once we’re through physical distancing, I’d love a chance to direct. If possible, a play about Artemisia Gentileschi, a female 17th C. painter with a tragic story and her tenacious survival through her art. There are several plays based on her journals, letters, and the transcript of the trial of her rapist. Gentileschi ranks with Caravaggio as a chronicler of Biblical violence using dramatic chiaroscuro and dynamic poses (which I’ve always thought were challenging to their models). It is a difficult story, but inspiring. I’d wouldn’t mind doing another comedy, if I could find one with a tear at its heart, as “Shakespeare in Hollywood” (see below) had. Comedy blossoms with the contrast—one might say the chiaroscuro—of tragedy.
4. In all of your collaborations, what was one of your favorite projects?
My favorite collaboration, by far, was directing Anchorage Community Theatre’s production of Ken Ludwig’s “Shakespeare in Hollywood.” My partner, Dan Everett, built a huge tree as a set piece. It was a sculpture! It was also a hidey-hole, a monkey gym, a decoration, a lighting prop. The play is set in the mid-1930s, one of my favorite time periods, and in Hollywood, always glamorous, and is very witty. I had a large, great cast who were willing to go along with my ideas for staging. I had a costume designer willing to let me share in that fun. It was the best thing Dan and I have done together in a partnership history of several theatrical collaborations.
5. What’s one of your pet peeves and did you like being a model in our photoshoot?
My pet peeve is superficial social interaction. Chit-chat that skips the surface of meaningful emotion. Time-wasting showing off.
Posing, especially for fashion, is superficial, flirts with feeling, and is all about showing off. My personal weakness is vanity, so posing, either for photos or for art, is way, way too much fun!
5 Questions with Miss Missy of Denver, Colorado
1. What sparked the interest to become a model?
I have always been a ham, center of attention even as a kid, I would watch the models on the runway and on America’s next top model and I thought, geez I can do that! So when I was 18 I pursued it innocently just connected to photographers to see if they needed a model to build their portfolio and mine.
2. What is your dream project you’ve always wanted to do?
This one’s a tough one, my dream project has always been to become the centerfold for playboy, now that I’m getting older I really hope it will become a reality.
3. During our photo-shoot you were able to display some acting chops in your posing. What other creative ventures do you pursue?
I’m total left brain and creative in many different ways, I love to draw, play piano, sing and dance to salsa music. It keeps me busy.
4. If you had to pick between being a successful singer, model or actor, which would you choose?
Being all those things combined is what I want to be known for.
(Editor’s note: I was inspired to ask this question when years ago I read an interview with Ted Nugent and he was asked if he had to choose between his guitars or his guns which would he pick? Miss Missy gave the same answer as Ted Nugent – I don’t have to pick, so get lost)
5. Who is your all time favorite actor/ actress?
Favorite actor is Leonardo Di Caprio, Favorite Actress has to be Amy Adams. Leo is my favorite in the classic what’s eating Gilbert grape. He has played strong roles but him being so young and playing that role of Arnie was incredible. Amy Adams is such a joy to watch she is fun and I can see her true self shine through every movie she does. I’m a Disney fan so seeing her in enchanted was stunning.
5 Questions with Rinda of Tulsa, Oklahoma
1. How do you like modeling in Tulsa and what do you find unique about modeling here?
I enjoy modeling so very much, however, it’s actually a pretty limited industry in the state of Oklahoma. Finding opportunities can be scarce
at times, and it can take some work, but I love a challenge and when
you truly want something you go after it! No matter what challenges
may arise in front of you. Modeling in Oklahoma was where I began but
I’ve ventured out and have modeled in numerous states as a means to
obtain more opportunities and get more exposure. Not allowing the slow
pace of the modeling industry in Tulsa to be a discouragement but a
push to go harder when it comes to my dream!
2. You’re very versatile – a runway model, magazine cover girl, street
photography – What’s your favorite and least favorite?
To be honest I love it all! But if I absolutely had to choose, I’d say
I prefer photo shoots although I do quite bit of runway due to my long
legs. I’ve always been told I’m photogenic and have always enjoyed
print photography. The first time I did a photo shoot some years ago I
instantly fell in love! Modeling is so much fun and allows me to
express myself in so many different ways. No one way really trumps the
other, I just enjoy do it and following my dream!
3. When we were shooting you told me you inspired someone in your
family to become a model.
One day out of the most random blue sky, my son (only 5 years old at
the time) said, “Mom I want to model”. I chuckled honestly thinking he
was joking, and even said “Booooy” with a smile of course. He looked
me square in the eye and said “No Momma, I’m serious”. Smiling, I
said, “Ok..show me your walk”. Needless, to say the rest is history.
He did a fashion runway show shortly after and did impeccably! He
practically stole the show! From that show he earned the opportunity
of being on a store front in Oklahoma City for a local men’s boutique
out there. We now go to modeling events, auditions and casting calls
together (when applicable as modeling opportunities in Tulsa are quite
4. What else do you do when you’re not in front of a camera?
When I’m not in front of the camera, I’m always doing something.
Working, spending time with my family, looking for the next modeling
opportunity, shopping, reading, being in nature and traveling and
seeing new things, as well as traveling for various casting calls and
auditions in surrounding areas near me.
5. What’s your favorite guilty pleasure food to eat in Tulsa?
My favorite guilty pleasure food period (not only limited to Tulsa)
would probably be tacos. I’m a taco addict. I mean who doesn’t like
tacos, haha. Seafood tacos, bean tacos, veggie tacos, there’s an
unlimited variety of ways to eat tacos and I’m all for it and trying
them out! 😊
5 Questions with Avrora from Ukraine
1. First, thanks for braving hot and windy desert weather for our shoot in Phoenix! What were the most difficult conditions you’ve ever been in for a photo shoot?
Speaking of the most difficult conditions, almost every outside shooting is a challenge. It can be cold, windy, humid, bright sun or all above at one place! I had experience to shoot naked in snow in Russia, but I was happy enough to be able to work with professionals which always helped me to save some warm with whiskey and blanket between frames!
I think, the most difficult conditions so far where on the beach in San Francisco this spring. It was an overcast, windy weather with short rains. We were supposed to do a shoot for SuicideGirls with one more model. It means we should be naked, fun and sexy. When there is just 53 degrees F and we were cold even before we started the shoot! I am still shaking when I think about those two hours, but the pictures that went out were so good. so its worth everything! Good thing about overcast that the light is so flat and it makes every photo work way more easier!
2. I noticed you were wearing airplane earrings. Would you tell us about your love of aviation?
I do love my multiple airplane accessories and I have two airplane tattoos. Thank you! My love of aviation began before I started modeling, it was since my first impression of flying on a plane when I was a kid. I always wanted to be a pilot and honestly I have a long way to be there, which is obviously not over yet.
Eventually, I got my private pilot license few years ago in Czech Republic. Oh, that was amazing months of learning and living here! My license allows me to fly in Europe and Russia (I had to confirm it to be able to do it) and I am looking forward to do a conversion and be able to fly in USA by myself as well! I also started to do aerobatic training some time ago and I am aimed to work on my commercial pilot license in the future. There is always a lot you can learn being in aviation.
3. How do you like being a Suicide Girl?
I shoot for SG since 2013 and I love it! Not going to stop yet even if I am about to meet my 30th birthday. I always wanted to be one of SuicideGirls since I saw the photos of models at my young ages. However, it was not an easy way in. I shot 7 sets for SG before they noticed me and make me Pink (this is how we call official status of SuicideGirl. If they did not buy your set yet, you are “Hopeful”).
SG gave me an opportunity to meet so many amazing people all over the world! I had been on a several SG shoot fests (it’s when models and photographers are coming at one place together for a few days and shooting a content and having fun) and it brings amazing new people in my life which I am happy to call friends. SG is mode then just a beautiful pictures, it is amazing community with models and members. I even know two couples who met each other because of SG!
4. I saw a video of you playing pinball. Are you a casual player or are you crazy about playing?
So Pinball! I did not expect this question, but I guess all America plays pinball? I am honest, I played it just for two days! I always was curious about it, but we do not have this things in Russia. When I was in Nashville, the good friend of mine showed me this game, taught me tactics and we had an amazing time playing together! It is fun to feel how you can learn doing just a few times at one game and then switch to another one and feel your skills are zero! However, I started to understand something about it and I hope to play more, it is so fun and I have a best teacher!
5. You had some excellent advice you shared with me for aspiring models that get frustrated when they don’t see instant success. Can you share it with us?
Thank you. That’s what I keep telling any models, photographers, and to myself. You can’t be always “insta” successful doing your things but it gives you experience and doing it again and again you are getting better and better. Same thing about pinball, right? Actually, for me it is just how life works. We can try and fail, but keep trying and succeed eventually. It is better then stay at one position and do not try to change anything. People can see a success but most of them do not see a hard work behind it.
5 Questions for Renee Marie of Charlotte, NC
2. Your modeling page is titled, “ThisIsMyMirror.” It’s very intriguing. Can you tell us the mystery behind the name?
2. Can you tell us about your unique dresses and how long it takes to prepare for a shoot in your clothing?
5 Questions for Caley Heady of Anchorage, Alaska
1. Would you like to do modeling full time or just as a creative outlet?
If I had the opportunity to do modeling full-time, I think it would be an blast! Who wouldn’t love to have someone do your makeup and hair, pick out fun pieces to wear. However, I also enjoy it as a creative outlet. Whether I am behind the camera, or in front, I believe photography is a great way to express one’s creativity and individuality and showcase some of the things people are passionate about. There is something to be said about the uniqueness and diversity, each and every individual brings to the artistic world.
2. How do you come up with concepts for a photography shoot?
Music has always been an influencing factor when coming up with new ideas for potential shoots. I enjoy working with the photographer to come up with an idea or ideas we can both enjoy and have fun with. Sometimes the ideas collide and morphs into some really awesome results! Creativity flows best when everyone is having fun.
3. What advice would you give to a woman wanting to try modeling?
Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Don’t think you have to act a certain way, or look a certain way. For me photography is about the experience and the unique abilities and qualities every individual brings. No two models are exactly alike, no two photographers are exactly alike. Let yourself be comfortable in your own skin. Be proud of who you are, and your beauty will beam outward like the sun. Everyone is beautiful inside and out. Also, don’t forget to laugh! Smile and have fun! Don’t ever force the feelings, the emotions or the pose…just let it happen.
4. What do you do with your finished photos?
Many of my photos I post up on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Model Mayhem). Sometimes I also add in quotes of inspiration. I am all for promoting positive vibes and self-love wherever I go. We should all strive to be confident and comfortable in our own skin.
5. If time and money were of no consideration, what photo concept would you like to do?
Can I say everything?!?! Ha ha!
I really find the perspective/illusion photography pieces to be quite fascinating, floating ladders in water, leaning over buildings, walking upside down or sideways on roads and steps, etc.
A sports theme would be fun, I am a huge St. Louis Cardinals fan!
A shoot with baby animals would be really fun too.
A shoot in the tide pools of Homer, the beaches in Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia. I enjoy and appreciate nature.
Decades shoot – Big Band, Tommy Guns, Show Girls…that would be a blast!
One concept that I would like to do someday would be to bring awareness and education to invisible diseases and chronic illness. I myself have been battling a condition called Ankylosing Spondilitis (AS) since the age of 15, though I showed signs as young as 12. I am thankful I was able to get in for medical treatment at such a young age, in hopes that it will increase longevity and quality of life.
There is a model and chronic disease advocate in California named Charis Hill (http://beingcharis.com), who also has AS. This disease has no cure. She spreads awareness about her conditions and invisible chronic diseases like her’s. Not to draw attention, but to educate that appearances are not everything. That individuals can look completely healthy on the outside, and be battling something inside and still carry themselves with such strength and grace, not many ever notice, that they are ill at all.
Imagine Dragon’s Dan Reynolds, also has AS and has started a YouTube Channel dedicated to bringing awareness to Ankylosing Spondilitis in particular. I think it is time to shed some positive light on things such as this, instead of pretending they don’t exist. There are beautiful human beings fighting above the diseases they have, it’s time to honor that.
5 Questions for Leticia Wade (Mrs. Alaska 2018)
1. Congratulations on becoming Mrs. Alaska 2018! Is this the first title you’ve won or have you competed before?
Thank you So much. It has been very exciting winning Mrs Alaska 2018. No, I have not competed before, so I am very honored to have won the title. I have been around pageants, volunteered with them, and as of last year am the choreographer for the Miss and teen United States pageant.
2. What duties do you have as Mrs. Alaska?
As Mrs Alaska I represent my state and the married women of it, it’s a busy and wonderful job. Attending community events and making public appearances. I volunteer where I can , although that is something I enjoy doing regardless. I have the amazing opportunity to be involved with some great programs such as No More Matsu and work with the Matsu Hospital. A large focus for me will be establishing and promoting my scholarship program and platform Build Them Up.
3. When we did our first shoot I noticed right away that you were very experienced as a model. What does it take to look natural and comfortable in front of a camera?
Well Thank you, that was a very fun shoot. I grew up performing, singing, dancing, musical theatre and cheer. I tend to be comfortable in front of the camera, but what I really think it takes is getting outside of our sometimes negative self image and having fun with the theme of the shoot, your photographer and you!
4. Can you tell us your thoughts on the swimsuit competition being dropped by the Miss America pageant?
This has been quite the conversation since announced, the pageant program was founded by a swim wear competition created in Atlantic city, as the years have passed there has been more awareness to how we target young women, and as we clearly see in many trends often its sexual. I can see from the opposing view how a swim wear portion could promote this, however in my opinion it is a part of pageantry that does not show sexuality or who looks best in a bikini, it shows work for a competition, confidence in what you have accomplished and dedication to yourself and a healthy life style.
5. What is your guilty pleasure snack you crave?
Oh goodness where do I begin! I’m actually not a huge sweets person but occasionally I do crave a cookie (oatmeal chocolate chip is my weakness) or a good camp fired bratwurst and cold beer.
5a . And do you get to keep the Mrs. AK crown when your reign is completed? Yes, every queen keeps her crown. Might come in handy down the road when the kids are not listening one day or the hubby do list is not getting any shorter (ha ha ha)
5 Questions for Ali Stift of Denver, Colorado
5 Questions with Alexandra Vasilenko of Kiev, Ukraine
1. When did you start modeling and how did the desire to be a model begin?
I always liked to be photographed, photography is an amazing thing, a small moment of your life! -)
The first professional pictures were taken a few years ago, when I was a student, it was a hobby, but then I thought if I like to do it, why not work with this ??
2. Are there many opportunities for a model in Ukraine?
Well, in Ukraine there are possibilities for the models but not much, and a lot of competition, I think you as a photographer can personally see this! -)
3. You have a great sense of humor, which makes me believe that you may have fallen into trouble quite a bit when you were a little girl?
I was a well-mannered child, I think it’s a blessing for my parents, especially after my brother -)
My sense of humor is inherited …
My mother says that there is no better medicine than laughing, so It seems that I’m going to live a very long time –)
4. Do you see any differences, or stylistic differences between Eastern European models and Western models?
I think it is a provocative question -)
But in general I think that there is no difference, maybe Western models have more room for development!
5. Besides being a very creative model, what other interests do you have?
Yes of course, I have many hobbies -)
I’m a designer of clothes, too! I was fond of it when I was a student and
I finished some courses, but now the main hobby is creating images and I like to not only be in the front of the camera but behind the camera as a photographer!
5 Questions for Brittney Crowell of Atlanta, Georgia
1. Tell us about your Zombie training. So, we all know that zombies “live” in Atlanta right? well kinda. Training was so cool. We were taught how to take a hit, attack the living, fall to the floor and other important things zombies do. Off the record-I would NEVER attack Daryl if I was to turn.
2. What are some of the products you’ve modeled for and your favorites so far?
I love modeling for clothing lines. I model for KnowStyle once a week and I love seeing their designs come to life. It doesn’t hurt that I’m working with an amazing group of people!
3. What is the most challenging photo shoot you’ve done?
I would have to say one of the most challenging photo shoots I did was in 30 degree weather shooting for a swimwear company. Weather can make a photo shoot challenging to say the least!
4. Along with the title of Miss Georgia, what other titles have you won and is there one you are the most fond of having? My most fond memories are the titles I won in Pensacola, Florida because it’s my hometown. I loved being Miss Seville Quarter, Miss Thunder Beach, and Miss Flora-Bama. I started competing in 2010 and fell in love!
5. Do you prefer shooting outdoors or in a studio?
I actually love both equally! When it’s a beautiful day, it’s nice to be outside and use the natural light. I love exploring new places so it’s very appealing to shoot outdoors. But at the same time, I love the look of indoor lighting in pictures. I’ve shot in beautiful historic buildings that would take your breathe away.
5 Questions for Caitlin Ciara of New Orleans, LA
1. What is your favorite genre of modeling?
I really love Fine Art Nude modeling. The woman’s body is the original art form. All different types. Women have this natural ability to wear their emotions in their movements. Fine Art Nude modeling helps me explore my own emotions in that way. Through such a vulnerable art, I challenge myself to become more and more comfortable with owning all sides of myself. It’s a huge practice of self- acceptance and checking in.
2. What inspires you to choose your posing positions?
I’m always super inspired by locations. The textures, shapes, colors… they all tell a story. I kind of let the environment move through me in a way. If you’ve ever shot with me, you’ll know what I’m talking about! The goofball in me will start saying different possibilities of narratives and themes the whole time. For more “artsy” poses, I’m inspired by the shapes and structures within the space the most. Music also helps you capture a theme and move through poses like a dance. A lot of the time, the transition itself will be the pose.
3. Tell us about your dream modeling/art concept that you’d like to do in the future.
You never know what I will get into. I’m pretty open and adventurous. That’s why I like to model. I have list after list of ideas, locations, photographers I want to work with, etc. My inspiration doesn’t stop. However, I’m a fan of keeping my visions a secret until they gain momentum This has become a really great tool for me to manifest “dreams” in general. So, stay tuned I guess!
4. What is the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you on a shoot?
I don’t really get embarrassed that easily! If anything, I’m worried about embarrassing the people around me. I will easily laugh something off. It’s funny how people always paint this picture of what they think is happening behind the scenes like “omg, that photographer is so lucky to shoot naked women all day- what a sexy job!”, when the reality of it is sometimes I’m rolling in dirt naked, pretending that the dirt is the only thing in the world, while simultaneously wondering what the hell I’m doing! Haha. And, that’s when I make fun of myself because it’s totally a great, sexy, passionate photo, but that’s the photo magic! What you think is happening vs. what is actually happening. Perception is a weird thing. I laugh about this conundrum all the time.
5. How do you choose a photographer to work with on a project?
An established reputation is very important to me along with an established portfolio. I will research everything I can about a photographer and “read between the lines” of their work. You can really pick up on people’s intention through their photos. There are a lot of “guys with cameras” on the internet. My intuition kicks in and I can usually tell at this point whether I want to work with them. It’s been successful for me, thus far! This initial filtering will get you a meeting to see if were on the same page creatively. Sometimes you’ll be so in sync for the brainstorming session and when the shoot comes, there’s no creative rhythm. It’s all trial and error. However, I’m lucky enough to have the gift of weeding out creeps! People always think I have these weird stories when, the truth is, I have worked with nothing but over- the- top professional, artistic, and respectful people… so far. *knocks on wood*
5 Questions for Sarah Ohlsson of New Orleans, LA
New Orleans model Sarah Ohlsson took time from her busy schedule of juggling work and family life to participate in my “5 Questions” project. Sarah has some very interesting answers and I was surprised by some of her responses. Read on!
1. What other creative projects are you doing besides modeling?
Mothering! Nothing in my life takes as much creativity as parenting and raising a little gentleman in today’s world, and there is nothing I enjoy more, my son is my whole world. 🙂
2. What do you think makes a great modeling photo?
There are many aspects of a great photo. From having an excellent team, a skilled photographer, stylist, makeup artist, hair stylist and model, to the creativity of the concept. But from a model’s perspective, I think it’s being able to convey emotion in to the shot. I always prefer photos where I can discern the emotion of the model and the overall image.
3. When and why did you decide to be a model?
I was very young and working a job with very little room for creativity. I got offered an opportunity to model and accepted on a whim and discovered a wonderful creative outlet. I was scared to quit my job and model full time but once I started modeling it’s all I wanted to do. And eventually I got more and more bookings, so I quit, went to open calls and got an agent, and became a professional model. Which then lead me to acting, another wonderful creative profession that I love and am pursuing.
4. What’s your favorite snack at 2AM?
Could be anything! I am not by any means a picky eater. Though I don’t often snack at 2 a.m, (I enjoy my sleep way too much) if I am snacking it could be anything from ice cream to leftover Cajun shrimp pasta. I love to cook so there’s always some delicious leftovers in the fridge!
5. Can you tell us about your all time favorite photo shoot?
My favorite shoot is actually a somewhat recent one. I did a bridal shoot for Blue Gardenia events that was published by Reverie Gallery. It was a Gatsby with a modern twist styled shoot, and I was a bad ass bridesmaid, complete with a beautiful black jumpsuit with a plunging neckline and Mohawk styled hair. It was my favorite because because firstly, it was beautifully styled. And secondly, because they put so much thought into the concept. They even gave the models a story-line so we could understand our “characters” which added another element to shoot. Definitely my current favorite by far.
5 Questions with Ro Lopez of New Orleans, LA
1. Is it better to to be starving or stuffed while doing a photo shoot?
It’s better not to eat right before the photo shoot.
If you’re hungry eat carrots or celery sticks because they are bulky and will make you feel full without taking in a huge meal. Sips of water, but try to refrain from chugging because it will bloat you.
I’d never suggest starving yourself for a shoot. If you eat healthy meals you won’t have to worry about losing that extra 5 lbs to look great! It’s all perception. All sizes are beautiful! I know this because I’ve done shoots that were just as good at 150 lbs as they were if not better than the ones I did at 120 lbs. know how to move your body. It’s an expression that goes beyond the face. It makes it easier to twist and turn on a light stomach. After, if you want a cheeseburger, go for it!
2. If you could do any kind of theme for a shoot, what would it be?
I would do “in blue” blue bubbles, backdrop, hair, makeup, latex costume, mega heals. Possibly water involved. But it would all be variations of blues.
3. Tell us about your other artistic ventures.
I am a vocalist for a rock band on Bourbon Street. We have a residence at our venue where we play 3 nights a week. I am slowly getting back into painting, I feel inspired when talking to different people on the phone. It helps me get a few layers out. I always work in layers and texture. Since I was diagnosed with cancer, I hadn’t shown munch interest in painting or creating. It seemed like a chore more than something I enjoyed. I preferred to sleep.
4. Is it inspiring living near New Orleans?
There’s inspiration everywhere. From the culture to the music and food. You can’t help but find little treasures everywhere you look. I think it takes an eye for beauty. Knowing that a pile of broken glass and bricks would make for an interesting place to shoot is important. A doorway, a hall. Anything can be inspiring, you just have to open your mind and imagine it, it’s there. The magic you need for the best shot.
5. Does your son ever tell you to turn the music down in your home?
No, my son tells me to turn the music up! Especially if it’s a beat his little feet can move to. He loves music and thinks it’s cool that I play in a band.
5 Questions with model Lauren Babree of NYC,New York.
1. What’s the funniest or strangest thing that’s ever happened to you on a photo shoot?
The funniest thing that’s happened to me during a photoshoot was when I was doing a crazy shoot and had milk poured on my head, and after the shoot I showered off, but the remains were still in my hair, and on the train back to my apartment in NYC, I could smell myself, and this person next to me on the train kept looking at me and I could tell they were wondering why I smelt so bad haha!
Another thing that has happened prior to a shoot needless to say I didn’t do was when somebody asked if I could shoot for free and a half roasted chicken would be my payment haha! After 16 years of modeling and traveling around the USA and Canada I get asked this!
2. What’s the most interesting place you’ve ever visited?
Probably the Dominican Republic but this wasn’t for modeling. Modeling maybe going to Alaska for the first time, and Vancouver Canada were cool because it is so far away and I got to see and learn so much. I also really loved visiting Miami and the Bay area of San Francisco California.
3. How did your modeling career begin?
I started modeling when I was 14 years old because somehow looking through the magazines at 12 and 13 something in me wanted to do the same. At 14 I heard an ad on the radio for an open call for modeling, and the rest is history. I started doing local runway shows, and would go down to the city in Manhattan for headshots and photoshoots. When I was 21 and got out of arts school in NY, I started doing it full time as my career, and have not stopped since. I am now 30.
4. What’s the most satisfying thing to you about modeling?
Being able to do what I love as my career. I love going to different locations shooting and traveling and seeing new things, and being able to transform with wardrobe, or hair and makeup, and seeing the photos after and being able to share it with the world is just awesome.
5. What advice would you want to give to a young aspiring model?
Be careful. I know how to spot somebody who is fake or not serious, or a scammer or a freak from the first casting notice I see, or initial conversation by now, but not all starting out will. Also never sacrifice doing something you don’t want to do because a bunch of creeps keep asking you. There’s a lot of scum bags in the business, but I have also met a lot of amazing people as well. You just have to be careful about it.