One year a Model #Modelversary

Test photo from the day I went to the agency and signed.

November 21st, 2015 marks a year since I have been modeling, well modeling with an agency. On a whim last year around this time of year I decided to submit images of myself online to a few agencies. A few days later I heard back from one!  Willow Model Management, who is my Mother Agency, and the rest is history! It has been a great year so far and I want to share a few things I have learned from some memorable experiences throughout this year.

First Test Shoot 

Every model remembers their first test shoot like it was yesterday. It can be an nerve-wracking yet exhilarating experience. I had done a couple "test shoots" before this one (via model mayhem). However, this was my first test shoot with an agency suggested photographer. This was also my first test shoot while being signed. This shoot with photographer Teresa Koehler, was a great place to start as far as test shoots go. The shoot was affordable, I had a multitude of looks, and the photographer was so much fun to work with.

What I learned: Test shoots are meant to build your portfolio and show perspective clients what you can do as a model. This test shoot, as opposed to the previous ones i'd done, showed me that my test shoots should have a clear purpose. Although, I can see my newness as a model in these images, I can also see the clear representation of the type of model I wanted to be within each photo; Fashion, Fitness, Commercial, Glam/Beauty. So ask yourself before you set up a test shoot: does this accurately show what type of work I can and want to do? 

LA Fashion Week FW '15

Runway was something I always wanted to do and getting the chance to be a part of  LA Fashion Week as a rookie was awesome. I always assumed that I would be quite sought after as a model as far as runway goes because I am 5'11". Truth is I only ended up walking for 1 designer for Art Hearts LAFW. I was slightly shocked, especially when I looked at some of my peers who booked 4 or 5 shows.

What I learned: This was my 1st reality check of my modeling career. I was wrong to assume I was a shoe-in but what it taught me was that I should never take the rejection I receive in this industry personal. This industry is fickle, one day your look is in and the next day it's not as desired. It really isn't an issue with you it is more about what's "in", so don't take it personal. I elaborate on this on my previous blog post.

Print/E-commerce shoot

I was so ecstatic when my agent contacted me about shooting for Antthony Originals. This was my very first print/e-commerce shoot. If you have read one of my very 1st model blog posts than you know at one point an agency told me that I'm to tall to do E-commerce. Yes, too tall! So as you can image booking my best e-commerce/print shoot meant a lot to me. This was so much fun. The designer was a blast, the make up and hair crew was awesome, and so were the other models. I got to do something completely different and try a new area of modeling I had never done.

What I learned: Don't ever take one "NO" as the final answer. In this industry I have heard so many variation of "No" that I can't even count. If I had listened to that person who told me that I was too tall to do e-commerce and print than I'd never would have experienced this. One person's opinion of your ability is not the law. 

Almost Nike 

I almost got booked on a modeling job with Nike. The story goes... my agent worked her butt off to get me on a job for Nike, there was a hiccup in our communication and they wanted me to shoot on a day that I had to be out of town. Of course I would normally reschedule my flight, but this time for many of reasons I couldn't. Long story short, due to scheduling complications I could not work for them.

What I learned: This may sound cliche but when your dreams come that close and don't come to fruition, don't give up on them. I was very bummed after this but I chose to keep pushing and moving forward. The truth is you 9 times out of 10 won't book your dream job, that's no reason to dwell and beat yourself up about it. That's when you dig deeper and find more motivation, until that dream becomes reality. P.S. The photos above a from a test shoot with a photographer

Stand in for Naomi Campbell

Pinch me ! Im still dreaming. Y'all I got to be a stand in for Naomi Campbell on a super secret music video. My 1st year modeling and I get to not only stand in for but be in the same room as Naomi Campbell! This was such a confidence boost and and awesome opportunity to watch a Super Model do her what she does best.

Photo of me on set by: David MOBI Olaoniye


What I learned: Being able to literally watch one of the most influential Super Models ever work showed me that as a model I should always be studying the models who came before. She was effortless perfection and as a new model I learned so much. Studying the greats is crucial to any skill set.

#bts on set

#bts on set

#bts on set

Matrix Fitness

And to round out this year, was my recent fitness shoot with Matrix fitness. This was my 1st legit fitness modeling gig. This was a two day Fitness job that absolutely kicked my butt. Two days of non stop working out was brutal but I can't even explain how much fun I had. I got to be a track athlete and a model for an awesome fitness treadmill that would be used in video and print and it was so rewarding.

What I learned: I learned the importance of  being kind and genuinely networking in this industry. I actually came about this job through a MUA who I met on my very 1st job with Willow Model Management. She remembered me telling her I ran track and thought she'd share this job opportunity with me.That connection was made so long ago but it was a relationship I kept through social media. It goes to show the importance of connections in this industry.  Networking and being a decent human being goes so far in this industry. Thanks Kat!

Thank you to everyone who made 2015 an awesome first year as a model! I had so many life changing experiences, so many I wanted to list here but then this list would be even longer lol. I officially signed for another year with Willow, so here is to another amazing year modeling  filled with nothing but growth, fun experiences and happiness.