Q. How and why did you get into alt modelling? Who are your heroes or your inspiration?
I started out just plain modeling, only because I was too young to really be tattoo'd or pierced. As I kept modeling, and my interest in body modifications grew I became alternative in the sense of being modified.
Q. How long have you been an alt model?
Since I decided to start modeling! I've technically always been alternative however, considering I'm only 5'7" and a curvy girl. I'm not quite typical even without the tattoos or piercings.
Before high school I had never been exposed to it outside of movies, and older people on the street that I didn't know. But once I was old enough to form my own opinion of it, it really sunk in how much I love it. As a creative person, there is something very liberating about being able to put ideas on my skin. While it can be a very large part of the industry, it's also not all that important. I bridge commercial and alternative because my mods are rather well hidden. I feel alternative lies more in how you photograph, who you shoot with, what gigs you land, and how you present yourself - mods aside.
Q. Is the industry like you thought it would be ? What surprised you about it?
The industry is a lot more lenient than I expected, and I'm always surprised at the talented photographers I get to work with. I still have many insecure moments where I feel like there is no point trying to work with some of the amazing shooters - but almost every time I ask it works! I suppose that's what I find the most surprising as well.
Q. Did you start off as full-time, or did you start modelling part-time?
Part time, I was just starting college. Also, I was shit when I started out - looking at pictures from the very beginning is pretty hilarious. I was stiff, expressionless and boring - I've come a long way! Modeling is still part time for me, however I also do work on setting up workshops in
Q. Was it difficult to build a portfolio, and what did you learn about the process - meeting photographers, make up artists, wardrobe people, etc ...
It was very simple to build a portfolio. Not simple however, to build a great one. It's taken 2 years to get to a point where I can now choose who I work with instead of striving to do every shoot for practice. It wasn't a cheap road, but I'm here now. Getting paid, meeting amazing people and working with some of the best.
Q. Have you found your own style within alt modelling, how did you decide on your 'look'?
I wouldn't say I have my own style, just that I'm not quite as extreme as a lot of the girls. I envy them for their blue hair or huge spacers, but I find that I don't want to be pigeon-holed quite so easily. I always seem to rock short blonde hair though, some people say it's boyish, but I think it really sets me apart from the competition.
My first shoot was with a friend, so it was much simpler. However, my first shoot with a stranger was awkward mostly because of me. I was awkward, thought I knew everything and to top it off nervous. I got the pictures back and it was a wreck. Now, I prepare by simply making sure I have all the necessities; nude bra, nude thong, day-old hair, clean face and a great attitude.
Q. Did you join an agency? What was your experience with working with agents?
I was with two different agencies. I found it a waste of time because of my height and weight. I had a few castings here or there, but I found it much easier to simply pick my own work considering what I was being offered wasn't entirely within my interests.
Q. Is it important to be flexible in what type of photoshoots and jobs you'll take, or do you decide what you will and won't do and just stick to that?
I think when starting out it is very important to remain open minded, and really work with as many photographers as you can. Experience is priceless in this business! Now I can be much more picky with what I choose to do, and I'm thankful I'm finally at that point.
Safety is pretty high on my list, however I've found that building up a good report with someone before hand is really key to making any shoot go well. Depending on the photographer, I go alone. I simply tell someone where I am going, how long I'll be, etc. If anything happens, then someone knows where I was and the time frame in which I was suppose to be there.
Q. Is the alt modelling life a glamourous one like a lot of people imagine? Do you keep your modelling life seperate from your private life or do they always mix?
It's really not glamourous at all. I mean, it's fun as hell - but glamourous is not really the word I would use. I find where I am now my private life and modeling life criss-cross a lot, and that's okay. I've made friends along the way, so they have moved into my private life.
Q. How did your friends, family, or others react to your career choice?
Q. What advice would you give on how to find work as an alt model?
Mostly it's about networking. Especially in Toronto there is a great under-belly of designers, photographers and make up artists who are very dedicated to alternative and really are trying to bring it to the forefront in the area. Work with as many as you can, and the breaks will start flowing your way.
Q. Is it a very competative industry and have you worked with other models?
It can be very competitive, but I've learned that all these girls are allies. I've made some great friends along the way with other models, MUA's and photographers - there is no sense in making enemies. Some models however, do feel the need to try to tear others down, it's unfortunate but the natural order of things since competition does bring out jealousy and cattiness.
Q. Is it important to keep other interests/aspects of your life as a priority - things which have nothing to do with modeling?
Well... I think the industry in general is my passion. I love everything to do with it, so no I would say it's important that modeling and the fashion industry in general should be a priority if you want to be successful.
I am very excited to start photography come the winter, I'm getting a camera in December so it's going to be very exciting. But realistically, I would love to own my own agency and I'm putting steps in motion to achieve to this dream!
Q. What would you like to achieve in alt modelling in future?
I'm very interested in continuing on the path I'm headed - that is, simply racking up the gigs and making a name for myself in Toronto. I'm only 21, so I have years ahead of me! I am going to make a stab into pin-up and fetish soon, so that should be interesting!
Q. If you had one piece of advice to give people who want to become an alt model, what would it be?
Don't be somebody that you think others want you to be. Alternative is a wide range of modeling, and if you have the passion for it then do it! It might take time, but in the end it's very much so worth it.
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