Q. How and why did you get into alt modelling? Who are your heroes or your inspiration?
I got into alt modelling several years ago. I never wanted to be a model. Just like a lot of people, I thought 'models' were the tall-and-thin ones who work for big names such as Armani or CK and that are just about perfect. I just started taking pictures. I've been inspired by books, mostly. Fairytales and the underground have been the biggest source of inspiration. My imagination too, of course. And lots of other models and other photographers and artists and beautiful images.. everyone and everything inspires me, everyday.
Being an alt model means that you are different and do different things than mainstream models. As you may know already, alternative models just do not conform to mainstream standards of beauty and are not subject to specific measurements. They model for a specific niche and showcase different looks that would be unacceptable in the mainstream fashion world.
Q. Did you start off as full-time, or did you start modelling part-time?
When I first started shooting I was still studying. And working, at the same time. I didn't do it full-time or part-time, I just did it when the chance came along and when I had enough time to do so. Plus I moved inbetween and I live in the Middle of Nowhere. It's a really beautiful place, do not misunderstand me. I love it. It's just that one can't be really productive modelling-wise
My priorities have always been others. Modelling has never been the number one. Before it there has been university, work, parents, relatives, boyfriend. I built, and am still building, my future and my life and all that is involved in this process has to be the priority
It wasn't really difficult to build a portfolio. It has been a bit more difficult to build a portfolio just like I wanted it to be. At first, I posted some pictures (mostly self portraits) on internet, looking for photographers willing to shoot with me.
A very low number of photographers were interested in gothy shoots, the majority were not. I didn't have enough resources to make a proper latex fashion shoot and I did not know any creative in the business willing to create art because of two main reasons. First, I had no contacts. Second, I was Mr. Nobody and not everyone is daring and want to give it a try. We all start from the ground.
Most photographers were just used to 'normal' photography with normal looks, normal poses, normal contexts and not much styling. Purple hair or dark looks weren't considered 'normal'.
When you start off, unless you're very lucky, you have a huge wardrobe or you just know the right people, it's almost impossible to find people willing to invest their time and efforts in an elaborated TFCD shoot with you.
Nowadays, there are quite a lot photographers that also embrace alt looks. Some focus on them, some like to differ, and some just would like to shoot something 'alt' in order to add some creative variety to their portfolios. I'm so glad things changed during the years
I still remember my first shoot with a pro-photographer, or at least someone that wasn't just my friend. I was a bit confused, I think it's normal when you first step into a studio. You don't know where to look at, it's full of lights and photo tools and you fear about doing something 'wrong' because all that big place has been booked for YOU.
I had to shoot some solo pictures and a few together with couple of other models, who weren't really the most friendly I met. All went well anyway, and I got some lovely pictures that added something different to both mine and the photographer's portfolio. Mission completed
Q. Did you join an agency? What was your experience with working with agents?
I am currently represented by TheCore.nu agency (previously known as Nocturnal Models Agency). I anyway work and shoot as a freelance model most of the time
Q. Is safety a high priority for you? What have you learned about how to keep yourself safe while working as an alt model ?
First, I never disclose personal data to whom I don't know. I will do so when time to sign a model release or a commercial contract comes, after I met the photographer. Safety has to be a high priority. You never know whom you're talking to. It may happen he's the best photographer of the world or either be a stalker.
My PA does often help the photographers as well (as assistant). When no help is needed, he just asks the photographer for a spot to sit and work. He's a professional, so he knows "how to".
The biggest error models often do is going to the shoots together with their extremely jealous boyfriend.. or noisy friends, or whatever. Shooting requires much concentration on both sides and a third person who's not behaving right may interfere with the work. So choose carefully and always ask the photographer first.
The funny thing is that I do not have a 'look'. I have many ones. It depends on the role I'm playing. I am not devoted to a certain niche. I shot a lot of fetish stuff, however I shot goth stuff as well. And same goes for fashion. And anything in between; I've been a queen couple of times, a doll, Alice in Wonderland. I've been just me or someone else.
Q. How did your friends, family, or others react to your career choice?
I have many acquaintances and a few friends. I've learnt, during my life, that a very limited number of people are to be considered friends. And they all support me. Same goes for my family. I take pictures I won't have to regret or be ashamed of in the future. I don't do any nude, for instance. Nor any adult. I have of course nothing against nude or adult models. It's just a matter of different choices. Many of my favourite models do both nude and adult and I love their work
Alt modelling may be glamorous, or may be not. In my case, it's pretty quiet over here.
I chose to live far away from any event. This of course doesn't help in many cases. Still, it's about what someone wants to do - or is able to do. I of course can't have a glam life where I live.. and I'm happy with it
I'm not a party person really
Everyone would know the right advices to find work. The more you shoot, the more you get known, the more chances you have to get work offers. This is the secret
Q. Is it a very competative industry and have you worked with other models?
I am unsure, really. I think it depends on the country, on the experience, on a lot of things.
Lately, lots of alt models popped up. For instance, when I started back then, there were a few only in Italy (3? 4?) - they're countless now. And of course this is a positive thing. People can better express themselves and they have more chances. Still, there are lots of models and a few designers. If you think about it, in this case it's competitive indeed. If you think about the meaning of 'competition', it is not. At least, not for me. I do not want to compete (nor I am interested in competing) with anyone. I don't see modelling as a competition, I see it as my chance to do something pretty.
Q. What would you like to achieve in alt modelling in future?
I would like to be able to shoot what I have in mind. That's it. I just want to make my dreams true
Q. If you had one piece of advice to give people who want to become an alt model, what would it be?
The same, old, boring sentence: be yourself, be professional, work well. We don't need more copycats or a hundred of girls that look all alike. The secret is being different, may it be just your style or your pretty eyes. You also need charisma. And lots of passion and love for what you do.
If you don't have any, if you just shoot for 'the fame' or to gather more pretty comments to your photos.. well, that's ego. And you're a girl who takes pictures, not an alt model . You should inspire others, not be 'inspired by' only.
There are a few hints on how to prepare for shoots. Some may sound obvious, however not everyone does all of the following things
If there is a makeup artist involved, go to the shoot without any makeup. It's just a waste of time to have to clean it and re-apply everything. If there are any designers or wardrobe stylists, provide your measurements before, so they won't have to guess what your size is. Of course, do not cheat on your size, in any case.
When contacted by someone (or contacting someone), always ask/provide the following information:
a. what shoot you do have in mind
d. link to your portfolio
e. references, if any
Do not ask for money to pose once you have five decent pictures of yourself. If you get offered a nice modelling job (ie, catalogues), go for it because it's a good chance for you. However, if you're just a starter, you have to do lots of TFCD shoots before to properly learn all of the dirty little secrets of modelling [that are, in fact, knowing how to move and which poses are better/worse for your figure]. Just like with everything, you need practice to be good enough to be paid.
Golden rule is never do anything you don't feel right. Not feeling comfortable? Do not do it. And, in extreme cases, leave everything as is and go back home. Better safe than sorry.
Unless you are willing to pose nude and you WANT it, and you do accept the consequences ( = your mom, your schoolmates, your granny can see you naked on the internet), take your time. One can do a lot of fantastic things and never be naked in front of the lens. It's not mandatory, and if you go for it, you should feel comfortable about it - once your picture is on the internet, you can't delete it anymore. Be careful about what you do
Good luck! And thank you knink.com for giving me this opportunity to talk about what I do and to express my point of view
People are waiting to help.