I was born on the breath-taking island of Jamaica, in a small city called Montego Bay. As child growing up in the Caribbean, I never really cared about physical features. I was always on the “heavier side” throughout my childhood and struggle with my weight going into my adult life. When I moved to the United States, in 2009 everything changed. I began feeling insecure about my weight and went through extremes to get slim. I would restrict food for days and constantly work out. My dad became very concern and eventually had a talk with me. When I started high school, I felt more secure and began eating healthy and becoming involved in sports. Because I identified as gay I which made my teammate on the football team to bully me constantly. Eventually I decided to quite football and I joined the cheerleading team. I was my high schools first ever-male cheerleader, which brought massive attention. I was at cheer camp doing a team bonding exercise when a photographer from Varsity saw me, took a photo and the next day I received an email for a test shoot. Cheer camp is one of the most hectic experiences, so I decided to pass on the test shoot.
Family photo, Jamaica 2007
Cheer camp photo 2014
How I got started:
I was jogging one afternoon in Miami, FL, Christian Torres a professional photographer saw mea and immediately was inspired. “I saw him running and I thought to myself, what a beautiful man, I immediately envisioned a photoshoot and had to get him on board,” said Torres. Torres ask if I was a model and it took me by surprise because I never thought that modeling was an option so I was skeptical at first. Torres booked us a photoshoot at 3 A.M. Torres was extremely excited and immediately called his entire team. When I arrived on set, it was intimidating there were over 10 people there and it was cold. Torres, told me the shoot was going to be nude and I thought to myself “I don’t think I can do this.” I felt bad because everyone was on set at three in the morning all waiting on me to deliver a stellar performance. I decided to do it and I realize how much I loved every aspect of it. The photos were amazing and helped me establish a portfolio.
Whenever I go back home for the holidays it is a blast shooting with Torres. Our latest shoot was for an art gallery in Miami Art District.
Impact Modeling has on my life:
I admire the late actress Marilyn Monroe, she was never interested in making money or being famous. She wanted to be the best at her craft and inspire others to strive for greatness and achieve their dreams. I live my life by this motto and hope I can inspire other students as well. Sasha Lavin, is a student journalist at Syracuse University. I had the pleasure of working with Lavin during a NEW 305 profile project. WORKING WITH Lavin, reinsured me why I love modeling and how others view me as a source of inspiration. I am not the typical model size and I do not have the Eurocentric look that most major labels feature. I still strive every day to be the best at my craft and inspire others to do so as well.
Video shot by Sasha Lavin, student journalist at Syracuse University.
“Working with you was an absolute pleasure. Thank you for taking the time to sit down and open up to me. You are amazing,” said Lavin.
The majority pf jobs that I do are for experience and exposure. Because of the lack of diversity in the fashion industry, major jobs go to models with Eurocentric features and toned bodies. Following graphs show the modeling industries diversity range.
Social media is a massive part of the modeling industry. I started using social media in 2011, the first social media platform I used was Facebook. At first Facebook was a cool way to keep up with friends and family, but now Facebook have become a massive marketing tool. More and more advertiser turn to Facebook to direct traffic to their website. Facebook was never intended for those purposes but eventually became utilized to track internet usage and public interest. I am a model so utilizing social media plate forms is necessary within modeling. Instagram is a huge part of my professional and personal life. I have over 4000 followers with creates a large following for my modeling. I began modeling in 2014. I use Instagram to connect with photographers, stylist and designers.
Top five FAQ’s
1. How much do you make?
It varies depending on the job, how long the shoot is and what the photos will be used for and how much the photographer will profit.
2. Do you change backstage with female models?
Yes, backstage at a fashion show is so hectic. You have models rushing to get ready, stylist, photographers and makeup artist all backstage scrambling to get models dressed and on the runway.
3. Do you pose nude with a room full of people or just the Photographer?
At first, I would be uncomfortable to pose nude in front of 10 people but as time went on I became okay with it.
4. How often do you travel and is it paid for in advance?
I am a freelancer so all booking and travel expenses is taken care of by the individuals hiring for the shoot. I travel very frequently between States and cities. Models signed to an agency, have their travel expenses paid for by the agency.
5. What is the best way for a new model to get started?
Social Media is the best way to get your name out there. Utilize social media for professional purposes and I guarantee it’ll be beneficial.
I want to become a stylist for Vogue and eventually the editor. My first experience as a stylist was with University Girl Magazine. I am currently the Assistant Art Director for University Girl Magazine. Being the Assistant Art Director for Syracuse University's, Female Empowerment, Lifestyle and Beauty Magazine my job involves a lot of typing and use of technology. A typical day working for UGirl Magazine involves scooting models whether its online through platforms such as Instagram, Tumblr or Facebook or walking around campus looking for fresh faces. Stacy Fernandez, is a student photographer at Syracuse University. She shoot our Myfest Fashion Inspiration article that I styled and directed.