Written by ELLA
I get really bored, really fast. While I enjoy stability (mostly financial), I just don’t think my life is supposed to be so… boring. Working this 9-5, I’m already as predictable as I can be. But after you live in New York City for a while, you realize that the hottest parties are on Thursday nights. Therefore, Friday is a weekend — whether my job agrees or not. But here’s the thing: My job doesn’t agree, and they certainly don’t have to. So, at what point do I take my life into my hands and decide what a real schedule is? What is realistic? Somethings are only good for but so long — careers, relationships, friendships. And as what point does one decide to move on, and try something new?
“How long have you been modeling?” is the funniest question I can answer. I don’t consider myself a real model – I’m 5’2 and proud of it – but I do occasionally participate in photo shoots. I’m a rapper, through and through. Thing is, I have to take pictures. As much as I want everyone to pay attention to my music, the fist thing people see when I get on stage is my body and the last thing they ever see of my is my social media. That doesn’t mean I’m going to get on Instagram, and it doesn’t mean I won’t. What I will do is pay attention to what makes me happiest and is most reflective of who I want to be, and I make my decisions based on that. I actually canceled a studio session, so that I could go to this photo shoot; I weighed my options and decided what would be the most beneficial thing for me to do that day. I can go to the studio any day. But I can’t get a full, free photo shoot (make-up artist included) just any day. My 5’2 self is down-to-earth and realistic with how much I can do with “modeling” *shrugs*. When I shoot with Gaze models, we typically also record a film; I get exposure to different arts. The main designer for this day didn’t even let me try on his clothes because I had to be 5’9. But I didn’t let that ruin my mood. Worst case scenario, I’d take pictures in good denim and better shoes. This was the most beneficial move, so that’s what I did (just what I wanted to do). When an opportunity comes your way that you might not get everyday… it might be time to try something new.
Unfortunately for the men who date me and people befriend me, they also have to be the most beneficial move… but spiritually. Once a man starts making me more unhappy than happy, he’s eligible to be upgraded. You can call me cold, but if happiness and enjoyment aren’t the result of a relationship, then what is the purpose? I learned that the hard way recently. I’m single once again because he was more concerned with being able to say he had a girlfriend than being able to say his girlfriend was happy. Relationships are always as selfish as they should be. Both people should feel valued and like their time and effort contributed are resulting in a positive outcome. The same goes for friendships. Some people only want to be friends because of what you can do for them… or because they want to feel like they are important to you. People need to be needed. But what we should feel is happiness. Fun. Enjoyment. If you don’t feel that way… I’d say it’s time to try something new.
Vibes are everything. Pay attention to what makes you happy. If there is a negative vibe… whatever that is probably isn’t for you. If you’re uncomfortable or upset, I’m willing to bet you’re in the wrong place. I don’t stay anywhere I’m not comfortable… but luckily I’m comfortable everywhere. During photo shoots, I’m the bubbly person dancing to whatever music they have on because the more comfortable I am, the better my shoot will go. I like the people around me to be even more comfortable than I am. Jay, the photographer, works with me well. Sometimes, I get way too comfortable and kick a leg up or arch too much and the whole shot turns real ratchet real quick; it can really be that simple. What I do is pay attention to his vibe and trust that he’ll tell me to pull back when I need to; Jay was the first person to tell me I have a lazy eye, so I listen to him (the rest of you, smh). I’ve worked with Jay consistently for the passed 4 years because I’ve grown to trust him and trust is really all I care about. I know that he’ll try his hardest to get a good shot with me. He’s taught me to leg then myself and create lines. He’s challenged me to work with difficult people and groups of 20 models — all the while I consider it all a test to my patience and my greatness. How do you stand out in a group of people doing the same thing you are? Passion. I think that passion is undeniable and that is the key vibe to look for. I like to shoot with Jay because he’s passionate about what he does. He’ll shoot 1000 photos on Sunday and post them all on Monday (and there’s no photoshopping allowed with Jay; I like to know what I look like as much as he does) because he loves what he does. Passion and love… those are the vibes to look for. If you don’t feel those, it’s definitely time to try something new.
So below are all the photos we took… well most. My purpose in posting them all is so that you can experience this with me. I’m not great in every shot. No one is great in every shot and I think it’s important that we see that. The purpose of this publication is to show you real life people who are chasing their dreams. Sometimes, we look at these people who have “made it” and we think it happened in a week or so. We think that pretty girl was always that pretty and they rich guy was always had money. Michael Jordan missed shots, too… I mean 84% from the line means he missed 16% of those shots. Muhammad Ali lost 5 fights and took some hits that shake him to this day. I think it’s important to note those losses, but don’t get stuck on them. Instead of quitting what you don’t do so well, chase what you’re naturally great at — no matter how dumb it is or how dumb people think it might be (I’m a rapper lol). Whatever makes you happy is the next move you should make. The best part of failure is the opportunity to do better. I love seeing the outtakes of these photos to see what I need to do better. Maybe one day I’ll get a commercial I need to kick ass in. And I’m really working on whatever my red carpet pose is supposed to be lol. When I look back at these pictures, I see some poses I’ll want to try again and some that tell me… “You might want to try something new, b*&ch…” lol
The group photos are always most difficult. It’s competition whether you want it to be or not. Who should be in the middle? What’s the vibe? What is the guy behind me doing? The synergy has to really be on point here. We did alright 😉
I loved shooting with this girl. She was European of some sort so I just wanted her to talk the whole time lol. But she was a true diva… I think we were both too strong in a few of these pictures. Not to mention, the camera flash also stopped working in the middle of out shots, as you can see with the different lighting/exposures. But I’d def shoot with her again.
Oh & peep Lizzy Chanel in the background. She did not have to come by this shoot that lasted until 11pm, but she came through anyway. I appreciated her being there and helping to direct… I’ll tell you about that more when we see the pics of me & the guy on the bed… yea… keep scrolling 😉
This guy was my height so Jay thought we would shoot well together, and we did pair well, but I think I scared him a little bit lol. When I start shooting, I’m ready to try new things, just to see how the photo comes out. I think one has to be adventurous… or maybe I just take advantage of the situation? In any case, I enjoyed myself.
So, I started to shoot with the second guy (who’s name I can’t remember, but I’ve met him before) and our vibes worked together much better. He was a lot more comfortable… like… let us put lipstick kisses on his chest. The pictures are supposed to illustrate the film Jay is recording. This one is called Xiomara and it’s about call girls… so sorry if the concept make you nervous, it’s just pictures 😉
Back to being selfish and…. the point of this post… every time I do these, I see myself getting better. I could have been more hesitant about unbuttoning his shirt and/or straddling him, but I felt I could pull it off. I know some of the pictures aren’t great, but some of them are. I would have never gotten the photos I got if I was afraid to try something new. I refuse to box myself in. I want to allow myself the room to be art. When this is all over and done with, I want to know that I tried. And if an opportunity arises, I want to try to be prepared. I just want to live my life. I want to be excited. I think it’s always time to try something new. We only get one chance here and it might be over sooner than you think. My value and appreciation for every single day is really what encourages me to take advantage of opportunities and push the envelope.
& those are just my thoughts… these are just my photos. I hope you enjoy. I hope this helps.
oh & my makeup was done by LANNA & jewelry by JLANI JEWELS