Tell us about your debut as a model. Did it come naturally to you or was it a challenge/learning curve? What characteristics do you think have made you so successful? What advice could you offer?
My first "photoshoot" was just a fun hobby my mom and I did. I had just bought some cute clothes and dyed my hair, it was really just for fun. My mom posted the photos on Facebook and one of her friends told her I should try modeling. We got ahold of a photographer and did TFP (trade for pics) and its just taken off from there. Some aspects of modeling came naturally, like dressing up and doing my makeup. I did pageants and was a competitive dancer so these things were normal to me. One of the hardest things was definitely learning how to have a variety of poses, it took some time to get comfortable behind the camera and trying new poses. I definitely think having an outgoing personality has really helped me to get out there more and be more successful. My advice would be to just go for it. Everyone is beautiful in their own way and photographers are really good at capturing that!
Has your perception of the modeling industry changed over time?
I used to think modeling was for thin, tall girls. But now that I'm part of the industry I see that modeling can be for everyone. Society sort of shows a specific set of beauty standards which is really why I thought this wasn't for me, but it has helped to build my confidence and made me realize that we don't need too fit into those standards. Be you and be unique.
Do you feel like you have a pretty good idea of who you are at this point in your career?
I am pretty young still, but I feel like through this I've been able to find my self a little bit more. I've definitely built up a lot more confidence, and don't get me wrong I still struggle with that but when I have my makeup done and my hair I feel absolutely beautiful and its amazing.
How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it? Is there any message you would like your photos to convey?
My modeling work I like to bring different challenges and aspects. I want my viewers to see all different sides of life. I want them to be able to feel all the different emotions and creativity that modeling can bring. My message for everyone is that modeling is a beautiful art that can portray all different emotions and make amazing statements as well.
How do you keep yourself productive and retain your creative edge?
I love dance, I've danced since I was 3 and its been quite an outlet for me. I also enjoy painting, its super calming and another good way to express my feelings. Lastly, I love being around people. I am a very social person and I love to be with my friends or family any chance I can get.
How hard has it been establishing yourself in the industry and what are some of the largest things you've faced?
In the Industry it can sometimes be hard because you may feel that someone is better or prettier than you, or that your size does not fit the criteria or the look they want. Some jobs have been difficult because they want a smaller model, however; you can over come this by working with people who are looking for all shapes and sizes. Beauty is within the model and the look. All sizes can fit this picture. The largest things you face is auditing or finding the right agencies. Also the competition can be difficult as well. Persistence is the key.
If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career what would it be?
I would tell myself to ignore what people have to say. Some people are cruel and I would let that get to me. Kids at school would come up to me and make nasty comments about my photos, but I'm the kind of person to not say anything back to them. I would go home and just cry. They made me feel like I was fat and ugly. No one should have to ever feel like they aren't good enough. Now that I've done this for a bit people don't say much, but every now and then someone will say something and I just ignore them. I know my worth and those people are just jealous. I also would tell myself to find those unique models who are their to help and grow with you. Together we made a great modeling team that boost each other up, because we all have been there at one point or another.
What has been the highlight of your career so far and what are your hopes/dreams for the future?
The highlight of modeling is it has been so fun getting to know other models, I always had the feeling that they were going to be stuck up and not talk to me. Turns out I was very wrong!! Every model I have met has been so kind to me. When I graduate I plan to go to collage for the dental program to be a Dental Hygienist. Modeling is a fun thing to do and I'm hoping to get signed soon that way I can pursue this further.
Where can our readers keep up with your work and get connected with you?
People can follow my work at @tkm.model. Feel free to reach out to me and ask questions anytime. If anyone wants to work with me it would be an honor to collab together.