history of a wanna-be model now turned photographer

What is a woman to do that loves fashion, film, music, nature and photography?  This would be wanna-be model in her late teens and early 20's pounded the pavement of New York City to several open calls at Wilhemenia, where they said, "You would be a great model if you got your nose done.   Get your portfolio started in Europe and then come back to America."  What do they think I was made of?  Trust fund baby?  I think not.  Nor was I about to chop my nose off just because someone thought I would be more acceptable.  This young woman was determined, she spent countless hours and money booking photographers and buying prints.  She kept on truckin' to Ford and several others.  I remember feeling so nervous on the train from CT to NYC all by myself.  From train to taxi cab, I was too young and naive to brave the subway for fear of getting lost.  This was not my first trip, nor would it be my last.  I was determined.  Finally, the fish bit the bait, ING said, "Why don't you come back and pay us $500 to get some test shots with our photographer, Barry Yee."  I was ecstatic!   Back to NYC I went with my wardrobe in hand.  This was not my first photoshoot with a professional photographer, but this was a top modeling agencies photographer.  I couldn't mess up.  It was make or break.  Those trips to California to test with photographers to become a model to my early days of being a John Casablancas model student.  May I say was a waste of time and money.  For any parent thinking you should send your child to a modeling school, please don't waste your time or money.

My fondest experiences of modeling were testing with photographers and working with make-up artists like my friend, Laura Zurro.  Laura and I met at a photoshoot and we instantly became friends.  I discovered MAC make-up in the early 1990's in the West Village of NYC and mentioned to Laura she should investigate on our next trip to NYC together.  That was before MAC came to Connecticut.  When they opened a MAC store in the Westfarms Mall, both Laura and I applied to be make-up artists.  Guess who got the job, not me, Laura.  I was happy and sad at the same time.  We've remained friends ever since.  She went on to the South Beach, Miami MAC store and is now a proud wife and mother.  My how time changes, what once meant the world to us and now seems trivial.  Still, it's our roots, our soul.  It's what gives us color, grit, texture in the grand scheme of things.

I've since moved on from wanna-be model, to corporate woman, to owning my own massage therapy practice and now photographer.  Guess what my main interests are?  Empowering women to feel and look beautiful.  You don't have to be a fashion model, but I am here to make you feel comfortable in front of the lens.  I have a ton of experience posing and being my true authentic self.  Did I mention I'm a total goofball and love to make animal noises to make you laugh?!   As a massage therapist, and as a photographer, that is my mission in life ... to make you feel good.  The key to tremendous photography is chemistry.  That's what I strive to uncover in each individual shoot whether it's a solo portrait or a whole family.

So much has changed over the years with photography.  What once was 35mm film photography has now turned digital.  I spent countless money investing in my passion to become a model.  Each shoot was at least $500.  Then I had to pay extra for 35mm slides to be converted to photographs.  So if you think photography costs a lot now, think twice.  The images I'm posting are not photoshopped, which is an add-on in today's industry standards. They were converted from 35mm slides to .jpg images at about $2 a pop.  Still spending money, but history is worth it.  It makes me happy to know that in my 20's I didn't have dark circles or bags under my eyes that needed to be brushed out.  Thanks to amazing make-up artists and photographers, that was all I needed.

Photos by Barry Yee, ING test model shoot, NYC - 1991
Wardrobe by me.  I still own that tye die dress and black velvet shirt.   


Photos by Ray Lata, Hair and Make-up by Johnny Lavoy - 1992
This is what can be done with my hair!  Love my curls.
 

Photos by Ray Lata, Ocean Beach, CT - 1992
Guess what OP bathing suits are BACK!


Photos by Ray Lata, Hair and Make-up by Johnny Lavoy -1995. 
My last professional shoot at 26, I was over the hill when I started at 19.
Wardrobe by me!

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Comments

  1. OH.MY.GOD. Love everything about this post. Now I know the root at why you are so amazing at posing yourself and your subjects. Those photographs are beautiful, and you're still stunning!

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    1. Just a little history lesson. Thank you Jillian! All of those photos were taken with film cameras! So much has changed in 20 years. <3

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  2. Beautiful then..beautiful now....fabulous story, fabulous photos, fabulous woman..xox

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  3. Your history is what makes you such an AWESOME photographer. Its the stories of our past that give us the drive to transform and create and cultivate greatness.

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    1. Thank you Sarah. History does shape the lives we lead and when we need a certain tool, we can just reach into that experience belt and grab it. =)

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  4. I love how and where your path has led you... and you, it.

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  5. So great to see your passions! All beautiful - inside and out! Love the journey to/of self- expression and connection!

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    1. I appreciate that Margaret. It is amazing the different people we become throughout our life's journey. Where we were has led us to exactly where we are at this point in time. It's never about the destination, always the lifelong pursuit of what's next, evolution and how we can be better folks for a more peaceful planet. xo

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  6. So glad you didn't let them cut your nose! You are perfect as you are! I have a nose some people might want to "fix" but I see my beloved grandmother in the mirror every time I catch a glimpse of it, so I would never want to change it. Always nice to hear a chapter of your story. Thanks for sharing. Ginger L.

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