C. J. - Successful model and inspiring mother
What I say to those people are " its all about how you do it and how you carry yourself". As a model I know what I will and will not allow to be on the internet. I know how I want to reflect on my life and I don't want to feel guilty or ashamed of explaining anything to my child and future children. So to be clear, its about who you are as a model. They're many genres of modeling. A glamour model who does artistic or implied nude may have less to explain to their future generation then a glamour model who's modeling career is catered to a majority of a male audience.
Tell us where are you from, how old are you, something about growing up
I'm originally from Oakland, California. I am 27 years old. I came to Chicago when I was 16 years old. Growing up I was always surrounded by the fashion industry, because my father either dated a model or someone close to the modeling industry. California is such a beautiful place for creatives. I didn't go to elementary or high school due to moving around a lot. I take pride of my academic success and my ability to progress to higher accomplishments. I thought someone who grew up in my situation would not be able to accomplish much at all.
What were your childhood dreams - like, what did you want to become when you grow up?
I wanted to be a wedding gown designer when I was younger like Vera Wang. As I matured I wanted to be the model the designers wanted in their clothes .
Tell us about your regular day - how does it look like.
Oh my goodness! It's hectic! I wake up around 6:30 am. My son is already up bright and early. I make sure he is ready, fed for school, and my fiance has his coffee to start his morning. Once my son is at school I'm like a chicken with its head cut off. If I am not meeting with someone to discuss an upcoming project then I'm booked behind a camera lens. I'm also I'm on the phone, responding to emails, or direct messages most of the day when I'm not booked and in a meeting. On a day when I have no email or messages to respond to I brainstorm ideas to execute on my Youtube Channel "DamnthoseSteakTacos".
Chicago as a city to live and be a model. How different is comparing to LA or NYC
I feel that for some women of deeper melanin, and some curvy females, get trapped into urban modeling and its hard to come out of. My look is not specific to the common urban modeling you see in popular black magazines. I have nothing against that but I find that in Chicago, unless you are a certain size and a certain level of color your talents don't matter unless you're with little to no close on. I don't knock the rules of the industry because I've done glamour shoots but it was with whom and how I shot the photos. I plan to circumvent the rules. I've never lived in NYC or LA to comment on how commercial and fashion operates there. I will say that I have a lot of people reaching out from all regions who love my look and think that my talents are "dope". I want to inspire models who want to be fierce versus to feeling as if they must conform to what others believe is "perfection" as a model. I'm 5'3 but who says that has to be the standard for me in this industry? Not me.
Model life. How and when did you start with modeling
I started modeling around 6 months ago professionally. I modeled off and on for 2 years prior with no direction, goal, or experience.
First experience in front of the camera? How did you feel
I was nervous but then after the first few clicks of the lens I became comfortable and said to myself "put your best YOU first and smize". Repeating that over and over in my head helped me not be nervous, waste time, and frames.
What kind of photos do you prefer - Also, do you like to take instructions from the photographer or to be a part of the shooting ideas
Fashion and editorial photos. I love taking instruction for photographers because they see what I can not see. The photographers direction helps me stay aware of my angles too. I also love being apart of the process of developing the ideas, doing so, increases my creative knowledge as a model. Knowing what looks good on me, what angles are best, what posing would work, the colors, the themes, etc. Being apart of the shooting ideas really allows me to have a better vibe with the photographer or creative director who has booked me.
Tell is more about being young mother and have a modeling career. Most if people still think that those two things do not go together.
What I say to those people are " its all about how you do it and how you carry yourself". As a model I know what I will and will not allow to be on the internet. I know how I want to reflect on my life and I don't want to feel guilty or ashamed of explaining anything to my child and future children. So to be clear, its about who you are as a model. They're many genres of modeling. A glamour model who does artistic or implied nude may have less to explain to their future generation then a glamour model who's modeling career is catered to a majority of a male audience. I never have my son on set unless the concept is PG. I never believed in exposing your children to adult situations early . Yes, I am a professional model, but it doesn't make it right to flaunt my tits and ass around my kid because its a part of the job description;the language is translated differently to them regardless. I am very careful to utilize my angles to guide the way I want my audience and supporters to view my portfolio. In my life, modeling and being a young mother works well. I make sure of it.
How do you stay in shape
That's so funny, people ask me that all the time. I play tag with my son and I work out at the gym. I try to eat healthy but it doesn't work. I love tacos so I try to limit the amount of red meat intake I have to just tacos. I drink lots of water and I do pole fitness to help with my abs and core muscles.
High fashion - tell us more about that. What do you consider by high fashion, favorite brands.
Balmain, Dereck Lem, Jennifer Le, Balenciaga, Victoria Hayes, Kim Shui and Shane Justin are some of my favorites.
Plans for the rest of this year
Continuing to develop as model and show my audience and supporters what I have in store with my new Youtube and webiste coming soon
@badbodiez on IG
@truthimaging on IG
Kevin Russels and (also the African bathing suit) underneath the yellow @himovertherestudios on IG
Yellow image Danny Black @mrdannyblack on IG
@th1rdparty on IG