How did you first get into modelling? Has it always been something you have wanted to do?
I saw an ad for life modelling at an art school, and I thought it would be a fun thing to try. I took life drawing classes in school and really enjoyed them. I used to do cabaret shows, so for me, it seemed like another way to show the female form and an excellent way to see lots of art! I spend most of my free time at art exhibitions, so this is a really nice way of connecting to art and seeing incredible pieces I have helped create.
Do you remember your first live drawing session? What was it like, was it how you expected it to be?
Yes! It was really last minute, they rang me about 2 hours before the class was supposed to start because the model was cancelled. I didn’t have time to think about poses, I remember panicking whilst trying to hold some poses in my mirror. I think the last-minute call to model was a good thing, really, I was thrown in at the deep end, but it turned out well! I didn’t have a robe or slippers, so my feet were so dirty afterwards, but it was great. I did a long pose over two weeks, and the artists were lovely, which made me want to continue. Now I have a whole bag of robes and props, so I have come a long way.
What made you decide to move from life modelling to photo modelling?
Life modelling can be quite strict, they want minimal makeup and hair in a bun, and some want no props. I understand that you are there for the artists, but I am a creative person with ideas I want to explore. Working with a photographer allows me to look different with every shoot and bring my own ideas to the table.
Can you please tell me your biggest challenge in becoming a model?
I have been accepted into the life modelling community with open arms, which is amazing. However, with photography modelling, I want to avoid being typecast. Being a curve model or plus size model means I often do classical poses and always look very soft and pretty. I enjoy doing these, and the results from the photographers are always excellent, but I am eager to broaden my horizons and do edgier, more abstract looks.
Have you ever considered moving to the other side of the camera and becoming a photographer?
Yes! I am exploring more by taking my own photos. I really like instant photography because it is so unpredictable, and it costs a lot of money, but when you get a good shot, it is so worth it. I currently work with a Polaroid onestep2, and I have quite a collection of photos in my book!
What would it be about if you could arrange your ideal session either being drawn or photographed?
My ideal session would be being Photographed. I think I would have something where I am smiling and showing a lot of emotions, I have a very expressive face that I do not use in my life modelling as no one really focuses on my face! I would love a photograph of me smiling!
Az is a pleasure to work with. She follows directions well and adds a little something of her own. She is a lovely person and enjoys the creative process of a photographic shoot.Gary Geezer Photographer
Which session, art or photography, have you had the most fun in and forgot you were working on?
I have fun with most of the people I work with but what I really love is having a lot of outfit changes so that we get lots of looks and variations. I also like talking to the photographers, it is important for me to know the motivation behind the shoot or artwork and their photography journey. I also really love when I get to pick the music, that always boosts my mood!
I see you are moving into Shibari is that something you will incorporate into your modelling? How are you going to do this?
Yes! Hopefully. There is a Shibari life drawing class I would love to model for. I need to practice some more with someone who can rig. I love how Shibari forces you to hold a pose and allows you to express your body differently.
If one of your friends was to come and ask for your advice about becoming a life or photo model, what three pieces of advice would you give them?
I would tell them to spend a lot of time in art galleries! I look at a wide range of pieces, from classical to abstract. I find it really helpful to research the history and find the motivation behind the painting and the subject. I find this can give me all sorts of ideas, from what props I bring to the emotions I portray in my body.
My second bit of advice would be to bring slippers or flip-flops. I know I have mentioned this before, but the floors in art studios and galleries are seriously caked in charcoal and pastels! I learnt this after my first session, and forgetting my flip-flops was not a mistake I made again!
My third bit of advice is to set clear boundaries, this does not apply to life modelling so much; it’s more for photography. It is important that you are happy with the images that are being taken as you are nude. You should never feel pressured to do something you don’t like. It’s ok to take a step back to align on what you want to produce as a model and who you want to work with.
Do you have any goals you want to achieve in the next three years?
I want to do commercial photoshoots, I did an editorial photoshoot a couple weeks back, and I had my makeup done, there was a stylist, it was a fantastic experience, and it really allowed me to focus on my poses for the shoot. Currently, I represent myself with my modelling, and I want to be signed by an agency to do more shoots and meet a range of creative people.
If you enjoyed the interview with AZ Life model, check out other life model interviews