Model Talk: Real talk with Emma


For a long time, I wanted to talk to models about what it’s like on the other side of the camera. I can imagine starting out is similar to a photographer starting out. We’re nervous, we’re not sure we can meet the expectation of there other creative team, and we’re not sure of ourselves. In this blog interview, I wanted to talk to Emma, a model who started out very young and has grown up being photographed. I was connected with Emma through SMG models as a new face when I was first starting out in beauty photography and have had the pleasure of getting to know Emma and her sister, Lauren, and mother, Monica. Hope this interview gives models just starting out some insight from one of my favorite beauties.

~ Jennifer

How long have you been modeling? What age did you start at? 

I started at a very young age. I was either 4 or 5 years old. I then continued until I was about the age of 13 through an agency. I then started to not be as active as I started to focus my attention and time towards Softball but, I still did some jobs here and there and worked with some photographers.

What’s was it like to be in front of the camera the first time? How do you mentally prepare for a photoshoot?

Since I started at such a young age I do not exactly remember the very first time but, I do remember that I loved it as a kid because you had all these people tending to you. You had someone doing your hair, another doing your makeup, another one making sure your outfit was just perfect. As I got older, I started to mentally prepare by looking at what the shoot would be for and think about what the mood of the shoot would be. The type of poses and emotions it would show and if I was to be with other people for the shoot or if it would just be me. 


How do you get comfortable with a photographer? What’s one thing you look for in a photographer when choosing to work with someone? 

The first few minutes are always a little awkward with a new photographer but, as I get into the shoot I start to get comfortable by just being myself and making jokes with the photographers. Sometimes I feel that the photographers are just as reserved or nervous as I am and the minute I start to actually get to know the photographer it makes me feel more comfortable. I think I become more comfortable because then I feel like I can be my crazy weird self with them. Sometimes I feel like the best pictures come out from the time I am just messing around the camera and being myself. 

Were you nervous at first doing a beauty photoshoot? Beauty photography is a very intimate studio setting, so how do you get yourself comfortable to be closer to the camera than a fashion shoot? 

I was a little nervous for my first beauty photoshoot. I did not know what to expect and to be honest I didn’t really know what it meant. It was for sure a little awkward for the first 10 minutes but after I started to talk with my photographer and making jokes I was instantly more comfortable with it being so intimate. Another thing is since I didn’t not know what a beauty photoshoot actually entailed I didn’t know how to pose and what exactly I was supposed to do since all my shoots were normally fashion, so they were posing with the whole body not just the face and hands. Having the photographer be understanding of that and helping with poses was also a huge thing for becoming more comfortable. 


What’s your beauty prep routine? Is there anything a makeup artist does that you love? Anything you’ve adopted into your own daily beauty routine? 

I don’t wear a lot of makeup to begin with so, usually the few days before a shoot I will do a facemask and exfoliate to make sure I have fresh smooth skin. I love how makeup artist always use colors that match my undertones and bring out the color of my eyes or my features. The one thing that I have become in love with since working with beauty photoshoot makeup artist is BB cream because it is a simple product that moisturizes and evens out your skin. Another, thing that I have added to my daily beauty routine is the simple and light bronzing to bring out my features just a little bit more.  

What’s your favorite beauty look you wish you could wear every day? 

My favorite beauty look that I wish I could wear every day is probably just the clean beauty looks. I would say this because I don’t wear a lot of makeup or any everyday so those are always my favorite. Most of the concepts involve a good amount of makeup and some crazy colors that would be extreme for a day out. My favorite one was probably a shoot where my face and hands were covered in gold. It was such a fun shoot even though it was a little messy and sticky. 


Has modeling given you a feeling of self-awareness, self-confidence or empowered you to feel a certain way about yourself (good or bad)? 

I think modeling has completely given me a feeling of self-awareness. I feel empowered some days and others I feel less confident in myself but that is something that happens to everyone. During shoots you always have someone there to make sure everything is perfect, and your makeup and hair is just right, plus they are professionals. I find myself always wanting pictures to be perfect when just taking pictures with my friends. 

What do you recommend to other girls coming up behind you that want to get into modeling? 

I would tell them to not take everything so serious and to not have anyone ever pressure you into something you don’t want to do or makes you uncomfortable. I would also say to not have someone tell you to change because you don’t fit exactly what they want. There are so many other companies and photographers out there who will take you just as you are. They won’t ask you to change your look or ways. 


What do you see yourself doing in the next few years? What’s your future goals? 

Right now, I am studying at Oregon State University for Bioengineering. In the future I want to study abroad with my major and going for my masters in four years. I have already had some photographers down here contact me to do shoots with them so I am looking forward to getting into it all down here in Oregon and doing some fun shoots on my free time.