Interview with model Faith Obae

2015 WIND
Special Quarterly Issue WIND 2015 Cover Photographer Karen Jones Cover Model Faith Obae

Faith, where are you based and what brought you to modeling world? I am based in West Yorkshire and started modeling 4 years ago. Before then I detested modeling or the idea of modeling, didn’t see myself as one or even thought of becoming one. I frowned at anyone who approached me suggesting I try modeling. Also being just 5ft 6inches in height I thought to myself I could never be a model. Turned on the Television one day and American’s Next Top Model was showing, I got engrossed in the show and started following all the series. This got my interest up in modeling but still I thought… I’m still too short, the industry only allows for taller models but decided to give it a go anyways. Started researching modeling agencies and made some applications, got a response from one of the agencies and was sent off to a studio to get my portfolio done. That was one of the best experiences of my life I have never felt so much joy doing something before, I loved it so much I didn’t want it to end. I felt like this is it….this is me….this is what I should be doing. Since then I haven’t looked back and today I am a full time working model.

What are your strongest features as a model? My Eyes and my Physique I can say are my strongest features.

In your opinion, what is fun and most rewarding being a model? Being a model is like Alice in wonderland, you never know what comes next, who you will meet or be working with, where you might be going next for a shoot or likely to end up, what sort of characters you might come across, what doors or opportunities you might be unlocking. Today you might find yourself shooting in a studio for a big fashion brand or company, tomorrow you might find yourself in a music video with a well known artist, next you might be featuring in a film/movie…You just never know where you are likely to find yourself. That to me keeps the whole modeling experience exciting and intriguing. Like everything else it has got its good and bad experience. The good experience encourages you to keep going and do better the bad experience moulds and shape you to be wiser and better prepared in future.

Growing up I have always been skinny, it doesn’t matter what I eat or how much I eat I just couldn’t put on weight and as a result I was always picked on by my peers and made fun of. I will walk in the streets and hear whispers behind me about how unattractive they find me. I on the other hand hated the way I looked, will wear oversized clothing to hide my body. Even when I have to wear fitted clothing I will have underneath layers of clothes just so it hides what I truly looked like.

Being a model helped change the way I see myself, I got to accept and love myself the way I am. I got to see that I am skinny but not in an unhealthy way, and there was nothing wrong with that. I actually am very lucky to look the way I do without having to work for it. I find since I started modeling my self confidence level have increased immensely. Despite the difficulties of starting out in modeling, being told because I am short and dark skinned my chances of succeeding in the modeling industry was a zero. Today I have established a career in modeling, signed to agencies, been published, walked the runway for top fashion brands, been in commercials, exhibitions, one of the most sort after models in the UK…… it most certainly have been a rewarding career so far and many more still to follow.

Photographer: John Farrar Model: Faith Obae Makeup Artist: Amy Prifti Hair Stylist: Annabelles Wig

What difficulties/challenges do you experience in modeling field? One of the difficulties I faced was starting out in the modeling field. It was like finding yourself in a maze, one route can take you round in circles and you find yourself back where you started and when you get to understand the maze you gradually find your way around until you reach the end. Because you are new to the industry you are naïve about how things work in the industry and become an easy target for scams which was where I found myself in the early stage. Got to find out about the Alba list of agencies but they were all hi-fashion agencies and I was told I was too short to be a model. Found a commercial agency that accepts petite models, walked in and was told by the booker “due to my generic skin tone it will be difficult to find me work except I was 6ft tall”. The modeling field can be harsh when it wants to and the booker not being a raciest was just saying it as it really is in the industry. It wasn’t until I kept on researching decided to take it upon myself to get modeling jobs I found out about online portfolio sites. Where models can register and put up their portfolio, find casting calls and hope to get jobs. I signed up and started working with photographers doing a lot of Time for Print modeling work which helped a lot to build and boost my portfolio and also my experience in front of the camera. I did have a regular job and tried to fit modeling in during my spare time. After a year and half I started getting noticed in modeling as it turned out at that point I lost my job. 2 months after losing my job I suddenly started getting lots of modeling job, went full time and that was just it for me really. Since then I haven’t had any reason to go looking for another job.

It really is not an easy industry to get into especially for dark skin models but with determination, persistence and hard work it does work out.

What are your goals and where do you see yourself five years from now? My goal is to become an entrepreneur and I see myself running my own business five years from now…….watch this space!

What do you like most in this profession? I do love everything about this profession. The photo shoots, the attentions you get back stage getting prepped for your shoot it’s like a mini spa day but you’re getting paid for it, the traveling, the amazing and talented people you get to meet and work with, the shoot venues…most places you could have never imagined you’ll find yourself. The fan mails you receive from people who admire your work, those inspired by your work……mostly I do like that I get to have fun doing what I love doing the most.

How does your busy day usually look like? How do you prepare for a shoot? My busy day always start with my alarm going off at 6am especially if I have to catch an early train as I do not drive at the moment. So you will definitely find me in the morning dragging my suitcase full of clothes, shoes, accessories and whatever else might be needed for my shoot if I have to supply my own wardrobe. My bags are normally sorted and packed the night before to save me having to do it in the morning and running the risk of missing my train, arriving late for shoot or forgetting anything important I might need for the day, generally just to save me the stress of having to do it in the morning. Being a full time model I tend to have a lot of bookings so I work almost every day. I spend most of the night catching up on admin, getting whatever I might need for my shoot the next day ready, end up going to bed around 12/1am and set my alarm for 6am and same thing goes for the next day and so on.

Photographer: Flash Bang Wallop Model: Faith Obae Makeup Artist: Sophie Battersby

What was one of your craziest, most memorable photo sessions you ever had? Oh it has to be the flour fitness shoot I did a couple of years back. I got booked for a fitness shoot and the shoot involved having flour thrown at the model to create a very misty effect. It was a group shoot where you have about 5 photographers all taking turns to take photograph of the model. So I had the flour been thrown at me over and over and over for 5hrs. After the shoot it turned out there was no shower in the studio so I had to wipe myself with wet wipes but my hair was all gray covered in flour and I had to take the tube and walk home. All eyes were on me throughout my journey home and I spent the next day at the hair dressers. Turns out modeling is not always as glamorous as everyone thinks.

Do you have any advice as to how to look good in pictures? I’ll say go for whatever comes natural to you.

Faith, what are your beauty secrets? What beauty tips do you swear by? Red lipstick, you can never go wrong with red lipstick (my opinion). I always have a red lipstick in my purse or handbag everywhere I go.

What would be your advice(s) for a girl who wants to become a model? I’ll say it’s worth giving it a shot. It works out for some and doesn’t for others but in the end you never know how far you can get if you never try.

Tell us more about yourself. What do you do in your spare time? Being self employed and a full time model I don’t always get a lot of time off. So when I do get time off I set aside one day to just have a lay in, be lazy and slowly catch up with admin. Then spend time with family and friends, stay in and watch movies or go to the cinema but mostly I spend a lot of time shopping.

Describe yourself in three words please. Determined. Ambitious. Honest.

What is your life motto? Live a life that will be remembered!

Thank you, Faith.

Published May 2015 BUY NOW

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