Rachel, would you please briefly introduce yourself and how did it happen that you became a model? I am a model who loves photography and fashion. I love to take pictures of nature, people, and fashion. One thing I try to do is think outside of the box and do something that is never done before. This could be capturing an angle that is different or textures/colors that are unique. As a model I love being part of the art and design. What first got me into modeling was being tall as I am about 5’10.5” in height. I would be asked by strangers if I was a model on a frequent basis as they commented on my height. I soon thought to myself that I would give this a try. When I got into a few modeling agencies I began to recognize the artistic side of modeling and how it can showcase new ideas, creativity, and even feelings especially in editorial work. It really sparked the creative side of me. To be a part of art is exciting. Each picture gives a different vibe or feel.
How has modeling experience changed your personal or professional life? As time passes along I begin to feel stagnant with things at times. Modeling helps me to always be doing something different and to keep my passion of feeling free to express myself in ways where there are no limits.
Do you feel people act different around you since you’ve become a model? Not really. Before I “officially” was in a modeling agency or received money for any paid modeling jobs people always thought I was a model. Therefore, there was no real difference when I actually became one. If fact, no one acted surprised. They were more like, “I thought you already did modeling?”
Something that most people don’t know about models is that we . . . Have flaws just like anyone else. There are also parts of ourselves that we feel aren’t as good-looking or may try to hide. I guess it doesn’t matter if you are a supermodel because the hardest critic can be yourself especially in a profession that is geared toward appearance and can be competitive.
Who is someone you feel has really influenced you as model or as a person? One person who has influenced me is a former modeling instructor with the first modeling agency I joined. She was encouraging and taught me the basics.
Can you tell us the most exciting moment in your career? And looking back, what was the hardest? It is difficult to pick one moment. Some exciting moments include being signed to my first modeling agency and getting my first paid job. The hardest part is definitely having to audition for different jobs which you may or may not be picked.
What is going through your mind when you’re modeling in front of the camera? I just focus on a certain feeling because it shows through the camera. Sometimes I even imagine I am in a different place or even a different person to convey the feeling through the camera. Whatever I feel will come through on the camera. For example, if I feel I am sexy and imagine myself looking this way then the pictures will reflect that. Or if I feel I am an Egyptian goddess for an editorial shot. It is important in photos to get the look right for the shoot whatever it is – high fashion, bridal, or commercial. My face tends to be pretty expressive and I like to use that in my photos.
How do you keep your confidence up? It is important to not let rejection if you aren’t selected for a shoot or runway spot get the best of you. I just mentally prepare for an audition beforehand by reminding myself that I may have to hear a “no” before I get a “yes.” What also helps me is finding something I can improve upon for the next audition so when I go to the next one I will feel that I am better than the last which gives me confidence.
Would you have any specific advice(s) to girls who want to get into modeling? If you want to get into modeling then you have to be able to handle rejection. Also, it is important for women to be careful about the auditions they go on. Sometimes it is not what you may be expecting or as advertised. I always recommend that if you go on an audition that is not through an agency to take someone with you or ask about it through someone trusted in the modeling profession. You cannot sacrifice your safety and well-being.
If you could have any model as your mentor for a day, who would it be and why? I would choose Cindy Crawford because she appears down to earth yet successful. She seems to be able to balance family and work in the modeling profession.
Do you have any beauty or skin care tips or tricks to look fresh and rested for early morning photo shoots? Early morning photo shoots require make-up to be fully removed the night before (use make-up remover especially focusing around the eyes) and a moisturizer applied. Avoid too much sun the day before or eating foods that are sugary or salty. Lastly, drink enough water.
What are your thoughts about social media in changing and developing concepts of beauty? Do you feel Photoshop has created a skewed perception of the ideal body image? For me I love how social media creates a platform for people to be creative in pictures and showcase different styles/body types/looks. Sometimes it is good to break the barrier in what is usually seen in fashion and introduce something different. Social media helps make this possible in my opinion. With Photoshop – I don’t see a problem with using it as a tool for making a statement in artistic photos. In this way it does not skew the perception of the ideal body image. However, it is not something I would recommend sending to a modeling agency or potential client due to the fact that it may skew real-life appearances.
How would you define “beauty”? Beauty is all what you feel inside. If you feel beautiful then you will radiate that vibe to others.
What advice would you have to a girl who is body conscious? You need to accept yourself — even the flaws. Just realize that no one has the perfect body and remember the things that stand out about yourself.
Where can our readers see more of your work and get connected with you? I can be found on Facebook and Instagram as “Rachel Karis.” I use my first and middle name on media websites.
Is there anything you’d like to do in the future? Someone you’d like to work with or something you’d like to accomplish? In the future I see myself continuing to do editorial work as well as working to develop more runway jobs. One day I may possibly look into designing a line of jewelry. I love the statement pieces especially the tribal or Egyptian inspired ones.
When you are not busy modeling and working, what are some of your favorite things to do? Well I love to have my DSLR camera ready at all times. Taking pictures and learning ways to edit them is great. Always hoping for the next great shot. I live near the ocean so laying out in the sun, swimming, and spending time on the waves is always fun. And of course checking out different fashion trends online, at shows, and in stores.
Do you have other ambitions outside of modeling? Someday I would like to see how good I could get at photography to perhaps one day work some paid jobs taking pictures.
What superpower do you wish you had? A superpower I wish I had would be to read what people are thinking. I like straight forward people so this would make thing easier. I don’t have to be wondering what someone is thinking or whether they mean what they say.
What is the best advice you have ever been given? You only have one life so do what you love.
Any final words of wisdom you would like to share? Above all else, it is important to be yourself and love who you are.
Tell one thing about yourself people might find surprising. Growing up I took dance lessons and was a tap dancer, jazz, and pointe shoe ballet dancer.
Thank you, Rachel.
Published in 2017 March Vol I: BUY NOW