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Interview with Melanie Harrison                                      Melanie Harrison Portfolio

All rights reserved. Unauthorized use or reproduction of coyrighted materials is strictly prohibited. Why did you want to become a model?
When I was a little girl, people would come up to my mom all of the time and tell her that I was pretty and that I should be a model but I have always kind of geared towards the artistic side of the world. Modeling has always been something inside of me. I like to create beautiful photographs that tell a story. I've always seen beauty in photography and all that goes into making a photograph. My mother always told me that inward beauty is far more valuable than ones outward appearance and I guess I have modeled my modeling journey by that notion and so far it has worked.

How did you get started in modeling?
Modeling has always been something inside of me although, I never really saw myself as pretty because I had braces, I was super skinny with glasses and the whole nine growing up so can you imagine? Hahah...but my love for the arts surpassed any insecurity that I had about myself and pushed me right into it.

How has your life changed after you involved?
My life has significally changed since modeling. Sometimes I see myself in the photographs and I can't believe that it's me. I love when I get to travel to exotic locations because I get to see the world. Also, I think that I am a little more aware of my body meaning, I really pay attention to what I eat, exercise and I make sure that I get a lot of rest for photo shoots because you never know when you're shooting so you always have to be ready. I also have a lot of respect for every aspect of the business. Everyone thinks that it's so easy but modeling is hard work and it is definitely an industry that demands its respect.

What is your favorite part about being a model?
Modeling to me can be compared to being an actress. You get to dress up in all of these cool clothes that you wouldn't ordinarily wear and create different characters. I enjoy that aspect of the business.

What are your likes and dislikes about modeling?
I think the one thing that I don't like about modeling is, that most people who see your photographs assume that models don't have a brain and that is definitely a misconception.

What are the qualities for you to be model?
I think the main quality would be inward beauty. If a person is beautiful on the inside, it's going to shine through her smile and through the camera and make the photograph even more special and spectacular. Also, I think that taking care of your skin is a must! A lot of photographers want natural looking photos that don't look so air-brushed and if your skin isn't healthy, you won't get the job.

Who are your influences?
My influences are Iman, Naomi Campbell, and Beverly Johnson. Those women are amazing. I can remember being a little girl seeing photos of Iman and thinking to myself wow! She is the so classy, so I would practice poses in the mirror just like I saw her do in the photo it's hilarious. Yeah that's cheesey I know hahah. But basically they are the women who really influenced my career.

All rights reserved. Unauthorized use or reproduction of coyrighted materials is strictly prohibited.
What types of assignments are you attracted to most?
I'm attracted to assignments that tell a story through its clothes, location, make-up and all that's involved to convey that image. I'm also attracted to assignments that make statements. Just recently I did an ad for Obama and it was great because it had more meaning than just another job. It was more of a historical event rather than a modeling job and I felt honored to be a part of it.

What was the hardest challenge for you?
The hardest challenge for me is knowing who to trust in the industry. I think there is good in everyone but through my experiences I have learned that that is not entirely true. Knowing who to trust and whose hands to put your career into can be an extremely challenging job in the modeling industry.

What are your most memorable modeling experiences?
It could be good or bad...My most memorable moment in modeling is when I did a photo shoot up in Santa Barbara at an old castle ruins. We had to hike down a hill to get to the castle and it was freezing cold up there and we were modeling little dresses, and mid-way through the shoot I thought I had hypothermia because I couldn't feel my face, my feet or hands, but when I see the photos, you can't even tell it was that cold. The crew was wearing sweaters and hats and we were in little dresses. That was pretty wild! hahahahha.

What would bring a smile to your face?
Giving someone less fortunate something they need and watching there joy and seeing them smile.

What would be your "dream job" in life?
My dream job would be to help the less fortunate. I don't like to see people hungry it makes me extremely sad. I would love to be in a position in my life that would allow me to help that problem in our country.

What projects are you currently working on?
Well presently, I am working on a project called Cotton Candy Pin-up Girls. It all started when I wanted to update my portfolio and I was looking to shoot the pin-up girl genre so I went online to find some looks and I couldn't find any African American women modeling that genre. So that's when I decided to launch Cotton Candy Pin-up Girls. It's basically going to be four African American women of all shades modeling that genre in calendars, posters, magazines ECTů write now I am in the process of auditioning the girls. The responses have been overwhelming and I am really excited about the project. My novel will also be available in May 2009 on amazon.com.

All rights reserved. Unauthorized use or reproduction of coyrighted materials is strictly prohibited.
What are your future plans?
Continuing to pursue my modeling career and write books.

What's the best advice ever given to you?
Never give up on what you truly believe in your heart that you can achieve.

What are some Do's and Don'ts in the business that you have learned?
Never pay money for a modeling job and be very careful when auditioning. Do your research and make sure the agencies or job you are auditioning for is a licensed legitimate establishment.

What sort of tips or advice would you give somebody who is looking to modeling?
Do your research and make sure that modeling is something that you are serious about. Its hard work and it takes a lot of determination. And never pay money to be in a modeling agency. A close friend of mine told me that if you put 100 percent into something, you will see 100 percent of results. It's the balancing affect.

Is there anything else, to say, we did not ask?
I just want to thank you for having me in this interview,I really appreciate it.

Thank you too.
We've enjoyed talking to you.

This exclusive interview is courtesy of Actress/model/writer Melanie Harrison and All rights reserved @ NEW YORK BEST MODELS.