RK : First of all, thanks a lot for accepting our invitation for an interview. Please say something about you. About your career as model. How did you get started?
Shayla : I am from Santa Monica, CA. Was raised with a surfer type family. I’ve traveled all over the world and I’m an artist. So I first got into modeling basically when I was born. I come from a family that all have done some type of modeling or acting. It was only natural that I would be so comfortable and shine in front of a camera. When I was born I won Prettiest new born baby contest at my hospital. Than went to auditions as a child for small commercial type things. Yet, my career as a model didn’t start until I was 16 years old and hired to model for a clothing store in Los Angeles. After that I was even more drawn to the camera.
RK : What was your first big break in the industry ?
Shayla : Well, so far I’ve been working in this industry for almost 4 years now and I would say my first big break or start off was when I modeled in Spain. I had moved to Barcelona and a company that I work with hired me to model for them in Spain and soon after in France. Since I’ve moved back to Los Angeles, my work with Photography Meet ups has grown my following largely and I’m looking forward to more advancements! This is just the beginning!
RK : What do you enjoy most in modeling?
Shayla : My favorite part about modeling is first stepping in front of a camera. I love looking into the lens, it doesn’t matter who’s behind, the camera necessary for me. I was always taught to seduce the camera. It’s all about the eyes. Than to hear the sound the camera makes when each photo is captured to signal me to change my pose, best feeling in the world for me. I love what I do.
RK : What has been your favorite shoot / campaign / work to date?
Shayla : Defiantly my favorite shoot was in Paris for my 19th birthday, I was in this glamorous short sparkly pink dress standing in front of the Eiffel Tower in the middle of January. It had been almost snowing all day and I was rocking it, totally oblivious of the cold weather! I moment I will never forget.
RK : How would you describe your personal style, Where do you pull your inspiration from?
Shayla : I can pull of multiple looks, and can shine through in multiple personalities. Yet my typical everyday style would be like a ‘girl next door’ type of look. The sweet, but also sexy. I get my inspiration from basically any late 80’s movie.
RK : Sometimes the modeling industry gets a bad rap with the jealousy and egos encountered between other models and agencies. Was this true for you? Have you managed to tough it out and make good friends?
Shayla : In this type of industry it’s all about communication. Generally I appreciate and like to compliment anyone on their hard work! We’re all artists here and we should build each other up more. I like to make friends with fellow models, especially for some that literally are rocking it! I even fan girl over some photographers too. I would say almost all of my friends work in this type of industry and I even met my boyfriend through it also.
RK : What’s your beauty regime? Would you like to share some of your best beauty secrets?
Shayla : Everyone knows that routines are a must for modeling. It’s good to be healthy, work out, sleep, and keep that routine. If only I could follow it, I’m still only 19 and enjoying my young body but it did take a lot of home remedies for me to get through my teen years. My secret for acne scars is cinnamon and honey facial mask. I also drink lots of water, I don’t drink soda. Hot water and lemon is very good in the mornings and at night. Than Iceland has these amazing facials I brought home from the blue lagoon that does wonders on my skin.
RK : How do you stay in Shape?
Shayla : I am a model but also a college student. I never have time for anything, 2 weekends ago I was in Arizona than last weekend in New York and this weekend at a concert festival in LA. So since I’m always on the go, healthy diet is a must and I walk every where I can. It keeps me in shape but to really get my body to the next level like it used to be, full on abs and muscles. Doing sports and going to the gym at least twice a week gets you there. Since I was 1 and a half I started doing dance classes (my mom lied and said I was 3 years old). I didn’t stop until I was 14 years old. Meanwhile I also played soccer, did karate, and after dance I became a cheerleader, than did kickboxing. I also surf, skateboard, and snowboard. When I work out my abs can come back within a week.
RK : Do you have a skin care routine?
Shayla : I wear lots of make up when I do shoots during the week so to make sure I do not break out I remove my make up and wash my face every morning and night. I use a soft facial cleaner to really remove my make up than grapefruit scrub to get out all the dirt and lastly a moisturizer soap to keep my skin healthy. These are all very lightly. Next twice a week I do a facial, ever a black pull off mask for my pores or a deep sea clay mask. Also drink water! No fast food restaurants.
RK : Do you have any Beauty/Skin Care tips or Tricks to look fresh and rested for early morning Photoshoot?
Shayla : So for the night before a shoot it’s good to take a shower and really make sure you’re skin is like a Virgin and hasn’t been touched by make up ever. Than do moisturize and go to sleep early. Next morning wake up and wash your face than have a facial mask on while you get your clothes ready and prepared. Drink hot water and lemon for some energy!
RK : What skills according to you are necessary to be a successful model ?
Shayla : It’s good to know how to do make up. Watch tutorials. Do a style that feels natural and one you feel most confident in! It’s also great to know which poses work best for you, if you’re starting out as a model and know different poses that’s great! But if you can’t pull them off, ditch them to the curb. It also helps if you know something’s about photography it makes the process easier for you and the photographer. Lastly, if you do dance or any other sports that looks great and will really make your portfolio stand out even more!
RK : What are the 5 Things you want to tell newbies before he/she become a model.
Shayla : Everyone has to start somewhere. Whether or not you feel natural with the camera, it takes time and practice to learn what works best for you.
Set goals for yourself and break them done to things you can do each week.
Be humble, yet confident. Don’t expect photographers to just work with you because your pretty. Not every pretty person can be a model, it’s all about how you present yourself. No photographer wants to shoot a model that’s pretty on the outside but ugly on the inside.
If a photographer is trying out a new angle that your not used to, say if it’s your bad side or you hate the way your nose looks from the side. Just trust the photographer, they are the ones that are looking through the lens, not you.
Always credit the photographer. Either for social media or another platform. Never put a filter on their already edited photo. Some photographers take hours to work on it and putting your additional edits on it will get you black listed as a model if your starting out and not signed to an agency.
No matter what people say, even if they are your family. If you really want to be a model, do it! Believe in yourself, really try to make it possible. And if you aren’t the typical 5’8 skinny model, right now is the time we’re breaking stereotypes! Be that new vision.
RK : Have you ever been to India and anything you know about Indian Art & Culture?
Shayla : I have never been to India but I want that to be my next destination. My cousin is half Indian so I was able to experience her learning the traditional dance and styles of India. I am intrigued to learn more about the ancient culture. I know that India is a large country with many different styles of clothing, religion and home to a billion people. I hope to some day be lucky enough to get the opportunity to experience some of them.
RK : We (Retro Kolkata) are trying to make a bridge between National and International Art & Culture By featuring some National & International personalities who already have made their own path in their respective fields and we think your story and tips might help the newcomers to build their career. Please say something about our initiative and any special message for your Indian followers.
Shayla : I think that this is a great subject and way to really approach to people from around the world. I study media, race and gender and feel strongly that Indians are poorly represented in the United States. I would like change that and to have less cultural appropriation. It’s good to stand up and be heard around the world and be represented for who you are, instead of stereotypes. For my Indian followers I would like to thank you for taking interest in myself, it’s deeply flattering and I’m happy that I get to reach people from all over the world.
Thank you for reaching out to me!
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