As a teenager, I–like many of my peers–took a lot of pictures of myself to post on social networking sites. The only difference was that I avoided the “Myspace angle,” which I believe shows a lack of any artistic sense or individuality. I would put my camera on shelves or even hang them from some random object in my room to get just the right height and angle, and then utilize that one camera function that most people don’t bother to learn using: the self-timer.
Modeling is a hobby for me. I have no desire to make money nor gain attention from it. The main reason why I started modeling was because I wanted photos that I couldn’t take through my self-photography, of outfits that I put together, and to express the look and style that I want people to see when they meet me and get to know me.
The world of professional modeling isn’t really about what the model wants. It’s about what the photographer wants, or what the stylist wants, or what the fashion designer wants. As a professional model, I would have to be willing to give them what they want, which would potentially mean compromising my principles. I will never do a nude or a lingerie photoshoot, and even one involving a swimsuit is highly questionable (no bikinis, but a stylish and modest one-piece might be considered).
Then of course, there’s the other obvious issue: I’m too short. I’m only 5’2″. The modeling industry simply doesn’t want short models. And that’s fine with me, because I don’t want to be involved in anything that doesn’t appreciate me the way I am.
While I sometimes wish I could be more involved in modeling as a hobby, it’s just difficult because it’s hard to find a network in Japan that isn’t Tokyo-based. When I have the opportunity, I work with photographers in the Baltimore-Washington area who are much more relaxed, and desire to capture beauty in any form, not just a runway model form.
You can view my Model Mayhem modeling portfolio here.