Text by Kristy Jessica, Copyright 2023
On The Art of Modeling-Part 2
Glamour became a velvet prison for me over time- it was too easy to do and not inspiring enough for me. Artistic photographers wouldn’t take me seriously, so I pushed myself to become as flexible as I possibly could. I learned to stand on my head, twist into a pretzel, and emote various characters for the purpose of fine art photography. Finally after curating my social media and portfolio to attract paying art photographers, I finally succeeded in becoming more diverse. At this era in my career, I self published a 238 page book called “Posing Ideas for Fine Art, Glamour and Facial Expressions” available on Amazon. I traveled to Singapore, Belize, Brazil, Turkey, Philippines, Italy, Romania, Colombia, New Zealand, Jamaica, and some other countries to create beautiful artistic nudes in nature.
But that wasn’t enough. A new era of inspiration for underwater modeling had found a place in my heart. By 2017, I pursued my Open Water Free diving certification in order to dive deep into ocean waters for artistic modeling. I traveled to Tahiti, Bahamas, El Nido, Mexico, and Australia for underwater modeling.
Ain’t no rest for the wicked, am I right? This rebellious sinner was overachieving too much to maintain momentum. In 2019, I had finished suffering a 7.5 year relationship with a grandiose narcissist who was old enough to be my father. The fried nerve endings involved in finally pushing this toxic person out of my life caused immense strain on my heart, mind, and body. The anxiety of living in fight or flight caused me to lose all appetite and most of my ability to sleep. I dropped to 95 pounds for a while. During this time, I transitioned into van living. The following year, the covid pandemic happened and all international travel had come to a halt. Major cities in America were mostly shut down. I took this opportunity to travel to secluded nature areas around the USA with my new boyfriend. I trained him to be my photographer so I could continue posting modeling images across my social media, to update my portfolio and to sell on my subscription sites.
Over the past few years, I have decided only to work for photographers who are kind hearted and creative. Anyone who has laid hands on me, pressured me, or made uncomfortable sexual comments to me while modeling for them are no longer permitted on my tour schedules. I no longer care about submitting to big name publications. I have been there and done that. I have started up two businesses for destination photography: The SouthWest Adventure (where I take photographers to secret stunning locations I have scouted in south Utah, two seasons per year), and I am the Co-Founder of Create With Sirens (a multi-day, multi-photographer underwater photography excursion with Astrid Kallsen and I, twice a year in Mexico and the Florida Springs). These trips are opportunities to create beautiful nude art in stunning nature locations above and below water: my two favorite modeling genres! I do still occasionally make a trip to a major city to book shoots with photographers in their towns, but I find those trips to be very tiring and fast paced.
The reason I wanted to tell you the progression of my 18 year modeling career so far is to share my example of how modeling as an art form and a career has no cookie cutter boundaries or requirements. Anyone can create their own adventure in it, as long as they have the drive to make it happen. I struggled through many phases of my life and continued to model through each of my life’s shifts. Technology is ever-changing, and I have made a point to adapt to new forms of technology over the course of my career: moving from Myspace and Craigslist to One Model Place and Model Mayhem, and with the fall of Model Mayhem, utilizing FB groups and Instagram to promote my modeling. Along with these methods, I also have a YouTube channel, a mailing list, a Tiktok, twitter, Vimeo, Reddit, Implied.VIP, and I will continue to utilize new forms of communication as technology changes over time.
If I could give one piece of advice to a newer model, I would say this, “Other models are your friends, not your competitors. Don’t let any photographer force you into doing something you are not comfortable with. It’s OK to say no. Be yourself, and do what you want. If someone makes you uncomfortable, tell other models and don’t work with them a second time.
Editor’s Note: If you missed On The Art of Modeling Part-1, link here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/kristy-jessica-on-the-art-of-modeling-part-1/