Featured Photographer: Michelle Valencia

"I would carry a Kodak film camera everywhere with me, my Dad always knew to pack me more than one."

Model Citizen App is the platform where we recognise fashion models, photographers, designers, makeup artists, hair stylists, creative directors, bloggers, stylists, and labels around the world. Every day, we feature an individual on Model Citizen Interviews. People get to know each of them - their hopes, challenges, aspirations and inspirations in life.

How did you get to where you are now in your career?

I am an aspiring photographer who has had a rough start as a child. I began my passion with photography at my summer camps I spent most of my preteen years at. I would carry a Kodak film camera everywhere with me, my Dad always knew to pack me more than one. I actually modeled before I got my first DSLR in 2013 at the age of 23. I preferred to take the photo or even be the creative director behind the image rather then be the person in front of that camera. Since that moment, I have found what defines me as a photographer and I have the means to show the world what beautiful images I can create.

What is your opinion on modeling education?

I did not take any modeling courses, it was a natural thing that I watched other people do and just practiced in the mirror.

What person has been your inspiration in life? Who is your hero?

My inspiration would have to come from my high school History teacher. He really made me believe in myself and was a true father figure to me after the rough things from my childhood happened. He has remained a true friend to this day.

Do you feel like you've met your goals?

I do not feel my goals are met, I have so much more to work on and to continue to better myself at photography.

If you had to do it over again, what would you change?

I would change nothing, my past defines me a s person and it made me stronger. Everything happens for a reason and mistakes are made by you and other people on a regular basis. I feel I wouldn't be as independent as I was if things had gone differently.

Do you have any tips?

I say keep working hard, make time for it and don't make excuses about how you don't have time, because even in 24 hours a few minutes can be used to work on your craft.

How do you stay inspired?

I keep looking around me for ideas on what next concept I can use, A big one is Pinterest. I love Pinterest.

What photography related things do you recommend?

I recommend shooting in manual. There is so much more to explore when a photo is shot this way.

How can people reach you for a job?

People can reach me via DM on my Instagram or my email address. My rates are given based off what type of photography they need. I would state my rates once the idea is established.

What's your favourite camera?

I started with a Nikon but since the beginning of the year I transitioned into using a Canon. I have to say , Canon 70D, so far.

What is your most memorable experience so far?

An interesting time I worked with a model was actually my most current shoot in Malibu, CA. My model was wearing a handmade seashell crown and was modeling on a rock when a huge wave swept her off into the shallow caves behind her. The wave also knocked me down and I struggled to keep my hand up in the air to save my camera. In all the fluster we lost the crown and she got salt water all over her makeup. After touch-ups by the makeup artist we continued the shoot without the crown and she killed it. It went well even though we almost died.

Booking information:

Instagram: @mitchyphoto

Email: mit@hardmz.com



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