Featured Model: Jessica Nelson



"Sometimes the best things happen unexpectedly, even if it means getting asked to do a provocative shoot by accident."

Model Citizen Media provides a platform to 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.

Tell us about yourself: Why do you want to work as a model? Why are you interested in modelling as a career?

I grew up hearing that to be a model, I must be tall, and blonde, and stick-thin. Believe me... I wasn't any of those things. When I was 9 years old, I was enrolled in a runway course with a local talent agency. Contrary to what I do now, I hated it. In late 2014, I was reached out to by a popular photographer in my city wanting to shoot... Just boudoir as he had mistaken my age (I was 14 at the time). Communicating about the misunderstanding led to us doing a casual shoot which got me hooked on print modelling. Ever since then, I had been booking shoots, had a waiting list for photographers and modelled for many magazines and products (both as print and runway). Modelling taught me to have confidence. It taught me to love myself although I wasn't a tall, stick-thin blonde. Since that moment in 2014, I developed a goal to inspire young girls to know that they're beautiful just the way they are - may they be tall or short, brunette or blonde, you name it. Sometimes the best things happen unexpectedly, even if it means getting asked to do a provocative shoot by accident.

How important is modelling education: Have you attended modelling courses? What related courses or studies have you taken?

The only modelling course I had attended was when I was 9 years old. It was a runway course with my local agency in which I had earned a scholarship for placing the top ten for my city's "Little Miss" pagent, and it lasted 3 months. In my personal opinion, there is no right or wrong to modelling. I learned how to do runway modelling from watching the Victoria Secret shows while I worked out, and print from experience. Every person is unique. Photographer A may want a completely different style of modelling and posing than Photographer B. It is important to be flexible and able to work with the concept that is desired to be captured, rather than be stuck with 'perfecting' limited posing which may be taught in some courses. If a model is uncertain how to pose in such a way that is asked, it will show in the eyes and tension in the face and body. A modelling 'education' should also include knowledge about makeup, lighting, and the technology behind the shoot or runway show. Whenever I head out to a shoot, I always communicate with the makeup artist and photographer(s). I like to know how different lighting will have an effect on the model when a photo is taken, or ask a makeup artist about different tips and tricks. Of course though, this is just my opinion. With knowledge comes confidence.

What do you think makes someone “fit” to be a model?

As long as one possesses passion and confidence, they could be a model. There are so many girls out there who do not want to try a shot in the industry because of the model stereo-type. Yes though, there will be people that will turn you down but that is normal in any industry one pursues. Confidence really shows on the camera, even if an individual is inexperienced. There are photographers who are willing to help direct a model in posing. A big tip that helped for me was make connections in the industry and ask experienced models if you could attend a shoot to watch how they work. I find it can be really inspiring and be the little push that sparks a passion within someone.

What are your goals as a model? How do you see yourself progressing in this field?

Once you become a well-known model, you become a public figure to many. Being an environmental and humanitarian student, I see a lot of stereo-typing. My goal would to be to help break this 'trend'. This could be related to modelling or not. So many girls hate their bodies because they aren't tall and thin which is frankly sad. I want to be an inspiration, showing that "yes if I have made it this far then so can you." I do not like to predict my future, as it is always changing. I do set goals (which I am superstitous about). I aim high, try the hardest I can, and if I can inspire one person, then how is anything any greater than that?

What do you know about advertising psychology and photography?

Doing what I do, humanitarian and environmental aid, I view a lot of satirical and prejudice advertisements in regards to current global crises including climate change. Understanding why companies advertise the way that they do and how the brain responds is a big thing for me, as I have to try and counter-act that sometimes. The brain is a wonderful mystery and individuals with a different mind-set will respond to different marketing techniques than others. For example, if two people were given an extremely point-focused macro shot taken with a 50mm lense on a Pentax K-5 DSLR of a small shrub in a forest, and a wide-angle shot of a fish swimming in an aquarium that was taken with a Canon T5i DSLR, each person may choose opposing images. But what if the first photo shown had a different color scale and gradient? The results may be different. I always find this to be a challenge, as I am also a sports and nature photographer. I may love a photo of a quarterback getting a touch-down because of the lighting but the quarterback himself may not for various reasons. In advertising and photographer and how the brain reacts, it is important to think about your targeted audience and what they would like to see. Dairy is advertised by saying "We forcefully bred this cow so you could have this delicious yogurt". Instead it may say "100% freshness guaranteed". It is all about what the viewer wants to read and see.

How do you communicate with people? Are you patient? Are you friendly? How open are you to clients’ requirements?

Patience is key when it comes to communicating with others. It is important that a photographer knows a model's limitations and the model knows what the photographer wants. There is nothing worse than showing up to a shoot unprepared and expecting something totally different than is about to happen. I am fairly new in the industry still, so I do make sure that when a client connects me, that I can meet their demands - especially cause I am under-age too.

Do you eat nutritiously? How often do you exercise or go to the gym?

Yes very much so. I am a vegetarian, but I rarely eat yogurt, I do not drink animal milk, and I only eat eggs and cheese if it is a mandatory in a product such as some breads. I love fruits and vegetables, especially when they are garden-grown. Along with that, I make sure I exercise at least 5 days of the week. I am naturally competitive so sports is a great way for me to get in my exercise. Recently, I joined the cross country team at my school as it dawned on me as my last year of high school commenced that I barely had time to workout. Badminton is also a sport that I have been playing competitively since grade 7, and equestrian for 5 years. Being active and outdoors is a huge passion of mine.

What is your dream role as a model?

I would say the dream role for me as a model would be to be in the Victoria Secret fashion show, as cheesy as that may sound. But who wouldn't want to be in it? The beautiful outfits, fun music, crowd cheering you on... It totally redefines fashion shows which are always so serious and quite. I actually find them quite scary cause you never know if someone is enjoying their job or not.

Do you have any limitations? How do you define your boundaries when choosing to accept a modelling request?

Of course, only being 16 I have limitations. I will not to nudity or anything which is considered provocative and vulgar. I am fairly open to any concepts that do not make me do that.

State your availability: Would you travel? Work full-time, part time? Any hours?

I would love to travel to model. Being a full time student, having a part time job, sports, United Nations club and so much more makes it quite difficult for me to do so. I guess that is what summertime is for. My only free days are always Saturdays or Fridays after school, which may be spent doing homework but I will do anything to make sure that I shoot with someone who requests to work together. I am human though, so I can forget to contact an individual back when life gets a little too hectic but I try my hardest to make everyone happy.

Booking Information:

Jude Hansen International OR myself.

Email: jessnhorse1@hotmail.ca

Facebook: www.facebook.com/14jessicanelson

Website: www.modelmayhem.com/jnelsonofficial

Instagram: @__jnelson__

Photo credits:

#1: @photosbyjenfreedman Jen Freedman - Photographer Jessica Nelson - model Boyin - HMUA APT 22 - Stylist/Fashion Designer #2: no instagram for photographer Richard Cheng - Photographer Jessica Nelson - Model Alana Chin - HMUA #3 @livewithpassionphotography Jenna and Ben Brownlee - Photographers Jessica Nelson - Model Sam Leddy - MUA Maddi Angus - Hair #4 @glamage Glamage Photography - Photographer Jessica Nelson - model Colin Charlton - Makeup artist #5/6 @photosbyjenfreedman Jen Freedman - Photographer Jessica Nelson - model Amanda Kachelle - HMUA Jools & Joplin - Accessories designer #7 no instagram Michael Legge - Photographer Jessica Nelson - Model Colin Charlton - HMUA Beth Anne Courture - Designer #8 Pierre - Luc Cormier Photography - Photographer Jessica Nelson - Model Colin Charlton - HMUA #9 no instsgram Sam - Photographer Jessica Nelson - model Colin Charlton - HMUA Ed3n Beach Resort Wear - designer #10 @geoectomy Geoectomy Photography - Photographer Jessica Nelson - model Colin Charlton - HMUA

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