Featured Photographer: Sonja Maria

"Always always always follow what your heart tells you."

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?

When I started modelling at 16, I quickly realised fashion is something I had a strong appreciation for. I still remember the feeling I had one photo shoot where I was wearing a black bandana and had this green eye-makeup on, then when I got changed suddenly everything felt AMAZING. I was a completely different person, and the look just fell into place. After taking BTS for a shoot I assisted styles in, the head stylist told me I had an eye for great angles and I should look at photography. I didn't think much of it and ignored the idea until I started interning for Y.AMB Magazine at 17. After creative directing two photo shoot's for their 5th issue, I started to feel this desire to put my hands on the camera myself. I took this feeling and bought a camera a few weeks later. I was instantly in love. It's been only around 2 months since I had my first shoot with my new camera and I already feel like i have been doing this for years.

What is your opinion on modeling education?

I believe you can learn all you need from self experience and research.

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

Wow I have so many. I love Brooke Olimpieri (FilthyMouthCreative), Alexa King, Haris Nukem and Jason Lee Parry's work. They all really inspired me into trying out photography and video. My hero, well that is Lady Gaga.

Do you feel like you've met your goals?

I have achieved one goal, which is getting featured on Sticks and Stones Agency, but I am still a very very long way from completing all my others.

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

If I had to do anything differently, I just would of tried out fashion photography when my Dad bought me a camera as a young girl. I didn't even know there was such a job! Haha. Sometimes I do wonder where I would be now if I started that young. Otherwise, I don't really believe in changing anything. I think everything happens for a reason and playing on what could of been done different, only wastes the time you can be spending on creating that golden future.

Do you have any tips?

Always always always follow what your heart tells you. If you don't want to study Math or Science, then don't do it just because they tell you need to. You know your wants and needs, don't let someone burn that flame. If you still aren't sure what exactly it is you want to do, just keep doing anything you love. Eventually things will start to pop out and shine over everything else, then you will know you have found a passion. Always aim to be the greatest version of yourself.

How do you stay inspired?

Collecting magazines, exploring everywhere I can, taking lonng drives, music.

What photography related things do you recommend?

Learn about the shutter speed, aperture and ISO before you take any photos! Haha.

What's your favourite camera?

I've only used this one camera really, so Nikon D3300 it is.

What is your most memorable experience so far?

Well one time I was working with a model and she told me she was only 17, then I told her I'm only 18. Then we had a little rejoice haha.

Booking information:

Instagram: @jja.maria

Email: soniamullah@gmail.com



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