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I’m an experienced Virginia based freelance model of five years. I specialize in Print, Glamour, Lingerie, Fashion, Fitness, and Swimwear. I have a background as a Ballroom and Latin dancer, which according to my photographers, makes me very fluid and easy to work with as well as able to portray emotion in my images.
Our readers would love to get to know you more Tershia. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
The best way to describe me is a walking contradiction. I have a very fun loving, sarcastic and quirky personality. I can be the life of the party, yet I'm also reserved. I'm spiritual and grounded but still enjoy raunchy jokes and humor. The people who meet me never forget me and I'm always told that I have a "good vibe" about me.
Tershia, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Model?
My passion is dancing. I am a Ballroom (competitive in both American and International) and Latin dancer. My dream is to open my own dance studio one day.
My introduction into modeling was as a runway model in a local fashion show. I was in the mall trying to find a costume for a ballroom showcase I was performing in. I walked into a small boutique and the lady behind the register began to tell me about a fashion show they were having. I told her if I had time, I'd come out to their fashion show. To my surprise, she said that she didn't want me to come to the show, she wanted me to be in it. After talking to her for an hour, I filled out some paperwork and two months later, I was walking my first runway.
Who is your inspiration in life Tershia? How do you keep inspired?
My biggest inspiration in life is dance but I find inspiration in many different things. The smallest things such as a child's smile, a flash of anger, rain drops, sunshine...all of these create an emotion that can be channeled into so many artistic outlets such as paintings, dance and even modeling. I see the details in life and incorporate them into every artistic pursuit.
We all make mistakes Tershia, we wish we could take back. Please tell us about a time being a Model , you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
I worked with a photographer who had a reputation for being a little too touchy with the models. His work was great and since I typically don't have interpersonal problems with people, I hoped that everything would be fine. I shot with this photographer twice. The first time, I was very uncomfortable with him. I had to reiterate several times during the shoot that I was not single and would gently pull his hands away from me when he was too touchy. The second time I shot with him, he was more overt. I repeated the same actions I did at the first shoot with him. When he asked me to shoot a third time, I ignored him. I could not bring myself to tell him that he made me very uncomfortable. I could not be upfront with him. I just ignored him and every subsequent message he sent me. I wish that I was strong enough to be upfront with him at that time. The lesson I took from the experience was to always trust my gut and to speak up. Now, anytime I have an issue with a photographer, I speak up. Usually, any misunderstandings are quickly resolved and the photographers with the tendency to be touchy will be mindful of how they're perceived.
Tershia ,when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Model, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?
My full time job is an Administrative Assistant to thirty different people. As a model, I use those same skills. I prioritize by order of importance. I find out beforehand from each client what the images will be used for, which will be paid or unpaid, and what shots they are hoping to get. Asking these questions helps me to find out the mindset of each client. From there I'm able to make a determination of how to deliver what each needs and how soon it needs to be done.
Please tell us Tershia, about a time you had to be very strategic in order to meet all your top priorities as a Model?
I am always strategic as a model when it comes to planning. Any time I meet a new client I try to understand them as a person. This is usually done with a few minutes of general talk and a more in depth talk about the shoot. During our conversation, I find out what concepts they have in mind and if they have a certain shot they just have to get. I also explain to them how I typically model and ask for their input into any changes they may need with it. This gives me a general idea of their personality and how they work. I use all of this information in our shoot to make sure the client is getting everything they want and more.
Tershia, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
I once worked with a photographer that was extremely creative and had phenomenal images he shot from previous shoots. This is what drew me to him. But by the time he decided to shoot with me, he was mainly shooting full nudes and raunchy photos because his previous style of shooting wasn't getting him the "likes" and attention he wanted. I am not the type of person that shoots nudes for the sake of attention and did not want to be a part of that. I suggested that he try to be more creative, the way he was in earlier shoots. We talked and tossed around many different ideas for shoots, none of which he was currently doing. Eventually, we ended up with the type of provocative pictures he wanted, with the creativity he hadn't had in years. He thanked me for the input and said he was glad that he listened to me.
Tershia please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Model. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share to everyone. What is it and why?
My proudest professional accomplishment as a model was getting asked to shoot for a magazine. I always do my best in any shoot and try to leave with the photographer getting much more out of the shoot than they expected. I don't think much of it once it's done and I never expect anyone to have been following my work. With this magazine, the photographer contacted me asking if I'd like to shoot. I was told that the style I have is different and would be perfect for the magazine. For me, the fact that someone appreciated my work and thought it was worthy of publishing was something to be very proud of.
Tershia, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
A time when I was able to be creative with my work was when I was doing a mud shoot. The plans we had for this shoot fell through and we ended up losing our planned location. The photographer and I, not wanting to lose this planned shoot found an alternative. We used potting dirt in a bucket, mixed with water over a plastic bag and set up on his back porch. Since I wasn't able to sit in the mud as planned in the original shoot, I took handfuls of the mud and smeared it onto my clothes, body and face to imitate the look we were originally going for. The images came out so much better then either of us imagined and it's still one of my favorite shoots to this day.
What advice would you give to the people who wants to be successful as a Model?
There is a lot of advice I'd want to give but the main one is communication and cooperation. So many people think that modeling is about the model, when in actuality it is not. Without communication and cooperation, you will not have a successful shoot.
Modeling is about the give and take, the back and forth with the photographer. The photographer can see the whole picture where the model isn't always able to. They can see where something needs to be adjusted. Always keep the lines of communications open and trust the photographer. A lot of times, they know better about the path their vision is taking.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
Yes. I am looking for collaboration with photographers, models, fashion talents, and hair/makeup artists.
Mark Knopp @photosbymarkk
Roger Mitchell @motiontography
Brandon Scott @michael_candy_photography