Name: Samantha Allyson
Location: New York
Photographer: Sean Gold
1. What inspired you to get into this industry?
I've always been a very creative person, so I think a huge pull for me was the fact that there is literally no limit as far as artistic expression goes in this industry. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I wasn't created to sit at a desk 9-5, I'm too antsy and passion driven to feel limited.
2. How long have you been modeling?
3. Who is your favorite model?
Oh wow that's a hard one! Growing up I was a HUGE twiggy fan. Kate moss was always influential. Now I just pull inspiration from everyone! Love Chrissy Teigan always - love her personality wise and beyond. Loving Gigi's recent work. Brooklyn Decker, Ashley Graham, Kate Upton's earlier stuff. I also have a ton of friends in the industry that I look up too! I pull inspiration from so many people honestly.
4. Were you always comfortable in your own skin and in front of the camera?
Definitely not. There are basically no photos of me between age 12-20 haha. I look back and feel silly about it now, but it's just a part of growing up I guess. It took me awhile to love myself and my body, and there are absolutely still days that I don't feel 100% - that's everyone. But generally I'm proud of my body image now. I always tell people "know yourself, know your worth, and never settle for less than you deserve" I know my self, I know my soul now more than when I was younger and getting there mentally - that really helps me feel comfortable in my own skin.
5. Did you have any mentors who really helped mold and guide you?
So many! Primarily when I was starting out I used to live a town over from a photographer Chris Fulcher, literally any weird idea he had , anything I wanted to try out - we shot it. He learned to shoot women and I learned how to pose and angle and position myself. He was definitely a huge influencer in my career. We literally started together and grew consistently in the industry together & I'm so lucky to call him a great friend of mine. Even now - there are photographers / directors / stylists that push me and help me advance and grow. Josh Paul really helped me evolve in glamour photography. Nick Terrana immersed me in video work and taught me so much about that type of work / business. Joe Arthur I've literally cried at shoots and he's captured it so he was one of those who knows how to get me to emotionally create and push my limits. I'm really lucky to have SO many influencers and mentors and good people surrounding me. I could rant about awesome people to work with all day long honestly.
6. Do you have any tips for aspiring models in the industry?
Be on time. Get a mentor. Be respectful. Stay humble no matter what. Get a manager. Surround yourself with the right people. Take the hair tie off your wrist! Practice, practice, practice. Don't get discouraged if out of 500 images you like 2 and the company picks 1 that you wouldn't have chosen. Don't sacrifice who you are for a job. Know your limits. Overall, know that this industry is not glamourous. There's crying, and screaming and hiking up mountains barefoot for a shoot. There's good financial pay periods and bad ones. There's shooting in literally -10 degree weather. There are a million times that you won't get a job. There are a million times you'll be told no, sometimes without an explanation & sometimes with a very bold and offensive explanation. Be prepared for that. At the end of the day I love what I do and I am so blessed to be able to do it, but I never would have been able to imagine the blood, sweat & tears that would go into it in the beginning.
7. Do you have a WTF moment at a shoot?
So so many! I love if I'm able to look through my raws, I make the craziest in between-shot faces haha. I'm very clumsy so there have been countless mid-fall shots of me taken or excited dancing-shimmying shots when I should be focusing and on task. I used to shoot and forget I had a hair tie on my wrist which is a huge no no. Just so many. No one is perfect, definitely not me haha.
8. What are some of the biggest revelations you've discovered through modelling?
The relationships that love you and root for you when you're up but disappear when you're down are toxic. Everyone wants you when you're doing well - find someone who wants you when you're crying on the couch on your worst day. Know yourself, know your worth. Remember where you came from, I'm loyal to my roots now more than ever. Another big revelation for me, coming from this small town, growing up primarily homeschooled - I learned that there's a big wild world out there. Not just NYC, or LA, there's SO much. I'm so blessed to be able to travel and see things and meet people who are different than the people I grew up with. If I followed the path that was easiest I would have never left my hometown. I would have never known.
9. Tell us something random about yourself.
I hate peanut butter. Hate it. I had a peanut butter cookie-thing over the holidays and it was amazing. But in general - hate it.
10. What are you most proud of?
My ability to self-start and motivate everyday. Even on my worst days, my down days - I get up. I go to work. I continue on. I'm really proud of my ability to do that.
11. When it's all said and done, what do you want to be remembered as?
Someone who was brazen & powerful & kind. I want to make a mark on the industry as a woman who did a kick-ass job and crushed every goal she set out to accomplish, but did it with a smile. I want to be remembered as having a good heart in a hard world and maintaining that through however long I'm here for.