I did not expect myself to be a model, or at least make it modeling one of my occupations. But here I am in Tokyo, slowly but surely building my career hand-in-hand with my blogging.

My first photo shoot was actually during my university days, probably about 7 or so years ago (I may have given my age away, oops). One of my coworkers at the university bookstore where I worked part time asked me if I would be interested in modeling for her friend, who wanted to practice her photography. I thought it would be a fun opportunity to practice myself and get some good photos out of it. My then-boyfriend helped me put together two contrasting outfits for the shoot, and the three of us spent a couple hours shooting and scoping out cool backdrops in Melrose Ave. I remember being very self-conscious, not knowing what pose would look good and relying heavily on instructions from the photographer. But the photos turned out better than I expected, probably thanks to the photographer’s expertise.

自分がいつかモデルになるとはまったく想像していなかったし、まして職業にするとは思っていませんでした。でも今現在、東京で憧れだったモデルキャリアをブログと共に続けています。

一番最初の撮影は大学2年生の時。当時アルバイトをしていたキャンパスの本屋さんの先輩から、「カメラマンの友達がモデルを探してるんだけど、サマンサは作品撮りに興味ある?」と声を掛けられ、初めてのフォトシュートに挑みました。当時の彼に衣装の準備を手伝ってもらい、ロスで人気のショッピングエリア、メルローズで3人で協力し合って無事撮影をすることができました。その時の私は全然自信がなく、どういうポーズをすればいいかわからなかったし、カメラマンの指示にすごく頼っていた覚えはあります。ですが、出来上がった画像は予想以上に良かったのでほっとしました。カメラマンのお陰ですね。

 

Soon after this shoot, I created a Model Mayhem profile and started collaborating with photographers in the LA area whenever I had free time. I did fashion, beauty, lingerie, implied… By being in front of the camera, it helped build the confidence that I needed and craved. It was also cool meeting all of the photographers, stylists, hair and makeup artists along the way. And I was lucky my boyfriend at the time was really supportive about it because most boyfriends can be controlling or jealous.

But now you might be wondering, why Tokyo and not LA? Well, it was always my dream to live and work in Japan, and a possible modeling career was the trigger. A modeling agent contacted me on social media one day, telling me he liked my look and if I would be interested in modeling in Japan. I was, but how could I trust someone I haven’t met? My then-boyfriend and I met with the agent, and I decided to start taking his acting and walking classes and see where it would take me. He eventually introduced me to a friend of his that worked in a Japanese modeling agency, and luckily for me, she was very keen on my look and told me I could join her agency anytime. After graduating from university, I took a leap of faith with the support of family and friends and made the big move that would change my life forever.

その後、Model Mayhemというサイトでプロフィールを作り、休みの日にロサンゼルス近辺のカメラマンと撮影をし始めました。ファッションからビューティー系、ランジェリーやインプライドなど、色んなジャンルの撮影に挑戦しました。カメラの前に立つことによって、子供の頃から欲してた自信が徐々に身に付きました。しかも、頻繁に撮影をすることによって沢山のカメラマンやヘアメイクさん、スタイリストさんと出会うことができました。そして、当時付き合っていた彼のサポートもあったので、どんどん自分から進んで撮影をしていました。

でも何でロサンゼルスじゃなくて東京なの?と思う人もいるかもしれません。子供の頃から日本に住んで働くことが夢だったので、東京でモデルのお仕事ができるかもしれないというきっかけがあったのが大きかったと思います。ある日、ソーシャルメディアを通してロサンゼルスでエージェントをやっていた男性に、日本でモデルのお仕事をするのに興味ないかと声を掛けられたのが始まり。最初はもちろん疑ってたし警戒していましたが、当時付き合っていた彼とそのエージェントと直接会って、後々その人のアクティングとウォーキングレッスンを受けるようになりました。数ヶ月後、エージェントの知り合いで日本でモデル事務所のマネージャーをしている女性に紹介してもらい、「いつでもウェルカムよ」という彼女の一声で人生が変わりました。大学卒業後、家族や友人の支えをバックに、新たなる人生をスタートしました。

 

For someone who played piano and went to university to study classical piano, this was a huge change, and quite risky too. I could have had it easy and stayed near my hometown, or change my environment completely and do something completely different. There were absolutely no promises in success for this new path I chose, and I can now say I was extremely naive at the time for not planning enough and thinking everything would work its course. Well, it sort of did but with many, many obstacles along the way. But every shoot, every job, every denial, every triumph – all of them have shaped me into the person & model that I am today and I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. Over the last 7 years, I’ve learned to love and appreciate myself a lot more, and now being in front of the camera is the most natural thing for me.

子供の頃からずっとピアノを習っていて、大学までクラシックのピアノを勉強していた私にとって、日本でモデルになるということは大きいステップだったし、沢山のリスクもありました。カリフォルニアに残って楽な人生を歩む選択肢もありましたし、環境をを変えて全然違うことをやってみることもできました。私が選んだ道になんの保証もなかったので、全てなんとかなると思い込んでた当時の私はナイーブだったなと思います。結局なんとかなった部分もありましたが、お仕事でもプライベートでも、沢山の壁を乗り越えてきました。一つひとつの仕事、撮影、拒否、成功 − すべての経験があったからこそ今の自分がいます。自分自身のことももっともっと好きになれたし、あんなに恥ずかしくてシャイな私がカメラの前に立つことが当たり前になりました。

So, to conclude this post, I’d like to give 5 modeling tips that I’ve learned during my journey.

  1. Practice, practice, and then practice more. とにかく練習あるのみ!Link up with photographers, amateur or professional! For me, making a Model Mayhem profile was the best thing I did for myself when I first started. I met so many amazing creators on that platform and got so much content for my portfolio.
  2. Take an acting and/or dancing class. 演技、もしくはダンスレッスンを受けてみて。I unfortunately haven’t taken a dancing class yet, but I have taken some acting classes and they do come in handy. I’ve scored parts in music videos and commercials for my variety of expression. I guarantee you will learn something about yourself you didn’t know through acting classes. And there are some jobs that require dancing skills, so being able to move to a rhythm might be a good skill to have. There are so many genres of modeling out there, so don’t limit yourself!
  3. Maintain a healthy lifestyle. 健康的なライフスタイルを維持する。Eat healthy. Go to the gym. Move your body. Get enough sleep. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is so much more important than you think.
  4. Know how to do your own hair, makeup and styling. 自分のヘアメイクやスタイリングをできるようにする。You won’t always have a hair and/or makeup artist or wardrobe stylist for your shoots. Know how to do at least 1-2 makeup looks that look good on you, and always make sure you have a variety of wardrobe choices for different kinds of shoots.
  5. Do it because you love it. 好きだからやる。Always. I started doing it to gain more confidence, and now it comes naturally to me. No matter how gruesome and unglamorous it can be off-camera, the finished product always makes me proud. I constantly hope that I can inspire someone out there in any way.

 

All photos by Yuma Yamashita

30 comments

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Thank you for sharing your tips! No wonder why your photos always look amazing since you have a model background. I also love your look because it’s edgy and unique 😉

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Thanks for sharing this journey. What a turn of events from studying classical music. You totally have a look for modeling and I can see why your career has led you in that direction. What a great idea to start Model Mayhem too to connect with those in the business. Not only are you beautiful, you are smart and talented in so many ways. I always don’t know how to pose or look directly at the camera for my blogging shots and being a model seems so intimidating but as you said, practice makes perfect! xoxo, Christine
http://dailykongfidence.com/

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Really great tips! I love the background story on how you became a model. Doing what you love definitely takes a lot of risks! Great post as always. 🙂

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Samantha this post was everything. It truly inspired me because I just took a leap of faith with leaving my job and I know it will turn out to be the best thing I’ve ever done! To hear that you moved all the way to another country to pursue your dreams motivates me!!! You don’t know how much this post means. Thank you!

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That makes me so happy in turn. I think the important thing is to have faith in yourself no matter how difficult things can get – it will only get better <333

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Thank you for such great tips! You clearly have a lot of great experience. I actually want to work on my expressions, but I am a little shy so I am nervous about the acting classes. Any suggestions for me?

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I was actually shy about acting classes at first, but once you get to know the other students in your class, it’s quite fun! Do you do Youtube at all? Talking in front of a camera might help too 🙂

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Thanks for the tips. I need to check in dancing & acting classes. I am heading to LA in the fall. Will pursue when I get out there.

Xxgracie

snappedbygracie.com

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Thank you for sharing this wonderful post! I really enjoyed reading about your modeling career!

http://roadesque.com
http://ourruins.com

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This was so inspiring to read more about how you started modeling and especially some tips to do so! My mom told me I was always approached to do modeling as a child but she was always afraid. It’s funny because in a way with blogging, I “model” so it’s cool that I gravitated back to it. Thanks for the tips!!

With love, Jenn
https://www.jubilantdose.com/

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What a fun blog post girly. Wow, 7 years ago you had a photo shoot and look at you now. Well I just started blogging almost a year in August. One thing I must say is definitely know how to do your hair and makeup. I currently maintain a healthy lifestyle by working out and eating healthy at the same time. Thank you for sharing your tips!

Xo,
Gabriela Vera
http://www.gverastyle.blogspot.com

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I love that cropped top, so edgy and stylish!! Great modelling tips girl! i think all the bloggers out there need some tips to some degree. I remembered when I first started blogging, I was so camera shy! Getting only slightly better by now. Totally need to take your advises on that!

xx, Jessie
http://4evajessie.com/getting-beach-ready-with-na-kd/

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You are an amazing model! I’m always at awe of your beautiful photos on this blog and Instagram. I love that you got your break from a connect on Instagram. As a blogger too, I know how important social media has been to getting opportunities I never would have imagined. It’s been such a great tool of bringing people people together.

xo, Jo
http://www.cutandchic.com

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Nice story Samantha .I will take some advice from you for modelling. Maybe helps. I’m think is better to work w a good photographs so they helped you, too.
The pictures are pretty cool, as always.
Xx
Eva
http://www.themermaidfashion.com

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Such a great tips, thank you! I have quite the same story, I have never ever thought that I can be a model (I don’t count some photoshoot with friends), but when I moved to Cyprus people have started to contact me and asked to participate in photoshoots and runways (and even pay me for it ahaha). I find it very interesting and full of fun (and sometimes exhausting too), but I love creative atmosphere and creative people (photographers, designers, makeup artists, stylists). It is like other world and it helps you get self-confidence too.

http://lanaluu.com

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That’s so cool that you chose Tokyo over LA for a modelling career. I would never have guessed that you needed dance or acting classes to properly master great looks!

https://www.bunnybernice.com/single-post/2017/06/15/Summer-Favourites-Leibish-Co-Coloured-Diamonds-and-Inglot-Pigmented-Eyeshadow

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Wait, how old are you? Hehe. This all explains why you pose so amazing in all your pictures. Thanks so much for sharing these helpful tips and inspiring us all to follow our dreams.

katetik.com

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I would never guess that you studied for piano!
You are a great model Samantha, I love your look, style and expressions and this was helpful for all of us blogger, I’m taking dance class, I should think of acting classes as well, I bet they would help me with modelling for blog! THANK YOU <3

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You give me so much life, love your style and blog. ❤️

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love these tips babe! i did modeling full time before i transitioned into blogging/content creating too so i can actually relate to a lot of the things you’ve shared here 🙂 thanks for sharing love! xo, sharon

http://www.stylelullaby.com/fitness/hiking-rimrock-trail-in-ideology/

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I’ve been looking forward to reading this post since you mentioned you would be sharing it soon in a previous one! This was so cool to read! I loved learning more about where you started and how you got to where you are today. I definitely agree that acting and dancing classes can help in modeling. I don’t model, but they’ve even helped just with my blogging. I’m so grateful that I took them throughout middle and high school. I can’t wait to see where this amazing career takes you, friend!

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Amazing photo’s and I love that I know more about your background now. It’s great that you got discovered that way and gained more confidence by shooting with different photographers. I remember when I first started, so nervous, feeling awkward when people stared. Now.. I’m just owning the streets, not caring about what other people think, do, or say. Great article! XO Charissa || http://www.ladygoldapple.com ||

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I’ve always wondered how you got your modeling career started! Believe it or not, I used to want to be one, went to acting and modeling school and everything. I had the opportunity to go to this show with a ton of agents and couldn’t afford it at the time, so I never went 🙁 I’ve always wondered how different my life would have been, had I gone there, but I guess I’ll never know :/ Congrats on all your modeling success though, babe. It was a great move!

http://www.thebeautybeau.com

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You are such an extraordinary role model and what a truly interesting and diverse career you have already had. You are remarkable in the fact that you excel at so many things and I really enjoy seeing the way you’ve taken on modeling. Starting Model Mayhem was genius and your tips are perfect especially about doing it because you love it !

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So many GOOD tips babe! Sounds like you have such a great career, I always love seeing your photos! Thanks for sharing babe!

xo, Samira

http://www.leathertolunch.com

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Love this post Samantha, what a great history of how you started modeling. I admire your passion, determination even though it means to leave the familiar territory of hometown, without family support at arms length. You always look so casual and cool in your photos and very natural and I love that you are not stick thin but a healthy disposition. Keep on strutting girl!

~ xo Sheree
PoshClassyMom.com

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I wondered how you came to be living in Japan, and how that path had gone. This is so interesting, you really did just go for it and take huge risks! That is awesome and so inspiring. I love this story. You have some excellent tips in there too. The more you practice, the more confident you will be, for sure. Plus movement classes will always help!
xx Jenelle
http://www.inspiringwit.com

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I knew you are a model, your poses are always on point..Great tips beautiful.

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I totally agree that the more you practice the better you get! I was so self conscious the first time I was in front of the camera. Now I don’t care who walks by or how many people stare. Luckily, my performing arts background helped with facials, but I need to get in on some of the dancing classes!! I want to use my body more efficiently. Thanks for sharing girl!

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nice outfit
regards
Shopafford.com

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