We had the good fortune of connecting with Michelle Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michelle, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?
I think one thing many people don’t know about the modeling world is that models have insecurities too! Many models receive comments on their photos like “I wish I was as perfect as you” or “If I looked like you, I would have zero problems.” The reality is, models are regular people who have regular people problems, too. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes in terms of editing, lighting, posing, and makeup to get the perfect shot. Sometimes I get a photo back from a shoot and feel like I don’t even look like the person in it! This can mess with your head if you don’t keep yourself in check. For this reason, I appreciate models and influencers who are transparent about what reality looks like vs. what is posted on social media or printed in magazines. I think it’s beneficial for all to see modeling for what it is – an act, an art form, or in some cases, an illusion.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve been modeling for approximately 7 years. I first got into it as an assistant for a headshot/wedding photographer, and started standing in for test shots, realizing how much I enjoyed it. I’ve walked in many different runway shows and modeled in LA, NY, Baltimore, Denver and Minneapolis. You can find my work published in magazines and used online for various Amazon products, including Top Stitch products and the Roll & Go Hair tool. I have a background in dance, with 10 years of experience in ballet, jazz, tap, and contemporary. I greatly attribute this to success in modeling; I believe that the body awareness that naturally comes with being a dancer gives a deeper understanding of posing and movement. The modeling journey for me has had bumps along the road, with rejections, learning curves and struggles. What kept me pushing through it all was the support of others and excitement that comes from walking in a show or creating beautiful art with talented creatives. Getting into modeling was a bit scary at first, but I want everyone to know that taking risks and pushing yourself can absolutely pay off.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
One of my favorite spots I like to take friends from out of town is Red Rocks! There is nothing like catching a show in the beautiful venue, or a morning hike to watch the sunrise from the top. In the Rino area, Barcelona Wine Bar is one of my favorite spots for an excellent glass of wine and some tapas. You also can’t forget to stop at Little Man Ice Cream for one of their famous cones! To top off a perfect day, watch the sunset over the city skyline and enjoy the Denver nightlife. We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful city.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am so grateful to the Denver modeling community for the support and opportunity it has provided. From the staff of Denver Fashion Week for allowing me to walk in 5+ seasons of Denver shows, to various designers like Eve Jenkins for giving the opportunity to travel across the country for fashion weeks in NYC and Baltimore. To all of the incredible photographers I have met; some notable names including Paul Tashlykov, Hien Nguyen, Andy Johns, Vinnie White, Dustin Handrich, Andrew Solano, Joy Tatum, David Langlois, Zach Alvidrez, and many, many more. To fellow models that I have considered role models, friends and mentors: Janelle Tejan, Andrea Schiffbauer, Kate Johnson and Kristie CoNaughty. To the incredibly talented makeup artists and stylists in Denver; check out Jenni Gacek and Aaryn McPhetres if you haven’t already. And to my friends who have supported my journey from the beginning, endless thanks from the bottom of my heart.
Other: Clubhouse: @michelle.smith
Dustin Handrich, Joy Tatum, Andy Johns, Hien Nguyen, Zach Alvidrez, Andrew Solano