Hi Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed! Lets start off easy, What do you call your hometown now? Do you travel for shoots, if so how far?

I currently live in Buffalo. I do travel for shoots, the farthest I have been for a shoot is Rochester. I had another one in Toronto scheduled but due to the quarantine the event got cancelled so unfortunately, we didn’t get the pleasure of shooting.

Since we are on the topic of shoots, do you do Paid, TFP, or a combo of both?

I do a combo of both paid shoots and events as well as runways.

What is the farthest you have traveled for a shoot?

As I said before, Rochester. I wish we could have gone to the shoot in Toronto, I was really excited for it.

Describe your favorite photoshoot?

I worked with Thomas Mackert to take photos in different locations. He wanted to play around with a new camera for a bit and I was willing to be his model for some fun photos at different locations. So I had maybe five outfits and we went around to seven or eight different locations to shoot. I think we came out with close to a thousand pictures that day. My favorite part was just going around places like Canalside, the docks, and downtown Buffalo and getting a lot of cool backgrounds and lighting.

Describe your Dream photoshoot?

I’d love to do a traveling photoshoot. Get a collection of photos from around the world for different things. I’d love to say I travel for shoots. My family already travels a lot so it would be fun to get some good pictures out of the beautiful places we visit.

What social platforms are you on?

I use Instagram and Snapchat. I have a Facebook mostly to keep in touch with family members overseas, so I don’t use it often. My personal Instagram is @mariel.charlize and I’m working on getting an official account to post for my modeling.

Which do you find most useful in your modeling career?

I find Instagram most useful. I’d like to think I do pretty well on my personal account with the followers I have without advertising as a model or using hashtags. I’m looking to start up an official account for that for photographers and designers to see. To keep the personal posts separate from the work ones I guess, and I’d imagine that account would do much better than the one I’m using now.

How do you find you get most of your modeling shoots?

I try to post them spaced out so I’m pretty much looped into people’s feeds and stories on Instagram or Snapchat. I also repost other models I’ve worked with to support them and work the network of the business.

What made you decide to try modeling?

Over the summer, my mom took me to visit one of her friend’s shops downtown, Sasmita Batik. We walked in together and I was just looking around at the stuff she had in her little boutique. I remember I just came from school so I was wearing regular clothes and I didn’t have a lot of makeup on. The shop owner, my mom’s friend, came up to me and asked if I wanted to model her clothes for her. So I did the photoshoot with her photographer, Rick Warne. After the photoshoot I kind of just kept getting offers from her and Rick to do more photo shoots. A year into it, I got asked to walk at a runway and that’s kind of when things really kicked off for me.

Who was the first photographer you worked with?

I first worked with Rick Warne. It was a bathing suit and accessories photo shoot for this boutique downtown, Sasmita Batik. It was a pretty big leap into the world of modeling from me, the first shoot being a bikini shoot, and I was pretty nervous. Working with Rick though made it easy to pose because he knew exactly what poses and looks he wanted. He was a great coach for me as a new model. What keeps you modeling? I used to be really shy about getting my picture taken before I started modeling. Doing photo shoots and walking runways has made me into a more confident person. Apart from the extra cash, I keep modeling because it is such a confidence booster for me and it really shows in my work ethic at school and at my other job. The people I meet doing this are also such great and supportive people, it’s such an opener for opportunities. Even if I decide not to continue with this career full-time after college, I’ve still opened doors that have propelled my future and have more to open in the coming years.

Ok, now this is a dangerous question for a photographer to ask, what pisses you off most about photographers?

This doesn’t really piss me off but I dislike when photographers forget that the model is a person and not just a tool. There is a truth to that mindset to an extent but I’d like to believe in a world where models aren’t objectified and a hanger for designers.

What do you look for before you decide if you will work with a photographer?

I typically ask other photographers I’ve worked with and models who have worked with the photographer if they are safe to work with, since I am still a fairly young model who is new-ish to the business. If I can, I’ll also check out work that the photographer has done to see if I like what they are doing with their pictures.

Who inspires you?

Zendaya. I watched her on Disney channel when I was growing up and now that I’ve got a career in modeling mainly based in Buffalo, I’ve realized I looked up to her a lot. She’s done everything from music to fashion and acting. What fun stuff do you do, besides modeling? ~ I’m a very outdoors and active person. During the school year I don’t have much time to do a lot since I’m also a student-athlete on the volleyball team, but in the summer, I have a job and like to go climbing and surfing a lot.

Any advice for new models?

Always bring snacks! I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been in the middle of a shoot or runway and been so thirsty or hungry. Also, never expect to have your makeup and hair done at the location, always bring your own makeup and do your own hair. Keep your nails and hair clean for shoots. For runways, always wear shoes that fit snug and bring a pair of flats to wear after. You will not be able to walk after wearing heels all day, if you can then I applaud you. I could never. For safety, I always recommend bringing someone with you to your shoots unless it is a group event. If a photographer for a private shoot won’t let you bring someone, don’t go to the shoot. This especially applies to younger models. Additionally, if you’re not comfortable with something, always voice your thoughts. You are never in the wrong for telling someone you are uncomfortable doing something.

Where can we see your work?

On Instagram @mariel.charlize and @mariel_modeling Anything you would like to add? If you’re an upcoming new model, don’t be scared to reach out to other models for help. Contrary to popular stereotypes about models, most of us are very friendly and willing to help in any way we can. So shoot us a message!

Even if you don’t model, you’ve gained a new friend.