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@genevieveabell

 

Pasadena, California

Koltin: How did you know you wanted to be a model? Didn’t you get your masters in something?

Genevieve: I got a master certificate in book publishing, and then I went to college for creative writing. I’m putting that on the back burner but I still want to do that because I want to write books someday. But I moved out here to move to a bigger city.

Koltin: Where are you from?

Genevieve: Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

Koltin: The girl I told you about earlier moved from Pittsburg!

Genevieve: Oh, oh really? I wonder if she knows that about me.

Koltin: Is it true that you live, grow up, and die in Pittsburg?

Genevieve: Yeah, there’s a lot of people that don’t leave. Because they love it so much.

Koltin: I heard people get mad at you for leaving.

Genevieve: Oh well I didn’t have that experience, but I was home-schooled so I don’t think anyone cared about me.

Koltin: I knew there was something different about you! You’re more put together. Home school probably did it.

Genevieve: Grounded.

Koltin: Yes, exactly!

Genevieve: I was just doing this [modeling] in the meantime, as a side job but I really enjoy it so I’ll do it as long as I can. I started three years ago when I moved out here in 2015.

Koltin: Did your agent tell you to move out here?

Genevieve: No, I moved out here to find a job for a publishing company, then I thought, “I think I need a side-hustle”.

Koltin: What other areas of art are you into?

Genevieve: When I was in third grade I was really good at drawing dresses, so I always wanted to be a fashion designer, but then I realized I couldn’t sew. So then I just put that aside.

Koltin: Designers don’t sew, they just kind of tell people what to do right?

Genevieve: Yeah, I know that’s true. I thought maybe I could just draw.

Koltin: So, drawing, writing and modeling?

G: The trifecta!

Koltin: No photography?

G: Not yet.

Koltin: I know you sort of slid into modeling, but was there a goal you wanted to reach? Like was there something, “if I do that, that will give me affirmation that I’m doing really good”, or was there someone specific you wanted to work with that would have made you feel like you reached a certain level?

G: I’ve thought about that... I feel like I’m never going to reach that moment. I feel like if I was looking at my life now at 18 I’d be like, “woah- that’s so cool!”, but like, when you’re in it it doesn’t feel that crazy. You know? You ever felt that way before?

K: I know exactly what you mean.

G: Like I’ve done cool things, like I was in an ad in Cosmopolitan, and it didn’t really phase me that much. It just happens, and you’re like “oh, okay”. But if I was 17 looking at it I was would like, “holy shit, I made it.”

K: Yeah, I don’t know the psychology of that is. I don’t know if it’s you feel like you’ve earned it finally because you’ve been working so hard because you’ve been working day in and day out. Because on the same token, I remember starting out 2 years ago, and I still have the picture that inspired me to become a photographer, and now I’ve shot with that model, and I thought “oh it’s just a normal person”, I don’t know why I thought otherwise. Because it’s such an illusion. I feel like some people were a mystery, or I wanted to discover them more, and when I do I feel like oh I wonder what’s behind the next door.

G: Yeah, no it’s true. It’s what it is, what’s more fun is the process of getting there.

K: What’s the common way people reach out to you for a shoot request?

G: It’s mostly DM’s now.

K: How many would you say you get per week?

G: A week? Probably like 3-5.

K: Okay.

G: My agency, I used to not be able to shoot without them. But this year they changed it, thankfully, so I can do my own.

K: I remember that. It’s almost like they are pimping you out.

G: I know that’s what it felt like.

K: Because it was always like, they will take a certain percentage, and then let the photographer know if he’s good enough. It can be frightening from my end.

G: Yeah, that’s silly, I think we know most of all of who we would work well with.

K: What would you say the agency does most for you?

G: Find me jobs, that’s why I never put up a fight because I’m making money through them so I’ll let it go.

K: So like the things you were posting the other day in which I replied to “you’re texting while working”, was that a agency job?

G: Oh yeah, I was at a job yeah, on break…in the changing room.

K: Do you have a favorite type of shoot you move towards? Your personal taste. I think it’s bright?

G: I really love bright, I love outside, I really love being on the beach for them. Not like California beach, but more like, okay you know Katie [Parker’s] pictures of me on the beach? Those are like some of my favorites, where we were in long flowy crazy stuff and it was moody, they looked really good, I’ll send you some.

K: I feel like her personality matches her photo’s so much.

G: Really! Because whenever there’s a pop of color. She’s really good with all of that.

K: Whenever I think of Katie I think of her jumping! But yeah, what do you expect from photographers? What do you like them to do? Lots of direction, more freedom?

G: I prefer direction from photographers, especially the first time. It can be uncomfortable because you don’t know what they are looking for. I would rather have them make it their own. I can tell what they want the second time after the first time you know? So I’d rather have them give me direction.

K: Yeah, like with the hands this time? [We shot earlier this day]

G: Yeah, like I knew the movement you liked.

K: I’m afraid because it’s not really your style. It’s so different.

G: No I love it, I like doing that. I feel like you learn those types of things from different photographers and it helps you create you own style then. It’s kind of like writing, you pull from different authors and eventually you have your own style of writing.

K: What’s the next step for you? Two years from now and five years from now do you still want to be living with the people your living with and doing this?

G: I love my roommate shes like my best friend, that makes me sad. Even when I was dating my ex-boyfriend he was always like, “let’s move in together” and I was always like, “well can we get a place where there’s an extra bedroom?” because I need my roommate, that’s how much I love her.

K: It takes a lot to win you over.

G: Yeah. So two years, I think I would still be modeling in two years, five years, I’m not sure. I’d like to start writing something then finding an agent and then publishing something.

K: Are you starting to get ideas now?

G: I mean I’ve been writing something for like, forever. But, I just don’t do it often, so it’s not really coming to a close. But there’s a lot of it. So I just need to do it.

K: Don’t you need wake up and type everyday?

G: I know I have to, I have to start the habit of that, but it’s just that I’m always so lazy. It’s terrible. I love writing, I hate the process of it, so it’s a struggle.

K: Is it just a lot of crumpled papers, or deleted ideas?

G: Yeah, and I’m a perfectionist when it comes to it. So I can’t just write it and go over it. I have to have it right the first time.

K: It’s a headache, yeah I understand. Going back. What do you expect back from a photographer? How many photo’s?

G: Oh well that really I don’t know. You know with some photographers I get two photo’s, so be it. And then other one’s I’ll get every photo that they took and they they’re like, “pick some that you like”. So it depends. I mean I prefer getting a lot and being able to look through them because sometimes a photographer picks one and I’m like “I really look like shit in all of these”.

K: Exactly, I learned that too. Models are looking at their face and I’m sometimes looking for shapes, and at light and the overall picture. Now I’m starting to catch those details, now I’m going down on face, it was a challenge. You were like my first face person.

G: Oh yeah!

K: If you look at my profile, it’s just like just your face. You were my face guinea pig.

G: I love being the face guinea pig.

K: Great name. If you had to give any advice to a beginning model, what advice would you give? Live in L.A.?

G: Yeah, live in L.A. It’s so annoying to commute. Because I did. When I lived in Santa Clarita I would have to drive an hour for castings. I would say, to be patient, it takes a while. I mean, I didn’t really work, at all for the first year, I just had to build my portfolio for the first year, then eventually you’ll get start getting jobs. For working with photographers I would say, try to avoid creepy ass photographers.

K: How do you do that? Do you look deep into their portfolios or have a conversation with them?

G: You can kind of tell when they are texting you. I don’t know who I’ve…I’m trying to think of an example…

K: Are you going to let yourself into that area if there is one? Or you’ve closed them off completely.

G: Or like right off the bat they are like “I want all implied nudes”. I feel like the first time you shoot with someone, that you shouldn’t do that right away.

K: I’ve done that before, did I break the rule?

G: No, no. I think if it’s like if the person is comfortable with it. For someone like me I like to know the photographer and get comfortable with them, and then I don’t mind after that. I don’t care.

K: I’ve noticed that about you.

G: Yeah, it’s always the second or third time and I’m like, “okay, you’re not a weirdo”.

K: No well the first time [we shot] you went in my car and we just went up in the forest.

G: I could, I could tell you were nice though.

K: I still am.

G: Thank God. Maybe after this long trip.

K: Yeah I heard, I was listening to this podcast yesterday and I heard that being on the road and traveling ruins your body so I’m excited to see what I look like.

G: Oh great, that sounds like a great time. Ruins it how? Like malnourished or?

K: They weren’t specific.

G: Just your body? What about your mind?

K: Probably both, like mush. So fifty days.

G: Is that how long? Fifty? That’s almost two months.

K: Yeah. Almost two months.

G: Are you doing like a perfect circle?

K: Pacific Northwest, with Oregon and Washington. Then to Boise.

G: Okay, Idaho.

K: Then to Colorado, then I’m going to fly to Florida.

G: Oh you’re flying? What about your car? Oh you’re doing this all flying?

K: I mean, I’m driving from Portland to Seattle. I mean it’s three hours so it’s not a big deal. And flying from Colorado to Florida is like a four hour flight. Then to South Carolina to North Carolina, then Tennessee, then Georgia, then Tallahassee, then back to Jacksonville then up to Maine.

G: So when are you going to be in North Carolina?

K: This is a quiz isn’t it? It’s the 6th and 7th of June.

G: I love North Carolina. I’m going to be there July 7th, my family has a home in Holden Beach.

K: So I’m going to Winston-Salem.

G: Oh okay, that’s a fun area. You’re going to Ashville? Raleigh?

K: Have I been?

G: Or you’re not going to them? Ashville’s so cool. That is the city I think a cool photographer would go to.

K: Oh, well I’m not that. But from Maine I’ll rent a car, then make my way down to Virginia.

G: Pittsburgh.

K: Philadelphia. Pittsburgh is a little too east for me. How far is that? Two hours?

G: From Philadelphia? Oh no, no. It’s like six, five or six. They’re literally on opposite ends.

K: The two people [I’m shooting with] seem really nice so far. A lot of abandoned things.

G: Oh that would be cool.

K: We’ll just be doing weird shit.

G: Are you doing outside the city or in the city? Who are you staying with in every place? Are you just hoteling it or, strangers?

K: Well in Maine I’ll be living with a model for a week in Lewiston. Then I’ll drive down to Portland, then in Boston there’s a photographer named Andrew Labreck, who’s really good.

G: Oh this worked out nice.

K: Then some family in Connecticut, some family in New York. Then in Philadelphia probably in my car.

G: Are you like renting cars I’m assuming?

K: A car. I mean one car from Maine. Then in Virginia I’ll camp on the beach.I think that would be a nice experience.

G: Oh that would be nice. It’ll be warm too.

K: Yeah I wouldn’t be able to afford an Airbnb or hotel every night. That would be insane.

G: Yeah, for two months yeah. That’s hella a lot of money.

K: I know. Especially when I’m not making any money. Luckily I think it’s going to work itself out and when I get back I want to do a show and pass it around to people.

G: Yours is cool because your going around the country for it.

K: I want to incorporate poetry into it as well, we’ll see. A whole art book.

G: This is a cool idea, I think.

K: I have no strings attached, and I have the time. Anyways, that’s all the questions I have.

G: Awesome. We got a nice twenty-three minute convo out of that.

K: Thank you.

;s