She is Streetfashion MagZZine's cover model this month, May 2017. We like to introduce you to model Kiara Marshall. Modeling was an early dream for her; she took her first professional photo at the age of sixteen. Fueled by her past and where she sees herself going, she has a passion for modeling.
Kiara wants to model to help break down society’s barriers, their strict and unrealistic beauty standards. Kiara was struck by a drunk driver, which caused a lot of physical damage.
Kiara, please tell us a little bit about yourself to begin with. (How old are you, Where were you born and where do you live now, What is your profession and do you have other besides modeling?
I am a 24-year-old Texan, born in College Station and currently residing in Austin. I graduated from Texas State University in 2015 with my Bachelor’s degree in Recreation Administration with an emphasis in Therapeutic Recreation. After completing the national exam, I became a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. As a Recreational Therapist, I work at an acute psychiatric hospital where I get to lead activity based therapy groups to promote positive coping skills for patients battling depression, anxiety, and psychosis. In my free time, I like to explore my city, spend time with my family, paint, engage in outdoor activities like hiking and camping, and of course modeling.
What genre of modeling are you interested in?
I am interested in fashion, commercial, fitness, and promotional modeling but I am open to trying other genres that I have not tapped into yet.
For me, as a model, lots of laughing and thinking. Sometimes it is hard to keep a straight face, especially when the photographer is cracking jokes. I think about what I must look like to the photographer and try to remember my angles. Sometimes I must remove myself from the moment and daydream or act like I am somewhere else to portray a certain emotion. In a successful shoot, a bond is being formed between me and the photographer.
What do you love most about modelling?
Being able to express myself through my photos and just having all the attention during a photo session. At work, I am just another employee and I am an overall laid back person at home. Sometimes it feels like I am living a double life lol.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
Gaining experience in front of the camera has been a fun learning experience but signing with an agency that is supportive and excited for me and being featured in this magazine has been my biggest highlight so far. Tell us about some of your recent shoots. I have a fire inside of me. My recent shoots in 2017 have contributed to making that fire grow larger and larger. I have been fortunate to meet amazingly talented photographers with open minds that just want to create art together. I am still shocked when people want to work with me...ME?! In these recent shoots, I have been learning which poses work best for me, expanding my facial expressions beyond smiling, and I have obtained more confidence and comfort showing off my prosthetic leg.
I can be my true self because they like me AND my prosthetic leg.
How did you learn about agency Modelemi?
I have a co-worker who is signed with Modelemi and one day he casually suggested sending in pictures...so I did!
What tip or advice can you offer to other models looking to get into the industry?
Be safe!!! Do not just shoot with anyone, make sure to research and take someone with you, if you can, to photo shoots
I try to drink more water than usual the day before, I'm not sure if that helps anything but it sounds healthy haha! I make sure that all my outfits are laid out, ironed, and ready to go if I am bringing my own clothes. I pack a duffle bag of my essentials: extra bobby pins, hand mirror, strapless bra, jewelry, etc. I make sure to eat a good meal beforehand so I'm not starving and dreaming of food while taking pictures. I also call someone, a friend or family member, to let them know where I am.
Which photographers in the industry do you most enjoy working with?
Gregory Cress of Cress Concepts (Orlando, Fl) has had great influence on me and is a photographer that has pushed me to continue to take photos and pursue modeling when I was feeling unsure about it...definite confidence booster! I worked with Devin Travieso of Wayfarer Photography (Boerne, Tx) in March for the first time and he was awesome because he captured my facial expressions when replying to questions he would ask about my life and significant people to me. The photos display genuine emotions expressed. Tim Bear of Modelemi Agency (Waco, TX) has been extraordinary. He is extremely supportive, funny, and has my best interest in mind, I am so excited to be able to work with him on a regular basis!
Define your personal style.
I would describe my personal style as "comfortable bohemian". I like the long flowing cardigans, floral prints, over sized tank tops and sweaters, tights or holey jeans, sandals and simple jewelry.
Who would you say is your 'style muse'?
Your favourite designer is… ?
Liliya Hudyakova. Her pieces are stunning and creative while mimicking nature.
Is there any particular designer piece you are crushing on right now?
Pretty much anything floral. I am loving the matching skirt and crop top pieces.
What do you hope to be doing in the next 5 years?
I hope to be modeling and public speaking full time. This is just the beginning and I have a lot of work to do to accomplish my goals. I am working to successfully make my way in this industry to inspire the underrepresented models and people with disabilities. Beauty standards tell us that beauty has a specific look and that if you do not fit that, you are not beautiful.
If you could be anywhere else but here, where would you go?
Anywhere to be honest, I want to visit as many places as I can. There is so much I have not seen and there is so much I want to learn about people, cultures, religion, etc.