[May 18 2018]
Approximately two years ago, I sent an email to Nina Smidt and Brandun Tyrell at Vision Los Angeles to introduce myself and my work so that I could have access to photographing the models at Vision. From time to time, I would receive updates from the development team alerting me of the new faces. The most recent was regarding a fresh new face named Thomasina.
LENARD SMITH — Can you tell me about your background and when you started modeling?
THOMASINA — I’m 18, and I’ve lived in Los Angeles my whole life. I’ve always been someone who’s brain is best stimulated visually, and my love for fashion was what initially sparked my interest in modeling. I’ve only been modeling for a couple months but I’m really enjoying it. I’ve always been really into style and the ways it can be represented, so I saw modeling as something that would be really interesting and rewarding.
LENARD SMITH — What is it that compels you to want a career being in front of the camera lens?
THOMASINA — Being able to help an artist portray a message or story is really unique and cool and I feel like being in front of a camera really helps me get in touch with myself. I enjoy it because I’m helping an artist, whether it be a photographer, designer or stylist portray their creative vision.
LENARD SMITH — What relationship do you have to fashion?
THOMASINA — Fashion has always played a huge role in my life. When I was younger I used to sketch princess dresses and make my own Barbie clothes, and I love the artistry of haute couture and streetwear. The way I dress is the most comfortable way for me to express myself. Fashion is something that constantly inspires me and challenges me to think creatively.
LENARD SMITH — What do you enjoy most about photography?
THOMASINA — When I take pictures of beautiful things, my life feels more beautiful. But sometimes it is important to focus on raw authenticity and storytelling over aesthetics. I’m always inspired by nature and I feel like it really shapes the directions I take in photography. A picture isn’t just worth a thousand words, it’s worth beyond what those words can describe, it captures a feeling.
LENARD SMITH — Do you have a favorite book?
THOMASINA — I generally prefer fashion magazines to books, but I did read this Jim Morrison biography called “No One Here Gets Out Alive” recently that I thought was pretty good.
LENARD SMITH — Do you know what kind of camera I work with?
THOMASINA — I know that you like to work with both digital and film cameras, and that you also have an impressive collection of 1970s polaroids.
Wardrobe provided by: Varsity Los Angeles
Interview and photo Lenard Smith