For all the work that goes on behind-the-scenes and in preparation of a shoot, its actual success depends so much on the strength of the model being featured. That’s why, when I first saw Tia Shipman‘s book, I knew things would be smooth sailing on the Sinfully Zen set. Besides being jaw-droppingly beautiful, the girl knows how to move!Better yet, Tia had a great attitude throughout the entire project, giving infectious energy from the first shot to the last (during which she blasted Beyonce and shimmied that fringed Marchesa dress like it was made to be moved ~ I was literally screaming with glee!). She was a delight to work with in every way, and I was thrilled when she agreed to do a little interview ~ I wanted all of you to get to know the girl who charmed me so!
1. Where did you grow up?
I was born in Washington, DC and grew up in Maryland, the home of crab cakes and football! Not soccer ~ American football.
2. How did you get your start in modeling?
I was scouted in Raleigh, NC at North Carolina State University where I went to college for a few years. I was only supposed to be in New York City for a summer, but never went back. I was a chemistry major.
3. What is your most memorable shoot to date? Any horror stories?
My first modeling job was my most memorable and also a horror story. I was doing Jamaican Fashion Week and had the opportunity to work with all the big models at that time. It was a four day job. I had never been to Jamaica until then, and was both excited and nervous. On the third day I was walking on a main street and was hit by a moving car. If you think crossing the street in New York City is dangerous, think again! What made this job so special was my determination to work the next day anyway. And I did it!
4. Do you have any tricks (favorite songs, etc) to get into the mood on a shoot?
I like to do yoga the night before a shoot to center my energy. During a shoot, I envision the camera as the man I fell in love with. I imagine our happy times (and our not so happy times) to explore every possibility of a shot. It’s a great tool to have ~ sometimes models are unable to pick their own music and the mood in the room is too thick to adjust. This way you can get the job done no matter the circumstance.
5. What’s the number one beauty trick you’ve learnt on set?
I have learned how to do my own make up and which cosmetics lines work best for my skin. I love Nars and Make Up Forever. Their pigments are so strong and pronounced and last forever ~ Nars has these lip pencils which are especially long-lasting.
6. Any advice for girls who aspire to follow in your footsteps?
My advice for anyone ready to take the next step and become a model or be in the entertainment industry is to not give up. I hear tons of ‘No’s’ before I get a ‘Yes’ ~ but I stay positive through the No’s because a Yes is always on its way. The second piece of advice is to study your craft. Luck means opportunity meets preparation. No one likes when their talent isn’t prepared for the job they’ve been given. Repetition is key. A model should always want to improve their craft. Lastly, have a great attitude wherever you are because you never know who you may meet. Everyone has the ability to change one’s life! Good luck; the universe is inside you!!