MEET The Muse

27th April, 2012

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!!

  • Asia Carter

    Wow, I am from Washington, DC and am currently living in the Raleigh-Durham area.  This is a great interview and she is a beautiful girl, it is great to read about success stories like hers.  

  • Anonymous

    Wow these pictures look amazing. I love the color scheme and Tia also looks gorgeous. It looks like out of a different world.

  • Freya – Fashionable People

    Gorgeous photos, and a great interview! 

  • nice pictures!

  • CJAJ09 CJAJ09

    love her, and her skintone is just gorgeous. 

  • Great interview!! love the photos!!!


    She is very beautiful!!!

  • thevstyle


  •  She is so inspiring!!!! So nice to know that she is beautiful on the inside which is obviously radiating through every perfect pore of her body!!!  Thanks Kelly for that inside perspective!

  • inspiring!


  • kate@nopantstuesday

    What a talented woman with great advice and a great outlook on life!  Thanks for posting the interview!

  • E.

    Wonderful woman, and amazing photos!

  • Anonymous
  • Mallory Nickels

    Wow, she seems like a really down to Earth, fun girl {not to mention gorgeous}! I’m glad you did this little follow up to the amazing shoot!

  • Sarah

    I just want to say that I really appreciate that you choose a diversity of women for your photo shoots. I love that it’s not blonde after blonde after blonde, that you actually embrace women of color and mixed backgrounds. Whether that’s your intention or not, it sends a great message out to the fashion industry. Thank you!

  • This interview is inspiring.  I love when people are so positive.  Her modeling pics are gorgeous.

  • Kevin B.

    I am so grateful to have had her as my prom date in 2009. One of my good friends!

  • Eimearoreilly

    Ah, I love when a model has a personality!x

    Eimear x 

  • fashion-way

    Your photo’s are always so gorgeous! This
    blog is perfect (:

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TheGlamourai is a webzine produced by Kelly Framel, a multi-media creative director based in downtown New York (but constantly bouncing around the world). Part fashion blog, part glossy mag, part fantasy travel portal, it's your ultimate online destination for stylish daydreams. Tune in for inspirational editorials, beauty tutorials, outfit ideas, DIYs, jet-set travel tips and more!
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