Sonia Hittle chats about modeling
I recently interviewed my friend Sonia about how to become a successful freelance model. Sonia is currently in a contest to be Miss Jetset 2015. Please vote for Sonia https://miss.jetsetmag.com/vote-for/sonia-hittle:
Sonia: You have been modeling for a while, how did you get started modeling?
Yes I have! It’s crazy, this never gets old because each experience is new and exciting. So, it doesn’t feel like I have been doing this for almost 17 years!! So, my very first experience with modeling was when I was just five years old. My mom got me into a fashion show for a children’s boutique and the rest is history. I can still remember walking in that show. My outfit was called, “Going To Grandma’s.” It was a powder blue, corduroy jumpsuit. I was in love and still am. This is all I’ve ever wanted to truly do.
What kind a preparation goes into modeling?
Oh man, this could take a minute lol. So, there is a lot that goes into modeling and the industry has a sort of a mysteriousness to it. People just see a perfect picture/finished product when everything is said and done and it gives the illusion that it is all so glamorous. And don’t get me wrong, there are glamorous aspects, but a lot of it is not so glitzy. Working out, eating right, keeping your nails, hair, and eyebrows done, waking up early, staying up late (but still getting enough sleep), packing, and traveling (lots of traveling) is just some of the prep. And if you’re not starting out with FORD you’re probably going to be doing your own hair, makeup, and styling quite a bit as well.
What advice would you give someone interested in modeling?
I feel like I have heard almost everyone say at one point or another how they want to be rich and famous. And that’s great, I believe in having big dreams. However, modeling is one of those things that if you’re not in it 100% than you probably should just stick to shooting with friends for fun. It’s hard work and takes a lot of time, if you really want it, you have to work for it. Now, if you’ve decided to do this thing, I would suggest having your mom, friend, or tripod take poloriods of you. Black swim suit, no hair/makeup, lighting, or editing. Send them out to agencies and if they are interested, you will know pretty quickly. Do some photoshoots to get practice, Model Mayhem is great for connecting with people. Be smart, be careful, know where you want to get and make a plan on how to get there.
Do you work through an agency or do you mainly do freelance work? What made you decide to book work this way?
Currently, I am not signed with anyone. I was signed with an agency several years ago; however, I have gotten all of my paid jobs on my own doing freelance work. It’s been a lot of hard work, but man it does feel good. I am actively seeking representation right now and actually have a meeting with an agency tomorrow(fingers crossed).
What are your goals and where do you see yourself going in modeling and what steps are you taking to try and reach those goals?
My biggest dream has always been to be a Victoria’s Secret model(along with millions of other girls lol). My current goal is to be signed with an agency by the end of 2015. I have been working really hard to get in better shape and do shoots that these agencies want to see. Beyond that, I’m not quite sure. I like to take things one step at a time.
What type of jobs do you usually book and why? Are there other types of shoots you are trying to book? If so, is there anything you are doing to book these jobs?
Hmm, I’ve shot all kinds of things. Lately I’ve been shooting a lot more editioral and commercial work. Other than paid work, I’m mostly looking to shoot with amazing photographers who are looking to be different and try something new. Like I said perviously, my biggest concern right now is getting signed, so I’m not really focused on shooting as much currently.
Can you talk about an enjoyable photo shoot you were on? What made it enjoyable?
I’ve had so many, I honestly don’t think I could choose. I truly love each experience for what it is, getting to be someone different, getting to be me, crazy hair and makeup, or just my own skin. I learn something from each shoot I do and grow as an individual and an artist and that is my favorite part of shooting. One moment that really stands out in my mind is a shoot I did for MeInMyPlace, I got to do a whole set of photos in my first apartment and it was just so comfortable and, looking back now, a great way to capture that point in my life.
Have you had any bad experiences modeling? What happened and how do you prevent this
Of course, if you haven’t are you really a model? I believe I was about 16 or 17 years old and doing a fashion show for a local designer at this really awesome old mill that also happened to not have heat or air conditioning. So I arrived early, as every model should(15 minutes early is on time, on time is late) some time in the late morning, and waited around before hair and make up. The building started to heat up as the afternoon came and it was HOT! I was wearing a long, long-sleeve, black and while dress and was just dying in it. Meanwhile, there was no food or water at the location and I had run out of the things I had brought by late afternoon. As evening came, it started to cool down quite a bit. Long story short, I ended up getting sick after the show and barely making it home. Just a combination of having gone from so hot to so cold, dehydrated, and not eating enough. I felt worse than ever. Looking back now, I wish I would have brought more food and water with me.