In the world of modeling and photography, it can mean completely different things.
If you are a model, focus means complete and total dedication to honing your own craft, establishing a network of photographers, publishers, agents while working your way up thru a flaky and fickle industry of sleazy GWC’s (guys with camera) sexism, subtle racism and ageism.
Modeling judges many based on looks, height, weight and shape and makes no apologies in telling someone that they are either too fat, fit, ugly or just not having the “look” that one is looking for. To endure all of this kind of extensive criticism while still trying to build your own portfolio is nothing short of demonstrating complete focus.
In the world of photography, focus means the complete opposite, as it is what togs—the slang term for photographer—use various forms of image manipulation to sharpen, contrast and bring various subject from the back ground into the foreground.
In the world of graphic arts, bringing the right image into focus and capturing its essence is key. What many do not know is that both these worlds intersect and are deeply intertwined in more ways then you can imagine.
Whether it is for mutual collaboration to the re-touching of images, models and photographers go together like peanut butter and jam. Most models work with certain togs because of a common creative synergy. What if you are both at the same time like Dothan, Alabama-based model and photographer, Kate Decosta.
Decosta, a diminutive 5’2 brown-haired Southern belle, is a promo model for the likes of Push Models and Talent. Since the age of 14, she has worked at perfecting her craft in shooting a wide array of family portraits, swimsuit shoots with other models as well as architecture.
Below is my Q and A with Kate as we talk photography, being on the other side of the camera, how to look great this coming summer and why her beloved Crimson Tide is still on top.
Name: Kate Dacosta
Birthplace: Dothan, AL
Modeling Agency: N/A, but I am looking in hopes to signing, I just have not been offered yet.
Social Media Links: Facebook: @caitlin.nicole.503092 | Twitter: @katedacostaa | Instagram: @katedacostaa |YouTube: N/A
As a model, what’s it like to be behind the camera as a photographer? As a photographer, I learned angles and what looks good!
What inspired you to get into photography? When I was 14 I started photography. I spent hours on end posing my Shih Tzu outside of the hotel room we stayed at in Valdosta,Georgia when I first moved there.
What is the best thing about being a photographer? The best thing about being a photographer is learning to see the beauty in things most people don’t notice. I’m always looking for beautiful places. I’m always paying attention.
Camera that you use? Recommend? I use a Nikon D810 and would recommend it to absolutely anyone. I use to have a 610 and would recommend that one as well.
What brands have you modeled for? Which one do you enjoy modeling for the most? I have mostly done collaborations and brand ambassador programs with Push Models and Talent, Beveran Vodka as a promo model, and collaborating with photographers.
Where has been your favorite place to shoot? I enjoy big cities. Tall buildings, city lights, and windows looking out to the city. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to do a shoot like this yet since I live in Pensacola, FL and mostly do beach shoots.
What is the most exciting aspect of modeling? I love putting on makeup and feeling pretty. I go home and get anxious to see the images afterwards. I love when I post pictures and get more and more contacts from people wanting to shoot. I feel like after each shoot I grow bigger in confidence and business.
As a bikini/swimsuit model, with summer now here, what tips and trends do you recommend for looking great on the beach? Staying tan!!!!!!! Keep the abs perfect. Colorful bathing suits always make you stand out.
What swimwear trends do you see becoming big this summer? I see one piece suits becoming popular.
Within the industry, who is your inspiration? I really look up to the women who who model with confidence. Growing up playing sports I have always loved athletics and athletes. Sports Illustrated is amazing.
What is your secret to staying in shape? Work out, work out, work out. I was honestly blessed with the body I have and I can only thank God and my father. My father made me work out from the age of 8 and because of that I have a great foundation to my body.
Sports question: Who are your favorite teams and clubs? Roll TIDE!!!! Alabama football is my number one. I also enjoy attending the Pensacola ICE FLYERS hockey games on occasion. For baseball, I enjoy watching the Atlanta Braves. I really enjoy watching the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders as well.
Tough loss for your Tide in the title game, you think they will rebound in 2017? Alabama will always be on top…
What are your favorite cities to travel to? Vegas, Miami, New York, Denver.
What advice do you have for models who wish to stray over to the “dark side” and shoot? My advice is to practice in the mirror and take selfies, use self timer, use a photographer you are comfortable with and don’t be afraid to say no. Make sure it’s something that you have time to learn.
It’s fun and it becomes easy but there is so much more to photography than a lot of people realize. From posing your model to lighting and settings. You have to know it all. Just as the model you expect the photographer to know everything. You have to be prepared.
What advice would you give to women aspiring to get into modeling? If you got it, flaunt it. Nobody but you is paying your bills. Confidence is key.
Special thanks to Kate for her time and assistance during the Q and A interview. All images used with permission and are the rightful property of their respective owners.