This is Rebecca.
Rebecca, tell us more about how you got started in modeling?
I’ve always wanted to be a model ever since I was a little kid; I was always told I was too short or that my ears looked weird.
This stopped me from pursuing modeling for a very long time.
About 4 years ago, I decided out of the blue to figure out once and for all if I could be a model.
I started looking locally for shoots and posted them on Facebook and Instagram.
I also joined local model Facebook groups. I made a model mayhem page.
At first when I started modeling, it was hard for me to be taken seriously as a model; people said my portfolio wasn’t good and it was hard for me to get shoots.
I did however find a photographer that decided to shoot with me.
After that people started taking me seriously and it was easier for me to find photographers to shoot with.
How did "Reby Shoes" get started"
Last year, I was scrolling through Facebook on a local modeling group page and out of the blue I saw a post by David Taylor stating that he was looking for models to design shoes with.
I thought it would be a very interesting thing to do and figured I had nothing to lose.
It took me a couple of days to figure out the design but one day, out of the blue, the design just popped in my head and that is how the Reby shoe came to be.
Since then, David and I have become business partners and co-designers of the shoe.
David is not only my business partner but he has become one of my biggest supporters of my modeling and shoe promoting endeavors and I can’t thank him enough for believing in me.
What would you say is the most difficult aspect about being a model?
The most difficult aspects of being a model in my experience are at first trying to be taken seriously as a model.
In the modeling world, people who aren’t 5 ft. 9, or what society considered to be the stereotypical model look, weren't taken seriously and are even heavily criticized or rejected.
Another difficult aspect is trying to grow your following on social media and these days there's so much competition to be seen on social media as a model.
My social media following was a struggle for years; these days I have a lot of fans and a following that just keeps growing and growing.
Most of the obstacles I have faced as a model were what drove my ambition to work harder and prove people wrong.
What sort of advice would you give aspiring models who look up to you?
The advice I would give to people who are afraid to take the steps I took would be to just go for it.
If I had listened to everyone who said I couldn't do it and didn't take the risks I took, I wouldn't be a freelance model and co-designer of Reby shoes today.
The advice I would give is to be ambitious, take every good opportunity offered to you, and stand up for what you believe in.
There will always be people that will reject and doubt you and possibly even make fun of you for going for your lifelong dreams, but you just have to face the adversity head on and let it fuel your ambition to push through.
My ambition drove me to find my own path, so don't be afraid to take a different path to get to where you want to go.
I started my modeling career purely by myself and have been running it all by myself for the past 4 years and in those years I have grown as a model more than I ever thought possible.
In the past 4 years, I've competed for the cover of Maxim, I have a portfolio with more pictures than I can count, and even co-designed and became the co-owner of the small business Reby shoes.
Do you have anything new or upcoming that we can expect to see from you?
You can expect the future of my modeling career to have more shoots and possible brand collaborations.
In June, I am competing for the cover of Savior Faire magazine and would love for everyone to vote for me.
You can also find links to my social media, contests, and shoes on my linktree page on my Instagram and Facebook.
(1) Ray Ray: obscurityphotography.com
(2) Samuel Prashant: @samsonstreet
(3) Mark: @portraits_by_mm
(4) Vaibhav Bakre: @vbakrephotography
(5) Charles Moehle: @cdel3133