TWELV DIARY #35: HANNAH JAMES

January 08, 2020 1:09 PM

NAME: HANNAH JAMES

OCCUPATION: MODEL

AGENCY: WILHEMINA

Hello everyone, thank you for your interest in the eventful life of Hannah James. Let me tell you a little about myself. I am currently nineteen years young and I’m also originally from the state of Alabama. If you are wondering where its located, it is almost as far south of New York as you can go. I was born in a very small town of about 400 people. Wow, I know it is hard to believe. I moved around quite a bit as a child. Usually every year or so my mom would get bored of a city/town and we would move to a different one not too far away. Hence the reason why I am so comfortable with traveling. I was just a normal southern girl and I attended school. In school I never really had many friends, I was always looked at as a “competition” to most other girls in school, which I never understood. This made it easier for me to be isolated while traveling for work and also helped me create more individuality. I was scouted by a mother agency founded in Alabama by two southern girls. They signed me and sent my images straight to New York. 

In fact, New York was the first place I was signed as a model. I came to New York for the first time at age fifteen and I dropped out of high school to do so. I have been living in New York city now, on and off, for a little over three years. My agency in New York, LA, and Miami is Wilhelmina Models. Wilhelmina has been spectacular for me, I couldn’t have asked for a more caring agency. I have traveled to Japan, London, Los Angeles, and Miami so far. Until the past year and half, I never made much money from modeling. You see what a lot of people don’t realize, is that a lot of models don’t make it. It is a very competitive field. In fact, for most models we have to work for free for years until we see any money. Of course, money is important, but it has never been at the top of my agenda. 

I model because I love being a part of a big picture, a part of art and creativity. My favorite type of jobs are editorials, in other words, magazines. They really allow me to feel like my face, my body, and my mind can contribute to something truly beautiful and inspiring to people around the world. When you get to see the power of teamwork, all different types of people, creatives, working together to better each other, it is just remarkable. The fashion industry (makeup artist, stylist, art directors, photographers, and etc.) have become one big family for me. It is not the easiest of career choices, but it really helps to build a strong character and to make life changing connections. 

Now, at this point in my career I have finally began to see how all of the hard work will contribute to my future. The money that I have made from modeling this year, I have decided to start college and actually get my business management degree on my own. Modeling has taken me a long way and I couldn’t be happier with the choices I have made. I’m excited to see where my career will take me. Stay tuned;) 

-INTERVIEW-

1. Where are you from?

I’m from Alabama ;)

2. How were you discovered?

I was discovered on Instagram by my first mother agency. Once I was signed, I was sent to New York and my career started. 

3. What is the most memorable shoot you've done?

The most memorable shoot I’ve ever done must have been the time I had to have pickles put in my hair to represent hair curlers for an artistic editorial. Yeah, I know, my hair reeked of vinegar for days hahaha. 

4. Project you've most excited about working on next?

I’m most excited about working on building people skills. Modeling is slowly evolving into an industry where personality is a key to your success.

5. Name a Designer or Publication you'd love to shoot for?

Obviously, every girl wants to be on the cover of Vogue. So much for me being original, but I do too. It has always been a dream of mine and it would be an absolute honor for me to have that opportunity.

6. What's the best piece of advice you've been given?

The best piece of advice I have ever received is to stay in my own lane. Which means not to compare myself to anyone and to focus on myself. Every person is unique and will be going through and achieving lots of different things in many different ways. No one will ever be exactly like you. It is about self-motivation and love for oneself. 

7. Tips for jet lag from all that travel you do?

Jet lag is unavoidable. Usually when I travel, I go straight to work from the airport. I typically grab a coffee and try my hardest to stay awake until I align myself with the time zone I am in. I also make sure to get plenty of sleep. 

8. Who is you're style icon?

I don’t necessarily have a style icon. I take little ideas from different types of styles and I originate it to become my own style. 

9. Finish this sentence 'If I wasn't modelling I'd be...' ...

If I wasn’t a model, I would be in college finishing my sophomore year.

10. What’s one thing you must have in your bag on set?

You must always have concealer, hairbrush, nail polish remover, makeup wipes, hair ties, deodorant, and a snack. I also bring heels and my portfolio with me everywhere I go all the time. 

11. What are your 3 beauty hacks or essentials?

Oh! I would have to say my NARS concealer is my whole life. It is my favorite thing and I can’t go a day without it. I would also say my moisturizer. 

12. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?

Shopping! It is one of my favorite things to do, but not just any shopping, thrift shopping. Thrifting is one of the greatest feelings of fulfillment. It is a unique and vintage style with all at the best prices. 

13. What is your favorite food?

My food would have to anything involving hummus. Hummus is like my kryptonite. 

14. Mirror selfie or old school selfie?

Mirror selfie? 

15. You are a new addition to a crayon box, what colour would you be?

My crayon would have to be teal; it was always my favorite color as a child. 

16. What book are you reading?

I’m currently reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho for the third time. It is a short and sweet story to read. 

17. What is your favourite genre of music?

My favorite genre of music would be classic rock. Like the 60s and 70s rock. Yes, I believe I belong in a different decade. 

18. Fashion has embraced digital. Do you use your social media to showcase your work or attract brands to work with you?

I used to be really into my social media platform. In fact, I spent more time on Instagram than I did in real life. I decided to live more in the moment. I took a huge step back from social media, but I do keep my followers up to date with my newest work. 

19. Name a model you aspire to be like?

Martha Hunt is a huge inspiration to me. Not only because she is an extremely successful model but also because she owns her own business. She is also involved in many fundraising associations to help people with sclerosis from which she has been struggling with as well. It didn’t hold her back and she continued to prevail in her career and while doing so she has remained very humble. 

20. What advice would you give to someone looking to start modelling?

I would recommend really thinking about all the responsibilities that come with this career choice (modeling). You have to consider the way it will affect the way others see you and the way you see yourself. For some people, this industry is too harsh. If in fact you are ready to accept the challenge, then I would do “test” shoots in order to capture a good clean portrait of yourself. Look at top modeling agencies websites and look at portraits they use for other models, as a reference. Once you have done that, reach out to mother agencies to see about getting a meeting. If you want to, there is an option of going straight to a main agency and presenting your photos to them in order to hear back about an appointment. Although, having a mother agency can help better your chances at getting signed. A mother agency will inform you about all the requirements and help to prepare you for the modeling industry. They will take it from there. Try to always remain humble and remember where you come from. :)

WRITTEN BY HANNAH JAMES

INSTAGRAM: @hannahjamesss

INTERVIEWED BY ANNA SPROUL

COPYWRITED by SUSAN SHCELL

EDITED BY KAREN YABUTA

 

 

 

 

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