Tiare Thomas, Pt.1: Secrets From A Top Model
For my final blog post of the year, I had the pleasure of interviewing
Top Model, Stylist, Dream Coach and Founder of Aloha Dreamboard,
I met Tiare at a modeling job at our local news station (one of the many perks to
modeling are the friendships you make along the way!) Although it wasn’t my first
time on the news, I was a bit jittery that morning and was drawn to Tiare’s calm
and grounded nature. Tiare greeted me with a smile and we began a conversation
about meditation. A little unexpected topic of interest between two models who
just met. Within a short span of time, I discovered that Tiare shared a similar
passion for meditation, mindfulness and leading a purpose driven life as I did.
Before we left the studio, we exchanged numbers and became fast friends.
Since then, Tiare and I have done a lot together. Among the highlights are: seeing
Oprah live on Maui, meditating, listening to teachings at a beautiful Korean
temple hidden in the lush, tropical valley of Palolo, dreamboarding and getting
together over tea and mountains of delectable cookies for this interview!
1) What inspired you to get into modeling?
When I was a little girl papa would love to take pictures of me. He was the
yearbook advisor at Kamehameha Schools and taught photography. He also
showed me how to use the camera and bought me one of my own! After school, we would go across the street of my elementary school at Jefferson in Waikiki and take pictures. Then we would head over to Longs and wait for the film to develop. I couldn’t wait to see how the photos turned out! This is how my love for photography developed.
I also loved putting on fashion shows for my family- putting together funky outfits
with my grandpa’s cowboy’s boots and my grandma’s scarf and mismatched
socks! At first, they were solo fashion show where I produced, styled and
modeled the outfit. Later I got my cousins involved. I was obsessed with styling, taking pictures and getting pictures taken.
2) What was your first modeling job?
I was five years old and modeling for a bathing suit line. I remember strutting
down that runway, striking a pose and loving it! But my first real big modeling job was for a surf magazine and I was 12 years old.
3) How did you feel after your first big job?
Embarrassed. Everyone at school saw it and I didn’t want to be known as a model.
People would come up to and say, “Oh I saw you in a magazine!” I would deny it. I was embarrassed of the attention and I didn’t want to alienate people. I wanted to be seen as someone loving to be around. At the time had this limited belief that when people are famous they act all high "maka maka" and I wanted to
be welcoming with people.
4) What did you think of the photos?
The photos were kinda sexy. I was sassy with a beanie, midriff and long surf shorts. I got a lot of attention because of this and it made me uncomfortable. I didn’t
want people to feel jealous or insecure around me. I was embarrassed, excited
and scared. And, these emotions still exist. Plus, I didn’t have anyone to talk to about these things… there was no MODL Behavior. I had my papa, but there’s a limit there you know- with the gender, age and experience.
5) What is your advice to new models?
Do your homework. Research what’s going on in the industry that’s in alignment
with your looks. Modeling is all about the image. Think about the different markets. What is the Asian market is looking for? Or the European market?
What’s popular in New York? London? Paris? Milan?
Who is getting the jobs in Hawaii? What do they look like? Where do I fit
in? Consider ethnicity, height, weight and all the other physical characteristics. Then
go out there and meet photographers, make-up artists, stylists and network.
Additional advice to new models:
- Get comfortable in front of the lens- grab a friend and an iPhone!
- Practice in front of the mirror. What’s your best side? What does your nice smile look like? Play around with different emotions. How do you look when you’re happy, sad, moody or mad?
- Learn how to move gracefully. Take a dance class.
I wish I had this advice when I started modeling. Although I’ve definitely gotten
more comfortable in front of the lens, mastering those distinctive emotions is key
to establishing yourself from an average model to one every photographer wants
Like where this is headed? Well, you’re in luck! Because we’re just getting started!
Stay tuned next month for more juicy tidbits from top model, Tiare Thomas!
To learn more about dreamboarding and all the cool things she’s up to, check out
her website Aloha Dream Board.
Cheers & Happy New Year!