|Photographer - Toulouki Orsini|
Firstly, thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for me. We should probably start at the beginning...when and how did you come about getting into the world of modelling?
'I’ve always been around photography, my dad is still an enthusiast, he bought me my first camera for my 10th birthday: an Olympus OM10 which I still treasure and I went on to university to study film production & theory with animation & photography. But once graduating I got a job to pay the bills & over the years did less & less of my passion. I ended up not pursuing it. In 2007 I moved to Japan to teach English & of course got the photography bug again as it’s so amazing there. While on a photography workshop we took each other’s pictures & someone had an idea with me as the model & it went from there. I did some modelling out there for a shampoo brand & random things, then when I came back to London I did some TV extra work while looking for a full time job. I also joined ModelMayhem, then later PurplePort. Modelling in the UK over the past seven years had been on the side of my day job as a Presentation writer/Business Analyst. However I was made redundant in October 2016 which was a blessing as I was so miserable in my job, so I decided to model full time. I figured ‘why not?’ until I work out my next direction in life.'
|Photographer - Harbuzenger|
Most things, especially online, tend to fall into specific genres and/or gets described as being a specific style. The trouble with this is it's quite subjective, the style someone views something to be can often differ to the style the person creating it views it as. How would you describe the work you are putting out there?
'Tough question, I don’t know if I fall in to a specific style, I’m opened minded and my work covers a range of genres so I like to think I’m diverse & versatile. Although all of my images have a moody brunette in common! I hope people perceive me as creative when they view my work although the credit of course is to all the photographers I’ve had the privilege to work with. I really enjoy getting into an idea and that Sakura lady is such a character.'
|Photographer - Wright Aperture Images|
Photography, modelling and their related skills, as with most things, can have their share of problems. I personally have a particular problem with self confidence. This confidence issue can and has caused me issues with my photography. Do you find any aspects of modelling particularly challenging?
'Oh yes, confidence can be a killer and I do suffer from self doubt and am self conscious about things, that’s human right?! But you have to focus on the task, which is no different to what is expected of you when working any job. With modelling it’s also about communication & people managing, and then with my own skill as a model I grow & learn with every shoot. Particular challenges I have; I’m allergic to dairy and have suffered since a baby from eczema and then growing up I also had acne, so I’m forever self conscious about my skin. I’m an ambassador of good skin care! One positive thing I’m often told, people are usually surprised how young I look, makes me think I should probably change the painting in the attic soon!'
|Photographer - Harbuzenger|
In my series 'Foto Inspiration Friday' I share the people, images, places etc that I find give me inspiration. Who, or what, or where do you draw inspiration from?
'Styles & ideas come from everywhere for me but the model whom I admire is Kate Moss. I visited the Vogue 100: Century of style exhibition last year and there were so many images I recognised from over the years, but the majority were of Kate Moss and I hadn’t realised. Also her work with Alexander McQueen is phenomenal. She’s diverse and a great talent, plus a born South London girl like me!'
Sometimes images hold a special significance to us. It can be the first image we ever made, it can be an image drawing attention to a cause close to our hearts, it can simply be an image of someone we love. Do you have an image or images that hold a special significance to you?
'It would be the leather dress photo shot by Simone Orsini...
|Photographer - Simone Orsini. Make-Up - ASD Makeup|
...The image is from the first of many shoots with him. I’d been struggling with the dress as it was so heavy and stiff, so we turned it so that it was on back to front. I just went for it and he captured me and the moment perfectly. He and Chiara/Toulouki Orsini are among my closest friends now and this is why I love what I do as I get to meet and work with amazing people.'
Photoshoots can sometimes leave you open to scary or funny situations. What's the scariest or funniest situation you've found yourself in on a shoot?
'I have many funny stories which usually involve me slipping or falling over! The funniest & probably most embarrassing was shooting with Biffsnr in 2014, we were in an abandoned factory that had no roof and it was snowing. Aside from freezing I was posing in what was the men’s toilets wearing only pink heels and the floor was icy....
|Photographer - BiffSnr|
...While posing my foot on the urinals (so classy I know) I slipped backwards, grabbed the urinal but slid onto the floor while totally nude. Biff panicked & came running but I was sprawled & he was trying to help and not look at the same time. I was laughing but he was mortified. Oops!'
|Photographer - ManCave|
We've talked about your start, we've talked about your current work, let's quickly chat about the future. What have you got coming up this year, more of the same? Any special projects? Plus in regards to a more long term plan, where are you hoping your creative journey will take you in the years to come?
'I never imagined or expected I’d be a full time model! I have loads of shoots and studio days and events coming up this year. As for my creative journey I’m continuing my own photography. Though don’t worry I’m not a modelographer, my passion is travel photography & I'm actually off to Peru in February. I’m also learning web design, so a new direction there but I had also been thinking of going freelance offering my business skills the last few years anyway. So if anyone needs a website designed, has some spreadsheets that need looking at, data mining or a PowerPoint/Keynote presentation produced - I’m totally your girl!'
|Photographer - Martin C Photos|
When I speak to photographers I ask about their gear, it's only fair you get to geek out too...do you have any go to items you can't live without?
'I’m addicted to shoes so could go on about that, but it would have to be skin care products I can’t live without. I could open my own Boots store from my bathroom. I’d love to be sponsored by Dermalogica or Simple! Cleansing and moisturising your skin after a shoot, especially if baked under studio lights is a must!'
|Photographer - Kestrel. Second Model - Oryx. Make-Up & Styling - Crake|
Now for the shameless self promotion part of the interview...where can people find you and your work?
'Aside from profiles on PurplePort, ModelMayhem & MadCowModels I’m on Facebook & Instagram: “SakuraStarModel” and I’m designing my own website at the moment! I’ll be at Studlands for a weekend in March, The Hacienda in London in April and then at The Natural Light Studio in Northampton in June.'
|Photographer - Arrow Photography London|
I'd like to thank Sakura again for taking the time to answer a few questions for me, be sure to check out all the links above for more of her work, as well as the links attached to the images for the other creatives involved in creating them.