Model Q&A: Melancholic

Melancholic | VIP Member | Verified Credits (49)

Model: Melancholic; Photographer: AJ Moksha

Where are you from? Where are you based now and do you travel for shoots?

I am from northern Virginia, I lived there most of my life and still travel there often. I am currently based in Norfolk, VA. I travel about half the time and shoot locally the rest of the time.

Who or what inspired you to become a model?

I knew some people who did modeling when I was in high school and college, and I saw their work and was inspired to create beautiful pictures like that too. I wanted to overcome the physical limitations of my body, especially after I got diagnosed with a chronic health condition that limited my ability to work a traditional job.

Model: Melancholic; Photographer: provoculos

How and when did you start modeling?

I started modeling mostly for fun when I was 19 years old. I enjoyed the shoots and enjoyed getting better and better pictures as I gained more experience. I started to develop a portfolio and began to get offers for paid modeling gigs. For a while, I did it part-time in conjunction with another job, but after I got sick, I needed a job that would be flexible with my schedule of doctors appointments and health fluctuations as well as help me cover the costs of my medical bills. Modeling was something I enjoyed doing and fit the needs of my life at the time. I quit my day job and started modeling full time, which was a big leap of faith but ended up working out. Seven years later I am still modeling and I love many things about it.

What type of modeling do you enjoy the most?

I really enjoy artistic nude modeling. I love using my body as a tool for creative expression, and feel that nudity has a lot of symbolic significance as well as the power to touch an audience. I particularly enjoy work that defies traditional perceptions of reality or of beauty. I also enjoy going thrift store shopping for interesting wardrobe pieces and creating outfits out of them.

Model: Melancholic; Photographer: Billy Monday

What do you look for when deciding to work with a photographer?

The most important thing is that a photographer is respectful and professional in their portfolio, profile, and communication with me. I get excited when I can work with someone that I think will challenge me to step outside of convention and push some artistic boundaries, but I love working with photographers of all skill levels. I really enjoy the creative curiosity that many newer photographers possess as they are exploring what works and what doesn’t. The only major turn-offs for me are photographers who seem like they have big egos or will be difficult or unpleasant to work with or those that are not respectful in their pre-shoot communications with me.

Which models or other artists currently inspire you?

My early inspirations were Sera FerronBlueriverdream, and Mosh. More recent inspirations include Anoush AnouVex Voir, and Cam Damage.  I really love what @theljilja is doing, as well as @the_nudie_mag. One of my favorite people to work with is Thomas Sauerwein. The work of Egon Shiele has also been very inspiring to me.

Model: Melancholic; Photographer: Tom Sauerwein

What would be your dream shoot?

I’m not sure exactly. I really like using strange materials and getting messy, so I know it would incorporate that. An image that won’t leave my mind is of a pool full of black spaghetti-like substance that looks like a black hole. Limbs, all askew, would be coming out of it and it would be very abstract and surreal.

How important is social media in your success?

I have an Instagram account which I recently made and it is growing slowly. I feel limited in what I can post there because of censorship, however. I post occasionally on Tumblr, but get most of my bookings from Model Mayhem.

Model: Melancholic; Photographer: Romantic Photographic

What else do you like to do outside of modeling?

I love playing music and cooking! I play violin, mandolin, and sing and am currently in two bands. I follow a vegan, gluten-free diet for health reasons, so I do lots of cooking at home with my partner and I’m having fun learning new recipes and challenging myself to improve. I also write poetry and dabble in photography.

What’s the best career advice you can give to new models?

Figure out your limits early on, and stick with them. There are, unfortunately, photographers that will try to push your limits, especially if you are just starting out and inexperienced. It’s worth it to work for trade with photographers who will help you build and strengthen your portfolio, and this will help you in the long run as you will be more likely to get paid bookings if you have a strong portfolio. Workshops are a great way to meet photographers, build your portfolio, and learn how to become a better model, plus they can be a lot of fun and a way to meet other models. Also, be polite, communicative, and on time, and you’ll be way ahead of most other new models. Stay safe!

Model: Melancholic; Photographer: provoculos

Check out Melancholic’s Model Mayhem portfolio to see more of her work. You can also follow Melanchonic on Instagram.

MM Edu

MM Edu brings you tips, advice, and knowledge in modeling, photography, post-production, style/makeup, and Using MM. The expertise comes from our beautiful and brilliant members!

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:

4 Responses to “Model Q&A: Melancholic”

  1. November 22, 2018 at 9:54 pm, Brittney Cockley said:


    You look fantastic in your pictures! I just wanted to start off by telling you the obvious..

    But to someone like me who hasn’t gotten a single modeling session under my belt (much less a nude shoot), getting involved with the right people, and all around just knowing where to get started and how to go about getting involved in the community can be not so obvious.

    I know you’re probably in high demand, and your schedule is probably slammed because of that, but I was really having trouble these past few months getting things going for myself in the industry. So I was just wondering if there was anyway you might feel overly “giving” this time of year around Thanksgiving, and possibly let me get some critiques on my pictures/body and/or suggestions on where to get advice or mentorship related to modeling in general and more specifically nude modeling eventually. I really want to feel the freedom of the mind that you mentioned by using what I was born with to liberate myself, and to feel the joy of the art while others do so as well while enjoying my photographs (that’s the ultimate hope, right?). It’s difficult these days to get critiques on anything that is nude in content because you can never be sure, except for inside of this community, who you are sending your exposed body off to, and who is actually looking at them. I don’t want to sound desperate or anything, but I feel like I’m headed down that road a little bi unfortunately..

    So just let me know if you want to get in touch or something, or if you’d be willing to get in touch, and share some thoughts about my body/photos/career ideas, etc. I’d be so so grateful obviously. I can only hope that one day, I’ll be able to look as great and as comfortable bearing it all for the camera as you do yourself. I mean, I really do believe that I’m certainly attractive enough/have the right ody type to succeed in the industry, if only I could get a little chit chat advice and criticism from someone who is successful/experienced in the industry.

    Thanks so much for listening/reading my post either way, and you truly are a beauty!


    Brittney Cockley


  2. October 13, 2018 at 10:45 pm, PIXbyGrant said:

    Well said – Thanks for the inspiration


  3. October 13, 2018 at 1:35 pm, D V Mahar said:

    @Melancholic – Thank you for sharing these beautiful images and your experience in the world of artistic nude photography. I think it’s an important genre and one that is seeing a lot of growth across the industry, but navigating the fine line between what is art and what is not can be tricky. How do you establish what your limits are and make sure that the photographers you work with share your vision for tasteful work? Also, do you have any specific process’s in place that you would advise other nude models to adopt – either for safety, reliability or just ensuring a positive experience? I see some nude models who get frustrated by all kinds of problems which I think could *mostly be addressed in communications early on and having better processes in place. I’d love to hear more about your experience with that, thanks!


    • October 24, 2018 at 9:41 am, Erin Melancholic said:

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment! I made the mistake of not establishing limits early on and putting myself in situations that made me uncomfortable after the fact. I’ve (hopefully) learned from these mistakes and make sure I get more clarification from photographers about what their concepts are before shooting, especially when it comes to erotic/fetish modeling. If I find myself in a situation that makes me uncomfortable or pushes my limits, I let the photographer know–sometimes it’s just a miscommunication and we are able to continue shooting, but if they continue to push, I will end the shoot immediately. My limits are variable depending on whether I’ve worked with someone before and what the concept is, but my main limit is that the photographer may not touch me without permission, and even then only to make slight adjustments to my pose. Each individual model’s limits will be different and may change with time and experience, but giving it some thought before shooting is a good idea in my opinion.

      As far as specific processes, I rely a lot on the credit system on Model Mayhem to see if someone has good reviews from other models. This can be challenging when working with a new photographer, so in that case I rely on their profile, portfolio, and communications with me to judge if they will be respectful and good to work with. I have been doing this for a long time so I feel that I’ve developed a good sense of intuition when it comes to this, but I would recommend that new models exercise caution when choosing which photographers to work with and maybe stick with those who have established a good reputation while they gain experience. If you have any doubts, check references with models the photographers have worked with in the past.

      I have begun traveling with my partner/assistant and find this helps a lot with safety. It’s always a red flag to me when a photographer doesn’t allow escorts, as it makes me wonder what they don’t want someone else to see.

      Stay safe out there!


Leave a Reply