Model Q&A: Benny Nikole

Benny Nikole | VIP Member | Verified Credits (40)

Model: Benny Nikole; Photographer: KaseyJay PhotoDesign

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

I’m both from and based in Seattle, WA, but often travel for shoots. It gives me a chance to see and experience places outside of my home state.

Who or what inspired you to become a model?

Originally, I wanted to be an actress, but there’s something about the challenge of telling a story with a single photograph that really appeals to me. I was inspired to become a model because I love storytelling and I can’t resist a good challenge.

Model: Benny Nikole; Photographer: Will MacNeil

How and when did you start modeling?

In high school, I would pose for friends in my photography class. I always loved it, but being 5’2″ and curvy, I didn’t realize there could be a real career in it for me until much later. With the encouragement and support of my then boyfriend (now husband) and a whole lot of “just for fun” practice in between, I’ve been modeling professionally and full-time since 2015.

What type of modeling do you enjoy the most?

I most enjoy modeling in beautiful spaces, wearing beautiful things or nothing at all in soft natural light. I feel like boudoir/glamour is so often very obviously posed, my style is more cinematic, a more modern and edgy take on Hollywood glamour.

Model: Benny Nikole; Photographer: Digital Savant

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

Most importantly, I look for feedback from other models. Verified Credits have made that pretty easy, but if there aren’t any I’ll often reach out to models credited in that photographers’ portfolio. I’m happy to work with photographers of all skill levels, but I highly prioritize safety, reliability, and professionalism. Being fun to work with is a plus too!

Which models or other artists currently inspire you?

I’m incredibly inspired by bold, badass models like Roarie-yum, Justine Maire, and Whitney Masters. Models who I believe are changing the industry, Khrystyana, Caitin Stickels, and Colleen Heidemann. As well as the hard working models who have helped pave the way for success on the freelance side of things, Carlotta Champagne, Sierra McKenzie, and Kristy Jessica. The list of photographers who inspire me is endless, but right now I’m really loving the works of Gary Breckheimer, Victor Von Goethe, Vinny Kim, Heather Reese, and Cvatik. I’m also hugely inspired by the intimate style of model/photographer pair Paris Call and Ryan McKinnon.

Model: Benny Nikole; Photographer: T Michael Alexander

What would be your dream shoot?

Ah, I’ve had a long time dream of doing a full day black and white film photo story featuring my love and I. Starting early in a beautiful Airbnb with lots of natural light, coffee in bed wearing silky vintage things until moving to a big bubble bath with a view. There would have to be a getting ready sequence with lipstick and more lingerie before the addition of a great fitting black dress and fabulous coat. Classic suit for him – no tie. We would walk the town and hold hands and dance and kiss for the camera. After dark, we’d take to the side streets (preferably cobblestone) where I could drop the dress and we’d dance some more, lit only by the street lights! Okay, and maybe a flash. I don’t have a specific location in mind, but sounds like Europe to me!

How important is social media in your success?

Social media is a game changer. It has allowed me to connect and book work with artists in other areas, giving me the opportunity to travel and make a living doing what I love. It’s also been a big help in developing a fan base of people I may have never crossed paths with otherwise who help support my art through sites like Patreon.

Model: Benny Nikole; Photographer: Laubenheimer

What else do you like to do outside of modeling?

Outside of modeling, I enjoy spending quality time with family and friends, walking cute dogs (especially my own), and working on my own creative projects.

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

Practice! A lot of people don’t realize modeling is a skill that professionals work on. Know your angles, look in the mirror or photograph yourself, and while doing so, don’t be afraid to try things that might not work – it’s the only way to find out what does! Overall, don’t forget that your safety comes first. Do your research and never hesitate to reach out for references. Most models in the industry are nicer than you might think and connections are always a good thing.

Model: Benny Nikole; Photographer: Doug Hoeschler

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

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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!

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