Model Q&A: Astrid Kallsen

Astrid Kallsen | VIP Member | Verified Credits (70)

Model: Astrid Kallsen; Photographer: Tracie Lane Duke

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

I grew up in Atlanta, and moved to Athens, GA, for college, where I live now. I travel all year round as a freelance model.

Who or what inspired you to become a model?

Everyone around me. I found the modeling environment very welcoming.  People believed I could do it and be good at modeling. I followed the opportunities I was given as they showed up. Eventually, I started making my own opportunities, and now it’s become my life.

Model: Astrid Kallsen; Photographer: Michael Cosky

How and when did you start modeling?

I don’t think I meant to model. I suppose dying my hair blue inspired me. It was a sudden decision I had made when I felt like I had no control in my life. So when my friend asked me to model for him, I thought it would be a great idea to do something to memorialize the blue hair I’d likely never have again. From there it snowballed. I got contacted to shoot and I did it because it was fun. I hadn’t thought about there being other models out there or that I was one of them.

Prior to photography modeling, I did some figure modeling for my art school. I was curious about some kind of modeling since elementary school when I had had my growth spurt and people suggested it. My parents didn’t want me to get involved in modeling unless it was for art. I think feeling uncomfortably tall and skinny, then having blue hair really pushed me to try it. I wanted to feel like my body wasn’t completely weird but supposed to look like this.

What type of modeling do you enjoy the most?

I need it all. I don’t know that I have a favorite because every genre and look comes with its own expression. I get bored doing the same thing repeatedly, although nude art is my bread and butter. Underwater modeling and mermaid modeling have been becoming more popular as well. Between the two I’d always be happy. While fantasy is fun, it’s so much prep and clean up time! I love a splash of fashion, lifestyle, and boudoir in my life.

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

Professionalism and dedication. I like to work with photographers that take what they do seriously, even if it is to have some serious fun. I enjoy the projects where the photographer is looking for a specific image, but I also love being the inspiration for the photographer looking for their next project or trying to test out ideas. In the creative process, I find that people need a good model for both, and I like being able to step up to the job. I also love my fun shoots with the hobbyists that love to create for the joy of creating. The mutual professionalism and dedication to me and their photography make my job feel valuable.

Which models or other artists currently inspire you?

That would be a long list. A lot of my friends are so talented and ingenious! I’m inspired by their perseverance, kindness, professionalism, assertiveness, commitment, enthusiasm! They keep me going through all the hardships of modeling and watching their work reminds me of how rewarding modeling can be. They’re incredible. Currently, I have found posing and emotional inspiration from illustrations I find on Instagram and Pinterest. Sometimes the poses would be impossible to ever recreate but the lines and curves give me new ideas on how to see myself in the environment I’m modeling in.

Model: Astrid Kallsen; Photographer: Alyssa Campbell

What would be your dream shoot?

Currently swimming with dolphins! I remembered recently how fascinating they are. They can form interspecies relationships with humans that I think would be important to catch on camera. They’re so intelligent, and their interaction can demonstrate the positive relationships we, humans, can have to the environment.

How important is social media in your success?

So important. For the last few years, I’ve been tracking the connections I’ve made and where they were made. I go through analytics from time to time.  It’s an easier way to get out of your image and communicate what kind of person you are to the people interested in hiring or working with you. Artists are so often workaholics or introverts. Social media helps bring us together at a comfortable distance.

Model: Astrid Kallsen:photographer: Grant Beecher

What else do you like to do outside of modeling?

Most of my hobbies are modeling related. I’ve been learning to sew and shoot self-portraits. I find both invaluable to my progress. Since graduating school, I’ve picked up playing board games, and I volunteer at the Georgia Aquarium, Happy Tabby Cat Café, and for Secret City Burlesque. While I don’t dance, I love the burlesque group and getting to dress up. A lot of my free time goes to giving my cats too much attention.

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

It’s hard. It’s so hard. Some days and trips feel like they book themselves, but because I already spent most days glued to my phone and laptop. Everyone wants to know how to make more money or pick up more bookings. Usually, the model is doing all the right things, and the best advice I can give is now to do it twice as much. Modeling is a PR and customer service job with some posing on the side.

Check out Astrid Kallsen’s Model Mayhem portfolio to see more of her work. You can follow Astrid on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and her website.

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2 Responses to “Model Q&A: Astrid Kallsen”

  1. November 15, 2019 at 10:29 am, Ashley Holloway said:

    I am thrilled to know and have worked with Astrid, she’s dedicated and just incredible! Loved this interview!


  2. November 09, 2019 at 8:06 am, phillip said:

    love the pictures and the story


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