Model Q&A: MASIKA latina

MASIKA latina | VIP Member | Verified Credits (4)

Model: MASIKA latina; Photographer: Mike Menegus Photography

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

I was fortunate to grow up in San Diego, CA, after coming here from Guatemala at an early age. I spent some time living in the Seattle, WA, area, but until recently still considered San Diego my home. I just relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area to start a new chapter in my life. I am settling into my new home and looking forward to really getting to appreciate my new surroundings once the pandemic subsides. I haven’t really traveled long distances specifically to do a shoot, but always look for modeling opportunities when I am on the road for other reasons. I always try to make modeling part of my daily life, no matter where that may be.

Who or what inspired you to become a model?

I always had a deep desire to be a fashion model. I am inspired by the idea of helping clothing designers accomplish their goals by providing fashion that instills confidence and satisfaction to others. I realized early on how much self-confidence I gained by wearing amazing fashion and believing in myself and my abilities. I spent a lot of time thinking about the possibilities of modeling for many, many years before acting on it.

Model: MASIKA latina; Photographer: Sergio Gray Photography

How and when did you start modeling?

In 2017, I finally decided to turn my dream into reality. I had a close friend who was already modeling, so I was able to gain valuable insight into what it would take to become a successful fashion model. My goal was to incorporate modeling into my daily life and to see how far it would take me.

I started by establishing the “MASIKA latina” brand and the online presence necessary to support it. I opened a modeling portfolio website (to showcase my complete modeling portfolio), a unique Instagram and Facebook account (separate from my already established personal accounts), a Model Mayhem VIP account (to network with established photographers, models and clients,) and separate email and phone accounts to support the brand. With this foundation in place, I set out to build my portfolio.

MASIKA latina is the brand that represents me, my unique look and style, and the passion, dedication, and work ethic I bring to each assignment. I understand that success in modeling is not given, it is earned. As a result, I dedicated myself to learning the craft by passionately pursuing as many meaningful fashion shoot/show opportunities as my schedule would allow. My ultimate goal was to become a working fashion model, realizing my lifelong dream and providing those who believed in me with the best possible effort to achieve their creative and business objectives.

What type of modeling do you enjoy the most?

Most of my work under the MASIKA latina brand specializes in lifestyle, fitness, swimwear, and lingerie genres. I chose early on not to participate in nude, erotic, implied nude or fetish shoots of any kind. To me, fashion comes first, and it’s the models’ job to concentrate on complimenting the fashion, and not dominating all aspects of the shoot. At this point in my career, I am best known for my versatility, and the ability to bring a reliable best effort and meaningful results to all shoots, regardless of genre. I am most proud of my ability to help my clients succeed, to understand their creative and business objectives, and effectively bring that to life in the shoots that I do.

Model: MASIKA latina; Photographer: Jay Henry Photography

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

This was one of the most difficult aspects when I first started modeling in 2017. To establish myself as a serious fashion model, I worked with photographers that were networked with established clients to ensure the credibility of my portfolio. My modeling portfolio was initially established by doing “Time for Print” (TFP) shoots, where the model and photographer collaborate with no money exchanged, and an agreement to use the resulting prints for the benefit of both portfolios. I spent countless hours evaluating TFP shoot opportunities, the themes, and outfits necessary to support the shoots, and collaborating with many talented photographers to build my portfolio. Once a meaningful portfolio was established, paid assignments were offered and the nature of the opportunities shifted from TFP to paid. However, I feel that limited TFP shoots are still necessary to maintain a balanced portfolio, with themes that may be lacking from the paid assignments.

Which models or other artists currently inspire you?

I tend to be serious about my modeling opportunities, and have always been inspired by Dakota and Elle Fanning. They are currently more known as actresses but started their careers in modeling. I have always been impressed with the way they carried themselves, and their relentless dedication to quality work and high standards. In addition to modeling, music is a big part of my life. I gain inspiration from various musical artists, including Shakira, Rihanna, and Becky G. In addition to their passion and dedication to their music, I am most impressed with the way they behave away from the spotlight, leading meaningful lives and always reaching out to help others.

Model: MASIKA latina; Photographer: Dave Veit Photography

What would be your dream shoot?

This is an easy answer… It would be a runway shoot at a fashion event in Paris, France. To me, that would represent the ultimate modeling achievement. I hope to make that dream a reality one day.

How important is social media in your success?

There is no doubt that social media has played a big part in my success so far. It was important for me to establish social media pages separate from my personal pages. I did not want to limit myself by merging my personal life with my modeling career. I appreciate the support I have received and continue to be grateful for all of my followers, especially since I have recently relocated to the Bay Area and have had to take an extended break from modeling due to the move, followed by the ongoing pandemic. I continue to use Instagram as my primary social media presence, along with my Model Mayhem profile and my modeling portfolio website

Model: MASIKA latina; Photographer: Jay Henry Photography

What else do you like to do outside of modeling?

Outside of modeling, the most important thing to me is family. I am very close to my family and continue to stay in close contact with them. As I said before, I also like music and have a strong connection to nature. Whenever I get the chance, I like to go hiking and sightseeing in one of the most beautiful places in the world, the California coast. And there is one more very unique thing that defines who I am as a person. Many people question a Latina with the name Masika. I have always had a special connection with rain, and a beautiful rainy day almost always gets to the bottom of my soul. The name Masika means – “born during the rain.”

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

My best advice to anyone starting a similar journey to become a successful fashion model is one simple statement. There is no substitute for hard work. I quickly learned that there are many people in modeling that lack the passion and dedication necessary to be successful. You must be dedicated to flawless execution and continuous learning as you progress through your career. Never fail to recognize that your job is to help your clients achieve the success they desire, and the focus of the assignment is not solely on the model. Prestige, glamour, and fun are all part of the mix, but hard work and passion make the biggest difference.

Model: MASIKA latina; Photographer: ShotByLopez Photography

Check out MASIKA latina’s Model Mayhem portfolio to see more of her work. You can also follow her on Instagram and on her website.

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