Model Q&A: Cherry NZ

Cherry NZ | VIP Member | Verified Credits (3)

Model: Cherry NZ; Photographer: Ravii Barot

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

I am Thai, although few people would ever guess it. My mum is part Thai, part Cambodian, and my dad was part Indian, part Italian. I now live in New Zealand, married to an Englishman.

My home is in Christchurch and I travel all over the country to shoot. I’m just as happy to work in Australia for the right projects, or anywhere else for that matter, as soon as we are able to travel freely again.

Who or what inspired you to become a model?

Deep down inside I was always a model. However, growing up in a Thai village one learns that modesty is an absolute essential. Add to that, I was constantly worried about what others might think; friends, family, people I didn’t even know. I suppose that I suppressed my desire to be a model so much that I almost forgot that it existed.

I was asked a few years ago by an acquaintance if I’d model for the local fashion school’s annual student show. I said yes, and finished up walking onto the catwalk for the first time in my life in a see-through chiffon mini-dress with nothing underneath, (which was pretty obvious under bright lights to the 800 or so people in the audience). I loved it !! Every eye was on me!

My husband sat in the audience filming through a long lens. He said that it was amazing. I walked out, strode effortlessly and professionally down the stage with a lovely smile, looking for all the world like I’d done it a thousand times before. More importantly, he recognized that deep inside me was real modeling talent coupled with an exhibitionist streak that would be a very powerful combination. He gave me the space and the encouragement to coax it out. It took a while.

Model: Cherry NZ; Photographer: Sophie McMillan, Dolce Wedding Photography

How and when did you start modeling?

A bit over a year ago we hired a photographer for my birthday; Sophie McMillan of Dolce Wedding Photography in Christchurch. About twenty minutes into proceedings, my husband walked across to make sure that she was OK. Her words, “This girl is fantastic. Why I have I never met her before? Do you think that she’d agree to do a bridal shoot in a few weeks?” At the end of the evening, she said to him, “Do you think that she’d do a boudoir shoot as well?”

To cut the story short, Sophie and my husband ganged up on me, and much against my better judgment, having finished the bridal shoot, I stood in nothing more than a pair of red high heels with a glass of wine in my hand while Sophie shot. It was the most extraordinary experience of my life. I was utterly happy and relaxed. For the first time ever, I had found something I really loved and was good at. It was like the feeling of coming home.

What type of modeling do you enjoy the most?

Nude. It’s me. I recently shot a nude video for the first time and I am thrilled with the results. It’s very different from stills and I think I like it even more.

Model: Cherry NZ; Photographer: Brian Anderson

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

They need to be technically competent, know how to drive their camera, and compose a shot. And they need to have evidence of it.

They need to be able to visualize and design a shoot and be able to communicate that vision to me so that I can deliver my part. They need to listen to the model. 

I have to see the results of the shoot, most especially if it is TFP. Some photographers are good and happily give me a copy of all the images, but some still think that it’s OK to give the model a few photos of their choosing when they find time. In 2020, when we shoot 10 times more images than we ever have before, at no cost, it is ridiculous. I need to see all the images in reasonable time because I learn so much from them. I won’t do TFP shoots anymore unless I get a good copy of all images within seven days of the shoot.

More than anything, however, a photographer must be professional. They need to be able to chat and communicate through the shoot so that I am relaxed, happy, and so that I know what they are trying to achieve, but I also need to know that they are not interested in me personally. Unfortunately, there are a few who cannot tell the difference between a model and an escort. There is a clear line, and the moment it is crossed, the shoot is over. I want to create good images but have no interest beyond that. 

Which models or other artists currently inspire you?

I love the work of Philippo Sano from Sicily. His stills and video are simple and beautiful and are all about presenting the model. I also like the video work of StacyQ, and I’m shooting a video in that style in a few days’ time. However, I am not really a follower of any one particular photographer or model. What influences me more is when I see an image that sparks my imagination. I save those I like to look at from time to time as a sort of mental refresher.

Model: Cherry NZ

What would be your dream shoot?

I don’t have a dream shoot, but I do have a “bucket list” of things I’d like to do.

I’d love to shoot for the famous three; Playboy, Penthouse, and Lui. To be a Playmate would be a dream come true!

I’d also love to shoot with Philippo Sano.

And, I’d love to do a shoot with the NIP Activity people (Nude in Public). It must be mind-blowing to walk around a place like Budapest or Barcelona all day wearing nothing but a smile. 

Very recently a Danish friend suggested performance modeling, where one does an interactive shoot in a small theatre setting with an audience of perhaps a hundred or so. From time to time the shoot stops, you answer questions, let the audience suggest the direction of the shoot, and so on. I think that could be a remarkable experience and a new departure in modeling. 

How important is social media in your success?

Very. I have only been going a short time, but I am learning fast. It enables you to reach tens of thousands of possible clients very quickly indeed, people who otherwise would have no knowledge of your existence. I tried a few times with conventional model agencies in the past and got nowhere. Since I started with Model Mayhem, I haven’t looked back. I can’t see me ever wanting to sign with a conventional agency. I still have a lot to learn.

Model: Cherry NZ; Photographer: Brian Anderson

What else do you like to do outside of modeling?

I’m a fitness junkie. I climb the walls if I haven’t been to the gym. Early next year I intended to do my first bikini fitness competition. I am loving the changes to my body over the last couple of years. I’m not finished yet. 

I love hill walking with my family. It’s a great experience that we can share., and I love a fine bottle of wine by the fire at the end of the day.

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

Hit the gym at least four times a week and work hard. Add in running, swimming, cycling, hill walking, or whatever to give you a balanced exercise program. It’s essential for a good body, doubly so if you are doing bikini or nude. You must see a personal trainer too from time to time to adjust your routine to get the best out of it and sculpt your body.

Sort out your diet. Don’t starve. Don’t yo-yo. Eat a balanced diet. Eat the right things, the right amounts at the right times, and weight control stops being a problem. You achieve a natural balance between nutrition and exercise.

Most important of all. Stop worrying about other people and what they might think. Do what is in your heart. The happiness and contentment that I have found and the boost to my self-confidence since I have done so has been enormous. Much to my surprise, I have discovered that my friends and others do not disapprove of my modeling nude; they have become my greatest fans. They are immensely proud of me. I couldn’t be happier. My only regret is that I did not do this a long time ago.

Model: Cherry NZ; Photographer: Ravii Barot

Check out Cherry NZ’s Model Mayhem portfolio to see more of her work. You can also follow Cherry on Instagram and Facebook.

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6 Responses to “Model Q&A: Cherry NZ”

  1. August 15, 2020 at 10:01 am, Vincenzo Pontarelli said:

    I would love to shoot with you Cherry NZ, I live in Montreal, Canada but I also do remote control shoots in fact I’ve recently done one in Christchurch with Lucy Tyler


    • August 21, 2020 at 4:26 pm, Cherry said:

      Hi Vincenzo,

      Thanks for the comment. Might be interested in a remote shoot. Send me a message.




  2. August 15, 2020 at 8:42 am, JAMMRELLIM said:

    So well spoken/written – this is the epitome of a professional model I include in a short list of “be like this” ladies and gents!


    • August 21, 2020 at 4:33 pm, Cherry said:

      Thank you !!!!!!

      I really love what I do and find it so satisfying. All successful shoots are a collaboration and I love the collaborative aspect of working with a photographer and (sometimes) a team. The flip side of a good collaboration is that we all go away with what we wanted to get from the shoot, and a high likelihood that we will shoot together again. As trust and familiarity with each other increase, we are likely to keep getting better and better images.

      If the model understands what the photographer wants from the shoot, and the photographer understands what the model needs, it can’t help but work.


  3. August 13, 2020 at 10:25 pm, Kuljeet Soni said:

    Hey Cherry,

    Congratulations !

    It’s a Very well written, as it’s coming directly from the heart.

    I Absolutely agree with your idea of professionalism and where to draw limitations, along with a model shouldn’t wait to see the pics she’s worked so hard for.. photographers can, and should, share all the images; and when they present with their Chosen edited ones, it will not only leave the model amazed but also see their insight and capabilities of post production.

    It’s absolutely a pleasure to connect with you. Hope we are able to work soon.

    Take care and stay safe.



    • August 21, 2020 at 4:53 pm, Cherry said:

      Thanks KJ,

      You can see that the issue of photos in TFP is a sore point with me. If I’m shooting for free, then we share ownership of all images, not just those that the photographer wants to give me. We are both entitled to a copy of the shoot to use as we need.

      I know that many photographers guard ownership of their images jealously, but what is forgotten is that it is me and my body in their photos. I am instantly recognisable, much more so than them or their photos. I guard that that just as jealously, so it is an immense act of trust on the model’s part to allow the photographer the use of those images.

      The photographer has to reciprocate that trust.

      I’m delighted if the photographer wants to play with the images post shoot,and sometimes I am “wowed” by what they do (and sometimes I am definitely not). However, that is after the shoot.


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