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Model Q&A: Cat Ross

Cat Ross | VIP Member | Verified Credits (14)

Model: Cat Ross

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

I’m from Long Island, New York. I’m currently based in Norwalk, Connecticut, and travel frequently for shoots, although Covid has changed that. Right now, I’ve given myself a 250-mile radius limit for booking shoots, so I don’t have to worry about sharing spaces, like hotels and such.

Who or what inspired you to become a model?

I grew up in the performing arts and that included some print work as a kid. I was always the kind of kid who was trying on different costumes, painting the walls, playing pretend–being the same thing every day was a bore to me, and I had very little interest in routine. Creativity and imagination were my weapons of choice and those are both pretty necessary for modeling.

Model: Cat Ross

How and when did you start modeling?

When I went to college for the first time and realized I had very little time to be pursuing a full-time acting career and school, but I still had time to do the occasional shoot here or there. Somebody told me about Model Mayhem, so I uploaded some of my recent photos and headshots and pretty soon independent photographers were reaching out wanting to shoot.

What type of modeling do you enjoy the most?

In general, I enjoy editorial, something that tells a story. My favorite kind of shoots are at opposite ends of the spectrum. On the one hand, I love a simple portrait shoot with natural or simple lighting, and just kind of get to be myself and give myself over to what the camera sees. On the other hand, I love it when I have the opportunity to put together a shoot that has a lot of moving pieces in order to create something incredibly lavish, whimsical, haunting, or simply visually stunning.

Model: Cat Ross, Photographer: Scott Worldwide

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

I look for professionalism, first and foremost. I don’t care who or what a photographer’s name or “brand” is. If I can’t feel safe and comfortable with them, there’s no point in trying to book a shoot. Mostly, I’m just a serious artist looking for other serious artists to work with. I want to work with photographers who have a real vision and are looking for someone to help create that vision. I’m looking for people who are interested in the technical aspects, like lighting, color, texture, composition, and I’m looking for people who are interested in the more emotional aspects and the process, like creating a mood, weaving a narrative, reaching a certain audience. I’m looking for photographers who are there to work together as mutual creative professionals.

Which models or other artists currently inspire you?

I feel like it would take years to list everyone I find inspiring… but Glass Olive, Tessa Kuragi, Justin N. Lane, Nicole Vaunt, and Corwin Prescott have always created incredible art, as far as people who started out from a similar place.

Deborah Grosmark is a photographer I’ve been lucky enough to work with in the past. She’s incredible at connecting with her subjects and providing a narrative.

Ellen Von Unwerth is probably my all-time favorite photographer in terms of people who can shoot “sexy” without making it weird. There’s just something about her work that makes you want to dive in and be a part of it; when she shoots a “sexy woman,” she’s not just there for you to consume her, as is the usual view; you’re laughing with her, you’re celebrating with her, you’re in her world–not the other way around. Helmut Newton will also always be another who knows how to take something that might otherwise offend and make into something so studiable.

In general, I just love models and artists that make me want to put the work down for a moment just to think about it.

Model: Cat Ross

What would be your dream shoot?

I have been asked that so often, and I still don’t really have a great answer. I think the reality is that I won’t know the answer to that question until after it happens, but I know that it will probably require being out in nature, working with some awesome creature, which I love to do. I’m really in my zone outdoors and around animals, so I would love to bring those elements into it. Come to think of it, the one concept I’ve always had is representative of my passion for philosophy; dressed as the goddess Minerva, surrounded by books, scrolls, ancient implements of study, holding an owl. That would be quite something!

How important is social media in your success?

It’s everything. I hate to say it, but it counts for so much. I’ve gone from resisting and resenting it, to studying it and trying to improve upon it on a daily basis. It’s not something that comes naturally to me. I really wear my heart on my sleeve and have a hard time with the idea of having to create a “brand” for myself, but it’s so crucial to pretty much any artistic career now, that social media as a necessary tool is one of the mainstays of my job and my life. Every day, every post, every hashtag is a lesson in self-marketing.

Model: Cat Ross, Photographer: photoralli

What else do you like to do outside of modeling?

There’s so much I love to do outside of modeling, but it’s interesting how much of it gets incorporated into the modeling anyway. I draw, paint, write and sculpt. I do cosplay, which involves prop-making, costume design, photography, editing, and makeup artistry. So much of it gets used, somehow. Even the stuff you wouldn’t assume–one of my passions is axe-throwing, and I also throw knives and do archery, and you wouldn’t believe the number of times I’ve had to pack historical weaponry for a photoshoot. The more you show people who you are and what you can do, the more avenues it opens. It’s really fascinating.

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

The best advice I can give is to really take stock in yourself. Know yourself. Know your limits. Take yourself, your skills, your time, and your work seriously. Treat this like a business, because it is, and the more seriously you take it and yourself as an artist or a brand, the more seriously others will be forced to take you.

Safety, self-worth, and establishing a reliable community or network of fellow professionals are all crucial to not let the bad days get you down. Strike while the iron is hot, so-to-speak, knowing that it will cool and burn likely a few more times before you’re finished. Know that this isn’t 1955 or even 2005 and that your efforts, ideas, and “brand” determine who you are and what you’re capable of in the arts and entertainment world more than anything else these days.

Model: Cat Ross, Photographer: Gregory E Anderson

Check out Cat Ross’ Model Mayhem portfolio to see more of her work. You can also follow her Instagram and OnlyFans.

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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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