Model Q&A: JoJo Z

JoJo Z | VIP Member | Verified Credits (35)

Model: JoJo Z, Photographer: Maurice Rafael

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

I’m originally from New Haven, CT. I’ve bounced around the country since I was 18 (and showing no signs of stopping), but I’m currently based in Brooklyn, NY. I travel for shoots often. I really love to explore, so it’s a huge reason why I’m very grateful for my modeling career and the opportunities it has provided.

Who or what inspired you to become a model?

I’ve always had an appreciation for fashion and art, so modeling appealed to me from that perspective for a long time. However, I assumed (mainly because of my height) that it was an unrealistic path. I also think, like many, I had one narrow view of what it means to be a model and I felt that I didn’t really fit the mold. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more confident in myself and I’ve realized that these days there is a market for every type of person to make it as a professional model. Specifically, seeing that there are many successful models of all sizes (including petite ones like me) has inspired me to go for it and not look back.

Model: JoJo Z

How and when did you start modeling?

I was approached around the age of 19 by photographers at a couple of different points, so I took advantage of those opportunities and sought a few others during that time. Originally, I didn’t pursue it seriously though, mainly because I was working on a degree in geology and was very focused on a scientific career. I was also living in various rural places for a while, so there just wasn’t much of a scene for it. After I first started modeling, it was years before I returned to it. I got back into a creative sphere (art, music, and modeling) in Chicago in 2016 after taking a brief hiatus from academia. My professional modeling career didn’t really start for a couple of years after that when I became more serious about it in order to put myself through graduate school. I am happy to say that I have completed my master’s degree and modeling is now my full-time job.

What type of modeling do you enjoy the most?

It’s a tie between nudes in nature and lingerie!

Model: JoJo Z

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

I really try to keep an open mind about projects and working relationships, but ultimately when I’m deciding about whether or not to take a job with a photographer, I am looking for legitimacy and professionalism. I especially appreciate solid communicators with innovative ideas and those who find enjoyment in the work. If it’s not fun then why are we doing it, right?

Which models or other artists currently inspire you?

I find inspiration in many models and artists and it’s so hard to narrow it down. I love the strength and beauty portrayed in the work of Helmut Newton. After a recent project recreating a few original poses, I feel I’ve been channeling that energy a lot lately. German model, Maya Stepper, also inspires me with her natural beauty and elegance.

Model: JoJo Z, Photographer: Creative Image

What would be your dream shoot?

Art nudes on a summit of the Grand Tetons!

How important is social media in your success?

Honestly, social media is my least favorite part of the job. I’ve never been a big fan from a personal or professional standpoint. I’m not doing this for followers, I do this for me. If people decide to follow my journey and support me, that’s awesome and I’m very grateful. If not, that’s fine too.

But, inevitably, I think that social media is kind of a necessary evil as an artist. I see it as a tool, so I try to use it to the best of my ability without getting dragged into the muck. At the same time, it serves as another portfolio and it is certainly a useful outlet for activism, connecting with other artists and friends, and sharing/finding inspiration. I certainly appreciate those aspects of it, but ultimately I will never equate my social media status to my success as a model.

Model: JoJo Z, Photographer: Ed Ciesielski

What else do you like to do outside of modeling?

I have far too many hobbies! I’m a musician/songwriter, dancer, yogi, avid biker, hiker, and visual artist. When I’m not modeling, I enjoy the outdoors, being social, and carrying out my other artistic pursuits.

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

Celebrate (and capitalize on) what makes you unique and try not to compare yourself to others. Always thoroughly vet photographers and trust your instincts when a situation doesn’t sound or feel right. No job or amount of money is worth compromising your safety. Lastly, if you want to do it, go for it! Don’t let anyone stand in your way, and always believe in yourself.

Model: JoJo Z, Photographer: Maurice Rafael

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

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One Response to “Model Q&A: JoJo Z”

  1. May 15, 2021 at 5:24 pm, MeredithO said:

    Just lovely!


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