By Taroue Brooks
How did you begin your modeling career?
I get little signs from the universe when it’s time to pivot. Modeling was definitely a situation where the universe was pushing me to pivot. I was working at a pharmacy in New Jersey and a retired talent agent comes to the counter to let me know I need to start modeling. I didn’t take her serious until she came back months later and was wondering why I was still in the pharmacy. After that moment I started modeling and submitting my pictures to agencies in Philadelphia. I was working with a smaller agency in Philadelphia until I eventually moved on to New York City and started walking in fashion shows. I was blessed to have met and connected with like minded individuals all the way to when I became signed with Wilhelmina. Now I’m happily modeling in LA.
What is the significance of being represented by an agent?
Being represented by an agency gave me more opportunities to connect with clients in the fashion and fitness realm. It is important for me to have an agent that believes in my vision for myself and wants to see me succeed and reach my full potential. Also, an agency can help with positive and negative feedback on career decisions because he/she/they are coming from an experienced and professional point of view.
What are some of your rituals before a photo shoot?
I like to do research on the aesthetic of the photo shoot. I like to create a mood board of everything from the clothes I will be wearing to the location of the photoshoot . I am also a creative director so it’s second nature to me. Spiritually, before a photoshoot I like to listen to inspirational podcasts/videos and meditate.
What is the most challenging aspect of the business thus far?
One of the most challenging aspects in the beginning stages of being in the business is maintaining my “why”. In this industry there will be individuals who will try to pull you in a certain direction that may not fit with who you are. It’s very important that I remain true to my genuine, authentic self and know when to leave if something does not feed my soul.
What does success look like to you in this industry?
Success looks like leading with intention in everything I do. If I feel as though it is a meaningful project and it can help others through their healing journey, then I feel full.
How has Covid-19 impacted the industry?
Covid has slowed the industry down, giving me the time to self reflect on my purpose in life. I think a lot of people within the industry need this time to center themselves. Now, virtual has become the new normal. I love to see the evolution of the industry and where it will go next. I’m glad I had this time during covid to work on my inner healing so I can show up for myself in everything I do but I am definitely ready for studios to be more lively again with less restrictions!
A signed fashion and fitness Wilhelmina model with a degree in biology, chemistry, and psychology. Finding interest in mental health awareness and using his platform as a source for individuals to find healing.
Instagram handle: @iamcaseydandridge