Behind her beauty, Araina has harbored and overcome many personal struggles that define who she is today. Resilient, passionate, and expressive, this poetic muse brings visions to fruition. Check her story out below.
Say hello to Araina:
Where are you from? Where have you been?
I was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. I have modeled in Europe and the United States.
Previously working with an agency, you’re now a freelancer – what factors went into making that decision? What are the pros and cons of working as a freelancer?
I began my modeling career working with various agencies from talent to modeling – however, being petite and looking the way I do, my roles were limited to mostly commercial work. It wasn’t an easy decision to begin my own independent journey, but I wanted more creative freedom and felt I could only get so far with external representation. Since I began freelancing, I have been able to branch out further and adapt my career to my strengths, allowing me the freedom to challenge myself to genres that were previously unavailable to me while being represented. The cons of this choice would have to be the work load; representing myself means not only networking and finding work, but also negotiating, promoting, and of course, balancing all this with the rest of my life. However, my passion for my craft is what motivated me through any doubts or obstacles I have faced, making it less about work and more of a personal passion.
You’re also a talented makeup artist – tell us about this aspect of your career.
As a model, this has been a very large part of my career. However, I have always had a personal interest in cosmetics, so naturally, I have chosen to fuse the two. I feel that being able to apply a basic face for photography/film should really be a staple in every model’s skill set; it’s not only extremely convenient, but it also helps the model better understand their face, the styling process, and the overall vision.
What is your number one beauty/makeup tip?
My number one beauty tip would have to be understanding your skin and finding the right skin care regimen. I am a firm believer of the three step process: Cleanse, tone, and moisturize while keeping it as simple as possible. Often, it can be a matter of trial and error – however, in the end, it’s always worth it.
Modeling is very competitive. How do you stand out?
I allow my passion and personality to shine through the lens with every shot, pouring everything into my work and offering up the very core of myself without fear of judgment. I have never been the traditional model type, but by not allowing this to limit or define me, I feel this has enabled me to really stand out amongst the masses. To truly surpass your own limitations, you must be fearless.
What’s your philosophy when it comes to being a great model?
I feel that to truly be a great muse, you must inspire – to do this, you must not only read your photographer, but you must be willing to offer your whole self to the project. Offering variety in each shoot increases your chances of getting the desired shot, but being ultimately present in the moment, that is the difference between a good shot and a great one…the difference between a pretty face and a model.
What are the top 3 tips you have for aspiring photographers?
- Humility is an often overlooked trait that is priceless in this field. I have had the privilege of working with some incredibly talented and renowned professionals; however, the ones that stood out the most were the ones who were humble and aware that their learning journey is never over. This constant focus on improving themselves and their craft enables them to be the very best of the best, standing out from the crowd of competition.
- Having a vision and communicating it effectively and respectfully is very important in any creative project. Knowing how to encourage a model and draw out of that individual what is needed for the shoot – that is a skill that not all photographers possess, but can truly make an incredible difference.
- Respect the model; as I mentioned prior, photography is a dance, so if one of the partners thinks they are better or more valuable than the other, you can see the disconnect. Everyone involved in the creative process must be respected for their contribution; it’s not a one person show.
What are the top 3 tips you have for aspiring models?
- You must be aware of the commitment required to pursue this career path. With the dawn of the web age, many are unaware that once your image is online, it’s permanently there. Knowing your copyright laws will give you a better understanding as many models decide after the fact that they no longer want to model, or maybe they do not like the way they appear, but once you pose for a photo, the time for negotiations has passed. Save yourself the headache and make sure you only submit to what you’re comfortable with because your life situation and feelings may change a few years down the road. This is a profession suited to professionals – it’s a commitment on multiple levels.
- Work within your strengths; taking on jobs that you’re not comfortable with will only pose problems for you and in turn greatly affect your bookings. Remember, no matter how big you think the world is, chances are your immediate community is smaller than you think – word gets around fast, so make sure you’re not putting yourself in uncomfortable situations you will have to deal with.
- Embrace all of you, including your flaws. Do not be limited by your own linear perception of beauty – know your worth and identify with your own unique beauty and let it shine bright.
What do you want people to remember about you after a shoot?
I would like to be remembered for my passion and commitment to my craft.
What advice about modeling do you wish you had when you first started?
Do not allow the world’s limited idea of “beauty” confuse your own feelings of self-worth. Modeling isn’t about being perfect or pretty…it’s about allowing the viewer the privilege of knowing you in that moment and conveying a specific message. Embodying the vision is the ultimate goal.
What’s something nobody knows about you that you’d like to share?
Few know my personal history growing up – though I have an artistic father that supports my creative pursuits, I have struggled with a broken family and feelings of displacement. My mother is a diagnosed schizophrenic, which has complicated my life very much; this has left me with a fair bit of personal baggage I have had to learn to overcome.
What are some struggles you’ve overcome?
I have struggled with depression most of my life and truthfully, still battle this demon to this day. Self-harm has played a role in my life as well, and this has created many extra complications in my life, especially in my modeling career. Having to consider these scars have caused me a fair bit of stress; however, by continuing to expose myself through photography, I have identified the strength I possess inside to overcome any challenge I may face in life. It is a day by day process with many stumbles, but I am tirelessly committed to silencing this demon once and for all.
For anyone that wants to get in touch with Araina, here’s some contact information:
Araina, thank you for the candid interview!
If any artists out there want to collaborate with FStop, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.