Leonel, an aspiring model, connected with Ari, a veteran visual artist, on a chilly afternoon in New York City – here’s the magic they created. Read more about Leonel below and check out Ari’s interview here.
Where are you from? Where have you been?
I am from Madrid, Spain – I have some family there, but my parents are both originally from Guatemala. I haven’t been to many places – a Texas airport and upstate New York, and back and forth between Spain and Guatemala.
What sparked your interest in modeling?
My friends talked me into it, as well as coworkers. I’m camera shy and don’t often allow people to take my photo, but I figured, let me try this and see if it goes somewhere.
You recently had your first photoshoot with Ari. How did it go?
I was very nervous, actually. I was meeting a stranger from the internet that was going to take my photos – it’s something I’ve never done before, but I enjoyed myself despite the cold.
From your shoot with Ari, are there lessons you learned that you plan to apply to your future shoots?
I learned a lot – Ari gave me great advice and insight about modeling and posing, as well as tips for future photoshoots that I wouldn’t have known, otherwise. He also explained contracts, as well as what to expect with paid shoots.
What’s the most challenging part of modeling, and how are you working through them?
The most challenging part for me is posing in a way that will look good without validating it through a mirror beforehand. You have to hope that the photographer will get you at a good angle and that you’re doing your part to make yourself look good, face and body-wise as you’re working with different lighting conditions.
What is the best thing a photographer can do to bring out your personality?
I believe a photographer should talk and get to know their models, be patient with them and ensure that they are comfortable. Essentially, being friendly while keeping it professional.
What do you want people to remember about you after a shoot?
Oh, I wouldn’t know about that, but if this path takes me as far as I would hope, then I would want people to remember that I took a chance at something I wasn’t interested in at first and made something out of myself. If not, well at least I tried.
Who’s your biggest hero in your life?
Michael Jackson is my biggest hero – he’s one of the kindest people I’ve ever seen with the gentlest of souls. I admired how in spite of his woes, he remained the same and always found a reason to smile or laugh. His home videos always make me feel better – it’s like being around a friend that never was.
What’s one of your biggest fears?
I have many fears, but my biggest is to go through life and waste my talents by never acting on dreams and opportunities. I don’t ever want to wake up one day, look at my life, and wonder what it has become. I never want to feel like I wasted my youth and talents because I settled for less when I could be more.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I wouldn’t change anything about myself personally, but I guess it would be my nose and top lip. They began growing in my early teens, and I never quite liked them. And maybe my size and weight – I want to be a little more filled out.
What’s your greatest failure, and how did you overcome it?
My greatest failure was when I was held back in 8th grade because of five points on a test. I had to go back to a school where I was well known by many of the students and staff. I was a social reject for most of my time there. I wanted to start over at a new school and build a new me, but what helped me through that time was my optimistic outlook. In reality, none of the new 8th graders or younger classmen knew much of my history, let alone my name. This was my fresh start and I would leave this school – I ended up leaving that year with the highest grade in the school. It showed me that through willpower and persistence, I could achieve anything – and sometimes, you need to fail in order to succeed.
What’s your greatest achievement, and how has it shaped you?
I haven’t had any noteworthy achievements – not anything that changed me completely or that I would consider life-changing. However, as I get started, I hope it’ll be a pattern of great achievements.
For anyone who wants to get in touch with Leonel, here’s some contact information:
For anyone who wants to get in touch with Ari, here’s some contact information:
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Ari and Leonel, thank you for using FStop to bring your creative visions to life. We love the results of your collaboration! 🙂
If any artists out there want to collaborate with FStop, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Also, remember to download the FStop app for iPhone here!