Young & ambitious, Anaja Pierce is still building her brand & portfolio—a promising future. She’s got a good understanding of what it takes and the will to achieve the goals. Last year was her biggest milestone after taking the craft into her own hands, doing the research & stepping into an independent pursuit of the modeling industry. Soon after, Vixxen Inc. a modeling agency signed her to their team. Now, as her fan base grows, Anaja is gearing up to take advantage of each opportunity & continue growing.
A short talk that details the model’s ambitions, goals & experience so far.
How soon did you find out you wanted to model? I was 18. that’s when I decided it was something that was meant for me.
“if anyone inspires me it’s the people I hardly know… those are the ones liking, sharing, commenting & acknowledging my work”
Is that when you did your first shoot? Nope. that’s when I started looking into the modeling realm. Different shoot and models that looked like me, different photographers and their works, to get an idea of what type of modeling I felt I would fit in the best.
Who can you cite as your biggest inspiration? Crazy thing, I can’t say I really cite a specific person as my inspiration. But, to be honest, if anyone inspires me it’s the people I hardly know… those are the ones liking, sharing, commenting & acknowledging my work, giving me positive feedback. Although it’s not a lot, it means a great deal. They help me keep my dream alive.
Did you reach any milestones last year? Omg, did I?! 2016 was thus far the year where I was most active in my work. I got so much more attention, my fan base grew. I got way more offers locally and in other states. I couldn’t do it all but it’s the fact that people were really starting to notice me! 2016 was the year of exposure for me.
After all your research, what was the next step, finding a photographer? How’d that come about Yes it was. I found a photographer thru an old friend of mine that was already modeling, she’s much older than me. She introduced me to Chris Barnes, a well known photographer here in Pensacola. I reached out to him and from there my modeling frenzy began.
Was your first shoot awkward or were you a natural? I was very comfortable!
“My favorite part about modeling is everything that takes place before the results. No matter what shoot I’ve done, I’ve always been responsible for my look, wardrobe, hair, makeup, etc.”
And since then you’ve continued to build your portfolio? Can you say what photographer made your favorite shoot? Yes, I have all my photos gathered electronically but I plan to have them touched and printed into a book. And yes, Derrick Bias! He did a classic denim shoot for me. It’s my absolute favorite shot.
As a natural, what’s your favorite part about modeling? How do you usually prepare for a shoot? My favorite part about modeling is everything that takes place before the results. No matter what shoot I’ve done, I’ve always been responsible for my look, wardrobe, hair, makeup, etc. So I feel like the picture is even more so, my own! How I prepare for a shoot will always depend on what type of shoot I’m doing that day. some shoots I may need a few days/weeks to get together what’s necessary and others I know I can just show up & deliver.
That’s splendid, have you given any thought to pairing up with an MUA or Stylist? Has anyone offered to connect with you for shoots? I have my favorites but they aren’t like legit MUA’s they’re ppl around my age who are in college and I don’t see ’em enough to make them my personnel. I don’t know any stylists. And yes, I get offers from photographers here and in other cities like Atlanta & Tampa. This year I got 2 offers to be featured in a music video 🙏🏾 which was on my goal list, so be on the lookout for that.
How has the city influenced or impacted your outlook on modeling? Because I get little to no support in my city honestly, I use that as ammunition to go harder… and it shows because with time I get better and better. I do more and more. It’s clear to me now that your haters are your biggest motivators.
So what’s frustrating or difficult about modeling? What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve met since you began? My biggest obstacle I feel is where I’m located. I know that soon, I’ll need to relocate to grow. Not having the means sometimes to get to different places or taking those offers lended to me is so upsetting. A lot of times you can be delayed on making something happen for yourself not because you don’t want to but you’re literally not able.
Had you the chance, which city would you relocate to? Atlanta. it’s a great start up. There is a lot going on. A lot of relevant networking. Not to mention, that is where 80% of my offers come from. I feel that if I can make it there I can make it anywhere.
“Grind smarter and harder.”
What is this years plan? What’s in store for 2017? Grind smarter and harder. Make myself even more known and grow more of a fan base. I plan to do more traveling so that I can take advantage of these offers and meet the right people to build myself up in the modeling industry.