Q&A with 2020 Model Search winner, Jemmason Power
Q. ’What influenced you to enter our Model Search competition last year’? ,
Jemmason took a minute to reflect upon the “social climate” during June 2020, a time that encircled great discourse upon the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement and People Of Colour [POC].
“[BLM] kick started a lot of important conversations in different areas… One of them primarily focusing on the fashion industry. [From this, we could begin to see] a diversity of shades, shapes, genders and identities within the fashion industry… Anything to do with inclusiveness!”
As an Indigenous female growing up in far north Queensland, Jemmason “struggled with body image and confidence due to what had been presented in media, magazines and billboards and all the likes.. [at the time]”
“I never saw anyone like me and the POC I saw were always at the other end of the spectrum.. It was like I was always the ‘wrong’ shade of black”.
Q. What was one of your highlights of working with The Photo Studio?
“Oh my goodness, you get treated like a VIP from the cute little snacks with crackers and the drinks from the get-go while you’re waiting to be seen and introduced to the stylist… Also, shout out to Jemma! (her makeup artist for the day, who is coincidentally spelt the same way)”
For Jemmason, having her own “team of artists, photographers and assistants” helped accommodate a prestigious workspace that helped her feel warmly welcomed, safe and incredibly appreciated as a model. Jemmason also praised that ways in which the sets could drastically change in a matter of seconds. “I felt like this was my team… This was my crew!”
“At the back of my mind was like… If I’m going to be in this space on a regular basis [where your confidence can get to your head], I want to make sure I’m displaying kindness towards whoever is part of my team, because at the end of the day this is a job for them, and I have a duty here too…. I want to make sure that when shooting, my precedence is professional by being on time [and putting her best face forward]”
A main concern upon Jemmason’s search for a modelling agency was the level of diversity in the models they represented. For Jemmason, she could see that many agencies had placed models who “clearly didn’t fit the agency’s mould” under subcategories that were often hidden, despite their impressive set-work. “On Flossy’s main page, all models are there, and all have an equal chance of being chosen. They really display their values upfront and have an equal playing ground… Flossy had a good alignment of values, and stuck with it.. I appreciate their values, and appreciate how they align with my values too”
While on this topic of discussion, we asked Jemmason if she has seen an improvement of diversity in the modelling industry.
“Yes, because based on my own experiences, especially with TPS and the different conversations I’ve had since then, it has been pretty positive .. Modelling has been a very positive space… In saying that, I have been very particular with who I surround myself with, and have been particular with who I allow in my space.. I have been clear with boundaries and expectations about how I want to be treated in the workspace. This is the season for diversity and inclusion and realness.. I was thinking, yes, I’m getting on the track and I’m currently on the train”
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