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Interview With Model Almaz

Photographer Denise Vasquez IG @DeniseVasquezOfficial Model Almaz IG @almazyousif

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Scotland and moved to Las Vegas with my family in March 2020 (we got on the last flight out before COVID closed the border!). My mum is Scottish, but my dad is from Iraq.

What led you to come to Vegas?

The opportunities (and the sun!). The sun and all the amenities Vegas has to offer vs. Scotland is definitely one of the big draws of why we moved. However, the biggest one is the diversity and opportunities that exist here in Las Vegas. Here in Las Vegas, everyone is from everywhere, all races, beliefs, etc., it is truly great. There are also so many work opportunities and career options that were never available back in Scotland. We moved for the American dream.

How long have you been modeling?

This is a new venture for me. I only signed back in December 2023.

What inspired you to become a professional model?

I have always had a deep love for the fashion world and always loved following models, etc. I think as well, modeling as a job appeals to me as it is very independent, and you essentially work for yourself. I like the flexibility of it and how it gives you the ability to meet people from all over the world and to travel.

Do you have training or experience as a model or actress?

Not any professional experience! However, I feel there are many skills involved in modeling such as management and self-promotion, etc., that I have gained from previous ventures such as my self-teaching my way through high school and my swim teaching job."

You mentioned you did musical theater, tell us more about that…

Yes, I did musical theatre many years ago as a child! I grew up loving musicals, and I have participated in a professional production of the musical OLIVER. However, I stopped at age 11 as I decided between musical theatre and swimming, and I chose to prioritize my love for swimming.

Do you feel your experiences performing musical theater come in handy with modeling?

I think I did musical theatre so long ago that the skills I learned won't directly come in handy. However, I feel my skills gained as a swim teacher have come in handy. As a swim teacher, especially when dealing with little children, you put on an act. Also, you have to communicate well with the children and the parents, all of which are skills that are helpful and applicable to modeling.

How did you get discovered by Elite Japan?

Through messaging with the CEO on Instagram (that is why it is important to shine yourself in a good light on social media, and it is not all about the number of followers though!).

Are you seeking representation in Las Vegas or beyond?

Yes! I would love to have representation in Las Vegas and various countries worldwide as I believe it would open up opportunities for me as a model.

As you’re building your portfolio, how do you find photographers & what do you look for in a photographer?

I think social media is an amazing tool for finding photographers as it lets you view their work and also communicate easily with them. I look for someone with shots in their collection similar to the inspiration pics I was looking at and someone who appears professional and communicates well with me/makes me feel comfortable (a great piece of advice I received from photographer Denise Vasquez was “always ask if your Mom can come to the shoot if they say no I would stay clear”.)

Who has been your favorite photographer to work with to date & why?

Denise Vasquez! She was easy to communicate with and listened to my vision but also provided her professional input that brought everything to life. She was prepared leading up to the shoot and even emailed me tips and reminders for what to bring/expect from the shoot. I went into the shoot feeling at ease, which meant we could get into shooting great work right away. Denise also edited the pictures in record time!

What are your goals for 2024?

To just keep making the most of life here in Las Vegas and all the great opportunities that exist and to see where this new modeling venture could take me.

Any advice for aspiring models out there?

I think with modeling or any job, do it because you truly love it and are passionate about it. You will experience failure and setbacks, but if you truly love something, you will find the motivation to keep going, and eventually, success will come. Also, I think it is important to remember modeling is your business. You have to put in the work to communicate well with clients, photographers, etc.; there is more than just looking good in front of the camera.

Where can people find you online? Website? Social Media? Etc

I can be found on Instagram @almazyousif

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