Dazey Lady Feature: Zoe Elyse
Zoe is your quintessential cool girl. I've followed her on Instagram for a long time now and always loved her style and look. This gal is constantly shooting and has racked up tons of followers through her hard work and artful approach towards modeling. I met her through mutual friends and she was so sweet and down to earth! I love when you meet people IRL you imagine being intimidated by and then they end up being super nice :)
In the world of social media marketing, modeling has become so much more than having the "right measurements" and more about your drive, unique look, personal style, comfort in-front of the camera, and knowledge of the industry. These are the things I look for in Dazey models and Zoe has it all. At a young age she thought being only 5'2 would mean she wouldn't be able to pursue modeling, but years later she's proven herself wrong! She is killing it and I have been seeing her all over from Refinery29 to Dolls Kill.
We met up in an adorable part of the Hollywood Hills and snuck onto a few gorgeous properties. A lot of my photoshoots are guerrilla style like this, with places I scout while driving around! I figure it's better to ask for forgiveness than permission ;) Luckily Zoe was game and we had an awesome time haha.
Below are the stunning photos we snapped along with some questions about Zoe's journey and some serious tips if you're interested in pursuing modeling as well. All the photos were edited with #presetsbymel in Lightroom, they are amazing and have brought my photography to a whole new level so be sure to check them out!!
What did your life look like before becoming a full time model? School, previous jobs, previous dream?
Before I started modeling full time, I was going to school at FIDM, studying visual communications, ultimately with the goal of working on visuals in store and was really interested in creative directing. I was working at Urban Outfitters doing retail for a bit and then worked at a company called PYLO doing visuals for them. I was modeling while doing all of those things as well. But it wasn't until about mid May of last year that it became full time for me!
When we shot you talked a lot about how modeling has really become your passion. Would love to hear all about why!
Modeling for me is an art form unlike many others. It's about bringing someone's vision to life in a creative and new way. I've had the opportunity to travel to so many beautiful places and meet so many beautiful people through modeling. It's that that makes me passionate about it. Everyday is a new day in the industry and I just love to be part of a someone's creative vision and create magic with so many talented individuals.
When you were younger you thought you weren’t able to model because of your height. How did you push past that and do it anyway?
My mom had a huge role in helping me push past these limits I had set for myself. She has always been so supportive about it and reminded me in some of my hardest times that I am doing what I have wanted to do for so long and sometimes it just takes time. It doesn't happen overnight and the let downs I've experienced only push me forward and help me grow. For me, once I got my first job I realized I could do it. The rest is history. I've just been working hard and reminding myself everyday that I'm living my dream.
What was it like moving from Arizona to LA? How are things different in LA?
It was definitely difficult. I moved to Orange County in high school and from there I moved to LA. The transition was intense and the first year in LA was confusing and tough and I spent so long trying to make ends meet (a common theme amongst us Angelenos). The thing I miss most about Arizona is the endless amounts of free parking to be completely honest. Everything is different in LA for the most part but I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.
Tell us about your style! I love the mix between sweet and sassy you have going. How does this play a role in your work?
My style is all over the board! I love pulling pieces from every type of style. One day I'm very clean and simple, the next day I'm in bright colors and funky shoes. I've always been like that though so I'd say my style is based on whatever I'm feeling at the moment. Style plays into my work quite a bit honestly. When I go into a casting, it's the first bit of my personality that the client gets to see. Sometimes I'll even have stylists ask me on set how I would wear something. It's a way to set myself apart from other models and express myself when I only have a short amount of time to show the client who I am.
What advice would you give to a girl who wants to start our modeling? First steps?
Get ready to hear no, get ready to not book for awhile, but do not let it stop you from pushing onward. It's a tough industry and there are so many of us trying to make a name for ourselves. The first step is always to put yourself out there. If it's something you want to do, grab a friend and ask them to take simple headshots of you. If you're not scouted by an agency, attend open calls or send an email in to some of the agencies you'd like to be with. Don't be shy to say hey I think I may have something. Even when some say no, try again with someone else.
You have built a massive following, what tips do you have for gals trying to do the same?
My following grew pretty organically. I was working with a lot of companies who have a large presence and a lot of my followers have come through them. My ultimate tip is to have fun. Don't take it or yourself too seriously. I don't know a ton about growth and all that good stuff but I have always run my account the same. I post what I want to post when I want to post it. And I try to be real with my followers. I like to show them me with my friends just dancing to our favorite songs. It's a tough area to tap into but I just think that you should be yourself and people will like that, they'll want to see what comes next.
The day we shot you had literally just landed from a flight, ran to our shoot, had another shoot later that day, and an event that night! Is your schedule always that crazy busy? How do you manage it!?
My schedule fluctuates quite a bit! Sometimes I'm uber busy like I was that day and sometimes I get to run errands and relax at home. I'm always on my toes though. Sometimes things come up very last minute and I have to be ready to tackle it. I've always been so horrible at keeping a calendar so I rely a lot of my phone's calendar and am always double checking emails from my agents for dates and timing. If I get overwhelmed, I try to remind myself that it isn't the end of the world and I'll have a day to relax soon!
So exciting you just signed with such a big agency, Wilhelmina! Tell us about how you got connected with that and what it means for your career?
I was scouted by Wilhelmina in October of 2016 and signed with them in November of 2016. I am so forever grateful for the connections I made that made it possible for them to even see me. As far as what it means for my career, it's nice to be with an agency like Wilhelmina because they have such a name in the industry and so many connections and clients that it helps put my career ahead by default. My agents are just amazing people and are always pushing for me and booking me amazing jobs. It's been a whirlwind since I signed with them to say the least and I'm so grateful for my little Willy fam!
What’s your plan with modeling and life in general the next few years?
It's hard to say. I try to live one day at a time but I hope I continue to model in the next few years, who knows, maybe even give acting a try. Or maybe music. The world is my oyster so I'm just excited to see what comes my way in the next few years!
What does being a Dazey Lady mean to you?
Being a Dazey Lady is about being a boss. Being your own boss and doing so with grace, fun and a hint of sassiness. It's about showing up and saying, "I'm here. Let's make magic" in every part of your life. It's about empowering other women and by doing so, empowering yourself.
September 22 2017
I loveeeedddd this shoot, Dani! Your photography + those new presets are a match made in heaven. This was such an inspiring story. Thanks for sharing!
September 21 2017
As a 5’2 aspiring model, this was absolutely inspiring. This shoot is beautiful!! Love this entire interview/collab.
September 21 2017
Awesome post! The photographs are amazing too! Keep up the great work! P.s love that new space of yours ??