As a model, L. Shima is one of the industry’s most accomplished talents. Her road to success was extraordinary; working out of a lovely town just northwest of Miami, FL she quickly grabbed the attention of giant organizations, such as Playboy TV and Donk Magazine. Through determination, perseverance and outside of the box thinking, Shima has grabbed our attention.
We finally caught up with this unique model, and here is what she had to say…
Can you tell us a little about your childhood?
I was such a tomboy growing up. I know a lot of models say that, but it’s true! I wore torn up jeans every single day, even in the Texas heat. I ran track and studied dance. I am the youngest of two siblings, a brother and a sister. We were all raised by a wonderful single mother who took on the roles of both parents.
Have you always wanted to be a model or did you have other career aspirations when you were younger?
I always wanted to be a princess. Ha just kidding. I actually never really had a goal to become a model. Growing up my career goals always changed. I’m still figuring it out. One thing I do know is my heart lies in the art world.
What excites you the most about modeling?
Being able to dive into roles and personalities that I do not normally exhibit.
What excites you most about your body?
I love it the most when my body is having a “good” day aka when I am happy with my weight, and my skin is glowing. It doesn’t happen every single day, but when it does, I feel even more beautiful! (Smiles) I also like being small – I can fit into fun spaces.
And how do you stay in shape?
I eat healthy which means fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, items low in fat/grease, not too much sugar, and tons of water. My exercise routine still needs work but I try to stay active as possible!
Most of your photoshoots are creative, not your normal stand and shoot images. The nice camera angles, effects and of course you add your final touches with that sexy look you bring. Is there a specific photographer you work with or you ask for those kind of shots from all photographers you shoot with?
I have high expectations when it comes to my photoshoots. I love art and always make sure my photos end up being high quality. If I am to look sexy that’s cool, but I want the image to be engaging beyond the T&A. I normally give most photographers a few reference photos followed by a quick discussion on the type of concept I want to create. I tend to not enjoy the photographers whose only goal is to shoot sexy photos. I tend to work with teams that have concept and vision.
You’re not afraid to take nude shots; it seems you are really comfortable with your body. Some models, except for Playboy’s don’t really do nudes! Do you think that is a good or bad thing for a model’s career?
Ha! Nudity is definitely not a bad thing. Now there is a huge difference between varying types of nude work. I tend to go for the more artistic approach; hidden lady parts, experimental poses, and nothing erotic. How the viewer’s sees it is their issue and says more about them than me! I look up to a lot of models that shoot nude. Actually, it is an antiquated idea to think that models that shoot nudes will not be able to pull in certain work. The world’s highest fashion models (Adriana Lima, Kate Moss, Gisele Bundchen, etc) all have wonderful nude shots. It doesn’t really matter now-a-days.
What are some career achievements are you most proud of?
Simply the quality of my current portfolio. It took many long hours put together these 30 or so pictures I can confidently say represent my body of work. I feel like I cam steadily improving and that is very important to me! Also, I am able to pay my bills with modeling!
What piece of advice would you give to aspiring models who would like to get published work?
Never give up. Times will assuredly get hard and the best thing to do is to keep your head up and keep striving for the things you love to do. Also, understand what makes a good photo and do not just put any image in your portfolio.
Besides your look, what else do you believe is crucial for success as a model?
Work ethic, professionalism, and networking. You are a business and brand and must wear multiple hats especially if you freelance.
And what is your favorite type of photoshoot to do?
Anything creative! As long as there is some type of concept floating in the air, and I am able to work with a team i.e. a MUA, photog, stylist, etc.
Do you have any crazy/exciting/weird shoot story that you would like to briefly share?
I will always remember the first nude photo shoot I did outside in the heart of downtown Austin. It was early in the morning, and the photographer I was working with explained to me that a few transient characters may be around but not to worry. As I lay nude posed across stairs near a brook I look up and see this guy’s head peak down, smile, and return to his daily adventure. That happened many times. We walked possibly 4 miles that day!
What do you look for in a photographer before shooting with him/her?
Professionalism, quality of photos (of course), and concept.
How can our readers stay in-touch with you?
Thanks for this opportunity! I have a number of products coming out (book, prints, stickers, etc) so watch out for those! Bye.