MEET THE CREATIVES: Claire Marie Bacon

“Modeling and photography is my outlet. Both the photographer and I are trying to capture a good image, and sometimes a little change in posing or lighting can make a big difference.”

Breaking into her modeling career early, rising college sophomore Claire Marie Bacon shares her journey to success in modeling with MPS Perspective. As an accomplished model who has shot at the well-known American Apparel, Claire shares with us her secrets to success, as well as what it took for her to get to where she is today. “I continue with modeling because I still have ideas,” she begins to share, “I love being able to plan something in my head and be able to execute it in real life. It’s a rewarding challenge.”

Beginning at age fifteen, Claire shares with us how her modeling career launched. “I first started taking photos with friends because I found it fun and interesting to post on Instagram. My first official photo shoot was when I was fifteen, with a photographer who worked for American Apparel,” she shares, “He found me through my Instagram and was kind enough to reach out and let me come shoot at a store up in Oregon, which was beyond amazing!” Claire found herself and her passion through letting her inner creativity come through, allowing her this opportunity which shaped and built a strong foundation for her to revisit during her modeling future.

Claire was ready to launch her first big transition into modeling, “I was ecstatic, to shoot at American Apparel- I had no idea what to expect, but it was super fun! I was intimidated at first, but the photographer, Joshwa, was so positive and patient that it was hard to stay nervous for long.” She shares how she gained confidence and lots of memories, she even dishes on how this experience “kick-started” her modeling, literally and physically, with her gifted shoes, “the shoes Joshwa gave me are still my favorite pair of heels,” she shares, “photographers started reaching out to me after that, and from there, I worked with more and more people.”

Outside of modeling, Claire shares on how she loves to, “read, write, cook, travel, spend time with my friends and family- and play with my dog who I love to pieces.” She tells us how she always had passions to go to college, so she prioritized school over modeling and photography. “I love modeling but I like staying on top of my classes and understanding the concepts I’m learning, even if that means I miss out on a photography opportunity.” Claire shares that she is still modeling in college, “it was just a personal goal to get a degree so I’d be prepared for a future job. At the moment, I’m interested in going into the hospitality industry. I absolutely love modeling, but I know that I want a job that will for sure support me in the future.”

Claire has learned a lot during her journey of modeling, with her supportive friends and family, she teaches us, “I’ve learned a lot over the last three years. First, good lighting is very, very important. If you don’t have good lighting, your photos aren’t going to be visually pleasing. Second, be careful meeting up with strangers,” she warns us, “I’ve taken my mom on almost every photoshoot I’ve ever done when meeting someone new, although everyone I have worked with thus far has been wonderful and haven’t pressured me to do anything I wasn’t comfortable with. My mom is always very supportive and I’m so grateful that she’s spent so much time making sure I’m okay. I’ve never met a new photographer without a friend or my mom, and because of that precaution, I feel like I’ve avoided possible bad situations. ” Claire reminds us, despite how hectic modeling can be, to try to relax and enjoy the process. “If you’re not comfortable doing a pose, it probably doesn't look comfortable. Move around, have fun! It’ll look much more natural and be more enjoyable than staying in an uncomfortable pose.”

As valuable and critical this advice is, there is one Claire can’t stress enough. She reminds us to constantly be protective and careful when shooting with strangers, “although there are a lot of good people in this world,” she insists, “there, unfortunately, a good amount of bad ones.”

Claire openly shares her experience with offenders to remind us all to constantly be aware of our environment and those around us, “By being a part of the modeling industry, I’ve received a fair share of uncomfortable messages via the internet,” she says, “since I was fifteen, people have asked me for nude photos or sex. I remember people messaging me thinking I was an escort and offering to pay me money to go out to dinner and a hotel with them. The most prominent message was when an older man offered to pay me $3,000 for a private underwear Skype. At the time, I was sixteen and didn’t really understand what was going on other than the fact that I was very disturbed. Some photographers also reached out implying they wanted to kiss or sleep with me.” Claire acknowledges that she was fortunate, in some ways more than others, “I wasn’t ever physically attacked, but I still felt like I shouldn’t have to receive these unwelcome messages or feel uncomfortable.”

Claire will continue to take the high road if she were to encounter offenders again in her journey. She always keeps her friends and family there for support, and reminds us how “it’s much better to be safe than sorry.” These experiences were an essential part of her growth as not only a model, but a person, and she shares how “it really opened my eyes to the fact that the world is a scary place and that you should be careful to make sure that you’re always safe. I think safety is something that everyone needs to be careful with no matter where they are or what they’re doing.” Claire continues to take precautions and encourages us to do the same.

As Claire goes back to the same modeling life she’s been living for the past three years, she shares with us how her work is a two-way commitment between her and her photographer and is not afraid to take control of the shots, even if it’s a little awkward. “Most photoshoots I've done have been collaborative, so if I have an idea I bounce it off the photographer. I’ll let them know if something isn’t working like the lighting is too bright or a pose feels uncomfortable, and might not look as effortless as they’d like it to be on camera,” she shares, “I also try to fix my hair and makeup so the photographer has an easier time editing later on. I try to be as helpful as possible without being controlling. I feel guilty sometimes about maybe being too bossy, but I also know that if I’m doing a photoshoot, we are both trying to capture the image.”

When Claire returns from each of her successful and beautiful photoshoots, she hands future models strong words, “Go for it and be assertive- You can’t always wait for opportunities to come to you. If you’re interested in modeling, send a profile to an agency or reach out to photographers.”

Claire is an example of self-advocating and striving for the best. She continues to inspire photographers and models, as well as everyone around her, to be their best and most beautiful self.

Claire shows us to try and excel in everything we do, and urges us to take opportunities, “If modeling is truly something you want to pursue, you’ll be grateful you took the step.”

You can check out more of Claire's work here:

Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

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