I am based out of Kansas City, Missouri but am constantly traveling as (unfortunately) the Midwest does not have quite as many modeling opportunities as the East and West coasts. I haven’t moved though because it is incredibly cheap to live here so it is a great home base, and despite the smaller-minded modeling scene it is fun here.
I went to an all women’s college and am extremely proud of the kind of woman it made me: empowered, independent but not afraid of help or support, and overall less tolerant of the bullshit of society. I’m a social butterfly when at events or a shoot, but if it is up to me, I prefer to stay at home with my boyfriend and kitties and watch Netflix.
People who haven’t met me before say I come off as very professional and serious, but once they meet me they quickly change their opinions and say I’m very laid-back and a bit goofy.
How much has modeling been a part of your life?
I have been modeling for about seven years now and it is my absolute passion. I got started modeling in college where there was a very large fashion program, so students started asking me to model for their projects and I continued to grow from there! My first out-of-school shoot was between my junior and senior year and just kept climbing from there. I am proud to say I do a little bit of everything when it comes to modeling: high fashion, brand work, portraiture, bridal, boudoir, figure modeling, and art nude.
I got into art nude modeling to show that nudity is not synonymous with sex. I want to break those stigmas and desensitize people to the human form, most specifically the female nipple, because the human form is beautifully and nothing to be ashamed of.
Was there a possibility that you might have something else if you didn’t go into modeling?
I actually do have something else! I got my degree in Fashion Marketing and Merchandising and am currently a Merchandising and Marketing Analyst for a major US company (I will refrain from saying which though). So I work close to 60-70 hour weeks between my job and shoots.
What do you love most about modeling?
That’s a tough one because I love so many things about it, but if I had to choose one thing I would probably say the people I get to meet. I love meeting new people and seeing how each person creates and sees things differently. Some of my closest friends started off as just a photographer at a shoot, and overtime became very close friends. Photoshoots can be a very bonding experiences.
Also, it is fascinating to me, when shooting with multiple photographers at the same time, seeing how each person can take the same pose but create something different.
Have you ever felt nervous before a photoshoot?
Off the top of my head, surprisingly no. I love modeling so much that I can’t think of any specific time I was nervous for a shoot. More than anything I get excited and jittery because I want to start. It might still happen one day though!
Which is the best compliment you have received?
I have a few that I distinctly remember (all from women actually, men usually have the same boring compliments) but my favorites are these two: “California girls have nothing on you honey,” and “You have Debra Messings nose, and Brooke Shields eyes, smile, and hair.”
Have you been in an embarrassing situation before that is funny now when looking back?
This wasn’t necessarily an embarrassing situation for me but it could have been for someone else; I was doing a shoot in an Airbnb and had just a pair of undies on. We were shooting and I looked up and saw six people in the office across the street gathered around the window watching (they weren’t really very close).
When I saw them I waved and they all started waving back and freaking out and doing funny dances. I made a funny hand gesture back at them and could tell they were laughing and loving it. Then everyone dispersed and went back to work but we all had a really good laugh there for a few minutes.
What is the funniest or lamest attempt a guy has tried to know you?
Actually this story is how my now boyfriend ended up being able to ask me out on a date. We had been casually Snapchatting for a couple of weeks and one night I was with my best friend and a bit wine-drunk so I sent him a snap of me in my Calvin Klein undie set. He responded with a pic of himself with his hood pulled up (recreating the Dark Kermit Meme, here is a link if you don’t know what I’m talking about). His picture said “Me: Be grateful for the photo you got. My mind: Ask for another.”
It was so funny I did end up sending him another snap and from there we chatted a bit more and he eventually asked me on a date, and over two years later here we still are!
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions Bella. One question before we end, how do you define “sexy”?
Sexy is self-confidence. No matter how you look there is ALWAYS going to be some pathetic hater out there trying to tear you down. So to me, sexy is when you feel good about yourself, not when others tell you.
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Images from Bella Donna
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