The word “classic” is far too often misused, misapplied and misunderstood. I hear people refer to songs and films as “instant classics” or “modern classics”. Such misnomers are pure foolishness. Any artifact, idea or person that is described accurately as being “classic” means that it can stand the test of time and is of the highest quality or is of praiseworthy aspect. I have known Nicole Ferreira since 2010 when we first shot and after having worked with her steadily over the years, I have seen some of the very best examples of “classic” beauty, professional skill and modeling talent in her. Few models today understand the amount of dedication to acquiring, practicing and perfecting their skills as a model that is required. Nicole makes everything seem effortless, and certainly some of that is native talent, but just as much of her impressive arsenal has been honed through devotion to excellence. But it isn’t just skill that makes Nicole a superb and iconic model. Beauty of face and figure is the defining characteristic on a model who leaves her mark on the hearts and minds of fans, and Nicole has these traits in plenty. She has carved out an impressive following and set standards for others that are hard to equal. It is with great pleasure that we feature her here at GlamModelz Magazine.
GlamModelz Magazine: How did you get your start in the modeling business and what are the most prize accomplishments you’ve achieved in your storied career? Nicole: I got started in modeling in 2002, at the National Fitness America Pageant in Redondo, Beach California. I was waiting in the line to register for the show, and a photographer who worked for American Curves and Muscleman Magazine approached me, and asked me to do a test shoot. That very first photo-shoot lead to my first layout in American Curves, and photo features in Musclemag magazine. My most prized accomplishments in my modeling career are my four publications with Playboy USA. I was published in 4 separate Playboy Special Edition magazines between 2005-2007: Playboy’s Sexy Girls Next Door; Playboy’s Vixens (2 separate issues), and Playboy’s Hot Shots. Attending the casting call in New York City, and getting selected was a dream come true for me, since I was a longtime fan of Playboy photography.
I’ve been published well over 100 times, including 24 covers. I’ve been published in many newsstand magazines including Playboy Special Editions, Planet Muscle, American Curves, Musclemag, FitModels, FitBodies, Biszu, Physique Mag and so on. I’ve been published in many online self-published magazines like RHK, Modelsmania, Riche, Delicious Dolls, Bachelor Pad, BADD, Femme Exposure, Chulo and many, many more.
GlamModelz Magazine: Models certainly need to feel supported to be successful. Have you had the backing of family and friends in regards to your decisions for your modeling? Nicole: My husband has always been 100% supportive. He was the one who suggested I compete in Fitness Competitions, and suggested I try modeling. He has always been there for my photo shoots, traveling with me, booking the hotel rooms and buying me my wardrobe. Because we have a beautiful family together at this point in time, I do not travel anymore, but he continues to be my biggest fan 🙂 In regards to family, they took a much longer time to come around. My parents were confused, especially my mother. Initially, she was disappointed and I think embarrassed that her daughter with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) would quit her job, to pursue a modeling dream. At the time, I was miserable in my job, and desired to pursue modeling, and my husband supported me emotionally and financially, so quitting my job was an option. I wouldn’t have been able to pursue modeling and work the job I did, because it would have been viewed as a “moral dilemma” since I worked with children as a mental health therapist and clinical director of a mental health clinic; which I have much resentment of the actual legality of that, and if men would be discriminated against in the same way if they were bodybuilding and were a model. Nevertheless, my life’s path has lead me the right way, and I pursued my dream 🙂
GlamModelz Magazine: Your images are some of the most varied we’ve seen. Where does your inspiration come from when planning for shoots? Nicole: Thank you 🙂 I draw inspiration from my own likes and interests; from looking at photos that I like and from just coming up with ideas spontaneously. I do love 70’s style Playboy photography, fitness photography and the genre entitled “pin up” which is a modern take on the style of the 1940’s-1950’s. All of this photography inspires me.
GlamModelz Magazine: What are some suggestions you have to newer models coming into the business when it comes to navigating this Industry? Nicole: Well, I honestly have made hardly any money doing this, so money was and never will be, my motivating factor. I’ve made that choice, because making money (full time salary) in this particular field would have required me to go against many things about my personality and my own likes/dislikes. For example, I would have had to physically move to California, to be in a place where there are modeling jobs in abundance; travel to various locations on a whim, which I personally do not like to do; leave behind my home, family and things that mean more to me. Based on that, I modeled more for personal passion then monetary compensation. Clearly, this is not the norm. Models want to make money, so a person getting into it, with that goal in mind, will have to be ready to travel on a whim, willing to take jobs based on money instead of personal passion at times, and put that before other things in your life. Getting an agent might be appropriate if you’re looking for commercial work. If you’re looking to get into a magazine, then you need to work with a photographer who shoots for that magazine, or submit photos to that magazine with a contributing photographer.
GlamModelz Magazine: What are the biggest problems with this Industry and what would you like to see change from a model’s standpoint? Nicole: This is a great question! Not one I’m asked by many photographers or magazines, so thank you for allowing me to address this. The biggest problem I’ve seen developing over the years is complete disrespect for the model. When I worked with published photographers for newsstand magazines, they were gracious, cooperative, generous informative, and overall helpful! I would receive photos, whether in digital format or old-fashion film, from my photo shoots for my own personal use, and other photos would go to the magazine. If it was a paid shoot, I would receive a check that was a generous amount for that particular photo shoot. I would receive free merchandise, publicity and support. That was my experience when working with Playboy, and the photographer from California who worked for American Curves, Musclemag and owned 3 of his own newsstand magazines. When I worked with local photographers from the New England area, it was completely different. However, there are about a handful of photographers from this area who are identical to the information I just described. All the others seem to have a chip on their shoulder, are disrespectful, and feel their work as the photographer is somehow more important and valuable then the model. Just remember, there would be no photo without the model, just as there would be no photo without the photographer. Both are important. Both are a craft. Just as a photographer spends time/money on editing, etc, the model has spent time/money on wardrobe, staying in shape, etc. I would like to see photographers be more respectful, and stop bashing models for expecting payment, high-resolution photos and selling their own photos. I also think it is belittling when a photographer mock online magazines, and discredit the publication or the model getting published in one of them. People can be horrible, and this field is clearly not immune to this. It’s important to surround yourself with like-minded supportive and motivated professionals.
GlamModelz Magazine: What is your opinion about Social Media and the impact it has had on Modeling and Photography? Nicole: In short, it’s become a necessary evil, so to speak. When I started modeling there wasn’t any social media, yet. Everything was done the “old fashioned” way where you would attend a casting call, or submit photos/portfolio for a potential job. I took a 2 year break from modeling from 2007-2009 after having my beloved son. I decided to get back into modeling, by shooting only locally, and by that time, there was a strong presence of social media. I refused initially to take any part in it. However, with the decline of newsstand magazines, and the emergence of online magazines, I had to make a decision. I refrained from social media, and had an online website and model portfolio, where I would receive inquiries for shoots, but I found that most photographers and online magazines were on Facebook. Two years ago I created a profile, and gave in to the fact that digital and online is the current way things are done. If I wanted to continue with modeling in the way that worked for me, I had to get over my negative thoughts about social media, and use it as a means to continue modeling; which has worked out very well. I will never spend money to “gain followers” or spend endless hours on line, as my personal life is much too important then that; however, I do spend the minimal time necessary to meet my personal goals.
However, the online presence of models and magazines has created a genre of people who may claim they are photographers or models, with no real resume. This can be annoying, yet, amusing at the same time. Again, this is easy to sort through since professional people will have impressive resumes and professional portfolios. Sharing too much personal information has become the norm, and that is a pet peeve of mine. I feel that there are many things that are meant to be kept personal, or are just ludicrous to share with the World Wide Web…but I guess I’m the minority.
GlamModelz Magazine: You have such an amazing figure and beauty. What gets you motivated every day to stay in shape and look your best at all times? Nicole: Thank you so much 🙂 Well, I’ve always worked out and have been active. I try to eat within a certain caloric intake, and exercise on a regular basis; though not near as much as I did when I was competing. Happiness is as important as diet and exercise. General health and well-being motivates me as I get older. Many people don’t realize I’ll be 44 in 2 weeks, but a lifetime of eating well, exercising, staying out of the sun, good skin care are the keys to looking and feeling great.
GlamModelz Magazine: It appears to us that most eye candy magazines are fixated on some part of the female anatomy. Tell us what do you think your best assets are? Nicole: I feel my best asset is my brain. Pursuing your education is paramount to everything else, because as you age, that is something that will stay with you longer then the vanity of physical beauty. Well, that is my opinion.
GlamModelz Magazine: One facet of modeling that we see is a huge strength of yours is nude modeling. Nude modeling is a difficult decision for most models to make as a career choice, what lead you to make that decision? Do you have any regrets about your decision? Nicole: Thank you 🙂 Yes, I do love artistic, glamour-nude modeling. I enjoy the photos of Playboy from the 1970’s, and I always felt that I would be good at that. I believed that my body type and look was similar to that, and always wanted to try that. My husband was very encouraging, and suggested I pursue it. I did, and I guess we were right 🙂 I feel very comfortable posing nude. I tend to like those photos the best. I feel the less I have on, the better the photos come out. I do not have any regrets about my decision, because I don’t feel I’m doing anything wrong. I’m engaging in an artistic expression. It’s other people who have issues with it, unfortunately, and judging someone’s entire life by some photos is just wrong. Initially, that concerned me, but I’ve learned to not let that bother me. It took a while to become immune to other’s judgement, but I just don’t associate with people like such, nor do I flaunt that I’ve done this type of modeling with others. If someone finds out, and then judge me based on that, then they are the one with the problem.
GlamModelz Magazine: You have some of the most alluring posing we’ve seen. Engaging poses are a big part of a photo session. How and where did you learn this skill? Nicole: Thank you. Honestly, it just comes to me. It just feels right, so I do it. There’s no “thought” when I’m posing. I just do what feels right, and that authenticity comes across in the photos. When I’m not in front of the camera, I do pose in the mirror, when trying on my wardrobe. I have been posing in the mirror since a child, as far back as 5 years-old. It’s just something I’ve always enjoyed doing, and always loved having my photo taken. I took years of dance lessons and cheerleading, so that also contributes to my modeling.
GlamModelz Magazine: How important is diversity of modeling genre to a portfolio? We see some models try a little of everything, while others focus primarily on one type? What are your thoughts on this? Nicole: I personally, think diversity is a strength. Realistically, you need to know what you’re suited for. I know I’ll never be a fashion model, because that has never been a style I personally enjoy, and I’m not tall and very thin. I’m more suited for modeling that displays one’s physique, and that’s the style I like as well. I started with fitness style modeling, which blended with glamour and swimsuit modeling. Then I added nude-glamour modeling. Over the past 2 years, I became interested in the “pinup” genre, which is a modern take on the styles of the 1940’s and 1950’s. That is something I was introduced to via social media, and I said to myself “I like that”. My look, posing style and physique all match that style, so, I tried it. For me, modeling across genres has allowed me to be published across genres, both in newsstands and online magazines. So, it has enhanced my portfolio, resume, and total number of magazine publications. I would encourage others to do the same.
GlamModelz Magazine: When reviewing photographers’ online portfolios, what grabs your attention? What type of images or what professional credentials gets you in the mood to shoot with them? Nicole: When I view a photographer’s portfolio, initially, the photos and magazine publications stand out to me. My goal is magazine publication, so I look for photographers that have a great resume, or in rare cases, the photographer has photo quality good enough for magazine publication. The photographers “about me” or “bio” is something I always look at, and if there are typos, misspellings, or it is presented in an informal or “slang” manner, that completely turns me away. If a photographer is on social media complaining about models, the “industry” or is making inappropriate comments, then that turns me away as well. I look for photographers who are talented, who have a professional resume, and present themselves in a well-versed respectful manner.