Feature Friday: Katie McDonald

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f51405050Photography: Greg Sino

Katie McDonald is one of the sweetest people I have ever worked with.  She is so positive and hard working, not to mention super talented.  I worked with Katie this fall and did a “dancing silk” photo-shoot which turned out to be one of my favorite shoots of all time.  (We are also working together this weekend with photographer Brent McCombs and I can not WAIT to show you the finished results!)  Below is a short interview with Katie so you can get to know her better.

What made you want to start modeling?
I have only been modeling since the late summer of 2015.  It all started when I was invited to participate in the 2015 Paris Dance Tour at a 5678 Showtime Dance Competition.  As part of this tour I had the opportunity to work with International Fashion photographer Greg Sino.  During the photo shoot he strongly encouraged me to explore modeling further.  Once I returned to Canada I kept in touch with him through Facebook.  In September he was in New York City for New York Fashion Week and he offered to create a modeling portfolio for me.  So, I flew down to NYC and spent the day with Greg, stylist Erika Degraffinreaidt and makeup artist Jennifer Green.  It was an absolutely surreal experience to spend a day taking pictures in Times Square with such an incredible group of people.  When I came home I created an online portfolio through Instagram and really things have just kept happening ever since then.  Through my Instagram account I met Halifax based photographer Brent McCombs and he has been a huge support, guiding me through the world of modeling here in Halifax.  I have had several more photo shoots, walked for two designers in Atlantic Fashion Week and have been signed by City Models.  Prior to meeting Greg Sino in Paris, I had never considered modeling. I am thankful to all the people I have met so far in this industry for seeing something in me that until now I hadn’t seen in myself.

What/who inspires you?
My mom inspires me because she works hard everyday and she keeps going even when things are difficult and this motivates me to pursue my dreams no matter what obstacles are thrown in my path.  I am also hugely inspired by Ballet Dancer, Juliet Doherty because she is a beautiful dancer who combines impeccable technique with a wonderful performance quality that I aspire to achieve in my dancing.

What is your favourite thing you have ever done with modeling?
Since I have started modeling I have had some amazing experiences and have met many wonderful and talented people.  My most favourite experience though has got to be flying to NYC for the day to do a photo shoot with Greg Sino.  This was my first introduction into the modeling world and it was just such an incredible experience!!  I also really enjoyed my photo shoot with Brent McCombs (Alterego photography) and surface designer Dee Wilkie.  Making Dee’s beautiful silks fly was so much fun!  I would have to say though that that day taught me how hard you have to work to get the perfect shot!!!  My legs were shaking by the end!!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I hope to have completed the Jazz & Contemporary trainee program at the Joffrey Ballet School in NYC and be working with a contemporary dance company, pursuing my dream to become a professional dancer!  I am hoping too that I will be able to continue modeling as I really enjoy the process of working with so many interesting and talented people to create beautiful images whether on film or on the runway!

Do people think that modeling is easy?  Do you agree or disagree with them?
Yes, I think most people think modeling is just about smiling for a picture but it is about so much more than that!!  Models are visual artists.  Working with the designer, make up artist and photographer they create images that tell a story or cause an emotion.  Every wonderful image that you see in a fashion magazine or on the runway represents many, many hours of hard work and the collaboration of many talented people.  To be the face representing other artists’ work is a huge responsibility that a model must take very seriously!

Does Dancing help with modeling? Why?
There is a lot of similarity between modeling and dancing and the two really compliment each other.  Both models and dancers seek to impact how people feel.  I think my training as a dancer gives me the body awareness needed to create beautiful images and the ability to tell a story and project emotion in a more realistic way. The fluidity of body movement that is so important in dance is also important in runway modeling.  On the runway, I think that my dance training allows me to showcase the designer’s work with added poise and grace.

What is you favourite kind of dance?
I love the precision and technique of ballet but the freedom of movement and expression of jazz and contemporary dance.  Overall, I love how I feel when I am dancing, how the music flows through me and guides my movement.  I am happiest on the stage performing!

“Ballet is like dreaming on your feet.”




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