Photographer Kevin Talley / @KevinTalleyPhoto
Hair & Makeup Claudia Fiorello / @ClaudiaLorraineFiorello
How do you like to begin your day? I’ve always been one to “march to my beat” per se, so my day looks different each day. After coffee I try to squeeze in a workout or a sauna session before getting too sidetracked by phone calls/texts and meetings – I always have remodel/construction projects going on, so being pulled in different directions all day meeting with people on top of self-care appointments, social life and my animals keep my weekdays full! I’m not the type of person that can sit still for long so I’m always busy doing something!
How did you get started in the modeling industry? What inspired you to become a model? Believe it or not, I knew I would end up modeling from the time I was a little girl. I prayed to be tall when I was young so that I could model one day. I religiously watched the VS fashion show and wanted to be just like them. Life went on to take me in a different direction so I ended up starting up way later in life than I ever would have imagined life is beautiful like that. So I guess the inspiration was just this little girl’s dreams that she wasn’t going to let pass her by! You just have to make the choice to go after what you want and not look back!
Best place you have ever been to in the world? I love South Africa, everything there is beautiful and simple and reminds you how lucky we are to have all of our luxuries, however, being born on the Texas coast I am a water baby at heart. Turks & Caicos has been my favorite beach to visit by far!
Where are you from originally & where do you reside currently? When I was born we lived in a small town called Port O’Connor where my dad built fiberglass boats & my mom stayed home with me. Shortly after we moved to “town” where I grew up in Victoria. There wasn’t much in either town and still isn’t, but I stayed until I was 30. I’ve been enjoying the change to the big city life for a few years now in San Antonio, TX but I definitely see myself back in a smaller town or on the coast again eventually.
What does freedom of self-expression mean to you? Definitely, just the ability to be yourself & not let the opinions of others hold you back from your dreams. There is a fine line of respect for others that people tend to cross too often these days in the form of pushing their beliefs onto you. I believe self-expression should be done with class and consideration of others’ feelings. Just live and let live!
Favorite genre of music? I can’t say that I have just one genre – I’m actually a pretty weird mixture. I may or may not have a major crush on both Post Malone and Morgan Wallen currently haha! I listen to EDM and mash-ups whenever I work out, that bass helps keep the adrenaline going. However, the small-town country girl in me will always love the one and only King of Country music, Mr. George Strait.
How do you prepare physically and mentally for a photo shoot that will be seen by so many people? Physically I do multiple workouts a few times a day the closer I get to a shoot. I actually leave random bands and weights around the house, in the kitchen, etc that way even if I’m not in my workout room I will still pick them up, do a few reps, and continue whatever I was on my way to do. Mentally I enjoy my quiet time in the sauna. Before a shoot, you can tend to overthink how it’s going to play out but you just have to remind yourself that no amount of stressing yourself will change the ultimate outcome. As a model, once you get in front of the camera it just comes out naturally.
What are your favorite aspects of modeling, and what challenges have you encountered along the way? The photo shoots are always so much fun and anyone that knows me knows I’m all about fun! Insert the cliche saying “When you love what you do it doesn’t feel like work.” Honestly, I can’t say I’ve had major challenges. Problem-solving comes very naturally to me so I just take things as they come, kick them in the a*s then on to the next thing! There will always seemingly be roadblocks in life, but there is always an alternate route. I don’t let petty challenges stand in my way.
Who are some of the models or influencers that you admire and draw inspiration from in your career? Honestly, I don’t really follow influencers. I’ve learned more from the people with substance that I keep in my life who have had their own self-driven success. I’m not against influencers, I just absorb more by going straight to the source. Everyone has their own way of learning!
What’s one thing about yourself that your fans might be surprised to learn? Many people don’t know that I originally applied for Playboy 15 years ago and didn’t get accepted! It was before the digital era became the way of life and you still had to physically mail in photos, I actually still have copies of the originals! Obviously, I was disappointed at the time but looking back now I could not be happier with the timing and the way life played out!
3 things that you can’t go a day without. Coffee, my skincare regimen, and chapstick. Totally lame I know haha but I like to keep it real. I could say something super cheesy and sexy but literally, these are 3 things you won’t see me go a day without in real life.
If you could choose one word to describe your journey as a model so far, what would it be, and why? Extraordinary! Looking back on the whole journey and how I got here is just such a cool chapter in my personal book. Everyone is looking for something/trying to accomplish something, isn’t that the purpose of life?! I just think everyone’s path is amazing and I’m so happy that this is the one I get to call mine!
What do you believe sets you apart from other models in the industry? My positive mindset/personality and ability to stay true to myself. I set expectations and boundaries for myself and stick to them. I won’t settle for less than what I know I’m capable of, I have a very thick skin, and it’s hard to get me down. Life is too short to let emotions or negativity from people consume you.
Can you share any exciting upcoming projects or collaborations you’re involved in? You will just have to stay tuned! You never know what to expect from me!
Thanks so much for your time, where can our readers follow you on social to stay updated on what you’re up to? Instagram! I am not your typical Playmate as in I don’t only post half-naked pics like most would prefer. I keep my page a mixture of my entire life – travels/hobbies, my animals, and some modeling. I’m a very versatile person and I think that the whole purpose of social media is to showcase parts of your life that you enjoy that people don’t get to live out with you. Follow along @courtney.texas.