FEATURED MODEL: ANA BRAGA

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If our latest  Industry Insider looks familiar, it’s because we’ve featured her in the pages of BeautyLook Magazine before.  Brazilian import Ana Braga has been modeling her whole life, and appeared as one of our Fresh Faces interviews back in the Fall 2012 issue.  When asked at that time about her one-year goals, Ana told us “I hope to be published nationally and internationally in as many magazines as possible.” Flash forward not even one full year and Ana has definitely accomplished that goal, appearing in multiple International issues of Playboy, as well as dozens of other print and online publications.  In the Facebook model photography circles, her face seems to be EVERYWHERE these days.  We followed up with Ana to see what’s new in her world and to get some insider-info about the realities of modeling and publications…

Modeling is a hard business.  How many days/hours a week do you invest into your modeling career? What is a typical work day like for you?

Modeling is hard, but I work harder.  I devote 7 days a week. Between publication submissions, networking and selling merchandise, I would say roughly I work 80 hours a week.  That’s not counting photo shoots.

A typical work day?  Get up, make breakfast, eat breakfast by computer and before I notice, it’s is lunch time.  A day of work for me is madness but behind 95% of my accomplishments is my own hard work.  I can say I did it all myself. I am very proud of all I have accomplished!

For new models, it seems the hardest transition is moving from unpaid portfolio-building shoots to paid work.  Any advice for when to stop doing trade work? Or will that always be a reality for models throughout their career?

You don’t have to stop trade work.  Leave the possibilities open. There will always be an amazing photographer you would want to shoot with. If they can add to your portfolio as you can add to theirs, why not do a trade?

Now paid work will come as you get published internationally and get known. I don’t shoot with amateur photographers, even if they are willing to pay my rate.  I only shoot with those I respect.  I don’t want bad pictures of myself all over the internet. Once again, I’m speaking for myself.

Congrats on all your recent publications, including Playboy Mexico, Playboy Romania and Playboy Brazil.  Have you experienced many rejections along the way?  And how do you deal with them?

Thanks!  To be honest, I have not experienced many rejections.  Only a few, and they weren’t from Playboy so I laugh about it.  I don’t mind “rejections” when people are polite but I don’t tolerate rude people.  I don’t care who you are, or what kind of publication you work for.  Treat others with respect. Some of the big name magazines have been so kind to me!  I notice there are too many big egos in our industry, but that ego doesn’t always mean talent. You gotta have thick skin in this business.  You must know who you are and value yourself.

I am continually surprised how many non-nude models tell me privately they would model for Playboy, if asked.  How does one go about submitting to playboy or getting published with them?

It’s because Playboy has such a big name.  Nothing is bigger than Playboy for a glamour model.  But you’ll find fashion models and many celebrities willing to pose for Playboy.  Playboy makes it OK to be nude.  It was a dream of mine for so long, and I’m lucky to have accomplished my dream.

Don’t fall for the trick of many photographers who say they’ll submit you for Playboy or they’re Playboy photographer… do your homework!  Shoot for Playboy when you get the ok directly from the editor/publisher!  You can submit yourself to Playboy on their website and find out when they have their castings.  Happens throughout the year.

Many magazines don’t pay models, but offer a publication credit and exposure instead.  Is this a fair practice, and how do you determine if a publication is worth contributing to?

Yes it’s fair practice and you’re correct, not many offer pay to be published.  When you start, as mostly a glamour model myself, you want to get seen in as many publications as possible.  But even in the beginning of your career, make sure the magazine you’re being published in shares the same views as yours.  I would have done it differently if I had to start all over again.  So don’t accept to be in any publication just simply cause they’re willing to feature you.  Make sure you agree with what they publish.

Do the publications contact you, or do you contact them?

Some publications have contacted me, and some I contact myself.  But I don’t say yes to all of them anymore.  I want to be in good publications.  Even if it’s a small one, I want to make sure, once again, they share my views.  It’s my name and image out there representing and promoting these publications. Now that I have been in Playboy and many major publications, I’ll be more selective and I have luxuries I didn’t in the beginning.  And I don’t care it makes me sound conceited.  I know who I am: I am a good person, very kind and cordial.  I value and respect myself!

Our industry is rife with scams… how do you know if an opportunity is legitimate or not?

I often do my homework, and I network with my colleagues.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions about a professional or publications, you’ll be surprised how small our community is.

Make sure to be always on time, professional and respectful. People will talk, although you can’t control what others might say about you.  If you always carry yourself with respect and integrity it will translate into more jobs, opportunities and great friendships in our industry.  Be kind and cordial to all you meet.  You just never know who you might come across with.  We are all mortals, we are not God.

I notice a lot of people who were either rude or ignored me when I first started, and now they want to work with me or want me to hand over my publications contact list.   Like the Grumpy Cat would say, “NO!”  I’m still cordial and respectful to them, but it makes me feel good to know I would never ignore anyone.  We need to be real and need more authentic people in this world.

What have been some of the highlights of your publication history so far?

I would have to say Playboy and to be specific Playboy Brazil, my home country. I got a ten page Playmate feature, Miss June 2013.  I did not expect that big of a feature and I feel very blessed.  I’m very grateful for it! Also, I’m in  FHM Spain, FHM Philippines, Fighters Only Sa edition, Fight Italy, and full page print ads on UltimateMMA Magazine for Combatives Gear.  I love doing commercial work.

What’s does the future hold in store for Ana Braga? What’s next?

There are a few cool publications coming up and a cover feature for Bizsu magazine hitting the stores September first. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me!

My advice to aspiring models and professional models is:  never give up, work as hard as you possibly can.  Don’t feel discouraged if a door closes for you.  That means life has a bigger one coming your way.  If life or our industry seems tough, you gotta be tougher.  If I did it, you can do it too.  I wish nothing but the best to you all.  Believe in yourself, love yourself, and accept who you are.  If others disagree that’s not your problem. Move on and continue to shine, because your break is much closer than you think!

 

Interview by Jim Jurica, Chief Editor
Images courtesy of Joe Peffer