A little while back, I interviewed a fascinating woman (Part I and Part II) who was getting into modeling for the first time a little later in life than what most people do and she’s been successful with it. Her new career is taking off and at 58, she’s really taking off. This has become such a serious endeavor for her that she’s constantly on the road. Hailing from Arkansas, let me again introduce Selena Bree. *Applause*

Selena Bree, by GBI Graphics 

1. So how have you been doing since our last interview earlier this year?

Uh…modeling? I quit the belly dance group to concentrate on modeling. Trying to get back to doing my art. Will do a workshop on dancing with a sword. Will choreograph my own solos. I am now more of a “life dancer” or “tribal fusion dancer” and I like rehearsing a lot before I perform and enjoying the “process” more than “performance” so particularly since I have my own studio I enjoy the idea of going back to working that way. It suits me better.

I turned 58; ouch Getting close to that sixty….EGADS! Let me start off by saying that what made the difference the most is that I have worked with so many really wonderful photographers and a few make-up artists that have so generously helped me with each shoot I have done. I can not thank Wayne Madison of Wayne Madison Photography enough for getting me started in this and so wish I had done it three years before when he first mentioned it.

Some people do enjoy working with someone that is older for what we bring to the table as far as knowledge and life experience. Especially the eyes…the window to the soul and what we have survived, loved and lived through. Some see me as forever youthful. I got to work with several female models and tried to encouraged one by being helpful and it being a comfortable and fun experience and she took the leap and got on OMP. My husband came along way concerning me doing nudes. He knows I do good tasteful work. We don’t talk about it and I don’t show them to him but when I told him my calendar has a few nudes and how did he feel about that; he just said don’t sell them here in the small town I live in.

What is interesting is that more and more photographers have been contacting me to work with them without the standard model first step “I would love to work with you.” or have asked me when I will be in there area or when I am in there area please stop and see them. In the spring I have already booked one photographer driving from North Carolina to shoot me here and another is providing me travel, food and lodging to bring me to Utah for a week of desert shoots. This year I have been housed, and feed and treated extremely well. I hope to work at Great Lakes Workshops in Milwaukee several times a year where I can do the workshop, stay a while, and easily access the Chicago and surrounding areas. Richard Pickert is a great guy and has accommodations for models where I can stay a few days to pick up paid work.

2. Have you found your niche yet?

Not really. Geez…fine art nudes would be good this time of year since I have put on my winter weight. LOL But actually I look healthier by pulling up the nutrition, water and getting lots of sleep.

Selena Bree, by GBI Graphics

3. And how about your personal mission to help society redefine the concept of beauty?

As far as the fashion industry not a dent. I am probably the wrong person to do this with being petite and tattooed. (And I perfectly understand why photographers don’t like tattoos; it is extra and more complicated work for them). Amazing models like Michaela (OneModelPlace#6858) who have the physical requirements and outstanding modeling skills is already doing that. She is still my hero and has already battled the age barrier in my opinion.

I have seen changes already. Commercial ads don’t necessarily need a gorgeous run way model (and they are so stunning and already show fashion off so beautifully) but who knows….maybe more people could relate to an ad if they felt that model was more like them? Then we get back to the baby boomers…we are a huge population with leisure time. And what about expensive gowns and other merchandise…can that 20 year old really afford that? Would it be more realistic for someone in their 40’s, 50’s or 60’s to be seen wearing a designer’s best?

4. So you’ve also started a new genre of nudes. Tell us about your decision to explore erotica.

I have only done one so far but I really like it. I would love to do more if they are quality as far as concept and photography. I have seen some really stunning erotica which is tasteful, and leaves much to the viewer’s imagination…I would like doing that sort of work. There is a distinct difference between gallery edition upscale erotica and pornography.

5. Will you continue on this adventure or is this just an experience it once and done sort of thing?

Selena Bree by Artistic Expressions 

I don’t know at this time. The only thing I regret in my life was not taking the offer to model shoes. I was approached at 17 by an agency but my parents didn’t like the idea. I wasn’t smart enough or didn’t have the self-esteem at the time to simply go back at 18. Also due to illness and dying (or so we thought) I missed again doing more fine art nude photographic modeling which I did at about age 36 to 39 because I had to quit at 39 and spent most of my time in bed for the next two years and then two more to get back to the ability to work a part-time job. So I missed out again…but hey, better late than never! Even if that is like, twenty years later.

6. How far would you like to take it and what do you think you bring to the erotic arena?

You know I have no idea. I do have some “hidden” photos under wraps until the photographer and I decide where and how to use them. Truth be know we never have control as to how our endeavors go. That is the universe’s job. I do believe in opportunity meeting preparation so this winter will be spending time in my studio nailing poses that not only work well on my body but should have ones that work well with what wardrobe I have. I need work on facial expressions.

7. What other new and interesting projects are coming up?

Me working out and getting back to a pattern. This last year I spent so much time on the computer and traveling I lost a lot of what I feel my strengths are: a killer body for my age and the flexibility and versatility of other venues I have done in my life (the dancing, etc.)

The next exciting project  is something that I’m collaborating with another photographer on that will benefit models and photographers of all skill levels.  I can’t go into details just yet, but you can all share the surprise and excitement as we get closer to completion.

Selena Bree, by Secret Drawer Photography
with post by Shen Garden of Suiy

8. How has your overall impression of modeling changed since the time you got started?

It is like anything else. Hard work, consistency and determination. I recognize the amount of work I am needing to do. I am starting today with many outfits that are out in my studio right now preparing for a shoot with Cajunpix2. More planning/less photo shoots/better photographers who would like to work with me. Images that are as good or better than I already have in my portfolio. I plan to work several times a week in my studio with my mirrors. Reminds me of doing dance improvisation. I will work it for poses, facial expression, different ways to put the items together, etc. I see it as rehearsal and practice time. I have been so looking forward to this time of year. I am thinking of this as my “off season” time…October/November through March where it is more about working the craft, getting healthy, organizing wardrobe, working out more, etc. What is ironic is that I spent decades getting my body aligned because I was so knock-kneed, sway backed and pigeon toed that I find it very painful to do the posing That perfectly straight back and strong core strength from years of Pilates and that upright pelvis from ballet training now make it hard to “stick my butt out”, twist and move body parts where they don’t want to go.

9. Has your goals changed any since the last time we talked?

Selena Bree by Beach Photo

Yes. Like I stated earlier: I plan to work less with more planning for a shoot and doing less shoots with more quality photographers. I think working with a smaller group of photographers is a very smart move especially when I am not any where close to being the typical modeling concept at all. Find those that believe in what the goal is and stick with them. So many wonderful photographers that have been so very generous with teaching and instructing me. Frankly some of that has had less to do with modeling and photography and more to do about people skills and how to present yourself.

10. What’s next?

Modeling as Zen. Part of one’s every day life. Getting to where I am doing poses and am “on point” where ever I go…I need to be putting gas in my car and working on poses. My modeling mentor will get me going with this when we work in January where I will have set routines that I will be working all the time. Oh and I keep saying I am not going to buy any more wardrobe and then I find this new piece to add to that outfit…a belly dance outfit from Nadia who worked in Las Vegas for 20 years that she is selling…a cool vintage hat on ebay or at the local flea market I go to frequently…hmmmm….is there a 12 step program for people obsessed with putting together concepts with clothing and accessories? 🙂

Selena Bree Calendar, by Fashion Figure Fantasy

No crystal ball today…just a very positive and excited attitude and great optimism regarding my future.

Be sure to check out more of Selena Bree on Model Mayhem, Model Brigade, and OMP. The Selena Bree 2012 Calendar is available for $19.95 + $4.95 Priority mail. You can send inquiries on where to send checks to: selenabree@hotmail.com.