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In The Camera's Eye

Editor's Note: This article is reprinted from and is dated January 5, 2005.

Hello, my name is Cara, and I'm a blind model! I'm currently the only one I know of at the moment. Because of this, finding work can be very interesting at times.

I not only may encounter discrimination, but I do also find good work and meet open-minded and forward-thinking people in the process. I currently self-manage which is quite difficult, as most agents have trouble with the disability-however, I have also come into contact with a few who saw around it and really wanted to, and did a wonderful job, working with me, and, in fairness to those who did not, I must say I personally don't necessarily think it's a fault of theirs all the time.

The truth is that the industry itself, simply by its nature, is blatantly image conscious, so sometimes even if an agent sees around the disability, a client may only see the blindness and not the model--which has happened.

As I've said though, I do still find work, and though it does take a whole lot of persistence sometimes, it's what I truly love doing and therefore incredibly worth it! It can be the usual story of someone being skittish in the beginning but realizing that I know what I'm doing and really can do the work. So it's nice to see when they see that not only can I do it but I can do it well! It definitely makes a difference!

Yes, it definitely can be a pain at times to have to convince people, but as I said, it's also rewarding when they are convinced, and realize that someone can produce great work despite a perceived barrier to them (smile).

Along with the visual arts, modelling in particular has always been a passion for me.

I began modelling in the late eighties as an artistic model during college, where I learned to hold prolonged poses as students created their sketches. Though this isn't the type of modelling I currently focus on, I did continue it into the late nineties, posing for an artist who was commissioned for figure drawings for a medical book on a study of the chakras. I also currently plan to work with this same artist for an upcoming series of paintings. Experience like this helps me with my current photo work in that I can, not only create very interesting and artistic poses, but also hold them or make specific subtle changes while a photog creates his/her idea.

After moving to Colorado in the mid nineties, I've had the pleasure and privilege of both working with many wonderfully talented photographers and shooting in some of the most beautiful locales there are.

I enjoy print work very much, and have been involved in several different types. Among them I've shot sport, lingerie, artistic, fashion, figure, editorial, casual and Goth, or alt. At about this same time, I also began doing catalogue and promotional work. Among my credits are catalogue and spokes-modelling work for a Colorado based music store 1996-1997, CAMP (Colorado Artisans, Models and Photographers) model 2003-2004, Adrenal X Trophy/"Rev" Girl 2003, and Promotional model for GM/Buick (PGA Tour sponsor) 2004. I'll also be featured in an upcoming issue of the quarterly magazine, Dialogue, which is published in 26 countries and focuses on visually challenged individuals who are succeeding in their careers despite difficulties or challenges they may encounter.

I currently enjoy print and promotional modelling on the east coast, and have been fortunate to work with some extremely talented photogs between Connecticut and NYC. I'm looking forward to more shots here, and meeting many more gifted models and photographers in this area. I've always had a taste for the creative and expressive in everything I do. As a model, my comfort in front of a camera or an audience allows these qualities to help me bring something special to a shoot or event. I really enjoy what I do, so am reliable, professional, and take direction well.

I don't like my time wasted, so won't waste yours. Despite my disability, I have an extremely good visual sense about me (having had sight), which I bring to modelling, to help anticipate what it is a client or photographer might be looking for. I think not only good dialogue can be important for nice shots, but one's abilities as a model, to be aware, and improvise on the spot to help create great images and enjoy doing it. It's nice to achieve what you're after and have fun with it as well!

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