By Mandy McGee
Tessa Goetz is a beautiful model from Fredericksburg, VA. I found her through mutual friends online and one time when I went to my hometown for a visit me and Amber Renee both photographed her. She definitely knows how to work a in front of a camera. I recently got to know her more and how she views fashion and the modeling world.
Photo by Amber Renee
Mandy: Who is Tessa?
Tessa: Tessa is a beast who loves Slim Jims and 80’s movies. But seriously…I’m 28 years old and graduated from JMU in 2007. I have been married for over a year to a wonderful dude! My hubby Colby, dog Rosco, family and friends are my life. *hearts and stuff*. I love spontaneous dance parties (robot!) and a good red wine. I have a passion for fashion, art, and music!
Mandy: How would you describe your modeling style?
Tessa: I wouldn’t say I have one style of modeling. It varies based on the looks involved. If it’s a beauty shoot, my style is more poised and natural, where as if it’s a more artistic high fashion shoot, my style is more bold and unique with crazy positions and angles. It’s all about molding my style into what the photographer/client wants.
Mandy: How long have you been modeling?
Tessa: When I was fourteen I was with the agency Model Source Inc. My agent was Heather Cole, a very well established model in her day who appeared in Vogue, Elle, etc. She wanted me to gain enough experience to go to Paris one day. After two years there I decided to quit due to wanting more spare time on weekends with friends to do teeny bopper activities. LAME. So lame. I regret that to this day and have a lot of “what ifs?” about that. When I was 24 I got back into it and had a better appreciation for it but I was a little old to take it too seriously. I model on weekends whenever I have the spare time.
Mandy: What do you like the most about modeling?
Tessa: Being able to escape reality and letting my guard down. It’s such a great outlet for emotion and creativity. The wardrobe, makeup, and hair make me feel like someone else. It’s like I get to act and take on many different personas. I’ve been a punk rocker, a mad hatter, a bride, a corpse bride, a 60’s diva, a unicorn, a spice girl(zigazig ah!), the list goes on and on!!! Then again I’ve also modeled in a sense that’s more “me” in a t-shirt and nerd glasses. I love the broad spectrum of modeling.
Photos by Amber Renee (L) and Mandy McGee (R) (from the same shoot)
Mandy: Have you modeled for any big clients? Been featured in any publications?
Tessa: For awhile I was Toxic Shock Apparel’s “it girl”. DC Fashion Week was also at the top of my list. I modeled for a few international designers. I have been featured in several magazines, but my favorite was to be featured on the Vogue Italia’s website several times. In February there will be new published work in a pretty well known magazine, but can’t share the details yet! It’s a surprise!
Mandy: Why do you model?
Tessa: 'Cause I'm a beast. Ha,ok I'll stop. To me modeling is a form of art and it's just plain FUN! I love meeting and collaborating with all of the new photographers, designers, MUA's, etc.I have met some really amazing people and friends from modeling. I love being able to see photos after the shoot and saying, “is that really me?”. It's crazy how much lighting and makeup can change your appearance!
Mandy: What is your favourite style to model?
Tessa: High fashion!
Mandy: Is there anything you haven’t done in modeling that you want to do/try?
Tessa: There are SOOO many ideas out there that I would love to experience. The more attainable ideas would be an underwater shoot, on a horse, and rooftop in a big city! Maybe I should start making a “bucket” list.
Photo by East Photography
Written by Mandy McGee
Born and Raised in Fredericksburg, Va, Amber Renee is a fashion photographer who has amazing compositional skills and intimate understanding of light and shadow. She effortlessly captures the beauty and detail of her subjects with breathtaking results. Her images range from light, airy and romantic to edgy and brightly colored high fashion (like her Alice in Wonderland series). I have had the pleasure of working along side her doing a duel shoot with Tessa Goetz. In every shot she explores the subtext to tell a persuasive story. Beyond the technical and artistic, Amber really connects with her models on a deeper level and gains their trust and respect to really get them to shine.
How long have you been doing photography and how did you get started?
I have been doing photography since I was 10 or 11, my dad is photographer, always used film. I mergerd to digital photography 3 years ago, started shooting models about 2 years ago.I started photgraphy because of my dad. He always pushed me to keep up with my creativity. Capturing moments is truly precious, whether it’s fashion, glamour, alternative or just a candid.
What inspires your style?
My inspirations include anything vintage, it’s a true love of mine. Embracing the past and presenting it in a future tense. Gwen Stefani, as far as her style, inspires me as well. She has such a vibrant look that I adore.
How did you learn photography school or self taught?
My dad taught me a lot about the techniques involved with photography. I have learned a great deal from other photographers. So many to name. They have been kind enough to take me under their wing and guide me in the right direction while keeping me motivated at the same time. I do learn a lot from trial and error though.
Have you always wanted to do photography?
Photography has been in my life since I was very young. My dad would pull out his camera and photograph everything he saw. I truly believe I am just like my father. I catch myself photographing anything and everything.
Why do you choose fashion photography to focus on?
Fashion photography is my personal preference, however, I do branch out to various genres. Fashion is just a true and complete expression of emotion and passion. The way a dress can change the entire mood of the photograph because a designer made it so spectacular it tells a story.
What else do you enjoy to photograph?
I also love to shoot still-life! Creating something magical out of household items. I also adore landscape. It puts me in a great mood!
What is most important to you, technique or vision?
Technique is by far important, however, vision falls extremely close. Both to me are incredibly important.
What equipment and software do you make use of in your work flow?
I shoot with a Nikon d3000…. not fancy, but I don’t need anything fancy at the moment. I edit with CS5 but nailing a shoot straight out of camera is my goal.
Tell me about the magazine you are starting?
Essere is a magazine Chris Mangune and I started to present artists to the world, work that may go unnoticed, and showcasing today’s epic artists.
What have you learned lately in photography?
I am now focusing of studio lighting. I have always been a passionate”au natural” light, the sun! I have decided it’s time to step it up and learn new and fun techniques that studio lighting can provide.
Why did you start modeling as well?
I started modeling for my friends who are photographers. I easily became hooked. I love expressing myself in front of the camera as well as behind the lens.
Amber by Chris Mangune
What was your favourite modeling adventure?
My favorite modeling adventure is by far a shoot I did for C. Scott Designs, based out of D.C. Photographers Chris Mangune, Mike Boycourt & Erwin Simbulan were a pleasure to work with as always. It didn’t feel like “work”, we all enjoyed each others company.
What photographers inspire you?
Mario Testino is my true inspiration as far as famous photographers go. He allows his emotion to show through his work. The creativity I see in his work is very motivating. I always think, “I want to be like him when I grow up!”
If you could work for any publication what would it be?
VOGUE! Slap my work in that and I will die a happy girl
What advice do you have for individuals interested in pursuing a career in photography?
As far as advice, don’t get discouraged. This industry is time consuming. You will be kicked down a lot. Keep your head up. For one, it’s admirable. Two, you’ll go much further if you do.