Friday, January 16, 2015

Metamorph: A Conversation With Kendra, Part 1

Transformation is part of everyone's lives, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It's a theme rich for storytelling, and one in which I wanted to sink my teeth into.

In 2013, I hatched the notion of a metamorphisis-themed photo shoot, with a slightly backwards twist -- a beautiful butterfly who only longs to return to the comfort of her cocoon.

Change is hard. Even when we appear the pillar of strength and beauty, on the outside, we are often feeling our most vulnerable, on the inside. Our story of metamorphosis shows that emotional journey; stripping away superficial masks, no matter how beautiful, to find one's true identity, regardless of the dark places it may take us.

I contacted model, Kendra Scott -- a fellow-Cancerian, and frequent collaborator -- to help me realize this vision. I knew she was going through several personal transformations, which would be helpful for her to connect with my theme. But, I also know she is a thoughtful and perceptive spirit who would personalize this creation and make it her own. Plus, we tend to create magical images when we collaborate.

Hair and makeup artist, Cynthia Rhodes, joined us, again, bringing her own magic to our vision.

After about a year on the incubator, the stars and schedules aligned, and we made it happen. Kendra stepped outside of her comfort zone, in many ways, to help make this visual story so special and powerful. You'll read more about how she stepped outside her comfort zone, in our Q & A sessions.

Because there is so much to talk about, with Kendra, we're breaking our discussion into two posts. The first part, below, introduces you to Kendra. Part two delves into her thoughts behind our our shoot.

Without further delay, here is part one of my insightful conversation with the lovely, Kendra...

AB: How long have you been modeling?

Kendra: I’ve been modeling just a little over 3 years.

AB: How did you get started modeling?

Kendra: A bit of a personal story, but I got into modeling after my divorce as a way of rebuilding my self-esteem. I basically threw myself to the wolves and although I did receive a lot of rejection, I also landed my first runway show which was the foundation to everything I’ve done since. I literally cried from happiness when I got the casting call!

AB: What do you love most about modeling?

Kendra: I absolutely love the freedom of expression and creative possibilities.

AB: What advice do you have for young girls who aspire to model?

Kendra: Do your research!!! There are a LOT of people out there who will take advantage of you or tell you that you’re pretty. Be safe and be smart.

AB: Where do you find creative inspiration?

Kendra: Anytime I’m lacking inspiration, I go outside. There is so much beauty that inspires me -- the movement of the trees, a rain storm, and animals. Sometimes all I need is to go barefoot outside to ground myself and spark some creative inspiration.

AB: How do you describe your modeling style?

Kendra: Eclectic! Heavy on the sassy and saucy, too.

AB: What is your favorite non-modeling hobby?

Kendra: Lifting weights -- it’s a bit of an obsession, really.

AB: What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Kendra: A glass of Riesling with Will Ferrell movies is my go-to guilty pleasure. Also, white chocolate Reece’s cups. Those things are ungodly delicious.

AB: What 3 words best describe you?

Kendra: I put this question on my social media to help out…let me tell you, I got some colorful responses! haha I think the following ones do it best, though. Bold. Passionate. Catalyst.

AB: That's interesting. Can you explain what you mean by catalyst?

Kendra: I am a catalyst in the sense that I make change happen, I set out to make a difference even if that means it causes an uprising and makes people uncomfortable. If a change needs to happen, I'm the person for the job.

AB: What is one thing people do not know about you?

Kendra: I have always secretly wanted to be a writer for SNL. Unfortunately, I find myself funnier than most people do. ;)

AB: Tell me about your interest in fitness and working out. It's been a metamorphosis, of sorts, for you. What got you started working out?

Kendra: I have always been one of those girls we like to call “treadmill bunnies” and ran several miles a day and absolutely hated it. It works great for some people but not for me. I wasn’t happy with my body or the results I was trying to reach. I started researching ways to increase muscle mass and tone and came across the beautiful world of weight lifting. I’ve been hooked ever since! I’ve put on a solid 25 lbs since switching to weight lifting and I’ve never felt or looked better.

AB: Your hard work is evident, in our images. What do you enjoy, the most, about going to the gym?

Kendra: As a mom, I don’t get a lot of alone, adult time, So the gym is my escape. At the same time, I have so many friends at the gym that really push me to be the best version of myself -- so I get my adult time and see my buddies all at once.

AB: What is your favorite exercise?

Kendra: Without a doubt, Deadlifts! I love to deadlift when I’m having a bad day and take out all my frustrations with the weight.

AB: What are your fitness goals?

Kendra: I would eventually like to do some competitions -- just looking for the right trainer to assist me.

AB: What music gets you pumped for a gym session?

Kendra: Anyone who knows me, knows that I have an obsession with Eminem. I can rap just about any of his songs and I always listen to him before or during a gym session to really get motivated.

My sincerest thanks to the very kind, brave, and talented, Kendra, for a fantastic experience. You'll want to stay tuned for part two, where we get a glimpse inside the transformations that influenced her, and how she prepared for this special experience.

photographer: Allan Burch (
model: Kendra Scott
hair and makeup: Cynthia Rhodes
dress: Dream Shoot Rentals (
mask: Stellar Masks (

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