I’m pretty convinced that I’m awesome at interviewing people.  Not sure how I got so good at it.  Maybe it’s my research.  Maybe it’s my intelligence and wit.  Maybe it’s the fact that I email the questions 14 weeks before I plan to do the interview and only ask good people to get interviewed.  Whatever it is, I rule at it.  And this installment is no exception.  Victoria Leigh has like, 13 different jobs and one of them is apparently making fun of me in banner pics.  But no matter.  The interview is very revealing.  Let’s chat with Victoria.  *pretends to take out note cards, lights pipe*

SG:  OK.  I went through some of your pics on G+.  Very impressive portfolio but it does make me wonder one thing:  Do you own stock in a hat company?

VL:  Haha, no. I just love hats, and have ever since I was a child. As a young girl, I would save up my allowance during the year, and in the summers my family and I would visit Hershey, Pennsylvania where my grandmother and mom’s  side of the family lived. Not too far by car from there was a little farmer’s and flea market that we would go to, and every year I would buy a different antique hat and an antique piece of costume jewelry. For me, even as a youngster, it was all about the accessories; clothing bored me. If you looked through my family photo album, you would see a lot of pictures of me as a girl wearing silly old hats. To me, it speaks of a bygone area where people not only took great care of their appearance, but respected themselves and others.

SG:  Which job do you like better:  Model, photographer, muse, retoucher or makeup artist?  As a follow up question, wtf is a retoucher?  Who touches them first?

VL:  Don’t tell my photography clientele, but I enjoy modeling the most. I love to express the different sides of my personality in front of the camera. In order to have the freedom to do that however, I have to support my modeling addiction by working the other side of the camera, behind the scenes, and in post-production. All a retoucher is, is the person who post-process the image prior to it’s publication (so the photographer would ‘touch’ them first by bringing them into creation). Much like when a motion picture is in “post-production,” a still image usually requires some level of color/brightness adjustment and custom enhancement tailored to the client’s needs (whether the client wants to look 20 pounds slimmer or simply lose a pimple).

SG:  So do you have like a rate card?  I have watched America’s Next Top Model and they never explain how people get paid.  By the hour?  Gah.  Are there any pay methods that don’t sound hookery?

VL:  I do list my rates, which vary depending on the type of job. Fashion models get paid by the day or by the project. Each model’s pay rate differs, not every girl in the same fashion show or even the same ad will get paid the same. For freelance models, anything goes including hourly. The majority of “new faces” with agencies get very little or even nothing their first season as they are working to establish themselves and starting with a long list of expenses (which get deducted from final pay). Agencies tend to frown on disclosing rates; as in most professions, you start out in the hole, but if you are willing to work, be consistent, and maintain “the look” the money can be there for you. Here’s the shocker: a lot of times, those glossy editorials in the magazines with heavy circulation rates (you’d recognize the names if I mentioned them) either don’t pay, or pay very little. But models are willing to do them because it means getting their face seen in the right publication, which can lead to better jobs, runway shows and campaigns (which do pay). Some top models got their start doing catalogues, which believe it or not most pay very well compared to a Vogue editorial!

SG:  What’s your proudest professional accomplishment?

VL:  Being selected by Tyra Banks out of thousands of other girls to compete in a modeling contest similar to America’s Next Top Model. I was flown to LA, rode in stretch limos, put up in swanky quarters, and appeared on national television. Definitely an experience one could get used to.

SG:  Don’t you think there should be a site where if someone gets in a commercial or something they can go on the site and say: “Hey, I was in that Lenscrafters commercial.”  That way people could hire her for other commercials and/or stalk her?  If there is such a site, gimme the link.  If there isn’t, Patent Pending!

VL:  If it’s an agency model (and generally, clients like Lenscrafter or JCPenney only hire through agencies), credits will be listed by the agency on the model’s resume within their portfolio.

If the model is freelance, they can list their credits on an online modeling portfolio site, such as modelmayhem.com or onemodelplace.com. If you’re on modelmayhem, feel free to add me, I have modeling (http://www.modelmayhem.com/victorialeigh), photography (http://www.modelmayhem.com/victorialeighstudios), makeup artisty (http://www.modelmayhem.com/mua) and photo retouching (http://www.modelmayhem.com/victorialeighretouching) portfolios there.

SG:  What are your goals (other than being on superficialgallery.com that is)?

VL:  My goal for the moment is to streamline my offerings into more specialized segments of photography, like boudoir or pin-up. Right now, I do everything under the sun throughout the entire photographic process, and that takes up a majority of my limited free time. (I’m also a mommy of two precious baby boys, 4 years old and 1 year old.)

SG:  Favorite Movie, TV Show and Website and why! (I snuck in a few extra questions in that one).

VL:  Favorite movie: a tie between The Graduate (1967) due its’ awesome groovy soundtrack by Simon & Garfunkel, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)because “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

My favorite book is The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, probably because I got hooked on playing the text-based adventure game by the same title as soon as I was old enough to read. 🙂

Favorite website, well Google+ is quickly becoming a favorite, but in terms of getting quick and (mostly) accurate information on a given topic, Wikipedia is a pretty useful site. I also enjoy viewing the artwork of both professional and amateur artists at deviantart.com. (Incidentally, I amhttp://alexisrose.deviantart.com/ on deviantart.)

SG:  What’s your favorite part of Superficial Gallery? I’ll wait while you go to look at the site and find something.

VL:  I’m going to go with “Hot Chicks Wearing American Flags,” even though it’s technically a post on the site. Why? Because as I’m writing this I’m looking at a picture on my desk of me wearing an American Flag, and it’s September 11th. That picture stirred up a lot of controversy and some said it was disrespectful to show patriotism in that manner. I wore it because I am proud to live in a free country where we can do silly things like wear the flag of our country for self-expression.

SG:  I heard you were working on a website.  How’s that going?

VL:  Not really a website, but just about as much work. I offered to set up a customized facebook fan page for a model friend of mine. That was before I knew what I was getting into with the new Facebook format, which makes customization a manual coding ordeal. But yeah, I really should be working on my own website at victorialeigh.com – there’s nothing there. 🙁 Anyone interested in helping me to set it up? 🙂

SG:  What’s next for you? Anything you want your new fans to do? Plug away!

VL:  If you haven’t already, add me to your Google+ circle. http://gplus.to/victorialeigh or friend me on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/victorialeigh

Eventually, I will get around to setting up a fan page (of my own) on facebook, and if you’d ‘like’ you can get a head start and add my page in preparation for all the awesome content I will inevitably add. 🙂 http://www.facebook.com/pages/Victoria-Leigh/148614171889288