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Rose Alexis: When a Model Steps Behind the Camera

Some of us prepare to shift our talents and commitments back and forth. Like one who pushes grains of rice from one end to the other inside a homemade rain stick. These incredible people bounce around in their pursuits, drawing only energy, creativity, and inspiration from each one and depositing it into the next.

South Florida creative Rose Alexis is just such an artist. First and foremost, her enthusiasm lies in modeling. It was her dream throughout high school, as she told VoyageMIA. It remained her dream even as she somewhat reluctantly decided to attend college. She found herself struggling, “not because it was hard but…facing the realization that college always felt like it was never where I was meant to be…There was too much time and money being put towards something my heart wasn’t in.”

Eventually, she knew the best option would simply be dropping out and going for it. She did exactly that about a year ago, and began making a name for herself among the South Florida creative community. With only self-made modeling chops, a friend, and one camera between them, it was a bit natural that Alexis’ eye for photography would develop along the way. 

Modeling and portrait photography go hand in hand; if you manage to translate what you do in front of the camera into what needs to be done behind the camera. On the other hand it isn’t a 1:1 match by any means; but Alexis’  work proves that blending the two disciplines can produce some stunning images.

As a photographer, she only just begins. There’s a certain playfulness to many shots that comes from purely enjoying yourself while still figuring things out. A feeling of experimentation accompanying editing and visual style. But it doesn’t detract in any way from the raw talent of her gallery.

Each shot is well-executed and conceptually sharp. A model herself, she inherently seems to know which angles to work, how to line up a frame for maximum interest, how to let each model sing out with their own beautiful individuality. Even with some of her own modeling, she serves as creative director of the shoot; she’ll handle everything from the visual concept to the post-production editing in some cases. Alexis is a woman with 20/20 creative vision. Her eyes firmly fixate on moving forward towards her greatest truth, no matter what.

This allows her to see the truth of her own models as well. Each portrait session comes to a distinct conclusion, entirely set apart from its peers. Some locales and themes feel familiar. There’s something Floridian about the outdoor locations, something natural and vibrant and green and blue all over. But the similarities end there because Alexis puts a stop to them. She makes sure to capture completely different moods between her subjects and their environment. One photo set: bright and confident; then these pieces, full of overcast longing. 

She brings an attention to styling detail, too — another holdover from being in front of the camera. Also, from being the embodiment of fly and fashionable (such a heavy burden to carry!). It’s simple stuff but entirely easy to miss when you’re starting out. By ensuring the style, mood, and poses all play off of each other, Alexis’ shoots excel at cohesion. It’s not necessarily for the purpose of conveying a narrative, but it’s definitely tight visual storytelling. 

For now, and probably indefinitely, Alexis is a model whether she’s the star of the shoot or turning other models into their own shooting stars. Yet she is also much more than that too — a creative, an artist. A growing photographer. “Modeling formed me into a new being, it opened the door for me to evolve and look much deeper and further within myself and in life.” We hope to follow more of her exploits in the future and can’t wait to see what’s next.


CONTACT THE PHOTOGRAPHER

INSTAGRAM @shotsbyspazgyal
INSTAGRAM @spazgyal

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