Ashley Gabrielle Duran

Photography by Sal W. Hanna
Makeup: Christen Hiller
Hair: Kriz Ruis-Villaluz
Creative Director: Elle Love

Ashley Gabrielle Duran Interview

  • Where are you from and where are you based now
    •  I grew up in the San Gabriel Valley, and now I’m located in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Who or what inspired you to become a model?
    • I had always wanted to be more confident about my insecurities. There were a few people who said I should model, but I always brushed it off. It was inspiring to see some old photos of my grandma who did some modeling, and the confidence she had. I wanted to experience that for myself and step out of my comfort zone.

    • How and when did you start modeling?

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    It was 2015 when one of my closest friends at the time had a family member who owned a pinup clothing line. That was when I did my first shoot and learned a lot about the overall process. I practiced a lot of posing and researched several models. I think I can learn something from pretty much any model. I then made a profile on Model Mayhem. Since then I’ve worked consistently from MM, only taking a short break for personal growth.

  • What do you look for when deciding to work with a photographer?
     
    • Creativity! I look at their portfolios online and on social media and I ask a few questions. Who are their models? Are they thinking outside the box? I’m likely to pass up a basic bikini-in-the-desert shoot. I’m looking for portfolios that match my overall aesthetic. Their social media following is not as important as credibility and creativity. As a freelance model, I’m careful to only work with people who post high quality images and use professional language. 
  • What type of modeling do you enjoy the most?
    • I enjoy shooting overall. I always try to keep my shots elegant, sexy, and most importantly classy with creativity. I find myself booking a lot of lingerie, and I enjoy it because of the experience and the feeling of it. My favorite shoots are the ones that make me feel aligned and confident, no matter what the genre is (as long as it’s creative).

Which models or other artists currently inspire you?

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    • Most of my inspiration comes from Instagram. I follow specific models like Michelle Maturo. She inspires me in a deeper way because she responded to my comments and likes. Not only was her look fantastic – natural and classy –  she was down-to-earth and kind. I also study the popular models and save the Instagram pics that I think I could learn from. I try to study and learn from anyone who has experience in the modeling world.
  • What would be your dream shoot?

    It’s been a dream of mine to do a classic Hollywood glam. That era had the most beautiful women around. One particularly special dream to recreate a shoot my grandma did when she was younger. Aside from that, I’d love to shoot a post-apocalyptic theme as well. Mad Max style!

     

    Ashley’s Grandmother

  • How important is social media in your success?
    • It is crucial. Outside of Model Mayhem, it’s where I get most of my gigs. 
  • What else do you like to do outside of modeling?
    • When it was a realistic option, I would go out dancing with my friends and listen to live bands. I love live music of any kind. I enjoy bartending and working for a catering company as well. I haven’t met very many other models that have a second job, so I want my story to be heard. I am modeling, bartending, and living my best life.
    • When it was a realistic option, I would go out dancing with my friends and listen to live bands. I love live music of any kind. I don’t get to see them often, so I enjoy spending time with my family (including my pup, Theodore)! I enjoy bartending and working for a catering company as well. I am a busy bee; a workaholic. I haven’t met very many other models that I can relate to or that have a second job, so I want my story to be heard. One day I hope to share my full story and inspire others.
    • I am modeling, bartending, and living my best life. 

  • What’s the best career advice you can give to new models?
    • Having come from a low-income family and faced challenges and insecurities, I cannot stress enough how important tenacity is. Don’t give up, especially if someone tells you to quit. Don’t stop because of failure. Don’t be afraid to trade with photographers, but try not to work for free too often. Practice poses in the mirror and feel free to copy poses from models you admire. Remember to ask for career advice from photographers and models as you go to keep learning.

In her own words…

I grew up in a low income family and faced various life challenges including losing my mom at eighteen. I feel that made me independent and put me in touch with reality. I keep to myself and try to stay busy. I’ve grown as a person from modeling and developing confidence. Facing challenges made me realize life is short, and you get what you give.”

 

Social Media

Model: Ashley Gabrielle Duran http://www.instagram.com/ashduran22
Photographer: Sal W. Hanna http://www.instagram.com/salwhannaphotography
Makeup: Christen Hiller http://www.instagram.com/artistry4life
Hair: Kris Ruiz-Villaluz http://www.instagram.com/krisvhmua
Creative Director: Elle Love http://www.instagram.com/e_ellelove
Writer: Elizabeth Lily Marie: http://www.instagram.com/elizabethlilymarie

About Author /

I was born and raised in Los Angeles County, and my studies have brought me north to Santa Barbara. I commute to LA weekly, though, to spend time with my six-year-old. It’s been a goal of mine to get a degree, live my modeling dreams, and serve my community with my daughter by my side; so far so good! After my run-in with the photographer who introduced me to Model Mayhem, I have returned to the site off and on to look for projects to update my portfolio and earn additional income. Shoots don’t always begin with Model Mayhem. Networking at film festivals and other Hollywood events has led to some of my favorite projects, too. The aesthetic of my portfolio is classic beauty with a hint of the past. I’m sure I’ll broaden that horizon in the future. I haven’t submitted applications to modeling agencies, because the academic and parenting careers are my priority. After graduating next year, I plan to look for representation and model more consistently.

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