Ariana Rae Lopez

Name: Ariana Rae Lopez
Location: Wharton, NJ USA
Age: 17
Biography: I remember the first time I ever modeled. I was twelve years old and wanted to get signed with an agency, so my parents paid to have professional photos taken of me. I was extremely nervous, but surprised to find how natural it felt for me. It was like I moved with the click of the camera. I signed up with Model Mayhem, where I found a lot of trade for opportunities with photographers and makeup artists. I even found a job with Mimi Braids, where I walked in my first hair show. In that year, I signed with Axis Models and Talent, working with Christmas Tree Shops, shooting a commercial for Snap On Feathers, and going to New York City to appear on a craft box that would be stocked in Walmart, Target, Michaels, etc. At such a young age, I felt as if I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
In highschool, my modeling career came to a halt. I walked in one fashion show at the Rockaway Mall during freshman year to display various prom dresses being sold in the complex. The rest of highschool, I got caught up in my studies, going to youth group at my church, and playing basketball and lacrosse. In my junior year, I started working at Harmon Discount, a beauty supply store. I worked there for a year, until I was able to drive. Senior year, I became a part time nanny everyday after school for two amazing children. That is when my mother read a post by Edward Schuhlein on our church facebook page. He wrote about needing models for a future fashion show. My mother instantly informed me of the opportunity, and I was more than happy to pursue it. Reaching out to Edward, he informed us of auditions for a show in New York Fashion Week. This show was called SM Global Catwalk. I found myself in New York City on a hot August morning and eventually walking down the runway in fashion week. What a life-changing experience it was.

It was something that I personally needed. One of my favorite things about modeling is that for that short period of time, I do not feel like myself. I feel like I am important, like I belong somewhere. Living an average life can get so boring. When I model, I feel extraordinary. I feel confident and unstoppable. The adrenaline rush that comes along with modeling is one that simply can not be replaced. Next year when I go to college, I hope that I will be able to model more frequently, as it is one of the things that I authentically enjoy in life.