We had the good fortune of connecting with DeVogue Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi DeVogue, how do you think about risk?
There is a lot of risk being a freelance model. I have to vet photogs, locations, and even other models to make sure they are safe for me to work with and potentially others. Risk are human trafficking, sexual assault or harassment, physical harm depending on the project, which could happen too. Modeling is an amazing experience, but you can’t come into this naive. Some too many people will exploit that and make you think they’re on your side. Thanks to those risks, I learned how to move in this ever-changing industry safely. I had one close call where a photographer while I was posing touched my face when my eyes were closed. It scared me so severely I lashed out with my hand and scratched him on his arm. His excuse was “he got lost in the moment” I was fully clothed. So if he got lost when I was in that state of dress, what could have happened if I had less on? This was a popular photographer with a following and support from models saying he was safe. You have to do your own research and listen to your heart and mind about what to do and who to work with. No matter how small, speak up if someone says or does something that isn’t right to you. Predators love to test limits to see what you will allow them to do around or to you.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Freedomwingsblazing is me. I am my business since I’m a model. It’s my body and skills that I earned from working with it that I sell. What makes me stand apart? I would have to say my ability to be a chameleon, posing, attitude. I can drastically change how I look with makeup and wigs; posing is natural for me. I practice 1 hour every day different styles so I can build myself and knowledge. Lastly, my attitude. Coming into this, I wanted to make sure that I didn’t waste anyone’s time. Most things I heard from photographers was that models are always late, can’t take direction, are rude, and so many other things. Hearing those things let me see how I wanted to be in this industry. I strive to be a balance of fun and professionalism on all my projects.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Make sure to check out Shoreline Village in Long Beach, CA. They host so many beautiful events that are either free to attend or low-cost. There are great places to eat you have plenty of choices. Plus, there are so many hotels and Airbnb if you traveling; you will have a top selection of places to crash. The people are friendly there is a beautiful beach. You will be in the middle of everything too. You can quickly go down PCH to San Diego or up to LA for some shenanigans just depends on you.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My loving partner @artisticendeavors714 he has supported me and I can’t thank him enough for all that he does.
Craig Robb Sven Stucky Dexellery Photo Matt Martinez Mike Smith Maria De Jesus Slevin Mors.