Interview: Model Lia Kussunadi Knudsen (Italy)
Interviews / Stories
Can you tell us a little about you?
I’m a 24-year-old greek-danish model currently living in Denmark. I was born and grew up in Greece, on a small island in the Aegean Ocean; just like the ones you see on postcards. My father is Greek and my mother is Danish. When I was 18, I had already lived a year in Athens having music lessons, I decided to move to Denmark. I’ve always wanted to move to Denmark since it felt like home to me since I was a child. I felt like I could be myself there and I like the Danish peoples’ way of thinking. So I moved in 2011 and in 2012 I started modelling. I’ve been modelling ever since. I’ve done photoshoots in Denmark, Sweden and the US, participated in music videos and different kinds of events. Several of my pictures have won photography competitions in Denmark and abroad and last year I was published in two online magazines.
If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?
Definitely my temperament J I have quite a temperament, and I don’t know whether that’s because I’m half Greek or something J Fortunately, I’ve never showed that during any photoshoot, but if I could change it, I definitely would. I’m jealous of those people who seem to be easy-going and don’t get frustrated by small things.
How did you start modeling?
I had just moved to a small city and didn’t know anyone, so I found this online model/photographer database and uploaded some pictures of me, just for fun. Totally unexpected, I got a lot of messages from photographers that wanted to shoot with me. And that’s how I got started. Sometimes, when people ask me how I got started, I like to joke about it and say “Out of boredom”. But I really felt bored in that city and wanted to try something new.
What do you think of the work as a model?
I love making pictures; I think it’s so creative and I love, sort of, playing different roles. It’s fun wearing different kinds of make-up, trying different hairstyles and play around. It’s also nice creating different characters and getting into different moods depending on what kind of photoshoot it is, what location it is and what feeling the photographer wants to get out of each picture. But it’s also hard work. It requires a lot of discipline, and it requires you to take it as seriously as any other job. You have to keep your promises, and show up as expected and give the best of yourself. You also have to take care of your looks, since it’s your looks that you are “selling”. You have to think about what you’re eating, get exercise and, in general, take care of yourself. You have to be in a good physical form, since many photoshoots take several hours in positions that do not always feel comfortable, and you might shoot in locations where it’s really really cold.
What is your beauty regimen?
I don’t think I have a specific beauty regimen. I don’t follow any specific diet plans or something like that. I think about variety; eat a variety of different foods and still have space for eating unhealthy things as well, just not too much. Drink plenty of water, of course, and get exercise. I like to have my nails done though J
What are your personal qualities which distinguish you from others?
I think I’m very humble. I don’t like to “show off” and I feel like I’m good at appreciating other people’s efforts and the work they put into things. Also, I like that when I’m on a photoshoot I’m not afraid to experiment with different facial expressions and poses that might seem awkward or even weird. My experience says, that many times, what feels awkward during a photoshoot, might turn into some very strong images. So, I would say, that I’m not afraid to try out new facial expressions and new poses, I’m not restricting myself in that way. And, in the end, if the images just look funny or weird, you can always get a good laugh out of them.
What are your plans for the future?
I definitely plan to do some more photoshoots and participate in more music videos. I want to keep doing that as long as I can and as long as it makes me happy. I’m also currently singing in a band, and we’re in the process of making our own music, so I would love to have some of our music released. It’s still a far-away dream, but we’re working towards realizing it.
What are some of your favorite experiences so far?
One of my favorite experiences was definitely a two-day modeltrip I took with another model and three other photographers to Sweden this past summer. It was a very nice and creative trip. We got to shoot a lot of pictures and the workflow was really really good. On our second day we got up at 3am in the morning to catch the beautiful sunrise and it was all worth it.
And then I always like to think about my photoshoots in the US. The photographers work in a different way than in Denmark, and I saw a lot of interesting locations while shooting. One of the was Napa Valley in California, which is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. Another, fun experience was when I had a whole suit made out of black tape. It took a long time, and damn, it hurt when I had to remove it. On that same photoshoot, I also had thousands of tiny body gems glued on my body which also took a long time, but it looked really beautiful in the end. I think you can only get those kinds of experiences as a model, haha!
Do you have any advice for those who want to start modeling?
I would say, believe in yourself and don’t give up if you get rejected. It hurts to get rejected and you will get rejected, but that’s the only way to get better and to improve yourself. I would also advice those who want to start modelling to know how to set boundaries and to know that it’s okay to set boundaries. Be prepared that some people might judge you and might have stereotypes about you as a model, but the important thing is that you, yourself, are proud of what you are doing. Be humble and respect other people’s (whether it’s photographers or models) time; be professional and treat it as you would treat any other job. And most of all, enjoy the whole process, and enjoy the beautiful images you will get after the hard work you put into a photoshoot J
What do you think of the magazine?
I really like the magazine and I find a lot of the pictures that are posted very inspiring. As a model, I like that there’s a whole section for the models to be interviewed so people can get to know them better. So keep up the good work!