Breanna Nichelle: Framing a Future

Our next feature can be found behind the camera, creating beautiful visions and images, captivating her audience with a single shot. She’s a unique talent, one that holds the undeniable spark that deserves to be featured.

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Breanna Nichelle has been on the move since she was a child. Being a military kid ensured that. Originally from Ocala, Florida, Ms. Nichelle followed her family around the country, slowly developing her love for photography and keeping the end destination in mind; New York. Now studying photography at the Fashion Institute of New York, Ms. Nichelle is making her mark on the world, working as a photographer for one of the top male modeling agencies in New York. With her stunning work, it is no wonder why I wanted the ability to feature her.

So, as I boast about her work, the idea of developing these skills and the time frame it took comes to mind. How long did it take to master her art? “I was around 12 when I began taking photographs. I just remember all of my family having digital cameras and taking pictures and I wanted one too, so my grandmother bought me a turquoise Sony point and shoot.”

And of course, only the best of the best have turquoise cameras. Soon after receiving her first camera, her first shoot must have came. What exactly did her first shoot entail? “For my first shoot, I took pictures of my older brother. I would pick out his outfits and make him dress up and model for me. We lived in the country, so we would go out to the paths behind the house with these really cool dirt roads and take pictures. I remember getting really excited about the pictures and comparing them to Ralph Lauren, but obviously, they weren’t that good.”

Well, practice makes perfect. Researching different styles, different concepts must have helped too. It probably gave birth to a love of certain photographies. Which genre of photography would she say is her favorite? “My favorite type of photography has always been fashion. I’m inspired by other photographers and creatives like, Steven Klein, Nick Dorey, Mario Sorrenti, Mert and Marcus.”

With inspiration came drive and that drive has led her to accomplishing great tasks, like photographing for notable companies and agencies. What are some of these incredible opportunities that she was given? “I just recently moved to the city, but before moving here I worked with a good friend of mine, Joshua Mcleod of Victor +  Alexander. He designs his own line of handbags. Since moving here, I’ve been testing a lot of models from Agencies around NY, such as Adam Models, VNY, Q, Red and Frame Models.”

Frame Models is a very prominent agency, here in New York. How did she acquire such a coveted position? “I got the position because of Jordan Morris who’s the former owner of BOY and now the Men’s agent of Frame. I worked and tested with a lot of his boys in Georgia, when I attended school at SCAD in Savannah, to help build their portfolios. When I moved up to NY, Jordan offered me an intern position at Frame. I did a shoot with Jake Johnston who’s one of the younger, newer faces at Frame, it was just a test shoot, but Jordan submitted to Male Model Scene and the photos pretty much went viral. It was really cool to see that happen. I was really excited. I also did a shoot with a model at Adam Models, Jonas Spiegelhalter, that also made it onto Male Model Scene.”

Such fame seems to come when most aren’t looking for it, but by the looks of her work, it seems as though the fame would have come at some point. With all the fantastic shoots she has done over her time as a photographer, which one captures her fancy most? “My favorite shoot so far is actually a shoot I did back in Savannah for class. I shot an editorial featuring a model named Montana Anderson from Chosen Models in Atlanta and Meg Witter. It was an editorial based off of a book called Thief. I basically used the book as inspiration and shot the editorial how I imagined it as I was reading. It turned out really great.”

Now with all her achievements in mind, with the distance she has already conquered now, what does Ms. Nichelle believe the future holds for her, or at least, what does she hope it holds? “My short term goal is to broaden my horizon when it comes to models. I would really love to shoot for Models at Ford, Wilhelmina, and The Society, especially since I’m currently trying to build my Women’s Portfolio up. Long term, I’d be really into shooting Editorials and Ad Campaigns for major brands and Magazines. I’d love to shoot for I-D Magazine or F*cking Young and have my work featured in their magazine.”

Well with the incredible caliber her work holds, the world is Ms. Nichelle’s oyster, ready to be opened for her to claim her prize. Continue persevering and conquering, Ms. Nichelle, for I speak for all when I say that we all thoroughly look forward to seeing your success.

 

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Reid Mangel: A Double Threat

Stepping away from the child-star legends, we turn back to feature the up and coming, the talented souls who are soon to have their own run in the limelight. We turn to, Mr. Reid Mangel.

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18 years old and living out his dreams, Mr. Mangel fills his schedule with the usual daily activities such as, photography, modeling, the works. As of now, he has deferred his college enrollment until January, which will be when he begins his journey in Fashion Merchandising at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). For now, I am given the pleasure to introduce Mr. Mangel and the wonderful life he lives.

To start off, we’ll look to his interest in photography, a hobby that seemed to start when, exactly? “It started when I was about 5 years old. My mother worked at the City Hall in Downtown Orlando, FL and there was a city-wide art contest every year. My mom told me I should participate, so I did — I got first place in my age category, and I’ve been really interested in photography ever since.”

Of course, mother knows best. But, the interest that burned inside of him was only sparked by his mother, while his passion grew on his own accord. Through his experience, what seems to be the best kindling for his fire? What type of photographer interests him the most? “When I first started, I would just photograph buildings/landscape, but then I started getting interested in portraits. I would see someone look very beautiful and not even notice it, then I would snap the photo. I started out photographing friends of mine, and now I’ll just photograph strangers I meet at a party/see walking down the street. I really like candid beauty. I was always inspired by photographers like Ellen Von Unwerth and Terry Richardson, who often photograph unconventional beauty.”

And with his inspiration set, the shoots to follow must have been incredible. Where does his favoritism fall for his favorite shoot? “My absolute favorite shoot is one that I did with Skylar Mann. It was just so effortless. I didn’t have to give her much direction, and she trusted both me and herself. I really loved that she just let go and acted as if there wasn’t a camera in her face.”

To finish with the photography portion, where does he hope to finish with his photography, in general? “I just hope to evolve and constantly try new things. I’d love to work with an agency or retail company, but we’ll see. I’ll be photographing some models at NYFW (New York Fashion Week) shows so that’s good!”

So, as we take a look at his modeling career, did it coincide with photography or did it come about later on in life? “I began modeling at the age of 16. I got a message on Facebook from Danny Roche, a photographer based in NYC that lived in Orlando at the time (where I am from). He asked if I’d be interested in shooting with him, so I did. I absolutely loved it and decided to just keep going at it. Being in front of the camera can help you behind the camera, and vice versa.”

And with the idea of photography in the picture (pun intended), where does he hope to take his modeling career? “Well I’ve just moved to NYC a little over a week ago, so I’d love to be signed with an agency here. I plan on meeting with Fusion, Red, Major Model, etc. in the next few weeks.”

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So now the million dollar question…which will it be, photography or modeling? “I really wouldn’t choose one over another. I love modeling because as a photographer, you’re always directing others. When you’ve done that for so long, modeling should come pretty natural to you. It’s always fun to see another photographer’s vision come to life when you model for them. Pretty much every time I model, I learn something about photography. They kind of work hand-in-hand. Photographing others is so rewarding to me, also. I love seeing someone’s face when they really love a photo I took of them, and then I see confidence of them throughout the rest of the shoot. They’re like, “Yes, I can do this!””

Then where will we see Mr. Mangel in the future, or better yet, where does Mr. Mangel hope to see himself? “I hope to still be doing what I love, and making a living from it would be great. I hope to continue to work with people that inspire me.”

Whether it be photography or modeling, line-dancing or jazz singing, I’m sure Mr. Mangel will aim high and reach the stars with his larger-than-life ambition, drive, and tenacity. It’s refreshing and it will surely take him to the moon and back.