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.
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.”
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.