As part of our series on ‘new faces’, I thought it wouldn’t be out of place to learn a bit of the models backgrounds – to go a tad deeper than the surface we see on their portfolios. Kat is ebullient and spunky, the one to light a studio making every one at ease. New to Miami, we shot a quick portfolio at the studio, where I took the chance to get some video footage (you can see an edit of the session below):
Charlie: Let’s start with the basics.
Kat: So, my name is Katrina Pryzbysz, most people call me Kat – in fact that’s how my mom’s got my name tattooed on her. I just turned 21, came to Florida from Chicago 2 years ago. And I’m the baby of the family – I’m the youngest… My oldest siblings are one in Japan, other in Thailand and a third one in Chicago – so my family had no problem with me coming down to Florida!
Charlie: Thailand? That is gorgeous for photography.
Kat: I know! I just went there for 3 weeks, and I had a few offers to shoot while I was there.
Charlie: Speaking of photography, how was it that you decided to try modeling? Was it something you always wanted to do, was it something that someone suggested?
Kat: Actually I came to this from the other side; I went to beauty school, then came down to Florida. My parents built a house 8 minutes away from my dream school, but they weren’t paying out of state tuition, so I had to wait a year. I decided to enroll in beauty school in the interim time – because I was the one always doing everyone’s hair and make up, anyway! You know – cheerleading, dance, what have you, I was always involved and since I love fashion, it fell upon me to help everyone look good.
Charlie: Since we’re on the topic of fashion – who are your favorite designers?
Kat: Oh, Gosh, I love Coco Chanel. Her style, sure, because I love the classic style, but also her story. Although I was always more interested in the make up. As I child I hated Barbies because I felt that I wanted to style their hair!
Charlie: Is there any particular make up artist you follow?
Kat: I’m big on YouTube, you know, and I particularly like Jefree Star – with all his tattoos and the attitude he brings to the table; you can wear pink eyebrows, or orange, or whatever.
Charlie: How about photographers? Anyone you’d like to work with?
Kat: Actually I was always the one behind the camera. When I was 10 years old I got a Canon for Christmas, and there I was trying to use the self-timer to shoot my own make up and wear my dance costumes, and hand-me-downs… Finally during high school I took photography classes and I thought about doing that for a while. Before I went to beauty school, I thought I was going to study photography in college. In fact I like art in general – I love design, I can draw really well, I’ve been in art shows…
And I just came from Chicago; of course I have a collection of UGGs the size of a closet.
Charlie: So let me turn that around; is there anyone – male or female – that you would like to shoot, or style or do make up for?
Kat: Oh, Gosh, yeah… as a kid I used to watch all the Victoria’s Secret fashion shows, and of course I wanted to be an ‘angel’, but more than anything I thought Adriana Lima was beautiful. But in general, I always admire those people that can push the boundaries, like nowadays Cara Delevigne, the ones that are unconventional. So it all started that way. I went to beauty school – I liked make up more than hair – and where my school was there was this Twin Peaks franchise, which is like a Hooters. And my mom said: “You should work there; all the girls are wearing UGGs”. And I just came from Chicago; of course I have a collection of UGGs the size of a closet. So every year they have a bikini contest. They have a photographer, so there’s your chance, and I went for it. First photo shoot I had ever done, because I always was the one shooting my friends. At the end I didn’t even send in the pictures – which people weren’t all that happy about – but I posted them on my IG account, and before I knew it I had people calling me to do more and more photo shoots. And of course, doing hair and make up helps me connect better with photographers, so if I don’t end up on one end of the camera, I end up on the other!
Charlie: So that’s how your agency found you?
Kat: Right! The funny thing is that I had no idea what to wear to my interview, I had to Google it up! I don’t have any model friends, and my family is more traditional, they type where you go to college. You certainly don’t do this crazy thing.