As a professional model with Ice Modelsin Durban, Iman Sheik might only be 17 years old, but we couldn't have asked for a more qualified guest judge for Phase Five of #ProjectScouted. She's stunning, yet simple and down to earth, and isn't unwilling to pass on what she knows about the modelling industry to aspiring models. Having been at the Phase Five photo session at the Chris Saunders Park in Umhlanga this past Saturday morning, she has had the chance to not only see the #ProjectScouted girls in action but also to help with their posing while Phase Five photographer RoyEsterhuysen, who you can also read more about on the blog, did his thing behind the camera.
Lee Folkard Photography found out more about this beauty who has success for modelling in her name.
Lee Folkard Photography: Who is Iman Sheik?
Iman: I'm a 17 year-old-girl from sunny Durban who is currently studying Clinical Psychology. I was really lucky to start my schooling earlier than usual. I'm also a model for Ice Models Durban, South Africa. I absolutely love fashion, food, family and friends.
LFP: How did you hear about #ProjectScouted and how did you become a guest judge for Phase Five?
Iman: I'm actually friends with Lee on Facebook and was sent an invitation to the Shoelaced Clothing fashion show in Phase Four at SMG Rocks. I absolutely love the whole concept of what #ProjectScouted aims to achieve and I knew I needed to be a part of it! I couldn't pass up the opportunity to be a guest judge! I love meeting others who have similar interests that I have and who are passionate about the modelling industry.
LFP: How did you enter the modelling industry?
Iman: I was still in school and my best friend encouraged me to enter a modelling competition that was taking place. I reluctantly agreed. And to everyone's surprise, I was suddenly being offered contracts by some of the local agencies. Now three years in, I absolutely love every minute of it! And its all thanks to my best friend, Sonam! Its so important to have friends who motivate you and want to see you succeed!
LFP: Being a model is tough work. What has been some of the challenges? Would you change anything about the modelling industry in Durban?
Iman: For me, a challenge has sometimes been my age. Most of the girls start their careers a lot earlier on. It is hard in Durban as the fashion community is still on the rise. A model also needs to have a more mature image sometimes, and I'm still coming to that place. But I know how lucky I have been!
LFP: What do you love the most about being a model?
Iman: I love the confidence it has given me. I have learnt to love myself for who I am and not what society wants me to be. This can be really hard for a teenager to do but modelling has taught me how to. At the same time, I'm also obsessed with getting dressed up. And I get to do it on the grandest scale ever!
LFP: What inspired you to choose Clinical Psychology as your qualification and what do you plan to do after you complete your studies?
Iman: A few years back, I actually had to visit a Clinical Psychologist after being in a hijack situation. Sitting in that doctor's office, the doctor made me realize in that moment that one day I could have the opportunity to council children who have been victims of far worse situations than I had experienced. I intend on counseling war, rape, and abuse victims. I plan on making a difference!
LFP: How do you balance your studies and model work?
Iman: I have a really strict dad who expects nothing less than A's! To be honest, time management and being a perfectionist comes in very handy! I just believe that if you really enjoy what you do, you can do it all!
LFP: It seems like the destiny to be a model is written in your name.
Iman: I was named after Iman Abdulmajid and from a very young age I have aspired to be at least half the woman she is. Not only does she have an amazing career, but she truly embraces her African heritage and being a woman of colour!
LFP: What has been the highlight of your modelling career?
Iman: Last year I received the opportunity to enter the Elite Model Look competition and made it to the Top 3 in Durban! It was such an honour and experience being one of the youngest girls!
LFP: What will you be looking for in the photographs of the #ProjectScouted girls when judging?
Iman: I am definitely looking for girls with a unique factor; I believe that always give you an edge.
LFP: What goes through your mind when you're posing for a photo?
Iman: To be honest, I'm usually so focused on my angles and what the photographer wants. But there is that part of me where my inner diva comes out!
#ProjectScouted is getting more and more nail-biting as the phases go by. Iman will be a part of making the daunting and extremely difficult decision of choosing the girls who will make up the much-awaited Top 10. Along with photographers Lee Folkard, Jerome Stoffels, and Samantha Duckworth, all of whom you can read about on the blog, Iman knows exactly what a good photo comprises of. Who better to make that decision?