Behind the Scenes: Ari Fitz

You may or may not recognize this face but soon you will.

Tonight MTV’s new season of The Real World San Francisco airs and it’s gonna be an ex-plosive, ex-citing season jam-packed with all sorts of adventure and drama. In November I introduced you to Ari Fitz. A California grown badass friend of mine, film-maker, model, and self-identified pusher. Ari gets shit done. She’s an undeniable force in the film, business, and modeling industry. What’s next for Ari? You can find out on her site, follow her on Twitter, and even ask her your most burning questions as each episode airs by hashtagging #autoari

Your questions go straight (haha) to her via Autostraddle. To find out more about this hash-tacular way of getting inside Ari’s head, read the full write up on Autostraddle.

hashtag-autoari

Fitz isn’t a stranger to Autostraddle. In her first interview from December 20th,  she told them about collaborating with me on our shoot that pushes the boundaries of gender & identity. The project was very personal for both of us. Read on:

Fitz got into modeling “by accident, actually.” She grew up wanting to be a model, tried to sign at 17, and got recruited at Berkeley by the same agency who rejected her in high school. It’s only been eight or nine months since she began working professionally in modeling, but she’s doing amazing work already. “I never really thought that it would be something that I was really good at, but every time I’m in front of a camera, I feel like I’ve got my Sasha Fierce going on,” she laughed to me. “It’s like there’s a whole other person that stands in front of that camera and just gives, and I just get into this persona.” 

For a queer person like Fitz, modeling can be both complex and rewarding. “I recently did this project,” she gushed to me, “where I actually reached out to a photographer and I told her specifically: something that’s kind of dear to me is the way that I dress. Every morning I decide how I want to present that day, whether I want to be my hot andro butch style or if I want to be high femme that day. And I take a lot of pleasure and a lot of pride in being able to, I guess, kind of flow and not being stuck within one presentation.”

That conversation turned into an androgynous shoot which Fitz recounts as one of her all-time favorites. “I get on a runway and I have big hair and I have tall heels and I have these dresses. And all of it kind of — it’s sexy and I feel sexy in it, but sometimes I want to make sure that I feel that other side of myself. So recently I did this shoot with Betsy Kershner and the photos, I mean, I’ve never seen myself presented that way in a professional photo before in my life. And I look at them now still and I’m just like, fuck — right now I’m shaking because I love it so much.”

Here are a few of the original shots we took, plus a touch of behind the scenes action.

Photo by Betsy Kershner |www.betsykershner.com

Photo by Betsy Kershner, 2013.

Photo by Betsy Kershner |www.betsykershner.com

Photo by Betsy Kershner, 2013.

Makeup artist, Josie Rodriguez and hair artist, Sasha Galloway-Gonce go to town perfecting Fitz’s pomp and ferocious lips!

Inspiration

The inspiration boards hanging up in studio.

Photo by Betsy Kershner, 2013.

Fitz, HA!

Photo by Betsy Kershner, 2013

Photo by Betsy Kershner, 2013.

Here’s the team before we wrapped the shoot: Team 1

Team 2

That’s all folks! Be sure to tune in TONIGHT @ 10 pm to get your FIX OF FITZ!

 x Kersh

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