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Meet Joyce Htet

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joyce Htet.

Joyce, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started modeling a bit unexpectedly, starting my high school junior year. I was always told by family and friends that my tall, lanky figure would be good for modeling. I never really thought much of it, to be honest, I thought they were just being nice! I also hadn’t done much modeling wise aside from taking the occasional Instagram outfit picture.

I was on Facebook one day, scrolling through my feed and an event post caught my eye: “USC Fashion Shoot 2017” hosted by USC’s Photography Club and FIA (USC’s fashion organization). I knew a few students and mutual friends who attended USC and they were talking about this event. The post was casting for interested photographers, stylists, and models to collaborate on a big bi-annual, photography-meet up style shoot.

As a joke, I decided to fill out the form as an interested model for this shoot. I was so sure that USC wouldn’t even glance at my application to be one of the models. I felt I was just a little girl who only really knew about Harry Potter and intensely enjoyed Speech and Debate in high school.

To my surprise, a couple of weeks later, I got an email from the Photography Club and my name was listed under “Models”. I was in a bit of disbelief, I just figured my application would just get overlooked, and actually emailed back telling them how old I was, that I didn’t even attend USC, and if they were sure about wanting me in their Fashion Shoot! Pretty funny looking back at it now. I ended up attending the shoot and having a blast meeting so many new people and friends. I discovered that taking photos in front of new people, learning how to pose, all while not having an awkward half-smile on your face, because that was the only expression I had down at the time, was actually pretty difficult. But I knew and felt there was definitely something exciting about it. Something about being in front of the camera and working with not only the person behind it, the people and the environment around you, to create this final image, that adrenaline rush of knowing you are a part of creating something bigger.

Of course, I didn’t fully learn this until a year or so later, when I started more professional modeling bookings. I began to learn my angles better, learned how to pose naturally, and it has been so much fun. I began shooting with local photographers around Los Angeles to create a “portfolio” for my Instagram. Then shooting with several e-commerce brands, one of the first ones I ever worked with was for Fashion Q and working my way up from there. I got signed over half a year ago to my mother agency, Prestigious Models and Image Powerhouse. Through them, my first agency job was with Smile Direct Club for an international dental campaign, and a month after that I worked with Intel.

I currently do a lot of commercial and print modeling, but I’d love to grow more in the beauty and fashion regions. There’s still so many goals I have left to achieve and milestones to reach, but I’m proud of what I’ve done in these past three years, growing my career, and am super excited to see what more I’ll be able to accomplish in my timeline!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has been a tough road! I’ve had quite a few bouts of questioning my self-image and learning how to be confident in my own skin. I would sometimes become very frustrated with myself for not being where I want to be in my career. I do consider myself lucky though. I think I would have felt more challenged if I wasn’t genetically gifted with the industry’s sample size figure. Still, it can become difficult to actively pursue a career in the modeling/acting industry because everyone is just so insanely talented! But learning to do my best and give my all for my shoots and work opportunities really keep me sane because I love seeing where life takes me and what my next project will be.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I had been freelance modeling for two years, from the age of 17-19, and I had to learn the other parts of being a model, the stuff that is behind the scenes. I would manage myself, find castings, work to confirm bookings with new brands and companies, coordinate my own hours and rates, all while learning all the stuff in front of the cameras too. Getting signed was such a blessing to me because now I am able to focus more on improving the quality of my photos and modeling, as well as continuing on with my college education.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
One of my favorite childhood memories would have to be going to this big waterpark in Wisconsin with my favorite cousins. We all used to live in the Midwest together, me in Wisconsin until 2014 and my cousins in Illinois. I remember having such fun times with my cousins, going to all sorts of places, because we were all nearly the same age. After moving to LA a few years ago, I hadn’t been able to see them much until this past year when they moved here as well!

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