Six-year-old Isabella Smith feels a calling to model, and nothing can hold her back when she has the support of her parents, James and Noemi, and the help of the brilliant Bozanich Photography. See how she became the Fairy Queen in the interview with Nonahood News below.
Nonahood News: Can you tell me a little bit about Isabella Smith?
James and Noemi Smith: Isabella Smith is an affable girl, who always wears a big grin on her face. You would never know that this six-year-old girl already encounters struggles in her early life. She was born with severe bilateral club foot and arthrogryposis, which affects her knees and legs. Isabella often wears leg braces and undergoes surgery to help correct them. Even with braces or surgery holding her back physically, she maintains her upbeat and pure personality on a daily basis! She makes sure to tell us every day how much she loves us. Our little Isabella is a bundle of sweetness and funny at the same time – she’s always making jokes! She enjoys going to school to see her teachers and friends. She also adores animals and loves interacting with them.
NHN: What originally drove Isabella to the idea of modeling? (She looks like a natural!)
JS, NS: When Isabella started watching kids’ commercials, she would tell her mother, “I want to do the same thing they do.” So we decided to do as much as possible to help her pursue her dreams, but always making sure to explain that she must have discipline and make good grades in school. We know that pursuing this kind of career may be difficult for her, but we don’t want to let anything stop her from doing what she wants to do and may be really talented at. We feel that she deserves an equal opportunity, just like any other kid would.
NHN: How did this shoot with Bozanich Photography come to be?
JS: After searching for the right agency – and what a journey because we didn’t know much about the modeling industry – we decided to … instead see if we could find a photographer locally to do a modeling photoshoot. We are lucky that Noemi found someone right here in our hometown that was professional and could take care of everything. Noemi spoke with Bozanich Photography and had many questions about the process of her child becoming a model. Many of the first steps are headshots to present to an agency and to showcase talent. This photoshoot definitely went above and beyond since Noemi wanted to give Isabella the full modeling experience!
NHN: What was it like working with Isabella and having her as a model that was different than other experiences?
Kristina Bozanich: Isabella was certainly the youngest model I have ever worked with! There were many challenges that we had to face – for one, Isabella liked twirling and running around, which would cause her hair to fall out. (In fact, it did, and we had to walk back in the park to find it.) With Isabella being so young, her mother and I had to be flexible with what Isabella felt like doing. To add to the excitement, we played pretend that she was the “Fairy Queen” in the forest. As the shoot continued, Isabella added to the story as the scenery changed and told us that the “evil pirates” were out to get her. During the photoshoot, we had one mishap with ants that overtook Isabella’s dress when I asked her to lean against a tree. I was distressed when I saw the ants on Isabella and her beautiful dress! Later, she seemed to laugh about it when she said that the “pirates had planned the attack.”
NHN: What inspired the artistic vision for the shoot?
KB: Noemi purchased a beautiful dress with many layers of tulle. As the photographer, I circled some of my artistic vision to how the dress would look. I knew that, for a girl of Isabella’s age, this would be a beautiful scene in one of our Florida forests (make her look like a modern princess). To diversify our shoot, I asked her mother to bring something for the beach as well. I wanted something bright and colorful – which the yellow dress certainly was! At the very end of the photoshoot, I wanted to go into something unique and artistic. I saw an adult version of painted hands in a beauty ad. I wanted to replicate this but use Isabella in a way to make it look like the dark part of a fairytale or a nightmare. For this final image of the photoshoot, her mother and I used our own hands to form around Isabella, and I timed the shot with a remote trigger.
NHN: How did Isabella and Noemi react to seeing the gorgeous photos from the shoot?
JS: Isabella and Mom were fascinated with the pictures and could not believe how amazing everything looked. Seeing the outcome of all of the elements – the dresses, the hair, the scenery, and, of course, Isabella – could not have pleased us more.
NHN: What’s next for Isabella? Dancing perhaps?
JS, NS: Dancing (Isabella would love to learn flamenco). Ice skating is another interest of hers as well. She has another surgery scheduled very soon, so we will have to see how her recovery goes before we jump into the next activity.
Photos by Bozanich Photography