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Model and makeup artist Iman Hamilton

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Photo by Beverli Alford

Iman Hamilton is a young woman, who enjoys the experience and thrill of life. “I am a quiet, kind spirit who has big dreams and aspirations for life. I am very hopeful and optimistic about new experiences that may come my way. I love to make others smile and laugh through the many talents that God has blessed me with. I enjoy learning about upcoming fashion trends, makeup styles and tips, and the latest hairstyles. I am just like any other young woman trying to make a place and a name for herself in this world,” she shares.

Iman was introduced to modeling by her father’s friend who works in the entertainment industry and is a well-known photographer in Washington, DC. “Thankfully, he was able to set up a shoot for the photographer and me. Once I did my first shoot, the rest was history,” she remembers.

Read what she has to say.

How was your experience during your first photo shoot?
My first photo shoot was nerve-racking. I never had any prior modeling experience or knowledge. The shoot involved me and three other models. This made me feel more anxious and nervous because I felt as though the other models would make it look as if I did not know what I was doing. However, everyone was welcoming and nice to me. They made me feel comfortable and at ease with being in front of the camera. Little to my knowledge, I was a natural and had a blast at my first shoot.

How was it to see yourself featured in a national publication so soon?
Being able to see myself in a magazine with a picture from my first shoot was a surreal experience. I did not know what to think or do. I just remember feeling so blessed and honored that I was noticed among other beautiful models. I was extremely elated when I heard that it was in stores. I called all my friends and family and told them to pick up a copy!

What has been the most exciting experience thus far?
This question is so difficult for me to answer. Every opportunity has been an exciting experience. I would have never imagined that a quiet, simple girl like me would be pursuing a modeling career. Every time I am introduced to a new project, I am overcome with thankfulness and happiness. Each experience marks a new journey.

What has been the most challenging experience thus far?
The most challenging experience thus far has involved me being able to decide what part of my life to work on and conquer first. It is very hard for me to focus on both school and modeling; modeling is what I really want and enjoy doing. However, school is important to me as well. I want to get a degree in nursing. I am trying my best to be both proficient and effective in both areas of my life.

What inspired you to become a makeup artist too?
I have always been in love with makeup. Makeup can make a person feel better about themselves and it can create a sense of happiness through creative self expression. I started to become interested in makeup at a very young age. I would always go into my mom’s closest and play in her lipstick. It was not until my eighth grade year in high school when I really became interested in wearing makeup. I researched different makeup tips and watched countless hours of YouTube videos for years. I started to get better and better with my makeup style and techniques. When I went off to college, my roommates would always ask if I could do their makeup and give makeup tips. This is when I realized that I had a natural talent for the art of makeup application. This past summer I decided to make my own YouTube channel, which shows off my makeup talent through different looks and styles.

I understand that you were able to spend the day with the maestro Derrick Rutledge, makeup artist for Oprah, First Lady Michelle Obama and other celebrities. What was that experience like for you?
The experience was absolutely amazing. When I was presented with the opportunity to spend the day with Derrick Rutledge, I was in shock. I was anxious because I have seen his work and I knew that he only works with the best of the best. I was able to see his artistic expression through makeup. While Derrick placed the makeup on the models’ faces, I sat quietly in the corner and observed. I was in awe at how effortlessly he applied the makeup. I remember thinking to myself, “One day people will know who I am whether it is as model or makeup artist.” Derrick was very kind and sweet and it was a pleasure observing and assisting such an iconic figure in the fashion industry.

How do you balance being a college student at Howard University and modeling?
It is very hard being both a college student with a full time schedule and being a part time model. However, I do not model all the time so I am able to balance the two. I get my schoolwork done as soon as I can without procrastination, so if a modeling opportunity presents itself, I am fully prepared.

Where do you see yourself in the next two years?
In the next two years, I see myself as a graduate of Howard University with a degree in nursing. I plan to be signed to a major agency in either New York or Los Angeles. I want all my time and effort to be geared towards the world of modeling and I want to be an influence to other young aspiring models.