If it’s a man’s world, I wanna be king: with model Harley Hendricks
Updated: Sep 18, 2021
My name is Haylee/Harley. I currently live in Dallas and have been modeling for about 10 years. I had an interest in photography back in high school, and that's how I started. I would come up with concepts and just use self-timer to get those shots of myself. I've had a lot of experience as my own model, so I've learned which angles, lighting, expressions, etc., work best for me.
I have an acting background, so I have always been pretty comfortable on stage or in front of the camera. This experience helps me to tap into translating emotion through my facial expressions and body language. So much can be conveyed through a single photo, especially through the subject's eyes.
I enjoy social media as much as the next person, but I do not allow it to control my life. I enjoy sharing art and supporting art from others, which is why Instagram is probably my favorite. However, there is certainly toxicity on all social media platforms, and it is important to be cognizant of this.
I pull a lot from my life experiences from my emotions/feelings. I also find inspiration in the beauty of nature, the surreal, the dreamy, the bizarre, and even the creepy.
I am very particular about who I work with. I frequently have people reaching out to me through social media asking to work with me, and I always make a point to go straight to their profile and do a little bit of research. I make sure that they have mutual followers with me, and I check their tagged photos to ensure that models have posted work from their shoots together, so I know they are legit. If I know any models they have worked with, I will reach out to the model and ask what their experience was like. I also will message the photographer back and forth quite a bit and get a feel for them. The moment a photographer crosses a line with me where they are flirty or make me feel they are in it for more than just a professional collaboration, I will not work with them. I will never answer another message from them. I also am very clear on my boundaries and what I will and will not be comfortable doing.
I feel empowered by my ability to take traumatic or negative experiences and turn them into something positive. I learn from these situations, and I understand that they have strengthened me as an individual. I've learned how important it is to have your fellow woman's back, especially in a society that sometimes does not want you to feel strong, confident, or capable. It is so important to put effort into uplifting each other and helping one another tap into that shared energy. Women need to protect and look out for one another.
I am fortunate to have so many incredible women in my life. My mother is an absolute saint, and I am so grateful for her and everything she's done for me. She's always been there to help me through the hard times, and she has a way of comforting me even in the darkest of moments. She's taught me about humility and empathy, and compassion. Same with my Baba; one of the sweetest women you could ever meet, and I miss her dearly. I also have 5 incredible sisters, all of whom have had their own share of pain and struggles. They've all inspired me in so many ways. I am very lucky.
Some days are a little less fulfilling than others, but I try to remind myself that we all move at our own pace. We all have our off days. I have learned a lot about myself through the years, and I've learned what I need to do in order to keep myself calm and flowing. I need my alone time to recharge and to spend time doing the things that I enjoy. I remind myself of how much I've grown and how much I am capable of achieving in this life. I've become very... accepting. I've learned to take things as they come and to try not to stress over things I can't change. I can brush things right off.
I am a very empathetic person. I treat others the way I wish to be treated. All I ever want is to make others feel good because helping others and making others smile is what makes me feel happy and fulfilled. My goal is to always leave a positive impact on those I come across. Even something as simple as complimenting a stranger can make all the difference. If I can help make someone's day even the slightest bit brighter, then I can feel content. I want to be remembered as someone who others knew they could count on to show up when they felt they had nobody else. I want to be remembered for my kindness and for being someone that others can trust. I want to be remembered for helping others feel important, for helping them feel seen and heard and appreciated.
My advice to the younger generation is to take risks. Remain true to yourself and your vision. Don't shrink yourself or try to fit in with everybody else, because ultimately, it is your differences that will shine. Know who you are, and don't compromise on that. For young women starting fresh in the modeling industry - protect yourself. Know your boundaries. Don't let anybody make you feel that you have to do anything you are not comfortable with just because of their supposed "status." There are plenty of other photographers who will book you without making you do anything you don't want to do, I promise!
I am a pretty simple gal. My goals and aspirations are to travel the world doing what I love. I think it'd be so sick to be in movies someday or to travel the world modeling. I want to live in New Zealand. I stream on Twitch here and there, so eventually, I want to have a successful gaming channel where I can share my passion for gaming with others like me.