Karolina Turek is an anomaly of the modeling world. She gained her big break by winning a magazine competition in her native Canada. She proceeded to parlay her success in front on the camera into a very successful career behind the lens, which officially makes Karolina one of the most attractive photographers in the world. We chatted with Karolina about her life in front of and behind the camera, her love of tattoos, and why she turned down an offer to pose for Playboy.
How did you get into modeling?
I started modeling by accident! A nightclub I was working at asked me to represent them in a contest organized by UMM Magazine for Canada’s Hottest Bartender. I was shocked when I won first place!
How did you move into photography?
When I was being photographed, I think I drove my photographer crazy. Rather than focusing on modeling, I’d be running around the set checking out the equipment and asking technical questions. Soon after my first photo shoot I bought a camera. You could say it was love at first sight!
Have you ever photographed yourself?
Professionally, no... but what a great idea!
Do you have any tricks working with models?
I think making a model feel as comfortable as possible is the key, especially when she's wearing next to nothing. Having a good, professional, and fun team on set really helps as well! I usually ask the models what their favorite artist or music is, so I have a playlist on my iPod ready to go for them when they arrive.
What's your idea of a sexy shot?
Classy, sassy, but not trashy! You won't find six-inch clear stilettos in any of my shoots!
What’s the strangest shoot you've ever done?
Oh...this one was fully self-inflicted! I tried building my own set a while back. I had this wild idea that I could recreate a beach in my studio with water and sand in a self made shallow pool... I'll leave it at that. It certainly didn't go as planned.
How has the internet changed modeling/photography?
I started photography when the whole Facebook phenomenon was just beginning so I would post my photographs online and receive a lot of positive feedback, which helped push me to do more. The internet has made everything so much more accessible.
So I hear you were on LA ink?
Yes, I just got back last week! I had a portrait of Brigitte Bardot tattooed on my right forearm by Kat Von D.
How was the experience of being tattooed by Kat Von D?
Incredible! Not only is Kat extremely talented, she is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. It’s nice to see a woman so incredibly successful in such a male-dominated industry.
Will you get more tattoos?
Absolutely! I actually just booked another session with her for the end of June!
What do you like about tattoos?
You get to document a part of your life on your body. Plus, I enjoy the pain.
You turned down Playboy, why?
I own every Playboy from the past five years and I love looking through the magazine. However, this may come as a surprise, but I'm super shy when it comes to baring it all.
Would you shoot for Playboy?
Absolutely, sign me up!
Do you have any hidden talents?
I can throw a football 40 yards. Growing up, that was my way of impressing the boys on the beach.
What do you look for in a man?
Personality is everything to me, someone who can make me laugh on a daily basis, and doesn't take themselves too seriously. It’s so sexy to me when a guy is passionate about what he does and is driven and ambitious!
What's one piece of advice you'd like to share with men?
Be confident! If you see a girl across the room and you can't take your eyes off of her -- go talk to her. What's really the worst thing that can happen?
Photography by FRANCO VALERIO, Make-up by ANA VISERIOU