ēMBē : Cecile, can you introduce yourself ?
Cecile : I’m Cecile Zeineddine, 32 years old, and I was born in Los Angeles, but I am originally Lebanese. I spent most of my teenage years in Beirut, but came back to the US in order to pursue a career as a real estate agent in Arizona. After a change in my private life, I left Arizona and my safe job to dedicate myself 100% to modeling which I’m passionate about. My very first photoshoot took place in August 2020 in Mckinney, TX with Sahra Birkett, whom I call my guardian angel.
ēMBē : Was this a big change ?
Cecile : Yes, I was always fascinated by modeling and always thought I could make a great one (laughing). My Grandmother Nahla was a fashion Guru, she would travel all over the world to buy fashion and wear it like no one else did; my mother Lamia inherited the love of fashion and passed it to me and my sister. Now, the photoshoot packing starts in my Mom’s closet. It changed my life with the support of my twin sister, best friend (seated next to Cecile during the interview) and family, it came all to reality.
ēMBē : What is your end goal ?
Cecile : Modeling is simply a stepping stone to a bigger career. My goal is to make my name an international brand. If anyone could do it, why not me? (Laughing) I believe in myself and that’s my advice to anyone: believe in yourself and your dreams will come true.
ēMBē : Tell us about your experiences as a model ?
Cecile : Funny fact, you, Michael (embe) were the 2nd photo shoot I did as a model. It was brutally hot, my skin was red and my makeup got ruined from sweating it out, but we made the best out of it and you did a great job easing my stress and giving me information about the industry that helped me tremendously. Since then, I have done a lot more photo shoots. I’ve been published in many international magazines and I was also called to be the model for several workshops and many more to come in the next year.
ēMBē : Could you tell us more about your workshop experience ?
Cecile : The workshops were a perfect opportunity to step into this new field and develop more of my skills. Being followed by 7 or 8 different photographers and trying to give them all the shots they wanted was not easy, but it was challenging just the way I like it.
By the second workshop, I was a lot more familiar; I loved it. It is especially rewarding that I can help new photographers and/or models in any way just as I was helped before.
ēMBē : You are a little older than the usual model, so how do you manage your safety, and do you have any advice for new models?
Cecile : I personally don’t think age matters in modeling as many people make you think. So what I would advise models is not to mind their age or opinions about this matter; modeling is not just being pretty and young, but being talented and comfortable with your own skin: confidence is the key. As for safety, it always comes first. I do my research about the photographer I’m shooting with, ask other fellow photographers about them, check who they’ve shot with before, ask about the genre of the shoot and of course check the location. It;s also always a great idea to bring along a friend or family member to prevent any issues.
ēMBē : Our last question, what was the best experience as a model ?
Cecile : All photographers I have met so far were really impressive; however, my shoot with Neal Bailey (@nealbaileystudios) was most definitely my favorite. I think he is one of the best photographers I have met. His talent is unquestionable. He has a great personality and an amazing family that always tops the shoots perfectly … I love working with him. We have some workshops and projects in progress. If you follow me on my instagram you will be able to see them.
This interview took place in person in Plano, Texas, USA. We were mixing French and English languages but it was all translated. Thank you Cecile for your time and all you’ve shared.
Instagram : @CecileZd