We had the good fortune of connecting with Brittni Walker and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Brittni, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Ever since I was young, I was involved in the arts in some way — whether it be dance classes, summer youth theatre, or drawing. Performing was something I loved to do, but realistically it wasn’t a full-time career option for me. My grades were always high and after some personal experiences with neurological disorders, I decided to pursue a degree in molecular biology. I still danced as I had chosen dance as a minor, and this provided a physical outlet for the stress of STEM courses. Through dance, I met Ingrid, who introduced me to the world of modeling and the local creative community. That was about 5 years ago now and since then, I graduated with a Bachelor’s in science and moved to Miami to pursue my PhD. Moving across the country, knowing there was a creative community there, made the move so much easier. These days, I do product photography, creative concept shoots, and even some crafting (products coming soon?) For me, my creativity is more of a passionate hobby than a career.

Modeling has done so much for me between building my confidence, establishing a network and support system, and fulfilling my right-brain. I’m not sure I’d be nearly as sane if all I did was science.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve been a freelance model for about 5 years now, and I do everything from product work to creative concepts. Although I had taken some classes and had some experience in front of the camera throughout high school, my modeling career really started in college. A friend of mine had been telling me about her latest photoshoot, this piqued my interest, and she helped me get connected with a photographer she liked to work with. Modeling came pretty naturally to me, and I like to thank my background in the performance arts for that. I’ve been involved in theatre and dance for years (even getting my minor in dance!), which not only made me comfortable in front of the camera, but really influenced my style in terms of posing, expressions, and styling.

My modeling style transitioned from pictures in cute outfits to more conceptual portraits. One of my favorite things about modeling is all of the styles and “characters” you get to try. I highly recommend putting together a mood board (thank you, Pinterest!) so you and your creative team are on the same page.

Having a creative vision also helps to guide your shoots and make sure you get your dream shots. Photography meetups have played a critical role in my career, helping me grow my creative network and improve as a model. 2021 was a big publication year for me, and I was very proud of the covers and features I attained with my creative team. I’ve been a little more laid back in terms of big projects the past year, but I’m really hoping to walk Miami Swim Week this year!

Things definitely have not been easy for two main reasons: Firstly, there are some predatory characters who have infiltrated the creative community. This leads to lesson #1 which is safety. I always urge models to seek out referrals when working with new creatives and check the blacklist. Bringing a friend to a shoot is a great way to get hyped up while staying safe. Know your limits, and don’t let anyone push them. And lastly, please don’t be afraid to speak up when a creative is unprofessional, whether it’s an inappropriate comment, limits being pushed, or worse. My DMs are always open if you need someone to talk to.

Secondly, the modeling “market” has become quite saturated over the years and it makes visibility a major challenge. Algorithms and trends are constantly changing so you actually have to put a lot of time and energy on research and content creation to keep up. Since my primary career is as a PhD candidate, I don’t have the same amount of time to dedicate into being a full time creator.

This is lesson #2: STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS! Social media is showing only the best parts. Unless they have the exact same circumstances as you, you can not truly compare, like the phrase comparing apples to oranges. My last major lesson is learning to say no. You don’t have to say yes to every opportunity. Doesn’t benefit you? Say no. Doesn’t excite you? Say no. Do more of what you WANT to do, not what you “should” do

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
When in Miami, you have to do a day in Wynwood. Grab a flight of beers at Wynwood Brewing. Walk around and enjoy the art murals throughout the city. The Marketplace is fun to walk through for the little shops and food trucks if you’re hungry. House of Mac is a comfort food staple. 1-800-Lucky is a great spot for Asian cuisine and dancing in the evening!

My Brickell favorites for food are Mister01 and Baby Jane (the best ramen in Miami). Tobacco Road by Kush is a tribute to the oldest bar in Miami with amazing drinks and nostalgic decor. In the “winter” months, we loved grabbing a coffee from True Barista and walking along the bay in Brickell to catch sight of the manatees. Nowadays, we live in Coral Gables and our walks are a little more green, like the UM campus. Miami has a lot of beautiful outdoor spots to explore, like Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park on Key Biscayne, and Matheson Hammock Park and Fairchild Botanical Gardens in Coral Gables; but if you’re going in the summer, you make sure you pack water and sunscreen!

There is always some kind of pop-up or exhibition so keep your eye out for those! There’s typically ads on all of the social media platforms, plus Time Out is a good resource for Miami happenings. I really enjoyed the immersive installation celebrating the anniversary of Chanel No. 5 in the Design District.

My favorite thing about having friends and family visiting is having an excuse to check out new spots that have been on my “Miami Bucket List”. Currently on my list is the Frost Museum, Vizcaya Gardens, and the Everglades (yes, I’ve lived here for 4 years and haven’t gone to the Everglades yet!).

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would love to dedicate this to Sam Lenert (aka @saygoodbyesam on Instagram). I met her about 4 years ago at a photography meet up she organized, and safe to say my life was changed. She quickly became my best friend and inspired me to go above and beyond, to be more creative, to be ME. She is one of the most wildly genuine people I’ve ever met, and I aspire to be as beautifully open as she is. I want to thank her for being a positive presence in my life, and I can’t wait to hug her again.

Website: http://www.knockoutkitten.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/knockout_kitten/

Image Credits
Featured image taken by Samuel Del’Olio (@samdelolio) Black and white – Photographer: Jay Guzman (@i_jayguzman) Horizon T Magazine Cover – Photographer: Mauricio Yciano (@xchocomanx), MUA: Jeniree Cardoza (@jeyemakeup) Disco – Photographer: Logan (@logansmove), Styled by Camila Rosa (@camilarosastudio), Location: HGAB Studios (@hgab_studios) Yellow dress – Photographer: Kojo Miller (@kojovlogs), Wearing: Beatrice Fernandez (@glamboutiquemiami_), Location: Co.Lab Studios (@co.labstudiosmiami) Neon – Photographer: Ricardo Reyes (@techyourphoto), Wearing: Tony Visions (@tonyvisions, Location: Vision Haus Studios (@vision_haus)

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutMiami is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.