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

Hi Lin, is there something you believe many others might not?
A lot of people in this industry always told me that I would have to “start young”. To be honest, I did, but it’s not always the right road to take. You lose a lot of your teen years and normalcy by going this route. It’s much more beneficial to wait until you 100% know that this is what you want to do for the rest of your life. In this industry, they put too much emphasis on “youth” and “maintaining a certain weight”. This discourages everyone who is older than 25 and/or have beautiful curves to go after their dreams. I want to change that narrative. It shouldn’t matter how old you are, what your weight is, how tall you are, your race or ethnicity…what really matters is your drive. Ignore the naysayers and write your own story.

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 have been a freelance fashion model since 14 (with breaks of course!) and it’s definitely been a wild ride. Freelance models are hard to come by sometimes as most people think, “I need an agency to succeed!” I am here to tell you that you do not need one and if I am being honest, it’s better without one. Yup! You read that correctly. You control your own narrative and I would be nothing without my freedom. I am so proud of my work from 2014-now. I am happy that someone took the time out to give me their business card to get me back into doing what I love. This definitely has not been an easy road, but I have learned so much along the way. I would’ve never learned this much about the business if I didn’t freelance and have my hand in all of the pies. Overcoming challenges is easy when you have a tight knit group of people that will always be in your corner. Even if it is just one person rooting for you, you feel as though you can do anything you want! I have had my fair share of depression and lagging when it comes to my job, but the most important thing you have to tell yourself is that, “If I don’t get up and try, nothing will happen.” There will be days when it’s really hard. Bring a little bit of tough love to yourself by getting yourself back up and dusting yourself off. There is no challenge that you cannot handle. You are much stronger than you think. There have been a lot of lessons that I have learned. Since I was doing this on my own, I kind of just had to go out there and experience life. There have been times where I’ve had to deal with difficult people and know when it is time to cut someone off. In this industry, you have to be brave enough to have a big voice. If something is giving you a strange feeling, go with your gut always. On the flip side, I’ve also had amazing people who I would’ve never met had I not had this platform. I wouldn’t have learned about cameras, lighting, or in depth photo shop. I wouldn’t have learned what expressions suit me best or what direction is the best to take. I’d like the world to know that this job is not an easy one. I want to be honest to people who want to get into the industry. I want them to ask me questions and seek me out for advice (no question is a stupid question ever!) and I want them to know that this all is very doable. You just have to have the drive to keep going when being knocked down a couple of times.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I LOVE anything artistic, so I would definitely be showing my bestie all of the amazing art museums (ie Dali, Tampa Museum of Art) and structures that are around here (Downtown Tampa). Getting a cuban sandwich from a Latin market is the first thing you have to do of course! We have a lot of amazing breweries around here that give tours and they are so fun to check out. I am a beer girl all the way. I am a very chill person, so hanging out at night in a bar setting outside when the weather is chilly and the stars are out…*chef’s kiss* There are a lot of older buildings with history in the Tampa/Ybor area that are just gorgeous. Off the top of my head, The Columbia Restaurant is a big example. It has such a rich culture and history. (Marilyn Monroe ate there too!)

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate this to all of the people who have helped me along the way. My mom and late aunt who always encouraged me and to all of the photographers that taught me important life lessons. Everyone took their time out to mentor me and teach me about artistry and I appreciate that so so much.

Website: https://www.modelmayhem.com/lincarusi
Instagram: @lin_carusi
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/lin.carusi/

Image Credits
Urban in Ybor: Antonio Harrison Sunflowers: Antonio Harrison Black Background: Scott Morath Looking up: Antonio Harrison