Steph Sinn is a Southern California based model pushing the boundaries of expressivity.
You really have the California look, tall, dirty blonde hair, green eyes. Where are you from originally?
I was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. I graduated from the University of Arizona and then moved out to Los Angeles. I’m only going on 5 years of being out here, but it always comes as a shock to people that I dont hail from California because I fit the vibe well.
What made you decide to become a full time creator?
I have never been one to follow societal rules or expectations. Humans are not here on this beautiful earth to work a miserable 9-5 job just to make money and die. I guess you could call me a rebel in a sense because I will always follow my heart’s calling and passions no matter what. One of those passions being self expression through photographic art. I have healed so much within myself through this medium and have delved deep into a journey of self love and acceptance.
I finally took the leap to become a full time creator when I felt my previous job as a Behavioral Therapist for children with Autism was not serving me any longer. I felt I was hitting a plateau as far as learning and growing in that profession and knew it was time to move on. I had been booking modeling gigs consistently, and was also gaining a solid following on OnlyFans. Honestly, having that platform as a source of primary income was a big driver in what made me feel comfortable transitioning into the self-employed world. Of course I was afraid, but sometimes you just gotta say “Fuck it.” It takes a lot of hard work, but I wake up every morning deeply grateful to call creative self expression my job.
Your work spans many visual styles and themes. Are there any common threads?
I highly dislike limiting myself to any genre, style, or themes as far as my art goes, and am always finding new ways to push myself outside the box. I am a multi-faceted being with many sides to my personality. I find inspiration in many places, but a common pattern within my work is artistic nudes in nature. They will always be my favorite concept to shoot. I’ve always felt a strong connection to nature. I spend a lot of time outdoors exploring, hiking, rock climbing, and swimming, and find that the human form fits seamlessly in natural outdoor environments. A lot of what I intend to emphasize in that style is the interconnectedness of humans with their surroundings. Shooting outdoors induces an innate wildness, a sense of freedom, and an opportunity to remind myself of who and what I am. Ultimately, it is an ode to the divine human form and a celebration of our sacred Mother Earth.
Art thrives on collaboration. Who are some of your favorite photographers to work with?
Wow, that’s a tough one. I’ve worked with so many amazing photographers, but I think my favorite photographers to work with are my best friends: Cecily Flight (@cecilyflight), Alan Krespan (@deceptiveperspective), and Sarah Sherman (@sarahsherr). If you take a look at their Instagram pages you’ll understand why. I mean not only are they insanely talented artists, but I feel another level of comfort when I am working with them because I am emotionally and mentally close with them. I can let my guard down and be completely and utterly myself. They are always open to my crazy (and sometimes strange) ideas and the experiences together never feel like work. I always leave shoots with them feeling happy and fulfilled and know that the photos are going to be incredible.
Instagram regularly censors models, notably they took down your original account. How do you think platforms should handle censorship?
In terms of policy I really don’t have enough knowledge to speak on that matter. Perhaps it would be helpful for Instagram specifically to require users to confirm that they are 18 years or older in order to view age restricted content. I’m not sure this is a solution, but it could definitely help regulate age appropriate content. I have found that the algorithm that detects what is considered to be against community guidelines is highly inconsistent, which is what frustrates me the most. Numerous accounts get away unscathed with risque erotic photos, while others are flagged for photos that don’t show any nudity at all. A conversation for another day would include the discrimination of sex workers and nude art models and creators. We tip toe a very fine line of deciding what is considered to be sexual or not, which I believe to be completely subjective. This is probably one reason why censorship algorithms are so inconsistent in the first place.
What do you think the future looks like for this profession? What opportunities would you like to see open up for creators?
I feel like this is already happening currently, but we may eventually be in a world where modeling agencies are obsolete. Freelance life gives you the opportunity to live life on your own terms, book the gigs you want, and have control over your own life without having someone telling you how to look or feeling pressure to fit a certain mold.
I would love to eventually see a platform that connects creators of all types. Model Mayhem exists, but the website is super outdated. The social media platform/app I envision allows like-minded artists to have open discussions, find projects to work on, announce travel notices, and connect with local creatives. Pretty much a revamped Model Mayhem I suppose.
The world has changed so much in the past year, how have you changed?
I have changed in so many positive ways throughout this past year. I think initially the pandemic forced me to go into a deep state of reflection. It allowed me a chance to slow down from my busy life and reevaluate what was truly important to me. Going inward is always a blessing. I feel more aligned with my highest self, and have been able to find freedom within my professional life. I have also realized how much I value my friendships and family and that I need to support them and show my love in every way possible. While a lot of people were living in fear, I intentionally used this last year as a means to release as much fear as possible. I am no longer afraid to speak my truth even when it may not resonate with others.