Meet Model & Photographer, Colt Walker and learn more about his influences below.
-How did you get into modeling & photography?
I was born and raised in Owensboro, Kentucky. I’ve always been interested in modeling or really interested in the ‘people’ in magazines. I was very young when I first expressed interest in magazines or photo books. My family didn’t really have a creative background, that I knew of anyways. My family is full of workaholics so we just worked. Never really had much leisure time or creative time together so I spent a lot of time home alone. I’ve been interested in fashion and dressing up since before I’m capable of remembering, though where I was raised that's extremely looked down upon. I used to play in my parents closet and wear my mom’s makeup and try on her dresses but also loved to wear my father’s work uniforms. It wasn’t anything gender specific. I just liked to dress up.
After high school, I didn’t continue onto college but however I did move to Chicago on my own and this is where I found my passion for photography. I started with iPhone photos in a Facebook album to work with top hip hop artists such as Lil Uzi Vert, Wale, Young Dolph, Young Thug, and more in less than a year. I give all thanks to my guy, Malcom Jones. This love for photography kept me moving and doing new things. I started photographing models for a small boutique agency in Chicago which opened me up to the idea of photographing people more often. Fast forward to now, I am doing the same thing but with the top modeling agencies and working with Cheurlin Champagne as their photographer as well as working with Major music labels, such as Quality Control Music Group and Fools Gold. Working as a full time artist living in New York City, I’m living my dream, Man! All of these things transitioned my different passions into fueling me to become a model, little did I know the whole time I was influencing myself to be exactly where I am today... modeling and working as a photographer.
Colt Walker wears our Textured Knit Turtleneck Sweater in Snow White
-Tell us about your recent experiences as a model who also does photography.
I’ve recently shot a huge shoot with hip-hop artist $oFaygo. The reason why I bring this experience up is because it was the biggest shoot I’ve done in the past year. It was special because I was able to really translate my modeling, style and fashion knowledge and apply them to the shoot to allow $oFaygo. It helped him feel more confident and comfortable in shooting with clothing he may not normally wear and also the style of posing he might not be used to doing. I love being able to help people step out of their comfort zone and create magic from who they are and not what they think. It’s a beautiful moment when you can do that for someone and see them smile. We grow from different perspectives, not repetitiveness.
-Are there any specific challenges you’ve faced in either industry? Anything you want to highlight, or do you have any advice for others in the same field?
One of the biggest struggles I’ve faced as a model and a photographer in this industry is the competition. The unspoken competition to be exact. A lot of photographers feel like if another photographer is great at what they do as a photographer but also great at modeling that they should stick with one thing and focus on that one thing they think they’d be “better” at. I personally have been affected by this perspective of things and it just makes me want to prove myself more and use my ADHD to my advantage, and multi-task like I’m best at! If I have any advice to anyone aspiring to be a model it would be JUST. BE. YOU…have a style goal, focus on your mental health and physical health, eat healthy and also have some kind of positive advocacy. For aspiring photographers, I really encourage you to continue to step outside of your box, try new things, practice different styles that you wouldn’t necessarily think would work and really inspire the person you're shooting to do the same. For that I feel like the best art can be created from the outside the box perspectives. Success is always on the other side of fear.
Colt wears our Stripe Roll Neck Sweater in Chestnut
-Any exciting personal projects coming up this year we should know about?
I normally don’t plan out things that far in advance. We all know how this industry works! But, with that being said I have goals for this upcoming year and I’m making the proper efforts to reach those goals and refuse to settle for less. Those goals would be to shoot a beauty campaign and get a magazine cover, shoot with 3 models a week and model 3 times a week, every week; whether I’m photographing myself or with a photographer. I live for this and I love what I do for a living.
-What are some other interests you have? Tell us a little about them.
I’m interested in a lot of different things, music, fashion itself (I recently just started my clothing brand called 9ineteen9inety6ix) Where the mission is to inspire you to “JUST BE YOU”. I really enjoy nature because the connection I have with my surroundings of Earth correlates back to the fact that I am a photographer, but not just a specific style of photographer. I can really photograph anything and do it at a high level of artistry. I have a lot of interest in hair and makeup but it’s something that I haven’t gotten into yet but will eventually. My mother was a hairstylist in the early 1990’s while she was going to school and working full-time so I have that interest because of her.
-Who is your biggest influence?
Well, considering Johnny Depp as a hometown native of Owensboro Kentucky I have always been influenced by his success, and what he has done in the world of entertainment. I haven’t really been influenced by his acting as much as his level of success in general. Proving someone born in a small Kentucky city can come out on top. As far as photography goes I don’t really find much inspiration in other people's work or influence because I shoot on how I feel and what I see. I can get ideas but not a specific person. If there’s one person who has influenced me it would be Alfred Stieglitz. He was an American portrait photographer and he dedicated his entire life proving that photography and photographing moments are just as much art as painting and other physical forms of art. We today still have this debate. His story and his success has influenced me to continue probing that my photography is art and not “just taking pictures”.
-What is your favorite activity to do with your friends?
I’d say my favorite thing to do with my friends would be when we go outdoors and hike, go out on the boat or go to the beach and throw the football. But with my more creative friends I love doing group shoots in the studio and gathering as much clothing as we can to do an amazing full day of shooting. I’m an athlete but also an artist so I love outdoors and playing sports, but I also love art and collaborating creatively.
Colt Walker wears our Textured Knit Turtleneck Sweater in Snow White
-What does Ben Sherman mean to you?
Ben Sherman means a lot to me because This was my first campaign I’ve ever done but also growing up and shopping mostly at Goodwill I have found many Ben Sherman pieces at Goodwill and have always loved the quality and comfortability of the products. Knowing of Ben Sherman since I was a kid and now working for Ben Sherman and doing an interview on my artistry goes back to my strongest belief in that everything comes full circle.
-What is your favorite piece of Ben Sherman clothing and why?
My favorite piece of Ben Sherman clothing would be my cream white snap button up. It’s super chic and fitted to my body perfectly. Also, all of my white and black button ups for my suits are Ben Sherman.
-How would you describe your personal style, what are key-pieces you can't live without?
It depends on the day and my mood and what I’ll be doing that day. I would describe it as edgy and athletic. I can rock some Vans shoes with athletic sweats and a T-shirt with a suit jacket and still look chic, fit, edgy and clean.
-What is a good mantra or affirmation that you live by?
Everything is full circle, but you have to believe it. I believe in the coexistence of God, the Universe and also being our own personal entity of the world. From the blessing of free will we have the opportunity to be exactly what we want to be.