Posing for the perfect photo

Striking a pose under the studio lights, senior Kyndall Tenace shows her creative edge to the cameras through her work in the modeling industry.

Since signing with Nous Model Management, one of the top agencies in Los Angeles, at age 15, Tenace has attended more than 50 fashion and commercial castings. After three years of modeling, she’s now a Nordstrom Fashion Ambassador and a Teen Vogue It Girl. Tenace hopes that these opportunities and connections built will one day transcend her into working in the realm of the fashion and retail world.

Tenace was first exposed to modeling at age after being scouted by a Disneyland photographer while posing with a Disney Princess. She again considered modeling at age 10 after a recommendation by an ex-model for Nous at a family photoshoot. However, it wasn’t until she was 15 when Tenace’s true interests in fashion led her to step into the modeling world with a goal of eventually becoming a fashion designer.

“Modelling and acting were the closest thing I could do to get exposed to the business,” Tenace said.

Tenace takes her modelling inspiration from cultural icons like Bridget Bardot and Twiggy since she is most often compared to them by the people she works with. Exploring castings and auditions for commercials, movies, print and commerce, Tenace said she enjoys commercial modeling the most.

“When I model, I want to be creatively engaged,” Tenace said. “Commercial modeling allows for so much more liberty and you get to be doing a fun activity instead of just standing in front of a white wall for hours, constantly doing outfit changes.”

However, the modeling industry is not all glamorous. Tenace sometimes struggles with the pressure and challenges—such as going through a dry spell of jobs or keeping up with traditional beauty standards—that the work can bring.

“I feel like a lot of people really want to do modelling or something in the entertainment industry, but because it’s a more unstable field that’s very competitive and intense, you run a big risk of being impressionable and falling under that pressure of expectations, especially at a young age like myself,” Tenace said.

Despite the demanding industry, going out to casting calls and modeling trips in LA has become a family event for the Tenaces. She said that the strength in her support system starts with  her parents’ and grandfather’s motivation to help her continue modeling.

Her mother, DBHS English teacher Stacy Tenace, said she has been impressed how her daughter has balanced school and modeling.

“I was worried in the beginning but Kyndall is really on top of her schoolwork,”  she said.  “I would ask her what homework she had to do and I was shocked that sometimes if we were stuck in traffic on our drives out to LA she would write essays on her phone.”

Tenace’s agency has offered her the opportunity to fly to Japan for six months to work full time for small clothing companies and gain exposure after she graduates. Despite the encouragement from her agency to go straight into the workforce after high school, Tenace said she’d rather pursue a higher education.

“A lot of girls don’t go to college; they just do modeling for as long as they can and go from there just hoping all works out but for me, I don’t want to do this for the rest of my life,” Tenace said. “I love modeling but for me, is more like a hobby that I get the chance to be paid for.”