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Summer Ayala: Story & Interview

The story of my life is a very long one, and once I get going, I could type for days with every detail included. I’ll spare you and your readers all of that incredibly boring reading and give you the short version. So, here it goes: I was born in sunny Phoenix, Arizona, and moved to Texas when I was 2 with my mom, Granny, and my little brother after my parents divorced. When I was 2, I used to sit in front of the turned-off-television and say, “I’m gonna be a movie star,” while brushing my hair. Little did I know, those moments would become a major part of my life.

When I was 5, I starred in my very first commercial in Waxahachie, Texas for Nabisco during the Rose Bowl Parade in 1989. As I got older, I was a normal kid doing cheerleading, dance, gymnastics, and playing with all of my friends, had boyfriends, getting picked on for being skinny and awkward. Totally normal. I was always very involved in school though, but the only difference was that I was shooting music videos, catalogs, and commercials after school and on the weekends. To me, it was completely normal and easy to do. As a teenager though I began to drift away from the limelight and be what society claims to be an everyday teen. Proms, attitude, homecoming, extracurricular activities, boyfriends, parties, shopping, and working – a lot! I did a couple of pageants as a teenager, but I began to focus more on school and getting into college.

At 19, I began working in Dallas and I was going to school full-time to be a meteorologist. I have always been fascinated with tornadoes and chasing storms. Then, in April of 2003, I found out I was pregnant, moved in with my boyfriend, and dropped out of school because I became very ill and didn’t know I was preggo at first. I was living in Arlington and working in Dallas while attending ‘shows’ for my then fiance’s rock band.

I had my daughter two and a half months early, so I quit my job, dropped everything, and became a full-time mom at 21. It is terrifying when you’re told, “If you don’t quit your job, then your baby won’t make it.” This is also known as the beginning of my Dr. Mom’s career. It’s amazing how fast you learn legal and medical terms when you become a parent with a baby in the NICU. When my daughter was born, she had a long list of symptoms: jaundice, MRSA, missing septum pellucidum, premature retina, a heart monitor, and a grade III brain hemmhorage. She would eventually have acid reflux, colic, eczema, horrible allergies, and asthma. She also had pneumonia 5 times before the age of 4. However, despite all of these trying times, this is when my life completely changed for the better because I was this new person. A strong young mother with a newfound purpose in life.
In 2005, I was approached about getting ‘back into modeling.’ I don’t really feel like I ever left, but it was something I never thought I would see myself jumping back into headfirst. I began working with Casey Jay Benson and Drew Timmons, which would lead me to shoot the cover of Tyler Today Magazine’s Bridal Edition. My husband at the time, my daughter and I lived in Mineola, Texas for about a year and a half with his parents and we got married in 2006 in Jamaica. We moved in with his parents so he could start a career in home sales and we could buy a house.

After that, in 2007, we moved to Forney, Tx, and bought the cutest house. It was my dream to own a one-story brick house for some crazy reason. I worked several odd jobs while my daughter was in Pre-K and Kindergarten including children’s fitness coach, Arbonne sales consultant, talent manager, acting, and a personal assistant to a talent agent. I was also in school full-time to get my Associates in Business Management because I wanted to open a talent agency.

At the end of 2009, my husband at the time, and I separated, and we were divorced on October 15, 2010. Since then, I began working at an incredible law firm in Uptown Dallas on June 28, 2010, and I recently graduated with my Associates in Paralegal Studies from El Centro College in May of 2013.

Now that I have been at the firm for 3 and a half years, I am looking at getting my paralegal certification and pursuing my bachelor’s degree in Law Office Management. I am also a model, which I am doing paperwork as I type for my LLC. I have a 2015 calendar and merchandise available at, and I will be featured in several magazines, Playboy’s Miss Social November contest, as well as the NOH8 Campaign, The LuminArte Gallery in Dallas, and music videos, among several other things. I am also a VIP host with Five Diamond Concierge, a talent scout with Page Parkes Management, and a talent coach and mentor. I am a personal mentor for anyone who asks for my help and I consult for various businesses on a freelance basis.

At this point, I definitely feel like the sky is not even the limit for me and that I can do anything I set my mind to. I am looking forward to the future and what it brings for me because I live day-by-day, I never know what will happen. Obviously, 24 hours in my life can be a complete whirlwind at the drop of a hat.

Describe yourself in three words. Loyal, spontaneous & silly.

How would you describe your personality? Sparkly & Spunky! I’m a business meeting and a party all at the same time.

How would you describe your professional interests? Professionally, I am interested in the legal field, being an entrepreneur, and anything with the entertainment business.

Why do you want to work as a model? Why are you interested in this Career? I want to work as a model because it makes me happy and it is an area that I have always been interested in. I feel like it empowers me to be a confident independent woman. I can make decisions and be creative with every photo shoot, every job, and every project. It’s addicting!

What languages do you speak? I only speak English right now, but I am learning Spanish. I spoke only French when I was two years old.

What’s your background in modeling? I have been modeling since I was 5. I have been through years of training in acting and modeling, commercials, print work, photoshoots, portfolio building, agency work, being an assistant to agents, mentoring models, training them, and anything you can think of really.

If you could change three things about yourself, what would they be? I’m a major overachiever and perfectionist. I also fall victim to the image society creates as the ‘perfect woman.’ It’s not something I like to admit, but it’s something I plan on changing. Women should never hate the way they look if they are happy and healthy. Even the most independent confident successful woman can be very insecure.

Who are some of your favorite models and designers? I love Cindy Crawford. She is hands down my favorite. I’m not a designer snob. I’d rather wear great styles at great prices. I love Thrift Stores, Plato’s Closet, and Buffalo Exchange. There are amazing designers like GUCCI, Diane Von Furstenburg, and Zac Posen, but what single mom can afford those on a daily basis? I’m all about affordable yet stylish pieces that the everyday woman can afford. GUESS and Arden B. are a couple of my favorite more affordable brands. I wear them and Frederick’s of Hollywood when I go to events or for a night out. I also support local DFW Designers.

How would you describe your style? Consider anything from color to historical eras. My style is a large mixture of comfortable and hot, yet classy. I love the dresses that no one else would be caught wearing. I tend to wear a lot of blackouts of habit, but I also go for crazy bright colors. I am very girly, so I like pinks and whites. I also like to mix a vintage look with something edgy, or something very simple with a super hot pair of heels. A girl should always show off her best assets, but also wear a hot pair of stilettos. It’s a must. If I feel good about my outfit, then I am more confident.

What are your strengths? And what are your weaknesses? My strengths are my ability to take on anything. I never back down and I don’t feel there’s anything I can’t do. I will also do anything I can to help other people. However, one of my biggest weaknesses is being generous and too nice to people that don’t appreciate or deserve my help. My independence and drive to succeed at everything always get me back to where I need to be mental.

Where do you generally shop? For clothes, I shop wherever I know a good sale is, or where I know for a fact there will be an outfit to match the event I am going to. I joke that I always end up in Frederick’s of Hollywood, but it’s true. 90% of the time I can grab a great dress from there and I get endless compliments on my outfit.

What other modeling projects have you done? I am always working on projects in modeling. I can’t tell too much about projects I am working on right now though. I can say that I recently did a shoot for the NOH8 Campaign, which is very close to my heart and I’m extremely excited about it. I am always working on projects with my make-up artist and my favorite photographers. So stay tuned! I have a couple of very exciting projects coming up.

What kind of modeling are you interested in and why? I love all types of modeling and I appreciate it all. Modeling is not easy in any sense. I really want to focus more on the commercial aspect and move into acting. I’ve done a bit of both side my whole life, but being in Dallas and having some curves, you’re put into the Glamour style of modeling. I love it, but I have much more up my sleeve. I love shocking my fans, friends, and family with everything that I do. I want people to realize that there’s nothing I can’t do. Being told, “You can’t do that,” just makes me actually do it and prove people wrong.

Do you have any other experience in the fashion industry (like writing photography etc.)? I help models find paid work, I coach them at photoshoots, train them for auditions and I have done make-up and styling. If I were given the opportunity to write about my experience in the industry, then I would gladly take that on. I do plan on writing a book about all my life experiences at some point down the road.

How would you describe working with the photographer? Working with a photographer can be an amazing experience because the bond between models and photographers can be extremely strong. Some photographers and models mistake it for relationship chemistry, which is an entire chapter in the book I will write, but it’s something that no one will understand unless they are in the industry for a long time. Building an unstoppable relationship with a brilliant photographer is difficult to do. Not every model works well with every photographer and not every photographer is good at working with every model. It’s a specialty career. One thing I love to do is collaborate on a shoot with the photographer and stylist. It’s honestly like watching magic happen. I start working on a shoot as soon as I book it, and sometimes before I even set a date. I’m constantly researching looks, styles, and going to the next level at every shoot. Putting an incredible editorial together and saying, “Holy crap that’s amazing!” on every photo is priceless.

What makes a stylish lady or man? Is there a difference? Yes, there’s a big difference. Being stylish is a hobby. You have to do research, keep up with trends, and own whatever you wear. You have to be able to support your own looks or you just look like a clown. A stylish man is very attractive as long as you have a personality to go with it. A stylish woman can step up her looks to another level as long as she’s not a B. I believe personality goes into style as well. You can wear the hottest outfit on the planet and still look like crap if you don’t look and feel comfortable in your own skin.

How would you describe the photographer’s style? A photographer’s style can vary, and not every photographer can shoot anything they want. Some try to branch out, but it doesn’t always work. I would never shoot with a photographer that specializes in shooting landscapes. It wouldn’t make sense. Photographers will have different styles with lighting, the types of models they shoot, and how they operate overall. Some are professional and most are NOT. Again, you have to do your research.

Who are some of your favorite fashion photographers? Georges Antoni, Esteves & Boloso, Jason Kibbler, Ben Hassett, and Jan Welters. They all have an eye for perfection.

Do you do your own hair and make-up? Yes, unless I have a big magazine shoot or event, then I hire my stylist. Otherwise, I don’t wear make-up unless I’m going out with friends.

What are some of the main differences between runway and photographic modeling? There’s a huge difference. Modeling on the runway, there are cameras at every angle. You have to look amazing at all times with little to no facial expression and no obvious posing. Photographic modeling is full of poses and emotions.

What’s your favorite outfit from your own closet? My favorite outfit would have to be my VS yoga pants and a t-shirt. I love to be comfortable. When I go out, my LBD and a hot pair of edgy stilettos with a cute clutch. Simple and classy.

Describe the atmosphere when you’re on a shoot? The atmosphere is full of creativity and FUN! I like to be silly and joke around as well as get the perfect shot. I like to learn from the photographer I’m working with because they have so much knowledge about what makes you get the perfect photo. My photographers are my friends, so we’re talking about life, kids, ex’s, food (because we’re always hungry), shoes, clothes, other people’s work, and we’re just listening to upbeat music. There’s usually a lot of brainstorming and goofing around going on.


Why would you think you’re fit for being a model? I am fit for being a model because I bring a lot more to the table than any random girl. I don’t just “stand there and look pretty.” I bring emotion, friendship, business, and life into my work. I am also a model on the side of everything else I do. Modeling is a perk to my life. It is rare that a model will become a successful millionaire and retire from only that type of work. You have to be smart and use it to your advantage. Network, have goals and help other people that also work hard and deserve it. Modeling can be applied to most aspects of life. It’s not just standing there looking fierce, you have to be a walking business. Otherwise, you’re just another body in the crowd.

Do you have any limitations? Would you model any kind of clothing at all? Yes, I don’t like to shoot artistic nudes or ‘porn’-style photos. I’ve been asked several times if a photographer can shoot my breasts. My response is always, “Uhm no. Are you Playboy? Do you want to pay me thousands of dollars? If not, then we’re done here.” I also don’t shoot anything that I cannot use to submit for paid work, publications, or exposure. If I can’t use it, or you’re not shooting it for a publication, then I won’t shoot it. I like to shoot in clothing that fits my style, what I would wear every day, and what feels good to wear. When you’re a model, you usually don’t have a choice in what clothes you’re modeling. That’s the model’s job to make a paper sack look desirable.

Describe the ideal work environment for you. My ideal work environment is professional, but fun and full of learning. Collaboration and family-like work environments that enable teamwork are perfect. If you don’t have any of those, then you need to think about switching offices or careers.

What are your likes and dislikes? I like my fave tv shows, naps on cold winter days, laughing, giving gifts, sweets, glitter, stilettos, and amazing music. I dislike taking down decorations, waking up early, dieting, people who are manipulative and fake, cold weather, the sound of popping knuckles and people smacking their food.

Is there anything else you’d like to add? Follow me on all my social media to keep up with everything I do, and always remember my tagline, “Shine Bright & Be Yourself!” <3

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