Since its inception in 2006, Midwest Fashion Week has provided an abundance of opportunities to individuals looking to get involved in the fashion industry in a region where it is otherwise hard to find. Indiana native, Carissa Lancaster, is one such individual. A small-town girl, now living out her dreams in New York, is just one example of the positive impact Midwest Fashion Week has had on not only those involved but the fashion industry at large. Let’s get to know her a little better and find out what she’s up to now!
MDFW: Thanks for coming back to your roots and chatting with us today, Carissa! Can you tell our readers a little more about yourself?
Carissa: Originally, I’m from a really small town south of Indianapolis called Trafalgar, where I grew up on a farm. After I graduated college, I moved to Indy, and now I live in New York where I am a fashion photographer.
MDFW: That sounds like a huge change from a small town to a big city! How did you get started in the industry?
Carissa: I got into fashion when I interned for Midwest Fashion Week with Berny. I applied for a graphic design internship, but then they pulled me into the photography aspect when they saw I had an interest in it. Fashion photography was never something I tried to pursue since I was from a small town and didn’t think it was a possibility. Then I started working with Mother Model Management testing all their models. From there I was able to hone my skills as a photographer and shoot a variety of models. I started traveling to Chicago, L.A., Miami, and eventually, New York. Test shooting was a great way to meet people and make connections. I ended up working Fashion Week in NYC for a few seasons and making a few more connections before I ended up moving there.
MDFW: How cool that you ended up finding your passion unintentionally… What is your favorite thing about what you do now?
Carissa: Fashion photography to me is a fairy tale. I want to be the writer of the story. Creating the story and meeting new, amazing people along the way has been the coolest part. I have friends all across the world now.
MDFW: So, you moved to New York–how exciting!! What are you up to now?
Carissa: I’ve had so many amazing opportunities over the last few years! I have worked with a few Victoria’s Secret and Sports Illustrated models. To name a few, Alanna Arrington, Sofie Rovenstine, Anne De Paula, Daniela Lopez Osorio, and Jessica Strother. I’ve also had my work published in a number of magazines including Zink Magazine, Sophisticated Living Magazine, Keen Magazine, Elegant Magazine, and Bisous Magazine.
MDFW: Those are quite the accomplishments, congratulations! Now, one more thing: what would you say is your on-set superpower?
Carissa: I’m not super technical, but I think I make everything fun and can connect with whoever I’m shooting very quickly. My secret weapon is great fun on the set. Be spontaneous!!
Wow! If she isn’t proof that, regardless of where you are from, you can make your fashion dreams come true, we don’t know what is! Be sure to follow Carissa on Instagram to see her amazing work.
Thanks again, Carissa–we know big things are coming your way!