Marauder, an alternative-model for six years, aka "Mara Der Mistik," poses for a cosplay portrait—dressed as a succubus or sex demon—for model photographer Craig Gum (not pictured), during a December photo shoot.
From Oct. 13–Dec. 22, Flagpole photo intern Randy Schafer shadowed Marauder, an Athens-based alternative model, to show what it's like to be an independent alt model model working solely on her own. Click here to the read the story.
She has no modeling agency, no agent and no financial backing. And although that seems to be the status quo in the alt-modeling world, funding her career through a transcribing job, her modeling or selling prints and old belongings is still a challenge for Marauder nonetheless.
Marauder stands at a table in front of a poster of her modeling idol, Marilyn Monroe, in the living room of her Athens home on an October morning.
Phil (right), a University of North Georgia psychology student and Marauder's boyfriend, arrives home from school, greeting Marauder (left), and their dogs after getting out of the car. Marauder said that Phil is a "supportive boyfriend," and that he often "gets used as a prop at shoots."
Marauder applies concealer to the face of "Miyoko Tsume" (right), an amateur model who Marauder is mentoring, before Tsume's third photo shoot ever, on a November afternoon. Tsume started out modeling and posing for photos as a gift for her husband, but decided to continue for her "own creative expression," she said.
As Tsume's hair blows outward from a fan on the floor, Marauder mentors the amateur model on stances and facial expressions, while photographer Paul Scoggins (right) of A Sight 2 See, takes photos in his apartment/studio.
After a wardrobe change, Tsume positions herself on top of a prop as Marauder gives her advice on her facial expressions and body language for the next set of photos. Marauder guided the amateur model on positing techniques and sexy faces during the lingerie portion of photos.
Gearing up for her own shoot, Marauder tightens the strings of her corset while getting dressed in her home before a photo shoot in Memorial Park. Marauder said she prefers corsets to many other wardrobe choices.
Marauder applies eyeliner under her newly extended eyelashes, getting ready for a photo shoot with her longtime friend and photographer, Jacob McClain of Simple Shot Photography.
McClain directs and photographs Marauder as she leans against a tree with her hand extended to McClain, while shooting in Memorial Park on an early November afternoon.
Marauder laughs while attempting to hold a pose on the ground, causing McClain to pause from photographing and continue laughing with his friend. Having worked together since Marauder was 17, she and McClain often break out into laughter between sets.
Marauder poses for McClain laying horizontal on the wooden handrails of a small bridge in the forest of Memorial Park. Being accustomed to standing and laying in various uncomfortable positions, Marauder said she's fine during a shoot, but "the day after a shoot, I'm sore and tired."
Marauder flips her hair upward posing for photographer Craig Gum (right), during a photo shoot in Gum's Athens studio on a late November afternoon. Marauder and Gum have worked together almost as long as she and McClain—although Marauder and Gum have worked less together—their collaboration on ideas has increased in recent years.
Gum, with "Smile 4 Me" tattooed on his forearm, points down at Marauder as she holds her hands covering her breasts, with the message, "F**K YOUR STANDARDS," written on her hands and stomach. Occasionally, Gum will appear in photos with his models, challenging the societal standard of beauty.
Marauder smiles in the mirror while holding position for makeup and special effects artist Cheri Holmes (right) as Holmes applies purple and turquoise makeup to Marauder's skin, before a mid-December cosplay photo shoot in Gum's studio. It took approximately three and a half hours for Cheri and her husband, Mark (not pictured), to apply all the necessary makeup to Marauder for the succubus costume including various on-the-spot touchups between shoots.
Phil, dressed as a priest, poses in chains attached to a wooden "X" with Marauder during a succubus-themed photo shoot, acting as a prop for his girlfriend. Originally intending to just accompany Marauder, Phil agreed to dress as a priest for a series of photos during the December shoot, and said that "I'm sometimes a little curious about modeling."
Marauder holds her fingers to her mouth, posing while Gum checks the amount of light emitting to his light-reader from the strobes. Gum measures the light in between various ideas and changing sets, making sure he has the exposure levels he desires for Marauder.
Slightly unorthodox for Gum, the model photographer asks Phil and Marauder to kiss for a series of photos during the succubus-themed photo shoot, He said that he liked the idea of a priest and demon making out. Marauder also enjoyed having her boyfriend with her for the two-hour-long shoot.
Checking her website and social media pages, Marauder uses her new laptop computer—no longer having to borrow her boyfriend Phil's computer —for editing and promoting needs.Marauder shares statuses and images on her Facebook and Twitter pages, and scans over her modeling website, before venturing out to clothing stores with her friend "Mandy Misfit," (not pictured).
Marauder breezes through racks of clothing inside America's Thrift Store on a rainy December evening. Three days before Christmas, Marauder was shopping on a tight budget for future wardrobe ideas.
Alternative model Mandy Misfit (left) sifts through the "free" bins outside the secondhand store 2nd & Charles with her friend Marauder.