When we found out that Taya Brooks – a young rising star from Australia – was planning a visit to California, AND she was up for doing a shoot with Chance Loves swimwear, we were super excited of course! The shoot took place in Laguna Beach, on a gorgeous Summer day. After a week of overcast days, Taya arrived, and the skies cleared up.
Besides going to school and modeling full time, she has also acted in a few short films, dedicates 16 hours (!!) a week on dancing, and if that’s not enough; she’s also starting an active wear range called “Flextt”
-Tell us a little about yourself.
I reside in Melbourne, Australia. I’m the youngest in my family with 4 older brothers, Caleb 22, Declan 21, Keegan 19 and Noah 18. I was raised in the country and although I’ve lived in the city for the past 6 years, I’m still a country girl at heart. I love spending time at the beach with family and friends.
-What about modeling do you love the most?
I love travelling and working with amazing people. There are so many really creative and fun personalities on each set.-Are most of the photoshoots in Melbourne where you live, or do you travel a lot within- or outside of Australia for jobs as well?
Mostly Melbourne but I’ve travelled to a few places outside of Melbourne too including Sydney, the Gold Coast, Los Angeles and New York. I’m planning to work in South Korea soon for a couple of months, and I’ll also be back in Los Angeles during our winter.
That’s a tough question. I really enjoyed Los Angeles. I loved the beaches and I met so many incredibly talented young people. They were all so welcoming and friendly. We keep in touch.
I practice dance for around 16 hours each week. I’m in a senior elite troupe which requires 95% attendance. It’s a huge commitment but I have so many good friends who make the time go fast. We have a lot of fun too. I’ve been a member of the International Dance Organisation (IDO) Australian Team for the past couple of years also. I’ve competed internationally in South Africa and South Korea. I’ve also competed in many Melbourne based competitions. I plan to scale back my dancing in 2019 though to focus on school and modeling.
I’m not home-schooled (yet). I try my best to manage everything currently as I would really like to finish my schooling with all my friends but it is definitely getting harder as I’m missing so many days. I’m always playing catch up but fortunately I’m a very good student.
Between dance, modeling and school, I don’t really have much time for other involvements. The only other activities I seem to do are eat and sleep. I actually managed to film a few short films this year though, which was really enjoyable so acting would be another area I’d like to find more time for.
We really did have the best time.
It wasn’t my first time in California as I’d been before for a dance trip but it was my first time travelling with Meika. There was a lot of laughter. We were invited to some great parties with other young people which was a highlight for me. I also worked with some amazing photographers which really strengthened my model portfolio.
-Tell us a bit more about your trip to Laguna Beach to do the shoot for Chance Loves Swimwear
Laguna beach is the most beautiful place. I wish I could have spent more days there. It’s so pretty. The whole team, including the other models, were fabulous to work with.
-What would you like to see us add to the collections in the future?
The bikinis were all fabulous! I wore a few halter neck styles which used to actually be my favourite style but I’m now keen to see more strapless or triangular styles. The colours and designs were all great.-It seems like your month long trip to the US was a whirlwind adventure, and you did lots of shoots, not only in California, but New York as well. You want to elaborate on some of the other jobs/shoots you did?
The shoots varied so much in style which is what keeps modelling interesting for me. I did a few swimwear shoots, beauty shoots and even some couture fashion shoots. I actually did 23 shoots in 21 days so it really was a crazy schedule. I loved the couture shoot at Santa Monica Pier. It was the first day of our trip and there was a large crowd of people watching and taking photos. In New York, I was a model for a beauty workshop at the B&H Photo Store. It was livestreamed to thousands of viewers which was also pretty cool.
-What did you love about the places in the US you visited?
The places were all so clean and well maintained and the people were super friendly. Lots of people were coming up to Meika and I just to say hello and ask us if we were models.
-What is very different in the US versus Australia?
I think there are a lot of similarities to be honest but the biggest difference is that you drive on the opposite side of the road and your cars are all left hand drive. It was hard adjusting to that.
-What’s next for Taya Brooks?
Right now I’m focusing on my new active wear range which launches next month. It’s called Flextt. I’ve been involved with so many fantastic activewear businesses over the years and I had a really clear vision of what I wanted to create. I designed it with my good friend Tayla Hope, a fashion designer. Our first range is very monochrome and includes 10 pieces covering all the basics. The second and third collections include more colour. It’s a huge investment for us so I really hope that people support us and enjoy the range.
Photography: Anna Simone