Natasha Pham (born July 25, 1991), better known by her stage name Natasha Cynn, is an American model and actress from San Jose, California. She is a first generation American. Her father is Vietnamese and her mother is Filipino.
Formerly a fashion stylist whose styling portfolio included published editorials, musicians, fashion events, and fashion shows. Her book includes but is not limited to working with Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Ford models, Wilhelmina models, and Vanessa Curry. At 22 years old, she briefly worked as a Project Director for a San Francisco women’s clothing company– booking models, hiring photographers, and directing their lookbooks. Often mistaken before at styling gigs as the model, she transitioned full-time into modeling with encouragement from a few friends after working as a Nordstrom personal stylist didn’t work out.
As a model, she has been recognized internationally through her recent video and published work. She was a featured model talent for French rappers Twinsmatic’s A.T.R. featuring Booba music video which received over 1 million views in it’s first month on YouTube. She was a featured dancer and video spotlight in one of Berner’s sold out 3 nights in a row 4/20 concert. She was also the featured model and co-host in Enjoi’s Spring Catalog video celebrating their 15 year anniversary. She has also done work as a promo model working at notable locations such as the newly built Levi’s Stadium and Facebook HQ for clients like Google or Bank of New York Mellon. Her versatility for modeling, unique personality, and striking physical features connect with her fans around the world. Sitting down with her we learned more about the model’s process.
Classic Entourage: We are really excited to be talking with you! How did you get into modeling?
Natasha Pham: Someone asked to take my photo when I was 15 or 16 years old. My high school classmate Mirabel wanted to use me as a model for her photography final.
CE: What has been the hardest part of following this career path?
NP: There are a few things I could say that I especially found challenging about modeling:
always believing in myself, not having enough emotional support from people you cared about, hearing people say that I would never be able to model or go anywhere, managing my image, finding and working with the right photographers, and the amount I financed into my career. The way I overcame my challenges was through hard work and having the right mindset… hard work always pays off!
My family wasn’t always very supportive of my career or school decisions. They have a more traditional outlook of what success is and wanted me to have a stable job like a banker or government employee. When I traveled to New York and Toronto, some of my relatives assumed I was just there to party. I modeled in both cities and I also took a class in NYC that went toward completing my fashion styling certificate at School of Style. I’ve accepted that it’s okay they don’t always understand what I’m doing; you only get one family, people will always have something to say, and they just want the best for me.
Before I met the right people who encouraged me to model, there were a lot of other people that would just hate on me for no reason or say I’m not cut out for modeling. I met this DJ in San Jose that said I couldn’t make it in SF, my pics were okay and I’m short; one month after they said that I made like $1500 from some gig and I was filming for Enjoi’s Spring Catalog commercial. It goes to show that the best thing to do is tune out the haters and use selective hearing.
CE: What is the most exciting part of modeling for you?
NP: Seeing the end result and hearing feedback for the work I’ve created. Chasing the dream and making it.
CE: Does modeling feel empowering to you?
NP: Modeling has empowered my life by bringing unique experiences and opportunities. I’ve built friendships and have a lot of fond memories to look back on. Modeling also allows me to be entrepreneurial and share my vision with others. Maybe it’s because I’m from Silicon Valley, but I love being my own boss and doing things around my schedule. I look forward to my future endeavors.
CE: What are your favorite type of shoots?
NP: I love photo shoots that tell a story and have character. I’m a big fan of images that are edgy and captivating. I have some editorial concepts I want to create this year. One of the funnest shoots I did was go skateboarding all over Downtown LA. The images came out cool and that photographer was a nice guy; his name’s Drew Pluta. Funny story though– I’ve gotten hit by a Ford F-150 truck when I was skateboarding at 16 years old. I don’t skateboard so much anymore cause I’m worried I’ll hurt myself like that again and can’t risk getting injured but I wouldn’t mind someone taking pics of me skating again. Overall, I’ll get book a lot of glamour, beauty, fashion, and portraiture which I enjoy doing.
Videos are a lot of fun to work on too– sometimes I act but when I did that Enjoi video I was just being myself. I loved that shoot. I crack up thinking about the dumb stuff I said to them. I was half nervous and half trying to play cool. Enjoi is a well-known skateboard brand that I grew up with and they started in my hometown San Jose so I was really excited to work with them. Louie Barletta, he’s this down-to-earth guy that’s a pro skater and runs Enjoi, wanted me to talk about their skateboard catalog. One scene that’s not shown cause I asked them to not use it, but was so funny, was when I was looking at one of their skateboard decks and thought Morissey was Elvis. Louie was like, “Come on, you’ve gotta know Morrissey!” I remember responding, “Who’s Morrissey? No… no I don’t know much about Morrissey, sorry Louie..” I later looked up Morrissey and realize he was a singer with the Smiths haha. Roger Bagley, the videographer for that shoot, is also a nice guy and has helped me out by giving me career advice every now and then. Cool people. Music videos are a lot of fun too; the last one I did was a French gangsta rap music video with Booba and Twinsmatic. It was so dope. I worked with one of the best French music video directors, Chris Macari, and had such a good experience for my first music video.
CE: Can you walk us through a shoot? What is the process?
A typical photo shoot you’ll have a call-time to do hair and makeup. Depending on what type of look they want, you’ll be in a chair for 30 min to 2 hours. Then the photographer will either talk to you or the wardrobe stylist to pick out a couple looks. They might review the moodboard if they haven’t already sent you inspirations images before the shoot. From there, the photographer will normally shoot about an hour or two. It can go longer than that but not usually.
Video and film shoots are different than photo shoots in that it could be filmed in a couple hours or an extended period of time. One thing I learned is that your call time can get pushed often when you’re doing a music video because they’ll be trying to do multiple takes until they get the right one for the scenes before you. Also, it’s very common to have a late night call time like 2am if your set is on location at a business that’s normally closed at night as to not interrupt their normal hours.
CE: Are there any artist or photographers you really want to work with but haven’t?
I want to work with more photographers, magazines, musicians, street wear and skateboarding companies from other countries. My top targets next year are Paris, London, and Mexico. I have fans in Philippines so it would probably be a good idea to visit there. There are also a couple American glamour and fashion photographers I’ve been eyeing. I don’t have a list to share but I hope I can work with them soon.
CE: Thanks for sitting down with us! What is your favorite food?
Thanks for reaching out to me and supporting my work. Hmm, I don’t have a favorite food– but when I go out I love sushi, Asian food, steak, and ice cream! My favorite ice cream is a toss up between mint chocolate chip and strawberry.
To see more of her work: