We had the good fortune of connecting with Kentrate and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kentrate, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Over the course of time, it has become painstakingly clear to me, the necessity for work life balance. We hear this term thrown around a lot, but I don’t think employers truly know what it means; it also looks different for everyone. My mother is getting older, my nephews are growing up. Heck, I am aging, LOL, I don’t want to “start enjoying life” when I retire. I want to be able to enjoy certain aspects of life while I can actually enjoy them; while I can still walk, and climb, and push, and pull, and run. I want to enjoy my free time while I can actually enjoy it. It’s hard to go on hikes when you are 70. Hard to travel in your 80’s. Trying new foods aren’t as fun in your 60’s. So while I am not yet there, I truly want to create a life for myself that is equal parts work and play. We work so hard for what? Over time I have begun to take more time for me. To plan vacations. To visit friends and family in other cities. To explore my horizons. I have moved the things I placed on the back burner to the front. No longer am I “too busy” to do something. Now I say “when can I do this”. When I leave this earth behind I want no sick leave left, and no vacation time rolling over. LOL.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The thing that sets me apart from other models is probably my “late” start. I’ve only been modeling for about 2 years and just celebrated my 40th birthday. Something else that sets me apart is probably my hair. My locs are distinctive and readily recognizable. Probably the thing that I am most proud of which separates me from other models is the hard work I have put in over the years. I used to weigh almost 300 pounds. I decided one day to just stop. Stop eating recklessly, stop making excuses, and stop leading a sedentary lifestyle. Getting to where I am professionally hasn’t been easy. And I’ve only just begun. There have been rejections. And there will be more. But what’s for me, is for me. The lessons that I have learned in my failures and rejections are to 1, maintain my faith in God. With Him at the helm of my life I will never be steered in the wrong direction. And 2, I have to have faith in and believe in myself. I want the world to know that with hard work, consistency, and dedication, anything can be achieved.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Thankfully, my best friends live near me. But if they didn’t we would eat, drink, and be merry. LOL. From the High Museum, to Atlantic Station, to the Battery, to Old Fourth Ward (O4W), to Edgewood Ave, to shopping at Phipps Plaza, to games at State Farm Arena, to concerts at The Tabernacle, to bowling at the Painted Pin, to tapas at Loca Luna, to a run in Piedmont Park, to a snack stop at Whole Foods, to horseback riding at Dillard Farms, to stopping and lounging at Whiskey Mistress, the possibilities are endless!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have had tremendous help from people all along the way. Family, friends, loved ones. But finding people in the “industry” who are willing to help is rare. Those people are few and far between. I will always credit Ja’me Almonte with the start to my modeling career. A random open casting call put me in front of him, and I ultimately ended up taking some great test shots with him. It was an acting and signing audition, but he saw a model, and for that I will forever be grateful. I’ve shot with some great photographers over time to include Derek Chase (Baltimore), Tremaine Weir-Gaines (Atlanta), Emmanuel Fisher (D.C.), and Seth London (NYC), all of which have helped me take some of the best pics ever. It’s amazing how each photographer sees something different in you. But I’ve shot countless with Carlos Durden (Atlanta) and our collaborations yield consistently solid, great pics. In fact, my first magazine feature was with Carlos Durden.
Emmanuel Fisher (IG-@photographybyemmanuel) Seth London (IG-@sethlondon_official) Tremaine Weir-Gaines (IG-@twphotography18) Derek Chase (IG-@thephotochase) Carlos Durden (IG-@L.O.SP)