Kate Bock is a bona fide veteran when it comes to SI Swimsuit. The model made her debut in the issue in 2013 and appeared on the cover in 2020. But 10 years of experience with the brand doesn’t guarantee that the next job will go off without a hitch. The fashion/food/design influencer recently spoke about her shoot in Belize for the 2022 issue and how it involved an impromptu photo session on the side of the road as well as a run-in with a shiver of sharks.
This is your 10th appearance in the magazine. What was this photo-shoot experience like compared to the very first one?
“Every year, I just get more comfortable in my own skin and speaking my mind. I now come to set with different references of what I think we should do for hair and makeup or a creative direction idea. It’s always hard to find new ways to pose or make it different than before. I find it more collaborative every year. This has been the most collaborative year, and it’s so much fun for me to get to participate as more than just a model.”
What did you think of Belize?
“I had never been to Belize before, and it was beautiful. We shot in two different parts of the country; we were in the jungle, and then for my adventure day, we went to this little island where we swam with sharks.”
More from SwimLife
Are Adventure Days always part of a SI Swimsuit shoot?
“Yes! Commonly, as a model, you get flown to cool places, but you don’t get to see more of a location than where you’re shooting. So it’s cool now that we get to spend a full day doing crazy adventures. I went zip-lining in the mountains, then we went swimming with sharks and then we walked around this island. We got to see so much of a place, and it’s so cool to learn about all these different amazing locations."
What was it like swimming with sharks?
“It was cool! I mean, they were nurse sharks. I was not swimming with Great Whites. But there were tons of them, and you could get close, so it gets your heart rate going a little bit. They would dump food in the water and have us swim through them. I was almost touching them! So I’m excited to see how that turned out on the underwater cameras.”
Can you share any fun behind-the-scenes moments from the shoot?
“Things always change on the fly. For example, we were meant to shoot at these pools. But, halfway through the day, we had to deviate because one of the roads got muddy, and we couldn’t drive. Then our truck broke down on the way. So we did the photo shoot on the side of the road. And those ended up being some of my favorite shots from this year. Trucks were driving by and everything!”
You’ve branched out into other business ventures. What inspired you to do that?
“I’ve been in this modeling game for a while. And the silver lining with COVID-19 and not having the opportunity to shoot is I learned about brands from the inside out. It gives you such a different appreciation for the actual shoot day because you know all the work that goes into it. That gave me the awareness that I love creative direction. Now I’m involved in brands in a creative, aesthetic way, and I think they see that value add for them.”
How does your career as a model help with creative direction?
“I have an aesthetic and a style that I learned through my industry. I’ve seen things go so many ways, like different lighting, tones, the ways people act, and how things are edited."
What would your advice be to other female entrepreneurs?
“Ask a lot of questions. So many people have imposter syndrome, and everyone hides it. But the more that I learn, I see that everyone is still learning. So, never be embarrassed to ask questions because it’s better to know the answer and even ask the same question to multiple people because you’ll keep growing. Everyone has different opinions and different experiences.”