Meet Madison Earls


Get to know the Virginia-based model and photographer


Photo by Erick Gowin

Photo by Erick Gowin


Where are you from, originally?

I was born in Virginia in Suffolk. I lived in North Carolina with my parents for a large portion of my life and immediately came back to Virginia when I had the chance at 18.

How did you link up with Erick for this shoot?

We talked about it over social media and decided to meet up for coffee at this neat place I always passed but never stopped at called Crossroads. We'd never shot before and Erick wasn't even aware that I do photography myself. We talked about that mostly, leading him to actually leave the location, makeup, and wardrobe up to me and he was completely stoked on the ideas I had.

What is your modeling background?

I've never been signed with anyone or any companies, but I've done freelance for a long time. My close friends have always seemed to be photographers and somehow I always ended up in front of their cameras. Aside from that, I've experimented with self portraits for years.

I've always had issues with body image and beauty, as with most girls my age and well, in general I suppose. I've always found it really neat to do an entire shoot and not know what you're going to look like, on the other end of things, only to completely love the way a photographer captured you. It's nice to forget for a second that you might not be "skinny" enough or "pretty" enough or really any of those things. you just feel beautiful.

Tell us about your experience on location?

It felt really natural. Having a knowledge of photography myself, it was nice to communicate on a technical level. Apart from that it was just like I was hanging out with a friend. We laughed and had fun and when we stopped shooting we kept exploring and grabbed some food later. Definitely a comfortable experience.

We talked a lot about scenery, how the female body is often portrayed, and photography in general. I joked with him, as I often do, in regards to my curly hair and preference for the shoot to be in the river. We both agreed that the title “Water Nymph” fit well.

Any surprises during the shoot?

Well the time of year we shot didn't allow for warm water, so adjusting to that and forcing myself to not look freezing was definitely funny. I also tripped a lot while in the water and was probably mid-calf deep in the grossest mud ever. The best of it all was probably when we decided to start shooting fully naked and a little group of fishermen drove by on their boat. Completely embarrassing, totally worth it.

Here's more from Math Magazine Issue One.