I actually found McKenna by stalking one of my favorite photographers, Mikel Roberts. I saw that she took a photo with him in Malibu, and thought she lived in California. I was actually approached her wanted to schedule a shoot, and she was down for it! The only problem: she actually lives in Nebraska and was only in Malibu for her shoot with Mikel. Just my luck, right? In any event, she agreed to do an interview for my blog, and I'm so glad to be publishing it now! When you look at her pictures, you instantly want her to be your muse. You just know that if she was the woman by your side, you'd be inspired to create something great. Unfortunately, you guessed it, she's taken, but find out more about her in our interview below:
OTC: What is your name?
MG: McKenna Gin Leitschuck
OTC: How old are you?
OTC: How tall are you?
OTC: How did you get into modeling?
MG: I just kind of fell into it! Never planned on modeling, but after being Miss Nebraska Intl 2015, a photographer (Gary Brown) found me and gave me my first couple of shoots! After that, Mikel Roberts noticed me and has had me come out to California multiple times for some photoshoots, which is what really got things going for me.
OTC: If you didn’t model, what would you be doing instead?
MG: I'd still continue to work on getting my Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science. School still comes first to me, but luckily I've put in enough work that I will be graduating a year early this May.
OTC: What would you change about your personality & look?
MG: I wish I could always be outgoing! A lot of people think that I am extremely outgoing, but honestly, I am super shy. I'd rather be the one listening than talking. Looks wise, I'm not really sure! I've always been into people's "flaws" because it makes them unique. Of course, I still have my insecurities. I'd love to have thicker eyebrows and fuller lips. I also get bags under my eyes way too easily.
OTC: Where are you from originally?
MG: Lincoln, Nebraska. (Go Huskers!)
OTC: Where, that you’ve visited, is your favorite country?
MG: The Philippines! They have such a different way of life than what I am accustomed to. I have to say though, they are the most hospitable people I have ever met, and the islands are out of this world beautiful. You'd have to stay for months to take it all in.
OTC: Where would you love to visit, and what would you do there?
MG: That is a hard one! I have a huge desire to visit as many places as I can for different reasons. Right now, I would love to visit Tahiti. Contrary to the fact that I live in Nebraska, I am a major beach girl, but have never gotten to experience a beach with crystal clear water! Huge bucket list item for me.
OTC: What is the one place in the world you wish you lived in?
MG: California! It is the only place I have visited where I can see myself living outside of Nebraska. The weather is absolutely perfect, plus they have mountains AND beaches! I would never go inside.
OTC: What is the one thing you want to experience before you die?
MG: May be cliche, but I would love to go visit NYC during the Christmas/New Year season with a handful of the people I am closest to.
OTC: Describe your dream vacation
MG: Anywhere warm and tropical! Get me on a beach and I can occupy myself for weeks. Being outdoors is my ideal way to pass time whether it be hiking, swimming, etc.
OTC: Are you close with your family?
MG: Extremely. Family is the 1 thing I value most in this world.
OTC: What does “beauty” mean to you?
MG: Beauty is so much more than looks. I know that true beauty comes from within someone. The way someone is open minded to someone who has different beliefs, someone who builds others up, someone who goes out of their way to help another, etc. That is beauty to me.
OTC: What makes you feel sexy?
MG: My boyfriend. I get all the compliments I need. (VS helps too.)
OTC: Have you/would you ever pose nude for a photoshoot?
MG: At this moment, no, I would not pose nude for a photoshoot. I am all about making art, and completely support those who do it!! The body is beautiful and should be seen. When it comes down to it for me though, there are some things that should just be left for your significant other's eyes. Like I said, modeling just kind of happened for me, I would never risk a relationship over it.
OTC: What’s your opinion on Instagram forcing women to censor their nipples?
MG: Don't even get me started! If a girl wants to show her nips, then so be it. Guys don't have to. Over-sexualized. I will stop myself there.
OTC: Which makeup product couldn’t you live without?
MG: I am not really an avid makeup wearer! If anything, mascara because my eyelashes are blonde.
OTC: If you were stuck on an island, which 5 items would you NEED to have with you?
MG: Pineapple, a big big big blanket, chocolate milk, my phone, and a surfboard
OTC: Who is your favorite model and why?
MG: KJ Skorge! I don't really keep up with a lot of models, but I have gotten to meet KJ in person multiple times and I love her for who she is outside of modeling. Of course, she posts killer shots, but she is just so fun and down to eat food whenever like me.
OTC: Who is your favorite photographer and why?
MG: A little biased, but Mikel Roberts. I love that he goes for more candid shots, rather than posed. It makes the shoot that much better too because I can go do whatever I want, and he will capture the moment.
OTC: Which photographer would you like to shoot with most and why?
MG: Another hard question! I think it would be great to work with Brandon Woelfel someday. He has the candid feel and look that I like, but his pictures are so unique. He works with different light settings in unbelievable ways.
OTC: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done on a shoot?
MG: Well one time Mikel and I were doing a shoot in the water. Now I am not very used to strong waves because lakes around here don't have waves... I totally underestimated their strength and got knocked out on my ass in front of everyone. I was bleeding all over my arms and legs. Probably made for great pics.
OTC: What is the scariest experience you’ve ever had?
MG: I got into a pretty bad car accident when I was 15 with an old friend. We ended up getting t-boned, and the car spun a few times all the way across the intersection. Her car was totaled, and I felt so bad because she had just turned 16 and got it. But we both ended up fine, which was the important thing!
OTC: What’s your favorite song at the moment?
MG: I am digging the song Heathens right now. The sound is just weird and kind of creepy. I love it for some reason.
OTC: What kind of music do you mostly listen to?
OTC: What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
MG: Hit snooze, and go back to sleep!
OTC: What is something you have tried, but will never do again?
MG: Once I ate an olive. They are gross. Never again.
OTC: What quirky habit do you have?
MG: I mess with my lip a lot, especially when I'm nervous.
OTC: What’s your favorite season?
MG: Fall because my birthday is in October! I also love fall scents, and football season.
OTC: What are you going to do for your birthday? Don't you turn 21 in a few days?!
MG: Yes!! So I didn't know which age to put on the interview haha! I'm going to Denver with a few friends and seeing a Broncos game!
OTC: What kinds of things really make you laugh?
MG: Little goats playing! They are so stinking cute. Then all my friends and family make me laugh because they are all sarcastic and like to give one another crap.
OTC: What is the one thing you did in your past you wish you could undo?
MG: Honestly nothing, because any different decision would have lead me somewhere different than where I am now. But if I had to choose something, it would be holding my tongue in certain situations.
OTC: What is your biggest fear?
MG: I am terrified of spiders and snakes.
OTC: What is your most prized possession?
MG: My heart necklace that I always wear.
OTC: What is the happiest memory from your childhood?
MG: Going camping with family and friends when I was younger. I loved going to the lake and making a huge bonfire with s’mores. As I got older though, everyone got busier and we haven't all gotten together to camp like that in years.
OTC: What is the most embarrassing moment of your life?
MG: Oh man, my friends would have to pick. I embarrass myself everyday. Most recently, lets just say I sent a snap to someone who definitely was not supposed to receive that snap.
OTC: Who has influenced you the most in your life?
MG: Both of my parents. They have both encouraged me to go after my dreams no matter what. I think they sometimes regret how seriously I took that, and what kind of adventures it has lead to. ;) I love my parents, and all they have done for me. I owe them the world.
OTC: What is something you used to do as a child that you wish you could still do?
MG: When I was a kid, I could last for hours at an amusement park doing all sorts of different spinning-upside down rides. Now I can't hang at all. I don't know what happened to me! Getting old.
OTC: What is the one movie that influenced your life the most?
MG: I am not a huge movie watcher, but I will say that Suicide Squad has influenced me to be Harley Quinn for Halloween this year. (Or Margot Robbie influenced me.. girl crush).
OTC: How would you describe your version of a perfect home?
MG: A log cabin out on a lake. I have always been into the rustic and vintage look, which works great on an old country cabin. The house isn't too important to me though as long as there's plenty of yard space.
OTC: Describe your diet and workout routine
MG: My diet is completely awful. I try to watch what I eat, but being on a college budget leads to a lot of candy, coffee, and chips for meals. I do workout quite a bit though. At least 3 times a week. I usually do about 30- 45 minutes of moderate/intense cardio, and then do different bodyweight exercises to tone up my muscles. I also do Pilates twice a week, and it's definitely one of my favorite hobbies.
OTC: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
MG: I love my sleep, so it just depends! Typically more of a night owl.
OTC: Which question do you hate answering?
MG: “Where do you want to eat?"
OTC: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
MG: I would love to be settled down by then with a family. I don't expect my life to be slowing down one bit by then, but it would be great to share all of my adventures with my own little family.
OTC: Professionally, what’s your goal?
MG: Right now, modeling is more than I could have ever dreamed. That only lasts for so long though. My next step is getting certified as a personal trainer, and group exercise instructor for after I get my degree.
OTC: What is your ultimate goal in life?
MG: To make sure that the people I love are happy.
OTC: What’s your current passion in life?
MG: I have a huge passion for making people comfortable in their own skin. I would do anything for someone to gain more confidence and to love who they are.
OTC: What advice would you give your younger self?
MG: Don't be naive, be smart and think every situation through.
OTC: What is something you will never forget?
MG: Feeling like a celebrity when I went to the Philippines. I have never hugged so many people or have been asked to take so many pictures in my whole life. Mother's would practically throw their babies at me just to have a picture! It was crazy.
OTC: How do you take the perfect selfie?
MG: I don't take a whole lot of selfies, but it's all about the lighting! The lighting will make or break you.
OTC: Which way do you face when you shower?
MG: Back towards the water. I feel like I'm drowning if I face the water myself.
OTC: What’s your go-to Snapchat filter?
MG: The deer one is my favorite right now! I'm a pro at annoying people with the voice changer.
OTC: What do you do when you’re Off The Clock?
MG: I've spent so much time traveling this past summer, that I love just staying in and cuddling up to a good movie! I have learned to appreciate the time that I have off and use it to relax.
OTC: What’s your favorite way to spend a Saturday?
MG: If the Huskers are playing, you can bet that I will be out tailgating and cheering them on! Otherwise, I will typically go workout, catch up on schoolwork, and have a movie night. I am not a huge partier.
OTC: Would you rather model swimsuits or lingerie?
MG: I have yet to model lingerie, so I'll have to go with swimsuits.
OTC: Victoria’s Secret or Calvin Klein?
MG: Victorias Secret. I spend way too much money at that store. I have been wanting a Calvin Klein set forever though!
OTC: What should I know about you that I’d never think to ask you?
MG: I lost most of my hair when I was 8! I got so sick, and for some reason it just all fell out. My mom had to buy me a hair piece because it was during the time I was going to have my first Communion.
OTC: Do you have any tattoos?
MG: No, but I would like 1 someday! I am just too indecisive to pick something out.
OTC: What’s your zodiac sign?
OTC: Do you believe in astrology?
MG: I think it can be fun and interesting, but no.
OTC: If you had 3 wishes, what would you wish for?
MG: For my friends and families to never have to worry about money, endless amounts of free time to go on trips, and a cute little puppy!
OTC: Cats or dogs? Why?
MG: Dogs 100%. Dogs are just so energetic and happy all the time, how could you not want like 30??
OTC: What is your favorite animal?
MG: Puppies! Monkeys are super cute too.
OTC: If you had to wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would you wear?
MG: A sports bra and spandex. Comfortable, and then I would feel accountable to workout everyday.
OTC: Smoker or a drinker?
MG: Can't go wrong with wine.
OTC: Tell me about your craziest night out
MG: Last year I went out with a couple of girl friends of mine. We went to a pretty big house party, about 400 people, that was mostly outside. Well eventually we got annoyed with people, and went inside to use the restroom. The line was too long, so we invited ourselves to the house owner's basement where we found a kitty! We played with the kitty for like 15 minutes until we decided to go back upstairs and outside. Once we got outside, there was not a single person from the party around. It got busted while we were downstairs playing with the kitty!
OTC: Have you ever used a dating app?
OTC: Describe your perfect first date
MG: Here I go again about beaches.. but I think a beach date would be rad. Especially if it's close to sunset. Take me surfing, pack a picnic dinner, and let’s go.
OTC: Do you have a “worst first date” story?
MG: One time when I was 16 my friend was kind of talking to this one guy, and she wanted me to go hang out with the 2 of them and the guy's friend. Well the guy's friend ended up being my cousin. I wouldn't consider it a date, but still awkward.
OTC: What is the worst thing about dating?
MG: It is too based on social media these days. People ask why I don't put up pictures of my boyfriend, and besides the fact that it just must not be that important to us, we also would rather spend our time together focusing on one another rather than looking at our phones.
OTC: Do you have any cringe-worthy stories of a guy’s failed attempt to pick you up?
MG: Just all of the DM's guys send! They are ruthless! I wish I could share some of the things I get, but I just politely turn them down and tell them I have a bf. (Or just ignore them altogether.)
OTC: Where can people find you?