Modeling-How it all Began

Ever since this post, I’ve gotten several questions regarding modeling. How did I start? How do I balance a full-time job and modeling? Do I feel pressured?

I plan to answer all of your questions as honestly and clearly as I possibly can. My main reason for opening up about modeling to the blog world is to show that not all models live unhealthy lifestyles and deprive themselves of life’s pleasures.

Modeling is one of my passions, along with food, fitness, and fashion. I aim to show that models can pursue their hobby or career, while still living a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

If you have any questions regarding modeling, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or contact me. I plan on putting together either a modeling FAQ Page, or individual posts on certain questions depending on how extensive they are. Don’t be shy, ask away!

How it All Began

I was not one of those little girls who used to try on her mother’s high-heeled shoes, raid her makeup drawer and beg her to take me back to school shopping, actually I was very much the opposite.

I played a lot of sports, loved riding my bike around the neighborhood for hours and would have much stayed home to try to beat the next level of my latest video game, then be dragged to the mall with mom and grandmother. I wouldn’t go as far as to call myself a  complete “tomboy”. I did own Barbies, dolls and doll houses, but I definitely wasn’t your typical “girly-girl” (not back then at least).

Standing at 5’10.5 inches tall, I am in the above average height percentile range for women. When I was younger, I hated did not like being tall. I always towered over all of my friends, I felt uncomfortable wearing heals, and people would sometimes make rude or sarcastic remarks about my height.

Did I mention that I also had a mouth full of braces, and glasses about an inch thick? Oh the joys of being a teenager!

As a child I was very dedicated and committed to my sport of tennis. I began playing at a very young age and continued to play competitively as a junior, and throughout college. I guess you could say tennis was my “thing”. It’s all I wanted to do, it took up most of time and I enjoyed every second of it (well maybe not losing, but luckily that didn’t happen all that much ;-) )

 

Although being tall had its disadvantages, it was definitely an advantage for me while playing tennis. Despite not being that strong, my serve was automatically more powerful than most girls in my age group. A ball that took the average height person 4 steps to run to, only took me about 2. I started to realize that being tall wasn’t all that bad, actually it was pretty cool!

It wasn’t until my cousins from Italy came to visit one Summer and convinced me that I should pursue a career in modeling. My family hadn’t seen me in years (pre Facebook and Skype times) and encouraged me to look into it. I remember thinking that they were nuts, and that this was just another crazy Italian family move. Yes I was tall, and I had grown into my figure, but I was an athlete, a tennis player-not a model. Nevertheless, I decided to make them happy so I took some snap-shots, researched some local agencies, mailed my photos and forgot about it.

A few weeks later, and much to my surprise I received call backs from all three agencies that I sent my photos to. They said that they were interested in meeting me in person, and wanted to discuss some opportunities. To say that I was shocked is an understatement! I knew I had the height, but the body type, personality and fashion-sense? Ummmm, definitely not back then!

I remember walking into the modeling agencies with my mom and aunt by my side (still my two biggest fans!) and not really knowing what to expect. I was nervous, but also excited. So many thoughts crossed my mind, but I ultimately decided that I would just have fun. Whatever the outcome was, I would accept it and move on. If they didn’t want to sign me to the agency then oh well, this wasn’t my idea anyway!

I did end up signing a contract with the agency that I am still currently with, and have stuck with them for over 8 years. I love my agents and my runway team like my family. They work hard for their models, they are encouraging and they truly do take care of us. This is not typically something you will see in other markets. Although Boston is a large market compared to most of the U.S, it is still very small when you take into perspective the whole world.

Modeling as a teen was just like anything else you try when you start, you have to practice. I knew nothing about going on castings, how to take a “pretty picture” or how to walk on a runway. Obviously I made a lot of mistakes, but I learned from them and it got me to where I am today. Luckily I had (and still have) a huge support group. If I don’t get a job, I don’t sweat it, another one will come along.

Whenever I tell people this story, their reaction is something like “that’s it, that’s the story?” It’s funny because I feel like today’s society thinks that all models are scouted off the street, and are suddenly on their way flying all over the world shooting ad’s for Gucci and walking on the Victoria Secret runway.

The truth is that for most models, this is just not the case, and it definitely was not the case for me. A lot of models work for years, and never reach the desired level of success they wish.

Like I said before, for me modeling is fun. I do it because I like to do it and I enjoy it. Sure the getting paid to wear new clothes and take photos part definitely helps, but that’s not the whole picture. I’ve actually done several fashion shows and photo shoots for charities and did them for free, simply because I was asked to and I wanted to participate.

Through modeling, I’ve made countless amounts of long-time friends, met some amazing people who I never would have otherwise met and been to some pretty cool places!

I’ll probably continue to model for as long as I can. At 23 years old, I kind of on the “older side” for modeling, but I have several friends who have continued to model well up into their 30′s so we’ll see.

Wherever the road runway takes me, is where I’ll be!

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Any specific questions you have about modeling?

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Comments

  1. Stellina! You go girl. :) Yea, I read your blog ;)

    And your mom & aunt seriously are your biggest fans… I miss them! I always had a great time both working WITH you and booking you for work.

    Hope to see you soon! And who knows, maybe we’ll be working together again in a different way… through your blog and my PR clients. Keep in touch!

    -Brittany
    @brittopham

  2. Tennis should be everyones “thing” :) ..seeing photos like that makes me miss it so much

    Im so impressed by everything you have achieved!

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