Elyssa (OMP #18537) has been modeling since the age of 14, and has developed over the years into a talented young woman with exceptional poise and posing skills. She has proven that she has legs in the modeling industry — and we aren’t only referring to longevity. Elyssa’s height and long legs have made her in high demand in fashion and glamour circles alike.
The California native got her start as a model when a friend of the family introduced her to a local photographer. “He had helped their daughter hook up with a good agency, and he got me started as well. I was very fortunate to have a manager that was also a photographer, so right away I was able to practice shooting and starting up my book. Later, I signed with a few agencies and worked with several new photographers.”
That first photographer, Tim Jahns (OMP Member #4467), has turned into a longtime collaborator and close friend over the course of her career. Elyssa relates that there are several benefits to working with the same photographer on a regular basis.
“It is as simple as trust. We trust each other’s opinions and suggestions while beginning a new project. I get the feeling that I am not just a good subject, but part of a product of something that both parties are working hard to accomplish. It is not the job, but something that we are both helping each other work towards.”
Elyssa discovered One Model Place after realizing she needed more opportunity for work. “I needed to find a way to meet more people in the industry and get more experience in modeling, and after some advice and word-of-mouth I found the website. I have received a lot of jobs and met many photographers that I still work with today because of OMP. I have been able to add pictures to my book and gained experience in shooting in many different styles.”
When asked how she describes herself as a model, Elyssa half-jokingly replies, “Tall.” Then she continues, “In many ways I consider myself an actress, so modeling is a chance for me to be someone else. The wardrobe and makeup has never been something I would wear on a daily basis, but instead it is something that is part of the job. I feel I have a good work ethic, and I have always been professional.”
Some of her favorite credits include booking a part in an Aveeno commercial for body soap. “Even if the shooting wasn’t all fun — which it was — I enjoyed all the perks and food that were on the set. Otherwise, some of my favorite shoots are the ones that are edgy and different, not just wearing cute little skirts and shirts that show my midriff.”
Elyssa admits that she does not prepare a whole lot for her photo shoots. “There is not really that much to it. The day before the shoot, I try not to wear any makeup due to the fact that I will be wearing a pound of it the next day. Of course, I get plenty of rest the night before. Then again, I love to sleep anyway!”
During the photo shoots, she uses music and dance to help her pose. “Actually I just play music in my head, because after all, posing is just slow dancing. Also, I do try to put the focus on my legs, so the more angles I can give the better.”
The lovely, lithe beauty shares her opinions on the rewards and challenges of modeling. “The rewards are simple — self-esteem and confidence. Growing up, it took a long time for me to get out of the awkward stage. Modeling really changed that by letting me see that I am unique and special. The challenge for me has been fitting modeling into my schedule. Being a full-time student for so long and working part-time, it has been a challenge to really keep my modeling career going because I don’t have that much free time. Once I am at a shoot, it is just the long hours that are taxing.”
She offers some helpful advice for models just starting out? “If you want really want to be a model, you have to put in the time. Not everyone gets discovered and is on a plane to Paris the next day. Modeling is tough when you are first starting out, so your patience and desire are really what keep you going.”