“I’ve always had an interest in modeling, so when I was 14 I started an OMP profile and set up my first shoot. I was nervous and shy, and I ultimately put modeling on the back burner. Then about a year ago, I had a close call and had to have emergency surgery for internal bleeding. I decided I needed to try to reach my goals and not let nerves and inexperience stop me.
She saw a travel notice on One Model Place posted by Tom DeLombarde (OMP Member #7197) that prompted her to carry out her dream. “Tom’s work caught my eye. We emailed a few times and ended up shooting in the beginning of August 2009. Since then, I have been blessed with so many opportunities and experiences I don’t think I ever would have had if it weren’t for his friendship and his knowledge of the modeling industry with me.”
One Model Place was one of the first sites Samantha came across online. “It seemed to be the most professional and most legitimate site, so I joined. OMP allowed me to connect with Tom, who helped me to start my portfolio. Having a portfolio filled with a variety of professional images, has caused me to become more noticeable and to receive more job offers.”
Samantha prefers to refer to herself as an artist, more than a model. “Along with modeling, I love photography, drawing, writing, and any other way I can express myself. I thinking the reason I’ve taken to modeling so much is that it allows me to use my body as another form of artistic expression.”
The Indiana resident is very grateful for each experience she has in front of the camera. “A lot of the photos in my portfolio have a special memory attached to them. I’ve found it’s the last-minute shoots, without much preparation involved, that usually yield the most successful and memorable photos.”
Samantha makes sure to ask each photographer a series of questions prior to the shoot. “It’s so much easier if you are both on the same page, and know what is expected of you, than to be surprised later. I also make sure to have my bag packed the night before with anything I might need. I always take more than I usually end up using, but I’d rather be over packed, than to forget something.”
During a shoot, she likes to stay in the moment and not overthink things. “Thinking about it too much can cause you to come across stiff and uncomfortable in the photos. I really feel a connection with the camera, and think that it allows me to share parts of myself that I’m unable to put into words, if I just relax. Having fun – and not overthinking anything — makes for a successful shoot.
For Samantha, the biggest reward of modeling has been to express herself and her creativity, and have people appreciate it. “Being able to capture someone’s interest and getting to hear their opinion on my work is wonderful. However, it is extremely important to be professional and commit a lot of your time to networking, building relationships, and working to improve yourself. Sometimes it’s difficult to balance this with everyday life and work.”
A great piece of advice Samantha shares with other models is the importance of avoiding unrealistic goals. “Thinking you’re going to become the next big supermodel in a month will only set you up for disappointment. Just enjoy the experience. Doing your research and not being naive is also very important. Having good communication with photographers, getting references, and being prepared will all make for a more successful shoot. Also, I believe you’ll have a more pleasurable experience if modeling is something you have your heart in, and is something you’re doing for you, not to become rich and famous, or impress someone else.”
She has a special message for her fellow OMP models and members. “I am so appreciative of everyone who has taken the time to look at my work and comment on my images or send me referrals. I truly appreciate people taking their time to share their thoughts. This has been the best year of my life, and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me.”
Image courtesy of Tom DeLombarde