New Yorker Suzi is a Modeling and Acting Chameleon

Suzi (OMP Model #13967) has modeled for the past 11 years, ever since she was prompted to give it a try in school. “I was in college, and a few people suggested I try modeling. I figured it would be a fun way to make some extra money. I mailed some snapshots to a bunch of agencies, and got replies from several of them. I signed non-exclusively with a few, and that led to a number of print bookings as well as bridal shows and limited runway (I’m 5’7″, which is pretty short in the modeling world).

She discovered OneModelPlace.com when she was first starting out. “I think I was one of the first OMP members — a pioneer, so to speak.  I guess that makes me a veteran of OMP. Seriously, I think a model friend had mentioned the site to me, I signed up and here I am!”

Suzi relates that OMP has helped her career tremendously. “I have booked so many quality gigs through OneModelPlace.com. At first, it put me in touch with excellent photographers to test with, so that I could build my portfolio. Soon thereafter, it led to paid print bookings for clothing designers, swimwear companies, lingerie companies, skincare lines, and many others! To name just a few — through OMP I have booked print ads for A. Olivier, Trump World Magazine, Varla Magazine, RIX Magazine, Therapedic Bedding, and Electric Lingerie. OMP has been invaluable to me in my modeling career!”

It’s obvious that this modeling chameleon loves to try all types of assignments. “I love to go from really conservative to really bizarre and avant-garde. I pride myself on being hard-working, reliable, creative, and always willing to try something different. I’m not afraid to be self-deprecating or silly — sometimes that leads to the best photos, believe it or not!  It’s so important to have fun while shooting, as this really comes across in the pictures.  Plus, we’re all there to have fun and to fulfill our creative goals. If you want to be really rich, become an investment banker!”

The New Yorker feels that it is somewhat important for a model to be versatile in today’s market. “It’s important but not imperative. Versatility allows you to book more gigs, as you will be a good fit for a wide variety of bookings. For instance, I have booked work for knitting books and knitting catalogs, but I have also booked work for fashion fetish magazines such as Marquis, and racier lingerie companies such as Electric Lingerie. I’ve booked print ads for exercise equipment companies, and on the other end of that spectrum, for horror magazines. So I can go from one extreme to the other with ease: from girl-next-door to glamorous and fierce sex kitten!”

Because of her wide range of abilities, Suzi has participated in many memorable shoots and credits. “I really love working with Stew of The House of Indulgence. I have done many shoots with him over the years, from shoots for horror magazines to DVD covers. I have a bunch of his images in my book, and they are some of my favorites. I am a writer for several hard copy horror magazines, so I always need new content to submit to be included along with my articles.  I also really loved my shoots for Modern Bride Magazine, GQ, Pin Up Girl Clothing, and Esquire Turkey. Pin up/retro shoots are always a blast, and I’ve appeared in Varla Magazine (photos by the amazing Viva Van Story) and Pin Up Girl Clothing catalog.”

A good night’s sleep is imperative for Suzi before each shoot.  “One time I did a shoot for a DVD box cover, and the other model arrived looking tired and hung over. They worked with her during the shoot, however the creative director ended up cutting her from the final tearsheet!  Remember, party AFTERWARDS, not before the shoot!  Also, make sure you’re hydrated and well fed (well, not TOO well fed, but you get the idea!).  And make sure to exfoliate and moisturize your face and entire body. Very important!

Having had lots of training as an actress, Suzi uses that training to relax and be in the moment during photo assignments. “I try to evoke whatever mood the shoot calls for.  I’m an actor, and I’ve appeared in over 50 independent films and commercials over the years, so I use my acting experience to my advantage. It allows me to change the mood or vibe very easily, from one image to the next. It’s also fun to become different characters through modeling, whether I’m Marie Antoinette in a Party City TV commercial, or Alice Cooper for a horror magazine tear sheet.”

She reminds models that photography is literally capturing a moment in time. “That’s what a good photograph does. It is also an art form — making a fabulous photo is a work of art. Generally it takes a talented creative team to do so, from the photographer to the model to the makeup artist to the hairstylist to the fashion designer to the lighting assistant. Everyone has to bring something to the table and do their best to make the shoot a success.”

Modeling does present its share of challenges as well, according to Suzi. “The challenges often include long hours, uncomfortable poses, learning how to work with all personality types regardless of how difficult they may be, and also the basic stress of uncertainty when walking onto a new set.”

She has plenty of advice for models just starting out. “Do not accept any assignments that you are not comfortable doing. Don’t allow a photographer or anyone to talk you into something that you don’t want to do. Remember, pictures are permanent, especially in the Internet age. Also, realize you are not going to be paid big bucks right off the bat.”

Suzi reminds models that they have to test with reputable, talented photographers. “This is key to building your portfolio. And unless you are targeting more risqué clients, make sure your images are tasteful. Revealing or racy pictures are a turnoff for most conservative companies and clients. I have done work for Mattel (posing as Barbie and signing autographs for kids), and also a print ad for a high-end condominium builder, and you can bet they do not want to see any nude or racy images in your book.”

Being reliable and on time are also crucial to being successful as a model. “If you commit to a shoot, make sure to show up. When you’re there, be happy to be there, and fun to work with. Attitude is so important. I can’t tell you how many times a test shoot has led to future paid shoots and tearsheets, because if the photographer likes to work with you, you will be on his short list for future client-funded shoots.”

Suzi offers several tips for photographers to remember when working with models. “First, it’s very important to establish a rapport so that the model is comfortable. Be kind and constructive, even if she’s doing a pose that makes her look like a dancing chicken.  Also, give direction, but not too much direction. If you micro-manage the model into very specific poses, or make her hold each pose for a very long time, it may end up looking awkward and forced. Let the model be free, and do her own thing (to the extent that it’s working and she’s moving into poses well) for at least some of the shots. And please do not pressure the model into doing a shoot she doesn’t want to do — whether that means trying to convince her to pose naked, or to roll around outdoors on the ground which just happens to be infested with fire ants!”

Finally, Suzi wants to give some credit to the website that started her on the path to success. “Thank you, OMP, for creating a fantastic site and forum that allows models, photographers, clients, makeup artists, and hairstylists to meet and create fabulous photographs and art!”

To see more of Suzi, check out her OMP Portfolio

Image: Jasen Hudson

This entry was posted in OMP, One Model Place, OneModelPlace, model, modeling, models, photographers, photography, sexy and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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