WOW, I’m excited for 3 of my young clients. You may have read my blog post New York, here they come! a month ago? It features photos from the portfolios that I shot for Amore’ Vlok, Mwila Masongo and Nicole Morgan. They’re all models from the Randburg branch of Figures Models SA, which is owned by my fabulous friend Merlene Spies.

A few days ago I awoke to see an SMS from Merlene on my iPhone. She’d sent it at 3:13am (our time in Johannesburg) from New York, where she’d taken a group of shining young stars to the 2017 International Modeling and Talent Association (IMTA) contest. She’d written: “Hi Naomi you can be proud. For Commercial Model of the Year (photos). Nicole came 8th and Mwila 3rd. Check my Instagram. Well done to you. Over 2000 contestants here.” My fingers fumbled to open Instagram, where I found a stream of thrilling posts on Merlene’s Figures Models Randburg profile.

To my immense delight, I discovered that her students had shone in the Big Apple. In addition to Mwila and Nicole’s success in the Commercial Model of the Year category (which is based on their photo portfolios), Amore’ was selected as 2nd Overall in the 2017 Junior Model of the Year category, and as the 4th Most Sought After Model at IMTA. Merlene’s students also won Team Fashion 2017 and some of her other models excelled as well, among more than 2000 contestants from many countries.

How does this relate to you? As I pointed out in my previous post, when it comes to your own photo shoots, please don’t feel inclined to compare yourself to models like these, but rather be inspired to shine in your own way on camera. To give you a fresh idea for your next shoot, these 3 beauties each had to include in their IMTA portfolios a series of 8 – 10 close-up photos that featured different expressions to demonstrate their versatility. The photos above come from those series of pics that I took in our studio.

This is often required in particular for actors’ portfolios, and is always great fun to do, for anyone. I whole-heartedly encourage you to try it yourself. It can be a brilliant way to break the ice and be yourself in front of a camera, and of course you may well land up with beautiful photos. Not being actresses, this part of their shoots wasn’t an immediate breeze for Amore’, Mwila or Nicole, but with each of them we had so much fun trying various moods and expressions and we captured a great range of gorgeous shots.

It clearly also contributed to their success in New York. I’m so proud of them all and grateful for the opportunity to have played a role in their journeys. To see more of their photos, please CLICK HERE to view my Facebook albums. And have lots of fun at your next shoot!