Ora Solinsky reviews the shots she likes, and thinks of other poses she’s willing to use for the shoot. Photo by Seth Cohen.
Strutting down runways and posing for cameras is a hobby for Ora Solinksy and a hopeful career for Christi Russell. Regardless of how long they want to do it, they both love it.
Two years, ago Solinsky’s modeling career began when an unknown individual approached her, and told her she needed to get involved in a fashion show at her school.
“I just showed up,” says Solinsky, a sophomore fashion merchandising major. “I didn’t know what to expect.”
Three years ago, Russell, senior business management major, joined a band as a singer with students who attended her school. After the band held a photo shoot that was put online, comments flooded the pictures asking if the Russell was a model. “I was like sweet, I can be a model?” Russell says.
The two girls crossed paths a year later at the Lakeland fashion show. It was the first runway show for both girls.
“Oh my gosh, it was so nerve racking, but I was so excited,” Solinksy says. “Going down the stage you’re blinded and on top of it we had a lot of different placements to remember, and a weird stage.”
From then on, the two girls became best friends and both agreed if it wasn’t for modeling they would not be as close as they are today.
Recently over the summer, both girls partook in a photo shoot held by Robert Gladys, a freelance photographer for Fractured Photography. He contacted Russell through Model Mayhem. “It’s like the Facebook of modeling,” Russell says.
Through Model Mayhem, photographers and models network with each other to help build their own portfolios. Contact information is listed on individual’s pages as well as “a section where you break about yourself,” Russell says.
The girls were neither paid nor had to pay Gladys for the shoot. Instead, it was a way to help a photographer build his portfolio, as well as theirs.
Russell asked Solinsky tag along with her to the photo shoot because “it was downtown and I don’t like going anywhere by myself,” Russell says.
When it comes to photo shoots versus runways, Solinksy enjoys both, but she likes what can be done with photos more.
“You have a longer time to appreciate that sort of modeling; whereas, runway modeling is just for an instant,” Solinksy says. “You’re only up there, and then you’re gone, and you’re forgotten about.”
Russell also enjoys the photo shoot atmosphere because of the transformation behind it. Russell described her every day clothing style as tomboyish and enjoys watching photographer faces give her worried looks when she enters with her skater gear.
“You can’t see any shape in a plaid shirt and jeans and a hoodie and a leather jacket.” Russell says. “Once you throw on a spandex onesie or something sweet, they’re just like ‘oh this is awesome’ and you put on your heels and they’re like ‘wow, she can actually do this.’”During the photo shoots Russell enjoys just letting loose.
“You get a big boom-box in there and put on some sweet jams and get it blastin’,” Russell says. “Then just go up and you’re wearing something sweet, and you have your hair and make up done sweet and you’re just like ‘bam bam’, doing your thing.”
Both girls say photo shoots are more relaxing and personality can easily be added into the pictures.
“You can really get creative,” Russell says. “Runway you just go and do what you’re told and then you’re done.”
When the two girls ponder their futures, Russell and Solinsky hold different views on modeling.
“Personally, me, I don’t think I’m what a lot of photographers, designers are looking for body shape wise because I have boobs, I have a butt, I have thighs,” Solinsky says.
Solinksy simply enjoys modeling for the fun it brings along and the people she gets to meet. Solinksy says she wants to be a buyer or seller for a company with her bachelors in fashion merchandising and then pursue a master’s in business administration to step into the corporate level.
“(Modeling) is more fun for me,” Solinsky says. “I like playing dress up and stuff.”
However, Russell dreams of taking her modeling to New York City.
Through Model Mayhem, Russell recently received an internship. It provides a house and food for eight models. The models work three nights a week for three to four hours by attending red carpet and VIP events, as well as restaurants and clubs. Owners get models to come to their restaurants or clubs by paying for the model’s dinner and drinks to make their business look better.
Therefore, modeling isn’t just about pictures and runways.
“Models basically go to the clubs or bars with celebrities and surround them so that they have one, good looking people around them and two, it’s safe,” Russell says.
During the rest of the work week, the models are free to do what they want. New York City is an expensive place to live in, so “it’s a way to network for free,” Russell says. “It’s a really good opportunity to go into some agencies.”
Competition is high with modeling. Russell says you have to have a certain height, weight, and meet certain specifications on waist and bust. Both girls run into dilemmas with a minimum height requirement of 5 feet 9 inches tall. “It’s frustrating for us 5-foot-sixers,” Solinksy says.
Russell says she even runs into problems being 5 feet 8 inches tall. “That’s so frustrating.”
Height put aside, Russell still wants to pursue a career out of it.
“It’s going to be a hard industry to get into but if you can put the time towards it and get everything that you need, it’s do-able; it’s possible,” Russell says. “I figure… I’m only 20. I’ll have my degree soon, and if it doesn’t work then I have a business management degree to fall back on.”blog comments powered by Disqus