Taking a chance… Sophia West


Sophia West, 2015

When throwing out casting calls for models, you do have to sift through the applications. Now I’m not overly picky but after many years of this (and the growing number of ‘models’) you do get an increasing number of people who want to be models, but for a variety of reasons you just get an instinct to say no. It could be:

  • The way they write – lots of text speak, ‘hun’, ‘babe’ or others used in messages etc…
  • Having zero experience but asking for paid work (or as it’s written incorrectly many times, ‘payed’).
  • Having some really terrible photos on their portfolio (selfies are fine as long as they’re not while out clubbing, or not clear at all).

and so on…

Occasionally though there are some surprises, and with Sophia, she was an epic surprise.

She was new to Purpleport, she had very few images and no references. But what few images were there interested me. She looked great, and the comms were prompt and she clearly everything said in the communications on board. And the moment we met, I just knew today was going to be a good day.

As a professional dancer, she knew how well her body could move, and because she is active with dance shows her figure was fantastic. Unfortunately dance jobs are not frequent enough so she wanted to see if modelling could be a good route to more regular work. Normally I tell women who are interested in modelling not to do it unless they are committed, prepared to be knocked back and turned down, confident and most importantly, aware of the fact that once the pictures are online, that’s it – there’s no going back. But since Sophia was already in the public eye with her dancing, and fully aware of the exposure, this was a whole different story.

Not to say she hadn’t done any modelling before, but more of a case of promo, or with friends, and once she tells me with a German photographer which didn’t go too well! So this was I think (and I am happy to correct this if I’m wrong) pretty much her first proper shoot, and one where she could also input ideas into it too.

The shoot itself was a dream. I couldn’t have asked for a better day. We zoomed through so many setups, and the results were amazing. If I’m being honest, a couple of the images I took I look at and think ‘I didn’t take that!’. Sounds stupid, but the quality of the result is something a little beyond what I thought I was capable of (Let’s remember that I’m an hobbyist and self taught, and I know that I muddle through camera settings that a total expert would probably facepalm at!).

After the shoot, what shocked me the most was the dedication Sophia put into the whole day. I thought she wasn’t that far from me, maybe an hour by train. No, she was over three hours away! She told me before the shoot that she had no plans so there wasn’t really any time limit for our collaboration. Had I known that she left at stupid O’clock in the morning to get to me, I wouldn’t have taken my time!

Sophia, you are a star. And most importantly, with your dedication, you will go far.

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