Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Metja is our featured model at FSM

If you ever happen across Metja - finding yourself sitting beside her on a bus, perhaps; bumping into her in a café or just seeing her walk bye on a street, you’ll know you just got lucky, for Metja has that ‘thing’, that aura, that special quality, that indefinable ‘presence’ that somehow makes the people around her feel a little bit better about being where they are.

So, you can imagine how it felt – not only to meet her for the first time – but to have the opportunity of photographing her on behalf of the Miss West Lothian competition in which, at that time, she was just a contender and hadn’t yet been awarded the highly prized laurels; I have to admit to having been a little star-struck.

But Modelling isn’t just about looking pretty in front of a lens. It can be an exhausting and laborious enterprise. It can take hours to build a set, test for lighting and get hair and make-up sorted. So, before you know it, the model has already been there for three hours and she then has to be briefed on what the shoot is about and what the stylist is trying to achieve – and it’s not easy to take spoken ideas and turn them into a story through modelling. And, after all that the lens cap STILL hasn’t come off the camera. The entire shoot has – by this time - lost that exciting immediacy, and THAT’S when you find out that, in Metja, you have a model who knows what’s wanted and, most of all, knows how to deliver: her need for direction in the actual modelling of the shoot is minimal, her repertoire of learned poses are contemporary, editorial, high fashion and apparently inexhaustible in their variety.

The camera loves Metja; that’s simply an inarguable fact. She has that natural understanding of her own posture, lines and curves which allow her to interpret what the camera sees from the other side of the lens and, with just the slightest inflection of a facial expression or posture, to deliver that sustenance which the camera lives off; aspect, aura, comportment, spirit, air or art – whatever that certain ‘thing’ is that she certainly has. At such times it can actually be difficult keeping up with her!

With all that said, the picture you should be getting is that of a wise, time-served, professional model. But what you’re actually presented with is a 17 year old girl who never consciously decided to try to be a model.

FSM: So who did convince you to try modelling: your family, your boyfriend, your favourite mirror?

Metja: Erm, let me see … No … no … and … what mirror! (laughs) No, really, it wasn’t something I ever really tried to get into. I don’t know, it just sort of happened. I was asked to do a few shoots and I really enjoyed it. Then I was encouraged to go into the Miss West Lothian competition, and I was invited by the competition organiser, Eddie Anderson, to take part in some promotional work. That’s where I met Duncan Bennett of db-images. He invited me to his studio to do a fashion shoot. Then he and his business partner, Nicola, invited me to join First Step Models. There was no kind of conscious focus on my part. One thing has just sort of led to another.

FSM: Do your family support you in your modelling ambitions.

Metja: Oh yes. Very much so. But they know that it’s really difficult to make a career of it and that I shouldn’t be hurt if I don’t make it as far as I’d like. I’m planning to go to college or university to study Business law. If a modelling career comes along then I’ll continue to study. Modelling is also a pretty short career, so whether I’m successful in that or not, I want to have something else behind me.

FSM: So what’s it like to be voted the most beautiful woman in West Lothian?

Metja: Ha Ha! But WOW! Winning Miss West Lothian was such a shock, honestly. But I was more proud of myself just for having the guts to enter in the first place. I’d recommend it to anyone. It’s been so great.

FSM: What sort of modelling work excites you, and what scares you?

Metja: Everything about modelling both scares and excites me. I’d like to experience all aspects of the profession, but the thought of being on a runway in front of hundreds of people – or shooting for a famous brand would be both exciting and terrifying.

FSM: Would you like to do the whole holistic thing that a lot of models do now: from runway to recording studio to Hollywood?

Metja: Hmmmm … Well, yes and no... because, for a start, I want to get in to modelling to experience working with different people, and modelling sometimes offers opportunities across the globe. This means I’d get to do a job I’d love and travel around the world. As for recording studios and Hollywood … well, I wouldn’t say no if the opportunity came along but it’s a bit early for me to consider that.

FSM: Have you signed an autograph yet?

Metja: Erm …. No …. But I’ll send you one personally when I feel the time is right (laughs)

FSM: What makes you smile, what makes you scowl and what makes you cry?

Metja: I smile when I see people being nice to each other – it’s such a simple and lovely thing to do. I scowl when I see people using their teeth to take of their gloves – it gives me the shivers. And I cry when I’m angry.

FSM: Have you enjoyed being signed to First Step Models?

Metja: Yeah. It’s been fun. Everyone is so nice to each other and it’s given me some great experience.

FSM: Will you remember us when you've made your first million?

Metja: Oh definitely … I’ll send you that autograph I promised (laughs).


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