Latvian student and aspiring model Evita Smirnova had always dreamt about becoming a professional model, but at only 5’5 she was convinced it was beyond her reach. Luckily, she approached We Are Models before she’d given up on her dream for good and we were able to help her launch a successful modelling career.
With our help, Evita is now signed with the reputable Norrie Carr agency and has secured her first professional campaign with NSPCC. She’s also been pencilled at the prestigious Audi TV commercial casting, and is getting a lot of brand interest in her images.
We caught up with Evita to get her thoughts on her journey so far.
Introducing… professional model Evita Smirnova
WAM: Evita, hi! Thanks so much for making time to chat; I know you’ve been busy lately.
E.S: Hi! Yes, I have – thanks to We Are Models though so thank you.
WAM: Glad we could help! So tell us a bit about your background. Was modelling always something you wanted to do?
E.S: Yes, definitely. It was something I always wanted because I’ve always loved acting and I’m confident in front of the camera.
My friends and I used to do mini photo shoots together – I love performing. It was something I dreamt about, but I just never thought I could be a professional model as I’m not the right size or shape.
“Modelling was something I’d always dreamt about, but I never thought I could be successful as I’m not the right size or shape”
Then I was chatting to the We Are Models team and they completely changed my perspective. Emily explained that there are many different types of modelling, and I could be successful as a professional model if I knew how to present myself in the right way. She explained that although my height would be limiting, it’s a case of applying to the right agencies and showing them what they’re looking for in order to increase my chances of finding representation despite my height.
WAM: So what were they looking for?
E.S: As a petite model the We Are Models team explained I would be doing commercial work and mostly TV and online advertising, so video rather than just photographic. They taught me that the ability to show different characters, move well and be commercially aware was key as this is what clients would want to see.
They also explained what kind of jobs I would be put forward for and how it was important to be versatile as each client would want something different from me.
I decided to book in for studio time, so I could build the professional model portfolio to show this versatility, but also because I wanted the practical experience in front of the camera. The team explained that we’d be exploring different briefs and practising the professional skills modelling agencies would want to see from me. I knew it would make me more aware of myself on camera and more confident, which was a really important part of the process for me.
WAM: What was that like?
E.S: So much fun! It felt completely customised to me, and invaluable. I learnt a lot about angles, expression and how to move in front of the camera.
Actually, we ended up doing two photo shoots as one of the looks wasn’t quite right. It was beautiful, but after the images were ready Emily said she didn’t think it was positioning me in quite the right way. She asked me to come back in and we took some more images to make sure my portfolio was as good as it can be.
I really trusted Emily and the team, especially after that. I think a more dishonest agency would never have asked me to come back in, or would have charged me extra for the second shoot on top [We Are Models offer a unique quality guarantee on your images. If they’re not suitable, we’ll always do them again for free].
WAM: I’m so glad you enjoyed the experience: we aim to please! What was your favourite look?
E.S: I liked them all, but it’s more important that the agencies liked them. The look that has been getting me a lot of work is the natural, younger look. I’m 19, but I’ve always been told I look 14 with flash.
“We Are Models helped me create a look that would market me to get the most modelling opportunities. I’ve been getting a lot of interest from brands for roles because of my new images”
We Are Models explained that there are many modelling opportunities out there for female models of 16+ who look around 14, so we wanted to create a look to emphasise that. Those are the images my new agency liked most, and I’ve been getting a lot of interest from brands for roles because of them.
WAM: It sounds like you got signed to an agency pretty quickly?
E.S: Yes, I did! I hadn’t really applied to any modelling agencies before I’d worked with We Are Models, because I wasn’t sure my images were right. Applying always seemed really serious and intimidating – I didn’t have the confidence.
Then Emily gave me a list of 5 tailored agencies I should apply to, and explained exactly what I should do. What I really like about We Are Models is that they helped me with each application, showing me who I should apply to and with which images, and what to expect from each. They just make everything so much easier, and stop you wasting time by applying to hundreds of agencies you’re not right for.
As soon as I applied, I signed up with Norrie Carr and am already getting a lot of interest for those ‘young’ roles.
“What I really like about We Are Models is that they helped me with each application, showing me who I should apply to and with which images, and what to expect from each. They just make everything so much easier”
WAM: What type of work have you done so far?
E.S: My first casting was for the Audi TV commercials, so that was pretty exciting – but scary too. I knew what to expect because We Are Models had talked me through everything, but I was still very nervous!
I was put on the spot immediately because as soon as the camera was on, the casting director told me to make-up and act a 1-minute scenario with another professional model. It was like, “pretend this is your mum and you’ve got some sort of problem you want to talk to her about… and ACTION”. I’ve never had to think so fast!
I thought it hadn’t gone that well because it was my first casting, but I was pencilled for the role so that was amazing.
I just did a shoot for NSPCC actually, and that was great. I played a 14-year old girl with problems with abuse, and I just had so much fun on set. It’s about making a vision come to life – I find it so interesting.
WAM: It sounds like it’s all been pretty exciting, but do you have a favourite moment so far?
E.S: The moment I found out my We Are Models images had been featured in Vogue was unbelievable! Emily called me and said I was the Model of the Month so we were going to do another photo shoot. She’d mentioned that the last Model of the Month was featured in Vogue, but I didn’t really think about it because I never thought it would happen to me!
Professional Model“The moment I found out my We Are Models images had been featured in Vogue was unbelievable!”
Then a few days ago, I found out that my images were going to be in Vogue Italia. I just can’t believe it’s happening. Can you imagine that a couple of months ago I was just sitting at home doing nothing, and now I’m in Vogue and have this huge opportunity to build a career as a professional model?
I’ll never forget where I started from though. I’ll always be grateful to Emily and We Are Models for this opportunity and this journey. It’s completely amazing.
WAM: You definitely sound like you love being a model, Evita!
E.S: So much. I love meeting different people with these different views on fashion, on photography. You’re working with people who have a vision, being surrounded with creative people and changing your experiences and perspectives. Also I love that you can be yourself, but also you can be something completely different and special too. I feel like modelling is my thing – I really like it.
WAM: Evita, thank you so much. You’ve been amazing! Good luck with everything and I’m sure we’ll see your face popping up in some pretty exciting campaigns in the future.
If you’d like a helping hand to get your modelling career off the ground, you can get in touch with We Are Models now, or check out our membership packages HERE.
Otherwise, stay tuned for our next professional model success story in the coming weeks.