by Emma Dibaja
Let me introduce you to a model who’s face can be seen all around at the moment. Her name is Sarianne Hirvonen. Signed with Finland’s no. 1 modeling agency, Paparazzi Model Management, she is one of the hottest models of the moment in Finland. She’s the latest talk of the town, and she’s just landed the title of ”Best Model of the City 2009″. I wanted to find out how this 16-year old Nordic beauty has been able to create such a name for her herself as a successful model while working hard to graduate from High School with top grades. I had the cool opportunity to interview young Sarianne and hear how she has experienced her journey to stardom, or in her case modeldom.
Hi Sarianne, and congratulations. You have been chosen ”Best Model of the City 2009”. How do you feel? Were you expecting it?
I didn’t expect it at all. I feel really happy and excited about it. It was just a year ago when I started modeling. Some of my friends suggested that I should go and introduce myself to Paparazzi. That’s what I did, and here I am now.
What can you tell us about Paparazzi as a modeling agency and your representative?
Paparazzi has taken care of my career very professionally from the start. They have really demonstrated their years of experience as well as their competence as Finland’s leading modeling agency. I’ve been very happy and content with my agency.
You are just 16-years old, managing a busy life of a model and that of a high school student. How have you combined your studies with your modeling work? Have you found it challenging or difficult at all?
I’ve had to miss school sometimes due to some modeling jobs, but to compensate I’ve had to read and study even more to keep up. I can say that I haven’t experienced any major problems with keeping both in my daily life, and my studies are in good order.
What kind of work have you been doing since starting as a model? Have you been working more on the catwalk or in other campaigns? What do you like the most?
My biggest campaigns so far have been the summer campaign for Nanso, different shows for Marimekko and the 2009 Fashion Fair. I would say that I like both a lot, doing shows and photo-shoots. I’ve had a nice balance of both.
What has been the most exciting part of your career so far as a model?
I think it has to be the wait that’s involved in seeing your pictures published in a magazine for the first time. Nothing’s more nerve-wracking than the wait.
Every type of work has their good and bad aspects. Could you tell us something positive about working as a model, and then on the flip-side what have you found more challenging?
As something negative or more challenging I would have to say the long days that modeling often requires. And also sometimes I’ve found it challenging juggling work and school. But the positive aspects over-weight the negative ones. I think the best aspects of modeling are the people you get a chance to work with. Personally, I’ve never met a friendlier or nicer bunch than the people I’ve had the chance to work with. And on top of that, a model can earn quite nicely, especially if you are a student, like me.
So, what kind of expectations do you have of your career as a model? I could imagine that’s something on the mind of many young models who are starting out in the business. What do you think is instore for young model-hopefuls?
Personally I just hope that I can become a really good and experienced model. I hope that my success would grant me the opportunity to work more internationally. My dream is to gain great life experiences with my career as a model.
I have found modeling great in Finland. The modeling circles are somewhat small, so everyone pretty much knows each other. I think that creates security and a sense of belonging. I’ve made so many great friends since starting modeling. I haven’t felt any kind of competition among models in Finland. It feels more like we’re a big bunch of good friends.
Modelmanagement.com connects models with photographers, scouts and other professionals working in the business. With today’s importance of the internet, do you think a site, such as modelmanagement.com, can present a useful tool in creating new contacts and increase one’s exposure as a model?
Modelmanagement.com is a fairly new site for me. But I think it can be an excellent tool to channel your profile as a model and create good contacts with the people who count the most in the business. I think it’s particularly useful now, as the internet is becoming a more and more important tool in almost every business. As I have recently started as a model, I let my agency deal with all my contacts and bookings.
As you said, having started out as a model not so long ago yourself, could you offer any tips to aspiring, young models, or to models who have recently started their careers?
I would recommend getting acquiented with different modeling agencies before signing with them. You can find a lot of information online. See what type of models the agency represents and ask yourself whether or not you could imagine yourself among them. Drop by their offices and introduce yourself. Confidence is the key, so show them that you have what it takes to be a model, but do it naturally and be yourself. Aside from that, be nice, stay positive and always remember to be punctual.
A big thanks to Sarianne for the lovely talk. It was a pleasure. I wish her the very best in her career as a model, and hope to see her on the international catwalks soon. After having the opportunity to chat with Sarianne, I can totally agree with the headbooker of Paparazzi who said that what sets Sarianne apart and what has counted and keeps counting for her success, is her “natural, pure Nordic look” . She truly represents Nordic beauties. I can definitely see an upward curve for Sarianne and her career as a model both inside and outside of Finland.
If you are an aspiring model and you have questions regarding modeling, write to us and we’ll help you the best we can.
All photos courtesy of Paparazzi Model Management.
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