These days, our perception of reality is distorted from social media’s filtered and edited nature. Many people put on a facade for their followers. Sadly, we lost a bit of authenticity and mystery. Our lives are plastered for the world to see. Models, in particular, have to keep up with the persona that they live a glamorous lifestyle. Truthfully, the pressure to ‘fake it ‘til ya make it’ is high and New York model Aga Wojtasik has fully noticed society’s expectations. Keeping her head on straight and held high was challenging at times, but the resilient ones thrive in this competitive market.
CHALLENGES WOJTASIK FACED WHEN MOVING TO NEW YORK
Modeling in the fashion capital of the world, everyone’s for themselves. You must be independent and have thick skin to survive. Though Aga Wojtasik modeled worldwide, had plenty of experience, and a portfolio filled with range, she still struggled to obtain work when she started in New York just three years ago.
“New York is the hardest market to break because it is where everyone wants to be, and NYC is a place dreams can be made and broken,” Wojtasik said. “NYC is a place where anything is possible. I’ve navigated it by always treating people with respect. I have learned how to take criticism, but also how to stay unbothered with people’s opinions.”
The New York Model Management signed go-getter did not let the vast pool of models pose a threat. She remained disciplined in every aspect to solidify her status as a notable New York model.
“Models really need to take care of what they eat to stay in shape, make sure their skin and hair look healthy even though we wear heavy makeup pretty much all day, and our hair is being pulled and burned with stylist tools,” Wojtasik said. “It is really overwhelming at first.”
ODDS OF LANDING A SHOOT
Of course, the final product of a shoot is really all that the world sees. Everything that contributes to capturing that perfect shot is lost behind the scenes. It begins with casting the ideal model who can fit the clothes and articulate the mood through movement. The chemistry between a brand and a model is important for a successful photoshoot. However, on average, the chances of being selected are one out of 100.
“Usually lines are extremely long, there isn’t any water for anyone, and at times girls wait for hours,” Wojtasik explained the reality. “It’s also hard to book a job when you compete with hundreds of girls over one shoot. Luckily, I don’t get nervous anymore during castings, I just try to be myself and show my personality.”
Wojtasik is fortunate to have a list of recurring clients and has become a request for castings. Ultimately this means that she does not have to wait in line and is more likely to land the job. Still, the selectivity in the industry is harsh and being the ‘Cinderella’ model is rare and transient. Clients change their minds often, nothing is set in stone which makes this industry all the more difficult.
STAYING AHEAD IN TODAY’S MARKET
The grind never stops, not even with COVID-19 making studio time more scarce. Wojtasik waited and prepped for months for the industry to open back up. She was part of the minority who did not flee the city, which has benefited her bookings during the slow comeback.
Staying relevant when there are no shoots to post remains challenging, but Wojtasik found a way to let clients know she was ready for work whenever a return was appropriate. She focused on her social media, which has become a primary factor for future client recognition.
“When I first moved to New York City, I did not utilize this tool enough,” Wojtasik said. “Now, my account has dramatically changed in tandem with my career. The amount of business offers via social media has definitely gone up as brands increase their digital presence.”
She posts nearly every day and keeps her followers engaged with nutrition tips. Coming from a model with perfect measurements, this has been a hit. Of course, the clients responded well too since Wojtasik is now back in the studio.
The modeling world is constantly transforming operations and expectations, making efforts to stay ahead nearly impractical. Fortunately, Wojtasik’s versatile look has provided her with an upper hand in the business, yet she knows change is inevitable.
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