Desiree Gonzalez staff writer
From walking on the runway to filming shoots, junior Maria Chernyshova struts her way into the modeling industry.
Scouted at the age of 13, Chernyshova was noticed by “We Love Your Genes,” the IMG models Instagram scouting account, through personal Instagram photos that Chernyshova had hashtagged. From there, the vice president of IMG models, Jeni Rose, contacted her. Two months later, Chernyshova signed a contract with IMG models and has been working with them ever since.
“It was all very emotional and impactful because only in one day I got to meet the biggest agency in the world and all the people involved in it,” Chernyshova said. “As a model, IMG has literally taken me into their family. They’ve introduced a lot of jobs that I never knew could exist in the sense of scenery, photographers and clothing lines. They also really helped me understand that this business requires a lot of traveling.”
Although Chernyshova’s mother Eugenia is a veteran model, Chernyshova never thought she would go into modeling herself.
“I never thought of modeling. I’ve always lived on set with [my mom] and traveled everywhere, so I knew the job perfectly in and out by the age of 10. I was like, ‘I don’t want to do this job, It’s not me. I actually always wanted to become a doctor or even a lawyer. It wasn’t until eighth grade that I started to notice that I would want to pursue modeling as a hobby and now that it’s around four years past, I’m pursuing modeling as a potential career in my life,” Chernyshova said.
As a young and developing model, she has found her mom to be an impactful person in her life and career.
“My mom never put pressure on me and she still never does put pressure on me. She’s very supportive and I think it’s a good thing that my mom has been in this industry for a while because she knows what can happen and what can’t. She knows what’s best for me in a sense, and how to do the job, and what fits for me and what doesn’t,” Chernyshova said.
“All of my jobs have been really unique and they’ve all helped me develop in my book and as a person myself,” she said. “My first show was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had,” Chernyshova said.
Although she doesn’t have one favorite aspect of modeling, she does enjoy walking on the runway.
“With runway it’s live; there’s no Photoshop, there is no way of going back. It’s just you and the audience. It’s not nerve wracking, it’s more of an excitement and a rush of adrenaline and that feeling that you have before you step out. The feeling you get after you’ve done the show is an overflowing pack of emotion,” Chernyshova said.
While working hard, Chernyshova tries to balance school and modeling as her education is very important to her.
“It’s a lot of school hours dedicated to homework but at the same time after school it’s castings. I’m very grateful to the district because they want me to work and support me. Waking up is the hardest part because every day you know how much you have to do that day. My weekends are packed with shoots with runway shows. Not only am working for a client, but I’m also working to develop my book and that includes test shoots. It’s literally going to school then home or direct to the agency or wherever managing everything at the same time,” Chernyshova said.
From her experiences, she has learned a lot about herself and the world of modeling.
“I’ve learned that confidence is not something you gain overnight. Confidence is something that you need to build through a lot of experience. I’ve also learned a lot about my fears and how to overcome them. I’ve gotten to learn that a lot of people are fake in the world, who to trust and not to trust and how much trust a person should have,” Chernyshova had.
On the contrary to what people think models should look like, Chernyshova believes that anyone can do it.
“One of the biggest advice I can give any person and people who want to be a model is you don’t have to be pretty to model. It’s one of the most stereotypical things saying ‘she’s pretty, tall, and skinny, she can go model.’ It requires way more than being pretty and skinny to be a model. It’s a lot of talent that is inside of a person when they are born but it’s also learnt and the gaining of confidence and trust in yourself first and in others is something that is built through the job,” Chernyshova said.
Jeni Rose did not respond in time for comment.